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TSOYA in the TV Guide Hot List

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Thanks to the good folks from TV Guide for including The Sound of Young America in a recent "Hot List" in the magazine.

Here's what they wrote:

Jenna Fischer Talks
Before Pam Beesly and Jim Halpert were "PB&J," Jenna Fischer was a struggling starlet. Listen as she hilariously recounts her story from St. Louis kid to Hollywood pro on NPR's [sic] "The Sound of Young America." There's Office scoop galore, too, and fun facts, like why she and John Krasinski are "career soul mates." Call it "JF&J."

Here's the interview referenced.

Prince on Tavis Smiley

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Prince on Tavis

Jesse Thorn: One of LA Weekly's "LA People"

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If you had told 16-year-old Jesse he'd one day be one of the "LA People," he would have laughed in your face and invited you on a cable car ride. Today, though, it has come to pass.

My thanks to the great Joshuah Bearman for writing this lovely profile of me in this week's LA Weekly "People" issue.

Eleni Mandell Interview & Performance on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Eleni Mandell

Eleni Mandell is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, whose new album is Artificial Fire. She talks with us about growing up in Southern California, and the moment she discovered that "all music doesn't sound like Barry Manilow." She went from idolizing the LA alt-rock band X to working with members of the band.

If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Marianna Palka
Mark Oliver Everett of Eels
Nellie McKay

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The History of Rome"

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If any theme has emerged over the last year of Podthoughts, it's that the podcast medium has limitless possibilities. If any other theme has emerged over the last year of Podthoughts, it's that the podcast medium's possibilities remain insufficiently explored. Every once in a while, though, a show emerges that casts new light on what podcasting can be. At the risk of making too grand a claim, The History of Rome [iTunes link] is one such podcast. (Subject obvious.) Its execution is simple and straightforward; its listening experience is strangely, almost unsettlingly enthralling.

What do you get from The History of Rome? Well, the history of Rome, start to finish, wall-to-wall. To promise anything else would be a lie, though in the podcast's purity lies its strength. Aside from very, very rare pieces of technical administrivia, host Mike Duncan utters essentially no non-Rome-related words, and he doesn't deliver the ones that are Rome-related in any sort of theatrical inflection. His voice, in fact, is remarkable only in its unremarkability. This may well be the first podcast to contain only one thing of note: Rome's history.

But boy oh boy, does it ever contain it. Duncan recites the history of Rome — "recites" seems to be the word, since it sounds like he's reading a text rather than speaking extemporaneously, so it's a bit like a long, serial audiobook — in rich detail, including everything even that one "cool" young history lecturer you had in college neglected to mention in favor of those racy asides, ancient double entendres and vomitorium anecdotes he thought would keep the class awake. Refreshingly, Duncan hews away from the Caligula model of history lecturing and simply assumes that Roman history, served straight up, is as fascinating as it is. Allowing the material its proper dignity does wonders for the tone and engagingness (to coin a term) of its conveyance.

One could, potentially, learn the history of Rome from The History of Rome, but to your Podthinker's mind, taking such a pedestrian approach misses a superior listening opportunity. Better, it seems, to use The History of Rome to inhabit the history of Rome, letting yourself be immersed in the wash of battles, societal experiments and political machinations and Duncan's impressive erudition about them all. Your Podthinker has already spent many a happy evening enveloped by spoken stories of the Roman Empire's many vicissitudes, from the three Samnite Wars to Pompey's conquering of Jerusalem to Antony and Cleopatra's flight to Alexandria. The experience isn't so much an informational one — though it's well equipped to be — but a textual one. It's a historical podcast, sure, but it's also a pure, blissful sonic setting, one that delivers as much education as the listener feels like absorbing, and that listener need not face scantron nor blue book when it's all over. History 117B was never like this.

Vital stats:
Format: history (of Rome)
Running since: December 2007
Duration: 10m-20m
Frequency: weekly, roughly
Archive available on iTunes: all but, inexplicably, the first three

[Podthinker Colin Marshall would have gotten this to you all sooner if not for lousy Amtrak's lack of wireless. Bark at him about it colinjmarshall at gmail, discuss Podthoughts on the forum here or submit your own podcast for the next by-Max-Funsters column here.]

Kids Today

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Kids today are an embarassment. Where's the respect for real sports? (Butt racing.)

Via BB

T-Shirt Contest 2009: The Final Five

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As you may have heard, every year for our annual pledge drive we create a limited-edition Maximum Fun shirt for donors, and every year that shirt is designed by listeners.

We had you vote for your favorites in the semi-finals. Well, the people have spoken, and we have five finalists. These finalists will now be put before our blue ribbon super-panel to be evaluated and judged accordingly.

This year's esteemed super-panel is:
Comedian Extraordinaire Tig Notaro
Standup Superstar Al Madrigal
Cartoonist to the Stars Ariel Schrag
Ultrablogger Merlin Mann
Charming Quipster Paul Scheer
and Jesse's mom Judith Thorn.

The winner will be announced at the beginning of our pledge drive on May 1st.

Here are the finalists.

"Welcome to..." (Cartoon Jesse) from Tom Deja.

I'm Nutsy for TSOYA also from Tom Deja.

I'm Nutsy for TSOYA also from Tom Deja.

Field of Exclamation Marks from Scott Nusinow.

Field of Exclamation Marks from Scott Nusinow.

Cycling Nutsy from Brian Kaas.

Cycling Nutsy from Brian Kaas.

Listening Squid from Jamie Tanner.

Listening Squid from Jamie Tanner.

Jane Lynch, star of Party Down, Glee & more: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch is an actress who got her big break as part of Christopher Guest's comic ensemble in the film Best in Show. Since then, she's turned in brilliantly funny performances in films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Role Models. She's currently featured in the Starz series Party Down, and she stars in the upcoming Fox sitcom Glee. We talk about getting her big break twenty years into her career, why she's never been quite famous enough to come out, Ellen Degeneres-style and much more.

If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Martin Starr
Adam Scott
Marianna Palka

The State on DVD, finally.

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Awesome.

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