Last week, I wrote to NPR's Weekend Edition, complaining about NPR's editorial treatment of hip-hop culture. The reporter of the piece I referenced responded. Now, I've gotten a response from NPR - and what an eloquent, touching and personalized response it is:
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The passion of Romanticas + the informational value of a high school biology lecture = PURE, UNADULTERATED HILARITY.
I've open the floor to comments and criticisms on the forum. What would you change about The Sound of Young America empire? I want to hear about anything from broken links to major structural changes.
Right now folks are discussing whether the new format of the podcast (with a discrete podcast for each guest, rather than a weekly hour-long show), a few literal broken links, a desire for more indie rock guests, and more.
Review of David Mamet's latest book of essays. If you've never read one, they're so worth it, that guy is hilarious.
Great interview with Jalil from Whodini about the birth of hip-hop.
Thom Yorke doesn't care about black people('s aliases).
I've already sung the praises of The Walsh Brothers this week, but I thought I'd offer a little insight into these two great comics. I interviewed David, the elder Walsh, via email.
Did one of you start performing before the other? Has it always been a duo?
We started performing separately. Our first times were probably within a month of each other, and both were inauspicious beginnings.
I think I went up first in college at a coffeehouse thing and had the plug pulled on me for being offensive (coincidentally chris did the show a year later and they loved him and gave him a mug full of treats and mentioned how they had a comedian the year before who was awful and offensive and the worst (the worst?) and chris said, "that was my brother."
Chris's third time on stage he opened for Michael Winslow and Bill Bellamy in front of 3,000 kids and they booed him the second he emerged from the wings. The boos and screams were consistent throughout and actually went up a couple octaves when chris decided on a little piece of physical comedy.
I was sitting in the audience with my mother videotaping the show (which is now in a swiss vault called our nightstand) and right before he disappeared behind the curtain (the stage was immense) a gentleman two rows in front of us, stood up and exclaimed, "Yeah we showed your ass... you faggoty ass bitch."
We have been performing together for almost 3 years now.
Did you have any models for your act? Was there something you were shooting for?
Unfortunately, we have no models for our act. I think it would be easier if we did. This maniac who we love convinced us to treat the stage like a sandbox: go out there and fuck around. Which is great and helped us develop. The only thing is we've never learned how not to do that. So the shows we put on ourselves are what we do best. When we're in a situation with boundaries (tv stuff/showcase sets) it's not the best.
Is there something about Boston? Some quality that it has that's reflected in your work?
This is a hard one to answer. Clearly we're from Boston and we sound like we're from Boston and Boston Boston Boston.
It seems to be a nature/nurture thing. Clearly Boston and its whatever is reflected throughout our work, but is it because we have lived here all our lives or the other thing.
Tell me a bit about your upcoming road trip, and why you're doing it.
Everything we have ever known is pretty much our little neighborhood. Until [we performed at] Aspen last year, we had never been west of Hershey, PA. When we decided to move to LA, we figured we'd take our time getting to our future home because we don't know how long we'll be there. See Amazin' America.
We booked ourselves in comedy clubs across the country for a few months, leaving time for adventures and funnin'.
What's the worst thing that each of you has ever done to the other?
There's not really a worst. we don't have that type of relationship that most people associate with brothers. we reserve the meanness for everyone else.
I'm older and because I always found Chris to be the funniest person in the world (he's an entertaining machine) I always wanted him around to make me laugh. It ended up being jackassy stuff but he loved it. Still does.
I'd tell him to kiss beautiful and non-beautiful women on the ass; strip naked and walk through crowded places like a sasquatch (the "naked yeti"); trip with popcorn running through a crowded theater during key movie scenes....
The Walsh Brothers perform Saturday night at 7PM at the UCB Theater in New York. The Sound of Young America is proud to sponsor their show. For reservations, click here.
The rules: join the TSOYA Flickr Group. Take and post photographs of yourself high fiving, add them to the group pool and tag them "awesomehighfive." One point for each photo. One bonus point for each of the following:
An airborne High Five
A five in front of a monument or major tourist attraction
A Polaroid Five
A Five with a Co-worker
A Celebrity Five (loosely interpreted)
A Child or baby (as above)
An animal (for example, dog)
Please keep track of your own point total. I will double check in the case of disputes.
THE TOP THREE FINISHERS GET TSOYA T-SHIRTS.
The OVERALL WINNER gets many COOL PRIZES, including (but perhaps not limited to):
A Stephen Colbert "We're not braniacs on the Nerd Patrol" t-shirt from Sneakmove.com.
An SCTV: Best of the Early Years DVD set from Shout! Factory.
A selection of MUSIC from Sneakmove.com.
& probably more as time unfolds.
I haven't decided on the closing date, but it will likely be the end of February.
AND PROBABLY MORE.
The man behind "Maximum Fun," Dan Grayson, has acoustic demos of his new project, "Yes Means Yes" on MySpace.
TSOYA listener and Code Monkey Remix Contest Champ Kristen plays her winning ukelele remix live with Jonathan Coulton in NYC.
Don't let them tell you Public Enemy doesn't still have it.
Common on Tavis Smiley
Paul F. Tompkins debates Philly Boy Roy on The Best Show
George Miller on The Treatment (MP3)
Built to Spill live on NPR
Nas f. Redhead Kingpin and a bunch of other, similar old guys and ladies - "Where Are They Now? (Remix)"
I know, I know, everyone loves The Clipse, but my favorite Star Trak act is Roscoe P. Coldchain
Timbaland f. JT and Nelly Furtado - Give it to Me
Oh shit, Taylor McFerrin is UNSANE with the beatboxed broken beat! And I went to Preschool with that dude! KIDSPLAY, WHAT!
Solomon Burke - "Everbody Needs Somebody" (Live on Top of the Pops)
Solomon Burke with Van Morrison - "Fast Train" (circa 2004)
If you've never heard Solomon Burke's 1985 live album Soul Alive!, you owe it to yourself. The most electric live album I've ever heard -- two hours of one of the greatest singers of our time in a small venue packed with people just WAILING. What a singer Burke is. Truly a special genius, the one and only King of Rock and Soul.
The AP is reporting today that Al Franken is running for Senate in Minnesota. Such a run had been rumored for some time, and those rumors had heated up since Franken announced he was quitting his radio show in February. What do you think of the idea?
My bottom-line position: perhaps it will draw more attention to his under-appreciated movie, "Stuart Saves His Family."
PS: the above is not sarcastic, I really liked that movie.