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Throwing Shade #71 - Live at UCB Theater LA


It's Tour Week here at TSPOD HQ SVU, so we're releasing all of our live shows to you, for your ear holes and your brain waves, to titillate your live show receptors pre-TSPOD Live in (Your Town). Get your tickets for our Mid West Coast Tour "Sushi to Casseroles" here
This show was recorded live at The PunchLine in San Francisco on 01/27/13 as part of SF SketchFest. 
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Ep. 3: Breastfeeding

One Bad Mother
Marion Oberle

Biz and Theresa talk about breastfeeding and manage to stay friends despite all the judging. Then we talk to comedian Marion Oberle who reminds us we aren't the only two moms in the world by sharing how her breastfeeding experiences were not only different from ours but different between her two boys.

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Share your genius and fail moments! Call 206-350-9485

Show Music
Opening theme: Summon the Rawk, Kevin MacLeod (
Beehive, Beehive Sessions (, also avail on iTunes)
Mom Song, Adira Amran, Hot Jams For Teens (, available on iTunes)
Telephone, Beehive Sessions (, also avail on iTunes)
Closing music: Mama Blues, Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans ( and available on iTunes)

Judge John Hodgman Episode 102: Justice Abhors a Vacuum

Jonathan Coulton

Matt brings the case against his good friend Jeremy. Matt borrowed a shop vac from Jeremy to do some grease trap cleaning at work, but he accidentally ruined it in the process. The friends finally settled on a replacement appliance, but Matt thinks he got a raw deal, since it was more expensive than the original. How should he have reimbursed his friend? Are they even now? Only one man can decide: JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN.

Joining us in the courtroom this week as an expert witness is internet music legend Jonathan Coulton! His newest album, Artificial Heart, is the first album he has recorded with a full band. You can catch Jonathan as the house musician on NPR's Ask Me Another.


Special thanks to listener Thom Winters for suggesting this week's title!

Throwing Shade #72 - Live at SF SketchFest


It's Tour Week here at TSPOD HQ SVU, so we're releasing all of our live shows to you, for your ear holes and your brain waves, to titillate your live show receptors pre-TSPOD Live in (Your Town). Get your tickets for our Mid West Coast Tour "Sushi to Casseroles" here.

This show was recorded live at The PunchLine in San Francisco on 01/27/13 as part of SF SketchFest.

Subscribe and Rate on iTunes
@gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod
Official Max Fun Page
Facebook page
RSS Feed

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Simon Rich and Bill Burr

Simon Rich
Bill Burr
Mark Frauenfelder

New to Bullseye? Subscribe in iTunes or the RSS feed. You can also find and share all of our segments on our Soundcloud page.

Mark Frauenfelder Recommends: Spaceteam and The Magazine

Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing and the Gweek podcast joins us again this week to talk about some of his current favorite things. Mark suggests a turn at the multiplayer iPhone game Spaceteam, which is all about yelling techno-gibberish at friends. In the mood for something a little more quiet? Mark also recommends The Magazine, a minimalist, ad-free digital publication "for geeks and curious people."

Embed or share this week's recommendations from BoingBoing's Mark Frauenfelder

Comedy Writer Simon Rich: Why Writing Like a Child Can Be a Good Thing

Simon Rich got his first book deal in 2007. Since then, he’s published five books, received a nomination for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, contributed regular essays to the New Yorker, and worked on Saturday Night Live as a staff writer (which he recently left for a top-secret writing job at Pixar). How old is he? 29. Basically, Simon Rich has his act together.

The characters he writes about? Not so much. His latest book, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, is a collection of vignettes about lost characters coming to terms with love. And these aren’t your typical stories of romance and heartbreak; in true Simon Rich fashion, his stories make the mundane profound and vice-versa. (No one else can write a story about God’s girlfriend and follow it up with a touching monologue from a prophylactic’s POV.)

Simon sits down with Jesse to discuss the autobiographical elements of his stories, the appeal of writing from a child’s point of view, and how love is a lot like heroin.

Simon Rich’s new book of essays, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, is available in bookstores everywhere.

Want to hear about Simon's obsession with The Simpsons? It's here, in a longer cut of our interview. Click to embed and share it with your friends.

Comedy: Eugene Mirman Discovers a Notebook From His Past

Digging through old stuff from your childhood can be a lot of different things – insightful, hilarious, wistful, nostalgic. But in comedian Eugene Mirman’s case, it was just embarrassing. In this clip from his latest special, Eugene describes a childhood relic, found in his parents’ basement.

Eugene Mirman’s new special, An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory, is now available as a combination CD/DVD.

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Bill Burr On Confrontation and Comedy

Conventional wisdom amongst standup comics dictates that a crowd has to be on your side before you can make them laugh. It’s good general advice, but it’s not advice that Bill Burr follows – and he’s all the better for it.

Bill Burr’s comedy is, in a word, aggressive. It’s not just that he looks and sounds tough, qualities that have landed him voice acting work in Grand Theft Auto IV and guest appearances on Breaking Bad. Aggression and confrontation are at the core of Bill’s act; he’s not afraid to curse out unruly audience members or start a set with a joke that, in a lesser comic’s hands, might totally alienate a crowd. But his comedy isn’t all tough-guy machismo. He’s just as likely to direct a rant at himself as he is others, a quality that makes his work all the more hilarious and human.

Bill spoke with Jesse a few years ago to talk about Bill’s style of comedy, challenging himself and audiences in his act, and every performer’s most dreaded nightmare: having to follow a dog or child onstage.

His latest special, You People Are All The Same (which was the subject of a recent Outshot), is streaming on Netflix.

This interview originally aired in October 2010.

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The Outshot: Solomon Burke’s "Soul Alive"

On this week’s Outshot, Jesse tears the house down with a timeless live album. It’s Solomon Burke’s "Soul Alive."

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RISK! #425: Same Brand of Pervert


Stop Podcasting Yourself 261 - Lachlan Patterson

Lachlan Patterson

Comedian Lachlan Patterson returns to diaper stuff, millionaires, and bowling. Plus, more lessons learned from Flex Magazine.

Download episode 261 here. (right-click)

Get in touch with us at spy [at] maximumfun [dot] org or (206) 339-8328.

Brought to you by:
(click here for the full recap)

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 267: String Pudding with Helen Zaltzman

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Helen Zaltzman

Broadcaster Helen Zaltzman of the podcast "Answer Me This!" joins Jordan and Jesse for a discussion of cat songs, TV shows, Helen and Jesse's experience at South By Southwest and pudding.

My Brother, My Brother and Me 144: Kick it Forward

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Coming to you live, from exactly one day ago, it's My Brother, My Brother and Me: St. Patrick's Day Edition! Are you wearing green? Don't matter. This episode's gonna pinch your sensibilities.

Suggested talking points: A Fixer for the City, Justin's Atrocious Owl Imagery, Love Act Payment, Piracy, Comin' up Facewards, Cute Meat

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Japan Show


Vital stats:
Format: two expats on the news from Japan, especially of the irksome variety
Episode duration: 35-55m
Frequency: erratic

They call it “Seidensticker Syndrome”, in a tribute of sorts to famed translator and Japanologist Edward Seidensticker. Seidensticker, to put it far too uncomplicatedly, had a love-hate relationship with the country and the people who made the subject of his career. Ian Buruma described it with more nuance, in The Missionary and the Libertine, as “the love that can turn to hate and then back to love again at enormous speed.” I still see these ever-mounting levels of both attraction and frustration today in the eyes of some Westerners who take up residence in Japan. Those who avoid Seidensticker Syndrome do so by pre-emptively abdicating all desire to fit into Japanese society, relishing instead the clear perspective of the permanent outsider. The late Donald Richie, a friend of Seidensticker’s, stands as the locus classicus of this strategy. Seidensticker to Richie: “You will not allow yourself to be furious with these people. Yet, you know at heart you are.” Richie, in his diary: “He really hated himself, not these people [ … ] he should acknowledge the depths of his self-loathing.”

Despite having no sense of whether the hosts of The Japan Show [RSS] [iTunes] suffer from Seidensticker Syndrome themselves, I should note that they spend most of their time talking about the subject that can most readily induce Seidensticker Syndrome: Japanese politics. Westerners who’ve just set foot in the country seem reasonably able to keep a safe psychological distance from their adopted land’s shifty, confusing government, but over the years the irritation evidently mounts to indigestible proportions. On each episode of The Japan Show John Matthews and Gavin Dixon make a meal of the distinctive behavior of Japanese politicians, an improbable-sounding mixture of the clandestine and the intransigent, the pathologically sly and the incompetent. And when an expat in Japan gets to talking about politics, they usually get to talking about political apathy, which there reaches levels disengagement close to absolute. As a Japan specialist recently asked me, what other country has burnt through six prime ministers in six years without any social disruption whatsoever? What other country could?

Thinking too much about Japanese politics thus strikes me as a recipe for madness, certainly for the voiceless average nihonjin but more so for the utterly powerless gaijin. Yet think about it Matthews and Dixon do, in an attempt to, and I quote their site’s header, “take you on a journey beyond the thin veneer of anime, high-tech, and funky toilets.” I welcome this, as someone with a long-enough standing interest in Japan that I feel desperate to stay as far as possible from the usual axes of the “cool” and the “wacky”. (Those toilets, however, still impress me, and I can take no pride in the West until we finally acquire them ourselves.) I don’t quite know what axis The Japan Show prefers to explore. The bothersome, perhaps? The grimly indicative? Many of its discussions have the subtext, and often the text, that Japan has become a country not only in deep social and financial trouble, but one unwilling to address its causes. Casual Japan-watchers know this — the country hasn’t even tried to hide the length and malaise of its bubble’s aftermath — but listen to enough hours of these guys telling it, and you’ll think Japan careens inexorably toward its own self-destruct button.

Yet I would imagine Matthews and Dixon do love Japan, on some level. They don’t seem to be going anywhere, at least. Like many long-term gaijin, they come off as smart, adventurous dudes indeed. Unlike some smart, adventurous long-term gaijin, they may have a wide variety of complaints, but none have to do with the cushy if piddling occupations that tend to absorb Westerners and hold them back. (Hang around Japan just long enough, and you’ll meet a saddening number of Westerners who could do great things anywhere else in the world, but pass day after day as essentially talking classroom appliances for vast corporate English-language schools.) Matthews, a Japanese-speaking American, has worked his way into an impressive media career hosting television programs and reporting for National Public Radio. Dixon’s professional background I haven’t quite discerned, though I like to think he speaks no Japanese at all and simply gets by on pure Aussie curmudgeonly grit. Despite sharing his people’s globetrotting impulse, Dixon has, I believe, spent longer than Japan than Matthews, to the point of (or maybe because of) marrying into the culture. So if these fellows do love Japan, they don’t love its “leaders,” its whaling industry, its nuclear power industry, its anti-dancing laws, the heat of its summers, or something called “Abenomics.”

I don’t mean to give the impression that each and every episode of The Japan Show rolls out wall-to-wall bitching: Matthews and Dixon also discuss sports, innovations, business deals both promising and unpromising, cycling, and their own lives. (Indeed, here we have one of the vanishingly few two-guys-talking podcasts where you want to hear more about the hosts’ day-to-day.) But I guess sooner or later, Japan’s inflexibility, xenophobia, and presumptions about its own uniqueness just get to you. The fact that these national vices now seem to have reached breaking-point untenability makes Japan, to my mind, a more interesting place to watch now than it has been for years. The Japan Show would make a promising venue to observe this diversify-or-die period of Japanese history — one that now more than ever badly needs its Donald Richies — assuming it gets past the tendencies that keep people from taking podcasts in general seriously. We can deal with podcasters compulsively calling attention to their own segues or lack thereof, I suppose, but I do wish they wouldn’t consider “been busy” sufficient excuse to delay an episode by weeks, or even months. For now, this one exists in the ultimate oxymoronic genre: the occasional news show.

Comment or suggest a podcast on the Podthoughts forum thread

[Podthinker Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture [iTunes] and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He's working on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Contact him at colinjmarshall at gmail or follow him on Twitter @colinmarshall.]
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