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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

Fuck yeah.

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Flying Lotus - MmmHmmm

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Now that I've seen this, it's going to be tough to accept videos that don't have any SPACE INDIANS in them.

Thank you gifts have been mailed...

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After a wonderful volunteer day Saturday, all of our thank you gifts for the 2010 pledge drive have been mailed, save for foreign t-shirts, which will go out tomorrow. Some have already arrived, and most should arrive within a week or two. T-shirts were mailed first class, other gifts were sent media mail.

If you have a problem with your gift, email julia@maximumfun.org. Allow three weeks or so for delivery, just in case. Please note that we only order one extra in each size, due to the expense of ordering extras for 27 shirt/size combos. If something awful happened, we may have to replace your shirt with the classic TSOYA design.

Thanks for the picture, Jenny.

MaxFunStickers

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If you want free MaxFunStickers, send an SASE to:
MaxFunStickers
1553 Silverwood Ter.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Stop Podcasting Yourself 122 - Alicia Tobin

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Guests: 
Alicia Tobin

Comedian Alicia Tobin returns to talk about butchers, Pig Pen, and how drugs are made (we have no idea). Then we play Fake Band/Real Band.

Download episode 122 here. (right-click)

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

Goodbye, Harvey Pekar.

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Harvey Pekar will be missed here at Maximum Fun. His appearance on The Sound of Young America was one of my favorite interviews in the history of the show. His work continues to be an inspiration to me.

Jazz and Soul Singer Jose James: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jose James

Jose James is an acclaimed jazz and soul singer. He has two new albums - a forward-looking, genre-hopping record called Blackmagic and a collection of piano-and-vocals standards called For All We Know. The former features collaborations with producers like Moodymann and Flying Lotus. The latter features duets with the Belgian pianist Jef Neve. James, a native of Minneapolis, lives in London, and has been championed by the influential English DJ Gilles Peterson. He talks with us about the connection between jazz and hip-hop, what one learns in jazz school, and returning to standards after years singing more contemporary fare.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Pop My Culture

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Vital stats:
Format: lightly comedic pop culture talk
Duration: 1h-1h15m
Frequency: “bi-weekly(ish)”
Archive available on iTunes: all

If podcasting has a dominant subject, it’s pop culture. Easy to see why: we’re all immersed in it, whether we want to be or not. Therefore, we can all talk about it. Any given developed-world citizen, if they strain hard enough, could slap together an opinion about, say, Justin Bieber’s hair. This makes for pretty thin conversational gruel, though it’s one everyone can eat. This is especially true in the realm of comedy: assemble a few comedians or public “personalities” of other stripes, get ‘em talking about reality TV, and bam, podcast.

That seems to be the thinking behind the uncommonly upfront Pop My Culture [RSS] [iTunes], a show about “movies, music, television, cebrity gossip, etc. without all those pesky ‘serious’ topics like politics, religion and the environment.” The hosts, SF Sketchfest co-founder Cole Stratton and actor/writer/comic Vanessa Ragland, go around to the houses of various pop-cultural figures from the last 30 years and chat with them about their own careers (about which they even quiz them) and whatever happens be in the zeitgeist at the moment. There’s a slant toward actors, though many of their guests (though, technically, Stratton and Ragland are guests in their guests’ houses) seem pulled from the Greater Southern California Comedians’ Podcasting Circuit: Mo Collins [MP3], Paul F. Tompkins [MP3], Chris Hardwick [MP3], and so on.

The conversations tend to skitter across the surface of entertainment, media, and technology like a skipping stone. As much as I might have extolled pop culture’s accessibility two paragraphs ago, there turns out to be a lot to know even in such surface-y kind of talks. In an uncomfortable paradox, I found myself having to look up about three times as much as I do in an average prim, erudite BBC sort of thing. Crystal Bowersox, for instance. Had to Google her name once when the hosts brought her up, and again now to remember how to spell her name. And I stand on the humiliating precipice of needing to look up Brett Michaels a third time.

But if you know bout Bowersoxes from your Michaelses, perhaps this is the podcast you want. Perhaps it’s a sterling example of pop-cultural discourse. Yet I fear that the show’s most interesting episodes, to my mind, might constitute violations of the rules of pop culture talk. Matthew “Cereal Killer” Lillard [MP3] gets into some of the ambitious despair and oddly hopeful hopelessness of the modern acting industry, which I found quite interesting, though you can tell he felt apologetic about maybe getting too “heavy.” To be fair, Stratton and Ragland don’t discourage this kind of thing, though it happens less often than I’d like.

Almost all of Pop My Culture’s best moments come from going there, “there” being to that place where entertainment types take long, hard looks at themselves, brows furrowed. In the massive amounts of pop culture podcast-listening I do in this line, I routinely catch glimpses of a strange sort of self-loathing on the part of so many actors and comedians. I’d like to hear that self-loathing and its associated thoughts probed a little more deeply. Marc Maron’s WTF is probably the apex of this specifically for comedy, but there are so many more of entertainment’s sub-industries that I’d like to see get unflinchingly reflective. Maybe that really is too heavy for show like this, but it’d be a way through the thick, undifferentiated pop-culture-jokin’ fog.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to be the host and producer of public radio’s The Marketplace of Ideas, the blogger of The War on Mediocrity and the writer of The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project.]

Podcast: The College Years: Hello Possums!

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Guests: 
Randy Newman
Guests: 
Dan Piraro
Guests: 
Dame Edna Everage

The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Today's theme: Hello Possums!

Randy Newman is a singer, songwriter, and composer. In this programme, Jesse devotes the first hour to the work of Randy Newman. Find his latest music on the Toy Story 3 soundtrack.

Following that musical hour, Jesse interviews Dan Piraro. Dan Piraro is best known as the cartoonist behind the comic “panel” Bizarro. Find his daily feature here.

Also, Jesse welcomes entertainer Dame Edna Everage. As a satirical character played by Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage has written several books, hosted many television programmes, and even managed to rile up Salma Hayek.

Justin Wilson vs. the Red Snapper

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Somebody posted this clip of classic PBS cooking host Justin Wilson in response to Jimmy Pardo's "character" Cajun Jimmy. This is so wonderful, I ga-ron-tee.

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