Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh are founding members of the art-rock band Devo. They had remarkable chart success in the early 1980s, including the hit Whip It. Their philosophy of devolution, compelling videos and bold aesthetic presentation were as big a part of the band as their danceable rock music. Their latest record, Something For Everybody, is their first since 1990.
Gerry and Mark talk with us about how they arrived at their theory that mankind was on an inexorable downward slide, and how playing rock and roll music in crazy outfits fit into that philosophical framework. They also chat about the philosophy behind their new project. On "Something For Everybody," every song has been focus grouped, and every element of presentation has been selected for maximum saleability. Also, they talk about that Swiffer commercial where "Whip It" was changed to "Swiff It."
* Sound of Young America DVDs are at the mailing house now. They'll go out first class mail this week, and you should expect them within about two weeks.
* T-shirts are currently being printed by our pals at VGKids.com. We're expecting them back here within a week or two, then we'll schedule a big volunteer day to get them out the door.
* When we schedule said volunteer day, we'll also be sending out the other, non-DVD, non-T-Shirt thank you gifts.
So: expect your thank yous in about 2-4 weeks, and don't worry if they haven't arrived yet. We're (obviously) a media outfit, and not a direct mail operation, so we're getting them out as promptly as possible. Thank you for your support!
With our pledge drive done and my post-pledge-drive vacation a thing of the past, I thought it was a good time to let you know where we're at here at MaximumFun.org.
Firstly: my thanks go out to the more than one thousand donors who support maximumfun.org with small gifts every month. Without you, we're nothing. Seriously, I couldn't even pay my rent. Thank you.
This year's pledge drive was a great success, and it's allowed us to make some major changes here at MaximumFun.org.
First of all: our artists are getting raises. We're literally quadrupling the amount that we pay Graham Clark & Dave Shumka for Stop Podcasting Yourself, and we're doing the same to the money Jordan makes as co-host of Jordan, Jesse, Go!. It's hard to make money for your work in creative-world, especially without working for The Man, and I'm proud that we're paying everyone. I'm also proud to have these three guys as part of the team.
Second of all: we're giving a raise to our behind-the-scenes guy, Nick White. He's the editor of The Sound of Young America, and he'll be getting a 38% raise (up to industry standards) for the great work he does editing the show. We're also refocusing his time on editing - hopefully we'll be able to continue raising the production standards of The Sound of Young America, making it tighter, taughter, and smoother, like the calf of a particularly muscular baby.
Thirdly: we're adding staff. Beginning in July, Julia Smith will be moving from Intern to Associate Producer. For the time being, she'll be working three days a week, helping with the blog and with booking on The Sound of Young America. Julia's proven herself to be invaluable over the last semester; she was key in producing this year's MaxFunCon, and she also produced and directed the MaxFunMarathon. I think she's got a bright future as a producer here at MaxFun, and I hope that having her on board will lead directly to a better Sound of Young America.
In addition to Julia, we've hired a new Development Director of MaximumFun.org, who'll be announced in a few weeks. It's my hope that bringing a Development Director on board can help us capture additional funding sources - like grants, events and underwriting - that we'd been leaving on the table due, frankly, to my lack of time. My specific goal is to add enough revenue to add hours for both Julia and Nick. I also hope our new Development Director can help engineer funding for future travel - we've really enjoyed doing shows and tapings on the road, but it's expensive, particularly without outside support.
After all that, we've even got a little bit left over to use for things that come along - like say guests who'd need a studio in another city - that we otherwise would have to pass on. I think that all of these things you're supporting are investments in the future of this operation that will pay much more than they cost, so: thank you. The future for maximumfun.org is bright, and it's due to the support of folks like you.
Noz' list of The Top Ten Rap Songs of All Time Of Today reminded me that this is like the greatest song ever.
Troubadour C.R. Avery joins us to talk Jim Morrison, Iron Man 2, and screen doors.
Download episode 118 here. (right-click)
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Our boys The Internets Celebrities didn't just release a new film last week... they also got profiled in The New York Times. If you're not on board the Dallas and Rafi train, hurry your ass up, because this thing is leaving the station.
Along with upcoming TSOYA guest Jose James, Bilal is my favorite male vocalist around. He hasn't actually released a record since his debut, 2001's First Born Second, but the word is that his follow-up will come along this year. Check out this incendiary version of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" for some evidence of Bilal's power. Click through for the Zep original.
The band Hanson hit it big as teenagers in the late 1990s with the megahit MmBop. More than a decade later, they're still making acclaimed R&B-infused pop rock. Their latest album is Shout It Out.
Taylor, Zac and Isaac Hanson were nominated for three Grammy awards for their album Middle of Nowhere in 1996. They never stopped recording, going independent in 2001. Shout It Out is their ninth album.