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Supporting Coverage of the World of Comedy on TSOYA, Humber College Is Back!

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We're proud that Toronto's Humber College has signed on for another three months of underwriting on The Sound of Young America, this time specifically supporting our coverage of the world of comedy!

Here at MaxFun Headquarters, we're so happy to know a place like Humber College exists. It's the only college in North America that offers a comedy diploma program. The two-year program includes writing, improv, standup, and acting, plus chances to perform in the vital Toronto comedy scene. Faculty members are experienced, working comics and comedy writers. Also, compared to American schools, Humber College tuition is very inexpensive, even for non-residents of Canada.

Basically, we're jealous of Humber students.

To learn more about the program, visit HumberComedy.com.

Our thanks to Humber for supporting our work! You'll find them in the "With Support From" panel to the right through the end of January.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 150: Fiche or Famine with Todd Levin

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Guests: 
Todd Levin

Todd Levin talks about writing for Conan, not writing for Swamp People, and more.

His new book, "Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk", can be found at
The Association for the Betterment of Sex website.

Your Last Chance

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Above: three items in the MaxFunStore that are currently on LAST CHANCE STATUS. Get them now or get them never. Click on the pictures to BUY BUY BUY.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Dublab

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Vital stats:
Format: sets and performances from Dublabbish sonic creators
Duration: ~3om
Frequency: erratic
Archive available on iTunes: most

Oh, how I enjoy this music, yet oh, how I find myself unable to describe it in any terms that make, y’know, sense. Dublab’s podcast [RSS] [iTunes] focuses pretty much solely on the music, provides thick sets of tracks with almost no speech whatsoever. But what kind of music is it? You can draw comparisons to CBC’s The Signal, but only in the sense that both shows play stuff that’s hard to pin down. It tends to have a beat, but you wouldn’t necessarily dance to it. It’s obviously produced with no small degree of technology, yet that’s often in the service of sounding handmade or “lo-fi.” It’s not experimental experimental — nobody would play it to a crowd of grad students in a repurposed lecture hall — but it’s not not experimental. It’s both slick and haphazard, algorithm-generated and handmade. It’s usually new, but it sometimes sounds old — or rather, sounds like it comes from no specific time period at all.

I came upon my show in my continuing quest to prepare myself for a semi-imminent move to Los Angeles. Some people might do this sort of research by reading books, talking to friends, watching Huell Howser, or memorizing Thomas Guides, but I’m a Podthinker through and through; I use podcasts. (And, let it be said, a pantload of Huell Howser.) One of the very reasons I want to move to L.A. is that it’s the kind of city that would produce an entity like Dublab, which is not just a producer of podcasts but, according to Wikipedia, is a “non-profit music public broadcasting internet radio station” that also does “art exhibition, film projects, event production, and record releases.” In other words, it sounds as if they’ve got a pretty solid foundation to become one of the most neato organizations ever.

That Wikipedia entry also contains a few clues as to the nature of the Dublab sound, which involves “mixing traditional music, such as folk, with electronic sounds” and “ the paradox that oftentimes music that is actually really old can sound very much like it was made in the present.” The identities of the artists and DJs Dublab presses into service might also provide helpful hints. Do the names Aska Matsumiya, Will Wiesenfeld a.k.a. Baths, SFV Acid, Chazwick Bundick a.k.a. Toro Y Moi, The Books, and 60 Watt Kid mean anything to you? If they do, you’d better start downloading this podcast toot sweet. (But then, you’ve probably already got it and have long since copied all the episodes to cassette.) If you’re like me and some of them kind of do, they probably all fascinate you enough to want to learn a lot more. Dublab’s podcast won’t really teach you anything about them, but it’ll give you a taste of their sonic style, which I suppose is the important thing anyway.

Given what I’ve found out about Dublab so far, they seem just utopian enough that they probably have some sort of residential geodesic dome. I enjoy their aesthetic so much that I’m starting to wonder if, instead of moving “to L.A.,” I should just move straight into that dome. But one question thrashes unresolved: as cool as I find this maddeningly difficult-to-describe music at the moment, might it just turn out to be an embarrassing late-2000s/early-2010s fad in twenty years? Like so many interesting things, there’s no easy way to determine if it’s absolutely permanent or the flashiest flash in the greasiest pan. I guess there’s an important lesson about the best music embedded in all this: you might just have to listen to the damned stuff.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to be the host and producer of public radio’s The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], the blogger of The War on Mediocrity and the writer of The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project.]

Four Lions & the US of A

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One of the best films we saw at Sundance this year was Chris Morris' Four Lions. It's a satirical look at a London-based group of terrorists. UK-born terrorists, specifically. In the Q&A after the film, Morris talked about the sheer idiocy of terrorists he'd read about in his research, and he was unflinching in satirizing the would-be murderers. What's most remarkable about the film, though, is that these horrible, horrible doofuses are also quite human. That's a pretty remarkable achievement in my book.

The movie opens in a couple of cities November 5th, and it spreads across the country from there. Don't miss it.

"Broadcasts Worth Listening To"

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Bill McKibben wrote a lovely piece for The New York Review of Books this week that summarizes the current state of the art in public radio. It focuses on some wonderful producers like Ira Glass, Jad Abumrad and Benjamen Walker and their struggles to make something new and great.

I was immensely gratified to see that McKibben included The Sound in his rundown of "Broadcasts Worth Listening To." It's an immense honor to be alongside folks like Ira and Jad. The whole list is worth checking out - almost every show is one I love, like To The Best of Our Knowledge and Q.

William Gibson, author of "Zero History": Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
William Gibson

William Gibson is a science fiction writer whose works increasingly take place in a realistic present. His latest book, Zero History, is about fashion, authenticity and identity. It's a freestanding third work in an informal trilogy, which also includes Pattern Recognition and Spook Country.

Streaming Tonight From WNYC

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WNYC's Greene Space will be streaming tonight's Sound of Young America Live! show with Amy Sedaris, John Hodgman, Judah Friedlander and more. The show starts online at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern.

Watch online at the Greene Space website!

Nagging Rabbit Channel

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From Conan

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 149: Cocaine Disneyland with Greg Fitzsimmons

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Guests: 
Greg Fitzsimmons

Greg Fitzsimmons from Fitz-Dog Radio joins Jesse and Jordan to talk about the Sunset Strip, getting in fights and more.

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