The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Me & Ben Karlin on Current

| 6 comments

Here's my second segment for the excellent Current TV. It's part of a larger pilot that may or may not end up being anything, we'll see. It's a video version of my interview with former Daily Show and Colbert Report Executive Producer Ben Karlin. Wow, that's a lot of Capital Letters. Enjoy!

Mike Birbiglia on "Sleepwalk with Me", interview on The Sound of Young America

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

Last time comedian Mike Birbiglia was on The Sound of Young America, he talked about developing the narratives in his work, and leaving behind the joke-joke-joke repetitions that are standard in standup comedy. He recently premiered his first theatrical performance, "Sleepwalk with Me," at the Bleeker Street Theater off-Broadway, to rave reviews. It chronicles his struggles with sleepwalking, and in a long-term romantic relationship.

If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Mike Birbiglia (May, 2008)
Andy Daly
Janeane Garofalo

B.O.B. - I'll Be in the Sky

| 4 comments

Go ahead and skip past the awkward intro to this video and catch a great talent. Me and Intern Chris tried to book him last summer, but failed. Would still love to have him on the show sometime. Nice to know someone is building on Outkast's legacy.

Worth checking out: his "Hi, My Name is B.I.B." tape from last year.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse Go! Ep. 86: Octopus Sunrise with the Sklar Brothers

| 0 comments

Jesse and Jordan are joined by The Sklar Brothers (previously on TSOYA). The gang discuss a box of strange candies and foodstuffs mailed to them from Japan, plus Tom Cruise, Werner Herzog and much more.

ACTION ITEMS:
* What is Penguin in the Pants? EXPRESS IT.

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Need advice? ASK JUANITA!
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

Subscribe in iTunes / Podcast Feed

Hear This Episode Now

Download This Episode (MP3 Link)

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

Dicussed on the show:
Paul Stanley & the Laser Pointer

Werner Herzog Gets Shot on Camera

Ashkon - "Hula Hoop"

| 0 comments

MaxFunPal Ashkon's new video "Hula Hoop" is up on YouTube. You can also check it at ashkonhulahoop.com, or in HD on Vimeo.

Tell a friend, f'realz.

Rickey!

| 0 comments

Tracy Morgan is the face of post-racial America

| 1 comment

This is what's going on right now that's important.

Jonathan Coulton is for everyone.

| 1 comment

MaxFunPal Jonathan Coulton is often presented to the world as a nerd troubadour, but the truth is that he's much more.

Jonathan Coulton is for Dads.
My wife just received an excited note from her father, a 50-year-old hardware store manager, musician and outdoor activity enthusiast, regarding the Jonathan Coulton greatest hits collection, JoCo Looks Back, which we gifted him for Christmas. He is absolutely nuts about it.

Jonathan Coulton is for little brothers.
Equally enthusiastic about the disc is my 15-year-old brother-in-law, a young man who is exceptionally handsome, socially capable, guitar-playing and broad-shouldered (due to his spot on the rowing team). His interest in nerd stuff begins and ends with Playstation 3, but he loves JoCo Looks Back enough to text my wife about it some weeks after Christmas.

Above all, though, Jonathan Coulton is for the San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus.
See above, featuring "human zendrum" solo.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The Quiet Sounds"

| 1 comment


Your Podthinker has already revealed that his primary musical weakness is the sweet, sweet sound of old school. He will now reveal his badly incongruous secondary musical weakness: the sweet, sweet sound of ambient.

The unwieldy behemoth defines ambient music as "a musical genre in which sound is more important than notes," "generally identifiable as being broadly atmospheric and environmental in nature." Ambient pioneer (and author of your Podthinker's favorite book, A Year with Swollen Appendices) Brian Eno wrote that ambient can be "actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener" and that it "must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."

At this point, the uninitiated reader will either be highly intrigued or turned off, befuddled. If the latter, they're probably confusing ambient with other, lesser, more-often-ridiculed musical genres like "new age". Ambient is far from that stripe of schlock, but the best way said confused reader can discover that is spending a few hours with a solid ambient music podcast. Similarly, the best way for the reader with piqued interest to satiate that interest is doing the very same. Luckily, neither group need search too far afield: The Quiet Sounds is merely a click away.

On the program, a mysterious fellow by the name of "The Unflappable Mister Eden" crafts thematic ambient mixes from 45 to 90 minutes long. These themes include the most underrated and/or obscure of ambient [MP3], the classic roots of ambient from the 70s and 80s [MP3] (which includes material from one of your Podthinker's choicest ambient albums, Eno and Robert Fripp's Evening Star), productions that use the guitar in one way or another [MP3] and a set in perhaps the richest seasonally-linked mood, autumnal melancholia [MP3]. There's also more standard stuff, such as Mister Eden's annual best-of-the-year playlists: 2007 [MP3], 2006 [MP3], 2005 [MP3].

Ambient music's best quality has to be its versatility. Most genres have their time and place — old school, for instance, works best in a certain specific contexts, though within them it works very well indeed — but no such apparent limitation binds ambient. Reading, cooking, driving, writing podcast columns, cleaning, sleeping, eating, laborious podcast-editing, walking, shopping, talking, bus-riding: ambient provides a fine soundtrack for all these activities and more. (Especially bus-riding; anything that prompts one to forget one is on a bus is an absolute godsend.) When Eno talks about how ambient accommodates many levels of listening attention, he understates the case; the stuff accommodates nearly all of human experience.

Ambient broadens one's own concept of the very nature of music to boot. The Quiet Sounds' sets incorporate a huge slice of the spectrum, all the way from pure sonic texture to actual rhythmic hey-this-sounds-kinda-normal gateway tracks. One can read in this column that describing something as a "long, repetitive drone with almost infinitely repetitive motifs" is, in fact, not necessarily pejorative and can, in fact, be a resounding approval. But, perhaps understandably, one will not truly grok the sentiment unless one hears the music itself. That's why it's so cool to have an engaged enthusiast like Mister Eden putting out podcasts of the stuff. In earlier episodes, he announced the tracks and verbally went into some detail about what they meant to him; somewhere in the middle of the archive, he switched to doing all his talking up-front. Alas, he's more recently given up the chat altogether, which is a bit of a shame as it's always nice to hear someone discuss why they love what they love. But over time his mixes have only improved, so if that's the tradeoff, that's the tradeoff; your Podthinker raises his Asahi high nonetheless.

Vital stats:
Format: ambient music
Running since: October 2005
Duration: 45m-1h30m
Frequency: erratic
Archive available on iTunes: none

[Podthinker Colin Marshall even checks his e-mail, colinjmarshall at gmail, to ambient. Discuss Podthoughts on the forum here or submit your own podcast for the next by-Max-Funsters column here.]

"Look Around You" on Adult Swim

| 0 comments

News comes from past Sound of Young America guest Robert Popper that his amazing series "Look Around You," created with Peter Serafinowicz, is premiering on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on January 18th at one in the morning.

Above: the trailer. Below: an episode, "Maths."

Syndicate content