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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

Kitchen Gun v. Bathroom Monkey

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Two great ways to clean your home.

Kitchen Gun, from The Peter Serafinowicz Show


Bathroom Monkey, from Saturday Night Live

Dollar Store Insoles

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I bought a pair of insoles from the dollar store. I often wear insoles, as my feet aren't very tall.

Here is what they have written on them:

FUNCTION:
* high-ventilative
* stink-removing
* with excellent sweat-
absorption effect
* soft,cosy,and reducing
the friction between foot
and shoes.

If I can achieve any two of those things in my life, I will die a success.

"Ahn. Hm." by Daniel Ferreira

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A month or two ago, an artist from Brazil named Daniel Ferreira emailed me to ask me permission to use a Sound of Young America podcast to make a derivative work. I was more than happy to say yes, and the product was a wonderful bit of sound art called "Ahn. Hm."

Here's what Ferreira says about the piece:
"The idea behind this was to remove all audio except for the portions referring to the secondary functions of language, like the emotive (non-verbal sounds) and the phatic (referring to the message itself or to the communication channel)."

I think it's kind of beautiful and completely fascinating. One thing I really like about it is that he focuses on how these sounds do have meaning -- they're not just noises we make if we're too dumb to make words. Sometimes I get an email from an irate radio listener upset because there are too many "likes" and "uhms" in the show. From now on, I'll share this piece with them.

The interview used is our show from last year, with cartoonist Ariel Schrag.

Sly Stone was on Morning Becomes Eclectic?

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Holy shit!

DJ Quik flips a sample.

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I can promise you that this won't become an All Quik All The Time blog, but I was fascinated by a piece in Urb which found the source sample for a track off of DJ Quik and Kurupt's upcoming record.

Here's the song, "Hey Playa":

You'll notice it's built around two key samples -- a little horn riff, and a Moroccan singer, who provides most of the song's melody.

So where did Quik find that Moroccan song? Was it in a dusty record shop in Exotic Istanbul? Nope, it was from the Travel Channel, and a show called "Bizarre Foods."

Of course, the last time Quik made headlines sampling from the TV, it was for Truth Hurts' 2002 hit "Addictive."

For that track, Quik sampled this Hindi track, Thoda Resham Lagta Hai by Lata Mangeshkar:

Quik said he didn't clear the sample because he didn't know the origin of the song -- he'd recorded it off of his TV while watching a Bollywood movie on the Indian channel. Of course, that didn't fly for the copyright holders, who waited for "Addicted" to become a huge hit, then sued Quik, Truth Hurts and their record company, Aftermath, for a quajillion dollars.

So, did Quik do his legal homework this time? Will a random Moroccan guy in a restaurant somehow find out about this and sue his pants off?

Can anyone identify the song the Moroccan guy is playing?

I need to stop being so quotable.

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Rob Baedeker of Kasper Hauser is also a columnist for SFGate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. In his column, Money Tales, he writes about how people's lives and people's money interact. When we held our pledge drive, he asked if he could write a bit about how I've pieced together a living from what amounts to my college radio show.

Of course, in the space of half a dozen or so paragraphs, I manage to claim to be "vicious like the wolverine" and to reject the bedrock principles of capitalism by saying "I look at the marketplace and say, 'Ugh, people want that?"

In other words: I have to learn to be less quotable.

That said, it's a really lovely article, and can be read here.

Brother Ali - The Good Lord

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When I was in Chicago last year, Nathan Rabin from the AV Club gave me the business for not being up on Brother Ali. He was right, Ali can really rap.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Tom vs. The Flash"

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Deep into the hunt for unusual, innovative podcasts, one would not normally give a comic book show a second look, let alone a first listen. If there's anything of which the podcasting world has a surfeit, it's guys talking about movies and television. But if there's anything else of which the podcasting world has a surfeit, it's guys talking about video games. But beyond that, if there's still anything else of which the podcasting world has a surfeit, it's guys talking about comic books. Being nothing but a guy talking about comic books, Tom vs. The Flash [iTunes link] would seem to be a prime candidate for the "listen upon the introduction of the 30-hour day" file. But here's the thing: it's not just freeform comics chatter. Host Tom Katers, also of the well-regarded comic-book culture podcast Around Comics, has actually adopted a fairly disciplined and unusual format: each episode, he describes to the audience one issue of The Flash. In the episode following, he describes the next issue of The Flash. And on, one assumes, into infinity.

This is a godsend to anyone who wants to catch up on what's gone on over The Flash's last forty-odd years. though Katers probably didn't hold that utilitarian a vision when conceiving the program. In fact, it didn't even begin as Tom vs. The Flash; the first half of the archive has Katers taking on the Justice League of America. So this isn't about superhero narrative completism. It's about reading old comic books and having one hell of a good time doing it. When Katers blasts through an issue of The Flash, he doesn't simply read it, he doesn't simply snark on it, and — boy, is your Podthinker thankful for this — he doesn't obsessively nitpick misalignments with scientific fact and the greater Flash chronology. Yes, he announces a few passages verbatim; yes, he makes fun; yes, he points out the creators' more egregious dismissals of plausibility and continuity. But he does it so joyfully!

While "joyful" is rarely the word for any podcast, it has to lie at the core of any description of Tom vs. The Flash. Katers sounds utterly thrilled to be telling us Flash stories, to be admiring them where their artistry can be admired, to be ridiculing them where they deserve a bit of ridicule, and to be reading the things in the first place. This holds even when the comics frustrate them, as when he admits that he's had to restart a recording three times because one story was too ridiculously convoluted to accurately relate in takes one and two. And anyone who's read broad superhero comics of the era — Katers is currently reading Flash issues from the late 1960s — knows that ridiculous convolution is the least of their stories' problems. The tales related on the podcast are usually deadly cocktails of contrivance, preposterousness and ham-handedness. One of them is about aliens who steal the Eiffel Tower.

That's not to say that the adventures of the super-speedy Barry Allen (the second of several Flashes, it seems) and his main squeeze Iris in the bustling metropolis of Central City lack all charm. Perhaps the fact that he's nobody's idea of iconic is what makes this high-tech dredging-up of his midcentury exploits so endearing in the first place. Though the concept stands every chance of swerving into tiresome territory, Katers appears to know exactly when and how much to take what he's reading seriously. Surely your Podthinker can be forgiven for claiming that striking a controlled balance in that department is not a skill of particular prevalence in the comic-book community. One unanswered question remains, though: can The Flash outrun Superman? And if not, why not?

Vital stats:
Format: man reading The Flash
Running since: January 2008
Duration: 9m-20m
Frequency: every 2-3 days
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Podthinker Colin Marshall fights the West Coast Avengers, himself. Other superheroes or superhero teams can challenge him at colinjmarshall at gmail.]

See a taping of Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black's new show...

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If you're in the New York area, you can see a taping of Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter's new show, "Michael & Michael Have Issues." It's taping in New York on Thursday, May 28th. Click through for details.

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