The Blog of Young America

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you, our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you, and our lively forum community will connect you with others. About

Dick Cavett & Eddie Murphy - BFF

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These guys are best pals of all time. Deee-lightful.

David Letterman can barely get a word in edge-wise.

Dan Grayson Rocks Canoga Park Sunday

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Long, long, long-time Sound of Young America friend Dan Grayson, writer-performer (not to mention producer and engineer) of our theme song, Maximum Fun, has the debut show of a new project Sunday in Los Angeles.

Dan's played in a variety of bands around LA, but for the past year or so, he's been furiously working on something called "Yes Means Yes." It's sort of a solo record, sort of a song suite, sort of a band, sort of an art project. In performance, Dan will be accompanied by some sort of complex computer music setup, a bevy of visual art, some sound-sensitive lightboxes he built from scratch, and some other stuff. He sees it as an inter-media operation. He'll be opening for his former band, The Karabal Nightlife, which is fronted by the prodigiously talented guitarist Jesse Davis, who we also knew in college.

Anyway, the club's The Verity Room, 7503 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Canoga Park. Show's at 8, Dan's up first.

Mike Daisey show interrupted by anti-art terrorists...

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You may remember monologuist Mike Daisey from our live show in New York City late last year, when he told an amazing story about his childhood in Maine. Mike is an extremely nice guy, a gifted performer, and a thoughtful man. Last night, his show was interrupted by a choreographed mass walkout.

I'm still dealing with all the ramifications, but here's what it felt like from my end: I am performing the show to a packed house, when suddenly the lights start coming up in the house as a flood of people start walking down the aisles--they looked like a flock of birds who'd been startled, the way they all moved so quickly, and at the same moment...it was shocking, to see them surging down the aisles. The show halted as they fled, and at this moment a member of their group strode up to the table, stood looking down on me and poured water all over the outline, drenching everything in a kind of anti-baptism.

Here's his full description of the events.

If you live in the Boston area, I think the best way to respond to this kind of madness is to go to his show. If you're on the fence, try reading this rapturous review in the Boston Globe. Mike will be at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge through May 8th. It's worth your time.

Podcast: Steven Wright

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Show: 
Bullseye

Steven Wright is a standup comedy legend. He's also an Academy Award winner, and is well known for playing, well, Steven Wright-like guys in films like Reservoir Dogs, Half Baked and Babe: Pig in the City.

His new comedy special "When the Leaves Blow Away" is about to be released on DVD -- it's his first special in 15 years.

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!

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Big Things at BET

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Reginald Hudlin, who directed films like Boomerang and House Party before becoming a TV executive, has promised to expand dramatically the pallette of programming on BET. Some people were a bit suspicious of this promise. (I'm referring specifically to everyone who has ever watched BET).

The network unveiled their lineup for next season, though, and from the looks of it, he's really following through. Among the offerings are an animated sketch series from Orlando Jones and Ali LeRoi, a sitcom about post-college malaise called "Somebodies," adapted from the indie film of the same name, and a reality show about rich black kids called "Baldwin Hills."

Not everything looks great on paper, but what it does look like is a genuine commitment to representing much more of the black experience -- not just rappers in the ghetto or wholesome grandmothers on Soul Food: The Series. I think it'd be tough to overstate how signficant that is.

Just think: a show about SLACKERS who are BLACK! If that doesn't warm your heart, I dunno what will.

Trae f. Z-Ro - No Help

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I have lots of CDs in my car (OK, I have lots of CDs in my girlfriend's car), but the ones I keep reaching for are Trae and Z-Ro. And here they are together on one of my favorite cuts on Trae's record.

Am I a sad person? Maybe. When I'm driving, anyway.

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe: Ep. 4: The Druggist

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In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varies as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle & Sharpe visit the pharmacy, but the pharmacist is upset when he discovers they are planning a home surgery.

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I Guess Today is Art Day: Arcadia in San Francisco

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Another art event worth attending: Arcadia. It's an annual benefit for San Francisco's Friends of the Urban Forest. Every year they feature spectacular artist-donated pieces like the one above - "Fragment," by Josh Keyes. The work is auctioned off to support the great work that FUF does.

Keyes writes about how a cross-section of the eart reflects our alienation from the natural world:

This piece was a reaction to a housing development project I saw while traveling across the country. There was a clean separation or break between an area of dense forest and the barren stripped area of earth sectioned off for housing developments. The forest that was removed seemed surgical in appearance, and blind to the cohesive ecosystem that had existed there.

The event is Monday the 23rd in San Francisco -- but even if you don't go, you can bid on pieces in absentia, or simply visit the website and gawk at the beautiful work that artists have donated to help green San Francisco.

Beautiful Katamari!

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Jordan discovered that the second sequel to the greatest video game ever, Katamari Damacy, is on it's way. The game will be called Beautiful Katamari Damacy, and apparently the scale of the game will be bigger than ever -- featuring even rolls across the globe.

If this means nothing to you, buy a Playstation 2, then buy Katamari Damacy. I don't care if you like video games or hate them, buying Katamari is a decision that will change your life.

KATAMARI - DO YOUR BEST!

(Above: a screenshot from the second Katamari game, We Heart Katamari.

La Haine on DVD

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I first saw La Haine (Hate) in the theatre, when I was in high school. With the exception of Style Wars, I think it may be the best "hip-hop film" I've ever seen. It tracks three friends in the suburban ghettos of Paris, and anticipates some of the racial and class unrest that we've seen there in the past few years. It's about hip-hop, and youthful alienation, and race, and all that stuff, and is very powerful.

It came out yesterday on Criterion DVD, and I think you should, at the very least, rent it.

Above: one of the film's most remarkable shots, which apparently was achieved using a remote-control helicopter.

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