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Podcast: Seun Kuti, leader of Fela's Egypt 80

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Bullseye


Seun Kuti is the son of Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, and the leader of his band, Egypt 80. Their new CD, called Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80, is Seun's first collection of original songs. The albums seven tracks mirror his father's commitment to the liberation of African people in Nigeria and elsewhere.

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Jon Reiss - "Bomb It"
Ego Trip
Andre Royo & Wendell Pierce of The Wire

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Wholphin

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Fred Armisen at the UCB Theater NY
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Bullseye

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

Brent Hoff is the editor of the DVD magazine Wholphin. Hoff explains why it's worthwhile to maintain a magazine that operates in the red. Fred Armisen is a comedian who you have to know by now. He appears on a show called Saturday Night Live and many movies you have no doubt seen. Armisen talks about his humble beginnings as a musician and how he fell into comedy. Also on the show music from the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and a sketch from Kasper Hauser.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Holiday Special

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Show: 
Bullseye


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

Everyone loves Christmas. Except Oscar the Grouch. But everyone else. Davey Rothbart from Found magazine tells us about a very special holiday budget. Patton Oswalt reveals a demonic holiday memory. John Waters explains the contents of his Christmas album, and author Chris Moore talks about his book The Stupidest Angel.

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Podcast: Live in New York with Michael Showalter, Dawn Landes and Pangea 3000

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Show: 
Bullseye

Last month, The Sound of Young America taped our third live program in New York, as part of Sketchfest NYC. In a few days we'll post interviews with Ze Frank and Jay Smooth, but first I'd like to present the performance portions of the program. You can find the normal audio links below, but we've also got video of the show, so it seemed crazy not to share that here.

First up was Pangea 3000. This New York sketch group performed a sketch that I am not allowed by law to play on the radio, no matter how badly I want to.

Pangea 3000 - "Spelling Bee"

Next up was Michael Showalter. You may know Michael from The State, from Stella, or perhaps as Coop in Wet Hot American Summer. He's also a standup, and released his first standup CD, Cats & Sandwiches, last year. He told a story about trying to adopt a cat, shared some very silly poetry, and closed with some info about frogs. You can download the portion of his set that we didn't podcast from this direct link.

Michael Showalter

Our musical performance came from singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. Dawn was suggested to me by Brooklyn Vegan, and as soon as I heard her sing, I knew she was the perfect choice.

Dawn Landes

All our videos for this show were shot by Benjamin Ahr Harrison, a New-York based videographer. You can find him online at badcharacter.com. Thanks, Ben!

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Miranda July
Michael Cera
Louis Theroux

Podcast: The College Years: All the World's a Stage

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The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Theremin player Joseph Minicello joings Jesse and Jordan for this week's action-packed show. In this show: Jordan's little sister calls seeking advice, "Mace Detective, Private Detective" episode "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," Running The Numbers, Myths and facts about homosexuals, and "Would You Rather?"

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Podcast: Colin Hay of Men at Work

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Show: 
Bullseye

Colin Hay is a Los Angeles-based, Scotland-born Australia-bred singer-songwriter. In the 1980s, he was the frontman of the band Men at Work, and headlined festivals before hundreds of thousands of fans. Today, he performs at Los Angeles nightclubs like Largo, and is known for tightly-crafted songs and hilarious stage banter as much as for his former band. This second career has led to numerous Hay songs being placed in film and television, including one on the soundtrack to the film "Garden State." He's also brought an autobiographical stage show to the Edinborough Fringe Festival. His new album is called "Are You Lookin' At Me?"

High-quality downloads of his live tunes (right click and "save target as"):
Overkill
Are You Looking At Me?
I Wish I Was Still Drinking

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Matmos
Kenna
Greg Saunier of Deerhoof

"I wanted to do something to explicate what America is."

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Randy Newman performs "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" for the benefit of the MacWorld keynote audience.

Yeah, I know. I posted this song before. I also made a whole post just for the lyrics. I just think Randy Newman is the greatest, OK? Sheesh. Don't like the Newm? Go listen to the new Cam'Ron song.

Podcast: Les Savy Fav's Syd Butler and Tim Harrington

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Bullseye
(Les Savy Fav: Butler center, Harrington flying)

Syd Butler and Tim Harrington are founding members of the rock band Les Savy Fav; Harrington is the singer, Butler the bassist and record label head. The band is known for it's angular, exciting art-punk, as well as for Harrington's on-stage antics. They talk about forming the band with what amounted to a manifesto, and why they consider the band a second career despite their success. Their new album is called "Let's Stay Friends."

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You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Steve Albini
Dan Deacon
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Interview with circuit benders Beatrx*JAR

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Necessity is supposedly the mother of invention but what about creativity? Minneapolis duo Beatrix*JAR (she's Beatrix, he's JAR) stand somewhere in between the worlds of technology and the arts. They are circuit benders. What that means is that they take electronic instruments and toys that make sound, open them up and play around until they make new sounds the manufactures never intended. They turn these explorations into music, putting out two records now I Love You Talk Bird and Golden Fuzz. In addition to playing shows the duo also put on workshops so that others can learn the fun of crafting new sounds out of old toys. I talked to the Beatrix*JAR about their particular brand of music.

Ian Brill: Some of the songs on I Love You Talk Bird like "Oral Fixation" combine the circuit bending sounds with singing and lyrics. The songs on Golden Fuzz are more like dance songs with these hypnotic beats under them. Why the move in that direction?

Beatrix*JAR: Our move into the dance direction stems from our experiences as live performers. We aren’t trained musicians and we found that when we were doing live vocals it was easy to get to get thrown off by different and unfamiliar environments and various sound systems. With Golden Fuzz instead of singing live we sampled our voices in the safety of our studio for a few tracks.

I Love You Talk Bird was a mellow experience (in terms of tempo) but we found with the more songs we created our natural progression grew into experimenting more with tempo and rhythm. We also find that the faster beats in live performance engage us more as performers and that energy passes on to the audience.

IB: Where did the idea to do not just shows but also workshops come from?

B*J: Honestly, it stems from the fact that people didn’t really understand what we were (are) doing sonically. The workshops became this way to inform and inspire people with hands-on circuit bending and also give them the language and experience to understand what circuit bending is – and we hope that with that knowledge they will approach our music and other benders music with open ears and maybe be inspired to make music this way themselves.

IB: What are some of the best toys you have found in your quest for new sounds?

B*J: The Casio MT-540 is always our favorite, we use it as the demo machine in our workshops and it never fails – the machine is unlimited in its sonic options.

IB: I know JAR started doing work like this alone. What is the benefit of being a duo. I imagine it's a lot more fun trying to find the right sound from a 1980's toy with two people than it is with one.

B*J: We reinforce one another. We’re the two people always dancing at the show.

Maybe it all comes down to chemistry. We have unique and shared musical sensibilities and it just works – there are these unspoken exchanges that make for this fun and playful experience. It’s always so great to look onstage and see the other – nodding – affirming – dancing.

Each of us is always encouraging the other - so when one of us hits the wall the other is there to help bust through – even in the most intense moments of frustration we are happy to be there for each other – 80’s toy or life issue.

IB: In addition to manipulated toy sounds songs some of the songs on Golden Fuzz have these great speech samples, like the one about a kid creating a DIY robot in "Arthur Golden" (which is related to what you guys do musically); Where are the places you find the sources for those samples?

B*J: Like circuit bending, it’s really all about searching for sounds that are pleasing to our ears. We find audio sources from reel to reel tapes, old records, archive.org, old drive-inn movie intermission reels, training and instructional videos. Some of the speech samples come from the Speak and Spell too. There is some quality that catches our ear that works as a building block to the composition. With Arthur Golden it was the Do It Yourself Robot – we were like yes! *Laughing*

Beatrix*JAR's website
Beatrix*JAR on MySpace
The Minneapolis City Pages on Beatrix*JAR

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Go! For It.

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Show: 
Bullseye

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 Go! For It writer Paul Feig and musician Ian Parton are in the hot seat.

Among his many accolades, Paul Feig can count the creation of 90’s cult tv show “Freaks and Geeks” and the book “Superstud: How I Became a 24 Year Old Virgin”. Paul is also an actor, director and producer.

The Go! Team are a super-talented, highly energetic bunch of musicians from Brighton in the UK. Founder member Ian Parton takes TSOYA behind the scenes and tells us what makes the band what it is!

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

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