The Blog of Young America

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you, our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you, and our lively forum community will connect you with others. About

Maximum Fun T-Shirt contest!

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Hey gang...

The second Maximum Fun Drive is six weeks or so away, and I want to have a special thank-you gift for people who support the show. Since our regular TSOYA t-shirts, while awesome, have been available for some time, I thought I'd put together a contest to find a design for a special, one-print-run shirt specifically for the drive.

To do this, I'll be using a neat site called Pixish. Here's how it works...

If you're a designer, well, make a design. Then post it to Pixish.

If you're not a designer, visit the Pixish page and give a thumbs up or down to the shirts that have been submitted.

The top five vote-getters will get iTunes giftcards. The overall winner, chosen by myself and a CELEBRITY JURY, will get two shirts of their design, a pair of super-high-quality headphones for their iPod or home stereo (either in-ear or over-the-head), and my voice (or Jordan's, or me and Jordan's) on their home answering machine. Plus the satisfaction of contributing to your favorite shows/blog/community/website/etc!

If you'd like to share ideas, but don't do much design yourself, or you want to talk about designs as they're submitted, there's a special forum thread for the contest here.

Details for designers:

* Please use no more than three colors, and use a basic American Apparel tee color as your background.
* Entries must be submitted by the end of April, and the sooner the better!
* No more than five entries per person.
* Entries must be uploaded as an image to Pixish, and you must also be able to provide the graphic in a format that satisfies the printing requirements of BroPrints.
* I reserve the right to appoint psuedo- and semi-celebrities to the celebrity jury.
* Shirts can but need not have text, and should be of significance to anyone who downloads The Sound of Young America, Jordan Jesse Go, or reads this blog.

Ashkeezy is burning up the YouTube charts...

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Our man Ashkon's video "Hot Tubbin" has exploded since we posted it last week -- going from a few hundred views to over a hundred thousand. It helps, of course, that it's on the front page of YouTube this week, but really, truly, I think it's because of the power of the MaxFun community.

So... cop a copy of Ashkon's mixtape, which is great. Then cop a copy of his new album "The Final Breakthrough" when it comes out in April. And most importantly, check out the director's cut of the video above, which includes a snippet from his HOT hip-hop single "Freedom."

And why not call your local radio station and request Hot Tubbin? We can finally find out if KMEL is really "The People's Station"!

"This is a building that deserves my piss." - The Internets Celebrities

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I wish all internet videos were hosted by The Internets Celebrities, a pair of funny, lumpy, charming guys from New York City. Their videos thus far have been a sort of hip-hop corrolary to Jonah Ray's similarly funny Freeloader's Guide to Easy Living series -- a guide to living cheaply in the Big City.

This video above, their latest, is a how-to on finding a place to urinate in New York City. Bear in mind that this video is about peeing, so if that bothers you (or your employer), don't watch.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Ep 40: Howard Johnson

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On this week's program, we return from a long layoff and shake off the rust. Topics discussed include former New York Mets third baseman Howard Johnson, The Darjeeling Limited and much more.

ACTION ITEMS:


* Vote in the battle of Bear v. Penguin, and call us to share your preference (and reasoning).

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

From the t-dot to the am-herst?

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You probably already know that Jordan, Jesse GO! is doing our first ever live mini-taping as part of UMass Amherst's annual Comedy Jam. But did you know that there are groups coming from New York and points even further? In fact, MaxFunster thinker_bell has floated the idea of a carpool... from SOCIALIST TORONTO, ONTARIO CANADA!

Once Jordan and I know what our schedule will be in Amherst, we're planning on scheduling a meet-up, most likely in the late afternoon on show-day. In the meantime, plan those trips and we'll see you there!

I'm out of town.

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I won't be on the blog or even email much this week. There's a new JJGo, but no new TSOYA this week.

SPRING BREAK!

March (of Time) Madness BEGINS!

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Don't look now, but on the Showdown Forum, March (of Time) Madness has begun!

We're determining the greatest historical era of all recorded history, and over the next few weeks, the entire first and second rounds of the battle will unfold. Forum moderator King Greebo has helpfully included links to Wikipedia and elsewhere if you aren't knowledgable about the Vedic Period, say. But who can resist battles like Old West v. Civil War?!

So get your butt into the forum and start voting! Only one era can be the best!

The Kids in the Hall hit the road!

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From the press release:

The 2008 tour, titled “Live As We’ll Ever Be”, represents a new era in the troupe’s collaboration, and is comprised of completely fresh material which simultaneously reflects who they are now and their patently off-kilter take on ordinary life. Favorite characters from the television series appear in entirely new situations, sharing the stage with new KITH personas which are destined for the same level of cult adoration. In a world where most entertainment tries to play it safe, “The Kids in the Hall” steadfastly refuse to follow the trend, preferring instead to slaughter sacred cows and look at the world – and each other – with refreshing honesty.

Join The Kathies, Headcrusher, the Sales Guys, Buddy Cole, and people you’ve never met before (but somehow recognize from your everyday life) on an adventure into the bizarre and side-splittingly funny.

Tour Dates as of March 7, 2008:

April 2008
4th – Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
5th – Milwaukee, WI Riverside
6th – Columbus, OH Mershon
9th – Austin, TX Paramount
10th – Austin, TX Paramount
17th – Boston, MA Wang Centre
18th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
19th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
20th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
22nd – Houston, TX Verizon Theatre
23rd – Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre
24th - Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
25th – Omaha, NE Civic Music Hall
30th – Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theatre

May 2008
1st – Providence, RI Providence PAC
2nd – Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Casino
4th – Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
8th – Anaheim, CA The Grove
9th – Los Angeles, CA The Orpheum
10th – San Francisco, CA War Memorial
11th – Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer
15th – Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre
16th – Vancouver, BC Boulevard Casino
20th – St. Louis, MO The Pageant
21st – Nashville, TN Ryman TPAC
22nd – Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
23rd – Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
24th – Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Center
25th – Charleston, SC North Charleston PAC
30th – Detroit Royal Oak
31st – Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square

June 2008
1st – Green Bay, WI Weidner Center

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Never Not Funny Primo"

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It's rare that I write about a podcast that's new. It's even rarer that I write about a podcast that technically hasn't started yet. But Never Not Funny Primo is the new version of what I already consider the greatest podcast in existence. Now hosts Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap are asking for $19.99 for 26 weeks of material (or you can pay nothing and get the first 20 minutes of every episode free). This move could pay off for them or it could lose them a big chunk of their audience. I'm devoting this column to NNF because I believe that $19.99 for half a year of comedy is completely worth it. Here's why.

I got addicted to NNF as soon as I discovered it around episode 20. Waiting the whole week in-between episodes I decided to investigate the archives to hear what I’ve been missing. I have had the experience of watching episode after episode of a television show on DVD but had never done the equivalent with a podcast. That night I listened to episode after episode of Jimmy, Matt and then co-host Mike Schmidt speaking their mind about whatever. The show regular hits this sweet spot where it’s always something about new but done in a way you were familiar with. There are never any planned topics but the atmosphere is the same.

What’s consistent is the rhythm of the show. Jimmy starts every episode trying to sound like Casey Kasem with a big professional opening but within seconds he’d sound like a guy sitting next to you at lunch, asking if you remember that one band from the ‘80s. Jimmy’s musical taste is a touchstone of the show. His earnest enjoyment of ‘80s stadium rock is endearing. It brings him to a lot of concerts where the crowd seems to have done nothing since that one great homecoming game. Jimmy can describe being in the middle of that chaos like Edward R. Murrow can describe London during World War II.

I was worried what the show would be like after Mike left but Matt stepped up and even though he’s not a comedian he holds his own against Jimmy and guests like Paul F. Tompkins and Maria Bamford. He’s still the understated producer but he gains a certain amount of power when he speaks because he is so easy going and nonchalant. When he says something that’s actually funny it hits you twice, the second time because you just weren’t expecting it to come from a low key guy.

There are a lot of podcasts where the idea is if you get a bunch of friends in front of a few microphones and have them talk about pop culture magic will happen. You have one or two guys who are cut ups and everyone else figures he should be world famous. I’ve listened to a few podcasts like that. Frankly a lot of people have overestimated how funny and fascinating their musings can be. Jimmy Pardo can pull this off, though. The man’s been a professional comedian for decades. He’s worked tough rooms. His act is 80% crowd work. He is comfortable going up in front of a group of strangers and acting chummy. There’s a certain mastery of tone and temperament that allows him to do that. Anyone can interest themselves talking about the stuff they like. Jimmy has the hosting skills to make he likes interesting to anyone else, even Chicago’s back catalog. Every turn leads into five different anecdotes. I signed up for primo because I don’t want to miss a one.

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