The Blog of Young America

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you, our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you, and our lively forum community will connect you with others. About

Thanks (and a favor)


A bunch of stuff just came up in my google blog search feed for "Jordan Jesse Go." I want to thank Finefilter, Dead Chicken Society and Collective Family for their kind words about the show. When you write about us on your blog, or link to us in your blogroll, or review the show in iTunes, we do check it out and really sincerely appreciate it.

The great challenge of creating media for the internet is that it's tough to get noticed when the sea of content goes on forever. It's like floating out in the deep ocean with one of those blinky lights on the shoulder of your flotation vest -- even if you've got a particularly bright blinky light, the rescue plane has to fly right overhead if you're gonna get picked up. Long odds. Tough to connect.

I was talking about this problem the other day with my pal Lonely Sandwich as we watched our dogs play at the dog park. There are certain kinds of things which lend themselves to internet popularity. You can be outrageous in some way, you can be extremely timely, you can be illustrative of an absurd amount of effort... none of which describe The Sound of Young America or Jordan, Jesse Go!.

You can of course advertise as well, but when your income's from donations, and a five-digit listener base translates to a three-digit donor base, that's a losing proposition.

So: I rely on you to spread the word. I'm proud of the work I do, whether or not it's a hot topic in the blogosphere or easily indexed by search engines.

If you like the shows, or this blog, please share them. In real life, on your facebook or myspace, on your blog, in your blogrolls, via email, whatever. And thank you.

RIP to Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, Motown's Greatest Singer

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No one can sing like Levi Stubbs could. Absolutely no one. His voice carried all the pop tunefullness of Motown, with all the desperate, passionate yearning of the best soul. Listen to Reach Out and tell me you don't feel it in every part of your body -- even with just that little "hah!" after the first bass breakdown. He told the LA Times: "Well, I'm rather loud and raw. I don't really even have a style; I just come by the way I sing naturally. When I learn a song, I try to live it as best I can."

Levi had been sick for some time, but that doesn't make it any easier to lose him.

Above: a medley featuring one of my favorite songs of all time, "Bernadette," one of the great vocal performances in soul history. Below: one of the Tops' Northern Soul classics, "Seven Rooms of Gloom."

On a sillier note, how about Levi tearing apart the role of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors? I'm missing him terribly already.

Tim & Eric on "Talk Show with Spike Feresten"

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Spike Feresten's show airs at midnight on Saturdays, and it's lead-in is the aging behemoth known as Mad TV. It's understandable that no one watches it. What they're missing, though, is a funny half hour with a charming, capable host and some clever comedy. Above: an episode from a few months ago featuring Tim & Eric as the guests.

Al Madrigal & Tig Notaro at the Punchline in SF this weekend...

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Two great friends of The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse Go, Tig Notaro and Al Madrigal, are performing this weekend at the Punchline in San Francisco. If you're a San Franciscan and you've never been to the Punchline, it's a wonderful place to see comedy. Intimate, comfortable and well-curated. Of course, Tig and Al are both as hilarious as it gets -- and Al is a San Francisco native. Get some tickets now.

For those of you who aren't in the Yay Area, you can hear Al on JJGo... or Tig on JJGo. WE LOVE THEM.

Max Payne: Maximum Fun? Try Maximum Bullshit.

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Apparently this is part of Max Payne's marketing campaign. I CALL BULLSHIT.

Thanks to Bart and Beach for pointing this out (both with photo evidence!)

Gentlemen, get dressed.


People are always emailing me asking for clothes advice. This is pleasing to my ego, but less so to my typing fingers, especially since folks often ask the same sorts of questions over and over. SO: in an effort to make my efforts in this area public, and thus free myself of repetition, I have started a thread on the MaxFunForum, wherein you can ask me whatever you like about gentlemen's clothes. (You can ask me about ladies clothes, too, if you want, but my answer's will be ill-informed, and largely shaped by a menswear aesthetic.)

Best People in the World Pt. 3: Amy Sedaris on Letterman


I know what you're thinking. "If David Letterman's so great, why don't you have *him* host your fucking show?"

To which I respond: "Do you know him? Can I meet him? Is he interested?"

Coyle & Sharpe are tolerable!


Hey, check it out... the Coyle & Sharpe Podcast was featured in The Onion AV Club's Tolerability Index recently -- as the MOST TOLERABLE THING OF THE WEEK. Our thanks go to the author, Amelie Gillette.



Hodgman's new book is VERY EXCELLENT, and should be PURCHASED by YOU.

Pre-order it now for only fifteen dollars, get it when it comes out next Tuesday.


Jonathan Coulton, PWRFL Power & Rhett Miller of the Old 97s Live at Bumbershoot on The Sound of Young America

Rhett Miller, photographed by Chris Graham

Last month we were live at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in Seattle. Our shows included three fantastic music performances -- Jonathan Coulton, PWRFL Power and Rhett Miller of the Old 97s (above). In addition to the podcast version of this show, you can download individual songs from the direct links included below.

Jonathan Coulton
is the internet's leading serio-comic troubador. He's blazed a trail for independent musicians everywhere, blending comedy with subtle character studies. In 2006, we interviewed Coulton on The Sound of Young America. Later that year, Coulton performed as part of our Live in New York show.

Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain (MP3)
Jonathan Coulton - I Feel Fantastic (MP3)

PWRFL Power is Kaz Nomura, a classical guitar virtuoso and indie pop stylist. He rocketed to the top of the Seattle Music scene over the last two years with sweet, simple songs backed by sometimes baroque guitar lines. He recently self-released a self-titled LP.

PWRFL Power - A Wonderful Ghost (MP3)
PWRFL Power - Baby Tiger (MP3)

Rhett Miller jumped out of an airplane and onto our stage at Bumbershoot. He's best known as the frontman of the country-rock band The Old 97s, and has also released music under his own name. He rocked our crowd with two Old 97s classics. (Special note: please excuse the awkward mix on Dance With Me, we had a verse worth of trouble with the house sound system).

Rhett Miller - Dance With Me (Into the Ocean) (MP3)
Rhett Miller - Timebomb (MP3)

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Bumbershoot Comedy
Janeane Garofalo at Bumbershoot
Chip Kidd at Bumbershoot

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