Roderick on the Line

Ep. 276: "The Authenticity Wars"


  they're the strokes their songs all

  sound like the stroke you sure you write

  the intro Interpol their songs all sound

  like and but wouldn't those songs come

  on you're like hey that's got to be the

  new Interpol song whereas the long

  winter's music all sounds like who the

  fuck knows right I mean the only thing

  we don't have a ska song there's a

  there's an everything it's an everything

  everything sound and that if you're

  trying to make a band popular is a bad

  strategy I mean the mountain goats every

  song sounds like the mountain goats yeah

  you're never gonna listen to a mountain

  goat song and go wow is this like is

  this some kind of orc pop is this the

  Smashing Pumpkins so it's a it was a bad

  what I never did and this is the other

  thing right I'd had a lot of these mixed

  ideas like I looked at somebody like Ted

  Leo and I admired the fact that he

  stayed true to his school but my school

  was touch her own hair my school was not

  be like sound like your influences it

  was cut your own hair and so right

  before every single photo shoot that we

  took I cut my own hair which means that

  every photo of us I looked terrible

  as I did it I thought that people would

  look at the pictures and they would

  identify a kind of truth about me like

  oh that guy is true but people don't

  look at it and say that they say why is

  he did I mean why does he have that

  haircut yeah that's a terrible haircut

  and so what I thought I was

  communicating like I thought I was

  communicating in the song cinnamon this

  whole story about the baader-meinhof

  gang but I didn't give any evidence of

  it right and so I'm cutting my own hair

  before every photo shoot because I

  believe in the principle but the prints

  Paul does not convey see what you're


  people couldn't look at you and know

  that you're a vegan no do you know

  similarly like there's something there's

  something in your cred or know that your


  they couldn't like look at you and be

  able to glean let you have a big ax on

  your hand right well and the thing about

  Ted is that he had a big V for vegan on

  his shirt and he talked about it in

  every interview and what I had was like

  you know I had a suit like the Riddler

  cover with question marks every single

  tour it was like this tour I'm wearing a

  striped tie and I look like I'm in the

  Decembrists and this tour I'm wearing a

  gold leotard top hats for everybody

  I started out one tour at where I was

  like I'm just gonna wear this tracksuit

  through the whole tool all three of my

  band mates were like when are you gonna

  change out of your pajamas and I said

  it's very comfortable but like what I

  you know I looked like I was in the

  happy Monday so there was no consistency

  and it was all it was all in my head

  that I was doing something though that

  people were gonna pick up on but what I

  was really doing was this like it's just

  this eclecticism that all people picked

  up on was wait is that the guy from LCD

  Soundsystem except he is except he's

  wearing like loafers and a bowler like

  that doesn't he's dressed like Clockwork

  Orange and it doesn't make any sense and

  that and that's I think true in them in

  the songs too like I every song I just I

  started completely fresh as like a new

  experiment which I thought was a great

  premise but when you listen to the

  records you're like to never know what's

  coming next what's coming next is the

  baseline gonna be played on a tambourine

  like don't know so what from that is to

  be gleaned

  because there's a lot of angles to that

  yeah no no I mean if you're saying like

  there's a lot of 1:1 angle is you you

  thought you were going for something and

  it didn't come across another could be a

  lesson for the youths right about about

  how to how to do your thing mm-hmm do

  you feel that part of the success of

  other bands is owed to the fact that

  they didn't do stuff like cut their hair

  before a photo shoot they went and got

  it professionally cut at great expense

  and socially cut by a professional and

  and told the person will you cut my hair

  so that I look cool they probably

  brought in a picture of somebody and

  said this can you make me look like Ron

  Wood in 1972

  sure and you know and I was sitting in

  the mirror going hmm that's not even

  maybe I should cut up the other side a

  little bit oh it's not even again maybe

  I should cut it up the other side a

  little bit and then pretty soon you know

  like I look I look like a like a girl in

  college who's experimenting I always

  wondered what would happen I look back

  sometimes I wonder if in when I was 16

  if I had just bought a leather jacket a

  good one that fit me and it had just won

  that leather jacket all that like that

  would be your thing I had that leather

  jacket how was that guy that had that

  leather jacket that the lot it would

  have just solved a lot of problems

  between the age of 16 and 26 yeah

  because you wouldn't have to think about

  it you just wear that jacket oh you

  could be like I'm thinking like a

  college people show up for college and

  they became they become known for their

  one thing like it could be skateboards

  Scott or you know it could be a Scott

  poor or snake Amy I've told you about

  something game either different Amy's

  and in the caning of things there was

  like snake Amy she's gonna have the

  snake she had a pet snake she would can

  carry around with her right and so I see

  then in this case the leather jacket

  would be your snake and if you picked

  hardcore as your sound like hardcore is

  well it's right in the name it's


  right so it's all hand on there and so

  and the sound of hardcore is very

  distinctive and you can learn it and so

  then you are if you stick in the way

  that we're describing if you stick

  around long enough in hardcore you

  become part of hardcore you're no longer

  just some aspirant you are part of

  hardcore and once you become part of it

  then what you did when you were young is

  now part of the history of hardcore no

  you were there you were in the trenches

  that's right and you got stories to tell

  you got stories and at the time there

  were bigger bands than you you were just

  like you know just gutting it out but

  now when those bands go away and you're

  still around now you kind of have

  written the history of hardcore

  something's right and the victors write

  the history mm-hmm but if you start out

  and you're just like I'm just you know

  I'm just like Oh our band is is

  different we're on our own we're doing

  our own thing and you don't invent a

  genre which is very hard very very hard

  to do mm-hmm

  when people look back they're like well

  you weren't really part of any scene

  back then so it's not like you rewrote

  the history of that scene you just

  floundered it the whole time and you

  kind of clamored up on to whatever like

  raft you managed to get on grace and

  then the raft went over the falls this

  is like what people I mean you know I

  don't want to cast aspersions but as you

  and I both know there's a handful of

  characters who keep reappearing in every

  music documentary oh yeah right


  role he's they're never you get Dave

  Grohl you get thirst and more or like

  this like we're still talking to the

  Moody Blues an awful lot these days

  things to tell people you know people

  feel very strongly about the Moody Blues

  I don't understand that maybe I just

  don't know I maybe I'm just not deep

  enough into their catalogue I don't

  think they have a deep catalogue

  but on the scene I'll sit around I'll

  sit around and and I'll watch me a

  Genesis concert from 1972 that's just

  the thing I'll do I'll just sit there

  and watch a low-resolution like

  something from like like I don't know

  something around nursery crime or

  Foxtrot and I'll just watch I'll just

  watch the fucking Genesis concert magic

  it's it's so weird and so good they were

  such a good band and most people just

  look I think it was like I dressed as a

  flower but like they really brought it

  they brought it and they toured the shit

  out of it and they were just I mean I

  don't know what your feelings are about

  Genesis but like still Collins was a

  really good drummer and a really good

  singer and you know and Steve Hackett

  that plays that guitar like ringing a


  yeah like Moody Blues I don't find

  myself watching Moody Blues concerts is

  that bad on me should I be like a gentle

  giant should I be expanding my catalogue

  more by the way I think I'm more

  familiar with gentle giant I know

  probably 2 or 3 moody blues songs but I

  think I'm probably more familiar with

  gentle giant isn't Pam you'll figure

  that out

  I feel like Moody Blues I am somebody

  who cannot be mad at the Moody Blues in

  the same way that I still live written

  never meaning to send yeah I still

  listen to Richard Harris sing about how

  he left his cake out in the rain oh sure

  and so again that's a good performance

  that's a pretty good performance it's

  great you know I mean I'll listen to

  Mannheim Steamroller Christmas every

  year not because I want to but because

  my sister insists that says heavy metal

  Christmas stuff now who's that I don't I

  don't want to hear that Christmas songs

  I have he's a transect burying railroad

  it might be heavy metal Christmas I

  wouldn't follow that I wouldn't it's

  excruciating but you know what Moody

  Blues was was they were like they were

  like the guys following Pink Floyd and

  they were they were taking in Floyd and

  they were making it a little bit more

  palatable and I'm not I don't disagree

  with that I'm not argue with them but

  therapy lot there's a lot of anger at

  people or at Moody Blues

  and and I don't you know it's sort of

  like y-yeah no no no no don't get me

  wrong I don't mean to be slacking off on

  no MIDI please I'm not familiar enough

  to know but but that's so now what I'm

  thinking of god I can't believe I'm

  saying this on the show do you ever

  watch the television show Portlandia say

  no there's a recent episode wait a

  minute I I love to go watch Portlandia

  sketches yes online and partly it is

  because I have very very good feelings

  about Fred Armisen yeah I don't want too

  much but yeah he's he's very he's very

  talented and his eyes alone are very

  very funny we are currently in geing

  this program at our house he sent me a

  very nice email one time and just

  apropos of nothing based on his own just

  generous nests and and I so about the

  management uh-uh no just like just out

  not out of the blue but he was you know

  he he felt he felt at that time that I

  could use or not no no I don't think he

  even thought that way he just became

  aware of me and wanted to send me an

  email that's the best kind of message to

  receive . that is the best message it

  was basically like he turned a corner he

  bumped into me and he said yay

  you know what you're too big for this

  town like he gave me a little he gave me

  just a little like hey i became aware of

  you and i just wanted to say i really

  like what I just like your thing and so

  I don't want to hear any bad things and

  then in my shirt you look weird oh yeah

  - there's two main street performers

  that I can think of that and this is

  neither of these as anything too obscure

  but there are two people where I just

  look at them and I just start laughing

  I'm gonna be honest with you Will

  Ferrell he is just naturally very funny

  Will Ferrell and a Fred Armisen they

  both have very funny eyes but like even

  before they're doing anything their eyes

  are just funny I have never gotten into

  wolf bear it's totally understandable

  totally understand at the heart of it

  will Ferrell is a weirdo yes that's the

  great part like he he gets known for

  these bits in the cowbell and whatnot

  but like

  the only reason I mentioned this is

  their I don't know why I'm telling you

  this I should cut this out but two or

  three episodes ago on Portlandia there's

  a character running character on the

  show named spike who's like the punk

  rock guy who's in his you know 50s and

  spike decides it's time it's time to

  speak truth to power it's time to get

  his old band riot spray back together

  and we know he's like this he's this you

  know crusty punk rocker and it's a riot

  spray it turns out this is so great

  it's Henry Rollins from like he looks

  like a guy you would just see at Whole


  he's he's a you know he's a painted man

  does he just kind of look like a guy

  you'd see at Whole Foods well so Chris

  moved to the most rural place in

  Washington in in western Washington I

  should say there are rural places in

  Eastern Washington that are very rural

  you can get out there where you come

  over the come over the rise and there's

  a happen abandoned houses like Second

  Amendment country it's it's yeah it's

  what it's uh it's the high plains but in

  in the west of Washington there are a

  lot of places where it just rains all

  the time and the main the main cash crop

  is cranberries and there are a lot of

  fishermen that are the kind of fishermen

  that just every time they go out they

  may not come back you know the kind of

  Deadliest Catch they're though they're

  the real crazy ones the ones whose eyes

  are permanently squinty and the wind

  blows all the time and there are there

  shellfish people and they're very

  shellfish but he moved down there and

  bought some land and I know that

  territory pretty well and I can only

  imagine even if you buy the hillsides

  like the ground is always soggy right

  you can never you never really standing

  on hard ground you

  really I bet you really gotta want to

  live there well but but it's kind of

  where he grew up like out in Aberdeen it

  this is this the same country okay

  Aberdeen's were Nirvana started right

  yeah then there's no there's no economy

  I mean there used to be logging but it's

  that's mostly gone and he got so two

  things that he did that I think are

  great one he got his private pilot's

  license that's cool so every time he

  goes I approve of that as an aging rock

  star thing I approve of the pilot's

  license yeah it's great but I mean it's

  not like he has like a Learjet

  he drives a little you know a Cessna 172

  like me and he when he comes to Seattle

  he flies he flies himself up there and

  it's typical it's great but the other

  thing he did was he got himself elected

  to the Grange the local like agriculture

  board which is cowboy Congress yeah it's

  effectively like the government for the

  region but all it is is they all get

  together in like a hall and argue about

  cranberries but he's like active in

  super local politics like the the local

  politics of this crazy little like way

  west super Lewis & Clark outpost out

  there when I was running for City

  Council he and I talked every week

  because he was really interested in

  Seattle politics and he really wanted he

  really wanted to help me and he really

  wanted to make sure that I had my

  platform straight and 90 percent of the

  the advice he gave me and the stuff he

  wanted to talk about was like dead-on

  all I always bring cupcakes that kind of

  thing well and just like you know you

  need to like I'm kidding but he knows

  where he speaks here because he's dealt

  with ornery characters in a in a small

  town well and people tried to get him to

  there was a brief moment where he was

  put up to run for a national office I

  think either either senator maybe

  governor I forget what it was but he was

  he was proposed as a politician himself

  and I think he got into the race and the

  first press conference he had somebody

  was like so when Kurt Cobain died of

  heroin did that affect your and he was

  like get me out of here yeah and so he

  said that's not for me that world is not

  where I want to be but you know right

  there that's a pretty good example I was

  talking about before yeah I think you

  kind of walked that path a little bit

  too whereas like I have a real clear

  idea of what I could do once I'm in here

  to help this stuff out but boy yeah I

  didn't fight about you you're the poster

  boy for that yeah the whole like oh if

  you don't love this grind doesn't know

  if you're good at the job and like I

  said at the time I think you know it's

  like to be a good city council person

  and to be good at running for City

  Council are two totally different jobs

  and you have to be good at both but to

  get elected all you have to be good at

  is the running part and then once you

  get in is when people decide or discover

  whether or not you're good at the other

  part they just concentrate on the

  Grafton greed there as there are a

  couple of people on the Seattle City

  Council that we're running when I was

  running and one in particular I guess

  who ran and won and then is now on there

  and I think that I don't know if it's

  the consensus yet but I think it's clear

  like oh not as good at it and might have

  been the revolution is not the same as

  running the Banana Republic right ten

  percent of the advice that Chris gave me

  was about cranberry farming which was

  not useful in running for office in

  Seattle did he sound wise he just had

  some stuff that he wanted to make sure

  was on my agenda we don't do as much

  cranberry stuff out here as you guys do

  down there it was not it was not a

  problem because the rest of it advice

  was so good

  but yeah he is a he is a very very very

  unusual man and

  you know like wonderful wonderful I told

  you about the event and where Duff

  McKagan asked him to come interview him

  for the release of Duff's book mm-hmm

  and they showed up and her husband on

  Portlandia I bet he has was the st.

  Vincent one time it's been suggested or

  it's been asked why I was never on

  Portlandia but you know what I didn't do

  I didn't network I didn't write Fred

  Armisen back man hey what's up just

  checking in hey man did I wrote it back

  and I said thank you so much for your

  kind letter and he said no problem and

  then I was like well I don't anything

  else to say to him I know I know it's

  not the worst we could write it back and

  say like I love your your eyes I almost

  I almost wrote the McElroy's this

  morning just to compliment them on their

  Casper add read and then it's like you

  know what they don't need that no but

  you know what they love hearing from you

  because they really admire you I really

  admire them but I thought you know what

  I shouldn't do that cuz when you when

  you contact somebody you make it about

  you unless you're somebody like a Fred

  Armisen who makes about the other person

  that's a nice thing you should write it

  you should write to Reggie Watts

  I've made all the compliments to Reggie

  that that our relationship needs for the

  rest of your relationship

  well maybe not maybe we'll do it

  together and I'll be like that was great

  Reggie mm-hmm but to write him now would

  be he would get the email and he'd be

  like I want what he was like you're

  right Fred Armisen now and say hey yeah

  I mean I think I think the seasons

  already done yeah yeah I know they're

  done they heard an interview with Carey

  yeah that's all over too late for me to

  be on Portlandia just as it's too late

  for me to be on a lot of things oh I

  should have although you know what

  remember it wasn't very long ago when I

  was saying I've never won an award Yeah


  yeah I mean it's kind of it's long I'm

  going lament for you is he's never gone

  one knows it always struck me that it

  wasn't that you felt like maybe I'm

  getting this wrong but it wasn't it

  precisely that you felt like you were do

  an award for a given thing but it was

  bigger subsets of like what the fuck of

  I know gotten award well or like yeah

  right well what would the award be but

  it seems like everybody's got it

  everything gets Awards people get awards

  right in lap you can get a webby you

  know I mean they're just giving this

  shit away

  so I'm sitting at home dude to do to

  doing and the Grammys were on and I knew

  it and so I was avoiding all media

  because who wants that who wants to be

  watching those I'm even on the Grammy

  Board I vote in the Grammys but I don't

  want to watch the show no no thanks but

  then I get a tweet or wait a minute no

  yeah well hmm maybe I got a letter from

  somebody I got a letter from somebody

  and maybe it was a me her so I anyway

  very same she's in on Portlandia yeah I

  know she was in was there other

  housekeeper she was great she was going

  I've seen that episode but I guess all

  of a sudden I'm texting with with Amy

  and she won the Grammy for Best folk

  album really that's amazing yeah

  yeah well I wouldn't have ever thought

  of her as good artist Yeah right right

  like what is a force yes some of their

  categories are a little bit longer the

  tooth but you know but so here she is

  best folk album and I realized as we're

  texting back and forth wait a minute I

  wrote a song on that album oh oh

  and so this isn't an example engraved

  somewhere well this is what I'm


  mm-hmm because it's not an example of

  Amy's album winning best packaging which

  is there for the music for the folks it

  look nice it's there for the music and

  so I did not say to Amy where's my

  parade I contacted my people in at the

  Grammys and said asking for a friend

  if hypothetically a the record wins a

  Grammy and you had a Grammy for Best

  in Category and your friend has written

  a song on that record what's the story

  with that yeah I work I know that you

  don't get one of the little gramophones

  one of the gold gramophones but is there

  something and they came back and said

  yes you get a very nice from suitable

  for framing gold embossed certificates

  it says I won or I wrote a song on a

  Grammy winning album the devil you say

  and so all of a sudden it's not quite

  that I won exactly something no no it's

  worse but I did get a certificate mental

  illness a me man

  best folk album yeah she beat out Laura

  Marling off of recs the secret sisters

  and Cat Stevens and Cat Stevens

  he's called youssef slash Cat Stevens


  yeah the Laughing Apple is albums called

  so anyway certificate and then I was

  like well and the thing is Jonathan

  Coulton wrote a couple of songs on that

  record too so he's gonna get a

  certificate it's a little off it doesn't

  it doesn't kind of tarnish his shit

  and he actually his record was nominated

  for wait for it

  best packaging always good packaging and

  he lost my comic book from a fraction

  comic book I think so he's actually

  gonna get another certificate because

  you get a certificate that says I was

  nominated for a Grammy Award so if you

  know once again like his wall of

  diplomas is much better than mine

  see that makes it all so much worse he

  might even get nominated for a Tony

  because he because he wrote some songs

  on the new spongebob musical Oh jiminy

  but wait wait but that's neither here

  nor there what I'm saying is that as I'm

  contemplating receiving this certificate

  which I probably will not open that a

  few years ago Kathleen Edwards won a so


  which is a Canadian a major Canadian

  that's not a canadian award it's a major

  award in canada and she wanted for a

  song that I have a co-write on and it

  was a generous it was generous on her

  part she was sitting in my living room

  and she was like I want you to listen to

  the song and tell me what you think and

  she played it for me on on my piano that

  that my cousin yells about as being a

  weird sounding piano and I said oh well

  that's a great song obviously you're a

  great songwriter and all I would do is

  change this to that and then you should

  add this and take that away and she gave

  you credit for that and she gave me

  songwriting credit honor and you know

  and it has a part that if you listen to

  the song when the part comes you go

  oh that's very mm-hmm John right but you

  know it's a wonder it's a wonderful song

  and it's her song entirely but she gave

  me the songwriting credit and so when

  the SOCAN Awards were announced and the

  award was for best song so it was

  announced that Kathleen Edwards and John

  Roderick won this award so can award

  damn but I was not in Canada and I think

  I don't well so I never wrote them a

  letter saying is there a certificate or

  something yeah do an article yeah just a

  curiosity just asking for a friend

  yeah and so now it occurs to me that I

  have another certificate of

  participation for a thing that I kind of

  was standing next to when someone won

  mm-hmm and now I'm starting to feel like

  well I'm half won a couple of things you

  should you should go back through your

  catalogue and figure out door you know

  just any of your relationships and

  figure out what what else are you owed

  well you know I did sing the background

  harmonies Transatlanticism transplant

  official notes on we'll get one

  - is that gonna make it worse so sure so

  here's what happened Shawn sang on

  several of the songs well maybe not

  several a handful he sang on three or

  something songs on that record Shawn

  does have a gold record on his wall from

  trans Atlantis's Oh God

  now guess who doesn't that's right I

  don't have one and I think it was in the

  when they're sitting there with the

  notepad out who do we send these to

  Shaunie well Shawn was very helpful he

  sang on several songs he pops right to

  the top of the list and let's see if we

  got to give one to the producer and

  fixer and the but Josh and Emily got one

  oh yeah yeah that's right on the wall

  there at bar soup but you know what I

  did was I sang come on really pops yeah

  and there's and I sang another part and

  he just charges sang another one of his

  perfect angelic parts which he does all

  the time that's easy for him and you

  here is his angel he sings like an angel

  he does you brought your your your gut

  rattling just creaking listen to that

  transit land I do not have the thing for

  the wall that then you put you know you

  kind of put it next to the bathroom

  you're like oh that old thing like that

  thing you know you or I could not open

  it and it could be like a gold record

  the idea of your trophy room being

  unopened boxes but with a full display

  case and maybe a bell jar on it and a

  fucking black with a question mark like

  just stuff you've gotten in the mail

  that might be really beautiful

  and mounted things in envelopes see for

  all you know it could be a bigmouth

  Billy bass but could also be a Grammy no

  one saying it's not a Grammy is the

  schrödinger's Grammy well I'm you know

  right in the center a really big box

  that's probably a platinum record from

  Beauty you have to imagine they did very

  well John is a very popular but it was

  popular and and you know wouldn't it

  cost a lot to send like one to everybody

  that worked on us to say how many people

  ended up learning about them because

  they came to see the opening act I think

  it's pretty safe to say how many people

  did because you know we can look at our

  own record sales

  you never know you never know but but

  yeah so I mean so my like my

  metaphysical trophy wall has a lot of

  these like a ward adjacent envelopes

  yeah and I just like and of course now

  we have phony that's the thing see

  somebody went to the trouble yeah an

  award the non-existent award that we

  made up and were mad that we weren't

  nominated for somebody made that real

  Rory made that real he made you the

  headphones you hope you an award was

  literally invented for you not to be

  better yeah although I invented it but

  we invented well you conceptualized it

  that's right but you didn't paint you

  fucking headphones no I didn't take

  headphones and build a phony award yes

  and stuff that guy's the real deal well

  and to be honest those are noise

  protection headphones sue

  you guys just wrap it up and put it away

  why bother my fucking mother

  why bother my fucking mother


  hello hi John

  hi Merlin how's it going good yeah is it

  earlier you ill Oh neither

  oh you okay no no you sound better yeah

  no I I just I did something i I never do

  which is I crammed I crammed that's the

  wrong one I ate I ate some food

  oh gee I ate too warmed up slices of

  pizza mmm

  for breakfast she's microwave for the

  the oven I use the microwave huh

  which is I you know we all know the not

  the best way to put pizza back into

  circulation from cold pizza just fine


  some reason I thought just I just

  thought go for it just throw the pizzas

  in the in the microwave and eat them I

  recently acquired some new technology

  that I'm very excited about although I

  have not figured out how fully to

  utilize it yet and I acquired a product

  from the Whirlpool Corporation that

  purports to be a pan touch the pan it's

  a pan that can be used it's basically

  looks like a pizza let's say probably

  like a 12-inch pizza

  dingus what do you call them you know

  talking about pizza pan pizza pan feets


  but it's treated with some kind of

  aluminium that can be used in the

  microwave oven wait a minute I know see

  this flies in the face of everything

  we've learned this is our culture and

  our heritage is one thing we know yep

  man the moon microwave oven right

  microwave oven cannot heat to the center

  of a lasagna and you can't put a pan in

  a microwave mm-hmm

  you don't don't rollerskate know the

  flow hurt but I got this I've only used

  it once but it purports to crisp up the

  thing that you are heating in the

  microwave Christmas it up now have you

  ever gotten for example like gas station

  french fries that comes in a pack with

  like like a silvery reflective inside

  when you heat it you know that I don't

  eat potatoes

  oh you're aware of judges you just don't

  consume them yeah but I do know about

  the packaging that you're describing the

  the foil inner inner foil yes I mean I'm

  keen to have this happen cuz me I like

  some hot wings

  sometimes when we order a delivery place

  I'll get hot wings just for later kind

  of for the Tavia for me what's the

  problem with a hot wing is you got it

  you got a chicken piece and on the

  inside on the outside you got to get me

  hot sauce and in between you've got some

  crisped up probably flowery coating

  thing and then you heat that in a

  microwave and it's just not that fun

  no it's our job to sell I don't know I

  think I might be this might be something

  you want to look at I am going to

  problem is it is at odds I think I've

  talked I feel like I definitely talked

  about this before but I don't know if

  you know this about me I am a master of

  the microwave particularly with regard

  to using the percentages I'm a

  percentage man on are you really yeah

  you know my whole feeling about it is

  like put it in at a hundred percent

  mm-hmm and it's all a time game just

  saying it's a percentage game it can be

  a percentage game this is not for

  everybody because a lot of people they

  have busy working day lives and they've

  got to get on moving moving to the next

  thing they're mining bitcoins

  they're picking kids up at school

  there's a lot control but so one benefit

  we've got a really high wattage

  microwave that heats stuff super fast so

  like coming

  how many wattage it's over a thousand I

  want to say like 1200 or more but we

  always have to go a little bit south on

  when they tell you like oh do it for

  this long can you get those on the

  street you can get these please 1200

  mics on the street well you know does

  some aftermarket things to it we

  Ami's and uh yeah yeah so I mean that's

  great if you want to make hot water you

  want pure energy going coursing through

  your water your energy to your energy to

  generate the heats there's nice bullets

  you want that but with a pizza see

  here's the thing with a pizza you put a

  pizza in for a minute yeah that's gonna

  be a very very very hot possibly bernie

  pizza hot wet pizza hot wet pizza I love

  that movie so here's my challenge to you

  is to start so first of all you may know

  for example that for defrosting if you

  don't have an auto defrost if you do

  need to defrost you go for like a ten a

  ten percent that's really yeah cuz the

  problem is what a microwave does

  according to the the technologies and

  books that I have acquired is that it

  cooks from the I believe it cooks I want

  to say from the inside out I'm not sure

  how that were inside out cooks from the

  corner but just something where like

  it's very you know you've had the

  experience certainly of like let's look

  at the lasagna considered was Anya

  consider kids on and when yeah when you

  heat the lasagna you get that thing of

  like one part is scalding and giving you

  mouth meat yeah and another part is like

  actually physically cold still throws

  yeah well okay so here's here's my

  challenge to you consider and consider

  the 40 percent setting all right so if

  you you got a pretty good feel for like

  how long to put something in to heat it

  up thinking about it now I'm thinking

  I'm holding I'm holding the let's say

  what is the thing that I microwaved the

  most that isn't yeah something you know

  some well I have to I have to I have to

  two ways I use the microwave actually

  the thing that I shouldn't have frozen

  that I froze right and now I want to

  bring it back to life you have you

  you're you are kind of a master of the

  freezing process like if you're not sure

  if meats gone bad you put it in the

  freezer right and so I can have that

  later that's right the freeze the

  freezing if it's like if I don't cook

  this today then I then it's going bad

  throw it away yeah put it in the freezer

  and then I'll cook it a year from now

  how do you like me now I like you plenty

  now I think that's a terrific way to go

  and you know that's a little bit of

  mystery yes everything you pull out of

  the freezer which should be you know

  it's it's brand spankin new you know and

  you're you're when you were a kid did

  you ever put batteries in the

  refrigerator to refresh them course okay

  so I don't know if people do that

  anymore it used to be the conventional

  wisdom was now now you can store your

  batteries in the fridge supposedly makes

  them last longer I don't know I don't

  know the kid we take oh we take a 9-volt

  and stick it in there overnight and you

  get a little more juice out of it yeah

  so what I would suggest is this is very

  arbitrary but if you have let's say

  arbitrarily you've got something you

  need to heat up that you feel like is a

  let's say a two-minute heat up try

  having the amount of time and doing it

  at 40% same amount of time but 40% of

  half the amount of time wait whoa no no

  sorry wait a minute I got my math wrong

  okay cut that out when you edit this cut

  that out all right do this almost twice

  as long for 40% and what that does is

  that's gonna let those little waves

  really get in there they're gonna say

  hey buddy you know pump your brakes we

  just need to get real deep into the

  lasagna this is not this is not we're

  not some teenage boy that needs to need

  to bust his nut on this lasagna and and

  you know uh 40 seconds right let's be a

  gentleman about this let's length of

  food accommodate the waves you're just

  gonna slide into there da it's okay


  I don't want to see your speed this is

  this is a microwave user this is gonna

  go you tell me if you want to stop right

  so Sam's it's like vibrating I always

  think of a microwave as cooking by like

  by jiggling by vibrating like the

  molecules yeah so it's in the molecule


  but what you're saying is like it's just

  gonna it's gonna tickle its way through

  the outside molecules be like yelling at

  it you know what I'm saying don't yell

  it don't yell at the lasagna anyway I'm

  just tossing this out experiment try it

  try this because I have

  I did this one my daughter frequently my

  daughter will have like two pieces of

  pizza we got leftover pizza she wants to

  snack of course two minutes before

  dinner she has to have a snack which is

  just driving me out of my mind but like

  she gets home from school I'm gonna make

  her some pizza

  I'll do and because we have a super

  strong microwave I'll do maybe 40% for a

  minute 20 see how it is it can always do

  more you can't undo microwave you can

  only do more microwave you can't receive

  there's no at currently with the current

  technology right no way to remove


  but you might be amazed it makes it

  really quite nice and what does you know

  it's easy to screw up a pizza it's

  pretty easy to mess up yeah but also

  pizza is just such a throwaway food it's

  like but I noticed this about myself all

  the time I screw up food and then I sit

  and shame eat it you do that now you eat

  it I screwed this up so badly and so now

  what I deserve is to sit alone at the

  end of this table with a napkin tucked

  into my shirt

  and a knife in one hand and a fork in

  the other and just just just eat this

  shit that I just really like misery in

  every bite I do that I learn from it

  John no no that the tragedy is here's

  one of the tragedies I was talking to

  you I think about my inability to cook a

  steak oh yeah very surprising a man

  contacted me here in Seattle and he said

  I'm teaching his cook steak a steak

  cooking class a cook steak in class and

  he said I'd like you to come attending

  the cook steak in class and I said I

  would be so into that and now I just was

  offered a gig at the same time as the

  cooks taking class Oh bummer

  and you know I can partly make my living

  doing gigs gigs are important it's a gig

  economy it's an out of town gig all the

  things that and you know and I'm just

  like I can't see your calendar for that

  stuff it's no good it's no good and I

  just feel I just feel like I

  just put and the thing is he doesn't

  offer this class all the time this is a

  this is a class that just comes up every

  once a while I don't know why he seems

  like he should be able to do it every


  yeah every morning he should wake up in

  the teachers what you just hop on the


  they have him give a tea and pigs and

  bunnies you think there's something

  where he could just give you the high

  level give you three bullets on a cook's

  taking that means that insulting to to

  his method probably I mean what one time

  I took a am I took an engineering class

  like a like a studio production class

  because I've sat in recording studios a

  hundred times looking over people's

  shoulders asking them questions what are

  you doing there I'm just you know I'm

  changing the Shelf on the loom the bus

  mm-hmm it's like oh you're changing the

  shelf on the bus I don't know and I even

  know what those turns you thinking

  yourself should I be changing the shelf

  on my bus oh shit is exactly right right

  I mean you know like I run my vocals to

  an 1176 I love I love the way the

  machine sounds I I know them intimately

  from staring at them but still every

  single thing that a person does on them

  I have no idea what they're doing

  I'm just looking at this this is the

  1176 L in the classic limiting amplifier

  mmm-hmm oh it's got a lot of knobs John

  but it's a wonderful wonderful machine

  and it has and the thing is it has

  tricks there are tricks you can do on it

  you can push all the buttons in at once

  which everybody agrees is really great

  and so if I owned one they're not cheap

  if I owned one I would put all the

  buttons in at once and I'd leave it

  there and I would find a setting and I

  would just leave it there I would never

  touch it again the problem is and I

  don't know if you encountered this

  because you're somebody that I that

  spend some time understanding them

  architecture and I like to understand

  the architecture well the rules before

  you break them that's right and when

  when a compressor or a limiter is doing

  its job I understand

  in my mind's eye kind of what's

  happening kind of to sound which I kind

  of understand but I cannot quite put

  together you know I am I like a mental

  picture you know I look at the course of

  a year and I have scope it out as a

  geography yeah but I can't quite in all

  the men on a map just give me an idea

  how the terrain works yeah

  but the maps sometimes require maps

  sometimes require that you understand

  the physical property of of the thing

  that you're doing right this is why it's

  so hard to make a map shirt cut yeah

  right so if you don't understand what

  sound is how can you make a map of it

  and how much can you understand what

  sound is unless you really study sound

  you can't just like oh so did some waves

  like yeah alright waves but like sound

  going through a box

  mm-hmm that that's electricity it's one

  of those things were like you when you

  if you try to ask for the short version

  you're gonna find yourself moving up and

  up and up in the stack to like something

  you you thought you knew but didn't

  really understand you need to understand

  before as a predicate like before you

  get to this other thing correct it's the

  predicate what even is sound what it

  what even is it and so you know so I

  said and I'm talking to engineers and

  they're like yeah well you just you know

  it's just yeah yes this is just you just

  put a shelf on the bus and I go I don't

  even yeah okay but what is what am I

  trying for and then then the problem is

  it's all they'll look at you and they're

  just like we'll just do it till it

  sounds good it's like yeah okay but it

  sort of said it sort of sounds

  differently good every direction anyway

  so I took a class from a noted engineer

  producer and it was me and like four

  other people and he walked us through it

  was like three days we I went down and

  stayed in a hotel and poor

  Londyn went to three days worth of being

  in the studio Wow learning all the stuff

  and I came out of there exactly as

  ignorant as I was when I went in and

  through no fault of the class but just

  that there's a fundamental comprehension

  that I am lacking that the class didn't

  address because it's not that wasn't

  under the within the purview of the

  class and I think you went straight into

  algebra 2 yeah yeah it's just like oh

  well here you go

  just run it in here and bust it over

  here and put a shelf on it over here and

  I was still sitting there with a dunce

  cap on going but what is sound huh or

  what are we what are we doing what are

  we manipulating like how does how does

  me going like good job things are gonna

  get easier turn into electricity that

  goes into these things and is

  manipulated by your knobs and out the

  other side I get it I mean I get it I've

  heard it a thousand times but I just

  don't get it I think there's another


  maybe just because I know so very little

  and all I ever do is twiddle it till it

  sounds good to me

  yeah with my dumb bad ears but like okay

  here's a phenomenon that I used to be on

  one end of and I'm now on the other end

  of used to always be on the end of some

  dingus you came through a phenomenon

  you're on the other end of it well yeah

  and I'm not loving it but but you've

  been on the end of the phenomenon where

  some dingus is using the computer and

  they're not doing it fast enough or

  smart enough for you and you're like no

  no just click click file file not there

  up there click man

  click that click that because for some

  reason when you're driving you're blind

  like you don't see stuff like have you

  ever noticed and so the other end of

  that now is like when I'm using the

  computer my daughter is constantly

  frustrated that I'm not doing the thing

  that she thinks she would do faster I

  think there should be a there's probably

  a name for this but there is a

  phenomenon when somebody else is doing

  the physical enough it's a modal thing

  but when one person is doing a physical

  manipulation the other

  person sees things more clearly right

  and I bet that goes five times more with

  audio we're one nice reason to have

  somebody in the room with you

  engineering is that they are they know

  how that machine works and what sound

  makes and then they you're able to have

  like two sets of years working on it

  yeah do you know what I'm saying though

  absolutely well that's what's wonderful

  about recording for me is that when some

  when some tiny tiny adjustment is made

  to the sound by a knob I perceive it and

  also have an opinion about it and want

  it to be this or that and I know enough

  about the words that I can say Allen

  just put a little bit more shelf on that

  bus mm-hm

  and the engineer is like yep right and

  he does it and it's exact and I was

  right mm-hmm

  I have no idea though what because I'm

  just talking in I'm just making I'm

  casting spells you know I'm like just I

  learned some spells Wizards way and the

  thing is also your quality control gets

  weird because like everybody knows I

  don't know if they still call it this

  but there used to be something called an

  aural enhancer where if you put an aural

  enhancer on something it suddenly sounds

  a lot fresher but you also don't want to

  sound too fresh you don't want to sound


  Arlyn hansteen I'm saying I do that goes

  for compression that echoes for

  equalization that goes for a limiting

  that goes for so many things there's

  another example this has gone around a

  lot over the years where people who

  insist they can tell like tiny

  differences between quality of like

  audio formats they found that you can

  trick almost anybody into thinking

  something sounds better by making it

  slightly louder than the other examples

  that does sound better

  well like the guy I forget exactly there

  was one famous guy maybe nuno


  or something somebody well who said that

  they forget it wasn't Todd Rundgren but

  somebody liked to put 3/4 used up nine

  volts in their effects boxes because the

  3/4 used up battery

  it's a warmer center you know the French

  battery the sound source battery no

  rattle that's just that's too much but

  we do this all the time in mixing

  records where the record just sounds

  amazing when you your make you sitting

  in the studio you're mixing it through

  your NS tens and which are terrible

  sounding but everybody uses them and

  we're all like that's great and then and

  then the engineer says we'll listen to

  them on headphones and you put the

  headphones on you're like oh no this

  sounds terrible yeah and you cannot just

  mix something hearing it through one

  source and that is the real

  destabilizing thing because you have to

  because mixing is such a delicate art

  and the room and other people's sweat

  and and if you're only listening to like

  one like you meet all the other tracks

  you listen to one on the isolated track

  like you're not going to hear that the

  same way once you bring up the bass and

  the drums stuff like that bringing up

  that bass you know I mean that sounds

  like an obvious thing but that's the

  other thing is like is there's no

  shortcut really to saying like well we

  want to fill the entire musical spectrum

  I mean people I imagine that is very

  intuitive and that you do that once once

  you've got all the levels and sounds

  kind of how you want then the really

  artful thing it seems to me is being

  able to make it all sound good together

  which is almost impossibly hard and you

  fuck yourself up but if you change one

  thing wrong and then you go and listen

  your car and you're like what doesn't

  sound anything like it should sound and

  it's quiet you listen you know that new

  portugal demand song which I'm gonna

  keep referring to because everybody in

  the country's got it stuck in their head

  it's very catchy they're these according

  to my daughter they're the third most

  popular band at her school Wow who are

  the other two she didn't say no kidding

  no but she was listened to in the shower

  i tutored about this a couple weeks ago

  I was like what is that song she's like

  it's par to call the man there's like

  Portugal period though man like it's

  okay it's not at all what I expected I

  thought I was gonna be mopey Portland

  beard music mmm no and they they have

  made quite a bit of like psychedelic

  music I mean it doesn't sound like them

  they're their hit song

  okay Torchic like their music is I I

  think you would like I think you would

  like it they are their Portland there by

  way of by way of Alaska while Scylla

  Alaska so they're from B F motherfucking

  E as we say yes in the north

  like Wasilla now is not the Wasilla of

  their childhoods and certainly not that

  was so low my child got a hell of a flag

  in Wasilla am i in my life

  wha Silla I mean you could you could

  carry a gun into the 7-eleven in Wasilla

  could do that now wow you might be


  working probably it's it's a wide spot

  in the road yeah

  and the road isn't very wide but those

  guys there they're fun they're taking

  the piss but if you listen to the bass

  sound on that track it's already a very

  cool sound coming out of the gate the

  bass has its own tone that's pretty

  unusual for a contemporary pop song and

  and when it comes in the first time I

  really listen to the tune and and I

  heard it start with this bass line my

  feeling was there's no way they're gonna

  be able to sustain that bass sound

  through the track because it's it's a

  very individual bass sound but it's like

  that's not gonna pop that's not gonna

  punch through it's not gonna it's not

  gonna be sufficient because it's such a

  nuance to tone but then in the

  production of the song which I think was

  produced by like Mike D and Danger Mouse

  mm-hmm I mean it's like oh that makes a

  lot of sense something right now it's a

  very unusual bass tone yeah somehow this

  totally is clunky and it's got a little

  bit like a slap back mm-hmm and some hip

  some reverb it's pretty 60 sounding it

  sounds almost like flat wound strings

  and you just wouldn't think that it

  would it would manage on on contemporary


  but the production is so good that it

  get that that they're able to keep this

  like kind of bass sound going and it's

  and it really propels it really propels

  the song but but it's one thing to get a

  tone like that in the studio and be like

  oh that's a cool bass sound but to

  commit to it stick to it and make it

  work I mean that's that's real artistry

  and it's what distinguishes that song

  from from everything else that's on the

  radio right now which is just like yeah

  excuse me that's Carol that's fine

  microphone you're gonna get that right

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  line and all the great shows and all the

  great shows I have a podcast called

  friendly fire now you might have heard

  about it's a war movie and in the first

  episode apparently I took a bite of

  something or something oh no no I don't

  remember doing this it's very unusual

  for me to have a sandwich

  during the recording you know how do you

  have any recollection of it I have none

  no no recollection but this podcast is

  on the maximum fun dot network

  mmm-hmm and their fans are very

  particular mm-hmm as you may recall

  you've had some you've had some

  association with that yeah that's and

  run-ins with maximum fun I've dealt with

  that over the years oh sure I was

  listening to a maximum fun podcast this

  morning with your with your your tuned

  departure in it

  oh yes the baboons

  and those guys those guys also say their

  fans are very particular

  oh very Hardy that's why they don't use

  Twitter so much anymore oh because they

  get yelled at does Travis need to speak

  in that particularly peak tone quite

  that loudly I got a dear sir really

  yelled at the guy I was like what did

  you intend this service of yeah are you

  trying to make me feel good about five

  times a day John I don't do that it's so

  hard not to I don't usually do it but

  hey that seemed kind of hurtful yeah I'm

  not asking for an apology but like I

  think you didn't realize that what you

  said was a little bit hurtful we had the

  other day somebody loved our recent

  episode of Dubai Friday so much they

  said that from now on Max's father

  should be on instead of Max every

  episode Lal and that's a little bit

  hurtful that's but yeah I know you being

  fun and having fun with that but that's

  a little bit hurtful yeah yeah I yelled

  at this guy for the for the length of

  three tweets dear sir and and he wrote

  back and he was like I thought you would

  think that was funny why not get

  offended Yeah right my god hostility is

  love on Twitter but anyway the fact that

  I apparently took a bite of a sandwich

  and now I've checked with some other

  people that I podcast with and I and I

  need to check in with you but I think

  Dan Benjamin your good friend Dan yeah

  Dan said that on the first podcast I did

  with him I took a bite of a sandwich

  hmm and I'm not sure I believe this I it

  would require that I bring a sandwich

  I'm not here to eat your shorts but I'll

  just tell you that's a reference that

  for one no no I don't think you eat

  sometimes we both drink something I've

  been told that you can hear this a lot

  in my podcasts or better put like you

  hear like a Seltzer cam being put down

  oh I have heard that mmm I tried you

  hear the train in the background I mean

  you might have a squeaky chair you can

  hear that very chair wait but I just

  want to tell you you know you're that's

  snort you just did that is an old-school

  OG b fe d Wasilla jon Roderick's north

  you don't do so much anymore you used to

  be a huge snorter and now you once you

  don't snort you don't you used to snort

  a lot and now you don't snort as much do

  people really I would do a snort I try

  hard not to snort and then sometimes I

  listen back to something especially if

  it's in the kind of informal before or

  after show part that ends up somewhere I

  make a lot of mouth sounds so I you know

  I have a voice that comes from a husky

  place oh yeah yeah it comes sarcophagus

  there's like you're like oh like a plate

  reverb man that's coming from deep

  inside far inside your vessel yeah yeah

  it's a kind of it's a sound it's why I

  don't like the sound of my own voice

  when I hear it because it just sounds

  very there's a lot of other tones in it

  a kind of I hate I hate to use the

  phrase this is one that's gonna haunt me

  but it's it's a little bit flu Matic oh

  you get a little bit rattled

  yeah there's just some there's some self

  ride no no I I have I have pure tone I'm


  right no it's like a natural kind of you

  know amount of something I bring my I

  bring my whole body into the into the

  sound if we recorded it a different time

  of day I'll speak for this program you

  and I would probably have fewer noises

  that we're making a lot of what we're

  making our morning noises or exam we're

  grown men we're grown-ass men and we

  make morning noises I've thought about

  trying to record a song in them in like

  in the early morning because the because

  my voice has a very distinctive tone

  that I would love to capture in a song

  this world-weary yeah and kind of just

  like I could get much lower in the

  morning just get all the Stephen Merritt

  kind of like in probably low voice

  probably but I hear you know I hear

  people you and I both when we start

  sentences sometimes you know we start up

  a little higher and then we come down

  low you're famous up there and then it

  just like a pachinko game it just serves

  if you just didn't like off there you

  hear all those voices in the voice III I

  hear a lot of voiceover work being done

  now I'm conscious of voiceover work and

  and although I do feel that there's

  something like deeply wrong with the

  sound of my voice I when I hear other

  people doing voiceover work I think that

  wait a minute mm-hmm I could certainly

  do that better than them I mean I'd need

  my tooth back Oh is there a certain like

  Jean I think you do great without the

  tooth death is there a certain like

  genre of voiceover work where you feel

  that that's prevalent is this in link

  your first-person shooter games you like

  to play could it be an ad for nachos

  public service announcement overhead at

  the air

  poor like what are the kinds of ones

  that really get your goat I already do

  the overhead at the airport here it's I

  thought I recognized that yeah hi

  welcome to SeaTac Airport

  don't leave your luggage from long

  winter please don't leave your luggage

  unattended by the baggage carousel right

  thank you please move to the right

  faster people to go by on the moving

  sidewalk hi this is John Rutter from the

  long winter there's no parking or

  waiting in the red zone hi

  hi this is John Roberts in long last the

  white area is for loading and unloading

  I feel like who was the guy who was the

  guy from Northern Exposure that does all

  that voice of Hong Kong Vancouver no the

  other guy John John Corbett John Corbett

  he's the radio boy radio show on I think

  he had the radio she's on Corvis I don't

  know it's been a long time since I saw

  that TV I just like saying hauling


  which one was he oh he's the older fella

  with the money the one that's like in

  all the movies

  he's the movie star he plays the millet

  he plays the millionaire the astronaut

  is that my getting the name right what's

  in here Master Hung we're hauling van

  cool naturalized citizen owns and

  manages the brick a barn restaurant

  which is the center of social life and

  says no that's a different that's a

  different one he's the he's the blondie

  guy he's not the you know who's the old

  guy that played the general in war game

  so am I thinking of yeah all right

  that's the guy that I'm thinking of war

  games oh yeah that guy what's his name

  war games anyway continue so John

  Corbett does a lot of I don't know I

  hear his voice doing beer ads and and

  but but he's got that kind of wry like

  Tom bode a sort of like we'll leave the

  light on for you like folksy sort of I

  feel like if you needed a folksy voice I

  feel like do I have a folksy boys oh I

  think you're good and folksy if you

  choose to well yeah I mean you know hi

  this is John Roderick and

  that's chilling break down the tracks

  getting my van John Corbett is six foot

  five inches tall it's all he's made of

  bo Derek know he's dog he's been Bo

  Derek since 2002 that can't be true

  what's in the internet science page it

  says it look at that sold in the 90s

  when they were making that show they

  were you know they were filming that

  right here in in good old Seattle town

  right right outside of town right

  outside of town up in the mountains and

  so he was around and I think he bought a

  bar here in Seattle I think he bought

  the the merchants cafe or something one

  of those old one of the bars from the

  school it was cools that there was you

  know that there was a lot of scuttlebutt

  around town about him and sort of the

  fact that he was you know he was sowing

  his Wild Oats but it was the 90s he was

  TV star he's born in 1961 meaning he was

  30 in 1991 he was at the peak of his

  fame I bet he was I bet he was causing

  real trouble around here get more tail

  than Sinatra but you know I wasn't I

  wasn't I wasn't traveling in those

  circles so Bo Derek's five years old he

  is that he's 56 she's 61 I would have

  guessed that she's 82 well you know I'm

  sure during the peak of her fame 1979

  huh she would have been ma'am what what

  would she have been she would have been

  31 Alexa how old was Bo Derek in 1979


  how old 32 years 22 wait a minute

  that right yeah oh yeah okay 22 22 23

  according to uh the lady at two right so

  you know if you're gonna be in a movie

  and run on a beach in slow motion in a

  bikini 20 22 is kind of like that's an

  excellent beach running age yeah that's

  a good window for that and somehow John

  Corbett and Bo Derek met one another

  that's what I'm curious about like how

  yeah I would have guessed that they were

  40 years apart 30 years apart yeah not

  much John moved to Germany returned

  after wait a minute what oh that's John

  Derek okay hang on okay John Corbett oh

  she only marries John so far hey heads

  up she marries John's wait a minute

  mm-hmm I'm still you know I still feel

  like Winona Ryder and I have a future

  together because in 1992 yeah all the

  John's were marrying Winona Ryder Oh

  actor singer guitarist okay I'm a little

  bit lost

  so voiceover work your sarcophaga rattle

  but the thing about voiceover work is

  it's like all work I don't know if you

  know this about work ten about work

  there are a lot of people that want it

  oh I see is always somebody hungrier

  yeah people want to work and you know I

  had quite a few friends from Seattle who

  reached the age of let's say 28 and they

  felt like Seattle was too small for them

  and they moved they moved to other

  places for instance Reggie Watts

  Reginald Watts was a see a former

  nemesis yeah that's right one uh one of

  you know he was a Seattle star he

  a band called Maktoob that's German for

  more tube more tube more two more tub

  and he he lorded it around Seattle

  pretty good but then he decided that

  this town was too small and he makes in

  New York and it turns out he was correct

  and I remember saying to him even when

  he was my nemesis I heard that he was

  moving to New York and we bumped into

  each other in a party in one of those

  situations where I was I went around a

  corner and he was coming around the

  other corner and we literally went like

  clunk huh

  and then we're standing there and they

  got to talk and there's that there's

  still that whole business between us yes

  and so we're standing there looking at

  each other and I said in a way that I

  think I thought at the time was very

  generous now I realize it's a kind of

  generosity that you know everybody's got

  a different kind of generosity oh and

  and one of the generosities that I have

  is that I like to give shout outs to

  people I know people that don't give

  shout outs and they always wonder why it

  doesn't cost you anything to say hey

  this person helped me or hey I wouldn't

  be here if it weren't for this or that

  the other kind of shout out I give is

  the small one the personal one between

  two people where I go you know what even

  though I don't like you

  I admire your thing mm-hmm and so Reggie

  man were standing there at this party

  and looking at each other and I said you

  know Reggie I hear you're moving to New

  York and frankly I think Seattle's too

  small for you I think I think you're

  bigger than this town and I think moving

  teen works boat moving to New York's the

  right move and he was surprised because

  I also could have said Reginald and gone

  around him and I think that that that

  let us part on good terms

  yeah I feel like he was he was accepting

  of that as a kind of compliment I think

  here I think he appreciated it yes

  because he was you know he was on the

  cusp of making that move and was

  probably anxious about it because now

  when we

  each other it's it's uh you know that's

  long time ago but I had and not I we had

  he and I even had mutual friends who

  moved to LA during that same time too

  because see how they felt Seattle was

  too small for them and they were gonna

  go down there to LA and become a

  Couture's huh you got a ghost you're

  gonna play you're gonna play in big show

  you got to go to LA that's right you

  hear that hear that train no I just

  talked to some people the other day in

  San Francisco who said they're rock

  musicians to chew and I talked about

  this who said that you can't be a rock

  musician in San Francisco all right East

  Bay right you get well no you got to go

  move to LA oh I see how however LA has

  no clubs and San Francisco still

  inexplicably although no rock scene

  anymore still has rock clubs I could not

  name a San Francisco band right now yeah

  isn't that a tragedy part of it's me and

  my age and I don't go to bottom of the

  hill anymore but there's a time when

  there was like a dozen bands that I

  follow I very actively for sure oh no

  you were like mr. sandwich I mobbed up

  you gotta get that you got the very

  slice you got orange or you got Beulah

  you didn't researches so many good bands

  in the early 2000s mm-hmm actions black

  action slacks you know I went to school

  with their drummer but San Francisco

  still has all these rock clubs so the

  the San Francisco music scene right now

  I think is just the LA music scene just

  as easy for them to go up there and play

  shows like you know the kind of shows

  that you play when you're in a band

  which is not always a full venue you

  want a place that has 200 capacity where

  if there's only a hundred people there

  it still feels like a good room and so

  there are a lot of those kind of bands

  in LA that that go up in play shows

  anyway so a lot of I have I have a

  pretty good handful of friends that went

  down to Los Angeles to become actors can

  you can you would give a redacted

  version of how that went mostly well it

  was a time I think where there was a

  feeling that scat

  comedy was gonna be a thing that that

  came out of LA instead of out of New

  York and so there were some edgy sketch

  people that went down and the edgy

  sketch people very quickly transitioned

  to I hope I can get a role in this

  commercial for Kodak right and then

  pretty soon they were just auditioning

  for anything and even though there were

  Lux 32 they were like trying to get the

  role of the dad in the in the Palmolive

  man and then pretty soon they were

  waiters yeah and or just each a live

  even on a good day on a good day

  geez and what they would say is for

  every role that I would go audition for

  there were dozens not only dozens of

  people looking for that job but dozens

  of more handsome better educated younger

  hungrier people looking for the job and

  it was and it just felt like wow up in

  Seattle I was kind of a big deal yeah

  yeah yeah yeah I had a theatre company

  we had our own space we were called

  David Sedaris has a hilarious bit about

  this from a million years ago we talked

  about when he was in high school and I

  think North Carolina you know he was

  like the mopey goth kid mm-hmm like the

  smart mopey like ooh that guy's dark and

  dangerous and then he's like he's like I

  went to college and I'm paraphrasing

  here but something like he went to

  college and like there were so many more

  of him who were better at it than him

  mm-hmm it sucks

  cuz that's your deal you got your deal

  like in high school you get to have a

  deal yes you get a deal I mean

  especially like you could you could go

  paint and paint a skull on your jean

  jacket with the liquid paper you're

  probably the only guy that did that I

  was the only guy in Anchorage that did

  that yeah you come down to Seattle

  everybody paper I always felt like it

  was a big advantage to me to go to

  Gonzaga for a couple of years because

  that was during a period of my life when

  my only goal

  was to be the one the furthest on the

  fringe and in Spokane and particularly

  at Gonzaga at a Catholic University a

  Jesuit school with a undergraduate

  population of 2,500 kids it was not much

  effort to be the one that was the

  farthest out and there you know there

  are always going to be people that are

  further out in in one direction or

  another they're always there were always

  people that took more drugs than me

  right or that were more like strictly

  edgy mm-hmm

  but in terms of being one person that

  was the furthest out from the from the

  center whilst still being in the orbit

  like that was easy to be for me income

  at Gonzaga if I'd been at the University

  of Washington which had 40,000 students

  at that time to be that person I would

  have had to have been a lot more at risk

  of injury first of all because I you

  know I would walk into a party at

  Gonzaga and dude dude just that stupid

  shit you just like break a wine bottle

  over your head it's much harder to do

  than it seems it hurts a lot more

  because in the movies of course they're

  make they use wine bottles that are made

  to break didn't they make amount of

  sugar making out of sugar

  they don't make real wine bottles out of

  sugar you can really knock yourself out

  be an unexploited opportunity let's be

  honest but at you know like on

  University Avenue I would have it would

  have I would have been even worse off

  than I am I would have been missing more

  teeth than I am you know and so to be in

  that to be innocent speed the the weird

  fish in a small pond helped me I think a

  lot protected me and it is like being

  the edgy goth kid at your high school

  where you're just like it keeps you

  keeps you safe I think

  if I'd gone to LA or even San Francisco

  certainly New York it would have been a

  very different thing for me I think

  because the first time the long winters

  arrived in New York City we had a big

  article in The Village Voice we played a

  show our first ever show in New York and

  it was full and the audience all knew

  our songs and I think it was because we

  were from Seattle we were exotic if we'd

  been in New York band right we would

  have just been just another New York

  band to them but but now you know we

  live out on the west coast and now it's

  like I walk around and go oh hey this

  broader problem with expertise

  experience and how we evaluate how we're

  doing whatever it is that we do which is

  like you know when I was a weird like

  eighth grader making up my own games

  that I could play by myself and and

  reading books and like I had to sell my

  own kind of self-assumed self-assess

  idea of like how smart I was alongside

  other people like I tested well and I

  was a reader and there's all this stuff

  but like if you expose if I've been

  exposed to a lot of like genuinely smart

  people maybe even people who are younger

  than me I would have utterly wither and

  I think when you get to something like

  the business that is show and it's not

  your friend it's show business I thought

  one of the things with that is like I

  feel I don't know I just feel like this

  is such a thing with people who want to

  go into the arts especially is that um

  being well let's even say you're

  talented like you're empirically

  talented well there's a lot of people

  who are empirically talented there has

  to be some kind of and I feel you really

  see this in New York whether you're

  talking about being in plays or

  delivering pizzas there's a certain kind

  of bare-knuckle real world reality to

  having done something a lot in a certain

  place certainly you could look at

  something like stand-up comedy and

  somebody you know somebody who assumes

  that they're really great at stand-up

  versus somebody who's done it even like

  20 times like there's a huge difference

  and I guess I feel like a lot of it

  comes down to not just whether you're

  good whether you assess that you're good

  how much you love and like thrive on the

  grind of whatever that industry or job

  is right and I think this goes for like

  a million things like you don't you

  think you want to become like what you

  know you don't realize like working a

  lot of working in an office is not the

  practition of your skill that you

  learned it's learning how to deal with

  people and being on time for meetings

  and being in your chair and all this

  kind of stuff where it's like well you

  know it's without having on-the-job

  experience and exposure to the reality

  of a job I guess what I'm saying is

  somebody who's great at the hustle in LA

  I'm gonna conjecture and who has the

  right agent might get way better roles

  than somebody who's empirically talented

  but it's not great at the hustle it's

  absolutely the case and obvious the

  point I feel like you can really lose

  this and the lights is that like the

  reality of every job is and it's not

  doesn't just come down to hustle but

  it's something where you're like you're

  I don't know maybe invigorated by all

  the losses somehow I but like there's

  got to be something more like if you

  look at everybody else in that audition

  and you go like all these people are you

  know were they're less experienced

  they're done in a but like they may have

  some kind of a fire or grit that you

  just don't have that is utterly critical

  for even getting your first role the the

  when you're young and starting out I

  think it's easy to make the mistake of

  thinking that the people that that what

  happens is people with hustle get past

  you even though you have more talent but

  when you get old I think at least in

  show friends

  I mean Oh show business sorry Sean we

  got that wrong I always get that mixed

  up you realize that the people that get

  past you are the ones that have hustle

  and more talent like it's very rare

  somebody said this to me the other day

  did it bother you does it still bother

  you that all those it was a person that

  was trying to compliment me about the

  sound of my band and they were like well

  you know I love your band so much does

  it bother you that all those other

  people got famous and there was

  something about the long winners that

  didn't catch fire

  does that like bother you and I said do

  you mean

  that it bothers me that the New

  Pornographers and spoon and Band of

  Horses and the Decembrists all got

  famous and not me because those bands

  are all great mm-hmm like they're not I

  don't think that Band of Horses got

  famous and the long winners didn't and

  it was because they hustled it's because

  they're because which put a lucky spell

  on them it's cuz they worked really hard

  I mean they were killers like just keep

  the spoon the same thing I mean they

  just work you know to me though great

  example is always mountain goats we're

  like they just keep putting out records

  and touring and that's today yeah I mean

  like I mean one way to like get lucky is

  to work like fucking hard

  well a mountain goats are mountain goats

  are an interesting example because

  people love them I know you love them I

  haven't kept as much lately but I have

  great admiration for them yeah and I

  never liked them mm-hmm I just don't

  wall I get it's not my it's not my thing

  I don't like the sound and so that is an

  example of one where I go in a weak

  moment I will say well yeah if you put

  out 40 records or whatever people will

  stick with you but when I hear people

  talk about them so worshipfully I also

  have to realize oh that's just not I'm

  not hearing it it's not that it's not

  there might be Ted Leo that works really

  hard he works really hard and Ted also

  during the authenticity Wars Ted

  maintains this authenticity in a way

  that I thought with your father in the

  authenticity Wars it's very hard you I

  mean Ted worked hard also to maintain

  unimpeachable 'ti in the Fugazi model

  where you go look those guys never they

  never doesn't chisel a DC band yeah and

  oh baby see he was from I listened to an

  interview with him recently it was

  really good but he talked about leaving

  he's from Connecticut write it somewhere


  in New England and then he had moved oh

  no he's from Jersey I think baby oh I

  think you're he's in he's in Providence

  now yeah don't be creepy but he's from

  outside problem mm-hmm he owns a little

  church he owns his own church not really

  a church it's more of a Grange Hall hmm

  in a little old town I took you off your

  point when people ask you how you feel

  about the fact that the long winters

  aren't famouser alongside bands that you

  kind of came up with how do you feel

  about that but what what ends up

  happening is in the middle in the young

  middle of my career there were all kinds

  of bands that had the same amount or

  slightly more juice and energy in the

  local scene and in the sort of cmj

  dominated indie rock music scene

  nationally that I did feel that way

  about like why the hell are those guys

  getting a 1-page in magnet but the fact

  is I had a one page in magnet I had a

  three page in magnet but the bands that

  one out because those bands are gone now

  hey Joe here's much from not a surf

  these days do you still doing it they're

  still doing it right they're on tour in

  Europe right now yeah but not a circus a

  good example like they were like to me

  maybe because I just had bar sook on the

  brain but like there was that time when

  like you know when let go mmm

  came out were like they were just

  omnipresent in my circles yeah and they

  are they always sold more records than

  we did and I think they're a better band

  that we were in in all of the

  measurements of a band their live show

  we tell the drummer worked harder than

  we did their songs were catch here you

  could you know you can go back and forth

  all day I think your songs are pretty

  good John I got to tell you you you

  could put but I mean you put the best 10

  AC Newman songs up on the big board yeah

  your catalog has got a lot of diversity

  to it I was singing your praises on a

  podcast that'll come out Thursday about

  like just the the

  I'm not here to blow smoke up your skirt

  but like no I think you what you have

  released is very super interesting and

  diverse and very high quality and like

  your song writing is really really good

  that's what attractions to you as a

  performers you just saw your songs are

  just so good this is a this is an issue

  though I think in a band because I like

  I like not a surf a lot but I think

  their five best-known songs are not as

  good as your five best non songs I like

  them a lot don't get me wrong but their

  songs are their songs sound like not a

  surf song that's true like The Strokes

  have no diversity what eighth notes

  they're into the eighth notes in their

  sounds all their songs