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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

RIP Baatin

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Terrible news that Baatin of Slum Village has passed. A group that changed the path of hip-hop forever, and now Baatin and Jay are both gone.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The Musicology Show"

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One major benefit of podcasting has been its outreach potential: if you run an organization doing something cool, you can probably put out a podcast telling people all about it. Perhaps you run a spy museum; perhaps you run a scientific foundation; perhaps you run an august newsmagazine; updates on and explications of the neato activities of any of these can easily be piped out to the earbuds of a rapt listening public.

This goes double if you run a well-respected internet venture that deals in a substance close to much of humanity's collective heart, and triple if you use magical-seeming technology to do so. Say, for example, you run the music-streaming service Pandora, whose hyperambitious music genome mapping efforts have introduced your Podthinker to the likes of Maze with Frankie Beverly, Autechre and Go West. The musical hive mind required to mount such a daunting project as catergorizing and organizing the sonic traits of all songs have, luckily for podcast listeners, come together to produce The Musicology Show [iTunes] [RSS], a regular venture into the inner workings of one of our favorite forms of organized sound.

Some of the topics covered will be old hat for practiced musicians: major and minor tonality [MP3], meters and time signatures [MP3], intervals [MP3]. But the program covers these subjects in a fun, conversational way, bringing in a different musican/music analyst (all the analysts seem to be musicians as well) at Pandora to discuss the performance or compositional phenomenon at hand and play a few examples while they talk with host Kevin Seal (who's also an analyst/musician).

Other episodes get into the techniques of specific styles and interests: hip hop hooks [MP3], IDM and glitch [MP3], upright bass [MP3], electric guitar effects [MP3]. The podcast provides a sample of what must be the vast possibilities of each of these in ways that generalize to music as a whole: an episode about fife fingering technique would tell you about the fife, sure, but it would frame its fife fun facts in the context of music as a whole. No matter the episode, there's one lesson that comes across loud and clear: everything in music's related. Everything.

This is the sort of material that can be used and appreciated by active musicians and pure listeners looking for a bit more musical understanding alike. It's also suberbly suited to the podcast medium, releasing as it does discrete chunks of musical education with audio illustrations right there behind it. It must be said, however, that the chunks are slightly too small. With each installment clocking in at roughly ten minutes, there's not quite enough time to really stretch out and dig deep into the subject. Seal and his guests deliver more information than one would normally expect in ten minutes, let it be known, but the feeling that each episode should rightfully be thrice its length persists. Oh, well; perhaps they've all got... analyzing to get back to.

(NOTE: The Musicology Show's iTunes directory page seems to stop displaying new episodes past January 2009, but they're still there. If you subscribe, new ones will automatically download nonetheless.)

Vital stats:
Format: music lessons
Running since: November 2006
Duration: ~10m
Frequency: between biweekly and monthly
Archive available on iTunes: all

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

I'm Jesse, and I'm outta heeeeeeeeeere.

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Let it be known: I'm Jesse, and I can't be locked in a cage like some kind of Manimal.

I'm headed out of town for the better part of this month. My wife Theresa just took the bar exam, and we need a break like nobody's business. I'll be visiting some family, then enjoying two weeks south of the border in a little country called Mexico.

Editor Nick White will be putting up shows and generally minding the fort. We'll have four all-new shows during the month, so there will be plenty of new podcast material for you. If there's any trouble, get at him on Twitter, where he's @npwhite.

Here's some of the guests we've got coming up:
Charlene Yi & Nick Jasanovec ("Paper Heart")
Paul Rust ("Inglorious Basterds")
Greg Kot ("Sound Opinions")
Chris Anderson ("Free")
Rob Siegel ("Big Fan")
Jon Friedman ("Rejected")
Al Madrigal ("Half-Breed")
Brent Weinbach ("Late Shift")

Jordan, with help from John the Intern, will be helming Jordan, Jesse Go! solo in my absence. He's going to put up a couple of new shows with some awesome pals and guests.

Jordan will also be trying to blog here. He has promised to do his best. And Chris Bowman (the former Chris the Intern) will be posting weekly Text of Young America interviews here as well -- there are some cool ones coming up.

One note: if you pledge this month, we'll be mailing your stuff at the beginning of September. Other than that, all should hum along as normal in my absence. Knock on wood.

Yay Area Slang by Rafael Casal

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Slick as fuck. The Yay *stays* innovating, and it's not just 40-Water, either.

Novel f. Joell Ortiz & Papoose - So Much More


DID YOU KNOW: Novel's grandfather is soul legend Solomon Burke.

The State Interview: The Sound of Young America

The cast of The State
Kerri Kenney-Silver
Thomas Lennon
Ken Marino

Kerri Kenney-Silver, Thomas Lennon and Ken Marino talk about the history of the sketch comedy group The State.

Jordan Jesse Go Ep. 106: First Time Long Time

Hal Rudnick

Comedian Hal Rudnick visits Jordan and Jesse to talk about children's clothing, the Navajo language, and more.

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Coming to our Philly and New York shows?


The amazing Tom Deja has created an even more amazing screen-printed 12x18" poster for our East Coast tour.

If you're coming to the shows, you can order yours in advance for the discount price of $12, and pick it up at the venue. In so doing, you will not only ensure that you'll get this valuable and limited (250!) keepsake, you'll also help us cover the costs of bringing the shows to the East Coast.

When they're gone, they're gone, so order yours in advance now.

Pay our tour bills: order a poster (only $12!) to pick up at the show!

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