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Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go


Thanks to J. Smooth at Tuberaider for sharing this amazing clip of the Backyard Band, one of the best go-go bands in Washington DC. The song is "Ruff it Off," and it's filmed for a local TV station. You can see a bit of DC Hardcore in this DC Go-Go video...

I think it's wonderful that our country still has vibrant regional musical styles like Go-Go. Baltimore club music is another example... despite what some might have you believe, there are regional music styles, particularly in urban music, that remain more than just museum pieces.

In DC, there are posters for Go-Go shows plastered on every lamppost (well, every lamppost in certain parts of town). Bands like Backyard play every week at certain clubs, and folks go every week to party. Here's the father of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, rocking a DC club in 1994.

On a related note... if you don't read the Times regularly, there was a great piece this week by kelefa sanneh about New Orleans hip-hop. It's a manifesto on a topic sanneh has been alluding to for months -- the way the media and dominant culture have ignored New Orleans today, even as they've celebrated "New Orleans jazz" (led by Wynton Marsalis, who's made quite a career of telling white people black culture is something that happened between 1920 and 1955). I wouldn't say that I'm Bout It Bout It, but I agree that Juvenile and Lil Wayne are two of the most talented cats out.

Don't believe me? Watch Weezie rip the Booth at Rap City and tell me otherwise... (and if you need more proof, watch him rock "Shooter" with Thicke)

Paul Rust is planning for May Day.


Paul Rust has big plans for this May Day, and they don't involve Maypoles or the workers of the world:

"May Day" is tomorrow, which if you remember, is that special day when we leave baskets of candy on people's doorsteps, ring their doorbells, and run away. If we get caught, we get kissed.

Call me wily (Pauly T. Wily), but I got a few tricks up my sleeve for this year's "May Day."

Yeah, I'm gonna' leave some baskets of candy on some doorsteps. And sure, I'm gonna' ring some doorbells. And hell yes, I will run away - but just one catch: I'm gonna' run away reeaaaaal slow. I'll surely be caught!

You see, I wanna' be kissed!!!

More plans here.



My 10-year-old brother EDDY DEMON and his PUNK ROCK BAND TOTAL ANNIHILATION will be rocking the snot out of the Potrero Neighborhood House Friday May 12th. It's a benefit for the Jhai Foundation, an international development NGO (find out more by clicking the link). Tickets are $10 at the door, no donation too large, no one turned away for lack of funds.


Total Annihilation on the interweb.

Girls Guitar Club


Strangely, Mary Lynn Rajskub has become famous for her character Chloe on "24." I have to say that I've never seen 24, but I have seen Mary Lynn and Karen Kilgariff rock the house with the Girls' Guitar Club.

Here's a short film they made in 2001, which features Nick Swardson among others.

Moichandising moichandising moichandising!


In the first few weeks of The Sound of Young America's new, listener-supported era, we've gotten a number of contributions from listeners. We're up to about $75/month in steady income, which certainly isn't enough to live on (the ultimate goal), but will certainly give me some capital to reinvest in the show.

For example:

I'm preparing the big mailing to everyone who filled out our listener survey at the end of 2005. I finally found an old copy of Office 2000, and used it to complete the required mail merge... I'll pick winners of all the many prizes (Onion books, DVDs, etc) soon and announce them in the May newsletter.

I also hopped onto Ebay to purchase a card laminator... everyone who responded to the survey will get a brand new Maximum Fun Club card, laminated by yours truly (well, my girlfriend volunteered to help). Hopefully I won't burn my face off or anything.

Also! I just ordered some Sound of Young America stickers... the image on them is pictured above. Everyone will get one of those, too.

I've also got Dan Grayson, best known for designing the TSOYA website and co-writing (and singing) the theme song, "Maximum Fun," working on two other merchandise projects as well... the first is a new "Maximum Fun" pin with the pink elephants graphic I've been using for The College Years.

The second is... wait for it... T-Shirts!

Once Dan's done designing them, I'm off to Barrios Unidos in Santa Cruz to spend my life savings having them printed up. BU is a great non-profit that works with at-risk kids in Santa Cruz and Salinas, helping them build their community. We decided to print them on American Apparel shirts, not really for political reasons (my friend who's a union organizer tells me that while they're sweatshop-free, they're also big union busters), but mostly because those are some really nice shirts. Shirts are so expensive, I'm not sure how we'll distribute them, but I'll think of something.

Anyway, I need to know what size people are, so click here to take the one-question survey.

Jonathan Coulton at Mo Pitkins in NYC


Our pal John Hodgman drops us a line about his partner-in-crime, Jonathan Coulton:

I wanted to let you Coulton fans know that Coulton is offering a VERY SPECIAL concert of songs themed to the first of May (and other themes) on May 1, this Monday, at 7PM, at "Mo Pitkin's" THE place to go for bawdy calendar-based songs and also: chopped liver.

He has many many more songs than you've heard before, as he has been writing one per week for the past 1000 years--part of his incredible "Thing A Week" podcast via his website, called, not surprisingly

Coulton is indeed hilarious, and his website features lots of music you can hear, buy and get for free. It's a unique twist on the pop-rock-humor hpioneered by They Might Be Giants. Like "Skullcrusher Mountain," as heard on The Sound of Young America, which is the usual evil-maniac's-lament type tune.

San Francisco Film Festival


The San Francisco International Film Festival is in full swing here in San Francisco. There are many, many films being shown, but programmer Sean Uyehara offers us some tips on upcoming films worth checking out...

Backstage, Dir Emmanuelle Bercot (France)
Backstage takes on the dark, frenzied world of fandom, immersing viewers in a surreal melodrama of desire in which Lucie, a starstruck teenager, develops an unsavory and dangerous relationship with her idol, pop icon Lauren.

Sean says: "It's sort of like Aaron Spelling meets Antonioni... it's the kind of film that's crossing so many boundaries, it's really a fun, crazy ride."

Screens at the Kabuki in San Francisco, Tues May 02 / 7PM

Cock Byte: Masters of Machinima
Machine animation geniuses Rooster Teeth Productions, creators of the wildly popular online episodic parodies Red vs Blue and The Strangerhood, appear in person to present their greatest hits and new work, all made using the 3D graphics engines from videogames.

Sean says: "Our executive direct likes to say 'they give machinima legs.' There's a lot of people tinkering with machinima, it's really interesting, it's really neat, but it needed a step forward in the evolutionary process to really turn into something that seems viable in the long term and that's what Rooster Teeth is doing."

Screens at the Aquarius in Palo Alto Wed, May 03 / 6:45

Adam's Apples, Dir. Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark
A pitch-black comedy/religious parable in which a truculent neo-Nazi ex-convict and a dementedly upbeat country priest square off amid Old Testament plagues centered on a parish apple tree.

Sean says: "It's about someone who gets out of prison, doesn't feel like righting himself, and then anything that you can imagine going wrong to him does. And it's hilarious. Because it's not happening to you."

Screening at the Aquarius in Palo Alto, Tue, May 02 / 9:30 PM

Addictive TV, England/France
Trailblazing VJ outfit Addictive TV presents a "best of" selection from the acclaimed Optronica film and music festival and performs The Eye of the Pilot, a live mashup of 1950s 8mm film, art deco-inspired graphics and music.

Sean says: "Imagine your favorite DJ, doing your favorite music mix... some sort of mashup. And then taking your favorite films, your favorite TV spots, some archival footage, mixing it all up, and putting it together. It's an absolutely overwhelming, mind-boggling experience."

Showing/Performing at the Kabuki in San Francisco Mon, May 02 / 9:45 and
at the nightclub Mighty in SF Wed, May 03 / 9:00

Sean talks about watching 1400 films a year for the festival on this week's show.

E-40 is Quarterbackin'


"hyphy is energy, it's lettin' yourself go, it's doin' the fool, it's actin' the rectum, it's a stress reliever, it's lettin' your hair down, it's energy, you know what I mean? If I wanted to put it in a sentence, I could say, 'What happened over there, man? Why that shit happen over there, they throwin' shit up, and it's a whole bunch of hyphy mo'fuckers makin' believe they fools.' That's the way you put that in a sentence."

E-40 interview on Pop Matters

The Princess Bride


What a coincidence... I was just reading the bit of William Goldman's wonderful Hollywood memoir, "Which Lie Did I Tell?" where he talks about The Princess Bride. And what do I find on the internet? The Princess Bride for $5.99 with free shipping. Use code 85704.

Podcast: College Years - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

This week on TSOYA: The College Years:
* The Evil Computer Bent on World Domination stops by for a rousing session of "Relationship advice from an Evil Computer Bent on World Domination."
* The Extreme Weatherman gives us weather that is now five years out of date.
* Gene describes a dream he had, in which Nolan Ryan made out with his mom.
* We hear an amazing dream from Dan about emo kids taking over UCSC's Porter College, with a twist that must be heard to be believed.
* A caller calls in and tells us she listens every week -- we don't know that she'll call in a few months later, ask Gene out, and they will then date for over a year.
* We have a contentious discussion about Radiohead

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