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Talk amongst yourselves.

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I'm going to be working 22 hours tommorow as a Field Election Deputy for the San Francisco Department of Elections, driving hither and thither in an official van, protecting democracy. So in the meantime, I encourage you to talk amongst yourselves. Consider this an open topic. Please no meanness or self-promotion.

Adult Swim to air Pee-Wee's Playhouse?

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Yes, according to TV Squad. I used to watch the Playhouse every single week, absolutely positively without fail. I loved that show SO much. And it's still good.

Watch Luck Louie online

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Our pal Louis CK's new HBO series is premiering June 11th, but you can watch it for free online now.

June Suggest a Guest Post

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Hey all -- still working on some of those guests you suggested last month (Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Manu Chao).

So who do you think would make a good TSOYA guest? Read a good book lately? Is there a brand new record you really think is great? A topic you'd like to hear more about? A great comedian or comedy person you'd like to hear from?

Spill the beans!

LA Improv Fest News

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Jordan Morris, "Boy Detective," checks in with some news regarding the LA Improv Festival at the Improv Olympic this week. Jordan says highlights include:

Harry Shearer hosts Armando - Sat. 8:00pm

"Celebrity" w/ The Ladies of "The Office" - Tues. 9:00pm

Beer Shark Mice (a long form improv thing w/ David Koechner and that mean janitor from "Scrubs"; I've see it. It is really great.) -
Sat. 9:00pm

Also, UCB has put together two teams to compete in the Harold competition.

I am in the first heat performing 11:00pm on Monday. This is a free show. We are going up against a team of Second City alumni.

So go see Jordan perform at the festival, and check out the full schedule here.

Bilal is a real singer...

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For the most part, the folks who came along during the Neo-Soul boom (as opposed to before) were lame. D'Angelo? Great. Musiq? Lame. Erykah? Great. India Arie? F'ing awful.

There are only a couple of exceptions, the biggest of which was/is Bilal. People have compared B's voice to Prince, which I think is fair, but Bilal is a real singer in a way that Prince never was. Prince's singing compliments his everything else quite well -- but as much as I love him, his singing has never been interesting enough to be great.

Bilal, in contrast, is nothing but interesting. As ?uestlove points out in this great blog post, he's the rare jazz-based singer who is willing to lay his heart on the line like a gospel singer. Sometimes his choices are wrong, sometimes his odd tonal choices (and they are choices) are tough to hear, but he lays it out every time. The result is often amazing.

On his first LP, First Born Second, he worked with a range of R&B and soul's best producers, from Raphael Saadiq ("Soul Sista") to Dr. Dre (the awesome "Sally" and "Fast Lane"). The rawness of his vocals complimented both of those producers perfectly.

His next record has been promised for quite some time, but it still hasn't come. I can't wait. ?uest's myspace page currently has an amazing jam from the Roots' Radio City Music Hall dates a couple weeks ago... a couple of great Bilal songs including one of the best smooth ones, "Sometimes."

Here's the wildest track from his original demo, now about five years old:
Hand Me Down (on the album it was called "Second Child")

Here are a couple tracks from his upcoming record:
High and Dry (yes, it's a Radiohead cover)
Something to Hold On To

*edited to add*

Bilal F. Dr. Dre & Jadakiss - Fast Lane

Sarah Silverman's "Jesus is Magic" out Tuesday

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A reminder from your friendly neighborhood me.

The State: International Signs

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American Movie Critics

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Philip Lopate's "American Movie Critics: An Anthology from the Silents Until Now" is featured in the Times Book Review this week.

Link

Philip Lopate on TSOYA

Field Mob

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Field Mob have a new record coming out, called "Light Poles and Pine Trees." Their single "Sick of Bein' Lonely" was a hit a couple years ago, but they've never managed to break through on the album tip.

It's too bad, because they're the second-best lyrical stylists in the South after Ludacris, and their lyrics are much stronger than his. They switch flows liberally and with facility, presenting an almost bewildering array of styles. Luda has signed them up to his imprint, and hopefully that'll lead to success for them, because they deserve it.

XXL Magazine gives "Light Poles and Pine Trees" an "XL"

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