Friday, February 25, 2011

Published: "Local Rock at the Vogue" in NUVO Newsweekly


On January 25, 2011, my article "Local Rock at the Vogue" was published in NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis. The review covered the January 21 show at the Vogue which featured Ladymoon, Borrow Tomorrow and the Max Allen Band. A slideshow credited to our photography business, Anderton Leaf Photography, ran alongside the story in the digital edition, which is still available online.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 10 Podcasts: #6 The Savage Love Podcast


[Editor's Note: The following is the latest in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each. Here's what we know so far:
#6 - Savage Love Podcast
#7 - Freakonomics Radio
#8 - The Moth Podcast
#9 - The Ricky Gervais Podcast
#10 - Fresh Air with Terry Gross]

When I think of listening to the Savage Love Podcast I think of long, happy car trips with my wife through the winding roadways of Northern California, and now, the straighter, flatter roads of Central Indiana. That's because this podcast is one of the very few podcast experiences I don't keep to myself. The shared experience of hearing frank, funny and informed sex-positive relationship advice has become part of the connective tissue of our relationship. Even when host and column author of the same name Dan Savage is ripping into someone for the horrendous life choice they've made or are about to make, it's all under the pretense of love and getting the most of life.

Essential Listening

Savage's advice show format is heart-breakingly hilarious most of time but the show also turns to politics (as it did on Episode 109 after the passage of Proposition 8 in California and in September of 2010 when the gay suicide epidemic inspired him to form the It Gets Better Project.)
Otherwise, as long as you're not squeamish about anything sexual, pretty much every episode is great.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Top 10 Podcasts: #7 Freakonomics Radio


[Editor's Note: The following is the latest in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each. Here's what we know so far:
#7 - Freakonomics Radio
#8 - The Moth Podcast
#9 - The Ricky Gervais Podcast
#10 - Fresh Air with Terry Gross]

Freakonomics Radio is an audio extension of the brand created Stephen Dubner and Stephen Levitt's book of the same name. The podcast updates relatively infrequently and is never very long. The production is great. The subject is always interesting. Nothing on here lends itself to a marathon listening session. It's meant to be savored, like Werther's Original for the mind. The flavor is deep and long-lasting.

Essential listening:

Really, all of it very quality, but two recent episodes were above and beyond. One was about the idea of regulated organ market (Iran has the only one in the world and hardly anyone dies for lack of an organ.) Another was about how the label on a bottle of wine is more influential in percieved taste than the wine contained inside (in blind taste tests people overwhelmingly prefer cheap wine to expensive even though it's many times more expensive.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Published: "Indiana Statehouse 2011: We're Screwed" in NUVO Newsweekly


As a part of NUVO Newsweekly's Indiana Statehouse 2011 guide (subtitled: "We're Screwed") published in the January 19, 2011 edition, I wrote the sections concerning education and redistricting. You can still read both in the digital edition.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Top 10 Podcasts: #8 The Moth Podcast


[Editor's Note: The following is the latest in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each. Here's what we know so far:
#8 - The Moth Podcast
#9 - The Ricky Gervais Podcast
#10 - Fresh Air with Terry Gross]

There's a lot to like about The Moth Podcast. First of all, it's short. So, you know going in even if you don't like the story or the storyteller you're only going to be engaged for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This is also it's biggest downside as some stories could easily last several hours and I'd be fine. Also, whoever books the celebrity guests is a sometimes genius. There's no script for any of it and people just basically ramble on until the single violin note makes like the Sandman at The Apollo and hooks them off stage.

Essential Listening:

Having said all that, you do get some duds in the mix as well. Thankfully they're few and far between. In my opinion, some of the best stories come from celebrities who reveal a previously unknown side of themselves. Two examples that spring to mind are the episodes with Al Sharpton and another with Colin Quinn.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Top 10 Podcasts: #9 The Ricky Gervais Podcast



[Editor's Note: The following is the latest in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each. Here's what we know so far:
#9 - The Ricky Gervais Podcast
#10 - Fresh Air with Terry Gross]

The Ricky Gervais Podcast was probably the first podcast I ever downloaded with any regularity. The medium was so foreign to me at the time that I didn't use iTunes to download it, nor did I have an MP3 player to upload it to once I did. It was stunning to me that one of my favorite comic actors would simply talk for nearly an hour at a time for free. (Of course, they later started charging for it, but who's counting?) The Ricky Gervais Show still holds up half a decade later. However, I can only stomach small doses as Gervais' aura is the definition of abrasive.

Essential listening:

The show's secret weapon is, of course, Gervais and writing partner Stephen Merchant's foil Karl Pilkington. The constant abuse laid upon his orange-shaped head is either naturally deserved or completely orchestrated. Either way Pilkington plays his Stephen Wright-like bemusement with existence to the hilt. If a primer on the series is what you're looking for, you could do a lot worse than this massive Best of Series One digest podcast.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Published: Album Review: jj - Kills [mixtape]


You can read my review of Sincerely Yours band jj's free mixtape Kills in the digital edition of NUVO Newsweekly.

Top 10 Podcasts: #10 Fresh Air with Terry Gross


[Editor's Note: The following is the first in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each.]

NPR mainstay WHYY's Fresh Air with Terry Gross is nothing if not relentless. On any given week they blast my iTunes folder with no less than five episodes. About 85% of these are socially-conscious interviews covering any array of completely depressing topics. I specifically remember one such episode (I won't bother to look it up) in which Terry asks for a detailed description of a dog being put to sleep. These episodes are often enlightening and informative. They are also a complete drag. (Possibly why I have over 100-episode pileup growing on my iPod.)
But when Terry Gross turns her laser-like attention to popular culture the 15% of the time she does, nothing is more fun.

Essential Listening:


There are many essential episodes of Fresh Air, but Terry really gets the lead out when she's challenged by her subject. This makes episodes like her debacles with Gene Simmons and Bill O'Reilly some of the finest moments in radio.