Beginnings

On today's show we talk to musician Eleanor Friedberger. Originally from Oak Park, Illinois, Eleanor formed the popular indie rock group The Fiery Furnaces with her brother Matthew in Brooklyn, and from 2000 to 2011, they wrote and released eight albums. Now on hiatus from the band, Eleanor has released two albums on Merge Records, and her latest, Personal Record just came out in June.

Check out the website for Beginnings, subscribe on iTunes and see some live dates: on Aug. 31st we'll be live at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin with Edie McClurg of Ferris Bueller fame, director Todd Rohal, stand-up Joe Derosa and (maybe) more, and the next live episode will be September 3rd for the Beginnings "Writer's Panel" featuring Jackson Publick (The Venture Bros.), Annie Mebane (Community, The Michael J. Fox), J.R. Havlan (The Daily Show), and guest co-host Opus Moreschi (head writer of Colbert Report) and more!

Direct download: Beginnings_-_Eleanor_Friedberger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EST

It's time for a "juggernaut of melancholy" with the most horrific episode of Beginnings yet! Three minutes into this baby, I creep myself out, and the shame train kept right on going as my fantastic guests stand-ups Bonnie McFarlane and Max Silvestri, The Colbert Report's Eric Drysdale, Todd Goldstein of ARMS and guest co-host Mike Pace told tales of inappropriate adult/teen relations, and (maybe less creepily?) what it's like to grow up on a farm, Usenet Star Wars fans fanfic, the most criminally negligent camp counselors in history, Lobot's International House of Funk, building a museum in your house, a Don Rickles puppet, high school mail order bride screenplays, and a long conversation about audio tape brands.

Check out the website for Beginnings, subscribe on iTunes and see some live dates: on Aug. 31st we'll be live at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin with director Todd Rohal, Ramesh Srivastava  of Voxtrot and more, and the next live episode will be September 3rd for the Beginnings "Writer's Panel" featuring Jackson Publick (The Venture Bros.), Annie Mebane (Community, The Michael J. Fox), J.R. Havlan (The Daily Show), and guest co-host Opus Moreschi (head writer of Colbert Report) and more!

Direct download: Beginnings_August_Live.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am EST

Today marks the first episode of the newish format focusing more on my guests' childhoods, and I couldn't have asked for a better guest, the wonderful musician and writer Larry Livermore. Originally from Detroit, Larry began to get involved with the San Francisco punk scene in the late 1970s. After playing in a number of bands, he co-founded Lookout! Records in 1987 which was the home of numerous bands including Green Day, Op Ivy and Rancid. Larry's also written for Maximum Rocknroll, Punk Planet, and most recently Don Giovanni Records published his memoirs Spy Rock Memories.

A few weeks ago, Larry stopped by my Harlem studio and we got in deep about childhood enemies, learning not to be a smart aleck, stories from WWII and The Depression, autos as status symbols, working class consciousness and being on the run from the FBI in late '60s NYC. Plus, in the epilogue, I learn about current day warzone-ish Detroit from my fiancee, stand-up Naomi Ekperigin.

A big thanks, btw, to Matt Cohen and Eric Silver for their thoughts on how to further develop the show!

Check out our new website for Beginnings, subscribe on iTunes and see some live dates: on Aug. 31st we'll be live at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin with director Todd Rohal, Ramesh Srivastava  of Voxtrot and more, and the next live episode will be September 3rd for the Beginnings "Writer's Panel" featuring Annie Mebane (Community, The Michael J. Fox), guest co-host Opus Moreschi (head writer of Colbert Report) and more!

Direct download: Beginnings_-_Larry_Livermore.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EST

On today's show, I talk to musician and producer Quentin Stoltzfus. From 1999 to about 2006, Quentin was the principal songwriter behind the amazing Philly psyche-pop band Mazarin. When a wedding band with the same name threatened a lawsuit, Quentin dropped the moniker and is now recording as Light Heat. With The Walkmen as the backing band, Light Heat's self-titled debut was just released at the end of June. And it's great!

A few week's ago, Quentin and his publicist Mona came over to my Harlem apartment on a not-so-hot afternoon to chat about hating projects you've just spent a lot of time on, the incest taboo, leaving the Amish church, evangelical schooldays and early cynicism, a peripatetic childhood and pathological laziness. Also, in the epilogue, I interview my friend, Pittsburgh musician Corey Layman about what it was like to grow up as a Mennonite.

Check out our new website for Beginnings, subscribe on iTunes and see some live dates: on Aug. 31st we'll be live at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin with director Todd Rohal and more, and the next live episode will be September 3rd for the Beginnings "Writer's Panel" featuring guest co-host Opus Moreschi (head writer of Colbert Report) and more!

Direct download: Beginnings_-_Quentin_Stolzfus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11pm EST

The first live show where we’re feeling out a new style and experimenting a bit, and I call this one FUN and a SUCCESS. With one of my favorite stand-ups Nick Vatterott (Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan, etc.) as the first guest co-host, how could it not be fun? We were joined by former Daily Show correspondent and delightful stand-up Wyatt Cenac, xoJane Deputy Editor Mandy Stadtmiller and wonderful musical guest Xenia Rubinos for a free-ranging discussion of our guests’ childhoods that covered: Ghostly Aunt Jemima, a Care Bear massacre, a lesson on re-insurance, growing up with Brian K. Vaughan, Chinese Santa Claus, Scott Peterson's water people defense, and fleeing communist Cuba. Plus, in the epilogue, I talk to adultswim.com writer Kelly Hudson about what it was like growing up in Texas.

Check out our new website for Beginnings, subscribe on iTunes and see some live dates: the next live episode will be August 6th with Jim Norton, Bonnie McFarlane, Eric Drysdale (Colbert Report) and musical guest ARMS, and on Aug. 31st we'll be live at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin with director Todd Rohal and more!

Direct download: Beginnings_Live_July_2013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am EST

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