On their fifth album, which not-so-coincidentally is being released this week, Motion City Soundtrack scale back some of their rambunctious energy in favor of a more nuanced approach. Go has many of the hallmarks of their style, like smart lyrics and memorable hooks, but the arrangements are more subtle, the instrumentation is more varied, and the overall approach is a little more subdued. The result is another satisfying album, but also one that points to more thoughtful, grown-up records like this in the future. To celebrate the release of the album, the band's drummer Tony Thaxton sent us a pretty nice Poplist...
I've always been a comedy fan. Even at a very young age, when I was allowed to stay up late and watch Johnny Carson and David Letterman, I loved them and watched as often as I could. Now I live in Los Angeles, and have access to so much amazing comedy at all times. When I'm not going to see live comedy shows, I'm often listening to podcasts. Even on the road traveling with the band, sometimes you can get a little burned out on music, and podcasts are my go-to listen. There are so many out there now, and still a lot that I want to check out, but simply haven't gotten around to checking out. So, these are my five favorite comedy podcasts, THAT I'VE HEARD!
Doug Loves Movies
This is probably the first podcast that I really, really got into. Doug Benson makes me laugh, I like movies, I thought I'd check it out. It's always entertaining. Doug always has a panel of great guests, they chat about movies...usually…they get derailed often, but that's never a bad thing. They play movie related games (the amount of games varies, more games keep appearing), but the show always ends with the Leonard Maltin Game. If you're full of movie knowledge, it's a lot of fun and will have you yelling at your computer (or whatever futuristic device you listen from). I used to listen to the show and think, "I could play that, this would be fun." Fast forward a year or so, and I actually ended up meeting Doug and he's now had me on the show 4 times! Dreams DO come true! Listen to this show.
Never Not Funny (w/Jimmy Pardo)
I think I became aware of Jimmy Pardo through Doug Loves Movies. The man absolutely kills me. His quick wit is unlike any other. He's great at talking to anyone and making it fun. His guests range anywhere from comedy writers you've maybe never heard of, to Conan O'Brien (Jimmy actually is the opening act for Conan if you go to a taping). The title is true, it really is never not funny.
Comedy Bang Bang
I knew of Scott Aukerman originally from being a huge Mr. Show fan. I started occasionally going to the live Comedy Bang Bang shows (formerly Comedy Death Ray) at the UCB Theatre in L.A. Once it became a radio show, then podcast, I haven't looked away. They just celebrated their third anniversary AND becoming a TV show on IFC. The show is a mix of celebrity guests, characters, comedy songs and games. It can be absolutely absurd sometimes, which is what I love about it.
Chris Hardwick hosts the Nerdist podcast along with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. Usually the show features some sort of guest, anyone...comedians, authors, musicians, actors...they get them all. But they don't even need them. Occasionally they do "host-ful" episodes. Get it? Not guest-less. Host-ful. Eh? Eh? (Their term, not mine) They prove they don't need guests because they're just fun to listen to talk to each other. The show can be a bit hard to keep up with (it is for me anyways), because they release so many episodes, but it's always a good listen.
The Pod F. Tompkast
Like Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins is someone I first learned about through Mr. Show. I got really into him when I started seeing him at shows around Los Angeles, and he appears on a lot of different podcasts. The more I heard of him, the more I loved him. He's a smart, funny guy doing a different kind of podcast than the others. It almost has the feel of an old time radio show. A lot of the show is just stream of consciousness talking over Eban Schletter's piano playing. Throw in some of Tompkins' absurd character-impressions (Ice T and Cake Boss are my personal favorites), a live clip from his variety show, and a phone call with the charming Jen Kirkman and that's the Pod F. Tompkast in a nutshell. You know, a fun nutshell.