The Blog of Young America

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Jacobus of the 14th Century: Faeries Dispute


Vlogger Jacobus of the 14th Century discusses a dispute with his compatriot Reginald on the topic of Faeries.

More Jacobus here.

There's still room on the Robin Thicke bandwagon.

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Yes, Robin Thicke is white. Yes his dad is Alan Thicke. Deal.

kelefa sanneh breaks down the Thicke phenomenon in his great review in today's New York Times:

In 2003 Mr. Thicke — calling himself simply Thicke — released “A Beautiful World” (Interscope), a breakout album that wasn’t, quite. When he resurfaced last year with “The Evolution of Robin Thicke” (Star Trak/Interscope), it seemed possible that Mr. Thicke would remain a secret, beloved by a few R&B fanatics (“Have you heard ‘Shooter,’ his sublime collaboration with Lil Wayne?”) and ignored by their skeptical friends (“Slow jams from the son of the guy from ‘Growing Pains’? No thanks”).

Now, he's #1 on the urban charts (something that Eminem and JT have never done) with "Lost Without U," which deserves the distinction.

Listen: if you like R&B or soul music at all, you owe it to yourself to cop Robin Thicke's first album, which can be found in cut-out bins across this great country. It sounds like Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Five, with a little dash of the Beatles and a modest helping of contemporary R&B. It's not as good as those things, but it's really great. Maybe my favorite R&B record of the 21st century.

And if you like slow jams, the new record is for you.

Here's one of my favorite tracks off the first record, which for some reason I always hear when I'm shopping at the Nordstrom Rack.

High Five Contest: Ends 3/31

Wii-me Jordan and Wii-me listener Rachel

The time comes for all contests to end, no matter how awesome that contest might be.

So far, we've received over THREE HUNDRED high fives in our high five contest. They've come from all over the country and all over the world. They've been airborne, adorable and amazing. I love them.

March 31st, however, will be our cutoff. That means you have just two short weeks to take pictures of yourself high fiving, upload them to our flickr group, tag them "awesomehighfive," and thus share them with all of us. The top three high fivers will recieve TSOYA t-shirts, and our grand champ will get a huge prize pack including an SCTV DVD set, a Stephen Colbert / George Bush "We're not braniacs on the nerd patrol" t-shirt from sneakmove, and much more.

But two weeks is all it takes! Grab a camera and get to work!

Old Fashioned Fun!


Thanks to The Coming for this one... The Human Giant show is fast approaching, and I couldn't be happier for those guys. We'll get them on our airwaves, don't worry.

The Video Revolution


Let's just say one of your favorite blogs and podcasts was thinking about getting a video camera.

What might you like to see from that blog and podcast in the video arena?

Interview clips?

Performance clips from musical guests?

Field reporting?

Comedy clips?


We're brainstorming here, folks, so there's no such thing as wrong. Share your thoughts in the comments, or here in the forum.

Our sponsor: Project Breakout


If you've been listening to JJGo and TSOYA lately, you've heard announcements about our new sponsor, Project Breakout.

Here's the deal:

They're a new company, and their idea is to be like American Idol crossed with YouTube. They're doing online video talent contests in a variety of fields, like dancing and film-making. The contests have both voting and judges, and culminate with the winner receiving a prize that furthers their career.

Their trial run is a comedy contest. The prize is a trip to New York City to participate in Sketchfest NYC (of which TSOYA is a sponsor), as well as a three-day intensive mentorship with the great folks behind Sketchfest NYC. The goal is to get you in front of industry, and teach you how to capitalize on your opportunities -- how to make packets, how to put on shows, etc etc etc.

I'm one of the judges for the competition, and I'd love to see really great stuff. I know a lot of talented folks listen to TSOYA and read this blog -- in fact, that's one of the reasons that the Project Breakout folks chose this show to sponsor.

So if you have video, visit their site and enter it in the competition. You don't lose your rights to it or anything, it's equivalent to uploading it to YouTube or something. Nothing is too good or too bad for the process -- the whole idea is to cast a wide net and filter out some stuff that deserves more exposure.

Upload here:

(And hey, if you're interested in underwriting on the radio show or podcast, or advertising on the website, let's talk about it. Email me.)

Total Annihilation in the SF Chronicle!



'Kids Rock'

Grown-ups are in the band, too, but they're punks, so cut 'em some slack

Thursday, March 15, 2007

While the idea of holding a punk rock concert by and for little kids may seem like a stretch, 11-year-old Brendan Thorn, a.k.a. Eddy Demon, doesn't think so. The lead singer and guitarist of Total Annihilation and his band mates intend to "annihilate everyone" with their music as they play a "Kids Rock" gig this weekend that features bands with kids and adults in their lineups.

Look for Eddy and crew to wail through tunes such as "Rock and Roll on a Friday," a song about a guy who prays every Thursday night that the sun won't come up in the morning. "I wake up and I hit my head," Eddy sings when the protagonist awakes to yet another Friday.

Although Eddy says he likes Fridays now, cut him some slack. "I was 9 when I wrote that," he says.

Eddy came up with another one, "The Devil's After Me and I Don't Know Why," when he was ill and having a little trouble breathing and was thinking about relatives who has passed on and how he had to say goodbye to them. The songs appear on Total Annihilation's self-produced CD "Noggin," a reference to "really good eggnog."

Homeschooled since he walked away from kindergarten at 5, Eddy listened to Muddy Waters and jazz in his car seat, then graduated to the sounds of Jack Black's tongue-in-cheek rock band Tenacious D. He compares his singing style to that of the group Half Japanese, whose lead singer is "very squeaky. It's like a high voice, but it's not yelling. I don't have a strong enough voice to yell anyway," says Eddy.

His group includes drummer Pete "Pietro" D'Amato, 14, and two adults, James "Camo Spice" Comte on backup guitar and Damon "Dorkmeister Harmoniak" Squire on bass. Both are 36.

Total Annihilation grew out of an appearance by Eddy and Pietro at a talent show at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church in San Francisco a year ago. In the audience that night was Comte, a veteran of the early '90s rock 'n' roll wars as a member of the San Diego group Swivel Neck.

Seeing the kids put their heart into their music inspired Comte and he asked if he could join the fledgling group. "Eddy was like, 'Wow, it would be really cool,' " Comte says. Since then Comte has become something of a mentor to Eddy and Pietro.

"A lot of times children hear the message that nobody ever makes it in a band," says Comte, who has a 4-year-old daughter. "That can be discouraging. But how does one become successful at music? Usually they start at a young age. It provides the opportunity for children to see someone pursuing their dreams and developing their talents."

As for punk rock's negative associations, Comte stresses that the kids aren't emulating Sid Vicious. "It's all positive. It's not a seedy bar scene. They haven't been exposed to drugs and alcohol. It's sort of healthy YMCA experience. We play way more notes than punk rock. We're sometimes soft and sometimes loud. We're not like we can turn our amps up loud and kill you."

Still, Eddy may have a surprise or two come showtime. "We're planning on lighting a smoke bomb. If it's legal. Hmmm. Let me think about that."

F-ocracy and Hellakraptor also play. 3-6 p.m. Sat. $7-$15 sliding scale. The Lab, 2948 16th St., San Francisco. (415) 864-8855.

Paul Kilduff,

Paul F. Tompkins hits Comedy Central Friday!


One of the funniest men on the planet, Paul F. Tompkins has a brand new Comedy Central Presents special, which premiers Friday night at 10PM (9 Central). Above, he discusses new dads. Also above, he is dressed like the Jack Nicholson joker.

Previously on TSOYA:
Goofaround Gang with Paul F. Tompkins, Tim & Eric and Will Franken

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