John C. Reilly and Alan Arkin on Fresh Air


The Bastion calls our attention to an interview with Alan Arkin on Fresh Air. Arkin was a very early member of The Second City. He's gotten some (deserved) shine for his wonderful performance in the slightly hoaky but very funny Little Miss Sunshine. On the same show is a great old interview with Damon Wayans, who is a really interesting guy, despite his missteps.

Also, last week John C. Reilly returned to Fresh Air, and demonstrated that he is pretty much as good a guy as you could possibly hope.

And hey, did you read the AV Club's interview with Arkin? He seriously co-wrote "The Banana Boat Song?"

Jordan's on Tom Goes to the Mayor tonight...


Jordan interned at Tom Goes to the Mayor between jobs a year or so ago, while they were working on season two. The coolest thing he got to do was dress up in a gorilla suit, and be photographed a million different ways for tonight's episode of the show.

Voice of Jordan by Brian Doyle-Murray.

"ZOO TROUBLE!" Premieres TONIGHT @ 12:30.
Tom and the Mayor team up to renovate the Jefferton Public Zoo. (Special Guest: Brian Doyle Murray)

Inspiration strikes!


Joe Garden, Features Editor of The Onion and Sound of Young America Guest Blogger, was bitten by the blogging bug while filling in for me during my recent move.

His new blog is called Needle Dropper, and it highlights the depths of his record collection.

I guess I'm old...


because my kid brother knows the kids who made this track, which is currently exploding the Yay Area. Sheesh, these guys loook like they're about 12. And the track is kinda hot.

The Pack "Vans"

Podcast: Formed a Band with Eddie Argos of Art Brut and Paul Malmont


This week on The Sound of Young America, we've FORMED A BAND! Whether it's for rocking or for adventure, it's best to work in groups.

Paul Malmont is the author of the rollicking novel "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril." The book follows writers Walter Gibson ("The Shadow"), Lester Dent ("Doc Savage") and L. Ron Hubbard ("Dianetics") as they fight their way through 1930s America. The three authors are locked in a battle with Chinese tongs, dangerous dames, and their own sense of artistic integrity, as they race to find the ending to one of the greatest unfinished stories ever told. Bonus: hear Malmont read from the book below!

Eddie Argos is the lead singer and writer for Art Brut. The band's energetic sound, wry lyrics and rock & roll spirit have endeared them to the indie rock world. Their first LP, "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" was recently released in the US, along with the singles "Formed a Band" and "Emily Kane." They've also started franchising the band, and there are spinoff Art Bruts all over the world.

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Oh man oh man do I hate them fancy lads.


I saw this movie in the theater with my dad, and I couldn't stop thinking about this for years afterwards.

Chris Elliott & David Letterman in Cabin Boy

Mal Sharpe Knows the Meaning of Life


Our first ever celebrity guest on The Sound of Young America was a man named Mal Sharpe. He's best known as half of the duo Coyle & Sharpe, who shook up the straight-laced early 60s with bizarre man-on-the-street pranks. They convinced a naval officer to rob a bank with them, and a passerby into joining with them as the third leg of their new religion, "threeism." They were wonderful. And so was Mal. (Coyle, in contrast, was dead). I'll find the interview sometime, and maybe even have him back soon. I've played a couple tracks from their CDs in the past six months or so on the show, so loyal listeners may already have heard them.

Recently, Mal put together an hour long special for PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, called The Meaning of Life. You might hear it on your local public radio station, but if you don't, you can click that link and stream it for free online.

This PRX podcast is an excerpt from the show.

Mal has a new CD/DVD set coming out. Check out for more info. Or you can just catch him playing jazz and talking mess somewhere in San Francisco's North Beach.

Ted Leo Tour Dates


Since everyone is so concerned with the possibility of missing a Ted Leo concert, I thought I'd share his tour dates with you guys.

Bridgeport, CT
Baldwin Plaza
With: Bridgeport Above Ground Festival; Doors: 12PM; Show: 4PM; free; all ages

Providence, RI
Century Lounge
%28TED LEO SOLO%29; Doors: 7PM; $12; all ages

New York, NY
South Street Seaport
w DC Snipers. Free. All Ages.

Memphis, TN
Hi Tone Cafe
All Ages 9pm. $10/$12. Tickets at

New Orleans, LA
House of Blues - The Parish
18+ 9 pm. $11/$13. Tickets at

Austin, TX
Zilker Park
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FESTIVAL - w Ray Lamontagne, Gomez, Stars. On Heineken Stage. All Ages. $115 3 day pass. More info at

Houston, TX
All Ages 8 pm. $10/$12. Tickets at

Will Chicago Public Radio change everything?


(above: three dorky public radio guys try to muster up some coolness for the photographer)

There's a fascinating article in today's Time Out Chicago about "Secret Radio Project," a new initiative by Chicago Public Radio. CPR controls three stations -- WBEZ, WBEW, and WBEQ. Right now, WBEZ is the primary signal, while the latter two stations simulcast BEZ programming.

Recently, CPR got permission to dramatically boost the wattage of WBEW, from 7,000 watts to 50,000. With that permission came an opportunity -- what service could this new powerhouse station provide to Chicago that WBEZ didn't already offer?

In a lot of markets (here in LA, for example), two carbon-copy NPR news & information stations battle at the bottom of the dial, offering the same key programs (All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fresh Air), often at the same times. The audience for this programming is so big that this kind of move works out OK financially for both stations, but it certainly doesn't benefit the public.

Much to their credit, CPR decided to use this new frequency to target new, younger, more urban listeners. Their plan is still brewing a bit, but here's what they came up with:

“You won’t hear typical hour-long programs,” says Josh Andrews, a producer for CPR and team captain of what’s about to happen to 89.5 FM. As far as Andrews is concerned, we won’t hear typical anything. No one really knows what you’ll hear on 89.5 FM come April 2007 (if everything goes according to schedule, which is a big if). Here’s their plan: Hosts will be in charge of two-hour blocks of radio time, and they’ll be free to play whatever strikes their fancy that day. Maybe a host is still thinking about last night’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, so he cues up a field report from a recent casting call for the show. Next might come a slam poet’s musings on commercial beauty, then three of the fiercest songs off of a local band’s new LP, followed by a spoof remix of James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful,” then an interview with a fashion photographer. Or maybe a bunch of music, or a lot of commentary. The point is, pretty much anything goes.

But—and here’s the major innovation—there’s a communal element, too. 89.5 FM will also rely on content listeners create and upload themselves to the station’s website, YouTube-style: a track off their band’s new EP, a poem, a story, a mash-up, a skit, a dog barking, a ridiculous phone message or anything else . Hosts will weave their own content with the best and most relevant user-generated segments.

Will it work? Hard to know. Part of the problem with this sort of programming strategy is that the online world is deeply fragmented, while radio is entirely linear. Will the same listener want to hear that phone message that wants to hear that dog barking? Does anyone want to hear a dog barking? Also: again with the fucking mash-ups.

OK, sorry, got off track there for a second.

Their vision is a peer-reviewed system ala digg, but even digg is hardly all general interest all the time.

Still, they've got a great commitment to the future of public media here, and an amazing platform. Talented people are involved, and I have high hopes.

Here's the the public radio of tommorow!

Is Public Radio International still working on comedy?


Public Radio International is sort of like NPR's marginally cooler little brother. It produces and distributes shows like This American Life and The World, and operates out of Chicago.

Last year, they created a pilot for a Daily-Show-like radio program, based on news and current affairs, with a comedy angle. A lot of folks from the NY UCB Theater were involved, as I understand it. As far as everyone I know knew, it didn't "go," and that was the end of the story.

Today, though, an eagle-eyed Apiary reader spotted this listing for a comedy writer at Journalism Jobs. Is PRI getting back into the comedy business?

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