The Blog of Young America

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March 20th: Wear a sweater for Mr. Rogers

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Speedy Delivery: March 20th is a day to celebrate the birthday of Fred Rogers, both in Pittsburgh and around the country, by wearing a favorite sweater.

I think you will agree that Mr. Rogers is a man who exemplified everything that's wonderful and important about mass communication. He was a man who lived his life to honor the wonder and beauty of childhood, and to usher children into adolescence with a sense of grace, compassion and morality.

MaxFunster Davey Rothbart of Found Magazine had the chance to spend some time with Mr. Rogers as a child, and he made this amazing piece about the experience for This American Life. I must have listened to it half a dozen times by now, and I cry every time, as I think about the love in that man's heart.

The legacy of Mr. Rogers makes me proud to work in public broadcasting.

Jack McBrayer + Maria Carey = "Touch My Body"

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Hey! There's Jack McBrayer, celebrity actor and all-around CLASS ACT! With Mariah Carey, SAME and SAME!

Fred Simmons on Conan

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Word on the street is that The Foot-Fist Way is the funniest thing since ever. Or maybe since Wet Hot American Summer. We'll see... the people behind it are making a TV series for HBO and they cast Andy Daly, so they've certainly got that going for them.

Kasper Hauser Facebook Page

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Yeah, I'm on a fucking Facebook page TEAR.

You know who's a big Kasper Hauser fan? Ben Karlin, former Executive Producer and Head Writer of The Daily Show and co-creator of The Colbert Report, that's who. HE TOLD ME HIMSELF.

Kasper Hauser on Facebook: Become a Fan!

JoJo Honeybee!

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This is one of the most important discoveries in the history of YouTube.

The one-time end-of-show theme music for The Sound of Young America, "JoJo Action" by German pop group Mr. President. I still know all the words to the "rap" breakdown!

Thank you Leanne for sending me this! You have made my month!

JJGo Facebook Page

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If you're on the internet website "Face Book," now is a perfect time to "become a fan" of "Jordan Jesse Go."

Here's a HyperLink.

Second MaximumFun.org Annual Oscar (tm) Live-Blog

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Exciting! I'll update this as the Oscars (tm) progress!

6 PM: Eat dinner -- MMMM spinach pizza!

7 PM: Hey, I've got an old SNL with musical guest Randy Newman and hosts Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short!

8 PM: SNL was always a little slow and very hit-and-miss. That's OK, it's a hard show to make!

9 PM: After Valentine's day, candy is cheap. How many tiny boxes of Nerds can I eat in one night?

9:20 PM: My tongue hurts!

10 PM: I'm sleepy. I'm going to get in bed and finish Ben Karlin's book.

10:45 PM: I'm going to sleep.

That concludes our second annual Oscars (tm) live blog! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Stuff White People Like

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The blog "Stuff White People Like," which about half a dozen people have forwarded me, insisting that I love it, is OK. The premise and joke are ones I've heard about a thousand times, and I just don't find them particularly insightful or funny. I mean, it's fine. It's cute. But it's not all that.

In other words, "Stuff White People Like" are no Black People Love Us, which I just visited for the first time in years and love perhaps even more now than when it first debuted. Now that shit is funny. (Co-created by Chelsea Peretti, by the way).

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse Go Ep. 52: Jordan, Jesse GAME

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This week on the show Jesse and Jordan are joined by Kevin Pereira of G4 TV's Attack of the Show. They discuss how to hydrate balls, Fat Dracula and more.

Here's some bonus audio, a segment which I accidentally didn't put in the show about internet privacy: MP3 Link.

ACTION ITEMS:

* What should Jesse and Jordan do with the $20?
* Got a creative interpretation of JJGo? Call it in and we'll greenlight it or... whatever the opposite of greenlighting is!

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

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Interview: Amplive of Zion I

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Amplive is the producer of the Bay Area hip-hop duo Zion I. Along with MC Zion, Amp has stood at the forefront of the second generation of underground hip-hop in the Bay, following in the footsteps of artists like Hieroglyphics and Hobo Junction. More recently, Amp has broadened his production resume, producing among others Kafani's hyphy hit "Fassst Like A Nascar" and Goapele's R&B hit "Closer." Zion I's most recent album is a collaboration with Living Legends' Grouch called "Heroes in the City of Dope." (See the video for Hit 'Em f. Mistah FAB above)

Amplive recently made national headlines with his album "Rainydayz Remixes," a full remix album of Radiohead's recent "In Rainbows" release. After receiving a cease-and-desist from the band's management, Amp has finally obtained the rights to legally release the album free over the internet. It features Bay Area hip-hop superstars like Too $hort and Del tha Funky Homosapien. I interviewed Amp via email as he prepared for Zion I's "Fresh Coast" tour with Mistah FAB, which kicks off February 29th in San Jose.

Jesse Thorn: You've continued to consolidate your underground success with Zion I, but you've also produced a few local radio hits that are more Hyphy than "backpacker." To what extent are you serving two separate audiences there? Do you do it consciously? Does the uniqueness of the Bay Area scene contribute to how this all plays out?

Amplive: I just make the music that I feel and like. Out here in the Bay the audiences arent as separate as you think. There are a big variety of national groups that come from here. you have groups like Souls of Mischief, DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Anticon to groups like E40, Too Short, Mista Fab, Kafani, and The Pack. Those audiences merge all the time. That;s what makes making music in the bay for a producer like me easy.

JT: You're a hip-hop producer, though you've produced some R&B records and certainly have a lot of other influences in your work. What's the connection between hip-hop and Radiohead?

A: Well, one of the reasons that I really started digging Radiohead was that they always had a few songs on their record that had a hip hop feel to it. Whether it was the drums they used or the steady pattern of the beat, it had a hip hop feel. You have a song like "National Anthem" or "Karma Police” that not only sounded tight but you could actually spin in a mix. Those elements set them apart from other rock groups.

JT: What separates hip-hop and Radiohead?

A: Well honestly, the way music has merged so much these days, the only thing I think that separates them from hip hop is that there they aren’t rapping.

JT: Was there a track on the remix album that was particularly exciting for you? Why?

I would have to say that remixing the song "Weird Fishes" really felt good. The original sounds so damn good. Every step I took in tweaking it just felt great and I didnt make any changes to what I was doing. That rarely happens.

JT: Is remixing a Radiohead album part gimmick? Why do a whole record?

A: I dont know what the gimmick would be if it was one. I am a music producer and I create remixes. I liked the In Rainbows album so much that I wanted to remix all of it.

Amplive's Rainydayz Remixes is available free here. You can find Zion I online at zioncrew.com.

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