Paul Shaffer not only ponied up $10k for JB’s Hammond B-3 (with Leslie, natch) but he also took home “a blue satin cape emboidered with Thy name is Godfather of Soul and rhinestone, sequence (Christie’s meant sequins, unless they have another way of spelling that too!-TT) and metallic embellishments.”
I’m always amazed when people tell me they don’t subscribe to any podcasts. This is an amazingly under-used source of entertainment and comedy that you can enjoy FOR FREE if you have a computer (that glowing thing you are looking at now.) All you need is iTunes (yes, for Windows or Mac) or some other podcatcher. I prefer using my iPod or iPod-like device for listening while driving or biking, but it’s not necessary. Just go to “podcasts” in iTunes and click “subscribe” when you find the right shows. You are officially the last person to hear about this.
Think about how much time you waste listening to the radio in your car. Do you really need to hear more Eric Clapton? Did I mention it’s all free?
So first of all, you need to hear WNYC’s “Radio Lab.” This is like NPR on shrooms: great, intelligent talk, woven together with amazing music and sound design to transcend the medium and possibly teach you something, definitely make you laugh. Their episode “Pop Music” will teach you why you can’t stop singing certain songs like “Crazy” or maybe “Buttered Popcorn” or whatever “ear worm” is infecting you at the moment. If you’ve ever read Oliver Sacks (“Awakenings”, “Musicophilia”) you will recognize a huge contribution from him. Other episodes on “Laughter” and “Deception” are standouts this season. This is brilliant, fascinating stuff.
Secondly, you need to listen to “You Look Nice Today”, an audio show beyond description, with no redeeming educational value, but fall-down funny. Just 3 guys talking, including Merlin Mann, a super-celebrity for 1 percent of the population, who I barely missed playing in bands in Tallahassee in the late 80’s. If you are smart and into laughing this is for you. If not, listen to your radio.
Finally, I think I am the last guy to find out about “Yacht Rock” a now-defunct web TV show that my friend Carl turned me on to recently. I watched all 11 five-minute episodes in a weekend and couldn’t believe how gunny it all was. Mocking the competition between 80’s smooth rock veterans like The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins and Steely Dan, even Van Halen and Dr. Dre, “Yacht Rock” is extremely tongue in cheek, based on real trivia that guys who listened to FM rock can appreciate. You can check out all the episodes on Youtube, or you can download them (yes, free) from Channel101.com to take them on your iPod-like device. (If you download, you may have to edit off the .txt suffix for the file to play. Don’t ask.) The bad mustache on Hall and Oates is alone worth your five minutes.