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Betty Davis Interview on The Sound of Young America Podcast

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Show: 
Bullseye

Betty Davis is a legend of soul and funk music. The one-time wife of Miles Davis introduced the jazzman to Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and the broad world of electric music, leading him to create "Bitches Brew." She recorded three albums of her own in the 1970s, full of raw, sexy, outrageous funk. The first two, "Betty Davis" and "They Say I'm Different" have been re-released by the Seattle label Light in the Attic Records.

Davis left the music industry in the late 1970s, and has been completely absent from the public eye since -- at one point, a fan had to track her down in the suburbs of Pittsburgh to get her $40,000 in songwriting royalties.

This is her first radio interview since her performing days.

You might also enjoy these past programs:
Soul Sides with Dr. Oliver Wang
Southern Soul: Devin the Dude and Stax Records (MP3)
The College Years: Swamp Dogg

Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

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How's Your News?: Producer Arthur Bradford and Reporter Jeremy Vest on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Jeremy Vest (R) cooks with past TSOYA guest Amy Sedaris

Our guests this week are two of the folks behind "How's Your News," a new MTV series which follows a group of reporters with physical and developmental disabilities around the country as they interview celebrities and just plain folks. The show is hilarious, insightful and a whole lot of fun (for both the viewer and, apparently, the reporters). Producer Arthur Bradford has grown "How's Your News?" from a summer camp activity to a feature-length film and now to it's current incarnation. Jeremy Vest, pictured above, is one of the reporting team. He has the developmental disability Williams' Syndrome.

We talked with Jeremy and Arthur about their favorite moments making the show, and the challenges of guiding such a heterogeneous group through such an ambitious project.

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Rob Corddry
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I'm going to Atlanta.

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I'll be attending the Integrated Media Association conference. This is an event where all the people in public radio and television who don't have any decision-making power get together to talk about what they would do to prepare for the new media future if they did have decision making power. And then get drunk.

If you're a public media type, I will be on Andy Carvin's session, which is called something like Social Media: What Worked in 2008 (my answer: Craxworth. Also, King Greebo.) I'll also be leading a session on online branding with Merlin Mann, one of the Bros. Chaps and Jeff Olsen from adultswim.com. My last conference session leading experience was disastrous bordering on catastrophic, so all we can do is hope for better this time.

Also of note: while in Atlanta, I will be continuously fighting the urge to yell, "WHO ELSE WANNA FUCK WITH HOLLYWOOD COLE?"

Kanye: GOD BLESS THIS MAN

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You know what? HANG IT UP people who don't like Kanye.

Because Kanye is a great producer, a good rapper, he's funny and he's fly as fuck. And he's a regular Joe who worked his ass off to get where he is and is a hilarious superstar. If all big stars were as entertaining as Kanye, the world would be a better place. The above interview is a perfect representation of why the guy is a fucking 10/10 delight.

(No, I wasn't really into the singing album. C'est la vie.)

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Big Ideas"

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Were he to declare the podcast the best medium ever, your Podthinker would probably hear little dissent (at least from this crowd). Were he also to declare it a medium with vast tracts of untapped potential, he would hope to receive the same general agreement in response. Podcasts have done a fine job bringing the music, the comedy and the Transformers-referencing conversations between twentysomething basment-dwellers, but as yet appear to have made only tentative inroads toward boosting the art of the lecture and the importance of ideas in public life. What luck that this week's podcast, its anonymous front-end announcer assures us, is in fact dedicated to "the art of the lecture and the importance of ideas in public life." Coincidence at its finest!

The podcast is Big Ideas [iTunes link], from Canadian educational broadcaster TVOntario. As the first two letters of that organization's name indicate, it's wasn't produced specifically as a podcast but is in fact an audio-only version of the television show of the same name. This sounds sloppy but is in practice a pretty decent idea; would that other talky television shows followed suit and put out equivalent handy-dandy downloadables. (Looking at you, Charlie Rose.) A guy standing (presumably) up at a lectern and speaking his piece typically loses little with the visuals stripped away, and even when important visual aids get lost in the process — when the audience laughs, one often wonders at what — the podcast's convenience more than compensates. (A video podcast of Big Ideas is also available here, if one is into that kind of thing, but, this being an audio podcast column, it receives neither endorsement nor disendorsement from your Podthinker. Also, because your Podthinker hates and fears Powerpoint in all its forms and suspects some lecturers of the crime of using it, he is too scared to try it.)

No matter the intrinsic nobility, enjoyability and various other -ities of the lecture form, a lecture program is simply only going to be as good as its lecturers themselves. Big Ideas' stable is, to mix a metaphor bigtime, very much a mixed bag. Some of its presenters talk engagingly and surprisingly intimately with the audience on rich, unusual subjects: Umberto Eco on ugliness [MP3], for instance, or Neil Turok on the cause of the Big Bang [MP3] or Tim Conley on the coordination of the self in contemporary poetry [MP3]. The downside is that the program also serves up a bunch of known polemicists, impressionistic thinkers, axe-grinders and permutations of the three: your Naomi Kleins, your Ben Barbers, your Deepak Chopras, etc.

Unsteady intellectual integrity is a small price to pay, though, for being able to listen to lectures on music and the brain, the poetics of gay male culture and creative menu design one right after the other. Think of Big Ideas as a giant, sticky ball of intellectual jelly beans which have all fused after a day spent in somebody's backpack: some are tasty, some are nasty and many are unexpected, but where else are you going to get so many flavors in a single bite? Sure, you can go through the available lectures and pick and choose only what you're already certain to enjoy, but where's the fun and surprise in that? Just grab a chunk out of that gummy cluster and chew away. With your... brain teeth.

Vital stats:
Format: lectures
Running since: November 2007
Duration: ~30m-60m
Frequency: slightly more than weekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Podthinker Colin Marshall's distinguished lecture on "The Podcast Medium and the Existential Self in the Context of Post-Millennial Hermeneutic (Re)Medi[a/u]tion" is only available if you e-mail him at colinjmarshall at gmail. Discuss Podthoughts on the forum here or submit your own podcast for the next by-Max-Funsters column here.]

The Maximum Fun Forum Awesome Springtape

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MaxFunster shiitake put together a great project on the forum: an Awesome Spring Mixtape.

This is the tracklist:
1. Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal (from NealAppeal)
2. The Hives - Won't Be Long (from Jordan)
3. The Raconteurs - Five on the Five (from HijackedFlavor)
4. Drive-By Truckers - Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife (from Bugs Meany)
5. Atmosphere - You (from Kfunque)
6. The Dirtbombs - Ever Lovin' Man (from jbissell)
7. Dr Dog - Hang On (from Olliver)
8. The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis (from Jordan)
9. Los Compesinos - My Year in Lists (from neilathotep)
10. Bon Iver - Skinny Love (from Bugs Meany)

shiitake just put up a download link.

Larry Wilmore Interview: Daily Show Contributor Talks About "I'd Rather We Got Casinos" on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Larry Wilmore (L) with the late Bernie Mac

Larry Wilmore is an accomplished comedy writer and performer. He worked as a standup comic before going into television writing. As a TV writer, he wrote for In Living Color and The Office, among many others, and co-created The PJs and The Bernie Mac Show. As a performer, he's acted in numerous sitcoms and recently has been seen regularly on The Daily Show as the program's Senior Black Correspondent.

His new book is "I'd Rather We Got Casinos (and Other Black Thoughts)."

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
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Jordan, Jesse Go! Ep. 89: A Tribute to Dennis Richmond (Recorded Live in San Francisco)

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Jesse and Jordan discuss what about a city is bullshit, what to say to a Hollywood agent, Supercelebrity Rob Lowe, and of course newscaster Dennis Richmond. Recorded as part of the Monsters of Podcasting at SF Sketchfest 2009, alongside the wonderful and brilliant You Look Nice Today.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

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BUNNIES, MINIS AND PYGMY GOATS HURRAY

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Thanks to Thomas, who sent me this nice video of some bunnies and some minis and some pygmy goats. The pygmy goat wants attention! I love it!

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