The Blog of Young America

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TSOYA in Filmmaker Magazine

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Thanks to a couple of astute listeners who pointed out that we're featured in the Summer issue of Filmmaker Magazine. If you take the magazine, flip to "The Super 8: Eight things that will keep you in the know."

Here's what you'll find:

#8: The Sound of Young America. The handmade radio show, The Sound of Young America, is a bit like "Fresh Air" for Generation Y. Hosted by 25-year-old Jesse Thorn, the show provides casual in-depth conversations with figures as diverse as writer Chuck Klosterman, "H.R. Pufnstuf" creator Marty Krofft and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier.

Here's to you, Filmmaker Magazine.

Woody Allen Shot A Moose

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Here's a TV clip of Woody Allen's legendary moose routine. A perfect example of Allen's standup -- carefully crafted, strong authorial vision, clearly the work of a guy who wrote 1000 gags a week for a living. It's amazing to me how completely dated this is, yet how fresh and funny it remains. It's dated 1965.

(Via JumboDump)

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Hey We're Back with Jonathan Katz"

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I have a rule on Podthoughts that I don’t review a show until it has a solid back catalog. I don’t want to lead people to a show and then have it become yet another podcast where the host just hangs it up for whatever reason. This time I make an exception and I think you’ll understand why.

Our own Jesse Thorn [guilty as charged - ed.] has apparently convinced Jonathan Katz of “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist” and “Home Movies” to break into the podcasting game. Now Katz gives us “Hey, We’re Back,” two episodes of which have been posted as of August 25th. When people think of Katz they think, mostly because of the way he talks, of comedy where the jokes come out softly and slowly. It’s a surprise then that “Hey We’re Back” (iTunes) is a show that moves incredibly fast. Both episodes are about six minutes but crammed with a handful of sketches. The frantic pace of the show, it’s brilliantly edited, gives the each episode a lively feel. There’s simply no room for a dull moment or jokes that don’t land.

The pace might be a change for those used to Katz’s television work but the humor certainly isn’t. Katz’s demeanor and choice of subjects has his come off as an NPR host who has gone a bit of off-kilter. He’ll introduce the premise of a sketch in his soft voice, most of the time with a question he has. The last sketch of the first show has Katz interviewing actors who are “reenactors” (this includes Katz’s television collaborator Tom Snyder, who also appears on the second show). Both shows have started with prank calls to telephone director operators, and they have to be the smartest, most inventive crank calls recorded. Even a comedy trope based around annoying people sounds sweet and comfy when Katz is in control.

I look forward to more episodes of “Hey, We’re Back.” Katz has already established his own strange radio universe, just listen to how he starts every show as if it’s already in progress. If you’re looking for something that’s very funny and you can listen to in its entirety on a smoke break then “Hey, We’re Back” is for you.

This weekend in Austin:

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This weekend, The Sound of Young America is proud to sponsor the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. They collect many of the best improv and sketch groups from around that country, have a festival, and oh yeah... a mini golf tournament. If you're in Austin, this is a once-a-year opportunity that's not to be missed. The festivities begin tonight!

Beverly Hills Braces for Hurricane Saunders

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I'm really honored to be interviewing the one and only Mr. George Saunders, certified genius, live on stage at the Beverly Hills Public Library Auditorium in, you guessed it, Beverly Hills. It's an event to promote his new book, which is called "The Braindead Megaphone," and said book is really really great. The event is Saturday, September 29th at 3PM.

Ms. Miranda July will be reading one of the stories from the book, and I will be engaging the great Mr. Saunders in a delightful conversation, which will most likely focus on minerals, pursuant to his education at the Colorado College of Mines. We may also touch on the subject of satire.

Tickets are only $20, and include a copy of the book. You can buy them here.

I'm so happy that Book Soup (who organized the event) and Riverhead, George's publisher, thought of me for this. I'm working on a super-secret Saunders Project for the show, too, which will be really neat I promise. And I'm gonna try and tape this interview, too.

WHAT'S THAT? YOU'RE NOT HITCHED UP TO THE SAUNDERS TRAIN ALREADY?

Here is the show you should listen to to change all of that.

Podcast: Paul F. Tompkins

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Show: 
Bullseye

Paul F. Tompkins has been performing standup comedy for over twenty years. He's perhaps best known as a castmember of HBO's Mr. Show, and as a talking head on VH1, Real Time with Bill Maher and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He's just released his first standup CD, called "Impersonal," on AST Records.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Goofaround Gang with Paul F. Tompkins, Tim & Eric and Will Franken
Maria Bamford
Bob Odenkirk

A Quick One While He's Away: Alexandra Lipsitz, director of "Air Guitar Nation," interviewed by Aaron Matthews

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Alexandra Lipsitz is the 3-time Emmy nominated co-producer of Project Greenlight & Project Runway. Air Guitar Nation is the first project she's directed. So far, it's collected several festival awards, including "Best Documentary" at the Whistler Film Festival, the "Audience Award" at Austin's South by Southwest, and "Official Selections" at the Tribeca, Woodstock, and Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Our man Aaron Mathews corresponded with Alexandra via email and asked her to answer some questions about the movie.

First of all, I loved the movie. How has the movie been received so far?
We have had an amazing reception everywhere we took the film- it has truly been a great ride.

What do you think is the appeal of air guitar as a competitive sport?
It is like going to a rock concert and sporting event at the same time, you get the best of both worlds.

Where did you get the idea to make a movie about this subject?
We got it from an article in the Wall St. Journal: where all great rock n roll ideas come from.

What made C. Diddy (David Jung) and Bjorn Turoque (Dan Crane) stand out to you as protagonists for the movie, besides the attention each had received in the media?
C diddy wore a lot of red satin and a Hello Kitty breast plate and was an obvious master of air, Bjorn Turoque had a way of showing up so he was kind of hard to miss.

I really liked how you covered the reactions of the competitors' parents. What was the general reaction from the parents to their offspring participating in the Air Guitar championships? I think the parents reacted like all parents should react when their children are involved in an competitive art form. They want their kids to be the best they can be- doesn't matter what the art form or sport, they get involved and caught up in it. My favorite moment was at the 45 Special bar in Oulu Finland, when Mrs Jung had her first bar experience and the naked guy got up on stage- I think this left a lasting impression.

Air Guitar Nation is out on DVD today.

Kasper Hauser Live Redux

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The Coming just posted some wonderful pictures of Kasper Hauser at the UCB in LA. Great, great stuff. Much respect to the photog, Mike Carano. Above, left to right: John Reichmuth, Dan Klein (ducking), Rob Baedeker, James Reichmuth.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Ep 35: Wedding Bells & the Warped Tour

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On this week's program, Jordan discusses how it felt to visit the Warped Tour as an adult. Jesse takes calls from listeners with wedding suggestions.

ACTION ITEMS:


*What were the best and worst weddings you've ever been to? What made them like that?
*Vote in the Zoo Animal Showdown!

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* 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.

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

Podcast: John Sellers, author of "Perfect From Now On"

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Show: 
Bullseye


John Sellers is the author of "Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life." It's really two stories -- how he fell in love with indie, and how he came to obsess over the band Guided By Voices. Eventually, Sellers met the band, and disaster ensued.

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!
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You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
The Indies - Doug Martsch of Built to Spill & Bill Plimpton
Deerhoof's Greg Saunier
Ted Leo
Faking It: Authenticity in Popular Music

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