Philly Boy Roy vs. Steve-Dave

Weird podcasting coincidence today.  I have been catching up on some of my podcasts today.  I started with the November 16, 2010 episode of The Best Show on WFMU.  Philly Boy Roy called in and his call is interrupted by the mega-bass alarm on his Swatch playing a song by The Hooters.

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Superchunk Fan Fiction

This came out of recently listening to a great episode of Comedy Death-Ray Radio starring Ted Leo, Aimee Mann, Paul F. Tompkins and Jon Wurster.

A funny, off-hand comment mentioned the idea of Superchunk Fan Fiction.  I’m not a big fan of fan fiction, but this could be fun.

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Ted Leo and the Phunnyists

I wasn’t going to post about this, but I have to.  Too many funny things going on with the new video from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

If you read the not-so-brief history of a punk guy post from Ted Leo on Friday in which he prepares the world for his majorly massive career shift you can now enjoy the payoff.  Perhaps Ted should fully shift into alternative comedy along with his video mates Paul F. Tompkins, John Hodgman, Julie Klausner and Tom Scharpling (director).  Is the new video for Bottled In Cork a glimpse into the future, a biting expose of the music industry or just a fun romp?  We may never know the truth, but what I do know is these guys are sad:

Actually, I still don’t know what to make of Friday’s post.  An almost stream-of-consciousness emotional download about the ups and downs of a punk life, leading to the need change direction.  Perhaps not as severe of a sea change as it suggested, but still a lot of truth to the tale, I’m sure.  It is actually a great read, so read it.

And if this guy calls you, just hang up.

Pod F. Tompkast – After and Beyond

Ice-T calls Andrew Lloyd Webber – so funny I almost pulled a Hodgman

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Pod F. Tompkast – Before The After

Paul F. Tompkins has a long legacy of being the best podcast guest on the podcast circuit.  Never Not Funny, The Best Show on WFMU, Superego to name a few.  But then the landscape of podcasting began to change.  For months PFT has been teasing us with promises of his own podcast, dropping hints during his visits and tweeting about its progress.  The Internets began to buzz with discussion and speculation.  What would this mean?  Obviously adding another amazing podcast to the mix would be great for everyone, but wait…would there be any negative side effects?  Would PFT now end his reign as King of the Guests in order to give full focus to his own works, thus decimating the podcasting landscape as all other podcasts struggle to find a new “guest saviour”?

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Need to Write

This blog is all about writing.  I need to write and I’m just not finding the ability to sit down and crank out one of the many novels in my head (silly job/family getting in the way).  I have struggled for a long time with trying to find an outlet.

I listened to a podcast interview with Tom Scharpling a few months ago – I can’t remember exactly with whom but I think it was this episode of Comedy and Everything Else (Paul F. Tompkins was also on).  On the topic of being a writer Tom said that when he decided he wanted to do it for a living he just started writing everything he could.  Regardless of topic, style, purpose, whatever – just keep writing.  He submitted to every place imaginable and eventually started getting jobs.

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Review: Crooked Fingers – Reservoir Songs II

Eric Bachmann and crew return with another EP of cover songs, in the tradition of the first Reservoir Songs EP released in 2002.  This album contains Bachmann’s signature gravelly voice over a variation of musical arrangements.  Such experimentation has been a Crooked Fingers constant and it especially works for Reservoir Songs II in which they cover half a dozen songs, equally varied in style.

I am not as familiar with the originals on this EP as with the last one.  On one hand, this takes away the fun of a covers album as it is interesting to be presented with a new take on songs  you have an existing relationship with.  On the other hand this should allow me to listen and enjoy more objectively.  But then again, how do I know whether my response to the songs are attributable to the original writing or to Crooked Fingers’ interpretation?  I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter who gets “credit”.  This is not a vote for prom queen and I’m not cutting any cheques, so just shut up and listen and enjoy.

I think the most interesting aspect of this EP is the decision to use Kickstarter.  I love the concept of gauging interest before investing in the project and it is a model that makes sense for both established and unestablished artists.  This is a similar approach to what Paul F. Tompkins is doing with his stand-up comedy shows through the Tompkins 300 series on Facebook.  For an established artist like Crooked Fingers I think Kickstarter provides a new way to connect with fans and allow them to participate in the process.

So what about the music?

  • Shelly’s Winter Love (Merle Haggard) – Classic Crooked Fingers, sounds right off of Bring on the Snakes
  • I Am Not Willing (Moby Grape) – Bit of a late-era Archers of Loaf feeling to the music but much nicer vocally
  • Gentle On My Mind (John Hartford) – A picky-plucky guitar song, up there with the best from Eric Bachmann’s most recent solo album To The Races
  • Wild One (Thin Lizzy) – Moody, piano driven with haunting vocals – the least interesting song on the album by far
  • Black Rose (Billy Joe Shaver) – Soft and dreamy
  • Strangers (The Kinks) – Electro drumming backbeat is not my favourite approach, but true to the spirit of the Kinks and fun nonetheless

I did not find this EP as immediately engaging as the last one, but as with all Crooked Fingers albums the more you give to it the more it gives back.  It’s too late to back the project, but go see them live and pick up some merch.

Podcasting History / Best Of

As I kid I remember being flabbergasted at the fact that my father would almost exclusively listen to talk shows when in the car, as opposed to music.  I just couldn’t see the appeal of listening to a bunch of boring people talk about boring things.  I still don’t see the appeal (who would) and I haven’t found anything on the radio that doesn’t adhere to this description..  My car radio has not been on anything except my FM transmitter station since I bought it.  The second car I owned didn’t have a working radio in it for over 3 years.  So lets just say I’m picky about what I listen to.

Now it turns out that there are a lot of entertaining “talkies” out there but as with the music I like it is not to be found within the constraints of mainstream media / radio.  Oh podcasting, what would I do without you?  Here is my Brief History of Podcasting and Nothing Else:

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