Around the Podosphere – October 2010

Here is some of the shows that have recently jumped out at me from my podcast listening. I’m about 6 weeks behind in my listening. I wrote a script to add up the running time of my queue and it currently is hovering around 9 days worth of listening. I’m in no danger of catching up.

I recently started listening to Rebooting the News with Dave Winer and Jay Rosen. The August 29th episode is particularly good. They had some interesting points to make about the business model of Consumer Reports but also about the then recent “ground zero mosque” controversy. I liked their analysis which paraphrased was “It’s not at Ground Zero, it’s not a mosque and if it was, who cares? Build houses of worship of all kinds at Ground Zero if you want to stick it to the religious intolerance of Al Qaida.”

I’m one of the original and longest duration fans of the Rock and Roll Geek Show. At this point I’ve been listening for six years. When Butler was burned out and in a bad mood he recorded  episode #415 which was all the music of Thin Lizzy. On his various programs, Thin Lizzy is his go-to bad mood music, particularly what he and Jasper call “tender jams” of which “Dancing in the Moonlight” is what Butler says is his favorite of all time. I’m inclined to agree.  

I’ve been listening to Marc Maron’s WTF Pod show since about episode 30 or so (and I went back and listened to all of them from episode #1). He had a three run tear of some of the best shows he’s done in the whole row. He did a two part episode with writer-director Judd Apatow for episodes 103 and 104 . Amazingly, the first part contains some of Apatow’s recordings of interviews he did with comedians in the 1980s as a teenaged comedy nerd. I’d put these at the top of the WTFPod list except for their immediate successor – episode 105 which was an interview with Thomas Lennon. I laughed harder at this than any episode in the series. Every 60 seconds, there was some kind of quotable wit. In a crazy digression about how Lennon finds Enya hot, the two mused on whether or not she is rich. Said Lennon, “She sang on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Of course she has money. She has that sweet hobbit money!” I found myself laughing at the phrase “sweet hobbit money” for hours afterwards. I highly recommend this series as a whole, but particularly these three episodes. Check them (and all of these show) out!

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 19, 2010 – “New Things Coming, Old Things Going”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 19, 2010. I play a song from George Hrab; I talk about about the new addition to the family and my reaction to a post on Boing Boing; I play a song by the Beatnik Turtle that I co-wrote with them; I talk about shutting down AmigoFish and starting up Ebooks From TV; I play a song by Boiled in Lead and hurl … myself into the future.

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EGC Six Year Podiversary is Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m going to do something I very rarely do. I’m going to sit down and record an episode of the EGC Podcast before I go to work, crackly morning voice and all. This is because I got a wild hair up my ass on August 20, 2004 and recorded the first episode of what became my podcast. I referred to it as an “audioblog” for a while and only stopped because some of the guys who were doing audioblogs before that time were such dicks about the term that I chose to abandon it to them altogether. The audiobloggers tended to record short pieces from crackly unlistenable cell phone connections, and my primary inspiration was the first few episode of Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code. I wanted to do more of a production with music and playing audio quotes of other shows and so on. Sure, the audiobloggers were doing what they were doing before I was but their esthetic and goals were so far from mine I never felt any kinship with them. Also, they were really prickly and not much fun.

To this day, I still have XML URLs in my subscription list that I signed up for in the first 3 months of podcasting. Michael Butler’s Rock and Roll Geek Show, IT Conversations, Michael Geoghegan’s Reel Reviews, Georgia Popplewell’s Caribbean Free Radio. Some publish as regularly today as they ever did, some haven’t had episodes in years. Doesn’t matter, I’m still there when and if something comes down.

My goals have changed and my output radically lessened, but I’m still two feet squarely in the podcast camp. Since the first time I bought a portable MP3 player, I haven’t listened to the radio in my car except as a transmitter for my podcasts. All Things Considered is what I listen to only if it is physically impossible to listen to Deliberate Noise or Tom Vs. the Flash or The Hour of Slack or WTF Pod. Even then if my player battery dies I generally choose the sound of my tires on asphalt over that of NPR. Six years of listening to podcasts has changed my tastes irrevocably and turned me off of the faux populism of This American Life. I can’t even stand the way people talk in that weird, stilted affectation on public radio.

I’ve been doing this for six years and I’ll keep going for the foreseeable future. As the fifth podcaster in the world, that only means something while I keep going. No one cares about the pioneers who quit doing it. They are just historical footnotes.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with me this whole time, those who came in somewhere in the middle and continued, and even those who gave up on me. I’m appreciative for every second of attention all of you gave me, for however long it was, whatever your reaction. Thank you for the gift of your time and I hope to keep repaying that for as long as I can.

Around the Podosphere for 2/4/2010

Today was a particularly good day in my podcast queue. Here is the highlights of things I particularly enjoyed:

Within the last month I’ve recently started listening to The Kindle Chronicles podcast. Those podcasters who worry about soundproofing their rooms, try listening to Len Edgerly when his big ass grandfather clock starts chiming midnight. You might not need it as much as you think! Episode #79 featured a particularly good interview with Seth Harwood. I am one of the people who picked up his book A Long Way from Disney last December when he had his post-Xmas special. I liked this interview and think that Seth is a good example of a hybrid new-school/old-school writer. I recommend this series and this episode.

I’ve listened to every episode of the SModcast from the beginning (with the exception of the live show episodes that I had to skip.) My single favorite one ever is episode #103 with his mother Grace, where they get stoned together and tell tales of New Jersey. There’s a point towards the end where Kevin starts cracking his mother up until she gets hysterical. It’s very funny and also kind of sweet. It just made me a little happier to listen to it. Also, I agree with his commentor that says that his mom and Walt Flanagan sound the same. I thought exactly the same thing.

I’ve also listened to every single episode of the Rock and Roll Geek Show. I’m a lifer on that one with my buddy Michael Butler. In episode #387 he has an interview with Tappy Wright, who was the road manager for The Animals, Jimi Hendix and many more that he writes about in Rock Roadie. It’s a fascinating interview and includes Wright’s claim about how Hendrix was murdered. I recommend this for a listen along with every other of the nearly 400 shows.

For five years, I’ve been claiming one of the best upsides of podcasting is the feasibility of doing a show for a niche audience. One example of that in my subscription list is the Flash-back podcast. The episode I listened to today covers Blackest Night: Flash #2. This program covers the various Flash related comic books in excruciating detail. I’m talking panel by panel, friends. Every show is like a master’s thesis in the Flash family. This is not the sort of thing that is for everybody, but for certain obsessed fans of this character (such as myself) it is really and truly awesome.

Listen to Me on Good Clean Fun

I very seldom put external files in the feed here. In fact I’m not sure if I’ve ever done it before. I want to for this one. As far as I’m concerned this was part of the EGC canon. I really enjoyed being on Good Clean Fun with Butler and Jasper. Balls were busted, jokes told, people were ragged on and we discussed how none of us were excited by Blood Feast.

Here is the link to the MP3 file itself. If all works as it should, this will show up in the RSS feed and with a little player in this post just like any episode of my show. Thanks again to Michael and Jasper for letting me play in their sandbox. I’ll do it at least one more time, when I come back on to discuss my favorite film of all time,

George A. Romero’s Knightriders. I can’t wait! Let me know what you thought of the episode, and if you are a Butler or Jasper fan following me back to here, welcome.

Me on Good Clean Fun

My favorite podcast to come along in some time is Good Clean Fun with Butler and Jasper. I weaseled a little and now I’m going to be on the show tonight. We are scheduled to record at 7 PM PDT/ 10 PM EDT and their will be a live stream available here. It would be great if there was at least one chatter from people that are friendly to me. I think the last time I was on the Rock and Roll Geek Show the consensus was that they hate me. I don’t really care, I think it will be fun and I even sat down and watched Blood Feast to get read for this. My game face is on!

Michael Butler on a Tear

I listened to all three of Michael Butler recent interviews with geezer rockers. I tally them as going two for three. I loved the interview with Howard Kaylan of the Turtles and Flo and Eddie fame, and I loved the interview with Tommy James. Both of those guys were really nice to Mike, very candid and high energy. I didn’t so much like the interview with Mark Volman, who was kind of a dick. I really expected to love it and had been looking forward to it, but when it came down it just wasn’t so much fun. It wasn’t Butler’s fault. For sure, he was working like a dog to get the energy up and bring Vollman out but it just wasn’t there. I’d have rather heard a second hour with Howard Kaylan. Maybe in the future, he can be a return guest. As Meatloaf sang “Don’t be sad, two out of three ain’t bad.”

This is just me, but I absolutely hate the Rock of Love recaps. He says that all the feedback he gets is positive, so I imagine I’m outnumbered. I just don’t care about any of the reality show recaps, be it Rock of Love or American Idol or Rock Star or any that might come along later. If his audience digs it, then he should stick with it. That’s OK, I have a good skip button on the Creative Zen that makes it easy to zip past.

Around the Podosphere

In the last few days, I’ve listened to several interesting interviews. The first has to be my favorite episode of the Rock and Roll Geek Show so far. In Episode #251, he interviews Howard Kaylan of the Turtles, Mothers of Invention and many other places. I liked the Turtles but I loved a lot of what they have done since, including singing background on one of the best albums in rock history, T. Rex’s “Electric Warrior” and singing foreground on another of the best, Frank Zappa’s “Live at the Fillmore”. There was a stretch were Howard was extolling the virtues of controlling your own artistic output, not giving away your work to record companies, and such. Hearing a guy who has been in the music business for 40 years say the same things I do about it makes me feel nice and validated. I thought the interview rocked and I thank Brother Butler for doing it.

On kind of another extreme was the Bat Segundo interviews with Berke Breathed, Parts one and two. I like Breathed and was a big fan of Bloom County in the day. In part one he said many things of truth that I agreed with, but in part two he diverged from me. Particularly he had a stretch where he was lamenting the disappearance of the huge media, those pop cultural moments that were shared by basically all Americans. At one point he said something like “I fear that I sound like the old man waving his cane at kids on his lawn” which was hilarious, because that was exactly what I had been thinking. He pointed out that new artists now can’t get that 20 million readers that he used to be able to field. So what?

He was lucky enough to get in at the tail end of a long decline in the monolithic nature of media. This situation he fears we are losing (it ain’t a fear – it is really gone, never to return) is not something I think we particularly have to worry about or miss. It was a quirk of the growth cycle of modern media, where we had the capacity to distribute entertainment to many people at once, but not the capacity to distribute a wide diversity of said entertainment. I found it intriguing that his example he kept citing was Milton Berle in the 50’s. That’s a great example for both our points, because whenever I see kinescopes of the material that so fascinated the country back then, I find it unwatchable. Far from being brilliant and classic, it was broad, low brow and low common denominator. Sure, everyone watched him but that’s also because there were so few other choices. I grew up in the tail days of that, when we got 2 of the 3 networks as over the air stations in western Kansas. When cable arrived and I was able to watch Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” video and full Frank Zappa concerts on Night Flight everything changed for me, and for the better. Breathed’s point that new cartoonists won’t have millions of readers just kept me saying “And so?” I really couldn’t see the problem with it. He seemed to be equating the magnitude of the audience with some sort of goodness factor, but that equation is no longer in play.

All that said, I really did like both parts of the interview and thought that Ed did a nice job with it. I don’t listen to every single episode anymore because I have only heard of or have an interest in about one in three of the people he talks to. The ones I listen to I really enjoy, though. Check it out.

Clambake Episode for July 14, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 14, 2005.

I play a song by Bullet Called Life; the majority of this episode is part two of my interview with John Rogers about the Global Frequency phenomenon and wild possibilities for the future of media; I talk a little about science fiction and why Roger Zelazny and Ted Sturgeon mean so much to me; I play a song by Cats Laughing on my way to glory land.

Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:


Clambake Episode for June 18, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for June 18, 2005.

It’s a long show with a lot of buildup of topics since the last episode. I talk about the (temporary) cessation of iPodderX as a sponsor; I talk more about life in Conway, South Carolina; I play a song from the Arts and Sciences; I talk about Open Culture, the public domain, the formation of dual systems of “open and closed” culture, Fictionwise, Project Gutenberg, DRM and lots of stuff mashed together; I spin an awesome Michelle Malone tune; I note there is a new Voices In Your Head interview published; I play a new ID with Bruce Campbell thanks to Michael Butler; I found the VU metere in Audio Hijack Pro! I discuss the joy of my low tech lawn mower; I play a song by the Gentle Readers; I mention the stuff packages and then it’s over.

Note that I talk about Phillip Roth and Catch 22. It sounds a little like I’m saying that I think Roth wrote it, but I know that isn’t the case.

Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode: