Stop Podcasting Yourself 249 - Alicia Tobin

Alicia Tobin

Alicia Tobin returns for our Christmas episode in which we talk about our top Christmas movies and foods, Alicia's fractured shoulder, and then exchange gifts. Also, we're the worst.

Download episode 249 here. (right-click)

Get in touch with us at stoppodcastingyourself [at] gmail [dot] com or (206) 339-8328.

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(click here for the full recap)

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Holiday Special with John Roderick, Jonathan Coulton, The Polyphonic Spree and MBMBaM

Jonathan Coulton
John Roderick
Tim DeLaughter
Justin McElroy
Travis McElroy
Griffin McElroy
Daniel Ralston
Josh Modell
Andrea Battleground

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of these interviews or recommendations!

Gift Giving with The AV Club: Tarantino XX and Rediscover Jigsaw Puzzles

Josh Modell and Andrea Battleground from The Onion's AV Club join us this week with some holiday gift ideas. Josh recommends Tarantino XX, a 10-disc, Blu-ray collection of several of Tarantino's most loved films. Andrea suggests picking up one of the Rediscover jigsaw puzzles of your gift recipient's favorite album covers.

(Embed or Share The AV Club's Gift Guide)

John Roderick, Jonathan Coulton, and a Wunnerful Christmas

John Roderick and Jonathan Coulton each carved his own warm, authentic, relatable space in the indie rock scene, and their sounds and aesthetics are complementary enough to make a collaboration welcome and exciting. That the collaboration comes in the form of a Christmas album is unexpected, but the end result, One Christmas at a Time, is a fun and charming exploration of familiar holiday themes -- from coping with drunk uncles to the one ultimate childhood gift. Roderick and Coulton join us this week to discuss their first meeting, the challenge inherent in capturing the feelings and emotions of the holiday season while maintaining secular points of view, and why celebrating Christmas in Los Angeles is contemptible.

(Embed or Share this interview with John Roderick and Jonathan Coulton)

Cockney Accents, Gift Cards, and Christmas Music with My Brother, My Brother and Me

Navigating the holidays can be a treacherous task; between divining proper party etiquette, appropriately selecting gifts for your loved ones, and just coping with all of the little things that spring up around this time of the year, you're probably aching for some guidance right about now. Fortunately, an ace team of (terrible) advice-giving brothers joins us this week to set us straight.

If you're hungry for more wisdom, seek out Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Griffin McElroy's podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me on or in the iTunes store.

(Embed or Share Holiday Advice from MBMBaM)

Tim DeLaughter on The Polyphonic Spree's Holiday Experiment

The choral symphonic band The Polyphonic Spree's new album, Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays started out as an experiment -- what happens when you take The Polyphonic Spree's ethereal, angelic sound and apply it to holiday favorites? The Polyphonic Spree's lead singer Tim DeLaughter joins Bullseye contributor Daniel Ralston to explore this question, the role of spectacle in the act, and DeLaughter's experience collaborating with his young son on the record.

Daniel Ralston is a co-host, producer and editor of The Low Times Podcast.

(Embed or Share this interview with The Polyphonic Spree)

The Outshot: Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas"

Popular Christmas music can be pretty hit or miss, and a relatively small catalog of options combined with seasonal overexposure to the genre can make the hits seem few and far between. One Christmas pop song that never disappoints Jesse: Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas".

(Embed or Share The Outshot: "This Christmas")

Judge John Hodgman Episode 88: Probable Claus


Andrew brings this week's case against his wife Alex. The birth of their first child last year made real a long-running dispute which had been hypothetical up until that point: should parents foster a belief in Santa Claus? Andrew says no -- he believes perpetuating the Santa myth damages parents' credibility, and he doesn't appreciate a fictional character getting the glory for bringing the best gifts. Alex says yes -- she claims Andrew is unable to appreciate the joy Santa brings to children because he grew up without the belief himself. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.

Thanks again to The Cave in Long Island City, New York for generously allowing us to use their recording facilities this week and to engineer Marcus Parks. The Cave hosts several comedy podcasts, and you can find them at


The CBC Radio 3 All-Star Tribute to Sweaters


Just because Christmas has come and gone doesn't mean the holidays are over.  This year, Dave Shumka of Stop Podcasting Yourself is hosting CBC Radio 3's All-Star Tribute to Sweaters.  It features great moments in sweater history, some lessons on what a sweater is and isn't, and sweater talk with Dan Werb of Woodhands and Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat.

The special will be repeated throughout the week on and you can download it directly or from iTunes right now! 

Judge John Hodgman Ep. 8: To Tree or Not to Tree


This week's case, To Tree or Not to Tree.

Jason and Brandi disagree: Jason believes that Christmas decorations should not be put up before Christmas Eve, keeping the spirit of Advent. Brandi argues that they should go up in the first week of December, so that the decorations may be enjoyed longer. Only one man can settle the dispute.

To listen to this week's Judge John Hodgman podcast, subscribe in iTunes or using this feed.

Download Directly (MP3)

Discuss the ruling on our forum here.

The Sound of Young America Holiday Special 2010

Ronnie Spector
Fred Schneider
Tasha Robinson
Kyle Ryan

A holiday extravaganza!

Interviews with:

Ronnie Spector, the very bubbly and Christmas-spirit filled lead singer of legendary 60s girl group The Ronettes, performed what became Christmas classics on A Christmas Gift for You, and she's recorded some new songs to add to the list with Ronnie Spector's Best Christmas Ever. (Transcript)

Fred Schneider is best known as the frontman of the new wave group The B-52s. Hear some of his signature talk-singing and tracks from his band The Superions' Destination… Christmas! (Transcript)

And finally, a visit from Tasha Robinson and Kyle Ryan of The AV Club for a holiday gift guide including Bruce Springsteen's The Promise box set, The Goonies, Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide, and The Secret of Kells. (Transcript)

Plus some of our favorite holiday music. It's all in one big, fun, festive show, and we hope you enjoy it. Happy Holidays!

Jump to our transcripts here.

A Brutal Metal Holiday Special: Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Until The Light Takes Us

Rob Halford
Audrey Ewell
Aaron Aites

Rob Halford is the legendary Metal God, and frontman of seminal heavy metal group Judas Priest. The band's hits include Breaking the Law, You've Got Another Thing Coming and Hell Bent For Leather. His new solo album is a heavy metal holiday celebration called Halford III: Winter Songs.(Halford Transcript)

Plus: Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites moved to Norway to pursue their interest in that country's black metal scene. They discovered a story of extreme aesthetics, murder and church burning. The film they created, Until The Light Takes Us, follows two of the scene's scions. Gylve Nagell, known as "Fenriz," of the band Darkthrone, is a quiet, contemplative metalhead, deeply invested in the medium's aesthetics and rueful of what the scene has become. Varge Vikernes, known as "Count Grischnak," of the band Burzum is a distinct contrast. He's a charismatic and eloquent advocate of an extreme Norweigan nativist political and religious agenda. He's also a convicted murderer and church arsonist.(Ewell and Aites Transcript)

Celebrate the darkest days of winter with us!

Jump to our transcripts here.

Do they know it's Christmas?


Do They Know It's Christmas? from Scott Aukerman on Vimeo.

You can tell it's Christmas, because all of our favorite LA comedians have recorded this ironic cover of Do They Know It's Christmas to promote the Comedy Death Ray 2010 calendar and Christmas CD.

Featuring (in order): Paul F. Tompkins, R.O. Manse, Tig Notaro, Rob Huebel, Patton Oswalt, Mike Phirman, Jimmy Pardo, Brian Posehn & Scott Aukerman, Garfunkel & Oates, Aimee Mann, Chris Hardwick, Paul Scheer & June Diane Raphael, Doug Benson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nick Thune, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Cracked Out, Dragon Boy Suede, Natasha Leggero, Thomas Lennon & Ed Helms

Jesse's Holiday Gift Guide


PRI apparently authors a holiday gift guide every year, and I was asked to contribute five items. The items I chose will likely be familiar to regular TSOYA listeners and readers of this blog, but if they're not, they should be.

Louis CK - "Chewed Up" and "Shameless"

Until Louis CK had his first child, parenthood was the subject matter where good comics went to die. And bad comics went to die worse. Like women going to the bathroom in pairs, children being adorable and confounding was such a well-worn subject that it was tough to imagine anyone wringing any real surprises from it. Over the past five years, though, CK has made fatherhood his own, with two brilliant hour-long comedy specials that use anger and frustration to shed light on the love he has for his kids. I'd never have imagined that a man could show love by calling his toddler the c-word, but CK pulls off the trick. Along the way, CK (who wrote for Letterman, Conan and The Chris Rock Show, among others) throws in a little incisive social commentary to boot. If you ask me, Louis CK has surpassed his close friend Rock as the best standup comic in America today.

This comic book series imagines that a plague has wiped out all the men on earth but one, a dorky escape artist named Yorick. An agent from a secret government agency and a genetic scientist escort him (and his monkey) across the messy wasteland of a male-less America in an effort to find out what happened. There's plenty of comic-bookish thrills, but it's also funny and thoughtful. The series full run has been collected into ten trade paperbacks, which you should be able to find at any large bookstore or comic shop.

Years before Jon Stewart took over the Daily Show, the British comic Chris Morris and his writing partner Armando Ianucci made mincemeat of the news media with two short-run TV series, "The Day Today" and "BrassEye." While DVDs of the former are only available in UK format, DVDs of the latter will play in any DVD player. "BrassEye" is a satire of Hard Copy-style newsmagazine shows, with the incomparable Morris as anchor and in many cases, correspondent. I have never seen satire so funny or trenchant. Morris and crew tear apart the fear mongering of the media and government with both fictional characters and real interviews with real British celebrities and news makers (the inspiration for Ali G, Bruno and Borat, by the way). To say the show is scathing and hilarious is to sell it far too short. Better than the Daily Show and South Park put together. Available from (and they ship to the US) or most other British online DVD retailers, like

Handey is the brilliant absurdist writer behind Saturday Night Live's "Deep Thoughts," as well as some of the show's most hilarious sketches, like "Happy Fun Ball," "Tales of Fraud and Malfeasance in Railway Hiring Practices," and "Toonces, the Cat Who Could Drive a Car." He's also a contributor to The New Yorker and PRI's Studio 360. The essays collected in this book are Handey at his best, spinning childhood fantasies (and childhood belligerence) to bizarre heights. If you don't find this hilarious, we can't be friends.

Daly is best known as former castmember of the mediocre FOX sketch series Mad TV, but that credit barely hints at his remarkable talent. This CD collects nine of Daly's character monologues, which blend grandpas-and-apple-pies optimism with bizarre and distressing depravities. Daly's sunny disposition and general geniality carry the listener through characters like Patty O'Herlihy, champion of the 2008 Limerick, Ireland Blarney Contest. With a wink and a charming Irish brogue, O'Herlihy tells us all about the delightful blarney he's spread this year -- to cover for increasingly sad and horrific acts of violence. Listening to this CD was the funniest 90 minutes of my year. Available from iTunes, Amazon MP3, or on CD from

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