The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming at the Sundance Film Festival: Interview on The Sound of Young America

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Trevor Groth

Trevor Groth on The Sound of Young America from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

Trevor Groth is director of programming at the Sundance Film Festival. He started at the festival as a teenaged volunteer; today he's charged with reinvigorating its rebellious spirit. He and his team watch thousands of films each year, working to build a lineup for the world's most prestigious festival of independent film.

Viral Phenomenon Chompers: Selected YouTube Comments

| 1 comment

Our friend Chompers the Power Pig (above) is becoming a viral sensation: 50,000 views and counting since we first discussed him on last week's Jordan, Jesse, Go!.

Like many YouTube videos, it has inspired some thoughtful, insightful comments. Among them:

"you're girl is gonna give me some snout" - deftox

"This pig looks like a dog. but who gives a fuck! i wanna pay 5000$ for something just looking a little bit like that ! DAMN!" - morfar91

"they see me rollin
they hatin" - feki00

"$2,000 for a stuffed pig on wheels?!... People will buy anything nowadays. Real sickies!" - bflo23

"Hell yes I'd buy that for $2,000, you have any idea how much pussy I could get with that?" - thespartan18

"'Goats are very very popular' - True dat." - JhbWerewolf

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 125: Space Monarchy

| 3 comments
Guests: 
Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing co-editor and woman about town Xeni Jardin joins Jesse and Jordan to discuss the Prince Fan Club, the Olympics, and a cost-benefit analysis of making your own seltzer.

Almost too easy.

| 1 comment

Email & Forum Down

| 2 comments

FYI to all: one of our two hosts is down. This has taken down all maximumfun.org email, maxfuncon.com and the forum. They're saying it should be back up by tonight.

Apparently they were running a fire drill, and they accidentally set off the sprinklers in the data center.

Whoops.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: XO

| 0 comments

Some podcasts make their way to their Podthinker on recommendation from a friend. Others, readers specifically request reviews of via e-mail. Others still come from random walks through the iTunes directory. But there turns out to be a whole 'nother sort altogether: the kind found by punching the phrase "I have a ham radio" into Google.

The first hit from such a search is the feed of XO: An Internet Show by Keith McNally, in the Style of This American Life [RSS] [iTunes]. While your Podthinker would normally nod at this and promptly return to his business, two gleaming points caught his eye. One of the episodes [MP3] was listed as an audio adaptation of Photopia, a work of interactive fiction by Adam Cadre, one of your Podthinker's very favorite writers of stuff on the net. Also, McNally's domain, KeithCourage.com, is named after one of the top twenty best protagonists in the entire Turbografx-16 library.

Google's steady hand guided your Podthinker to this podcast because it grew from what appears to have been McNally's previous project in the medium, I Have a Ham Radio. That evidently started out as a music mix show with stream-of-consciousness commentary captured by McNally on a handheld recorder as he wandered the city streets. XO retains this type of talk, but it's now on at least equal footing with the music. McNally still seems to record portably, any time and anywhere, but now he interweaves his own voice with a cornucopia of music, sound effects and the voices of others.

Is this "the style of This American Life" to which the title refers? Yes and no. McNally, best known as a once-recurring figure on Keith and the Girl, does indeed harness what he calls the "crazy effectiveness" of music and speech carefully edited together — orchestrated, almost. But XO definitely lacks the manner and formality of Ira Glass' brainchild. This has produced a number of bitterly angry reviews on iTunes, penned by the kind of people who are just irresistibly fun to wind up. In an early episode of recorded conversations between he and his mom on a road trip [MP3], McNally talks about how he technically listens to a whole lot of talk radio, if one counts podcasts as talk radio. Podcasts, to his mind, are superior, even superior to public radio, because they're free from all the standard artifice, free to be creative, free to be improvisational, free to be personal.

And if you're looking for a showcase of the sort of creative, improvisational personality of which podcasts are capable, look no further. There is no way to exaggerate the joy your Podthinker felt, after hearing so many hours of slavish adherence to the usual imitation-radio and me-too-podcast conventions, listening to the first few episodes of XO and discovering something genuinely different, something honestly expressive of its creator's mind. McNally knows no fear of variety or of disclosure, meditating with impunity and without censorship on a range of subjects as broad as Alice in Chains, his middle school social struggles, Scott Pilgrim, long bus trips, his near-worshipful obsession with the Garden State trailer, booze, the layer of garbage that covers Brooklyn and the looming specter of death.

Were McNally simply yammering about this stuff in his basement, his show wouldn't be anything special, but it's got one big thing that the vast majority of yammering-in-basement podcasts lack: craftsmanship. He even put together a whole episode on the concept [MP3] and how it's exemplified by the likes of TAL, Radio Lab and A Life Well Wasted, his inspirations. He pulls freely from the world of media for his art, cutting and pasting from albums, videos, radio and even other podcasts, all with a concentration and deliberateness that says, "This is on purpose." Some might consider the whole affair self-indulgent, undisciplined, or even parasitic. Your Podthinker calls it the future of audio entertainment.

Vital stats:
Format: a "personal journal" (iTunes lingo) of speech and music
Duration: 35m-1h15m
Frequency: 2-4 per month
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Got a podcast to suggest for Podthoughts coverage or any other sort of question and/or comment for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

Andrew Koenig Missing

| 26 comments

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that our friend and colleague Andrew Koenig's body was found today in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Our friend Andrew Koenig, the video producer for Never Not Funny, hasn't been seen in nearly a week. Here's what mutual friend Dave Holmes has to say:

HAS ANYONE SEEN HIM?

Andrew Koenig (AK-47, the video guy on “Never Not Funny,” and “Boner” from “Growing Pains”) has been missing for a week, last seen 2/14 in Vancouver. Didn’t make his flight back to the US on 2/16. The Vancouver Police are involved, and lots of people are looking. Could you reblog this and help get the word out? And say some prayers or think some positive thoughts?

Andrew is a super, super good guy, and we're thinking of him and his family. If you're in the Northwest, please keep your eyes out, and no matter where you are, please share this news. Andrew was last seen near Vancouver's Stanley Park. He is 5'5" tall, and weights 135 pounds.

If you've seen Andrew since February 14th, or have any helpful information, PLEASE call Vancouver authorities @ 604-717-2967 or 604-717-2534. Refer to case #202029519.

Andrew's father Walter has posted about the disappearance on his own site.

Here's a message to Never Not Funny listeners from hosts Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap. In addition to working with Andrew, Jimmy is married to Andrew's sister, Danielle.

Contrary to previous reports by Radar Magazine, formerly linked here, there has not been any new electronic evidence of Andrew's activities since he went missing.

Here is the text of the VPD's press release (find the latest releases here), as of February 24th:

Andrew Koenig was last seen on February 14th at a friend’s house in the area of Main Street and 25th Avenue. When he didn’t return home to Los Angeles on the 16th, his family and friends became concerned and reported him missing.

Vancouver Police Missing Persons investigators canvassed all the cafes and restaurants in the south Vancouver neighbourhood where he was last seen, showing Andrew’s photo and seeking information. When they learned that Andrew, who once lived in Vancouver in the early 90s, loved walking in Stanley Park, Mounted Police and park rangers were notified.

Constable Tim Fanning says investigators followed up all possible leads before going public with the case, as it’s considered a very private matter.

On February 23rd, 30 members of local Search and Rescue teams scoured the park for over four hours, which consists of 1000 acres and 150 miles of trails. There has been no evidence that Andrew was recently in the park.

Walter Koenig, Andrew’s father, made an emotional plea directly to his son today. “I just want to know you’re okay. If it means you just want to stay here, that’s okay. You don’t have to come back. Just let us know that’s your intention.”

Both parents acknowledged their son’s emotional state, which Walter said has been a lifelong struggle. “It has not prevented him from being a participant in his community and a conscientious activist.”

Andrew’s mother, Judith, also reached out to her son, believing he is probably in a very depressed state. “Andrew, there is help. You have so many gifts to offer this world and so much yet to do in this world. Look how many people love you and care about you.”

The family has been touched by the outpouring of concern for Andrew’s safety and happiness and they are asking people to look out for him and get the word out that he’s missing.

“You are loved, you count and you matter,” says Judith.

Anyone with information is asked to call 604-717-2540 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 604-717-2540 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. If Andrew is sighted, call 911 or if you’re outside of Vancouver, contact the local police.

Chompers!

| 3 comments

Chompers Fan Art by Steve Wolfhard

Drunk History's Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner at Sundance: Interview on The Sound of Young America

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Derek Waters
Guests: 
Jeremy Konner

Drunk History on The Sound of Young America from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner are the creator and director of Drunk History, a series of shorts in which comedians get very, very drunk, then re-tell their favorite stories from history. The stories are re-enacted, with drunken narration and dialogue, by notable actors. Past participants have included Michael Cera and Jack Black. At Sundance, Konner and Waters screened two shorts, one featuring the story of Tesla and Edison, with actors John C. Reilly (above) and Crispin Glover, and one telling the story of Lincoln and Douglass, who were portrayed by Will Ferrel and Don Cheadle.

"Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln," narrated by past Jordan, Jesse, Go! guest Jen Kirkman, won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival. The new shorts will air as part of a new series on HBO, Funny or Die Presents, which premiers tonight.

I'm with Chompers!

| 2 comments

Thanks to Garth Johnson for putting Chompers the Power Pig's segment on Antiques Roadshow on YouTube... and thanks to internet power broker Mark Frauenfelder for Boing Boinging it!

YOU SEE A LOT OF GOATS, BUT CHOMPERS IS SOMETHING SPECIAL.

Syndicate content