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Podcast Coyle & Sharpe Episode 35: For The Benefit of Mankind


Welcome to season two of Coyle & Sharpe: The Imposters! In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. These original recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

On this episode: The Imposters discuss with a native San Franciscan the appropriate level of mourning for the death of a car.

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Your Morning Progressive Soul


Above: Janelle Monae (formerly of the Outkast/Purple Ribbon camp, now rolling with Diddy) performs "Sincerely, Jane." I bought Monae's new EP, in which she is some kind of soul-music robot from the future, at Target today. I don't like it as much as I liked her roller skating lite disco track from the Purple Ribbon comp, "Letting Go," which I LOVE LOVE LOVE, but at least she's trying some shit. She sings a bit like Kelis, if Kelis could sing a lot better.

Below, the official video for SugaRush Beat Company's "L.O.V.E.", which is some kind of UK iTunes exclusive or something. If anybody knows anything about these dudes, loop me in, because I don't. According to their bio, Rahsaan Patterson (US soul singer) was touring in Australia, met a producer, they met a singer from Denmark... and somehow they came out with this single in the UK. But I'm feeling it.

RIP David Foster Wallace


Periodic Table of the (Fake) Elements


Here, in three parts, is the fake periodic table of the elements from the amazing Look Around You. Click on them to make them larger. It is *so* worth it.

Who Wants "The Mindscape of Alan Moore" DVD?!

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Alan Moore is one of the most influential graphic novel writers in the medium. He has penned such classic graphic novels as "V For Vendetta" and "Watchmen." And we've got some movies about him! We currently have in our possession three copies of the documentary "The Mindscape of Alan Moore" that we're giving away. The first three people to answer the following question will receive a DVD: Who is the President of the United States in Moore's graphic novel "Watchmen?" E-mail your responses to
The answer is: Nixon

Contest Over.

Congrats to Cory, Tim, and Mark. You guys are so smart.

Donor Discount Code for MaxFunCon


If you're a donor, registering for MaxFunCon, today is your last day to use your donor priority registration discount. It was actually through yesterday, but I'm giving you an extra day just in case :).

Jay-Z Documentary from the BBC


Fascinating BBC documentary on Jay-Z's opus "Reasonable Doubt." Jay is so alarmingly eloquent off record, it's hard to imagine he could be so eloquent on record. And he does it without sounding like he's trying.

Jay has a lot going for him, but his greatest strength is the effortlessness of his flow. It comes so smoothly and easily that, as he points out himself, the secondary and tertiary meanings of his lyrics can fly past. What's special about Reasonable Doubt is that it's a cohesive statement of purpose -- the beats match the effortless expansiveness of Jay's flow. The lyrics do too, but they have an edge to them -- they betray the fear of the hustler's lifestyle.

There are MCs who can portray that dark side as convincingly as Jay. Scarface, for example, rhymes with such amazing weight that he can convey that darkness with just a twist of the pitch of his voice. There aren't any, though, who can convey that fear in such a way that you don't even notice it until you think back on a line, or a verse, and find yourself emotionally sucker-punched.

Sauce Money says something really great in the film, talking about his collaboration with Jay on Bring It On. He says he heard Jay's verse and "started looking for the nearest Subway. Because I'm not gonna top that."

Hey! We're in Spirit Magazine

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I had no idea until someone messaged me on MySpace, but we're in the current issue of Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine, as one of their entertainment picks.

Podcast: The Sound of Young America

THE CONCEPT: Whippersnappers take over public radio.

FRESH AIR: Hosted by 26-year-old Jesse Thorn, the weekly program features interviews with both celebs and relative unknowns from music, TV, and Hollywood. Previous guests include ESPN’s Kenny Mayne and former Colbert Report producer Ben Karlin. The crew also produces several other downloadable podcasts, such as a weekly sketch comedy routine.

NEW THING: Now carried on a dozen public radio stations around the country, The Sound of Young America was the first public radio program west of the Mississippi to podcast. declared it “the greatest radio show you’ve never heard” and last year iTunes ranked it a “classic.”


Norm MacDonald: Greatest (Canadian) In America?


In high school, I was absolutely convinced that Norm MacDonald was the greatest person in the world. When he claims he's a big fan of Courtney Thorne-Smith from seeing her on Tom Snyder, it's truly a thing of majesty. He tops that, of course, with a remark about her film career that's so amazing I choose not to reveal it here.

So: three videos of Norm on Late Night in 1997, including this exchange...
Norm (interrupting Thorne-Smith's interview): "Are you talking about Melrose Place?"
Conan: "You are the biggest ass in the world."

Now, for the past five or ten years, Norm has mostly been performing in casinos and playing poker professionally, as far as I can tell. But as our friends at Videogum pointed out, he recently put on one of the truly great performances in Norm MacDonald history.

As you probably know, Comedy Central organizes phony "roasts" for semi-celebrities like Flava Flav and Pamela Anderson. Funny comedians who don't know these people at all come on, and tell some jokes they (or maybe Doug Benson or Morgan Murphy) wrote the night before. Unlike an actual roast, which is an expression of long-standing friendship, the Comedy Central Roast is an expression of 16-24 year old boys persistent commitment to dirty joke watching and general contemptuousness.

Norm MacDonald recently guested on the Bob Saget roast. Now Norm and Saget are actually friends -- Saget directed Norm's (hilarious) film "Dirty Work." But Norm was apparently intent on bringing down the whole affair. Not only did he read the newspaper throughout, pausing only to look up, confused, when someone directed an insult his way, but he performed the amazing jokes below.

After the roast, Norm talked to MaxFunPal Chris Hardwick, and insisted that he believe the event to be a toast, not a roast.

Norm has a really special gift -- the ability to sincerely commit to something absolutely, while mocking it with equal vigor. He's an amazing talent.

Raphael Saadiq - That Girl

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Soul superproducer and slightly less than superartist Raphael Saadiq has a new record coming out this month, which purportedly all sounds like this -- Motown and a bit of Philly Soul. I'm not gonna complain, I've been a Ray Ray fan since "Lay Your Head on My Pillow" and "If I Had No Loot."

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