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

Monsters of Podcasting: June 28th in San Francisco

| 1 comment

The Monsters of Podcasting are coming to San Francisco June 28th!

Jordan, Jesse Go! Live
and
You Look Nice Today: A Journal of Emotional Hygiene

The Dark Room Theater
Saturday, June 28th
10 PM

Tickets $12 advance, $14 at the door
TICKETS VERY LIMITED
A small number of tickets have been held back for door sales.
Advance tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Experts and Intermediates"

| 0 comments

The best thing about writing Podthoughts isn't just having justification for listening to homemade radio when I should be working, it's holding the title of Podcast Kingmaker: I wield the awesome power to anoint certain ventures with a slight audience boost, and to cruelly withhold a slight audience boost from others. This week I crown Experts and Intermediates [iTunes link], an arts-and-culture gabfest for which I've got high hopes. High-apple-pie-in-the-sky hopes. Why "high hopes" rather than straight-up "high praise"? Because, while I already enjoy the program, I think it's got big untapped potential. Before getting into what the podcast could be, however, let's talk about what it is.

Of all the new kinds of shows the Podcast RevolutionTM has loosed upon our unprepared society, perhaps the most visible format — or, I guess, audible one — is the Two Twentysomething White Guys. I am forever in the debt of erstwhile Podthinker Ian Brill for introducing me to Battleship Pretension, an excellent weekly film discussion that might also be titled Two Twentysomething White Guys on Movies. There's another swell show called Jordan, Jesse, Go! &mdash perhaps you've heard of it &mdash whose alternate title could easily be Two Twentysomething White Guys on Being Two Twentysomething White Guys... Hilariously!

Experts and Intermediates could fly under Two Twentysomething White Guys on Convergences in Cultural Opinion, which is marginally less catchy but could probably land a public radio grant. B.J., Jason and sometimes a designated "expert" take on different works of popular culture each time, including:

  • Shakespeare, especially the problematic nature of The Merchant of Venice
  • The best Spider Man and Batman story arcs
  • Hip-hop duo Atmosphere
  • High School Musical
  • 20th-century dystopian literature
  • Night of the Hunter
  • Christian rock

Looking at that list, you'd think the guys make their selections at random. But while the show is informed by a hearty spirit of randomness, there's actually something of a throughline, at least to the best episodes. I would submit that B.J. and Jason are primarily interested in works about which (a) one's experience or opinion differs sharply from the other's or (b) both of their experiences or opinions differ sharply from those of the work's fan base.

This is borne out by two of the show's regular features. The second-best, "Will We Be Infected?", has the guys pick out something popular yet, to them, unsavory — the aforementioned Disney franchise, or some thrashing for Jesus — and mainline it to see if they, too, will get on the bandwagon. The best is when the hosts give each other assignments. Typically, the item assigned is something the assigner believes the assignee hasn't consumed enough of; for example, B.J. assigns the comic-bereft Jason a Spider Man series. I love hearing and experiencing reactions to something out of one's own cultural sphere. If the podcast consisted entirely of assignments, that'd be fine by me. It might solve the show's slight focus problem, too.

What else does Experts and Intermediates need before taking the podcasting world by storm? First, regularity; a month between episodes isn't unheard of. (In all fairness, B.J. and Jason acknowledge the inconsistency, not that that makes it any easier for the fans.) And the guys shouldn't even bother talking about music without including clips for the audience; I won't utter that old "dancing about architecture" line, but come on, we gotta hear the stuff before you dissect it. These, however, are mere issues of polish, ones that a deserved kingship should provide the impetus to address.

[Direct all correspondence to colinjmarshall at gmail. Podthoughts discussion thread available here.]

| 0 comments

The best thing about writing Podthoughts isn't just having justification for listening to homemade radio when I should be working, it's holding the title of Podcast Kingmaker: I wield the awesome power to anoint certain ventures with a slight audience boost, and to cruelly withhold a slight audience boost from others. This week I crown Experts and Intermediates [iTunes link], an arts-and-culture gabfest for which I've got high hopes. High-apple-pie-in-the-sky hopes. Why "high hopes" rather than straight-up "high praise"? Because, while I already enjoy the program, I think it's got big untapped potential. Before getting into what the podcast could be, however, let's talk about what it is.

Of all the new kinds of shows the Podcast RevolutionTM has loosed upon our unprepared society, perhaps the most visible format — or, I guess, audible one — is the Two Twentysomething White Guys. I am forever in the debt of erstwhile Podthinker Ian Brill for introducing me to Battleship Pretension, an excellent weekly film discussion that might also be titled Two Twentysomething White Guys on Movies. There's another swell show called Jordan, Jesse, Go! &mdash perhaps you've heard of it &mdash whose alternate title could easily be Two Twentysomething White Guys on Being Two Twentysomething White Guys... Hilariously!

Experts and Intermediates could fly under Two Twentysomething White Guys on Convergences in Cultural Opinion, which is marginally less catchy but could probably land a public radio grant. B.J. and Jason take on different works of popular culture each time, including:

  • Shakespeare, especially the problematic nature of The Merchant of Venice
  • The best Spider Man and Batman story arcs
  • Hip-hop duo Atmosphere
  • High School Musical
  • 20th-century dystopian literature
  • Night of the Hunter
  • Christian rock

Looking at that list, you'd think the guys make their selections at random. But while the show is informed by a hearty spirit of randomness — personally, I wouldn't have it any other way — there's actually something of a throughline, at least to the best episodes. I would submit that B.J. and Jason are primarily interested in works about which (a) one's experience or opinion differs sharply from the other's or (b) both of their experiences or opinions differ sharply from those of the work's fan base.

This is borne out by two of the show's regular features. The second-best, "Will We Be Infected?", has the guys pick out something popular yet, to them, unsavory — the aforementioned Disney franchise, or some thrashing for Jesus — and mainline it to see if they, too, will get on the bandwagon. The bets feature is when the hosts give each other assignments. Typically, the item assigned is something the assigner believes the assignee hasn't consumed enough of; for example, B.J. assigns the comic-bereft Jason a Spider Man series. I love seeing and experiencing reactions to something out of one's own cultural sphere. If the podcast consisted entirely of assignments, that'd be fine by me. It might solve the show's slight focus problem, too.

What else does Experts and Intermediates need before it takes the podcasting world by storm? Regularity, first and foremost. A month between episodes isn't unheard of. (In all fairness, B.J. and Jason joke about the inconsistency, but I doubt that makes it any easier on the fans.) And the guys shouldn't even bother talking about music without including clips for the audience; it's not like I buy that old "dancing about architecture" line, but come on, we gotta hear the stuff before you dissect it. These, however, are mere issues of polish, ones that a deserved kingship should provide the impetus to address.

[Direct all correspondence to colinjmarshall at gmail. Podthoughts discussion thread available here.]

Mike Daisey's "How Theater Failed America" in NYC

| 0 comments

MaxFunPal Mike Daisey, last heard on our Live in NYC show a year and a half or so ago, has a brand new show. Given the title, "How Theater Failed America," I'm guessing it has less severed limbs and blood-soaked snow than the story he told on our air, but it still sounds pretty great to me. I saw Mike, (who I have decided is the official Monologuist of MaximumFun.org), perform in LA a month or so ago, and he was just as hilarious and electrifying as he was in New York.

Here's the details:

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
Starts May 16th--Six Weeks Only
Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm,
Sundays @ 7:00pm
BARROW STREET THEATRE
27 Barrow Street @ 7th Ave. South
Tickets: telecharge.com or 212.239.6200

I'm not going to reprint all of Mike's rave reviews, so let's go with a favorite, from the New York Times: "A sardonic rebuke to the corporate types who hold American theater hostage and a powerful sense of the wonder of theater. The entire room was quietly rapt...a remarkable performer."

And guess what?

Mike's extended a special offer for MaxFunsters... use this direct link to the online box office, and use the code MDHTFA and you can get twenty dollar tickets to the show. That's a hell of a price. And you can call 212-947-8844, use the same code, and get the same sweet sweet deal.

(Above photo: Mike at TSOYA Live, shot by Anya Garrett)

Podcast: Jack Kirby, King of Comics - Mark Evanier

| 2 comments
Show: 
Bullseye


Comic and television writer Mark Evanier was once assistant to Jack Kirby. Now he's compiled a monumental art book cum biography of the artist called "Kirby: King of Comics." Jack Kirby's dynamic aesthetic style and new ideas about how comic book characters should relate to each other and to their readers revolutionized comics.

Download This Show (MP3)

Subscribe in iTunes
Discuss this episode on the forum!
Please Donate to Support the Show

Listen to This Week's Show Online


Please allow our low-bandwidth server a little time after you click "play"

Embeddable Audio Player Code (Copy and Paste)


If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Tony Millionaire
The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare
Comics & Comix with Art Spiegelman, Chris Elliott and Matt Walsh

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Comics & Comix 2 with Harvey Pekar and Andy Kindler

| 0 comments


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Clasics.

First we talk with comedian Andy Kindler. Kindler has been a leading light of the standup comedy world for almost twenty years. In addition to his standup work, and more recently his work as a field correspondent on "Late Night with David Letterman," he's also well known for his annual "State of the Industry Address," delivered at the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival. In the speach, he often jokes about the comedy industry's sacred cows.

Harvey Pekar has been chronicling both his own life and the lives of folks he meets in his "American Splendor" comic for decades. The books' plain-spoken emotional honesty has made them a touchstone in the world of comics.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

Download This Week's Show
Subscribe to TSOYA Classic: iTunes / Feed
Please Donate to Support the Show

Listen to This Week's Show


T-Shirt Contest: The Finals are Here!

| 2 comments

Last month I announced a t-shirt contest. I asked MaxFunsters to create designs for a special shirt which will be produced only for this pledge drive period. A limited-edition gem that expressed the true spirit of Maximum Fun.

Well I asked, and you responded. We got almost 50 amazing designs. Your votes narrowed them down to five finalists, each of whom will get an iTunes gift card for their contribution.

Chris Vendrick
Cody Mix
GloriousKyle
Tom Deja
Zachary Richter

Our celebrity judges are currently judging, and we'll announce the winner at the end of the week.

Your celebs are:

Rob Baedeker is a writer, professor and member of a comedy group you may have heard of: Kasper Hauser. He also has a way cool little baby.

Maria Bamford is a standup comic who has performed headlining shows around the country and toured extensively with the Comedians of Comedy. She's also super stylish.

Judith Thorn is a college professor and accomplished academic. She used to make clothes for Miles Davis, but he was kind of a dick. Also, she is my mom.

Jonathan Coulton is an accomplished singer-songwriter and internet sensation. His hit song "First of May" recently shifted focus on that holiday from solidarity among the world's workers to solidarity among those who enjoy outdoor fucking. He also gave me the idea for this whole thing.

Brandon Bird is an artist whose work plays with pop cultural themes. He himself has designed t-shirts, one of which I once saw at Nordstrom's. Also, he made Brave Cone Dog.

How to Succeed in the Music Biz, by Erykah Badu

| 0 comments

Erykah Badu is a really funny lady.

Podcast: The Ten Cent Plague: David Hajdu on Comic Book Censorship in the 1950s

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye


David Hajdu's new book is "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America." David writes about the development of comic books as a medium, and how it was almost stopped dead by anti-comics crusaders in the 1950s.

Download This Show (MP3)

Subscribe in iTunes
Discuss this episode on the forum!
Please Donate to Support the Show

Listen to This Week's Show Online


Please allow our low-bandwidth server a little time after you click "play"

Embeddable Audio Player Code (Copy and Paste)


If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Tony Millionaire
Marty Krofft
Comics & Comix with Art Spiegelman, Chris Elliott and Matt Walsh

Syndicate content