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Podcast: The Wire's Bubbles and Bunk: Andre Royo and Wendell Pierce

Andre Royo
Wendell Pierce

Jesse is joined by Wendell Pierce ("Bunk," above) and Andre Royo ("Bubbles") from HBO's brilliant crime drama The Wire. The Wire isn't just another cop show -- it's an investigation of contemporary urban America that uses the drug trade as a lens to get at even larger issues. Royo and Pierce discuss what its like to authentically portray urban life, and whether a white writer can capture the largely black experience of inner-city urban life in Baltimore.

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You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Killer Mike
George Pelecanos
Sticking it to the Man with Maz Jobrani and the editors of Bitch

External Links:
Andre Royo's "Property of Bubbles" T-Shirts
The New York Times: Who Gets To Tell A Black Story?
The Believer: Nick Hornby talks with Wire creator David Simon

Recording Phone Calls with Skype


One of the most common questions I get from aspiring (and current) podcasters is how I record my phone interviews. I use a digital telephone hybrid called a Telos One. That answer usually disappoints folks who are hoping I'll offer an answer that costs less than the six or seven hundred dollars they have to pay for the Telos. Isn't there a decent way to record using Skype?

Paul Figgiani and Doug Kaye to the rescue. Paul is the chief engineer at the Conversations Network, and Doug's his boss. I've referred many folks to Paul's superb Podcast Rigs over the years, and he's not only a great engineer, he has a seemingly endless supply of good will and willingness to help those of us who are awful engineers. Now, Paul and Doug have put together a clear and concise guide to recording interviews using Skype. It's a huge service to the podcast community, and thanks to these guys for doing it!

Now, if you only come here for the comedy, we'll be back to that shortly :).

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Ep 48: Crossover


This week on the show Jesse and Jordan are joined by Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap from the Never Not Funny podcast.


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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

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The Pope and Michaelangelo from Monty Python


Something is wrong with The Last Supper.

"Is it the disciples? Did I make them look too Jewish? I tried to make Judas look the most Jewish..."

via Kung Fu Grippe

The Sound of Young America Live in SF: 1/14/08


12/20: Just added... Merlin Mann!
1/4: Just added... Bucky Sinister and Danny Hoch!

Just added to TSOYA Live! in San Francisco!!


San Francisco poet Bucky Sinister reads from his most recent book of poetry, "All Passed Out and Nowhere to Go"!

Danny Hoch, actor, writer and founder of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival talks about his new work, premiering at Berkeley Rep, "Taking Over."

Ticket sales are going great, according to my sources, so be sure to buy yours now for just ten bucks apiece.

Lots of new material on Khraigslist


Kasper Hauser's amazing Craigslist parody Khraigslist has a huge pile of new entries. I have hurt myself laughing.

Also, someone posted it on Digg, so digg it now.

Killer Mike album leaked...

| 1 comment

I think my interview with Killer Mike might be the best in Sound of Young America history. I certainly get more emails from folks about it than any other interview, and that's particularly impressive given the fact that I don't think there were a lot of Killer Mike fans in the TSOYA audience going in. Mike is a brilliant guy and a great MC, whether or not you agree with some of his ideas.

At the time of the interview, Mike was promoting I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind, a posse album that was intended to be a warmup for his second major label release Ghetto Extraordinary. Unforunately, Mike's been bouncing around labels ever since, and that album was never released.

Luckily for us, it has leaked, just in time for the runup to I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind V. 2. So... thanks to, enjoy the album. Below, the interview with Killa Kill.

Tracklist for the album:
01 Get Em Shawty f. Three 6 Mafia (prod. by Three Six Mafia)
02 Gorilla Pimpin (Ghetto Extraordinary) f. 8Ball & MJG (prod. by Mello)
03 Bad Day / Worst Day (prod. by Beat Bullies)
04 Mama Said (prod. by Organized Noize)
05 Gonna Go to Ghana (prod. by Andre3000)
06 Niggaz Down South (prod. by Beat Bullies)
07 Shot Down (prod. by Organized Noize)
08 Chose Me f. SL Jones & Scar (prod. by Ron Browz)
09 My Chrome f. Big Boi (prod. by Mr. DJ of Dungeon Family)
10 Leave This Hood f. Jagged Edge
11 Aye-O (prod. by David Banner)
12 Speak Lord (prod. by Organized Noize)

Bonus Tracks:
13 Push Back f. M.O.P.
14 Bad Day / Worst Day Remix (Clean) f. Ice Cube (prod. by Beat Bullies)

David Cross is 100% in the right.


David Cross is one of the funniest guys in the country, and he's absolutely, positively 1000% correct about it being completely reasonable for him to have taken a role in Alvin & the Chipmunks. Anyone bitching about him having done so should get a life. As Cross notes, he makes a good but modest living and lives in the world's most expensive place. He deserves the money he gets for appearing in dumb projects like Alvin, and the only way I'd even be slightly bothered is if he was starring in and wrote it or something. Then, though, it'd likely be funny, and a moot point.

That said... Kyle Ryan of the AV Club starts to make when he writes:

Cross’ Achilles’ heel has always been his smug sense of superiority; he rarely, if ever, points out his own shortcomings in his stand-up act, only the supposed stupidity of others.

But Cross wrote about

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Midwest Teen Sex Show"


At this point there are plenty of places to find advice on sex and love (including Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast which I profiled). But where, you might ask, can I find good sex ed for teens combined with irreveant sketch comedy? Friends, I direct you to The Midwest Teen Sex Show (iTunes link).

This is a video podcast, with each episode lasting somewhere between three to four and a half minutes long. Topics covered so far include female masturbation, male masturbation, syphilis and, perhaps scariest of all, parents (dealing with them, not becoming them). All are directed by Guy Clark. He keeps the show fast as it switches between information from host Nikol, described as a “former expert practitioner of teen promiscuity,” and other host Britney who plays various different characters in sketches illustrating that particular episode’s theme.

Nikol’s advice is a bit simpler than what someone like Dan Savage brings you but the show, as it says in the name, is for a younger audience. The real advice is laid out perfectly clear. Everything is made easy to absorb, important for young people nervous and inexperienced about sex (don’t worry kids, all those nerves and lack of experience will soon be replaced with jadedness and depression within a few short years). Nikol isn’t afraid to be sarcastic with her information. I laughed real hard at her advice against teenage girls dating adult males: “I know, you met on the Internet and he understands you and guys your age are so immature. The good news: girls mature faster than boys, so start dating girls.” When I first started watching this podcast I couldn’t quite place what so “Midwest” about it. Soon I realized that the show’s humor, especially Nikol’s charisma, shares the dry charm and sardonic wits of Midwestern stalwarts David Letterman and Kurt Vonnegut.

Of course another sign of the show’s Midwestern origins appear when Britney uses a cow udder to model the different types of male masturbation techniques there are. The characters Britney play in her sketches, occasionally aided by other actors, tend to be examples of teens who don’t take Nikol’s advice. Their misfortunes are taken to comic extremes such as one of the girls offering her opinion on why she had sex for the first time: “I have a really amazing vagina and I felt selfish not sharing it with the world.” There are also the bits that are just bizarre, helping to create the overall feel of the show. The inaugural episode featured Britney offering the advice that if you’re masturbating while going through the drive-thru at a fast food place, you better make your order complicated to grant yourself a lot more time.

When I was a teen all we had was Loveline on the radio. Do kids still listen to the radio (I ask on the blog of a PRI program)? I don’t know but I do know they waste a lot of time on this here Internet. I can only hope they come across the Midwest Teen Sex Show and pick up a few lessons.

Also, this is my last column for the year. I want thank Jesse for asking me to do this as well as Tim the former intern for helping out in the beginning. I’ve exposed myself to a lot of great content I wouldn’t have found anywhere else. This column got me interested in blogging again, which inspired me to reignite my own blog. A big thank you to all of you readers as well. I hope I turned you on to some good shows.

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