MaxFun Intern's blog

TSOYA Classics: This American Life Producer (February 6, 2007)

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Julie Synder is a senior producer on the public radio show This American Life. Jesse talks to her about her early affiliation with the show and continued influence there. Synder elaborates on what she has learned at This American Life as far as selecting and presenting stories go, and how This American Life differs from other public radio programs.

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TSOYA Classics: Andrew W.K. (February 2, 2007)

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For this TSOYA classic we take a look back at a conversation Jesse had with rocker Andrew W.K. in early 2007, when he was just finishing up and releasing "Close Calls with Brick Walls."

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TSOYA Classics: Brandon Bird (January 31, 2007)

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Brandon Bird's paintings place minor celebrities into bizarre situations, which often combine ridiculousness with banality. For this TSOYA Classic, we take a look back at Jesse's conversation with Bird, as they discuss his realistic pop art style. Bird talks about the role of humor in art and the things he believes are missing from modern art. Bird has worked on paintings of Christopher Walken, Edward Norton, and the Law and Order television show, among others.

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TSOYA Classics: Japanese Robots (January 26, 2007)

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In this TSOYA classic, Jesse talks with Tim Hornyak, the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots."

Jesse and Hornyak discuss the attitude differences between the United States and Japan towards the use of robots in daily life. Hornyak explains that Japanese currently utilize robots in museums, hospitals, and other public areas. He believes Americans are too "robophobic," uncomfortable with having robots as a part of human society. Listen for more information on the increasing robot technology and be prepared for robot migration to your neighborhood!

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TSOYA Classics: Japanese Toy Culture (January 25, 2007)

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Woodrow Phoenix is the author of "Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World." Jesse calls him from across the pond and talks to Phoenix about this book, as well as the role of toys in modern society. Phoenix's book touches upon the development of Japanese toy culture, the development of urban toy culture, and the significance of plastic in constructing these toys.

Check out Phoenix's website for more of his work and his twitter to stay updated on his current projects.

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TSOYA Classics: Comedy: Clifford & Kidd "Models" (January 22, 2007)

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Here's a comedy sketch for this week's TSOYA Classic, written and performed by Los Angeles' Clifford & Kidd.

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TSOYA Classics: Jeff Chang on Crack Rap (bonus audio) (January 18, 2007)

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Jeff Chang talks to Jesse about the phenomenon known in hip-hop as "crack rap."

This is bonus audio from the TSOYA Classic podcast with Jeff Chang, so enjoy!

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TSOYA Classics: Jeff Chang on Jay-Z (January 18, 2007)

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In this TSOYA classic, Jesse sits down with writer Jeff Chang. Chang won the American Book Award for his book, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation."

Jesse talked to Chang about Jay-Z and his continuous contributions to hip-hop.

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TSOYA Classics: UK Soul Singer Omar (January 18, 2007)

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This TSOYA classic features UK soul singer Omar. Contemporary soul singers like Erykah Badu and Bilal consistently cite Omar, along with legends like Al Green and Donnie Hathaway, as a seminal influence in their careers. He's known in the UK as the godfather of "new classic soul," and only now is his music starting to make an impact on American soil. His soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

Jesse talked to Omar about his influences, style, and impact on the world of soul music.

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TSOYA Classics: David Koechner and Dave "Gruber" Allen (January 12, 2007)

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This TSOYA Classic features David Koechner and Dave "Gruber" Allen. Separately, Koechner has worked on Saturday Night Live and in films like "Anchorman" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." And Allen has worked on "Freaks and Geeks" and the cartoon sitcom "King of the Hill."

Together, they spent years honing "The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show," a live stage variety show in which Koechner plays T-Bones, a demented redneck con-artist, and Allen plays The Naked Trucker, a trucker without any clothes on. The stage show was later adapted into television series on Comedy Central.

Jesse talked with Koechner and Allen about their long partnership and the show.

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