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I pledged to public radio today.

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KCRW in Los Angeles, to be specific. I'm a huge fan of their shows The Treatment and The Business, and I wanted to do my part. I couldn't give a lot of money, but as far as I'm concerned, they've earned something from me.

Which reminds me... are you a supporter of The Sound of Young America?

Maybe one day The Sound of Young America will be supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation or underwriting money from the Gap, but in the meantime, it's supported by people like you. Before every show, you hear the voices of the folks who give a couple dollars a month to help keep the program afloat.

The money you give pays my costs. It doesn't pay my receptionist, or pay for studio time, it just covers the things that come along and cost money. In the next couple months, for example, I'll need to pay for registration to the big podcasting conference, and I'll need a new monitor to replace the relic that occaisionally goes green on me that's sitting on my desk right now.

You can make a big difference for two bucks a month. Even if you're broke as a joke (and I know about that, believe me), your budget can probably handle it. If you're doing OK, you can give five or ten a month. My hope is that whatever you can offer, you'll offer something.

Your radio pal,
Jesse
PS: To those who already give: thank you. Seriously, thank you.

Dracula's Super-Spooky 9/11 Candle Vigil

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Sound of Young America super-fan Asterios and his sketch group, Overtime, wrote and performed this sing-long short, which Jordan sent over my way. Delightful!

Also, distasteful.

Suing guitar tab websites?

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Isn't that a bit over the top?

Fun fact: the music publishing industry is not only suing (or rather, threatening to sue) free guitar tab websites, they're not really offering any legal online alternative.

A small handful of sheet music sites now sell guitar tablature. Mr. Keiser, of the Music Publishers’ Association, estimated that, including overhead costs, tablature could cost about $800 per song to produce, license and format for downloading.

$800? Are they gold-plating the downloads? Perhaps they're hiring Eric Clapton to record the tablatures? Holy mackarel.

Dungeon Family Dedication

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Over on his XXL blog, TSOYA listener/pal/rap guru Noz offers a great rundown of The Dungeon Family, the Atlanta crew which spawned Outkast, Goodie Mobb and more. He's got bios, videos, songs, everything. I was just listening to the Witch Doctor album and thinking about how many dope projects even the B-team of the DF have put out over the years. For a bit of history on the crew, check out this piece from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He's even got a video (which I didn't even know existed) from Joi's superb unreleased LP "Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome," on which she channeled the great Betty Davis to funky effect.

Lupe Fiasco - "Daydreamin'" f. Jill Scott

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Lupe Fiasco is a real talent... though I have to admit that if this record hits, I'd be surprised. I love it, of course. Also love the E-40 eyeglasses Lupe's rocking :).

"I had to turn my back on what got you paid / I couldn't see - had the 'hood on like Abu Ghraib / but I'd like to thank the streets that drove me crazy / and all the televisions out there that raised me."

Patton Oswalt & Friends in Oakland 8/27

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TSOYA is cosponsoring this show because it's Patton plus my two favorite Bay Area standups plus two of the best up-and-comers. It's cheap. It's going to be awesome.

And it's completely un-advertised, so we're relying on you to spread the word. If you live in the Bay Area, or know anyone who does, please come or tell your friends. Post this flier on message boards: http://www.maximumfun.org/pattonflier.jpg or on your myspace, help any way you can think of. Hopefully we can get this thing sold out and everyone will see great comedy and hear about TSOYA.

Patton Oswalt's Favorite Songs

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Our pal Patton Oswalt is one of this week's Sound of Young America guests. He's long been a strong supporter of the show, and a couple years ago, he agreed to go on the radio with our pal Emily, play some of his favorite songs, and talk about them.

Here's an MP3 of the show. Warning: it's a bit big.

Playlist (though we didn't get to the last two)
1. Alarm Clocks - No Reason To Complain (2:12)
2. Amy Correa - Life Is Beautiful (3:30)
3. Comsat Angels - Eye Of The Lens (4:04)
4. Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer (3:09)
5. Shocking Blue - Send Me A Postcard (2:39)
6. Downliners Sect, The - Why Don't You Smile Now (2:08)
7. Bangles - Following (3:21)
8. Los Shakers - Don't Ask Me Love (2:08)
9. My Favorite - Homeless Club Kids (5:09)
10. Holly Golightly - Candle Song (2:26)
11. Rufus Wainwright - Oh What A World (4:25)
12. Marvin Gaye - Yesterday (3:29)

The Sound of Young America Returns to Santa Cruz!

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It's a big week for The Sound of Young America, friends... because we're returning to Santa Cruz!

The very good people at KUSP-FM are big fans of the show, and have decided to take a risk on an oddball, underdog, independent program that's produced out of somebody's living room. It's our first NPR-affiliated station, and will be our new "flagship." We'll be airing every Sunday at six, after Weekend All Things Considered.

And in related news, I wrote a cover story for the Metro Santa Cruz which will appear in the next issue. It'll run as "My Life As America’s Radio Sweetheart (The Santa Cruz Years)." Excerpts from my unpublished memoir :).

Dear NBC: I'm not buying what you're selling.

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Someone's bs'ing here, and it ain't me. Here's the story:

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch were to be the co-stars of Fey's upcoming series, "30 Rock," which looked behind the scenes of an SNL-like sketch comedy show, originally titled, "Friday Night Bits." Sounds great, right? I certainly thought so, especially after reading a strong pilot script. Tracy Morgan was to play a crazy star, and in a late casting coup, Alec Baldwin was picked up to play the network boss.

Also, at some point, the name of the show-within-the-show changed to "The Girlie Show." Hmm.

Now, after very positive advance word on the show and a semi-surprise pickup (a lot of folks figured NBC wouldn't pick up both Fey's series and Aaron Sorkin's dramatic take on the same general idea, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), something's going down with Dratch's role.

Variety reported that her role, as one of the stars of "The Girlie Show," had been "scrapped." To wit:

Rachel Dratch no longer has a role on the upcoming NBC laffer "30 Rock." Instead, she'll have many, many roles.

Dratch was originally tapped to play Jenna DeCarlo, an actress on "The Girlie Show" -- the show-within-a-show on "30 Rock."

But with the focus of "30 Rock" moving away from "The Girlie Show" and more toward the interaction among stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, the show's exec producers decided to scrap Dratch's character.

Instead, Dratch will appear in several episodes in a wide variety of roles. In the "30 Rock" opener, for example, she'll now appear as a cat wrangler (whose felines are needed for a sketch).

This already feels fishy, right? Multiple roles to play to her strength? What is she, Dana Carvey in that movie with the turtle suit? Feels like the other shoe's about to drop, right?
And get a load of this, from TV Week:

Former "Ally McBeal" series regular Jane Krakowski is joining the cast of NBC's new fall comedy "30 Rock."

She has been hired to play the star of "The Girlie Show," a network variety show that serves as the backdrop for the workplace comedy.

Ms. Krakowski replaces Rachel Dratch, who played the role in the "30 Rock" pilot. Ms. Dratch, a fellow cast mate on "Saturday Night Live" with "30 Rock" creator Tina Fey, will have a smaller role on the series by playing a variety of characters in multiple episodes.

So what the hell is going on? Sounds like a load of "not too many funny women, please" crap to me. Here's a program lucky enough to have two of the funniest women in showbiz, and all of a sudden they're dropping one into some recurring cat wrangler BS?

Rachel Dratch is a really wonderful, brilliant performer. Getting to see her work in a meaty role every week was one of the biggest reasons I was excited about this program. Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch are purportedly pals, and maybe I'm misreading the whole situation. That said, I can tell you that what I smell stinks.

Updates: The Defamer has picked up on this story... it's got legs!

Todd at Dead-Frog.com rightfully points out the irony -- the show's theme is a meddling network exec pushing for a less female-centric show.

The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll

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Where's the love for Louie Jordan?

Here's the man who represents the bridge between big band music and R&B. Jordan's downsized big band played jazzy instruments in an R&B style, with a lot of saxophone. In other words, they helped create the sound of early rock & roll, particularly the boogie-woogie variety.

Films like this one were shown in nickelodeons, and helped make Jordan the biggest recording star of the 1940s. In fact... he was arguably the first great inter-racial pop music star in the US.

Watch this video and see where Little Richard (openly and admittedly) copped his steez.

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