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How to Succeed in the Music Biz, by Erykah Badu

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Erykah Badu is a really funny lady.

Podcast: The Ten Cent Plague: David Hajdu on Comic Book Censorship in the 1950s

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Show: 
Bullseye


David Hajdu's new book is "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America." David writes about the development of comic books as a medium, and how it was almost stopped dead by anti-comics crusaders in the 1950s.

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Tony Millionaire
Marty Krofft
Comics & Comix with Art Spiegelman, Chris Elliott and Matt Walsh

Podcast: The College Years: Passion

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The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Tommy Davidson formerly of In Living Color joins Jesse, Jordan, and "Q" for a scintillating edition of The College Years featuring erotic confessions.

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Comedy Babies: Patton Oswalt and David Cross

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Ain't they adowable?

Vidthoughts by Joe Coughlin: "Mr. Deity"

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I've seen "Mr. Deity" listed on iTunes for awhile now, but I've never had the courage to click on it. I guess I was afraid it would be one of those shows that looks like a fun show, but then sucks you into a crazy Kirk Cameron "Way of the Master" rant about why intelligent design is the way the world was created by God because man can hold a banana.

Fortunately, I've now found that this is not the case.

"Mr. Deity" is a video podcast created, written and starring Brian Keith Dalton as the title character, a distracted, lazy version of the Christian God. He's surrounded by his assistant Larry, son Jesus (though he keeps calling him Jesse), and on-again, off-again girlfriend Lucy (aka Lucifer). Larry's charged with the thankless task of keeping the inconsistencies of Mr. D consistent. Jesus is just hoping for crucifixion coverage on his health insurance and working on his miracles in his spare time (and to save money). Lucy is continually outraged at how women are portrayed in "the script.. Oh, and she forbids him to do anything else with virgins. She's jealous.

I would think that believers would be just as scared seeing noted atheists Michael Shermer and Julia Sweeney giving the show glowing reviews on the front page of the website as I was when I thought it was an extension of Mike Seaver's ministry. But I don't think that many believers will find anything that offensive. The humor is gentle and it never tries to make anyone feel bad for believing.

The writing is sharp and the editing spot-on. While the whole of the series consists of people speaking to each other, there's rarely a static two shot that goes on long enough for you to notice. Quick cuts and great reaction shots add to the feeling that the show is longer than its listed 3-4 minute runtime. Sadly, the biggest problem of the show is one it cannot help. It takes time to make episodes that look so good and are written so well. So unfortunately there are only 20 episodes of the show and you can quickly run through them. The second season recently ended, so here's hoping the third isn't too far away. I can't wait to see what they do with the other member of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost/Spirit (I'm sure they're focus grouping the name as we speak).

[Comments and suggestions for future columns are welcome. I can be reached at inturnaround at gmail]

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Crap from the Past"

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Podthoughts has been one of my favorite features on MaximumFun.org, not least because I don't have to write it. Ian Brill has spent the last few months building a legacy as the greatest podcast reviewer of all time, but he's gotten a demanding full-time job as a comics editor, so he's had to resign his commission. Freelance journalist Colin Marshall will be picking up the column, and hopefully his insights will be just as valuable. And look out for Joe Coughlin, who will be contributing occaisional Vidthoughts on video podcasts. -- Jesse

At the tender age of eleven, Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber began laboriously copying the chart positions of every single on the American Top 40 into a binder, genuflecting before the divine word of Casey Kasem. At the same time, he began regularly purchasing 45s of every top single he didn't already own. His enthusiasm for pop music has, in the ensuing three decades, evolved into Crap from the Past, where he's been behind the mic passing the love on to us for sixteen years now.

Gerber currently broadcasts out of KFAI in Minneapolis, with syndication in England and New Zealand. (Luckily for everyone who isn't a Kiwi, a Brit or Prince, there's a podcast feed.) If he were simply slapping a hodgepodge of pop tunes onto the turntables every week, his program would be no worse — and, let's admit it, probably better — than most of that which spews forth from community radio. But Crap from the Past is so much more; the Boogiemonster bills it as, in effect, "a graduate-level course in pop music," but it's even better than that, because he rarely if ever resorts to critical post-structuralist gender theory.

See, when Ron Gerber lays down a show on Tears for Fears, he doesn't spin "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and call it a night. He spins "Everybody Wants to Run the World", which the band re-recorded from scratch as a charity single for some kind of benefit run, changing only one word. He spins "Victims of Fact", a single recorded by Neon, an early group comprising the members of what would become Tears for Fears and the members of what would become Naked Eyes. He spins a cut recorded for The Karate Kid Part II by Mancrab, a one-off outfit helmed by Tears for Fears' lead singer. And he digs out his 1980s issues of Billboard to read out the original reviews of these songs.

Similarly, a New-Kids-on-the-Block-themed program features Biscuit, the boy band's bodyguard-turned-rapper, the Perfect Gentlemen, an even younger boy band created by the New Kids' producer Maurice Starr, and the James Brown records off of which Starr bit to formulate that irresistible New Kids sound. Interwoven are interview excerpts from a New Kids concert VHS tape. (Imagine how full this guy's house is, and of what else.)

Gerber also conducts the occasional interview of his own: electronic pop pioneer Thomas Dolby, forgotten — and much Boogiemonster-championed — power-popper D.L. Byron and mayor of Funkytown Stephen Greenberg, to name only three.

Though Gerber introduces certain songs as, say, "atrocities," don't take the Crap in Crap from the Past too literally: the show's not some sort of kitschfest, but if it's necessary to play some kitsch, the Boogiemonster won't back down. (He may, however, talk over said kitsch or yank it off early.) As a man unashamed of his pop habits, I adore Crap from the Past. If you don't deign to enjoy pop yourself, prepare to be converted. It's a bit of a cliché to put it this way, but were you to give his show a listen, you'd almost certainly be infected with his near-obsessive — okay, obsessive — passion for well-crafted pop and all information relating to it.

[Direct all correspondence to colinjmarshall at gmail.]

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At the tender age of eleven, Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber began laboriously copying the chart positions of every single on the American Top 40 into a binder, genuflecting before the divine word of Casey Kasem. At the same time, he began regularly purchasing 45s of every top single he didn't already own. His enthusiasm for pop music has, in the ensuing three decades, evolved into Crap from the Past, where he's been behind the mic passing the love on to us for sixteen years now.

Gerber currently broadcasts out of KFAI in Minneapolis, with syndication in England and New Zealand. (Luckily for everyone who isn't a Kiwi, a Brit or Prince, there's a podcast feed.) If he were simply slapping a hodgepodge of pop tunes onto the turntables every week, his program would be no worse — and, let's admit it, probably better — than most of that which spews forth from community radio. But Crap from the Past is so much more; the Boogiemonster bills it as, in effect, "a graduate-level course in pop music," but it's even better than that, because he rarely if ever resorts to critical post-structuralist gender theory.

See, when Ron Gerber lays down a show on Tears for Fears, he doesn't spin "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Mad World" and "Head Over Heels" and call it a night. He spins "Everybody Wants to Run the World", which the band re-recorded from scratch as a charity single for some kind of benefit run, changing only one word. He spins "Victims of Fact", a single recorded by Neon, an early group comprising the members of what would become Tears for Fears and the members of what would become Naked Eyes. He spins a cut recorded for The Karate Kid Part II by Mancrab, a one-off outfit helmed by Tears for Fears' lead singer. And he digs out his 1980s issues of Billboard to read out the original reviews of these songs.

Similarly, a New-Kids-on-the-Block-themed program features Biscuit, the boy band's bodyguard-turned-rapper, the Perfect Gentlemen, an even younger boy band created by the New Kids' producer Maurice Starr, and the James Brown records off of which Starr bit to formulate that irresistible New Kids sound. Interwoven are interview excerpts from a New Kids concert VHS tape. (Imagine how full this guy's house is, and of what else.)

Gerber also conducts the occasional interview of his own: electronic pop pioneer Thomas Dolby, forgotten — and much Boogiemonster-championed — power-popper D.L. Byron and mayor of Funkytown Stephen Greenberg, to name only three.

Though Gerber introduces certain songs as, say, "atrocities," don't take the Crap in Crap from the Past too literally: the show's not some sort of kitschfest, but if it's necessary to play some kitsch, the Boogiemonster won't back down. (He may, however, talk over said kitsch or yank it off early.) As a man unashamed of his pop habits, I adore Crap from the Past. If you don't deign to enjoy pop yourself, prepare to be converted. It's a bit of a cliché to put it this way, but were you give his show a listen, you'd almost certainly be infected with his near-obsessive — okay, obsessive — passion for well-crafted pop and all information relating to it.

[Direct all correspondence to colinjmarshall at gmail.]

Maximum Funny: May 24th in Santa Cruz

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I'm so proud to be hosting Maximum Funny, a comedy benefit for KUSP in Santa Cruz hosted by yours truly and presented by The Sound of Young America.

I basically just asked the funniest people I could think of to be in the show. Headlining is The Kasper Hauser Skit Club, who you may have heard of on this site. (That was intended as comic understatement, btw). Standup Brent Weinbach will be featured -- he's toured with The Comedians of Comedy and is in my book the funniest guy in the Bay Area and one of the funniest in the world. Opening will be Mary Van Note, who pushes standup into new and very odd directions, and is a UCSC graduate!

Of course I will be hosting the show, and if we feel like it, maybe Jim Real and I will do a Prank the Dean sketch.

Tickets are only twenty bucks, or eighteen for KUSP members. That's pretty fricking cheap for world-class comedy in the Scruz.

The show's Saturday, May 24th at the Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz. Buy your tickets online now, or at Streetlight Records in downtown Santa Cruz.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Comics and Comix with Chris Elliott, Art Spiegelman and Matt Walsh

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Show: 
Bullseye


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Clasics.

This week, Pulitzer-prize-winning comix artist Art Spiegelman (above) talks about his book "In the Shadow Of No Towers," a collection of large-format newspaper comics about September 11th and its fallout.

Then we talk with Chris Elliott, long-time foil to David Letterman, co-creator and star of the cult sitcom Get A Life, and now comic novelist. His first novel was "The Shroud of the Thwacker."

Finally, we talk with Matt Walsh. In addition to appearing in many movies, Walsh is a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade. He also starred in the semi-improvised semi-reality sitcom Dog Bites Man.


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MaxFun Meetups Tonight!

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If you're in the LA area, come by the Ikea restaurant area in Burbank this evening around 6:30 for the Maximum Fun Meetup. We'll sup and hang out for a bit, then those of us who were able to get tickets will head over to the This American Life Live! screening at the AMC Burbank 16.

If you're in the Chicago area, the forums' gymboyusmc has scheduled a meetup from 7 to 9PM Chicago time at Sweet Occaisions in Andersonville. Go there, meet some nice folks, have some desserts. And all your deserts are on the house! (Last sentence not true)

And if you're in Seattle, watch out for the meetup that reidj is planning for May 16th.

Ready, steady, GO!

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