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Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Spilled Milk

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Vital stats:
Format: ingredient-based food talk, with cooking
Duration: ~15m
Frequency: biweekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

Could it really be that I’ve written this column for over two years, covering well over 100 podcasts, without once touching a show of the specifically culinary variety? I’ve reviewed comedycasts, I’ve reviewed gamecasts, I’ve reviewed filmcasts and I’ve reviewed bitchaboutHollywood’streatmentofBatmancasts, but it seems that no foodcast has yet gotten my attention. It’s not as if I’ve heard from any foodies about this, but the point is that I’d like to avoid hearing from any foodies about this — they just seem so unhappy on the inside. Here to launch the long, arduous task of rectification is Spilled Milk [RSS] [iTunes].

This is a foodcast where, every two weeks, two Seattle food critics chat about one sort of ingredient and usually cook a recipe using it. That sounds a little Iron Chef-esque, but the definition of “ingredient” seems to vary from episode to episode: rhubarb [MP3] and ham [MP3] you might expect, but I doubt Chairman Kaga ever unveiled “junk food” [MP3] or “mystery lunch” [MP3]. The hosts always have a number of experiences to share about the food of the day, usually have a variety of goofy jokes (often puns) to crack about it, and sometimes even offer a live segment where they cook with it or shop for it.

One of these hosts, Matthew Amster-Burton, wrote a book about getting his young daughter to eat foods other than the tremendously sucky ones (“chicken fingers”) society normally feeds its children, which sounds like no mean feat but a worthwile one indeed. (And though I wasn’t familiar with his written work, his name nonetheless drew me to the show because a favorite blogger type guy of mine has mentioned it a few times.) The other, Molly Wizenberg, wrote a memoir/cookbook and runs a pizza place. They’re pretty damned snappy on their mics — snappier than you’d expect from people doing a lot of ingredient-handling and, uh, ingredient-eating — but something tonal keeps me from being able to listen to their foodular discourse for too long in a sitting. I eventually get the phrase “this is Why They Hate Us” and that Katie Roiphe line about young male writers’ gelding by feminism running through my head.

But there’s only so much to listen to at a time. Clocking in around the vicinity of fifteen minutes, each episode rides the line between briskness and over-before-it-begins attenuation. Its crisp, minimalist production aesthetic manages to cram a lot into a short runtime, though, and I suspect the editor’s craft gets put to much more work than is obvious on the surface. Plus, Spilled Milk has gifted me with the image of a wad of ham being wedged into the center of a rice ball, and for that I am grateful.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also hosts the public radio program and podcast The Marketplace of Ideas, which only a recent forum thread made it occur to him that he could link to here (because that's just the kind of high-powered self-promoter he is). Reach him at colinjmarshall at gmail.]

Pootie Tang on Hulu

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Pootie: the Pone Tony.

RIP, Manute Bol

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One of our time's greatest New Sincericists. A man who dedicated all of the power he had to improving the lives of the impoverished natives of his homeland, the Sudan. A Real American (and African) Hero. We were lucky to have been witness to his great life.

Bol's first stint with the Golden State Warriors was in a prime sports-following time of my life - I was 9 and 10 years old. His unusual style and amazing physique (and the rumors that he'd killed a lion) made him my favorite Warrior. When my friend Peter's mom met and took a picture with him, the deal was sealed.

During Bol's second stint with the Warriors, his final NBA season, I listened on the radio to one of the greatest nights of his career. This is how Wikipedia described it (I'm happy it actually happened, that I didn't imagine it):

On a memorable night in the middle of November, Bol finally made his home debut, coming off of the bench to play 29 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He intimidated and blocked his usual shots and grabbed his usual rebounds. That night, however, served as a "blast from the past" as Bol was back to shooting three pointers like he did in the late-1980s. In that game, Bol connected on all three of the three pointers that he took (each was shot several steps beyond the three point line). The crowd, in disbelief, cheered louder and louder with each shot he took.

I was cheering at home, with my desk radio tuned in to KNBR 68, THE Sports Leader. I'll be thinking fondly of Manute today.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 136: Salad Days with Brian Heater

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Brian Heater

Brian Heater, from the PC Magazine After Hours podcast, joins Jesse and Jordan to discuss indignities and foolish mistakes made in Santa Cruz, meat etiquette and more.

Mr. Freeze

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"The Coolest Writer in America is obviously Mr. Freeze, DC Comics villain and author of the memoir Early On I Made A Decision To Incorporate A Cold Motif Into My Crime Sprees: A Life." - Colson Whitehead

Devo's Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Gerald Casale
Guests: 
Mark Mothersbaugh

Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh are founding members of the art-rock band Devo. They had remarkable chart success in the early 1980s, including the hit Whip It. Their philosophy of devolution, compelling videos and bold aesthetic presentation were as big a part of the band as their danceable rock music. Their latest record, Something For Everybody, is their first since 1990.​

Gerry and Mark talk with us about how they arrived at their theory that mankind was on an inexorable downward slide, and how playing rock and roll music in crazy outfits fit into that philosophical framework. They also chat about the philosophy behind their new project. On "Something For Everybody," every song has been focus grouped, and every element of presentation has been selected for maximum saleability. Also, they talk about that Swiffer commercial where "Whip It" was changed to "Swiff It."

Jim & Tammi Bakker and Huell Howser

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A magical moment, via Huell's Facebook.

Pledge Drive Update!

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* Sound of Young America DVDs are at the mailing house now. They'll go out first class mail this week, and you should expect them within about two weeks.

* T-shirts are currently being printed by our pals at VGKids.com. We're expecting them back here within a week or two, then we'll schedule a big volunteer day to get them out the door.

* When we schedule said volunteer day, we'll also be sending out the other, non-DVD, non-T-Shirt thank you gifts.

So: expect your thank yous in about 2-4 weeks, and don't worry if they haven't arrived yet. We're (obviously) a media outfit, and not a direct mail operation, so we're getting them out as promptly as possible. Thank you for your support!

The Future is Bright at MaximumFun.org

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With our pledge drive done and my post-pledge-drive vacation a thing of the past, I thought it was a good time to let you know where we're at here at MaximumFun.org.

Firstly: my thanks go out to the more than one thousand donors who support maximumfun.org with small gifts every month. Without you, we're nothing. Seriously, I couldn't even pay my rent. Thank you.

This year's pledge drive was a great success, and it's allowed us to make some major changes here at MaximumFun.org.

First of all: our artists are getting raises. We're literally quadrupling the amount that we pay Graham Clark & Dave Shumka for Stop Podcasting Yourself, and we're doing the same to the money Jordan makes as co-host of Jordan, Jesse, Go!. It's hard to make money for your work in creative-world, especially without working for The Man, and I'm proud that we're paying everyone. I'm also proud to have these three guys as part of the team.

Second of all: we're giving a raise to our behind-the-scenes guy, Nick White. He's the editor of The Sound of Young America, and he'll be getting a 38% raise (up to industry standards) for the great work he does editing the show. We're also refocusing his time on editing - hopefully we'll be able to continue raising the production standards of The Sound of Young America, making it tighter, taughter, and smoother, like the calf of a particularly muscular baby.

Thirdly: we're adding staff. Beginning in July, Julia Smith will be moving from Intern to Associate Producer. For the time being, she'll be working three days a week, helping with the blog and with booking on The Sound of Young America. Julia's proven herself to be invaluable over the last semester; she was key in producing this year's MaxFunCon, and she also produced and directed the MaxFunMarathon. I think she's got a bright future as a producer here at MaxFun, and I hope that having her on board will lead directly to a better Sound of Young America.

In addition to Julia, we've hired a new Development Director of MaximumFun.org, who'll be announced in a few weeks. It's my hope that bringing a Development Director on board can help us capture additional funding sources - like grants, events and underwriting - that we'd been leaving on the table due, frankly, to my lack of time. My specific goal is to add enough revenue to add hours for both Julia and Nick. I also hope our new Development Director can help engineer funding for future travel - we've really enjoyed doing shows and tapings on the road, but it's expensive, particularly without outside support.

After all that, we've even got a little bit left over to use for things that come along - like say guests who'd need a studio in another city - that we otherwise would have to pass on. I think that all of these things you're supporting are investments in the future of this operation that will pay much more than they cost, so: thank you. The future for maximumfun.org is bright, and it's due to the support of folks like you.

Jesse

Beanie Sigel f. Freeway - Roc the Mic

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Noz' list of The Top Ten Rap Songs of All Time Of Today reminded me that this is like the greatest song ever.

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