Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: “Low Budget FM”

Posted by Maximum Fun on 5th July 2009

At one time, Marc Chambers and Tod Perry rode high on their decentish time slots on the talk stations 103.7 FREE FM in San Diego and then 97.1, also FREE FM, in Los Angeles. Though their young show reportedly managed to attain a reasonable status of belovedness, their station nonetheless gave ’em the ax when These Economic Times rendered the FM talk format financially untenable. Fortunately for us podcast-listeners, this FM Talkpocalypse, if you will, has given up and continues to give up a cornucopia of new internet-only shows helmed by displaced “real” broadcasters. Adam Carolla’s mind-blowingly successful venture has been discussed in this space before, and Chambers and Perry, also L.A. guys, have followed suit with Low Budget FM [iTunes link].

Since both co-hosts sound and appear to be two twenty/thirtysomething guys who bullshit about culture, the show would initially seem to be yet another entry into the fabulously glutty podcast genre of the TTWGBAC. But be apprised that they record in a “barn” (as they call it), not a basement! And said barn is located in L.A.’s Koreatown, a subregion that also happens to be the home of the Maximum Fun Home Office. Given their background in no-it-actually-goes-out-over-the-air radio, they go a bit heavier on the drops, the bits, the music and the general “liveness” than do podcasters qua podcasters; like regular radio bits, drops, etc., these strategies sometimes prove hilarious, and sometimes prove, well, chuckleworthy enough. Some of the productions verge on theater of the mind, as when the show lapses into faux commercials and elaborate Tom Leykis parodies. It seems, though, that their material is more effective when they go simpler.

Just chattin’ ’bout stuff, for example; that’s pretty darn simple, and they pull it off with vim, brio and several other dusty, disused adjective-y nouns. Stimulating topics of late have been based upon such various vagaries of a dude’s life as what do to when you see some dude in your ex-girlfriends’s Facebook profile image [MP3] whether or not to share money with your ladyfriend [MP3], how best to take to international waters when you’re basically done with society [MP3], and whether it’s worth flying to Denver just for a shot at some chaunch [MP3]. “Chaunch,” by the by, is the hosts’ recently-invented term for the ladyparts; journalistic responsibility demands that your Podthinker report that he found their repeated usage of the word — and specifically that — more hilarious than most of what he’s been hearing anywhere in the last few months.

It’s also worth nothing that these guys are putting out this stuff on (pretty much) a daily basis, which is perhaps no great shakes in the remains of the commercial radio industry but which still comes off as a yeoman’s job in podcasting. And they also change it up by bringing in buddies, guests, and buddy-guests, the most entertaining of whom happens to be the I.P.A.-loving Mike Cioffi, also known as one of Adam Carolla’s tech guys. And, though this isn’t really apropos to a podcast column, they actually do the show live as well; you can listen as they stream on ErrorFM. They also talk quite often about doing something on a site called “Stickam”, on which your Podthinker might elaborate if he knew what Stickam was. This all adds up to position Low Budget FM as something of a bridge between talk radio and podcasting — a comedic bridge, that is. All bridges should be this funny. Or at least somehow involve chaunch.

Vital stats:
Format: comedy/TTWGBAC hybrid
Running since: October 28
Duration: 4m-50m
Frequency: near-daily
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Podthoughts questions, comments, ideas, suggestions, threats? Contact Podthinker Colin Marshall at colinjmarshall at gmail.]