Danielson: A Family Bachelor Party.
"Oh, old records. They really are better. The old stuff really is better than the stuff these days." -- Tom, craving more of Collins and Harlan’s take on Irving Berlin’s "Tra-La, La, La!"
"I 'unno." -- Pudge, responding to anything
"Jane Krakowski is sass and brass." -- Billy, thrilled by the recasting on 30 Rock
"I have an inkling." -- Freddy, using his detective skills to guess the location and purpose of his trip to WFMU
"What happens down in South Jersey, stays in South Jersey." -- The Danielson family code of conduct
"Why youse guys take the party up to Stink City?" -- Philly Boy Roy, disappointed by the location of the festivities
“I don’t wanna get in trouble with my old album otter." -- Philly Boy Roy, declining to confirm his drug-dealing while working as a Drexel janitor
"Oh, they’re smokin’ -- literally. They smoke while they dance on youse." -- Philly Boy Roy on nem ladies at his son's favorite strip club
"Let’s take a forest, chop it up, dye it yellow, and then shoot it out of these canons on people. And then it’ll get swept away. Waa Waaah. Sorry, birds." -- Tom on the confetti-crazed The Flaming Lips
"That's called Elizabeth!" -- Tom giving a name to the olfactories Freddie smelled along the N.J. Turnpike
"The Hamster Dance is OK." -- August, finally warming to it
"I feel like I’m rotting from the inside. I really just feel like years are being shaved off my life as I sit here." -- Tom, prematurely aging thanks to Pudge
"I saw a beer here." -- Tom, documenting the debauchery
"Do I not have the same carnal cravings that you have?" -- Timmy von Trimble, trying to show that he's as human as anyone else
"I was buzzed the whole time. We all kinda was back then." -- Marky Ramone on generating two types of buzz circa Rock 'N Roll High School
"I got out halfway through Webelos. After that pinebox derby race, I was out!" -- Tom on his short-lived stint in the scouts
"I once bought the Best Of ELO album that didn't even have the one ELO song I liked." -- Freddy's deep, dark, Danielson family secret
“People think it’s condemned, but Panty Boys is still happening.” - Troy Dershman, still bringing it on Old Muffler Row
"No, come on, whaddya think I’m a pig?!" -- 418-pound Troy Dershman, taking umbrage at Tom’s suggestion that he weighed 420 pounds
"It's awesome!" -- Tom on marriage
( Click here to buy Better Days Will Haunt You)
Converge - "Lonewolves"
( Click here to buy Soda Pop*Rip Off)
Beck - "New Round"
( Click here to buy the possibly hott The Information)
Danielson Famile - "Good News for the Pus Pickers"
( Click here to buy Fetch The Compass Kids)
Annotated highlights of a show with a lot less Joe Torre, a lot more Lou Pinella, and a van load of Danielsons:
- Evan from Providence calls (starts at 25:35) with some nice pep to say that he thinks the show is off to a good start thanks to Tom spinning The Thermals in his opening set. Before the Danielson craziness erupts, he wanted to inform card-carrying FOTs that he’ll be down in Bethesda, MD., for the Small Press EXPO. Tom’s been there, but he won’t be making it this weekend. Evan and some friends will have a little table called Dots For Eyes. Anyone who can produce their FOT card will get a free treat. Evan says it might not be worth the trek from North Jersey, but if you’re in another part of Maryland, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, you probably won’t regret it. While he didn't plug it during this call, Evan previously mentioned that his cartooning appears in AdHouse Books' Project: Romantic, which is being released this fall.
- Sam calls (starts at 27:41) from Nazareth, which he claims is the birthplace of Jesus. Wait. What?. He tries very hard to push Tom's buttons by saying that "Jan Starks" is a big bum because he missed all those jump shots in that playoff game. Other bums: Tommy Hanks and anyone involved in the produnction of The Big Lebowski. Tom thinks Sam sounds like Larry the Perv's little brother. Sam claims he doesn't know anyone by that name, but Tom GOMPs the little creep anyway.
- After last week's lethargy, Tom outlined some New Rules for callers. Sitting on the line like a narcotized Joe Torre gazing at yet another A-Rod K from the dugout will no longer be tolerated. You gotta have a topic, and you gotta have some energy. If you're feeling a bit groggy, splash a mere two-cents worth of water on your face and let it rip like Sweet Lou going on dirt-kicking tirade against an umpire. Tom has spoken. Disobey at your peril. Pudge, a 17-year-old from New Upper Westbridge, tests (starts at 28:42) the new policy by sleepily responding to Tom's question about what he wanted to talk about with what would quickly become his mantra: "I 'unno." Pudge asks Tom what he wants to talk about, but Tom tells him that he’s the one who called the show. Pudge doesn’t even know if he called. Tom says that Pudge represents exactly the kind of caller he can’t stand: taking up airtime without any agenda. Pudge asks what his agenda should be, and Tom suggests drumming up a topic. Pudge wants to know what the topic should be. Tom starts driving the bus by asking Pudge if he likes movies. He’s not sure, but he did see Talladega Nights. He doesn’t really know if he liked it, but says he guesses it was kinda funny.
He attends New Upper Westbridge High, but he's not sure how school's going. Tom doesn't understand how he couldn't know something like that, but it turns out that Pudge's epistemological confusion runs much deeper -- he isn't even sure what Tom means by "to know". Tom finds him infuriating, and Pudge wants to know why. Tom compares him to Spike, though Pudge is not sure if he's ever heard one of his calls to the show. Pudge tries to salvage the call with a request, but he doesn't know the song he wants to hear. He asks Tom for a recommendation. He wants to know what’s up with these guys coming to the studio. Tom tells him to listen and find out. Pudge’s response -- a predictable “I ‘unno” -- earns him a GOMP.
- Billy calls (starts at 31:42) and is quickly put on the defensive about still using that nickname at the age of 27. He says it works for him, but Tom says he will be the judge of that. Tina Fey and her new situation comedy, 30 Rock, are on his mind. Tom loved the original pilot, but then Rachel Dratch's role was recast (reducing RD to recurring minor parts, such as a cat wrangler) with a woman from Ally McBeal. Not Calista. Not Lucy. Jane Krakowski. Tom doesn't seem thrilled about it, but Billy looooooooves Jane's "sass and brass". He's very excited by the prospects of 30 Rock toppling Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and doesn't think it can lose with a lead-in like Lithgow, even though it actually precedes Twenty Good Years, which stinks.
Tom wonders if he’s a network programmer courting ad revenue for NBC. He isn’t, but he wishes he was. So does Tom because he would do a lot of good for people who still call themselves "Billy" as adults. He thinks Tom is being too harsh and gives him the go-ahead to call him Bill if it makes him happier. Tom refuses -- it’s too late, he’s a Billy. He tells Tom to deal with it. Mike the Associate Producer thinks "Billy" has more sass and brass, and Billy agrees that it projects a Fey-and-Krakowski-like spirit. Tom thinks he sounds like Spike’s nephew and orders him to say “Heeeelllloooo, Tom”. The first attempt lacks proper Spike creepiness, but then he amps up the sass and brass. Tom’s startled. He doesn’t like Billy.
- Pudge is back (starts at 35:12) to say that he thought the Billy call was weird. He thought that maybe Tom wanted him to call again, but he doesn’t know if Tom actually made such a request. He does want to know what Tom thinks about that show about the Sunset Strip. Tom thinks it’s awful, which sets Pudge on a "whaaaaat?", thought it's considerably muted compared to the varieties unleashed by some other callers to the show. At this moment, a blindfolded Little Freddy Danielson is being led into the studio. The Magic Factory is about to be crawling with Danielsons. Pudge isn’t sure if he’s excited about the grand entrance, but he guesses he’ll continue listening to the show. He hangs up before Tom has a chance to GOMP him for the second time.
- Freddy is coming down the hall (starts at 36:51), ignorant of his surroundings. A door creaks open and Tom welcomes him. He asks him if he knows where he is, and Freddy says he got an inkling during the hour-plus trek. Along the way, he tried to pull a Skag Winesack by using his nose to detect a lot of peculiar odors in certain pockets of the road. He also noticed that the road crews were not taking proper care of the bumpy terrain. His sleuthing skills led him to correctly believe that he was heading north from Philadelphia en route to northern Jersey. Tom says he can’t take off the blindfold until he gets home, but then he changes his mind. The blindfold is off. Tom asks Freddy if he knows why he’s here. He also has an inkling about that. Tom wonders if he gets paid every time he says "inkling". He does, and since he's only said it twice, he needs to say it a lot more to increase his overall payout. His compensation is $1/inkling, often referred to in the words-for-hire industry as DPI (Dollars Per Inkling).
Freddy is getting married in two weeks, so he has in fact arrived at his debaucherous Danielson bachelor party. Freddy notes that it’s strange for a 12-year-old to be married, and he expected the decision to be controversial. Tom says that's his business and will not get involved in how things are done in the Smith household. He suspects they may be operating by a different set of envelope-pushing rules, such as the Vegasy "What happens down in South Jersey, stays in South Jersey." Freddie recounts the Old School-style pick-up in which a scary white van arrived as he left work. His family members threw him in the van and immediately applied the blindfold. Tom wonders if this is a dream come true, and Freddie is so thrilled that he fears he will faint. Before starting the exciting festivities, Tom wants to settle into the evening by asking Freddie what tune he wants to hear. Tom had already pulled the Neurotic Reactions comp, which happens to be Freddie’s favorite CD. He picks cut #3, which was just the Mod Psych Freak Rock Smasher Tom had already initialed! The multi-talented Freddie could apparently challenge Roy Ziegler, Jr. in a psychic-off.
- Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 51:13) because he thinks Roy, Jr. is in the studio. Tom informs him that it's Freddy from the Danielson Family, and PBR is relieved. He thought maybe Roy, Jr. was getting married because it sounded just like him. Freddy points out that everyone in Philly is family in a way. PBR agrees, but he’s a little disappointed that the Danielsons took the party up to Stink City. The family originally hails from South Jersey and Freddy now lives in Philly, so clearly the bachelor party should not have been held in northern New Jersey. Freddie isn’t sure what comparable local station could have hosted such an event. PBR suggests Drexel’s WKDU or UPENN’s WXPN Freddie nixes both. PBR used to clean up at WKDU, earning the nickname “Dr. Mop”. PBR wasn’t a student, and based on his recent behavior, Tom guesses that he sold drugs to students. PBR doesn’t want to say nothing that’s gonna incriminate him since he doesn’t want to get in trouble with his old “album otter”. Tom is not sure what that term means, so PBR calls him a Philadummy.
Tom wants PBR to spell it, and he confirms that it’s like a record album followed by an otter. Tom’s never heard it before, so PBR directs Freddy to school him on the topic. Tom wonders if that is indicative of a Drexel education, and Freddie says it’s about the best thing he learned there. PBR thinks Freddy shoulda gone to Phillies on Cuthbert Street. PBR learned about the
strip joint place where you go to unwind from Roy, Jr. Tom notes that he’s only 13, but PBR calls him a dunce because he’s actually 15. Tom thinks he may be 14, so they are both off a year. PBR thinks he seems older, and Tom agrees that his son acts like a full-grown adult. While PBR touts it as a nice place to unwind, it can apparently also be dangerous because nem ladies are literally smokin' -- they smoke while they dance on youse. PBR and Roy, Jr. got burnt by one of their cigars. Tom’s horrified that these ladies smoke cigars and that PBR brought his son to a gentlemen’s club. PBR says that Roy, Jr. brought him since he hadn’t even heard of the place before.
PBR says that Roy, Jr. woulda totally set the Danielsons up as well if he knew they were in the market for a bachelor party venue. He’s a big fan of the band, although he thinks their 2001 release, Fetch the Compass Kids, is kinda bad and weak. However, he does like the hott new record, Ships. Tom isn't sure if Roy, Jr.’s enjoyment of the newer stuff means the band is headed in the right or completely wrong direction. PBR says Roy, Jr. goes around humming “Bloodbook On The Halfshell” all day. When he wants to really get PBR mad, he sings "Good News for the Pus Pickers” from Compass. PBR doesn’t like it one bit -- it rubs him the wrong way. PBR doesn’t think the band should be singing about that. They should be singing about nem 4-1 Eagles (now 4-2 after going down to the Saints this past Sunday).
Before he goes, PBR wants to impart something to Freddy: “A marriage ain’t something to be entered into lightly. There’s a lot of give and take. Like take me, I give, give, give, and Rhoda takes, takes, takes.” For example, PBR gives, gives, gives, and Rhoda takes, takes, takes. Tom wants to know if he can reveal what he’s giving. PBR starts giggling and says that what he’s giving is free … in some circles. At Phillies, it sometimes cost a little money. PBR highly recommends hiding all valuables and “secret items” in the backyard in a hole under a rock. Tom wants to know why it’s necessary to hide anything from one’s wife. PBR says because then she’ll never know about it -- “sometimes a guy’s just gotta hide some stuff.” IIn PBR’s case, this means stuff like s mags. A lot of them. Tom doesn’t even want to go there and hears Mike the Associate Producer laughing in the hallway. PBR wants to know what’s so funny and declares that “youse guys don’t get it.”
Tom asks for any final advice for young Freddie, and PBR tells him to never leave Philly and thinks he already made a huge mistake by going to NJ. Freddie assures him that he can’t wait to get back home. Upon his return, PBR promises to fix him a wedding hoagie at Wawa: lots of provolone, lots of tuna, and olives. Tom doesn’t like what he hears and there are some other titters from the studio. PBR notes the response from the “Peanut Gallery”. Freddie asked if a figurine sits atop the hoagie, so PBR assumes that he’s seen one before. PBR wonders if he saw it at the Wawa on 11th and Arch. He’s currently working at the Roosevelt Boulevard location, where he’s been doing all the shifts lately. Tom thinks this sounds like Taxi Driver, but with a Wawa. The nonstop hours started ever since PBR met this German guy from up Tom’s way. Tom’s pretty sure he knows him. He looks like Rutger Hauer, but with a black mustache and blond hair. He’s also really short -- PBR estimates his height at about 4’ 10”. It’s Newbridge menace Werner, who PBR hears him knocking on his window. PBR starts getting nervous because he owes him for something. Werner recently took him on a “SEPTA run”, and PBR thinks the Danielson crew will know what he’s talking about. Tom doesn’t get it. PBR gives him a hint by asking what the SEPTA mass-transit trains run on. Freddy says “tracks”, but PBR had a different term in mind: rails.
PBR gives Freddyhis best and wants him to "keep it Philly". He goes out by singing a bit of The Hooters’ "And We Danced”, which he hopes Freddy will play on his wedding day. Tom found the serenade oddly touching. Freddy says it means a lot to get wedding wishes from PBR.
We're not sheep!: Three members of a Drexel fraternity not bonding with each other or forming friendships
- It's time (starts at 1:01) for proper introductions for all the guests who are honoring Freddy (I hope they were all wearing their uniforms):
* Jedediah, Freddy's brother-in-law, married to his sister, Megan. He called during the 8/8/06 show primarily to promote the podcast, which the band so greatly enjoyed while on tour. However, Wayne Coyne also ordered him to hype the upcoming Lips shows in NYC. The band had only sold 13,991 tickets, so they wanted to ensure that the last nine tickets sold to fill the Hammerstein Ballroom to capacity. The band was worried that they might not be able to splurge on their 25th confetti machine. Confetti is not cheap, especially considering the volume that is sprayed into the crowd at each show. [Cue image of Coyne, Ivins, and Drozd backstage jamming trees into a woodchipper a la Gaer Grimsrud in Fargo] Tom questions the value of chopping up an entire forest, dyeing it yellow, and then shooting it out of canons onto people. After the show, it all gets swept away. The real losers: birds.
* Megan, the younger of Andrew’s two sisters. Rachel, the older sister, is in San Diego.
* Daniel, the leader of the gang, the big brother, the whipcracker. He organized the party, and he can’t believe that Freddy had the blindfold on for an hour and 45 minutes. Freddy said the family members concocted a medley of weak attempts to throw him off, such as commenting on picturesque mountains, hoping that Freddy had his bathing suit with him and suggesting the possibility of skiing (it was not clear if this was a cocaine reference). Meanwhile, Freddy was pretty certain that the mountains didn’t smell like a chemical production plant. Tom says that it’s the odor of bastion of industry, Elizabeth, N.J., which produces all of the fine household chemicals that we love. Freddy didn’t bother with repeated queries about what was happening, content in knowing that the journey would eventually reach some destination that would not result in his Earthly demise.
* David, Freddy's brother. He said that they considered subjecting Freddy to an Edward Forty-Hands while in the van. The Tim Burton-inspired act involves duct-taping a 40 oz. bottle of malt-style liquor to each hand, thus making simple tasks like urination impossible until one bottle is consumed. Freddy introduced them to the game, which he discovered at Drexel. Tom’s horrified by the frat house shenanigans. Freddy was not a member of a fraternity, but he learned about the abject cruelty of their activities via some people he knew who did a lot of dumb things. This allowed Freddy to laugh at their tomfoolery from a safe distance. Tom argues that he missed out on all the bonding and friendships that blossom within the houses. Freddy heard nothing about the friendships and doubts that any were formed in the Drexel fraternities. He believes that they all hated each other and just drank a lot.
* Betty, Dave’s girlfriend. Tom wonders when Betty might become an official member of the Danielson family and necessitate another bachelor party. Daniel speculates that their mom will call to join in with Tom’s line of questioning. When Dave went on a shopping trip to buy Andrew’s suit for the wedding, he was getting the same thing the entire time. He had to resort to changing the subject to topics like the weather and potential dining plans.
* Chris, director of the hott new Danielson video for “Did I Step On Your Trumpet?” The single-shot approach is kinda like the OK Go treadmill video, but not horrible. Chris was oblivious to that clip until the day he picked up the camera. The guy pulled out a fancy tripod, but Chris didn’t need it because it was just a single take. He then showed him the OK Go video, and he was crushed. Tom assures him that nobody needs to watch guys run on treadmills in that stupid video. Chris built the tracking sytem and also made the sets in his parents basement, cutting and painting plywood. Tom declares him the Michel Gondry of South Jersey.
Hamsterdam: August's friend demonstrates the mysterious dance. Lose the pigtails, son.
- August calls (starts at 1:09) to note the irony of Tom describing the kind of call he would hate, followed by Pudge delivering a replica of such a call. Tom and Freddy want to know if he has any opinions on the upcoming nuptials or wisdom on love. August says he can’t offer much on those topics since he’s only 13. Then again, Freddy is only 12. Tom asks about possible dances for the wedding, and August whispers that he doesn’t know any. Tom thought he remembered August telling him that he liked The Hampster Dance. August thinks he remembers saying that Tom has been falsely accusing him of that so much that he basically gave up disputing it. Tom wore him down. Since it’s easier to just say that he likes it, Tom wants August to say “I like The Hamster Dance, Tom.” August won’t go that far, but does say, “The Hamster Dance is OK.” Tom takes this as a sign that he’s warming up to it. Tom disagrees -- he’s not a fan. Freddie says that he and his fiancee are going to skip ballroom dancing and take lessons on The Hamster Dance for the first dance at their wedding reception. Tom asks August if Freddy could hire him as teacher to learn the dance. August can’t take him on as a pupil because he lacks the knowledge, but his friend studied the lyrics and unlocked the secret to the dance. August says he will contact his friend and have him call to perform the song. Unfortunately, this never happened.
- Pudge wants to talk (starts at 1:12) to the girl who just called about the call he did. Tom tells him that it was a little boy. Pudge still doesn’t know what’s up, although he has been able to determine that a band is in the studio and one of its members is getting married. Tom asks him if he wants to say anything to Freddy. Pudge says he wants to say something, but asks Tom what he should say. Tom wants to know why he’s calling if he has nothing to say. He said he heard August mention him so he thought he should call back. Pudge wants Tom to play a song for him, but he still hasn’t come up with one. Pudge isn’t sure what kind of music he likes and wants to know what kind of stuff Danielson plays. Daniel describes it as “jangly, squeaky music with stops and starts”. Tom wants to know what bands Pudge likes or an album he has purchased. Pudge says he bought a Beatles album. Danielson says they -- like many bands -- sound like The Beatles, but Pudge isn’t sure if he still likes The Beatles. Pudge admits that he really just wanted to say hello. Tom is losing patience with his calls, which make him feel like he's rotting from the inside and having years shaved off his life. Pudge says he’ll talk to Tom later.
- Mike retrieves (starts at 1:15) the giant bachelor cake. Freddy speculates foul play, but Tom says he’s not some kind of monster. There is speculation that Spike will jump out of the cake to offer some pre-marital discipline ("Heeeelllloooo, Freddy. Don't forget to play some Del Vikings at the ceremony."), but luckily it does not happen. Freddy says the cake is filled with the much more desirable strawberry mousse, although it was not clear if this was the actual cake filling or just some random mention of a Spike alternative. The fun is temporarily derailed by Tommert’s Joe Torre impression, which elicits a sigh from Tom. Tommert scolds him for being tired, but Tom thinks Tommert is the one who’s on the verge of sleep. Tommert claims he’s fully awake. If so, he’ll be able to do something else because he gets GOMPed
- Robert is curious (starts at 1:16) about whether the Danielson clan is a cult or a band. The consensus is a little bit of both. (I think Tom should have them play at his house as counter-programming to Keith Kincaid's Fun Fair). Robert thinks this is the most wholesome bachelor party he’s ever heard, but the family is secretly evil. Tom spots a keg on its way, and he’s already seen a beer (being split amongst the family), indicating that crazy time explosions are ahead. Robert suggests that he could come down to the studio and bring a Pin the Tail on the Donkey kit (the family did bring Monopoly) and organize some “night games”, which he defines as what nerdy teenagers do. Tom says that they are all going on a snipe hunt later. Robert wonders if there will be any live Danielson music, but Tom says he’ll have to make do with the records.
Robert gets Freddy to reveal his real age -- it’s 23. Freddy says people give him crap for it, and Tom wants to know why. Freddy responds with a Pudgelike “I ‘unno.” He elaborates to say that some people think he should wait until he’s 48 to wed. Robert asks Freddy if his wife-to-be is really The One. Freddy says she is, and the early matrimony gives him longer to enjoy her company. Robert continues to press and asks about their plans for children. Tom says they will have some kids within two months. Freddy points out that another benefit of getting married young is that you can have 18 children during your lifetime to expand the franchise and create Danielson Mach II. Robert finally goes too far by asking about the Danielson policy on pre-marital sex. Tom tells him to shut up and sends him on his way.
- Nickel Jerry from L.A. calls (starts at 1:19) with Crameresque enthusiasm, but Tom isn’t sure if he wants this kind of caller. His “Heeeeeeeeeeello, Tom” was actually an impression of callers to the Tom Leykis programe. Tom points out that a major difference between him and the other radio Tom is that Leykis is not on in the tri-state area because he bombed hard there. NJ and Tom agree that the misogynistic Leykis is the worst. NJ says that Leykis would probably advise Freddy not to get married, despite the fact that he’s been married 11 times. He was also once arrested on charges of domestic abuse. NJ offers his congrats to Freddy and hopes he’ll be married for 30 years before getting a divorce in his early 50s.
- Timmy von Trimble calls (starts at 1:21) to say what a great night this is and apologize for not being there to pop out of the cake. His dad wouldn’t let him go, and then he had a problem getting his Hot Wheels car started. He got frustrated, threw up his hands ("Screw it!"), and decided to watch television. Timmy asks Tom if Jericho is on tonight. It actually airs on Wednesdays, and Tom says it doesn't look so hott. Timmy liked the pilot and thinks Skeet Ulrich is kinda hunky, not that he's into "that scene."
Timmy wishes he could be there and thinks it’s so cool that Freddie is getting married. Tom distills the Timmy story, citing his two-inch height and his appearance as a lab creation by his geneticist parents. Timmy thinks Tom is making it sound cold and asks if he’s not flesh and blood like anyone else. He also points out that he has the same carnal cravings that everyone has. Timmy thinks Freddy knows what he’s talking about. Tom wants to know how Timmy goes about meeting other two-inch companions to satisfy these desires. Timmy says he pretty much meets them online by constructing a backdrop to create the illusion that he’s a heighted person. However, he never actually goes out and meets the people he talks to online. It’s sad because they end up not wanting to meet him because of his text messages. Tom wants to know what these texts are, and this leads Timmy to what he wanted to ask next.
He asks Tom to dedicate Norse Savage's touching ballad, “‘Til Death Do Us Part”, to the happy couple. Timmy assures Tom that it’s a love song -- it’s about a man’s love for his race. Tom has to hang up on him because that kind of malarkey is not tolerated. Timmy is oblivious to any problems with what he said. While it's highly unlikely that Freddy and the Danielson family want to hear racist balladry on the Big Day, I would urge them to consider a couple of Newbridge bands that are now offering their services for weddings -- the underrated Sister Sheila, and my personal favorite, I-Ron's Reggae Challenge. I recommend avoiding The Gas Station Dogs. They played a wedding in Old Southbridge last month and there was an "incident" involving fontman Barry Dworkin and several bridesmaids. And the groom. An article in the Newbridge Herald-Times Herald called the event "truly sick."
The Other Pudge: Despite a 2006 salary of $10,616,410, Ivan Rodriguez cannot afford a decent cell phone
- Pudge Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers calls (starts at 1:25) from the dugout just after blasting a home run against the Oakland A’s in Game 1 of the ALCS. He thinks Tom is being too hard on the other Pudge, and Tom briefly falls into a boring coma. Freddy points out that Pudge apparently can’t afford a good cell phone, but Pudge claims that bad cell phones are his style. Tom GOMPs him, suspecting it was really Fred, the chameleonic troublemaker, adding to his stable of characters. Freddy notices Tom’s dump button and describes it to listeners. It’s like those red nuclear buttons encased within a shield with Tom’s finger hovering over it as he lifts up the safety, poised for a dismissal. At this point, Evan, the new DJ who is taking over the 11p.m. - 2 a.m. slot, stops by to congratulate Freddy. Tom gives the go-ahead to treat the rookie like garbage as part of his hazing ritual.
- Tommert calls back (starts at 1:28) after waking up and getting a little boost. Splash of cold water on his face? No. He took another hit of the ganja. Freddy wonders if he also did a SEPTA run, which seems likely since Tommert’s increased pep suggests a rail more than a tuff puff. Tommert gives Tom an opportunity to display the mechanics of a dump.
- Sonny, the director of Danielson: a Family Movie Danielson movie, calls (starts at 1:29) to congratulate Freddy and reluctantly promote his movie. After listening to the first half of the show, Sonny feels the family is opening up and being more natural around Tom than they were during the filming of the documentary. Freddy explains that they were made for radio. Sonny points out that in a sense they’ve had Tom in their lives via The Best Show longer than him. Sonny says the film will have a limited theatrical run in 10 cities starting in mid-December before bowing on DVD in April. As a fan of the film, Tom thinks he’s soft-selling it and offers a more open-ended marketing plan. You first tell the audience that it’s coming to theaters for a one-week engagement. After that, nobody knows what will happen, and it will not likely be released on DVD. Now everybody flocks to the theaters in what may be their only chance to see it. After its theatrical run, you put it out a VHS or a bare-bones DVD with bad sound. After everyone scoops it up, then you drop the news of the Special Collector’s Edition DVD. Sonny loves it.
Tom’s strategy is certainly becoming the norm in the DVD trade with studios asking for double-, triple-, and quadruple-dipping from consumers. Didn't snag the 10th anniversary Reservoir Dogs? Don't worry, here comes the 15th -- and it looks like Mr. Blond's gasoline can! The king of multiple editions is, of course, The Evil Dead trilogy, which now boasts 58 different DVD versions. My favorite is the Evil Dead II: You’re In The F**kin Movie Now! Edition. I was skeptical, but I popped that sucker in and sure enough, Omar’s helpin’ Ash attach that chainsaw. Groovy.
Sonny says that Freddy keeps his emotions in check, but he knows that it is very exciting for him to be honored on The Best Show. The family introduced Sonny to the show, and he has fond, blurry memories of driving around in the van in a jetlagged haze while tapes of The Best Show sent everyone into laughing fits. Tom doesn't think this sounds like a particularly appealing van ride. Freddy asks Tom if that’s what he does, but Tom never listens to his own shows because he lives it as it buzzes around his head all day long. The show is his only outlet let some of it escape into the world. Sonny ends the call by discussing his idea to position the film as a soothing break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and an opportunity celebrate the season with the Danielson family. Tom hopes that the ship hasn't left the dock because it could use a reconfig, such as setting a limit of 4 tickets per person to create a weird panic in certain gullible enthusiasts. Sonny starts getting the hang of Tom's approach by suggesting a limit of 10 DVDs per person to boost sales. He offers Freddy a Mazel Tov and goes off into the ether.
- Marky Ramone calls (starts at 1:35) to support Tom's marketing ideas because when Rock ‘N Roll High School came out, they used a two-ticket limit. It totally worked by creating a buzz. Marky seems to be using a different definition of buzz because he notes that he and the rest of the band were always buzzed back then. Marky said the earlier chatter about rails brought back some memories, but he don’t do that stuff no more. Marky is hard at work on Lady Wainsworth’s Desires IV in his rehearsal space, but he wanted to call to offer his congrats to a fellow sticksman. Freddy wants to know what kind of drum slippers Marky uses. He uses Dave Weckl kickers, which he just calls "Weckls". Freddy uses an off-brand rip-off of those. Back in the day, Marky would go onstage with his Chuck Taylors, and then while out of view from the audience, he’d switch them out for the Weckls for the duration of the set. For the encore, he’d have the Chucks on again.
Tom encourages the shop talk and guesses that Marky uses a 7a jazz stick. Marky uses his Marky Ramone Pro-Mark model. The Danielsons just buy the 40-pack of Guitar Center sticks, which all break during the course of one show. Marky has no need to shop there since he has deals with Pearl and Paiste; the Danielsons use old Zildjian cymbals. Marky is not impressed and might have to terminate the call soon. Freddy asks Marky if he wants to sponsor them, and while he can’t, he is willing to take them to school with a little “Teenage Lobotomy”. Tom wants Marky’s opinion of bands with two drummers. He liked Adam & the Ants, but wasn’t that into the Allman Brothers or .38 Special. Tom notes that the latter two bands were family bands as were The Ramones. Marky points out that they wasn’t related, calling Tom a dummy. Tom says he knew that, but Marky still believes that he needs to go back to rock school under his tutelage. Marky bangs out some of “Teenage Lobotomy” and hangs up.
- Tom wants to play (starts at 1:40) some fun getting-to-know-you games by way of The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted by relationship guru Dr. Gary Chapman. Freddy is frightened by the book, and while Tom doesn't normally judge people by their appearance, he doubts if Doc Chapman would ever be able to secure a spouse. Tom gives Freddy paper and a pencil to fill out some lists based on the Q&A section at the back of the book. Tom storms out of the gate with a request for weaknesses of his spouse, but he abandons the questionnaire on the grounds that it would be torture for Freddy to actually respond.
Tom proposes "Danielson Family Secrets", a game in which everyone writes down a dark secret (preferably shocking to boost ratings) that Tom will read aloud so they can guess its author. While the Danielsons ready their confessions, Tom mentions a disturbing Myspace Friend request he got from Mail Me One Dollar. Freddy thinks one would have to be put under a spell to actually take the time to mail this guy $1. Plus, this guy could just get in on Freddy’s turf and earn some quick cash by saying “inkling” all the live-long day. Tom thinks this is an example of what is wrong with the Intronet. Tom mocks his 9/14/06 blog post celebrating the arrival of his first dollar and is comforted by the fact that nearly a month has elapsed since his first score. Tom doubts that someone who has a computer really needs $1. Tom got another financial friend request from Money For Nothings, an initiative started by two self-proclaimed “meatheads” in Kennesaw, GA, trying to avoid middle-class poverty. Tom clicks on their credit card link and lands on their Paypal portal. He does not contribute to their cause.
Tom gets the entries and shakes them up to further obscure their identity:
1. "I used to hang out in the local cemetery in high school." MEGAN ("It was very quiet there.")
2. "When I was little, I secretly returned a neighbor's Wiffle ball bat, and when I realized how easy it was to secretly return it, I stole it back." CHRIS
3. "I often write with pens in library books." JEDEDIAH. Tom tells him that they aren't his books, but he rationalizes it by saying that he doubts anyone else will check out the books he's defacing. He apologizes to the library.
4. "I fainted at my Eagle Scouts ceremony." DANIEL. He was so nervous that he didn't eat all day. Chris says his introduction into the scouting world was through the Smith family. He didn't realize how seriously some families took it and describes the Eagle Scout ceremony as cult-like -- the lights dim, the crowd becomes solemn, and the voice of the Great Eagle booms out of the PA. Tom got out halfway through Webelos, finished off by a pine box derby race.
5. "I drank all of Megan's beer last Christmas, and denied it when asked." DAVID. He was faced with mediocre beer and then found a four-pack of Guinness. He poured it into non-see-through pint glasses to hide it. Megan demands a replacement purchase tonight.
6. "I once bought the Best Of ELO album that didn't even have the one ELO song I liked." FREDDY. He was looking for "Fire On High". Tom says this is not a proper confession -- it's just something that happened. Some argued that admitting to buying an ELO album qualifies, but Tom likes the band.
Tom wants to hear about Freddy's day job as a business analyst who stares at spreadsheets and deals with technology and the health care industry. Freddy finds it too boring to talk about, but does find it somewhat interesting in practice. Freddy thinks his dream job may be Ping pong professional by day, and rock star by night. Tom thinks his table tennis dreams need to be expelled from his system prior to getting married.
- Vito, the Minister who will officiate Freddy's wedding, calls (starts at 2:26) to make sure that everything at the party is aboveboard. Freddy assures him that it is, and Tom wonders if this is some kind of stunt wedding. Freddy says they first tried to get Don Vito, but ended up with this other Vito. Vito did his best to consult with Freddy to make sure he was ready, but he was alarmed and startled to find out about the bachelor party. He felt compelled to tell Freddy that he was praying for him and the hope that everything ends up going well tonight. Tom thinks Vito has just thrown a wet blanket on the event. Freddy says that Vito was actually pretty far down their list, and they ultimately settled for him due to some budget constraints. Vito doesn’t mind the abuse because he believes he brings it upon himself. Tom dubs him Fredo Danielson.
Sweet to taste, saccharine: You got the peaches, Troy Dershman got the cream
- Troy Dershman, Tom’s high school nemesis, checks in (starts at 2:19) for the first time in over five years with a typical greeting: “Still playing that terrible music, huh?". Tom says he hates him. Troy wants Tom to relive the torment he put him through at Newbridge High (class of ’86) by telling everyone who scored 3 TDs against Tribridge. It was Troy, who even remembers that it occurred on November 17th. Tom wasn’t on the team, but he announced it over the PA system until Troy and the boys filled the PA cone with eggs. Troy did so many bad things to Tom, that he has blocked many of them from his memory. Troy says this was how kids behaved then, and they still do. Troy doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and he has passed the bullying torch to Butch, his 12-year-old son. Troy hides behind trees when he’s at school, on his way home, and playing football so he can watch him do the same things to his friends.
Troy tells Freddy that he hopes his marriage turns out better than his thing with high school paramour Sheila, who couldn’t deal with any of his proclivities. Tom wants Troy to expound a little bit, but Troy doesn’t think any of it is suitable for the airwaves. In short: he dabbles. Troy doesn’t see how one can be a faithful husband in the 2000s. Tom thinks you simply do it, but Troy says that is impossible if one runs around in his circles. Tom doesn’t think he should run in those circles, and Troy thinks Tom should take Freddy’s jock off and throw it on the roof. Freddy is wearing a jock, but Tom won’t do it. Troy thinks Tom should at least make him eat a urinal cake. Troy claims he made Tom eat one, but Tom denies it. Either way, Tom will not make Freddy do it. Troy wants Freddy’s face shoved in the toilet. Tom won’t do that either because Freddy is a nice guy who doesn’t deserve to be picked on.
Tom wants to know what Troy gets out of being bully. Troy was hoping to earn $27 by coming down to the studio to dance. Troy is going through a rough patch and is currently dancing for money at Panty Boys on Old Muffler Row. Tom didn’t even know that street was still open. Troy says there are no lights there anymore and there are cones put up suggesting that it's condemned, but Panty Boys is still open for business. Troy lowers his rate to $24, but Tom is still not interested in his services. The last time Troy called, he was doing some landscaping for their old coach and living with Craig, Gary, Vaughn, and Mike from the football team. They had a falling out after a big fight over a bag of Cheetos. Troy ended up killing Vaughn by placing a bag of Cheetos somewhere on his person. Not up top. Down below. Tom wants to know how he died, but Troy doesn’t think Tom really wants to know. Tom doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. Troy says the bag of Cheetos were used like a suppository.
Troy did a couple months of jail time, but it turned out that the prosecuting attorney was in cahoots with Judge Montgomery Davies. Troy thinks they might have been an item, and he's glad that he got off as a result. However, he quickly returned to his murderous ways by killing Gary in sort of an accident. Their moped licenses got revoked after they ran into each other and then some other people during a game of Chicken in the parking lot during the implosion of The Vet. Troy says that he would need half an hour to detail all the people they hit. Troy thought it would be funny if he enclosed Gary in a Port-o-John and smashed into it with his moped. Troy wants Tom to define “kill”. Tom says that it means that Gary is not alive as a result of Troy hitting him with the moped. Troy agrees that his act falls under the kill banner, but asks Tom not to judge him. Since the rules remains the same as they were in ’86, Troy is the one who judges Tom. Only the coaches can judge Troy, and since Coach Fannel died from old age, he is forever free from rebuke in a kind of bonus round of life. Tom thinks that’s fantastic, and Troy detects some sarcasm, which he doesn't like.
Troy wants Freddy to reach over and slap Tom in the face. Freddy doesn’t want to do it because Tom is a large man. Troy says he’s also large and wants Tom to guess the amount of weight now attached to his 6’ 2” frame. After a lengthy series of escalating guesses, Tom hits 420, which prompts an outraged Troy to ask if Tom thinks he's some kind of pig. Troy weighs a mere 418 lbs. He's still on his shift at Panty Boys, where he's summoned to the stage by the sounds of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. He requires help getting up and then starts peeling his sweats off. He needs two hands to complete the task, so he has to let Tom go. He warns Tom that if he ever sees him coming, he should walk quickly away. Tom thinks he’ll have plenty of time to escape since Troy weighs 418. Troy thinks he may have just gained a pound from eating too many Peanut Chews. Troy tells Freddy that he will also come after him if he screws up his marriage. Troy slaps them both and leaves Tom with a “screw you”.
- Christine and Carly from San Francisco's Finest Dearest (they also somehow managed to get on Myspace) call (starts at 2:32) for Smash or Trash. Since they are female callers, it's obviously a pre-arranged call. They intended for Tom to play “We’re Making a Sound 1” from their forthcoming 7”, but it’s showing up as a 1:08 track on Tom’s player. He thinks it was burned to the wrong format. He tells them that they play COMPACT discs at the radio station; it’s not iTunes. Faced with the quandary, they consider a track from last year’s Pacemaker EP (featuring two people no longer in the band), but Tom works his magic and gets the desired track to play on the computer. Tom wonders if he will miss out on fun with Danielson by doing the Smash or Trash now, but Freddy gives the greenlight. Tom then adopts Freddy for a ventriloquist act in which he changes his mind and calls everyone in San Francisco stupid. Tom confirms that it’s not San Fran toilet mouth music and plays the track. The band is a bit scared that they will be judged by music professionals, and Freddy takes a shot at them by suggesting he could help them burn a CD. Freddy ultimately recused himself from the voting because his opinion would wield too much power.
* Smash. The song reminded him of a more melodic Slant 6.
* Smash. He liked the vocals, guitars, and the chords.
* Smash. She liked the “cool girl singer” and also wants to know what kind of cake was served. Finest Dearest say it was a urinal cake, but that’s not accurate. Tom hung up on the caller because he didn’t like her style. She later called back to attempt to switch her vote to Trash because her cake question was mocked and unanswered. Tom tells her that they had chocolate cake with butter cream icing made by the man who works at Costco. She also wants to know what kind of wedding cake will be served. Freddy likes cake, so there are three delicious kinds are lined up: vanilla with some kind of berry-related filling, chocolate with some kind of raspberry thing, and carrot cake. She likes it and thinks the wedding will be a Smash. She goes as far as suggesting that a marriage is only as good as the wedding cake(s). Tom thinks that if Freddy continues eating that much cake, the relationship will become unhealthy due to morbid obesity. Tom convinces the caller to be a class act and rescind her Trash switcheroo.
* Smash. He liked it because he doesn’t have anything like it in his little town of Scottsville, Virginia. All he gets locally is bluegrass, so he listens to WFMU all the time.
* Smash. Very Sleater-Kinneyesque. Finest Dearest have heard of the band Sleater-Kinney.
* Smash. It made him anxious. This elicited a giggle from Finest Dearest.
* Smash. It sounds like the music that every ex-goth girl listens to ... if that music was good.
Smash. The song felt very, very honest. However, the caller knows the band, so Tom voids the vote. The band says they told everyone they knew not to call, having learned a lesson from previous electioneering efforts (e.g., Themeweavers, LLC) frowned on by Tom.
* Smash. Liked the chords, drummin’, and vocals. Reminded him of early The Cranberries.
* Trash. The shutout is broken by what appears to by Larry the Perv there. He thinks Tom should play more of Freddy’s music instead.
* Trash. It’s got nothing on that South Jersey stuff like the percussion section (snares are tight and the Drum Major’s hott) of the Kingsway High School marching band.
* Smash. They have a great sound and left her wanting more. The only Trash she heard tonight was Tom. Tom doesn't care what people think of him as long as they listen.
* Trash. An unhinged Danielson fan prefers the tree with the nine fruits.
* Trash. The caller says it’s one of those Sleater-Kinney songs that you skip over when listening to an album. People are performing S-K in the background, though I couldn’t make out the song amidst the semi-passable Corin Tucker impression.
* Smash. Sounds like S-K for the good reasons, but also reminded him of many other good 1990s bands.
They did it. SMASH
- There's only four minutes left in the on-air party. Freddy says that his nerves are a bit fried from all the preparation, but he does have a good friend lined up for DJ duty. Tom couldn't do it because he doesn't get out of bed for less than $10,000. Freddy wants to know if being in the married people's club is fun. Tom says it's awesome as long as you're not a show-off jerk and treat your wife like a human being. Tom advises being the person that she met instead of morphing into a hotshot. He has to put his fontasies about taking over the family band (Andrewson) on the backburner. Freddy envisions a six-foot drum riser at the front of the stage a la The Dave Clark Five. The rest of the band will play behind a screen so only their silhouettes are visible. Tom is still pushing for the simultaneous release of a solo album/single by each family member. Kiss x 2.5.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Timmy von Trimble calls to ask if Tom thinks Freddy would let Panzerfaust set up a merch table at his wedding, Troy Dershman reports another kill (he accidentally sat on Craig while practing a new routine), and Pudge shaves a few more years off Tom's life.
Here's a clip from the after-bachelor party:
CONGRATS TO FREDDY!!!!!!