The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Jordan Jesse Go Live

| 0 comments

Stream is done. If you want to hear about future streams, follow me on twitter @youngamerican.

Free TV : Ustream

Who wants an orange whip?

| 2 comments

Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "More Than One Lesson"

| 11 comments


Your Podthinker has publicly put himself on record as a big fan of the film podcast Battleship Pretension. His curiosity was therefore piqued when Tyler Smith, one of your Podthinker's two favorite Battleship Pretension co-hosts, founded a separate movie podcast of his own. As a cinema geek, your Podthinker grew even more interested. But what's this? It's a Christian movie podcast? As a non-Christian — a non-anything, for that matter — your Podthinker suddenly wasn't even sure whether he'd be allowed to download it.

Yet even before hearing More Than One Lesson's [RSS] [iTunes] first episode, signs arose that the show would be Not What You Think, especially if You are a non-Christian — or, even more appropriately, a Christian — who has grown to fear explicitly Christian media and Christian "perspectives" on media. An informal poll of Christian stuff-fearing individuals reveals that they primarily seek to avoid:
  1. proselytization
  2. nonsensical claims
  3. moral scoldiness
  4. poor production value
But as any Battleship Pretension listener knows, Smith — who, by way of disclosure, has been a guest on one of your Podthinker's podcasts — actively doesn't proselytize, say things that don't make sense, lament the presence of the word "damn" in the movies or talk up direct-to-DVD Christian sci-fi epics produced for a buck three-eighty. In fact, he'll occasionally spend an impromptu monologue arguing against Christians who do those things! Given his extreme reasonability, even the most rage-filled, religion-loathing internet atheist would have to make an exception for him.

And it turns out that More Than One Lesson is indeed as popular with the atheists as it is with the Christians; so popular, in fact, that Smith spends the opening of one episode addressing the many atheists who have volunteered to contribute to the show (!). Afraid of misrepresenting the program's perspective, your Podthinker would normally have trouble writing up an ostensibly Christian podcast, but one that Christians and atheists agree on? That's too interesting to ignore.

The format could scarcely get any simpler: each week, Smith discusses a movie for the bulk of the episode, be it Gus Van Sant's Milk [MP3], Greg Mottola's Superbad [MP3] Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker [MP3] or another. Then, in what time remains, he goes to the back pages and talks about an older film that deals with a similar theme. Sometimes, in the longer episodes, he'll have a guest with him, usually a local Christian friend somehow involved in The Industry; BP listeners will enjoy hearing him engage in the one-on-one conversation outside the usual setting, but it must be said that some of these guests sound somewhat less approachable than does Smith himself. And, while all super-nice guys, some will seem slightly alien to listeners who never interact with believers.

But then, More Than One Lesson as a whole couldn't be more approachable, especially since one can approach it from a couple different angles. Christian audiences can presumably regard it as Christian Movie Talk That Doesn't Make You Cringe, while non-Christian audiences can safely consider it Tyler Smith on Film. Though the show contains the occasional Bible quote and utterance of the J-word, the vast majority of what Smith and his guests say has to do with cinema and what humanity can learn from it. If these lessons tie in with a particular set of religious teachings, fine, but if the connection isn't as direct, Smith doesn't force it. His discussion of Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking [MP3] and what the movie says about truth, falsity, rhetoric and argument exemplifies the show at its best: Christians can learn from it, non-Christians can learn from it, and maybe — just maybe — they'll stop shouting at one another quite so much after listening.

Vital stats:
Format: "movie talk for the discerning Christian" (that's the slogan)
Running since: July 2009
Duration: 30m-1h20m
Frequency: weekly, more or less
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Questions, comments, ideas, suggestions or threats for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

Just as it appears on the radio...

| 2 comments

If you're a monthly donor, you can listen to the podcast of The Sound of Young America just as it appears on the radio. Intros, outros, music. Also, higher bitrate MP3s.

The standard feed sometimes includes some interview material that doesn't fit in the radio show, but the radio version sometimes includes a comedy bit or commentary that doesn't make it on the podcast. And there's an episode every week (including occaisional re-runs).

If you want to listen to the show as it appears on the radio, and you're a monthly donor to MaximumFun.org, email me and I'll give you the feed address.

Sean Kingston on my block

| 5 comments

Sean Kingston shot this video on my block. The theme is: Ghostbusters rays turn shit from Jesse's neighborhood into crazy colored nightmares. And there's a pool.

70 Minutes of Maron

| 0 comments

Standup - Marc Maron from Troy Conrad on Vimeo.

Marc Maron, performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in LA.

Marc also has a new podcast called "WTF."

Brent Weinbach Interview: The Sound of Young America

| 12 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Brent Weinbach

Brent Weinbach is a comedian from San Francisco, whose unique style has ingratiated him to some, and had the opposite effect on others. One CBS executive banned him from the Late Late Show on the grounds that he was "too weird." His new CD, available September 15th, is "The Night Shift."

Listen Now

Download This Show (MP3)
Discuss This Episode on the Forum
Embeddable Audio Player Code (Copy and Paste)

"Max at Sea" by Dave Eggers

| 3 comments

I read "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" in college. I liked it, especially the parts that weren't crushingly, overwhelmingly sad. The funny parts, for example. Loved those.

I think people who read more novels than I do are used to them being crushingly, overwhelmingly sad. I'm not, really, and it kind of fucked me up.

Then for a long time I didn't read a bunch of Dave Eggers stuff. Frankly, I was worried it would be super sad. I can't handle that shit.

But this... this is not sad. This is pretty much one of the greatest things in the history of the world.

You probably have heard that Eggers wrote the script for Spike Jonze's film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. That's pretty great. But did you know he also wrote a novel based on the screenplay?

Given the following...

A) Where the Wild Things Are is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
B) Dave Eggers can really kick out the jams when he wants to.

Therefore...

C) This is gonna be fucking great.

Also, last night, while my wife was doing the stuff ladies do before they go to bed (remove makeup? un-style hair?), I read this excerpt in The New Yorker, called "Max at Sea." It's fucking great and you should read it.

Additionally, there's a lovely profile of Spike Jonze in the Times Magazine that was just put up on the website.

God's Pottery - Christ'd

| 0 comments

God's Pottery reverse-prank Mike Birbiglia.

HEY MIKE BIRBIGLIA - NICE SHIRT!

Julie Fader, Singer/Songwriter: The Text Of Young America

| 2 comments

Julie Fader is a Toronto based singer/songwriter and artist. She’s also a touring member of the Chad Van Gaalen band, Great Lake Swimmers, and the Sarah Harmer band, among others. But on 09/08/09 Hand Drawn Dracula will release Outside In, Fader’s first solo effort. It’s a sonically gorgeous, multi-layered record full of warms textures and heartfelt sentiment. Fader spoke to me about the influence of environment, the importance of trust, and learning to let go.

Chris Bowman: Outside In is your first solo record, but you are not new to this. How did you get your start?

Julie Fader: Seventh grade. When I moved back to Hamilton, Ontario. I had to make a decision between vocal and instrumental and the thought of singing was horrific. So I chose flute. My parents made me take private lessons because my dad was super excited that I was going to try and learn an instrument. They had never forced me to take lessons. My brother and sister had to go for violin lessons and piano lessons and they didn’t take to either. So (my parents) decided with the youngest child that they wouldn’t make me do that. But having to take lessons was fun. Years later, being such a music fan, I was drawn to people that played music. I would hang out and listen to them jam. So when a bunch of people were playing, I brought my flute and a couple of songbooks because the idea of playing by ear seemed far fetched. So we learned some Neil Young songs and that’s how I got my start.

Syndicate content