"We are sleepwalking into the future."

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MaxFunster Neal pointed on our boards to this wonderful TED Talk from James Howard Kuntsler that is, essentially, a basic manifesto for The New Urbanism. It's fantastically funny and insightful, and will make you think about public space in a new way -- and about the future of American places with a new zeal.

Foul Language

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There has been some concern amongst the higher ups about foul language (bleeped, of course) on The Sound of Young America. None of it anything to be angry about, to be clear, but it still gets me thinking. It seems like when this comes up, it's always about protecting someone else's ears.

Anyway, above: Steve Coogan, funny as usual. (Warning: contains some foul language)

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Creative Screenwriting Magazine"

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When a movie like Transformers comes out there’s a lot of press about the director and the stars but there’s little talk of the screenwriters. Their job is a tad less glamorous than others who work in movies so their story behind the story rarely gets told. Jeffery Goldsmith of Creative Screenwriting Magazine offers screenwriters a place to be heard as they talk about their role in putting films together.

I mentioned Transformers above because I think Goldsmith’s interview with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman is a perfect example of how this podcast gives you a story you haven’t heard before. I haven’t even seen the film, it looks like the film that would best be viewed in fifteen minute chunks when picking up/dropping off a friend from his house, but I was fascinated. It was both informative and, to be honest, a bit depressing to hear how a modern Hollywood blockbuster is made from when it is first green lit to its release. Hearing Orci and Kurtzman talk about how they had to attend “Transformers school” at Hasbro headquarters and that they also attended a merchandising meeting before having come up with a full story is much better example of “a behind-the-scenes look” than anything that will appear on the DVD release. I had no idea that Patton Oswalt contributed to the script and for few minutes that made me want to see the film.

Goldsmith is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic but never too easy on his guests. I believe what separates good interviews from bad ones is how much homework that interviewer has done. Listen to Goldsmith examine the history of The State with David Wain and Ken Marino for his interview for The Ten and you can tell this guy can give you a great interview. Talking to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for Superbad it’s clear Goldsmith knows to transfer his appreciation for a film into provoking questions. Back to The Transformers interview, Goldsmith probably made a lot of people happy, including Gene O’Neil, when he asked what the Hell was up with that ending. It's said that film production is like making sausages, as much as you love the final product you don't want to see how it's made. If you're not one of those people and want a look inside the "sausage factory" then download an episode or two of Creative Screenwriting's show.

RIP to Adam Finley

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Adam Finley, a blogger at TV Squad and tireless advocate of great comedy, died late last week after being hit by a bus while riding his bike. He wasn't carrying identification, and was identified using the serial number of his iPod. Losing Finley and Daniel Robert Epstein in one year is tough to bear, two young men who were among the few in media who sincerely love comedy. Our thoughts go out to Adam's family, both in Des Moines and at TV Squad.

Ep. 37: Rom Coms

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On this week's program, Jordan discusses going to see "Good Luck Chuck" against his will, and an extensive discussion of the romantic comedy is had.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

The Brand New Funk

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DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Brand New Funk

DJ Jazzy Jeff f. Peedi Peedi - Brand New Funk 2K7

You tell 'em Nas.

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I veer back and forth on Nas -- sometimes I think he's the greatest ever (mostly when I listen to Illmatic), sometimes I think he's like an annoying little brother who somehow became 35 years old. That said, he is EXACTLY right about Bill O'Reilly, who has been campaigning of late against Nasir's appearance at the Virginia Tech memorial.

The people he represents are Republican, older, a generation that has nothing to do with the reality of what’s happening now with my generation. … He’s not really on my radar. People like him are supposed to be taught and people like me are supposed to let n—as like him know. I don’t take him serious. His sh– is all about getting ratings or whatever. I wouldn’t honor anything Bill O’Reilly has to say. It just shows you what bloodsuckers do: They abuse something like the Virginia Tech [tragedy] for show ratings. You can’t talk to a person like that.

End of story, let's move on. Knock em out the box, Nas.

(via Nah Right)

Seattle Sketchfest Starts Tonight!

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Seattle Sketchfest was the first sketch comedy festival in the nation, and it remains one of the best. The Sound of Young America (I'm speaking collectively here, on behalf of myself and my recording equipment) is proud to be a sponsor of this year's festival.

Highlights of this year's festival will include Kasper Hauser, Ten West, The Cody Rivers Show and The Third Floor. Plus a whole pile more of the best groups from around the country. If you live in Seattle, and you don't basically set up camp at Sketchfest this weekend and next, you're blowing a chance at greatness. Not just for your weekends -- for your LIFE.

Seriously, if you only went to two shows, this weekend, the Friday and Saturday night, 10PM shows, you could see Kasper Hauser, Ten West, Cody Rivers and the Third Floor. Each of those, alone is a once-a-year comedy opportunity in Sea-town, and each show might change your life forever. Four in two nights? Gettouttahere.

For more info and tickets, click here. Seriously, don't miss this.

LA: Stand the F Up

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Act now or you won't get in.

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "A Year in Europe"

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The episodes of “A Year in Europe” I listened to all start with hosts Scott and Sheryl describing the latest leg in the tour while they’re accompanied by some kind of background noise. You can hear the weather and movement on the streets while the Northern California couple reminisces over what they’ve just seen in Germany over France. While Listening to the show I wish the listeners were allowed to find out what was going on out on those streets (and pathways and hills) than just hearing the couple upfront talk about it. “A Year in Europe” is an interesting idea, especially since Americans tend to have an isolationist bent, but I found that the execution isn’t best for this format.

This podcast suffers from a “show, don’t tell” problem. If you have friends who come back from Europe you don’t want them to just talk to you about it. You want to see pictures and videos. Indeed I found embedded videos and a FLICKR group on the show’s website. That content doesn’t appear when you get the show through iTunes, though. What you get is the hour long conversations of Scott and Sheryl as they list what they saw. Like a lot of podcasts it’s a very casual conversation. After fifteen minutes I didn’t want to just hear about sights such as old German castles. I wanted to see them!

The hosts talk about going on museum tours. Imagine if you got the audio tour for a museum but not the actually paintings and artifacts in the museum to go along with it. That’s what “A Year in Europe” felt like at times, certainly by the end of an hour long show. Perhaps if the shows were shorter I wouldn’t have minded. It would have been interesting to hear some of the details of the trip while they were happening, although I understand that’s not always a possibility. I just needed something to create some sparks for this show.

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