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Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 131: Dinosaurs with Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Dave Willis and Dana Snyder

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Dave Willis
Dana Snyder

Dave Willis and Dana Snyder of Aqua Teen Hunger Force join Jesse and Jordan for a discussion of Girl Scout cookies, cement dinosaurs and tour buses, among other things. The two are in the midst of a national tour.

TSOYA: The AV Club April Recommendations

Josh Modell
Scott Tobias

Ready for the April AV Club recommendations? Editor-in-Chief Josh Modell talks about new music -- Go, a solo album from Jónsi, the frontman of Sigur Rós, and The National's newest album, High Violet.

Film Editor Scott Tobias gives us the story on Justified, a new contemporary psuedo-Western crime series on FX, and the film Hunger, recently distributed by IFC and the Criterion Collection.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Urban Coffee


Vital stats:
Format: high-tech, segmented TTWGBAC; or "banter-cast"
Duration: 1h-1h30m
Frequency: fortnightly, at least
Archive available on iTunes: all

Moan as I may fact that the medium of podcasting hasn't produced quite as many minty fresh new genres — or as many ungenrefiables, for that matter — as I'd hoped, it's still early days. Early-ish days, anyway. But after hearing Urban Coffee [RSS] [iTunes] after No Agenda, which I Podthought about nearly bang on one year ago, I can confirm the existence of at least one more. I'm just not sure what to call it.

Like No Agenda's Curry and Dvorak, Urban Coffee's Dave Koss and Seth Falkner, the latter of whom is a musician and the former of whom seems to do something with animation, normally operate in different domains but regularly come together for a heavily-segmented show that touches on technology, politics and their own lives' streams of victory and frustration. The main differences are generational — these guys seem substantially younger than the middle-aged No Agenda-ers — and geographical. Whereas I believe Curry and Dvorak host the show from different locations via Skype, it sounds as if Koss and Falkner only resort to that when something goes logistically wrong and they can't be in the same room.

The similarities come as no surprise, since one of this podcast's hosts is such a No Agenda fan that he brings it up in almost every episode. But if Koss and Falkner are relatively young and not nearly as eccentric as their models, isn't their show just another TTWGBAC? In some senses, yes; in others, no. The two programs share a tech-intensive setup (by podcasting's somewhat laggy standards) that allows listeners to tap into audio streams, video streams, a chat room and lord knows what else during recording and a reasonably organized structure of predefined compartments. I guess that's simply a holdover from "regular" radio, but combine it with the freewheelingness of the TTWGBAC and you have something more interesting than either.

So instead of a couple dudes happening to wend their way from song recommendations to complaints to (my personal favorite) the reading out lout of narcissistic tweets, you have the routinely scheduled features "Seth's Music Café", "Bitch of the Week" and "Narcissistic Tweets". In between, Koss and Falkner work in quite a lot about new developments in computer and other electronic gear, the clashes between corporate/governmental entities and what might loosely be termed tech culture, the challenges of new fatherhood and, of course, Pedobear. The more like these guys the are, the more into your their show you'll be — and I suspect there are boatloads of people who share their interests hanging around the net.

One iTunes reviewer calls the show a "banter-cast", and, though it doesn't capture quite as many nuances as I'd like, that's about as serviceable a name as we're going to get today. There's something about podcasts like this one, and this podcast in particular, that eludes precise nameability. The title itself is a case in point: it feels a little misleading, but I'll be damned if I can tell you what the name Urban Coffee would seem to lead to, falsely or otherwise. Could the the vagueness be an advantage? Got me listening.

[Want to hire Podthinker Colin Marshall to Podthink at your box social? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

John Mulaney on Girl Scout Cookies


MaxFunPal, past Sound of Young America guest and Very Nice Guy John Mulaney made his on-camera debut on SNL this week. He killed it. I think I lost track of myself when he described the Girl Scouts as "a weird child army in tablecloth dresses."

I have my own Girl Scout cookie comments to share, but I'm saving them for the next JJGo.

The XX: Interview on The Sound of Young America

The XX

The XX are a three-member band from London, England. Their self-titled debut album was one of the most acclaimed releases of 2009. This year, the band has been chose to play some of the most important music festivals in the world: All Tomorrow's Parties, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Sasquatch and Lollapalooza. The group's two singers, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim have been friends since nursery school. Jamie Smith, who programs drums and keyboard sounds joined the group in high school. Their music is modest, intimate and modern; often compared to acts as divergent as Aaliyah and the Cure.

Put This On Episode 2: Shoes

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I'm so proud that I get to work with Adam Lisagor on Put This On. If you're not familiar with it, it's a men's style series and blog we've been doing for the past six months or so. This is the second video episode, about shoes. It was paid for by fans of the blog and of our first episode, about denim. With the MaxFun pledge drive coming up, I've been thinking a lot about money. It's nice to know that people will pay for something that they don't have to pay for, to make sure it gets made. That act of altruism is pretty much the basis of my career.

Anyway: shoes. Enjoy.

Doctor Who Writer Steven Moffat and Stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Stephen Moffat
Matt Smith
Karen Gillan

The sci-fi adventure series Doctor Who has been a fan favorite for more than 40 years. The original run of the show, from 1963 to 1989, is mostly remembered by Americans for its cheesy special effects and distinctly British eccentricity. A series revamp in 2005 dispensed with the former and kept the latter - it's a huge hit, both critically and commercially, in the UK.

This month the fifth series of the new version of the show launched on BBC America, with a new head writer (the highly acclaimed Steven Moffat), a new Doctor (Matt Smith) and a new companion (Karen Gillan). Moffat, Smith and Gillan are our guests on this Sound of Young America. They talk bout the significance that Doctor Who held in their lives, and about what it's like to put a personal stamp on a revered cultural phenomenon.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Biggest Mistake


Vital stats:
Format: TTWGBAC/L.A. comedy improversation
Duration: ~1h
Frequency: weekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

One episode of The Biggest Mistake [RSS] [iTunes] features an hour-plus guest appearance by Jordan Morris. [MP3] It's a good time. Many chuckleworthy jokes are cracked. Only a few fall flat. If you hang around a speakeasy like this, chances are that's all the prompting you'll need to check the show out. If that's not all the prompting you need, let me assure you that, paradoxically, you'll only really learn if you want to listen to this show by, uh, listening to it.

I do have to hand it, in kind of a left-handed way, to hosts Dan Dominguez, Paul Jay and Jennifer Goldberg: they've picked an imposingly steep mountain to climb. While I routinely declare moratoria on further Podthinking about programs of the Two Twenty/Thirtysomething White Guys/Girls Bullshitting About Culture (TTWGBAC) form or those revolving around the feeling-ever-smaller Los Angeles comedy scene — on the podcast beat, you hear volumes of this that would make grown men lose control of four out of five bodily functions — I always find my way back. Here, in that spirit, is another intersection of both.

It is by no means bad to birth a podcast of this breed in 2010, but it's hard: the hosts/producers of such a show have a daunting bout of self-distinguishment cut out for them. Task one would be rising above the landslide of cheap or free — usually free — cultural bullshitting and L.A. comedy that has covered the podscape. Task two, tougher still, would be to take on the existing titans of the genre(s), hoisted aloft as they are by their grandfatherly seniority and aggressively loyal fanbases.

But nothing I've heard from The Biggest Mistake suggests they can't do it! I looked up the show upon first hearing it was helmed, in part, by Dominguez. Though I remembered him quite fondly from an appearance on The Paul Goebel Show, I couldn't quite remember why. Smart money's on the fact that he announced there that his MySpace username was "danshitsyourfaceapart." For whatever reason, it stuck with me. I simply had to know what the guy was going to do with his own podcast.

On it, he's joined by fellow L.A.median (there's no elegant portmanteau) Jay, of whom I was previously unaware. The stool's third leg exists in the form of Goldberg, co-host as well as producer as well as Jay's ladyfriend. Though she may or may not be a comedian, technically speaking, she is beyond dispute comedic. The couple hold their own, but at least in the first eleven episodes, Dominguez stands out as the dominantly strange presence. As his choice in MySpace accounts suggests, he's willing to take a few more and more absurd risks than your average L.A. comedian bullshitting about culture on a podcast. This means his lines occasionally fall into awkward silences, provoke bewlidered half-laughs or are total nonsense. But they're something. They're real and alive.

Since it's such early days, I'm quite interested to see how The Biggest Mistake will ultimately form a solid identity with which to set itself apart. Within the TTWGBAC and/or Never Not Funny-ish conversational comedy formats, it couldn't be simpler: the hosts get together, bring on a comedy-y guest and chat about ridiculous subjects for about an hour — no segments, no listener participation, no discernible regular features. And that can totally work. It must be said, though that the podcast's tagline — "Like all other podcasts, only more so. And then some" — may or may not inspire confidence. It could signal a refreshing self-awareness about some of the already ossified tropes of this newish medium. Or it could be meant ironically. And don't they say irony is the song of a bird who's come to love its cage?

[Want to hire Podthinker Colin Marshall to Podthink at your bat mitzvah? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

MaxFun T-Shirt Contest 2010!


This is our third annual t-shirt contest. We're really going to be blowing the doors of things this fall, and that's why I think we need the greatest t-shirt contest in history.


Here's how it'll work.

This year, there will be THREE winners... because we're looking for THREE t-shirts. One Sound of Young America t-shirt, one Jordan, Jesse, Go! t-shirt, and one Stop Podcasting Yourself t-shirt.

The rules:

You can submit up to two of each design (six entries, total).

Entries should be emailed to

You can use up to four printed colors, plus any shirt color available for the Alternative Apparel basic tee.

Include printable vector graphics (.EPS format) and a web-friendly jpeg of your design (400 pixels wide), plus your name, address and phone number.

We will accept entries until the eve of MaxFunCon - Thursday, May 6th.

When you enter, you are giving us permission to use your design (duh).

We'll be posting the entries as they come in in three threads - one for each show.

Finalists will be determined by a popular vote, then the winners will be selected by a panel of EXPERTS and SUPER CELEBS, which will most likely include MY MOM. In the past, this panel has included Mike Birbiglia, Jonathan Coulton, Maria Bamford, John Hodgman and other Friends of MaxFun.

Winners will receive a free t-shirt of their design, any item they want from the MaxFunStore, a copy of our upcoming TSOYA DVD, and a care package of crap that's sitting around our office.

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Episode 84: Meet the Celebrity - Lorenzo Shower


Welcome to season two of Coyle & Sharpe: The Imposters! In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. These original recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

On this episode: Coyle & Sharpe would like you to meet the namesake of modern bathing, Lorenzo Shower.

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