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Bayonics Kickstarter


My childhood best friend Jody Scott has spent the last few years playing trumpet with a great band called Bayonics. They play dance music - some salsa, some funk and a bit of reggae. No hippie bullshit - this is a serious Bay Area band with roots in groups like Tower of Power and Sly & the Family Stone. Their home base is the Elbo Room on Valencia Street in San Francisco, in my old stomping grounds. They've really got something great going, and you should check out their work and consider supporting their Kickstarter. Their goal is simply to manufacture their album (which they've recorded) and do a bit of marketing. I backed the effort - $10 will get me the album when it's released. Consider doing the same.

Mark Your Calendar for John Hodgman's The End is Nigh Tour


John Hodgman's eagerly-awaited Final Book of Complete World Knowledge, "That is All", will be released on 11/1/11. According to the author's website, it will contain a "dark, apocalyptic vision" and "the very last information you need to know before the coming global superpocalypse called RAGNAROK, plus some information on WINE and SPORTS."

So if you are interested in surviving RAGNAROK with wit, intelligence and style, I would strongly suggest that you pre-order this intriguing compendium.

And if, after reading this treatise, you have further questions, you may direct them to the author at the times and venues set forth below during what Mr. Hodgman is ominously referring to as "THE END IS NIGH TOUR".

Mark your calendars now. And don't say we didn't warn you.

  • Brooklyn: Tuesday, November 1st at The Bell House
  • Chicago, IL: Wednesday, November 2nd at Second City
  • St. Louis, MO: Tuesday, November 3rd at Mad Art Gallery, Subterranean Books
  • Los Angeles, CA: Friday, November 4th at Largo, Book Soup
  • Portland, OR: Sunday, November 6th at Bagdad Theater, Powell's
  • Seattle, WA: Monday November 7th at Town Hall, Elliott Bay
  • Austin, TX: Tuesday, November 8th at Book People
  • Durham, NC: Wednesday, November 9th at Durham Armory, Regulator Bookshop
  • Asheville, NC: Friday, November 11th at Venue TK, Malaprop's
  • New York, NY: Monday, November 14th at Barnes & Noble, Union Square
  • Boston, MA: Tuesday, November 15th at Coolidge Theater, Brookline Booksmith
(Please note: Due to the sensitive nature of these events, tickets are not yet available for sale at many venues. I will post links to appropriate ticket vendors as soon as they have adequately prepared themselves).

Monty Python - The Architect

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Does this every happen to you? You just start thinking about a Python sketch, and then you just have to watch it seven or twelve times?

To say Python are the greatest sketch group ever is to make a serious understatement.

"May I ask you to reconsider? I mean you wouldn't regret it. Think of the tourist trade."

Improv Everywhere: Say Something Nice


Start your day off right: say something nice to someone you don't know.

Stop Podcasting Yourself 179 - Chris Gordon

Chris Gordon

Comedian Chris Gordon joins us to talk beards, VCRs, and Seven Pounds.

Download episode 179 here. (right-click)

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

This Week Live: August 22nd, 2011

Here are some spots around the country where you can catch your MaxFun favorites this week.

Andy Kindler will be at the Playboy Comedy Lounge of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas August 25th to 27th.

Bill Burr will be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ from August 25th to the 28th.

Colson Whitehead will be at the University of Wyoming in Laramie tonight, August 22nd.

Childish Gambino, Mobb Deep and Blu & Exile will be in Mountain View, CA as part of the Rock the Bells Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater on August 27th.

Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford will be performing at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland, OR on August 25th, 26th and 27th.

Jimmy Pardo will be at the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach, VA on August 25th-27th.

Kumail Nanjiani will be performing the Meltdown Show at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on August 24th with Brent Weinbach, Jen Kirkman and Brett Gelman.

Marc Maron will be at Hilarities in Cleveland, OH on August 25th-28th.

Tig Notaro will be at the Tin Roof in Charleston, SC on August 24th and at the Calendonia in Athens, GA on August 25th.

Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson will be performing Two Kids, One Hall at Zanies in Nashville on August 25th-28th.

Wyatt Cenac will be appearing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA on August 26th.

The Decemberists: "Calamity Song"


If you're a smarty-pants fan of "Infinite Jest" and you love the music of Colin Meloy and the Decemberists, then today your dreams have come true.

The band has released a video for their "Calamity Song" (a track from the recent album "The King Is Dead") and it's theme is drawn from the famed apocalyptic game of Eschaton featured in "Infinite Jest." The video was directed by Michael Schur, co-creator and show-runner of "Parks and Recreation".

And if it has been a while since you read David Foster Wallace's magnum opus, have no fear: The New York Times has a helpful article out today that explains all of the salient references for you.

Bruce Campbell, Producer, Writer and B-Movie Icon: Interview on The Sound of Young America

L: Bruce Campbell, R: Jordan Morris at Comic-Con 2011
Bruce Campbell

Our guest host this week is MaxFun's very own Jordan Morris! He's a host and producer on FuelTV's The Daily Habit and of course, co-hosts our own podcast Jordan, Jesse, Go! You can also see him performing comedy at numerous venues throughout Los Angeles. Fun fact: Jordan is one of the original co-hosts of The Sound of Young America, so this is a return to form. He'll talk to a man of horror movie legend, Bruce Campbell.

Bruce Campbell is best known as a B movie icon and one of the stars of the Evil Dead films. He's also a writer and producer who's continued to have a DIY aesthetic and feeling infuse his work (including his own film, My Name Is Bruce). He talks to us about finding a niche in horror and black humor, obsessive fans, and more.

You can see him on Thursdays at 9/8c on USA's Burn Notice as covert operative Sam Axe and in his own spin-off TV movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, now on DVD.

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

JORDAN MORRIS: This is The Sound of Young America, I'm Jordan Morris. My guest today is Bruce Campbell, an actor, director, and author, best known to film geeks as the star of the cult classics Evil Dead, Maniac Cop, Bubba Ho-Tep, too many to mention. He can now be seen on the television program Burn Notice, the HIT television program I should say. The Burn Notice feature length film The Fall of Sam Axe is on DVD and Blu-ray now. Bruce, thanks for coming on the show.

BRUCE CAMPBELL: Great plug, by the way, great plug.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Memory Palace


Vital stats:
Format: stories of Old Timey Americana with music
Episode duration: 1m-15m
Frequency: erratic

Almost every episode of The Memory Palace [RSS] [iTunes] will send you to straight to Wikipedia, not because they drop pallets full of unexplained references but because they cover subjects you kind of already know about, topics you feel so sure you’ve heard, read, or seen something about before. Hey, a young man raised to be a genius who wound up obsessed with streetcar systems [MP3] — haven’t I seen an article about him? Wait, an elderly woman P.T. Barnum hired to act like she’d been young George Washington’s nanny before planted newspaper stories suspecting her of being a robot [MP3] — didn’t I read a comic book about that?

This podcast, you see, covers people, places, things, and events of great importance to the burgeoning field of Old Timey Americana Studies. One actual description calls it a show of “short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, always super-great,” but I prefer mine. Listen to The Memory Palace for an hour or two and you get stories about Waldorf-Astoria Halley’s Comet viewing parties, Ben Franklin, Navy-officer impostors, elephant shows, Egdar Allen Poe as a tool of voter fraud, heists, the Chicago World’s Fair, spiritualist hucksters, the CIA spy cats, James K. Polk, and even the Sony Walkman. I haven’t gone all the way back in the archive, but I feel reasonably safe insisting that it has an episode about flagpole sitting.

What is it about Old Timey Americana, anyway? All the best non-Walkman-related stories in United States history seem to have happened between about 1870 and 1935. As Jordan and Jesse speculated on one JJGO!, that era saw the explosion of an unprecedented science-’n-progress fervor, but also a willingness to believe just about anything, no matter how fantastical — a time, in other words, of a lot of mechanical Turks and rejuvenation serums (“sera”?). Radio documentarian Nate DiMeo must understand this, since he’s staked out the territory so aggressively on The Memory Palace. But he doesn’t produce aggressively, or at least not with an aggressive sound. He’s turned out one of the most subdued-feeling shows I can remember listening to — and I mean that in a good way.

I’ll call his format, one more aesthetically of the public radio realm than the podcast realm, “stories with music”: DiMeo tells a story of Old Timey Americana, then cuts it together with atmospheric music. He connects his stories and his music more distantly, abstractly, or maybe “metaphorically” than you’d hear on a show like, say, This American Life, and I like that he does it that way; it keeps the music from hitting too emotionally on the nose, and it must help him resist the temptation to use recorded sounds and in too “documentary” a fashion. Besides, the classic Public Radio Ambient Barrio Noises have little relevance to his project; and I don’t know whose library, if anyone’s, holds the classic Public Radio Ambient Columbian Exposition Noises.

But if we’re making This American Life comparisons, I should point out the relevant one: cadence. DiMeo does indeed speak like a TAL correspondent. I don’t know if the style has a name, but it involves talking as if sentences often don’t end with periods. But he doesn’t leave off periods in exactly the same way. So, while Ira Glass says,
It’s This American Life, I’m Ira Glass
DiMeo says,
This is The Memory Palace. I’m nate DiMeo
World of difference!

If, like me, you get a kick out of this kind of public radio craft minutia, do read DiMeo’s article on making The Memory Palace at Among other astounding revelations such as the reason why so many public radio programs are so skittish, choppy, and/or nonexistent, he admits that, despite working crazy hard and achieving what counts as wild success in the podcast world, he’s only earned a few hundred dollars from at this (by rattling the cup and shilling for Audible and such). I am going to walk into the sea now.

[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.]

Denver Post on Comedy Podcasting

Thanks to the Denver Post for recommending Jordan, Jesse, Go! as one of their favorite comedy podcasts in this wonderful overview piece on the growing success of the genre.
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