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My Brother, My Brother and Me 64: Giant Scott Bakula


We took a brief breather from our tightly-regimented schedule of collecting Archie backissues and stalking Jon Favreau around the San Diego Comic-Con showfloor to break you off a slice of wisdom. Come, throw on your Spike Spiegel costume, and let's get this party started.

Suggested talking points: The Fattest Doctor Who, Chlamydia Day, He Who Shall Not Be Invited, Cooking, Space Camp, Quantum Leap 2, Creepin'

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Anytime Show


Vital stats:
Format: everyman and comedian interviews
Episode duration: 1h-1h15m
Frequency: 2-4 per month

We’ll have to dig our way out of a veritable labyrinth of Maximum Fun connections with this one. If you keep up with the offworld appearances of Max Fun personalities (like this forum thread does) you’ll have noticed that both Jordan and Jesse recently took the guest seat on something called The Anytime Show [RSS] [iTunes]. The truly astute Max Funster will realize that Dominic Dierkes, the program’s host, pulled up a similarly temporary chair on a JJGO in the not-too-distant past. On their Anytime sessions, Jordan discussed his theories about ass-stuffing parties in the approach of the Rapture and Jesse discussed his disappointment with his Alan Alda-free birthing classes — both of which they also cover on separate JJGO episodes. On his JJGO session, Dierkes gets involved in a conversation about “black Bart Simpson,” a subject which arises independently on his Anytime chat with Donald Glover [MP3] — who came on The Sound in 2009!

Before we’ve officially started shooting an Oliver Stone movie about this (a phenomenon I think I remember hearing come up on Dierkes’ JJGO), let me give you the basics on what goes on with The Anytime Show: Dierkes, one-third of the sketch group Derrick, gets up live onstage at Kevin Smith’s SModcastle and talks to people. These people include, of course, the aforementioned Jordan, the aforementioned Jesse, and the aforementioned Donald Glover, but also other comedic and/or podcast-y types you can find around L.A.: his fellow Derricker D.C. Pierson [MP3], say, or the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Matt Walsh [MP3]. Hence the promise of a heapin’ helpin’ of laffs every time.

If you don’t believe me, well, it’s a live show — just listen for the chortles in the background! You’ll hear about a dozen. I wouldn’t normally comment on a thing like low turnout — on a podcast, the relevant audience unit numbers exactly one — but I feel like every other episode I hear references the audience’s thinness. I can’t quite tell what’s going wrong, but maybe Dierkes just hasn’t built up quite the name recognition needed to fill 50 seats on the regular, a task I’m sure turns out to be far stiffer than it sounds. Still, he brings his interviewing and joke-cracking game in full, no matter the attendance, displaying a work ethic that, yes, he talked about on JJGO. And speaking of, man, do Jordan and Dierkes have moments where they sound alike. You wouldn’t mistake one for the other purely on tone, and you wouldn’t mistake one for the other purely on cadence, but their speech resembles each other’s just enough in both dimensions to make me periodically think, hey, these guys related? Comedically, perhaps.

I’m sure only time separates The Anytime Show from a regularly packed SModcastle, especially if its guests stay well-known. Paradoxically, minimizing the well-knownness of certain guests might help too. For the show’s first segment, Dierkes often brings up a member of the audience and interviews them, figuring out on the fly what might prove interesting to ask them about: their tuba-playing, the origami they’ve folded and then burnt, their opinion on the Kobe Bryant rape case. I quite like the idea of pairing interviews with non-well-known non-comedians with interviews with well-known comedians. In fact, I don’t even need Dierkes to make actual jokes during the former; I take all the amusement I need from the contrast.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to host and produce The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], a public radio show and podcast dedicated to in-depth cultural conversation. Please hire him for something.]

Juggaknots - Trouble Man

| 1 comment

Sometimes when I think about the "underground" hip-hop movement of the late 90s, I just get annoyed. "Make a hot record, one that really jams, then complain about the mainstream."

Some people, though, got it right. Really right. Breeze Brewin just destroys this track, anchored by a beautiful Coltrane sample.

Below, a brilliant story track, "Clear Blue Skies."

Comedy: Jordan Ranks America, July 2011 on The Sound of Young America

Jordan Morris
It's that time again - Jordan Morris spells it all out for us. Join us for Jordan Ranks America, July 2011 edition!

Judge John Hodgman Episode 32: The Cow Beef


Ted brings this case against his father Paul, who has become obsessed with cows. Ted argues that his father's cow collection and his inclination to randomly say the word cow, among other issues, indicate the need to tamp down the cow-talk. Paul argues that his obsession is merited, because "cows are our most important animal friends."

You may view the evidence after the jump, and as always, you may subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or through this RSS feed.

Stop Podcasting Yourself 175 - Paul Bae

Paul Bae

Comedian Paul Bae returns after many years to talk about the splits, goths, and Netflix. Then we play a round of Celebrity Crush Hat.

Download episode 175 here. (right-click)

And don't forget about ADULTERY
Download the mp3 of the radio pilot here.

Brought to you by: (click here for the full list of sponsors)

Comic-Con meetup with Jordan

07/21/2011 - 21:00 - 07/22/2011 - 01:00
San Diego
Venue Name: 
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Are you MaxFunster's going to Comic-Con this week in San Diego? Come to the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery patio at 9 p.m. this Thursday and hangout with the esteemed Jordan Morris.

Jordan has a prize for the best MaxFun cosplay, so come out dressed to the nines.

You can keep up with the latest discussion here.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Litopia


Vital stats:
Format: writing-related interviews, panel discussions, and word games
Episode duration: 45m-1h30m
Frequency: unpredictable, but often enough

The U.K. has really gotten on board with this podcasting thing. Not only do I usually find the U.K.-based guests on my own show Skype-ready and raring to go, but most of the U.K.-based podcasts I’ve listened to lately have an uncommonly polished, “professional” feel. I still don’t know what to call the form of podcasting where you connect a bunch of panelists from all over the world, talk in defined segments with actual recorded bumpers (as they say in, to bust out the scare quotes again, “real” radio), stream it all live, and incorporate synchronous feedback from listeners, but if you like that sort of thing and also have an interest in writing and publishing, then hey, check out Litopia [RSS] [iTunes].

I admit to a slight confusion about what to call this podcast: iTunes calls it Litopia, the web site calls it Radio Litopia, and something called the “Litopia Writers’ Colony” produces the whole shebang. Not only that, but the podcast feed actually contains episodes of distinct shows, each with a different title. You’ve got Between the Lines, an interview program featuring authors like sci-fi eminence Ben Bova [MP3], intellectual gatecrasher Geoff Dyer [MP3], and guru-of-human-endeavor Seth Godin [MP3]. (Having interviewed those latter two myself, I had to scope out the competition.) You’ve got The Debriefer, an ongoing discussion about writing-relevant legal matters such as (U.K.) copyright and libel law. You’ve got Open House, which seems to involve a lot of word games. And finally, you’ve got Litopia After Dark, recommendations of which brought me here in the first place.

In the host or co-host seat of all these programs sits Peter Cox, literary agent, prominent vegan, and thread uniting all corners of the Litopian world. Having held a fairly high media profile on the other side of the pond for decades, he displays an impressive suite of hosting skills, and Litopia After Dark finds him at his most host-ish. Bear in mind, though, that he still presides over a British show, which means that all its moments of highly articulate perceptiveness must ultimately be balanced out by the kind of lazy penile humo(u)r that wouldn’t have flown in third grade. People will feel varying comfort levels with this traditional union of the refined and the sophomoric, but Cox adroitly rides his panels’ highest moments and suffers their lowest with grumblingly good nature.

Though Litopia’s broad scope of content would seem to cast it as one of those programs “for everyone who reads,” I’ve come to think of that as, for all the hand-wringing about the reader’s imminent extinction, a hopelessly large audience to actually satisfy. You’d do much better to think of these shows as intended partially for readers, but mostly for writers. This sensibility provides both an injection of specificity, which keeps things interesting, but also an injection of a certain sourness. I say this as someone who does much with the written word myself, but you’ll find few people as unhappy as writers, especially now that the internet has Chicken Littled so many of them into a permanent mode of bitter, amorphous head-clutching grievance. I periodically sense this feeling of the world having failed writers arising on Litopia After Dark discussions, but because they at least take the relevant industrial questions head-on, they don’t just feel like whinefests. It helps that you also get publishing gallows humor, word games, and — sure, they have some value — a dash of penile joking along the way.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to host and produce The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], a public radio show and podcast dedicated to in-depth cultural conversation. Please hire him for something.]

Errol Morris, Director of "Tabloid": Interview on The Sound of Young America

Errol Morris

Errol Morris is a celebrated director who has documented a wide range of subjects, from warfare in his Academy Award-winning film The Fog of War to your everyday eccentrics in Vernon, Florida.

In his newest film, Tabloid, he chases the truth in the tabloid story of Joyce McKinney. A former beauty queen follows her object of affection, a Mormon missionary, overseas and shakes things up with his alleged kidnapping and sexual assault. Joyce spins her version of the events of several decades and continents in the film, which is woven with interviews with tabloid reporters of the day, her alleged accomplices and contemporaries.

Errol talks to us bringing his subjects eye to eye with his audience using his patented Interrotron, seeking and preserving the truth of the first person narrative, and the work he feels he'll be remembered for (it's not what you think).

Tabloid is theaters now with limited release, and will roll out to more cities nationwide this summer.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.
Stream or download this interview now.

JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program is Errol Morris, who might just be America's most gifted and acclaimed documentarian. His movies include The Fog of War, which won him an Oscar, The Thin Blue Line, which may have saved a man's life, and Gates of Heaven, which, according to the terms of a bet, forced Werner Herzog to eat a shoe live on stage.

Morris's new film is called Tabloid. In part, it's an investigation of narrative; in part, it's an investigation of a curious character. That, of course, has been a theme of Morris's films going all the way back to his first two, Gates of Heaven and Vernon, Florida.

The movie is the story of a former beauty queen named Joyce McKinney who fell in love with a Mormon missionary and followed him on his mission to England, bringing along a pilot, a muscle-building body guard, and a man who can only reasonably be described as a best friend/bondage slave. When she found the object of her affection, she either convinced him to come with her, or kidnapped him, then, either convinced him to sleep with her, or raped him.

The case was a sensation beyond words in the English tabloid culture of the late 1970s. Here's a tabloid reporter named Peter Tory who covered the story at the time for the tabloids in the late 1970s. In this clip from the movie, he explains how Joyce McKinney's misadventures captured the English public's attention.

Errol Morris, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

ERROL MORRIS: Thanks for having me on.

My Brother, My Brother and Me 63: R.I.P.B.E.P.


Do you guys remember the day the music died? We certainly do, because that day was last week, and also because we have super good memories. We're all up on that Ginkgo Biloba tip.

Suggested talking points: The Meaning of Creed, Dale Carnegie Jr., Skin Adjacent, References, E.E. Cummings Pie, Rumping, The Cat Talk, Sandwich 2.0

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