Bullseye

Podcast: (Un)Clean

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Bullseye

This week's Sound of Young America broadcast bears the theme "(Un)Clean." My guests are comedian Jim Gaffigan (who doesn't swear on stage) and the creators of Wonder Showzen (who dress children up in Hitler costumes).

Jim Gaffigan is one of the country's most popular stand-up comics, and an accomplished actor, as well. His observational humor is peppered with audience commentary - that he provides himself, in a creepy high pitched voice. We talk about his long standup career, and his acting career, which features both comic and dramatic credits. He's currently on tour (including a show in San Francisco April 7th), and his new CD and DVD are in stores now.

Vernon Chatman and John Lee are the creators of the brilliant MTV2 series Wonder Showzen. The series could be broadly described as a parody of children's television, but it's really more of a satire of the banality of American culture. One recurring segment, "Beat Kids," sends children dressed as reporters to ask pointed questions of the man on the street. In one, a 7-year-old (or so) black girl is dispatched to Wall Street, asking "Who have you exploited today?" and "Where will you be when the revolution comes?" John & Vernon are also members of the rock band PFFR (pronounced P-F-R), and the former writers of the MTV series "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle." Wonder Showzen returned to MTV2 yesterday, and airs Fridays at 9:30PM. Their first season DVD was just released.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen Online

Check out our uncut, unedited interview with Jim Gaffigan

Music This Week

Untitled Beat by DJW

Hey! Buy some stuff! (The show gets a portion of the money)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale DVD (only $9.99!)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale CD

Wonder Showzen Season 1

Previously on The Sound of Young America Blog

Dead Frog v. Wonder Showzen
Wonder Showzen Creators' Core Beliefs
Change the Channel for Kids
Good Shows & Bad People

Podcast: The Elements of Style

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Bullseye


This week on The Sound of Young America, we tackle "The Elements of Style." My guests are Maira Kalman, Nico Muhly, and George Pelecanos.

Maira Kalman is a noted illustrator and author, whose work includes award-winning children's books and numerous New Yorker covers, among them the popular "New Yorkistan." She's created a stunning illustrated edition of the classic writing manual "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White. Her illustrations are both literal and figural (no pun intended). She talks with us about how a book about words can lend itself to images.

We also talk with and hear the music of Nico Muhly, who composed a song suite to accompany Kalman's book. Muhly, only 24 (same as me!), has already worked with artists from Bjork to Philip Glass. You can download our full interview with him (we only feature two brief clips in the show) here.

George Pelecanos is a wonderful writer of mysteries set in Washington DC. His writing reflects a side of DC that's rarely seen in the popular media -- the side that earned it the nickname "Chocolate City." He recently edited a book of short stories about every part of the District, called "D.C. Noir." He's also a writer and producer on the brilliant HBO series "The Wire," and we talk about writing what is essentially a novel for the screen.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

Download our full-length interview with Nico Muhly (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Nico Muhly: "Be Obscure Clearly" and "An Approach to Style" (as yet unreleased)

Other Stuff to Buy (The show gets a portion of the money)

The Wire on DVD

Maira Kalman's Books

George Pelecanos' Books

Podcast: Joke Warfare

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Bullseye

This week's Sound of Young America program bears the theme "Joke Warfare." Two brilliant joke warriors join us for the show, Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopoulos.

Dino is a legendary comedy writer, having written for many of the seminal comedy programs for the past 15 years. He won an Emmy for his first gig, writing for The Ben Stiller Show. He was one of the first writers on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and wrote for HBO's Mr. Show. We talk with him about a musical he wrote about a dead baby and his new show on Cartoon Network's [adult swim], a social satire called Moral Orel. In our full interview with Dino (MP3 Audio), we talk extensively about his writing career pre-Moral Orel.

Terry Jones, of course, is one of the founding members of the legendary sketch comedy group Monty Python's Flying Circus. He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and directed both Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. He's also written two books on Chaucer, written and directed several other films, and composed several children's books. We talk with Jones about his years with the Pythons, as well as his career since. Monty Python's Flying Circus returns to PBS in April.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

Download our full-length interview with Dino Stamatopoulos (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Eric B & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

Eric B & Rakim - Casualties of War
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat the Technique

Other Stuff to Buy

Terry Jones' "War on the War on Terror"

Terry Jones "Fairy Tales"

Monty Python's Personal Best

The Ben Stiller Show on DVD

Mr. Show on DVD

Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset

Making Friends with Black People

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Bullseye


This week on The Sound of Young America, our theme is Making Friends with Black People.

Our first guest, Nick Adams, is the author of a book by that name, and a standup comedian. His book tackles inter-race relations with a comic edge. We talk about the N-word, being black at liberal arts college, and much more. Nick's about to do a book tour for his book, which will take him to LA & the Bay Area.

Our second guest, Calvin Levels, is a Tony-nominated actor, currently touring the nation with his one-man show James Baldwin: Down From the Mountaintop. Calvin talks with us about Baldwin's life, how he balanced his dual identities as a black American and a gay American, and more. Calvin will be performing in Santa Cruz March 17th as part of UCSC Arts & Lectures.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)


Music in this show:
Aretha Franklin's recording of Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted & Black" Buy From Amazon
Science Fiction "Africa" (Unreleased) Buy Science Fiction's Album From Amazon
David Bowie "Young Americans" Buy From Amazon

Moustaches, Etc

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Bullseye


This week's Sound of Young America is a probing look at all things moustachioed, including but not limited to: Boston Blackie, Zorro, and your television.

Our first guest is Andy Daly. Andy's been a castmember of Mad TV, Crossballs, and he's currently a correspondent on "The Showbiz Show with David Spade." We talked about the strange creative process at Mad TV, and how hard it is to do something about it. Also, Andy's invented something called Moustache TV, which is a parlor game which involves putting moustaches on your television. He really makes and sells it himself.

Richard Montoya is 1/3 of Culture Clash, about whom I blogged last week. They've got a new show coming up at Berkeley Rep called "Zorro in Hell." Besides the stage work, Richard will also be seen in the upcoming Jack Black vehicle "Nacho Libre," from the writer of "School of Rock" and the director of "Napoleon Dynamite."

Also, a sketch from Los Angeles' Diani & Devine, and a plug for our upcoming vidcast of unseen Monty Python footage. Yes, unseen Monty Python footage.

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Podcast: UK Soul Singer Omar

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Bullseye


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 lilting soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section & on the forum!

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Podcast: Science Fiction with Ron Moore, Mike Nelson and Steve Eley

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Bullseye

This week on The Sound of Young America, a long hard look at science fiction.

Steve Eley, who we hear from briefly in the main program, and of whom there's a more extensive interview below, is the editor of Escape Pod. This science fiction literature podcast is one of the world's most popular.

Michael J. Nelson was the long-time host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since that show left the air, he's written several books. Now, he's putting his "mocking bad movies" cap back on to head Rifftrax, where he's recording comic MP3 commentaries for films.

Ron Moore spent ten years working on the Star Trek franchise's many incarnations before leaving frustrated. Three years ago, he co-created the SciFi Network series Battlestar Galactica. It's been hailed by critics as one of the greatest science fiction television programs ever. He and his colleague David Eick were recently awarded the prestigious Peabody Award for their contributions to broadcasting.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Bonus Audio

Steve Eley of the Escape Pod


Download The Interview

Incidental Music by DJW

Extra Credit Double Bonus Audio:
Mike Nelson on TSOYA a couple years ago (MP3)
Jesse reads Cory Doctorow's "Craphound" on Escape Pod

Podcast: Live in New York 2

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Bullseye


Last month, The Sound of Young America recorded two broadcasts live at the PIT in New York City. This is the second of those programs.

Our first guest, Andres du Bouchet, is an accomplished stand-up comic whose show "Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There Is A Game" is a New York City favorite. He's also been on Conan O'Brien and Cheap Seats, and was a featured player on I Love the 30s. He offered our listeners "So You've Been Turned," a guide to acclimating to your new life as a vampire.

Our second guests, Elephant Larry, are a long-time Sound of Young America favorite. Their sketch parodied "8 Mile," and it's worth noting that they all wore funny sea-faring hats.

Then our relatively new friend Jonathan Coulton came through and performed three winning songs. First he played, "The Future Soon," a song written from the perspective of a love-lorn 12-year-old nerd. Then he performed a winning cover of the Sir-Mix-A-Lot classic "Baby Got Back," and closed with a charming song written from the perspective of a zombie businessman. You can download each song in his performance seperately here.

We closed with an interview with Kurt Andersen. Before Kurt became a novelist and the host of Public Radio International's excellent Studio 360, he founded the seminal satirical magazine Spy. The magazine's business was mocking the media, financial and Hollywood elite in an era before such irreverence was ubiquitous.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Top Photo by Anya Garrett of SketchArtists.net

Special thanks to The Onion for promotional support

Podcast: The Knights of Prosperity

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Bullseye
The cast of The Knights of Prosperity

This week, we talk with Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, creators of the new ABC series "The Knights of Prosperity." The series follows a crew of working-class heroes as they attempt to rob Mick Jagger's luxurious penthouse. Beckerman and Burnett are veterans of David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, where they also developed the cult favorite dramedy "Ed." Both got their start writing for The Late Show, and Burnett now runs Worldwide Pants.

The new series premiers Wednesday, January 3rd at 9/8C on ABC.

(Note that by popular demand, we're trying a new format for TSOYA podcasts. Each podcast will be a seperate interview, typically running 20-30 minutes, rather than an hourlong radio broadcast. You should generally 1-3 new podcasts per week. If you have any feedback about this, I'd love to hear it. Oh... and if you're a real nerd like me, you might notice that the files have a new naming convention: tsoyaYYMMDD_Guest.mp3. This is to make it easier for you to sort them on your hard drive, and easier for those without high-tech MP3 players to find the shows they want.)

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Previously on TSOYA:

Knights of Prosperity star Maz Jobrani

Podcast: Grind Time with Killer Mike

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Bullseye


This week on The Sound of Young America, we go on the grind.

Grammy-winning rapper Killer Mike is a native of Adamsville, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Since debuting on the Outkast single "The Whole World" in 2001, he has emerged from the shadow of his legendary mentors, combining a ferocious delivery with lyrical density in a manner reminiscent of Ice Cube in his hey-day. He recently released "I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind," a two-CD "street album" with his crew, Grind Time Rap Gang.

Please note: we had a little phone trouble 2/3 of the way through and Mike had to go on speakerphone, apologies for any audio quality issues.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Incidental Music by DJW

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