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Physician, heal thyself.

       "When there's a will, there's a way." --Stevie Blue

       "I don't got no bad grammar." --Marky Ramone

       "Cuz it really wasn't Tommy that solved all your problems. It was YOU!" --Petey

[TBSOWFMU - 1/24/06] (As Ted Leo said, "the streams are fine", but after much cajolery and harrassment TBSOWFMU is now also available in the increasingly-popular "podcast" format. New pods will drop every Thursday. Tom will podcast your face upon request.)

Tom opened the show with Mr. Robert Pollard's "Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft" from the HOT new record From A Compound Eye. We must engage with another track:

Robert Pollard - "Conqueror of the Moon" ( Click here to buy it from Merge Greatland.)

(In addition to playing drums in Pollard's touring band, Jon Wurster is the subject of Pooch Boy, Werner Herzog's next documentary film project.)

Annotated highlights:

- Pissed off rock star Stevie Blue edges out mental patient Spike for firsties (starts 23:48) with a strategic idea to boost Best Show ratings and get the universe to unfold: he will deliver Tom's radio colleague and fellow rock star David Lee Roth as a guest in order to create a Rock Star Radio Party complete with hundreds of DLR's video vixens. (Choice Tom quip: "I heard his show is great.") Spike calls and seems intrigued by Stevie's upcoming benefit gig at Spike's current residence -- the Baltic Street Treatment and Resource Center in Brooklyn. This facility also currently houses a post-scandal James Frey, whose band (The Imaginary 3) will open for Stevie Blue with a set of Archers of Loaf covers.

Archers of Loaf - "Audiowhore" ( Click here to buy it from Alias Records.)

Rough plot outline for a potential bonus short (directed by Harmony Korine) for the My Dinner With Petey DVD: Spike fakes a medical emergency in order to lure NYC's finest EMT (flagrantly violating SOP with leopard-print, ass-free spandex, a headdress, and a Flavor Flav-style, diamond-studded stethoscope) into a dithiplinary session that involves (among other things) a barrel of pancake batter, a glazed donut, and a bottle of whatever Spike has on hand. It culminates with a duet of this song.

- Hard workin', fancily-websited Mr. Jim Gaffigan, fresh from being mistaken for the star of Capote at Sundance, calls (starts at 29:44) to chat about his Comedy Central special, Beyond the Pale. If you missed its 1/29 premiere, it will re-air on 2/4 (7 and 10 p.m.) You should watch it because it is gooooooooooood. Here's the AST discussion thread. (Note PO's page 3 charge that Jim ripped off his amplication technique of talking into the bulbous end of the microphone. Jim denies the heist a few posts down.)

The interview starts with Jim discussing the perils of playing dumb guy characters (including a dumb clown pedophile on Law & Order: SVU) and the MST3K-ish power of the inside voice to disarm the audience and catch them in the comedic crossfire.

The segment takes off when a bitter caller with a mild attitude about Jim's Sierra Mist-akes suggests some kind of commercial whoredom. Jim welcomed the query and gave a thoughtful response on finding a balance between Hicksian extremism and financial prudence while still retaining some artistic dignity and creative control. In short: Spending a day improvising with the very famous Michael Ian Black or doing lucrative corporate one-offs (where he's not forced to make fun of Harvey from HR) is preferable to begging for a job on some hideously lame sitcom during Pilot Season. When it comes to sellin' sugar water, much better Jim than him. Jim will soon be seen shilling for a company (he didn't specify but I assume it's GloboChem) that unloads nuclear waste on Third World countries. Good for him. He still gets to stay on the list.

Bill Hicks - "Artistic Roll Call"

We also learn Jim prefers Thai food for smart people, he's anti-Ringo (but pro-reading), his favorite childhood lunchbox was S.W.A.T. (my fave was Superman w/ thermos: Daily Planet editorial meeting side / Up, up, and away! side), he's thumbs up on the elderly despite some olfactory and clumsiness issues, and his least favorite pie is boysenberry.

(As soon as Tom asked the pie question, boysenberry immediately popped into my head and was echoed by Gaffigan seconds later. Weird. I've never even had a boysenberry pie yet my brain has it defaulted as undesirable. What is the deal with boysenberries? Nobody likes these things. Is it the semi-weird name, not that far removed from fictitious, vaguely scary fruits like Willy Wonka's wallpapered snozzberry? Time to fire the publicist (the dude who had the brussel sprouts account in the 1980s) and get the ad wizards to whip up a new marketing campaign -- something that inquires as to whether one has acquired said fruit in the form of ersatz facial hair. Make people feel that their life is missing some much-needed boysenberry via mustachioed stars (but not these). Or maybe something that establishes them as a similarly-colored, viable alternative to a competitor like the much-beloved blueberry. Perhaps boysenberries could be established as an "indie fruit" and gain a cult following amongst dessert hipsters, thumbing their noses at mainstream America's penchant for standard pie fillings. Banner ads on Pitchfork! Down with the tyrannical reign of the apple-cherry-blueberry cabal. Boysenberries win in 2006.)

A few final Gaffigan tidbits: He has nearly 9,000 Myspace friends, he's a nipple-based action star, and he once dated a panda.

[Whoa. Mack called. He wasn't listening to the show so he interrupted the end of the Gaffigan interview to talk about the “sick article on FMU” -- was he referring to this?]

- The FOT theme song WAR is ON FIRE (starts 77:28): The mischievious Lewis tricks Tom by putting an acoustic dirge on the front end of the stolen My Brother and Me theme song he entered last week, Chris L (filth move, son) Chris L's "People's Theme" entry freezes Tom's PC (the best of the clip-based entries -- crisp, thorough, and driven by piano), DJ ERT's journey into The Matrix (loved the Spike "Heeeeelllllooooo, Tom" amidst the beats -- can't imagine anything more frighenting then slipping down the rabbit hole to be greeted by Spike asking if I wanted the red or blue ball gag), an uninterrupted replay of Chocky's "Tune for Tommy", and DJ Mouthbreather's "I'll Replace You With Machines"-feuled rocker, the sonic equivalent of a dogfight.

During this segment Tom spins a song from Petey (NOT an official theme song entry) and while the nasally vocals certainly recall the name-checked Bobby D (with additional elements of freak-folky, high-pitched chirpings), some of the wails recall Cobain, particularly the cracked-voice finale of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" from MTV Unplugged. On one level, it's a Tom tribute (TS as simple, reluctant radio sage, "your little spiritual guide"), but it's also a journey of self-discovery through a mythical Petey City in which the power to heal thyself is ultimately unleashed. As Tom said: "Heavy duty stuff". One ... two... One ... two... Dig the subterranean Best Show blues:

Petey - "Bus Ride Ballad (Road to Scharpling)" (Lyrics and discussion here / More tracks at Petey's sound emporium / nice Fluxblog Petey backgrounder -- couldn't locate the specific tracks cited there.)

- Edgy, snarky comedian Akiva Smirnoff takes a break from watching American Idol to check in with Tom (starts at 1:46) to discuss his forthcoming, gross one-man show Red Son, which requires him to claim that his uncle is his father. He also reveals that he is dating a women twice his age who "did some stuff" with his uncle during the 1980s comedy boom. She calls him Yakov; Tom wishes WFMU had an onsite shower. A low point for human beings is achieved. [Tom's impression of a young Akiva's set suggests a Russian emigre Timmy von Trimble (who presumably takes a bath in a shot glass of vodka).]

- Mike the Courageous Call Screener and Tom have a behind-the-scenes talk (starts at 2:01) about the process of how the mysterious Spike gets on the WFMU airwaves. Turns out that the Mike-Spike interaction is a "professional" exchange of pleasantries, illuminating little about Spike's troubling persona. Spike apparently has been known to call WBAI under a different name to ask talk show hosts if they know the whereabouts of "Sexy Sadie". Tom considers hiring Spike for a Chuck Berry and "Old Brown Shoe" soundtracked session to obtain a photograph of Spike in full-on, size-44 (bald?) Malcolm-Jamal Warner domination. Mike says he'd be willing to meet Spike alone (in a coffee shop, not a dungeon), but shares some of Tom's fears that he might be sedated (Hey! Ho! Dithipline!) and wake up looking like this.

- The Legendary Marky Ramones, of the World Famous Ramones, calls (starts at 2:24) to kill some time while he waits for the locksmith so he can get into his apartment. He's stunned into silence when Tom reveals that the buzzed-about Brokebank Mountain, which Marky erroneously assumes is a heist film or a classic cowboy movie in the spirit of The Searchers, deviates from genre traditions in the form of homosexual prairie hands. Marky declares the plot "sorta disturbin'" and not relatable to his own life. He then recounts some tales of seeing some guys "going at it" backstage on a few tours, which made Johnny mad. Marky reveals that Johnny's temper also flared up when Marky creased the edges on one of his baseball cards. When Tom issues the Mota corrective, Marky suggests that Tom must be the type of baseball fan who would wear a plastic batting helmet.

Throughout the call, Tom takes Marky to task for his eccentric elements of style: rampant double negatives, non-words ("anspersions"), and confusing pronounciations resulting from his regional accent (e.g., "pot" vs. "part"). Marky's so impressed by Tom's musical knowledge that he speculates on whether Tom may in fact be one of the guys from Allmusic.com. This might put one of the guys from AMG on Marky's S Hitlist:

(The text of this review is wildly incongruent to the star rating so Marky should probably ring up one of the Erlewines to straighten things out.)

Pat called to question whether he had just heard the real Marky Ramone since when he ran into him at Dingbatz in Clifton, N.J., he sounded more like this.

Topic of discussion for Marky's next call: Imagine 14 punk rock classics ripping through your speakers at warped speed, complete with 1-2-3-4 count offs, chants and shout outs in pure punk, fist raising abandon, all performed on the steelpans (or steel drums) strait from the islands! Yes, it's Pan For Punks! Will The Intrudahs get the steelpan treatment? Will there be a steelpan score for RnRHS2k5?

Also: what's Marky's take on the announcement that one of his fave venues will no longer book live music?

- Throughout the show, Tom conducts an impromptu episode of The 700 Club and rather than calling for the assasination of world leaders, he put his highly-coveted 700th Myspace friend slot up for grabs. Three, NRBQ-free candidates emerged: a Mr. Belvedere enthusiast named Long, Andrea from exotic Brookyln, who sweetened the pot with a promise to send Tom a clip of her lip-synching to unfunny funnyman George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" routine (Lip Sync Battle 2006: Andrea vs. This Girl), and the ultimate winner -- No Fi magazine's Chris Beyond.

- Whistlin' Jimmy called (starts at 2:41) to present his riddle, which has been gnawing at FOTers since last May. Here it is:

There's three mice in (the same) mousehole, all three of them decide to crawl out at the same time, but what happens? There's still two left. Uh oh. How does that happen?

Level 0 Hints: 1. All the mice are standing next to each other and leave while holding hands 2. Location is switched to a dollhouse, suggesting the "mousehole" is unimportant and these creatures could be departing from any structure. 3. Something that involves drawing circles on a piece of paper and wishing Jimmy a happy birthday.

Tom believes he had the answer ("moment" vs. "time"), but Jimmy ain't buying it. I think the answer involves one mouse clinging to the lid of some wormhole in the time-space continuum. I've got my friend Steve working on it.

MC Steinberg UPDATE: A Quick One While We Were Away
A few Lazy Sundays ago, MCS was involved in an altercation with Newbridge Toyota's Gene "Doctor Deals" Simmons and his goons at the airport. A restraining order was placed on MCS, but he was undeterred and decided to settle the issue the only way he knew how: by breaking into Simmons' California home (West Coast getaway -- dude must be moving a lot of Camrys) and demanding a battle rap. MCS only needed two rounds to whoop that crying, grapefruitless trick. Ha ha. FWDefeated. Payback for Gene's 2002 dis track of MC Terry G. Was this an officially sanctioned bout? Does this push MCS's 2006 record to 2-1? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Mike the Call Screener meets Spike at Starbucks for some soy lattes and lives to tell the tale, Marky Ramone finally spills his big news (make sure you take your vitamins and are well-rested so you can handle it without requiring sedation), and the good guys remain undefeated in 2006 because The Lord likes it that way.

Robert Pollard - "I'm Strong Like A Lion"


It's kind of like some hot girl wearing a tube top.

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