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The Sound of Young America on MySpleen

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For those of you who are tired of waiting for new episodes of The Sound of Young America Classics, and are too lazy or cheap to visit to buy compilation CDs, there's some good news: you can now download the entire first year of The Sound of Young America podcast via torrent.

I've posted the torrent on MySpleen, an excellent site for comedy and animation nerds. It's possible I screwed something up, but I don't think I did.

If you enjoy getting some 1.3 gigabytes of entertainment for free, please consider donating to support the show, and/or stopping by PodDisc to buy a CD, suitable for gifting.

Edited to add: email me with the subject "MySpleen" if you need an invite. Please include your favorite TSOYA moment in the email -- if you are not a listener, please do not request an invite. And of course, seed if you download.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Good Friends and Great Times.

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

On this week's show Good Friends and Great Times we're joined by guests comedian Doug Benson and author James Frey.

Doug Benson, a stand-up comedian, was part of the writing team who created and performed in the off-Broadway comedy show The Marijuana-Logues. Doug is a real movie lover, so coming up on the show Doug brings us a summer movie preview including his opinion on “Star Wars” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. There’s also a discussion on taxidermy squirrels!

We also talk to James Frey, award winning author of "My Friend Leonard", a memoir based on his friendship with a mobster Leonard, whom he met in a rehab clinic.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Podcast: TSOYA Classics: Dirty Mind - Guests: Blowfly and Legs Mc Neil.


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

On this week's show Dirty Mind we're joined by guests Blowfly - the legendary, dirtiest R&B legend of all time and author Legs Mc Neil.

Blowfly is best known for his 60's and 70's raps mostly about sex. The name Blowfly came from his grandmother, who overheard him as a child singing "Do the Twist" as "Suck My Dick", and said "You is nastier than a blowfly." We talk with Blowfly about his childhood; his break into dirty R&B rapping and hear a few of his famous songs including "Ugly People".

We also talk to Legs McNeil, author of the book "The Other Hollywood: The Oral History of the Porn Film Industry."
Best known for his 1997 book "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk", Legs talks about everything from sandwiches to his inside dealings with the porn industry.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

Download This Week's Show
Subscribe to TSOYA Classic in iTunes
Please Donate to Support the Show

Listen to This Week's Show

The Greatest Cutaway of All Time


In recent years, many television programs have turned to the cut-away joke, in which an offhand reference is illustrated explicitly, interrupting the action. These jokes are a mixed bag -- I think we all know how I feel about Family Guy, and we probably don't know how I feel about Scrubs, but if we did know, it'd only alienate people.

All of that said: I think everyone on earth can agree that the above is the greatest cutaway joke of all time. And perhaps the greatest single joke of all time. And the best use of a Thriller jacket since the short film "Thriller" starring Michael Jackson.

Here are some things that this clip is better than:
Sliced Bread
The Magna Carta
The Kitchen Sink
Baby Animals
Baby People
Gilgamesh (work of literature *and* god)

Kasper Hauser return to LA with SkyMaul Wednesday Night


While I'm busy cavorting in New York City Wednesday night (or more accurately, riding an airplane somewhere over Ohio), Kasper Hauser will be making their triumphant return to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater with SkyMaul!

The show is Wednesday night at 8PM. Tickets are only five bucks, so make your reservations now for an amazing night of comedy.

The show is a two headed beast -- material drawn from SkyMaul and brand new sketches. I've seen it three times, and I love it every time. Just wait until you see SkyMaul CEO Jerry Ponda in his trademark black turtleneck.

PS to NYCers: KH will be performing in NY at the UCB there on November 9th. Some MaxFunsters are planning a meetup. You should go.

Podcast: Steve Agee and Brian Posehn from The Sarah Silverman Program


Brian Posehn and Steve Agee are co-stars on Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program. They play Steve and Brian, the title characters nerdy, gay neighbors. "The Advocate" writer Dave White described them as "everything the gay characters on Queer as Folk and Will & Grace were too afraid and unimaginative and busy chasing their own boring tails to be: fat, bearded, nerdy, bickering, dude speaking, glasses wearing, karate chopping, video game playing, covertly masturbating, metal T-shirt–wearing malcontents. In other words, these are homosexuals I understand: My circle of friends finally represented fictionally on television. And I feel validated by a sitcom for the first time."

When they're not acting, they are both standup comics. Posehn has toured extensively with The Comedians of Comedy, and Agee frequently appears around the country with Silverman.

You can view and download the program above; to download a high-quality video via torrent, use MySpleen. If you need an invite for the 'spleen, email me, and tell me your favorite TSOYA moment.

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!
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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Brian Posehn
Sarah Silverman (MP3)
Patton Oswalt

More Sound of Young America deep vault material...


This torrent features Sound of Young America interviews from before the dawn of the podcasting era. Included are all the pieces that were up on our site before we started podcasting at the very end of 2004. Chuck D, Patton Oswalt, Louie CK and many, many many more. If you need a MySpleen invite, just email me, and tell me your favorite Sound of Young America moment for fan-identification purposes.

Interview: Paul & Storm by Aaron Matthews

Paul & Storm with Jonathan Coulton (center) Photo by Aaron Haley

Together Paul Sabourin and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo are professional singing persons Paul & Storm, who comprised ½ of comedic a capella group Da Vinci’s Notebook. Da Vinci’s Notebook has been on hiatus since 2004 but still occasionally reunite for corporate events. Paul & Storm are currently touring with noted troubadour and TSOYA guest Jonathan Coulton. Their latest album, Gumbo Pants, was released online on August 26. I corresponded with Paul and Greg via email and asked them some questions about making a career of music & comedy.

Aaron: What made you want to get into the lucrative genre of musical comedy?

PAUL: The short answer: it was the only thing we were really good at.
The somewhat longer answer: we started out in 1994 in an a cappella group called Da Vinci's Notebook, which started as a little hobby group that only did covers. The songs that seemed to be the most fun and get the best audience response were songs by another a cappella group called the Bobs, who did a lot of funny originals. So we drifted towards that, and Storm and I fell into a writing partnership, as we have similar backgrounds (children of the '80s and lovers of all pop culture) and compatible senses of humor; so we started writing songs in a similar vein. Before we knew it, we were the main writers for what had evolved into a full-time comedy a cappella group.

When that group stopped performing in 2004, Storm and I desperately wanted to avoid getting real jobs, so we tried performing as a duo, and with a good degree of adjustment (like getting comfortable with playing an instrument and singing at the same time), it worked pretty well.

What's your writing process like?

STORM: We don't have a single set process. Sometimes an idea will strike one of us out of the blue and the other will have just a few tweaks, or add what Lennon and McCartney called "the middle eight". But more often it's comparable to two people working a potter's wheel together.
Generally one of us will drop the initial lump of clay (usually a comic hook, song style, and/or a few lines), the brain wheels spin, and we shape it until it's just right, adding more clay as necessary. Sometimes both of our hands are on the clay, sometimes we alternate, and a lot of the time the pot doesn't make it to glazing (chord structure/melody) or the kiln (recording phase) at all.

P: Sometimes it's demand-side-based ("We gotta write a song this week"); and sometimes it's supply-side ("Wow, we should totally write a song about this awesome topic/idea/thing I just thought of/had/saw"). And sometimes they can feed off each other. For example, we were going to be on the [nationally syndicated morning radio program] "The Bob and Tom Show" a couple months back, and wanted to come up with one more new song the night before. While noodling, Storm started doing his awesome James Taylor impression; so we tried to find a way to make a relatively lame thing (impressions in general) somewhat more interesting, so we thought, "well, what if he were...I dunno, on fire?" Which led to our song "If James Taylor Were on Fire", which in turn led to a bunch of other "If" songs ("If Bob Dylan Were Hiding at the Bottom of a Well", "If They Might Be Giants Were the Ice Cream Man", etc.).

So the demand side ("We need a new song for radio tomorrow") dovetailed nicely with the supply side ("We do some impressions; how can we use them in a not-crappy way?").

What would you say are the benefits of distributing your music independently through online stores? Have either of you been approached by labels since DVN or considered signing to one?

S: We haven't been approached by any labels (yet) as Paul and Storm, but in DVN we were, and it just didn't make much sense for us.

The upside [of signing with a label] is that more people will know who you are so that you can draw large numbers of people to your shows, be on the cover of magazines, and otherwise live the rock 'n' roll dream.

That's all fine, but you give up making money on your actual music, and it means that to really make a living you have to be on the road all the time. And while we're by no means geezers, we like being home and not waking up every morning in a hotel room wondering what city we're in.

P: Labels have been historically good at three things: advancing you cash to get a recording done, putting your record in stores, and coordinating PR. But a) recording technology, home studios and such have made getting a quality recording far more affordable than in decades past; b) retail may not have been made completely obsolete by the Internet, but it's getting damn close; and c) you can hire a PR person independently (since you'd be paying for the PR at a label anyway). So it's far less necessary to be "signed" to achieve a reasonable degree of success. We don't have an unquenchable ambition to be ridiculously famous, so for us, the trade-off is worth it.

Special thanks to Ian Brill for help editing the interview.

You can learn more about Paul & Storm and purchase their music here.
To read an unedited version of this interview, visit Aaron's blog here.

Ayo Technology: TSOYA in PC Mag


Hey! Getta loada this!

The good folks at PC Magazine have named The Sound of Young America one of their five favorite podcasts for 2007!

Here's what our old pal Brian Heater wrote:

I've been following The Sound of Young America (TSOYA) since its days as a plucky little public radio show in Santa Cruz, California. Since then, the show has harnessed the power of podcasting to garner the kind of following that can only be found via the Internet, not to mention coverage in publications like Time and Salon. Each week the show's host, Jesse Thorn, presents interviews with some of the most fascinating, insightful, and hilarious names across the pop-culture spectrum.

Since Merlin keeps bringing us up on MacBreak weekly, we're looking pretty cross-platform right now. Anybody out there writing for Amiga Enthusiast? NEXT User? Osborne 1 Monthly? I'm feeling completist.

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