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Seattle Sketchfest Starts Tonight!


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


Act now or you won't get in.

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "A Year in Europe"


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.

Is Andy Daly the world's funniest man?


This track from the upcoming Comedy Death Ray CD argues in favor of this proposition.

I saw Andy perform this at his show with Matt Besser a month or two ago, and I almost messed myself from laughing. I'm only sorry he didn't perform his politics bit that night.

Podcast: Cynthia Hopkins


Cynthia Hopkins is a singer, songwriter and multi-media theatrical performer. The New York Times wrote of her most recent show, Must Don't Whip Um: "a triumph of disciplined thinking, narrative fluidity and musical accomplishment. Ms. Hopkins' voice is both so delicate and emotionally forceful - part Natalie Merchant, part Madeline Peryroux - that it leaves you wondering why she has ever bothered to do anything else but deploy it." Special thanks to WNYC this week for sharing their studios with us.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
They Might Be Giants
Hip-Hop Heads with Danny Hoch and Sway & Tech
Moustaches, Etc with Andy Daly and Richard Montoya of Culture Clash

What's your dad like?


A Catalog of Unfinished Business by Illegal Art, from the New York Times. Note the special message, bottom left, in yellow. Doo Dah Doo Doo.

Blocked in China!


We got a report from forum user ESLetc that China is blocking Feedburner, a service we use to track subsriber numbers and keep our podcast feeds clean.

It seems to be true. If you are in China and can't access any of our feeds, remember that you can still download shows directly from the website and blog. And let me know if there are any updates on this situation.

It was probably because of my DEEPLY CONTROVERSIAL opinions on M.I.A....

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Ep. 19: The Human Sugar Bowl

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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. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varied as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These 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.

This week, Coyle and Sharpe attempt to convince a passerby to become a human sugar bowl.

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Elephant Larry: TriDad


This is one of my favorite super-structure-dependent comedy sketches ever. Watch as it bends, folds, turns in on itself and never breaks. They even have a capper!

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