Rebecca OMalley's blog

Off the Rack with Jesse Thorn

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Fantastic article from GQ magazine wherein emerging style guru Jesse Thorn takes reporter Shona Sanzgiri on an underground shopping tour of Los Angeles.

Graham Clark Paints with His Beard - on Televison!

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Our own Graham Clark of Stop Podcasting Yourself is also an accomplished artist who creates charming paintings using his beard as a brush. The subject matter is lively, fun and diverse ranging from a portrait of Don Rickles to two robots playing leapfrog. He has painted and sold more then 50 pieces and donates all of the proceeds to charity.

That's all terrific, but, let's best honest: you've lost countless hours of sleep wondering how he does it, right? Now, finally, you can watch his beard in action!

Video bonus: Graham discusses his painterly technique with an attractive blonde lady wearing a v-neck garbage bag.

Book Trailer for MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman

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Twenty-five years ago, Art Spiegelman created his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Maus. In this documentary-style book trailer, Spiegelman talks about the creation of this classic and we get to preview the soon-to-be-released MetaMaus which explores the materials that he used to write Maus and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the author's creative process. Metamaus will be sold with a companion DVD that contains a digitized reference copy of The Complete Maus featuring audio interviews with Spiegelman's father, historical documents, and generous excerpts from the author's notebooks and sketches.

MetaMaus will be available on October 4th. Until then, you can find more material from the book on Spiegelman's Facebook page.

Fora and Fauna

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Here are some of the most interesting conversations currently going on in our forums. The ones that make us do the pygmy goat happy dance:


Thoughts on where to find great music by female rappers (with input from our resident expert, Jesse);


Discussion of the the funniest non-comedy podcasts (led by Podthoughts author Colin Marshall);


Lively ongoing exchange about the show Community; and


Folks are still sharing their favorite moments from the recent JJGo! episode "Cool Papa Bell with Rob Huebel". Including lots of great suggestions for the official MaxFun hand signal.

Gamewave Commercial Parody

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Terrific commercial parody from Jordan, Jesse and friends.

Some language may be NSFW. Depending on whether your workplace is vagina-friendly.

This Week Live

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Here's where you can find some of our favorite people this week:

Asheville, NC - They Might Be Giants at The Orange Peel on Sept. 28th;

Atlanta, GA - Adam Corolla at the Tabernacle on Sept. 30th;

Baton Rouge, LA - Brian Posehn at the Manship Theater on Sept. 26th and 27th;

Bloomington, IL - The Comedy Attic will feature Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th and Doug Benson (taping an episode of Doug Loves Movies) on Sept. 26th;

Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theater will host Bill Burr on Sept. 23rd and 24th and Louis CK on Oct. 1st; Das Racist will be at the Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub on the 28th;

Canton, MA - The Hold Steady will appear at the Life Is Good Festival on Sept. 24th;

Chicago, IL - They Might Be Giants with Jonathan Coulton at The Vic Theater on Sept. 23rd;

Colorado Springs, CO - Doug Benson at The Black Sheep on Sept. 21st;

Des Moines, IA - Demitri Martin will appear at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 23rd;

Detroit, MI - Chris Tucker will perform at the Fox Theater Detroit on October 1st;

Indianapolis, IN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Vogue on the 22nd; Doug Benson at Crackers on Sept. 25th; Chris Tucker at the Murat Theater at Old National Center on Sept. 30th;

Louisville, KY - The Improv will host Marc Maron on Sept. 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th and Doug Benson on October 1st; Bob Edwards will be appearing to promote his new book, "A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio", at the Filson Historical Society on the 22nd;

Madison, WI - Dave Atell will at the Comedy Club on State on Sept. 23rd and 24th;

Miami Beach, FL - Chris Tucker will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on Sept. 24th;

Nashville, TN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Cannery Ballroom on Sept. 27th;

New Haven, CT - Das Racist will play at Toad's Place on Sept. 29th;

New Orleans, LA - Chris Tucker at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sept. 23rd;

New York, NY: Colson Whitehead will be doing a book signing at McNally Jackson Books as part of the New Yorker Festival on October 2nd; He'll also be participating in a panel discussion about Alternative Realities at SVA Theatre on Sept. 30th;

Omaha, NE - Demitri Marin will be at the Omaha Music Hall on Sept. 24th;

Ottawa, ON - Greg Proops will be performing "Whose Live Anyway?" at the Centrepointe Theater in Ottawa, ON on Sept. 23rd;

Philadelphia, PA - The Hold Steady at the Popped Music Festival on Sept. 23rd; They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Theater of the Living Arts on Sept. 30th.

Portland, OR - Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald perform "Two Kids, One Hall" at Helium on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th; Tig Notaro at Mississippi Studios on Sept. 28th;

Providence, RI - Das Racist at The Met on Sept. 30th;

Raleigh, NC - Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson performing "Two Kids, One Hall" at Goodnights on Sept. 29th, 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd;

Richmond, VA - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the The National on Sept. 29th;

Salt Lake City, UT - Jimmy Pardo at Wiseguys Comedy Club on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;

Sayreville, NJ - Brian Posehn at the Starland Ballroom on Sept. 30th;

Seattle, WA - Demitri Martin at The Neptune Theater on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;

St. Louis, MO - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Pagaent on Sept. 24th

Tulsa, OK - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at Cains Ballroom on Sept. 25th;

Ventura, CA - Doug Benson at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Sept. 28th;

Washington, DC - Das Racist at the 9:30 Club on October 1st.

Jad Abumrad Awarded MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship

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Jad Abumrad at MaxFunCon from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Jad Abumrad!

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded him one of its prestigious fellowships (sometimes referred to as "genius grants"). Jad is the co-host and producer of the public radio program Radiolab which uses audio in unique and creative ways to explore complex scientific and philosophical questions. To quote the foundation, Jad ". . . employs his background as a composer to orchestrate dialogue, music, and sound effects into compelling documentaries that draw listeners into investigations of otherwise intimidating topics, such as the nature of numbers, the evolution of altruism, or the science of emergent phenomena within ant colonies and other complex systems."

Jad was a keynote speaker at our second MaxFunCon in 2010. As you can see in this video, he provided the lucky attendees with fascinating insights into the making of Radiolab and the techniques he employs to make information sound like music.

True genius, indeed.

Andrew W.K. Meets Bob the Builder

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Our pal Andrew W.K. voices his animated alter ego in this imaginary meeting with toddler superhero Bob the Builder.

Alumni Newsletter, September 19, 2011: Music and Comedy

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  • Chicago sketch comedy group Schadenfreude has just wrapped up a terrific web series, "The New Bleacher Bums", featuring Kate James and Sandy Marshall as two confused and seemingly entitled Cubs fans named Colleen Henneman and Todd Voorhies. Here's the first episode wherein the show's host, WBEZ's Justin Kaufmann, tries (unsuccessfully) to introduce the series in the style of Ira Glass.
  • Matt Braunger will be taping his new stand-up album for Comedy Central Records at Portland's Alberta Rose Theatre on Friday, October 14. If you're in the area, you can buy tickets here.
  • According to a recent interview in the LA Weekly, Blu & Exile have a record in post-production that is currently called Memoirs. The duo recorded it in '09 and are considering putting it out before the end of the year.
  • Dinosaur Jr. and Henry Rollins are teaming up for a west coast tour in December. The band will be performing Bug in its entirety and Rollins will be interviewing them each night. They'll be hitting Costa Mesa, Solana Beach, LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. I'll post ticket info in "This Week Live" when it becomes available.
  • Das Racist has launched a new and difficult-to-categorize web series called Chillin Island (which is also the name of their show on East Village Radio).
  • Rolling Stone just posted a new video of the song "Cloisonne" from They Might Be Giants' latest album "Join Us". And here it is!

Alumni Newsletter, September 19, 2011: Books and Publishing

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There is so much terrific alumni news this week that I've had to break it apart by genre! Here's all the latest excitement from TSOYA alums in the publishing world:

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