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Bill Withers is the definition of soul.

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Bill Withers sings "Grandma's Hands" and "Use Me." Beautiful voice, beautiful man.

Three quarters of a million downloads!

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The Sound of Young America just passed three quarters of a million downloads!

These are very exciting times for me and the show. Expect some great announcements in the next few weeks. In the meantime, thank you for listening, for donating, for emailing, for participating... I'm really proud of the work that I've done these past few years, but without your support and encouragement, I'm sure I'd have given up.

Thank you. Let's continue to be more awesome.

Congratulations to Jen Kirkman & AST Records!

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I can't tell you how excited I am about the launch of AST records, the first independent record label committed to provide a venue for "alternative" comedy performers. Jen Kirkman is one of the greats in the LA scene, and I've got very high hopes for this release. Details from AST below:


ASPECIALTHING RECORDS is proud to announce its inaugural release: JEN KIRKMAN’S debut album “SELF HELP.” Recorded live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, “Self Help” is a whirlwind tour of the foibles and fixations that have made Jen Kirkman one of the most beloved storytellers on the comedy scene. From her apathy towards procreation to her myriad phobias (God, flying, zombies), Jen bares all to her audience, striking a delicate balance between sly self-deprecation and the earnest conviction of a zealot. On “Self Help,” Jen treats us to social embarrassments from grade school to adulthood, resists the urge to commit the perfect murder (then fantasizes about all the “me” time a long prison sentence would afford), and worries that God has forgotten about her -- because, in her words, “I’ve moved around a lot, and sometimes I wear a hat.”

“SELF HELP” comes out on February 6, 2007 and will be available online at http://www.aspecialthing.com and in select stores.

Pre-sale details coming soon. And stay tuned for information about the CD release party!

Look for Jen on JJGO! and TSOYA in a couple of weeks.

I hate piracy!

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But I love this dude who's posting every episode of Larry Sanders on YouTube.

Help Alexander Study

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A TSOYA listener named Alexander has made an unusual request on the forum. He wants other TSOYA fans to call him Saturday (9AM-1PM or 8PM-12PM Eastern) to ask him questions that are likely to be on his neuroanatomy exam. There's a full list on the board, and it features important questions like: " a. What are the general functions of glia?" and " g. What are the functions of the cerebellum vs. the function of the medulla?"

His number is in the post, so mark your calendars and warm up your dialing fingers for Saturday. And for gosh sake, don't use this information for evil somehow, that would be super dick move.

Great Americans

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When I make my list of The Great Americans, Randy Newman will be right at the top, thanks in no small part to his op-ed in today's New York Times.

I'm reprinting it below to save you Times registration, but I will say that Times registration is totally worth it.

A Few Words in Defense of Our Country

By Randy Newman

I’d like to say a few words
In defense of our country
Whose people aren’t bad nor are they mean
Now the leaders we have
While they’re the worst that we’ve had
Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen

Let’s turn history’s pages, shall we?

Take the Caesars for example
Why within the first few of them
They had split Gaul into three parts
Fed the Christians to the lions
And burned down the City
And one of ’em
Appointed his own horse Consul of the Empire
That’s like vice president or something
That’s not a very good example, is it?
But wait, here’s one, the Spanish Inquisition
They put people in a terrible position

I don’t even like to think about it
Well, sometimes I like to think about it

Just a few words in defense of our country
Whose time at the top
Could be coming to an end
Now we don’t want their love
And respect at this point is pretty much out of the question
But in times like these
We sure could use a friend

Hitler. Stalin.
Men who need no introduction
King Leopold of Belgium. That’s right.
Everyone thinks he’s so great
Well he owned The Congo
He tore it up too
He took the diamonds, he took the gold
He took the silver
Know what he left them with?
Malaria

A president once said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid
It’s patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
That’s what terror means, doesn’t it?
That’s what it used to mean

The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
We’re adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free
Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

What are your favorite TSOYA episodes?

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A big-city public radio station came sniffing around The Sound of Young America offices today, and they're interested in doing a test run of the show on their airwaves. This, obviously, is very exciting news.

They want to air three or four shows, and don't mind if they're from the archives.

What are your three or four favorite TSOYA episodes from the last six months or so?

Let me know in the forum, or just leave a comment here on the blog.

Andy Kindler on Letterman

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How much do I love Andy Kindler?

"Well, it's 2007, and Mel Gibson is still writing "I Hate the Jews" on his checks."

Andy's at Morty's Comedy Joint in Indianapolis from the 24th through 27th.

Hurray for Ira Glass! Hurray for Ira Glass!

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From the Hartford Courant:

Ira Glass brings his series "This American Life" to television this spring - but the show that originates from Public Radio International and a public broadcasting station in Chicago, will be on Showtime, not on public television.

"Public television is terrible," says Glass. "This isn't the greatest thing for me to say, but it's the truth. In terms of innovation and what they do, you know, it's just not that interesting most of the time."

Though he likes shows such as "Frontline," Glass says, for the most part, public TV hasn't lived up to the innovations and service of public radio.

"In fact," he says, "the stations are more beholden to corporate interest than commercial TV."

Besides, he says, "Showtime approached me. Public TV did not approach me. Showtime wanted to do this series."

Had public TV even wanted to do it, the network would have taken two to three years to raise money to fund it first, Glass says.

"Whereas a network like Showtime, they say, `Come on. We're going. We're going.' And then they can write the check, and basically we're in production," he says.

The six-episode first season of "This American Life" starts March 22 on Showtime.

--

YES! PUBLIC TELEVISION IS TERRIBLE! PREACH, PREACHER!

Football Halftime

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"OK, guys. Something happened out there. You ran a lot, and sometimes you threw and caught the ball. Anyway, somehow we wound up being down by 28 points. And that's not good. Even I know that. That's four touchdowns. Or maybe it's four touchdowns and four kicks. I think you only get 6 points for a touchdown and then you have to kick the ball. And you probably have to kick it from a certain distance. I don't know. But listen. Here's the thing. You guys have got to do better in the second half. Because there are only two halves. The halves are about 30 minutes long, and there is a halftime show, sometimes with John Fogerty."

A FOOTBALL HALFTIME PEP TALK GIVEN BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL—NAMELY, ME. BY WENDY MOLYNEUX

via Elephant Larry

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