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Human Giant & McSweeney's on Tour


It's a good time to be an American, folks.

Tommorow our pal of long standing Davy Rothbart from Found Magazine and the editors of McSweeney's are kicking off a sweet east coast tour. Oh, and they're bringing a sword swallower / fire-eater. Who's 18, or so I'm told. Interesting way to ride out the awkward years. "Wanna come to the drive in? We're getting root beers, then making out." "No thanks, I'm spitting fire right now."

Here's the schedule for their little jaunt:
TONIGHT: BrickBat Books in South Philly
709 South 4th Street
with Starlee Kine (This American Life), Eli Horowitz & John Brandon (McSweeney's) 7 PM

February 06, 2008
Washington, DC » Olsson's Books, 7 pm, 1307 19th St. NW, 202-785-1133
[ with McSweeney's Eli Horowitz and John Brandon and Brett Loudermilk (fire eater/sword swallower) ]

February 07, 2008
Baltimore, MD » Atomic Pop, 7 pm, 3620 Falls Rd., 410-662-4444
[ with McSweeney's Eli Horowitz and John Brandon and Brett Loudermilk ]

February 08, 2008
Asheville, NC » Malaprops, 7 pm, 55 Haywood St., 828-254-6734
[ with McSweeney's Eli Horowitz and John Brandon and Brett Loudermilk ]

February 09, 2008
Atlanta, GA » Criminal Records, 7 pm, 466 Moreland Ave. NE, 404-215-9511
[ with McSweeney's Eli Horowitz and John Brandon and Brett Loudermilk ]

Later this month, our other long-standing pals The Human Giant are headed out on a tour of their own, which will take them through SF, LA, Seattle, Portland, DC, Philly, Boston, New York and Texas. You can find a schedule here. I was lucky enough to catch Paul Scheer at Assscat Saturday night here in LA, and it was tremendous, even with the special lady sniffling away beside me due to a rather severe cold.

Facebook user? Become a fan of TSOYA!


If you're a Facebook user, I've finally set up a page for The Sound of Young America. Click through and become a fan!

California Gaming Propositions


Maybe this won't mean anything to folks outside of California, where a bizarre variety of confusing Indian gaming propositions are on the ballot, and a similarly bizarre variety of television ads are promoting them... but it's probably funny anyway.

This from the new, starring the wonderful James Adomian.

RIP to Tony Silver


Tony Silver, director of the best hip-hop film ever made, Style Wars, passed last night. Not only was Tony a gifted artist, he was also a close family friend, and he'll be missed both my my family and his. I'm thinking of his wonderful wife Lisa. Tony had been suffering from a degenerative brain condition for quite some time, so in some ways, it is a release.

When Tony made Style Wars, the seminal documentary about hip-hop and particularly graffiti in New York, he wasn't a part of hip-hop or graffiti culture. He and his partner Henry Chalfant made a film that is immensely intelligent and respectful of its subjects, a bunch of New York kids who were discovering something that would really and truly change the world. By allowing these kids to speak for themselves to a world that at the time was at best borderline contemptuous of them was really a watershed decision.

If you want to remember Tony, I can't imagine a better way than by buying or renting Style Wars. For many years, the film was only available in expensive educational VHS editions, sold to university libraries for hundreds of dollars. Graf heads made dubbed copies and passed them to friends. A few years ago, Tony spent quite a long time putting together a definitive DVD edition, which features not only the full film and outtakes, but also interviews with the subjects, some 25 years later.

I'm thinking of Tony today, a kind, intelligent man and a brilliant artist.

Music Appreciation Club: Wes Montgomery, 1965


Playing with a few dutchmen. Wes Montgomery makes a guitar sound more beautiful than anyone else ever has. The piece is called "Nica's Dream."

Wet Hot American Summer the Musical? IT COULD HAPPEN.

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In response to published reports that there "has been talk of" David Wain & Co creating a musical version of the brilliant film Wet Hot America Summer, we put our reporter hats on and went straight to the source: David Wain himself.

Here's what he told us: "the quote is both accurate and complete, I'm afraid. "There's been talk" and that's about it, so far."

He also told us: "tell your listeners to check out The Ten on DVD!"

Check out The Ten on DVD. It's great.

Above: a stirring performance of "Day Bidet" from the musical Godspell, as performed by the campers of Wet Hot American Summer.
Previously: David Wain on TSOYA Live in NYC

There's a new Match Game in the works...


There's a new version of the TV game show classic Match Game in the works. The producers, FreeMantle Media, are only now putting together the team who will run the show, and haven't yet begun casting.

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of comedian Jimmy Pardo. One of the reasons is his amazing live version of the Match Game, which has been runnning the past couple of years at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's the funniest live event I've ever attended. Theresa and I go every month.

Jimmy is a truly gifted host. Most comics are standups first, and hosts second, but Jimmy is quite the opposite. He's at his funniest when he's making other people funnier, and he is an expert at keeping the show moving at just the right pace. I think Jimmy is the perfect host for the sort of silly controlled mayhem that makes the format so wonderful. No one else could do what he does.

More and more, recently, these games have gone with celebrities (Drew Carey) rather than hosts. Jimmy certainly has the credentials as a host (he hosted "National Lampoon's Funny Money" and "Movies at our House" on AMC), but I'd hate for him to be looked over in favor of some second-string castmember of Becker.

Some fans of the live Match Game have already signed an online petition to ask that the producers consider Jimmy for the slot. I urge you to do as I did and sign it.

Photo by Megan Berru

Improv Everywhere: Frozen Grand Central


Not only is this a wonderful Improv Everywhere mission, it's also their best video yet. Kudos to the gang.

Office Hours are CLOSED


Call me and talk to me about anything. We'll try to keep it pithy, so other folks can get on the line. It's about 11 AM right now, and I'm finishing up JJGo, then I'll eat lunch, during which time it's possible I'll have food in my mouth and not answer the phone, then eventually I'll take it down.

All you have to do to call me (free) is put your number in the box above. Your phone will ring, and once you answer it, my phone will ring.



Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Ep 50: Making Friends with Nick Adams


This week on the show Jesse and Jordan are joined by comedian and author Nick Adams. They discuss The Wire, Mad Men and a real live Secret Sex Party.


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