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Entries in Podcasts (2)

Wednesday
Feb172010

Ricky Gervais Show: Free Download

Ricky Gervais is taking his podacst to HBO.  How, you ask?  By animating it, of course.  iTunes is offering a free preview of the first episode, which airs on HBO February 19. 

I've heard Gervais talk about his podcast on late-night tv, the main element of which is constantly berating eccentric sidekick Karl, alongside longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant.  Karl has a few screws loose and apparently has a head "like an effing orange." 

This glowing description did nothing to encourage me to subscribe to the podcast, although in general I do enjoy Gervais' work.  And I certainly don't need to see an animated podcast.  Hasn't this idea been done before? 

I think this is just a case of HBO throwing money at Gervais and him taking it.  It's not like he'll have to do much extra work, because as far as I know his artistic skills do not match his quick wit.

But a free preview is a chance for newcomers to see for themselves.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday
Feb092010

Wil Wheaton Reminds Me Mike Doughty Is Awesome

I really like it when two seemingly disparate shapes of the pop culture kaleidoscope come together to form a beautiful and unexpected pattern.  This phenomenon occurred for me last night as I was listening to the latest episode of Wil Wheaton's podcast, Radio Free Burrito

Sidenote: It was also the first episode of Radio Free Burrito I had ever listened to.  I am an admitted latecomer to the all-encompassing grasp of Wil Wheaton's sublime geekdom.  I was an early fan of his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but am just now starting to appreciate his blogging, writing, and tv appearances.  I anticipate a future blog post dedicated to his work. 

Early in the podcast, Wil played a portion of his friend MC Frontalot's new song "Your Friend Wil" on which Mike Doughty sings the refrain, "Your friend Wil says, 'Don't be a dick!'" a phrase which started as a protest to bullying gamers but has now evolved into the former child star's personal philosophy. 

Wil talked about his friendships with the nerdcore rapper and the soulful songwriter, which reminded me of the fact that music is a universal language, and no matter your career, lifestyle, or level of fame, a good song can resonate without boundaries.  We don't all get to be friends with the artists, unfortunately.

Wil recalled the first time he heard a Soul Coughing song - Screenwriter's Blues - with amazing detail, and the awe in his voice conveyed the sense of revelation he had that day driving down the California coastline.  He spoke with such reverence for the music of Mike Doughty, and was especially grateful that the singer gave him permission to play one of his songs on the podcast. 

I thought he was going to play something from the slick 2008 album Golden Delicious or the more recent Sad Man, Happy Man, but he went with a great stripped-down tune from the Skittish LP, "The Only Answer." 

I hadn't heard that song for a long time, but it made me remember the genius Mike Doughty is capable of.  An acoustic guitar, that signature voice, it was a master lesson in the kind of simple, straightforward songwriting that can take a person by surprise. 

That kind of real emotion emanating from a few chords got me energized about Mike Doughty, and I will be taking a long stroll through his catalogue.  I also want to check out Sad Man, Happy Man, and will tell you what I think in a future post.  Until then, here's to musical friendships and unexpected pleasures. 

You can hear a live version of Mike Doughty's "The Only Answer" at Last.fm.