Power Pop Pop-Pop.
"Ew, boy. I am looking forward to getting over to the Iron Monkey in two and a half hours." -- Tom, having second thoughts after a caller is already sloshed
"Look son, this is the Big Leagues. You're barely Tee-Ball level." -- Tom, optioning Hesh for reassignment to the minors
"******* **** and * ******* *******." -- Excerpts of two unaired responses from author Ken Rogers
"He'll film Barbarella in an elevator in Austin. It will cost $4,800. And it will star Rose McGowan." -- Tom, adding some details to the announcement of Robert Rodriguez's next project
"Please, put more caveman makeup on me. I don't want anyone recognizing me. Can you actually make it look like I'm actually someone else under this makeup." -- Tom, going undercover on Cavemen
"You can strive for Cha-Ka territory. Please let me have the career of Cha-Ka." -- Tom on the GEICO cavemen entering the land of the lost
"You know the exciting thing, though, you could've joined The Flaming Lips if you would've maintained that kind of costumery." -- Tom, informing Ted Leo about a missed opportunity
"Way to violate international law, crimestick. Now go eat a carpaccio, ya fuckin' Swede." -- Patton Oswalt, commenting on Crimestick's crime on AST*
"What's that, cookie? Go in the office and strangle my boss? Yes, cookie." -- Susie in Manhattan, taking orders from her best friend
"I'll tell ya right now -- it's gonna be bigger than the Paisley Pop Pop-A-Thon last year in Des Moines. And it's definitely gonna make January's Popadelphia Pop Nation fest look like Poptopia 2002. What a disaster that was, huh?" -- A caller, promoting Poptastrophe 2007
"His whole life is basically built around going downhill." -- A caller on Power Pop Pop-Pop's sidecar-based lifestyle
"I gotta say, I think I die a little bit whenever I say 'Power Pop Pop-Pop'." -- Tom on the nickname of Newbridge's PP President
"You know, come to think of it, I've never seen him laugh or smile." -- A caller on PPPP's very serious approach to the fun-loving music
"He also has a Popper for women that's just plain awful." -- A caller on Quad-P's gender-specific weapon
"Bit of a dungeon vibe. It's not good." -- A caller on the creepy lair in PPPP's PP Palace
"It's like if Goebbels wrote lyrics for The Rubinoos." -- A caller, describing The Resistance's White Power Pop
"I think they really think Power Pop Pop-Pop is really creepy." -- A caller explaining why the likes of Tommy Keene and Ken Stringfellow reject PPPP's PP scene
"Where are the Colonial people? There's only some weird guy in a Ratt t-shirt with a $200 price tag hanging off of it." -- Tom on a family discovering they were in the wrong Williamsburg
"Hey, garbanzo bean prices are going like bonkers, if you know what I mean." -- Captain Jack, providing a commodities update
"The world needs more Panera Breads. There aren't enough buildings in New Jersey." -- Tom, praising the construction efforts of Don in Belleville
"Who wouldn't want to have a little pan pizza made by Hilly Kristal?" -- Tom on the "food" at CBGB's
Jay Reatard - "All Over Again"
( Click here to buy the Night of Broken Glass EP)
Velvet Crush - "Drive Me Down"
( Click here to buy In The Presence of Greatness)
The Michael Guthrie Band - "Payola" (from 1982's Banned in America EP)
( Click here to visit MGB on Myspace)
The Posies - "Solar Sister"
( Click here to buy Frosting on the Beater)
Tommy Keene - "Nothing Can Change You"
( Click here to buy Based on Happy Times for $62.50!)
Any Trouble - "Romance"
( Click here to buy Where Are All The Nice Girls?)
Bram Tchaikovsky - "Girl Of My Dreams"
( Click here to buy Poptopia!: Power Pop Classics of the '70s)
The Highback Chairs - "Afterlife"
( Click here to buy Of Two Minds)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
After dropping a neutron bomb, Tom tells himself that he's gotta bring it for tonight's episode, which is titled "Eeny Meeny Miney Murder." He starts by bringing it to Mike the Associate Producer after catching him using the exclusive Best Show phone line to dial up a Knock-Knock Joke of the Day service. Tom asks him why he's such a knock-knock enthusiast, and Mike says they make him laugh. I also know that he enjoys dirtier fare, which explains his recent purchase of a joke device.
Tom heard word of a Best Show listening party going down at the The Iron Monkey speakeasy in exciting Jersey City. The official FOT event was organized by a British man named Jason. Tom plans to make a 90-second swing through after the show, shaking every damn hand of every damn fan before ducking out an exit. He doesn't have a stop watch, but he'll know when the time is up. Tom invites listeners to join the gang as they drink Coffee Coolattas® and eat vegetable paninis Ira Glass-style.
- Johnny dares to call (starts at 26:37) the hottline pre-topic after hearing Tom give props out to his boys at The Iron Monkey. He got off work a couple of hours ago and headed out for a "couple" of drinks. He's a little sad to hear that Tom discontinued "Open Mic Tuesdays", and Tom tells him that it's just another disappointment in a sad world. Johnny slurs something about an "extermination", and Tom becomes a bit less enthusiastic about getting over to the Iron Monkey in 2.5 hours. Tom recommends that Johnny start pacing himself, which prompts him to admit what we already knew: he's sloshed, man. Tom pretends to be surprised to hear about Johnny's intoxication before ordering him to lay down in a back room and switch to water. Tom later said he admired Johnny's speed drinking, but tonight is all about endurance.
- Hesh calls (starts at 27:59) with confidence that Tom might remember him from when he called earlier yesterday to talk about Spider-Man 2. Tom points out that Hesh is a barrel (or maybe a Charles Chips can?) full of mistakes. He tells the new Best Show agitator that he actually called the show last week to talk about Spider-Man 3, a topic Tom swiftly poo-pooed. (At least Hesh was right about that.) Hesh blames his 0-for-2 performance on nerves. Tom's glad to see Hesh's idea of quality radio -- breathily bumbling his way through an error-laden introduction -- compared to the Ls he's been pinning on The Best Show in 2007. Hesh thinks the discord is a result of getting off on the wrong foot during his first call, but Tom tells him that he's just in way over his head. Hesh entered the Big Leagues even though his skills were barely passable in Tee-Ball. Tom imagines that Hesh is consistently hitting himself in the head with the bat after whiffing at his stationary target. The attack leaves Hesh speechless, and Tom GOMPs the little troll. Will Hesh learn his lesson like the Goshen kids? If you throw stones at the throne, you best not miss, son.
- Author Ken Rogers calls (starts at 30:16) to discuss his recent book, Five Steps to Happiness: Incorporating Values Into The Workplace. Tom says it's a great honor to have Rogers on the show because his book had a great impact on him and many of his Consolidated Cardboard co-workers. He was first exposed to the work of Mr. Rogers by a guy in the CC personnel department. He was really into the book and left it in the office in the hopes of other people picking it up. Tom was initially skeptical about the value of the book, and he avoided it for a few weeks. However, he became increasingly curious, so he dove in and responded to the book's central concept of better integrating one's life and work. Tom summarizes Rogers's belief that the life you've established outside of the office shouldn't necessarily be separate from your role in the workplace. He finds this merge particularly important when it comes to decision-making and interpersonal dynamics.
Tom opens the interview by asking Rogers about how your standing in the office hierarchy reflects on your status outside of work. He wonders if the two roles have to remain mutually exclusive. Rogers starts by thanking Tom for his kind words and then says one of the most filthy things Tom's ever heard in his life. He is actually taken aback by the gross riff, which luckily didn't get on the air. Tom says that he can't imagine who would think the expressed thought -- let alone put it into words and then recite them on live radio. While Tom is obviously unable to repeat the offending remarks, it is clear that they had nothing to do with his workplace tome. Tom is shocked that a pretty mainstream author would unleash an impromptu torrent of disgusting stuff. He was expecting a nice chat about office happiness, but he didn't get it.
Rogers calls back to apologize for his outburst. He says that he doesn't know what happened, and he wants to just start the interview over with Tom re-asking his opening question. He also doesn't recall Tom's story about how found out about the book, so Tom repeats that as well. Ken says that Tom's question is funny because his little slip-up reminds him of a related story. He does it again. Tom says that it was more filthy that the first go-round and thanks God for preventing its broadcast once again. At this point, Tom is so horrified that he no longer wants him to call back. He is unable to even infer what Rogers said. Tom says it sounded like a calculated effort, and he suspects that Rogers is diseased. Tom enjoyed the book, but now he's questioning its worth considering the behavior of its sick scribe. Tom was hoping for an informative, helpful interview, but he can't let that toilet mouth on the air. Tom points out that the Rogers debacle has thrown off the pacing for the entire show. He intended to talk to him until 9:10 p.m. A few days ago, an unedited version of this call surfaced on the Internet, but I could only make out a few words of Ken's banned speech: "giraffe", "upside-down", and "Sheila Larson".
- Tom tries to fill (starts at 41:46) the self-help void by discussing Robert Rodriguez's announcement that he will helm the remake of Barbarella. Tom is excited to see how RR can manage to film an erotic science-fiction picture on a self-imposed $4,800 budget. He predicts that it will film inside an Austin elevator and guarantees that Rose McGowan will replace Jane Fonda as the most beautiful creature of the future. Tom also can't wait to see Quentin Tarantino assume Milo O'Shea's role as the evil young scientist Durand Durand. RR regular Danny Trejo will also appear. Tom digs Trejo, but he thinks the ubiquitous genre thesp needs to occasionally sit one out. While RR will drastically cut production costs by shooting the film with his camera phone, he will still charge Tom $11 to see it in a theater.
- Tom unveils (starts at 44:01) the first topic of the evening: Oh God, What Have I Done?. Tom wants to hear about those moments where you should have said "no" to something, but you said "yes" instead. At some point in the future, you realize that you made a huge mistake. You discover that you're trapped in the middle of stuff that you don't want to be in the middle of. Tom is sure that the cast of the GEICO Cavemen
movie (yikes) television series is headed for this fate. Tom imagines one of their agents calling them about an audition for a role as one of the mongoloid marketers everyone was sick of the second time they saw the original commercial. Tom wonders if the cavemen will directly address the audience with a full-on GEICO commercial at the conclusion of their weekly hijinks, such as a trip to the water park to ride the log flumes. He proposes some dialogue where a caveman ("Billy") says that even he knows that quality insurance is a benchmark of everyone's life. Tom hopes they fill the last five minutes of the show with this content.
In Tom's scenario, the agent tells his client that they loved his reading and want him to come back for some chemistry tests with the other cavemen. Tom ponders whether it's a good thing to be told that you were great as a GEICO caveman. He's not one to judge, but he thinks the actors may want to enjoy the Kraft Services while they still have the access. When Cavemen inevitably crashes and burns, they will soon find themselves on the other side of the table making veggie breakfast wraps for the crew of another project. Tom says that if he was cast as a GEICO caveman, he would request a second layer of makeup to ensure that nobody could possibly recognize him. He would ask the makeup artist to disguise him before applying any of the caveman effects. Tom says it must be quite a privilege to show up at 4 a.m. to have caveman goo slathered on your face so you can act in the GEICO laffer. He doesn't think this would be particularly soul-draining.
Tom expects a long, diverse career for everyone on the show, mapping out the same path as performers like Butch Patrick (Edward Munster) and Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Adams). He points out that once you get one these kinds of shows, it's all ova. The bell rings, and you are kicked through the door of time. Tom forgets to mention the perk of eventual invitations to be panel guest at weird horror/sci-fi/fontasy conventions. Come see Kane Hodder! One night only: Tuesday Knight! The GEICO Cavemen dudes! Only East Coast appearance this year! Tom notes the extreme difficulty of emerging from a cartoon makeup show with their dignity intact. He has trouble naming one actor who really pulled it off before establishing "Grandpa" Al Lewis as the gold standard of respectability. Tom says the GEICO cavemen can only hope to strive for that dubious level of respect. They are also at a disadvantage because Lewis acted for 90 years before his stint on The Munsters. He got his showbiz licks in before donning the cape and whiteface.
Tom suggests that the GEICO players consult Cha-Ka, the chimpanzee-like humanoid from Land of the Lost, to find out how his career turned out. While striving for Cha-Ka territory is a likely acting dead-end, the creature genre can also be a dangerous gateway to more serious problems. Tom points out that Max Wright, who played the dad on A.L.F., ended up smoking crack cocaine just because he acted next to an alien puppet. He couldn't take it. Tom says he would commit suicide if he was on the GEICO Cavemen show. Then again, he might stick around to see if he could land a part in The Olive Garden's series based on the commercial where the mother searches for her "handsome date"/son. While that spot is definitely ripe for an adaptation, I think it might work better as a miniseries. Tagline: The Thorn Birds with baked ziti and brown lettuce! I think Andy Milonakis would be perfect for the kid.
The Oh God, What Have I Done? topic is all about this kind of stuff. The equivalent of the GEICO cavemen lying awake at night when they may say to themselves, "My God, what have I done?!"
- Hardcore Pat calls (starts at 51:39) from D.C., so Tom reasonably assumes that he's been listening to some Embrace or The High Back Chairs. Not so much. Since Pat just moved to the area from Buffalo, he's more into hometown bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Green Jellÿ. Tom thinks a lot of good music is coming out of Buffalo, New York.
Pat says his OGWHID? isn't as dramatic as the GEICO cavemen's descent into the acting abyss, but it does involve another supposed entertainment. He mentions that he would watch Cavemen if they were simply acting out old I Love Lucy scripts. Tom is waiting for the episode where two of the cavemen have a falling out and put tape across the middle of their shared room. Dramedy would ensue because one half contained the telephone, while the other half boasted the bathroom. Pat says that a few years ago he spent a summer babysitting some 10-year-old ADHD rich kids. Their lawyer parents left him some money one day, so he thought it would be fun to check out Ang Lee's Hulk moviefilm. Bad idea. Pat secured some snacks and strapped the little firecrackers into their seats, but then he couldn't even figure it out. The kids asked him what was going on, and he didn't have an answer. The bottom line is that a weird, monster-morphing Nick Nolte does not equal summertime kiddie fun. Tom questions the decision to have a guy who hates comic books direct a comic book movie. He would love to see Ang Lee guest direct an episode of GEICO Cavemen. Pat says he would pay to see that. Tom considers organizing full-on GEICO Cavemen "Laugh At This" parties for to fill the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip void. Pat laughs at that. D.C. Pride!
- Ted Leo, a pro rock star, calls (starts at 56:10) to say he's working on a sitcom based on his new Touch & Go record Living with the Living, which is available in stores right now. Tom thinks it would have been great if Ted was of an earlier generation so he could be a guest on "Rockline". Ted says he was more of a fan of the delightful idiot Vin Scelsa. Tom would fight the 60-year-old Scelsa and defeat him by pulling that stupid beret over his eyes. Tom would defend himself against anyone from a child to a 100-year-old if they stepped to him. Not women, though. Tom was listening to the Ghostface Killah's "Back Like That" where he says that he's too much of a man to put a mark on a lady. Tom admires the policy, but he thinks it's just a result of being a regular man and not an animal. The lady in question was fooling around with some other dude. Ghostface has no qualms about whipping him with a strap like a Nobridge belt-whipper.
Before getting to the topic, Ted reads half a sentence from a review of the extended cut of Death Proof that was shown in Cannes. Tom cracks himself up by saying that the film is more suitable for the Can't Film Festival. The critic says (warns?) that the longer version of the film features a "much slower build." Tom is pleased that QT decided to take the 55 minutes of four boring snoozes talking about boring stuff and let it breathe a bit more. Ted hasn't seen the film, so he's happy that he can't contribute to the discussion. Despite his constant assault on the film, Tom can't wait to see the full version. He disturbs himself by announcing that he will see it on opening day. Tom pictures himself going to the theater solo, uttering the "1 for Death Proof" ticket request, sitting down, and emerging two hours later, wondering why he did it. Ted's theory is that Tom has to stoke the fires every week and, in the spirit of General George S. Patton, study the playbooks of his enemies. This strategy explains Tom's continued consumption of Kevin Smith product.
He heads over to Silent Bob Speaks to let Ted know about an upcoming View Askew birthday meet-up at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. The flier for the event suggests an endurance test that far exceeds two hours of Death Proof: "The last Q&A I did at the Basie was the longest I've ever done: eight hours. If you're an east coaster, and remotely interested in my b s hit, you've gotta be there. If you're not an east coaster, I'll make it worth the trip." Tom can't imagine strapping himself in for a marathon session filled by the unrepentant toilet mouth telling seven stories about Linda Fiorentino on the set of Dogma. He suspects there will be a lot of "A" in the Q&A session. The sick thing is that Tom is considering going, but he has to draw the line to retain some dignity. Tom can understand the $25-$75 ticket prices because it's expensive to put on a Martin Brodeur jersey, baggy shorts, and Chuck Taylors. Ted mentions the additional cost of Thayers® Slippery Elm lozenges to keep the voice in shape. Tom compares Kevin's big-time production values to Andrew Lloyd Weber's rollerskating rock musical "Starlight Express".
Getting back to his OGWHID?, Ted says he once took a brief summer job working a corporate family picnic at a camp in West Jersey. He and both of his younger brothers accepted a gig playing cereal box characters to entertain the kids for the day. Ted immediately called Sugar Bear, the anthropomorphic cartoon mascot for Sugar Crisp cereal, while his brothers settled for Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The picnic took place on July 30th, so it was it was a scorcher. Ted pulled the costume out of the box and saw a form-fitting, life-sized, velour bear suit, complete with a giant head. The mouth was the eyehole. The Fred and Barney gear was inflated with a fan, so his brothers could bounce around the picnic amidst circulated air. Ted says he was sweating bullets throughout his 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. shift. He was also blinded by the sliding head piece, so he had to bite down on the back of the Nerf® tongue to keep it upright. All of the kids peered into the mouth and called him out for being a person in disguise. By 10:30 a.m, Ted was wondering how he managed to get inside a velour bear suit on a hot summer day. Tom points out that Ted was not the first person to bite down on that tongue. Some guy did it on the 29th. After all these years, Ted had never considered that unpleasantness. Tom says that Ted could have parlayed this gig into a spot in The Flaming Lips if he maintained that kind of costumery. Tom says that nobody is better than Ted Leo.
- Susannah calls (starts at 1:08) to tell everyone that the FOTs have ascended to the roof of The Iron Monkey. She reports that there are 15-20 people listening to the show, not just a bunch of general principle alcoholics floating around. Susannah says she hopes it's acceptable that she brought Tom some Tastykakes and Peanut Chews from Philadelphia. Tom approves of the snacks and promises to sample some Butterscotch Krimpets during his brief tour. He wonders if Susannah knows what he looks like because he may send Mike up in his place. Tom later admits that he fears that Johnny may push him off the roof in a drunken stupor, causing him to fall to his death a la Martin Sheen in The Departed. Yes, Tom saw the film, and he kinda liked it due to having low expectations.
Susannah also has an OGWHID? entry, and Tom thinks it might be showing up at The Iron Monkey. Susannah says she's glad she came and plans to jump on the Double Deuce to visit her parents in Scotch Plains after the event. Her hometown will be hosting the next FOT gathering, which will take place on the bumper cars at the Bowcraft Amusement Park. She mentions that the bumper cars appeared in the movie North, featuring a young Elijah Wood, John Ritter, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Tom says this is one of his favorite movies of all-time. He has an autographed poster of the entire cast. Susannah wonders if Wood's appearance in The Lord of the Rings series cancels out Tom's fandom of him. Tom says he didn't sign the poster. He actually only had the crew sign it.
In her freshmen year of college, Susannah got asked out by a guy who she was warned against because he had a drug problem. Since she considered herself to be a goody-goody, it seemed like a rebellious and exciting opportunity. She accepted his offer. He kept blinking and twitching throughout the awkward date, and Susannah attributed his sudden movements to the after-effects of his rampant and well-documented drug use. She later discovered that he was afflicted with Tourette's syndrome. Susannah says she felt terribly alone for making fun of him. Tom feels that she has sufficiently repented and gives her permission to move on with her moral compass intact. Susannah promises that she won't do it again. I would recommend one final penance: air drum those memories into oblivion!
- Crimestick in Sweden calls (starts at 1:12) at 3:12 a.m. his time on a regular phone, not a crazy computer phone. He's a legit citizen of the country unlike the caller last week, and Tom gets him to admit that the Alabama interloper got him a little mad. Tom thinks the comedy duo Flight of the Conchords is from Sweden, but Crimestick informs him that they hail from New Zealand, which isn't really close to Sweden. Tom wishes that he could afford one of these maps he's heard so much about.
Crimestick's OGWHID? involves his helping his friend move from the city of Copenhagen to the city of Stockholm. They packed a van full of stuff, and his friend tricked him into coming along for the 100-mile jaunt. (Crimestick issued a post-show correction: it was actually 600 miles!) He rented the van in Copenhagen, and he needed someone to drive it back. Crimestick started the return trip and got hit by the worst storm of the century in Sweden. Ice and snow. Trees falling in front of the van. His knuckles turning white as he grasped the steering wheel. At this moment, he wondered what he had gotten himself into. However, Crimestick says he got through the ordeal thanks to his .mp3 player, which was filled with calming Best Show archives. Tom is very heartened to hear this, but, unfortunately, he will have sue Crimestick for violating international law by possessing unlicensed .mp3s.
Tom asks Crimestick to name the best thing about Sweden, and he says right now it's the weather and food. He's particularly fond of carpaccio, aka
rolled thinly-sliced raw beef. I've since discovered that this is the national dish of Sweden. Crimestick says the worst thing about Sweden is the guy who called last week, i.e., sleazy Americans who misrepresent his homeland. Tom mentions that the guy last week was touting Sweden's famous ladies, and Mike passes him a note. He wants to know if Crimestick has any 8mm stag films he can send him. Crimestick wants Tom to pass along Mike's address, but Tom doesn't want to encourage this international prevert transaction.
- Tom says (starts at 1:20) that while watching Sunday night's episode of The Sopranos, he realized that he relates to Tony's struggles -- a guy from Jersey just trying to keep things moving along. The bane of his existence? These jerks in New York who think the world revolves around them. Tom tells them that they are not the kings of the mountain. Tom thinks the OGWHID? topic is a dud. Another Hesh's Delight. The ultimate hater loves it when things turf out, so he's probably doing a little weird Hesh dance right now.
- Evan in Providence calls (starts at 1:23) as he's recovering from a weird flash-flu he came down with last night. He tries to revive the topic and put an end to Hesh's gyrations. Evan's OGWIHD? relates to his time teaching cartooning to teenagers about a year ago. The classes went really well, so his bosses asked him to pick up an additional class for 8- to 11-year-olds. The money was good, and it seemed like fun. It wasn't. He showed up on a Saturday for his first three-hour session and despite not being a certified medical doctor, he quickly diagnosed some of the kids as having major mental problems. The more stable kids were dropped off by their parents armed with two Cokes, some candy, and funnel cakes. Evan says it was complete anarchy after 30 minutes. Tom thinks it was a good idea to get the kids' hands all shaky from caffeine before doing some drawing. The first class was rocky, and it got a bit rockier from there after the TA stopped showing up. Evan realized that the kids preferred playing bumper cars with their rolly chairs. It was an eight-week course. Evan signed a contract, so he couldn't back out. He adopted a new strategy of coming up with ways to allow them to safely run around and get tired out. Evan says that one kid told him that he hated drawing, and his parents forced him to attend the classes. Evan got through it, finding some mirth within all the mayhem. He didn't run away like a coward and hide from the world.
- Erika from Baltimore calls (starts at 1:26) to lament the poor play of The Orioles since the mid-1990s. Mr. Cal Ripken is long gone. As is Gus Triandos. She attended an arts school in Pittsburgh, and she made an OGWHID?-y decision to move into an apartment with people she barely knew after the first quarter. Her future roommates were going to drop out of school, but they promised Erika that they were going to get jobs within a month. Erika went back to Bawlmer to get her stuff, and when she returned to school they had no jobs. This was the beginning of a horrific 10-month odyssey in a sparsely furnished apartment with 10 different people sleeping in her living room. Erika was in her hippie phase, so she established a communal fund to feed everyone. She says the animals she lived with sustained themselves with pre-packaged cheese slices.
- Maggie calls (starts at 1:29) from Chicago, the land of hot dogs, pizza, and wind. A friend told her about the Tiffany Network's new reality show called Kid Nation. She thinks it could rival Cavemen in its ability to elicit cries of OGWHID? from its cast. The show will place 40 kids (age 8-15) in a ghost town to see if they can create a functioning society. The kids will have to grow their own plants and will get rewarded with gold coins that they can exchange for shots root beer shots at a local saloon. Each week, one kid will have to beg to go home because he's having such a horrible time. The eventual winner gets a whorehouse, a case of whiskey, and some canned peaches. Tom doesn't care about seeing kids interact, but he will probably watch the first episode nine times. He thinks he has a genetic defect that draws him to bad television.
- Susie in Manhattan calls (starts at 1:31) to continue the female flurry. Three in a row! A rare Best Show hat trick. Tom points out that while the ladies are out in full force tonight, it's usually just one lone call at 10:58 followed by a week of Spike, Petey, and Captain Jack voice-offs. Susie had a cozy job working on a campaign, and it was so stressful that she completely lost her appetite. She started smoking again and eventually treated herself to cookies so she wouldn't be so dizzy from hunger. The cookies were not that appealing either, but she got used to it. Susie says that now she's not as stressed, but she craves cookies. She got hooked. Her favorite cookies are the regular Pepperidge Farm Milanos (more subtle than the double chocolate) and childhood classics like Oreos and Chips-Ahoy. Susie knows that she should probably buy freshly-made cookies from a bakery, but she responds to the store-bought junk of her youth. She will sometimes store a big Black & White cookie in her drawer so on a really stressful day at work, she can either cry or scarf it down.
Tom starts to get a bit concerned that Susie is stuck in a downward cookie spiral. She assures him that she's never spoken to a cookie. A cookie has never instructed her to strangle her boss. Tom tells Susie to go cold turkey and throw all of her cookies out the window. Tom thinks she should replace them with something healthy like juice. Susie is resistant to make the switch because of the high sugar content in juice, but Tom was talking about good juice -- actual liquefied fruit, not HI-C. Tom points out that a mound of Oreos also contains a fair amount of sugar. Tom GOMPs her to fulfill his one GOMP/hour quota. He thought Susie was nice, but he had to get rid of her. I think Susie might meet Tom halfway and head over to Newbridge Commons for some fudge fruit!
- A caller requests (starts at 1:49) something from the new Lovely Boys CD. Tom doesn't think he has that record in the library, so the caller asks for something by The Craigs, Ted Jacobs and The Now, Sherbert Falls, The Album, The Sleestaks, Denny Leonard and the Lemmons, September Gurgles, The Zoom, Darren Robbins and the Rockstars, Sugar Pie Four, The Bingles, Failure Time, or Witchypoo. Tom doesn't have those either. The caller asks him to cue up something from ! I Love You The Ghost Of Ann B. Davis. No luck. The caller also strikes out with The Menthols, Larry Neville and The Fun, Bam Bam, Candy-Coated Sugar Smacks, and Rick and The Backers. The caller gives up and tells Tom to just play anything by any of the bands on the bill for the festival this coming weekend. Tom says he wasn't aware of any festival, and the caller thinks he must be kidding. He was referring to Poptastrophe 2007, a huge Power Pop festival set to take place down near the Newbridge dock. Tom thinks he may have seen a flier for the event, and the caller is sure that he's seen a lot of fliers.
Tom has never attended a big pop festival, and the caller predicts that Poptastrophe 2007 will be bigger than the Paisely Pop-A-Thon held in Des Moines last year. He's certain that it will make January's Popadelphia Pop Nation look like Poptopia 2002. The later fest was a disaster because Mick Rain, the drummer for Pezband, missed his flight and didn't arrive until The Bill Bixbies were finishing their set. The caller says that Poptastrophe 2007 starts Friday morning with a kickoff breakfast buffet at Captain's Donuts, which will also host the post-show buffet on Sunday night. The caller thinks Tom should attend the festival, but Tom's not sure if he could endure an entire festival devoted to Power Pop. He likes the genre, but he feels the music can get very samey-sounding when it's being shoveled at you in large, repeated doses. The caller doesn't think Tom should say that stuff like that, and he wonders what would happen if Quad-P heard these opinions. Quad-P is Power Pop Pop-Pop, the self-proclaimed "President of Power Pop" who is organizing Poptasrophe 2007.
The caller thinks Tom has probably seen the older Newbridge resident around town with his super-dyed black Beatles haircut, tight pants, and vintage The Knack t-shirt. Power Pop Pop-Pop rides around town in a soapbox derby sidecar so his whole life is built around going downhill. Tom thinks he saw him yelling at someone at the CD Submarine. The caller confirms that he was in fact yelling at someone in the shop. Power Pop Pop-Pop told the caller the tale of his trip to CD Submarine to pick up some remastered Greg Kihn discs containing his pre-Jeopardy" material when he was doing the double-P with the Teardrop Guitar. The clerk was supposed to hold him one for, but he forgot. Power Pop Pop-Pop tried to throw him through the store's porthole.
The caller says that Power Pop Pop-Pop's life was completely changed after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show when he was 14. PPPP was on track to become an engineer, but that was all over once he became addicted to Beatlesesque rock and pop. He was consumed by the music and began publishing a fanzine called Keep The Beat. The caller says that PPPP claims to be the only person to ever publish a career-spanning retrospective on Dave Smalley. Tom knows the name, and the caller thinks he should because he has a radio show. Tom was unaware that he was required to be a Power Pop encyclopedia, and the caller reveals Smalley as the bassist from The Raspberries. He calls Tom a dummy under his breath, and Tom apologizes for his failure to immediately link Smalley to the band.
PPPP also played in various Quint Cities bands from the 1960s up through the 1990s, such as The Need, The Hurt, The Yes, The No, and The Maybe. The caller says none of them really took off. At this point, Tom is compelled to say that he thinks he dies a little bit every time he utters the name "Power Pop Pop-Pop." The caller doesn't understand why, and he says the "Pop-Pop" is simply a common nickname for one's grandfather. Tom thinks that makes it worse, and he wonders if PPPP is an actual grandfather. The caller says that he's single and set for life. His dad is Reginald Fleer, the super-rich detective who became famous for consulting on mob cases in the 1980s. Fleer worked on the case involving Carmine Robatello's attempted takedown of Freddy "The Hotdog Machine" Kleinfarber at The Ice Hole, an Italian ice stand on Pancake Avenue. After a big shootout, Officer Harrups's father, who was the Mayor of Newbridge at the time, gave the go-ahead to drop a crate of old grenades on everyone. The Neubridge bomb left a big crater. Tom mentions that this incident is one of the only things Newbridge is known for outside of the area. The caller is glad they filled up the hole with colored marbles and paved it over to erase all of the bad memories and help people move on. The caller is pretty sure that Fleer consulted on the first few seasons of Columbo before he made a name for himself in the organized crime world. More recently, he's been frequently referenced on The Shout! Network series The Goombahs.
Tom says he will try to check out the show, and the caller wants him to also check out PPPP's mansion on Newbridge Mews. The caller pronounces it "Mo-us" instead of "Muse". He appears to be a bit embarrassed that he's said it incorrectly for his entire life. Power Pop Pop-Pop calls his huge estate the Power Pop Palace. As is the wont of some people, PPPP requires you to take your shoes off before entering the residence, but then he makes you put on a pair of Beatle BootsBeatle boots. He has them in every size imaginable, including one pair of 14.5s just in case any pro basketball players stop by the PP Palace. Tom says that PPPP is nothing if not well prepared. I did some research and discovered that the following current NBA players are on record as PP fans: Marcus Williams (he drummed for The Candy Cane Parade during his freshmen year at UCONN), Scot Pollard (recently sold a rare Blue Ash 7" for $425 on eBay), and J.J. Reddick (he once played a Spinning Jennies track on WXDU.)
The caller says that PPPP may be prepared for any guest, but he's also really tough to be around. Tom wants to hear more details, and he's in luck because the caller is loose-lipped after having a couple of glasses of wine. He says that PPPP is more like a Power Pop dictator than a lovable grandfather. Many in the PP community call him as "Pol Pop" behind his back, a reference to Pol Pot, the unlovable Cambodian dictator. Tom wonders how someone rises to power as a Power Pop dictator. The caller says that he earned the title by living Power Pop for his entire life. If PPPP hears about an ultra-rare Bram Tchaikovsky 7" in Japan, he will buy a ticket that day to go get it. The caller says people respect a man who will travel to the other side of the world to acquire a piece of PP history. However, he laments that PPPP is so by-the-book when it comes to PP music. For example, Big Star is a little too out there for him. The caller says he can handle "In the Street", "The Ballad of El Goodo", and "September Gurls", by that's about it. He considers the rest of their catalog "art rock." Tom thinks that is a pretty stringent Power Pop policy, and the caller says that PPPP's idea of the perfect pop song is The Children's "You're My Baby", a deep cut from the obscure band's lone 1979 album on Bomp!. He compares it to The Paul Collins Beat's "Rock and Roll Girl" and sings a bit of that tune's chorus. PPPP gets down on bands that deviate from what he calls "textbook Power Pop."
Tom wonders why it's such a big deal to not fit into his vision of the world, but the caller points out that he's a very powerful figure in the PP scene. PPPP is able to pay all of the authentic PP bands very well, so they don't want to ruffle his feathers by straying offbook. The caller admits that he's getting $7,000 for each call he makes to local radio stations to promote the bands playing Poptastrophe 2007. He says he will tell PPPP that he made at least a hundred calls, but he will actually stop after this call, his first of the evening. The caller used to be into PP, but all this Power Pop Pop-Pop stuff has tainted his enjoyment of the music. He's also not too pleased with the whole PPPP-Robbie Rist rift. Rist, who played Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch, became a multi-instrumentalist and big PP supporter. Rist will not be attending Poptastrophe because he and PPPP had a falling out after Rist didn't ask PPPP to participate in a Dwight Twilley documentary he was putting together. PPPP felt slighted so he didn't get any Rist quotes for Shake Some Action, his forthcoming 1,200-page oral history about The Flamin' Groovies song. PPPP wrote the book for the 45 RPM series, a single-centric takeoff on the 33 1/3 series. Tom is baffled by the length of the book considering the 33 1/3 album books are only around 100 pages long. (I'm currently working on a 45 RPM tome for Psychotic Norman's "Davy Jones' Watercooler". Look for it in the Fall of 2009.) The caller says that PPPP has already written five or six 45 RPM series books under different names, including epic entries on The Raspberries' "Go All The Way", Fotomaker's "Where Have You Been All My Life", Cheap Trick's "Surrender", The Beatles' "Day Tripper", and "She's Got It" by The Chords.
The caller says he tried to read some of the books, but he couldn't do it. He says that people in the PP scene joke with PPPP about how he's encroaching on Vincent Bugliosi's turf. The longtime prosecutor and Helter Skelter scribe recently published the 1632-page Reclaiming History: The Assassinaton of John F. Kennedy. The caller says that PPPP doesn't laugh at these jokes, and he actually can't recall ever seeing PPPP laugh or smile at anything. Tom thought that Power Pop was supposed to be fun music, but the caller says PPPP takes it very seriously. He once saw him spank a guy in The Records (my guess is that it was John Wicks) because he heard him talking about a sitar. The imposing PPPP put the adult man over his knee and delivered the punishment. Tom thinks this is absurd behavior. The caller says PPPP rejects keyboards and any instruments he classifies as "drug-related", such as sitars, violins, and cellos. He's only interested in the classic Power Pop quartet -- guitar, guitar, bass, and drums. Every band playing Poptastrophe adheres to this formula. The caller says that PPPP once tried to throw Bill Janovitz from Buffalo Tom out of a window. He told him that his band was a disgrace to Power Pop. Tom tells the caller that BT is not PP, but this obviously didn't phase PPPP.
The caller says the worst PPPP altercation was when he attacked Micky Dolenz during a show on The Monkees 1986 reunion tour. Tom definitely wants to hear about because Dolenz is on his s hitlist after snubbing him at a party. Tom expressed his admiration for Head, and Dolenz didn't care. Shameful. The caller points out that on that tour Dolenz played a Simmons pad in lieu of a traditional drum set. This allowed him to stand at the front of the stage and sing via a headset. When PPPP saw the electronic drums, he lost it. He ran onto the stage, shove Dolenz, and started throwing the PP contraband into the audience. PPPP cut a girl in the face with the shrapnel. Tom thinks this is terrible. The girl successfully sued PPPP for significant damages, but PPPP recouped his losses by winning his own lawsuit against Dolenz. The caller says that Judge Davies ruled that Dolenz was legally responsible for PPPP's rampage because of the extent to which he strayed from the tenets of textbook PP. Tom isn't surprised that the troubled -- and recently disbarred -- Davies would issue such a dubious ruling. The caller thinks that PPPP received at least $800,000 from Dolenz. Tom considers the judgment a lose-lose -- he's glad that Hate Pit resident Dolenz lost, but he's not happy that PPPP netted such a large sum.
The caller says the worst thing PPPP does is "pop" you. Tom wants to know how Power Pop Pop-Pop pops people. The caller says that PPPP uses a weapon called "The Popper". It's the size of a small handgun, but it's shaped like a Rickenbacher bass. When PPPP pulls The Popper's trigger, it shoots out rocks that he makes by hardening concentrated garbage in the oven. The caller says the makeshift artillery really hurts, and Tom thinks the garbage balls are disgusting. Power Pop Pop-Pop's pops are aimed to punish people, and nobody questions the violence because he's too powerful. The caller says that PPPP has a special Popper for women that's "just plain awful." Tom doesn't want to hear about it. The caller says he's currently in a little office in a lair that PPPP has in his PP Palace. Tom wants to hear about this lair, and the caller says their old friend Mr. Heidnick has nothing on Power Pop Pop-Pop. He doesn't think any murdering is going down, but the lair definitely has a disturbing dungeon vibe.
The lair, however, is not quite as disturbing as the fact that The Resistance are also playing the Poptastrophe festival. Tom isn't familiar with this PP band, and the caller thinks that's probably for the best. Tom assumes that they are approved by PPPP if they are on the bill, but the caller is very hesitant about this particular band. The caller has to get the other line, and it's PPPP checking in on his progress. The caller tells an angry PPPP that he's been making calls all night with good results. Yikes. PPPP believed him because he stopped listening to the radio to avoid smashing his car again. The caller says that PPPP once shot his car off a bridge after hearing a latter-day Greg Kihn song. He jumped out of the vehicle just in time. Hence the sidecar. Tom thought PP music was about good times and falling in love, but the caller assures him that he won't be hearing any of that if he listens to The Resistance. They are a White Power Pop band. The caller says they have become a real dilemma for the PP community because while nobody likes their message, they are generally considered one of the best PP bands of the last decade on purely musical grounds. The caller says their songs are like if Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels wrote lyrics for The Rubinoos. The Resistance are signed to the Panzerfaust label, which Tom heard about from two-inch racist Timmy von Trimble. The caller wonders how TvT was able to use a phone. Tom blocked out that information. He kicks the receiver off the cradle and jumps on the buttons! The caller says the songs are technically amazing, but they are ultimately undone by WP lyrics.
He starts to get nervous because he thinks he hears PPPP's sidecar pull up outside the PP Palace. Tom asks the caller if any of the PP bands he likes -- Tommy Keene, Velvet Crush, The Posies -- are playing Poptastrophe. The caller explains that those guys want nothing to do with this whole scene because they think PPPP is really creepy. The caller knows where they would get that idea, and he's about to find out a little more because PPPP is coming into the lair right now. The caller says that he's armed with The Popper, and he tells Tom that he may or may not see him this weekend. Tom says he won't be attending Poptastrophe just as the caller gets popped by Power Pop Pop-Pop's Popper. After reacting to the pain of the The Popper's pop, he promises Power Pop Pop-Pop that he will start making more promotional calls.
- Martin in Edison calls (starts at 2:20) to say the show is heading for a W, and he doesn't want Tom to go soft in the last 40 minutes. He thinks Tom is usually swinging for the fences, but tonight's show is more evenly-paced. Tom's not sure what he means. Martin continues the baseball analogy, saying that when there is a guy on third base, Tom will sometimes try to crush the ball instead of just singling him home. Tom doesn't see any problems with his slugging, but Martin says he sometimes strikes out. Tom doesn't know what he's talking about. He's not worth a GOMP, so Tom just gives him a Goodbye. I suspect Martin was about to compare Tom to Dave Kingman.
- Tom proposes (starts at 2:22) a new topic based on a conversation he had with a friend about Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'N Roll". He was particularly struck by the lyric in which Joan expresses her love for the genre and then requests that someone put another dime in the jukebox so she can continue to hear some rock. Tom notes that the cost has increased to $4 to hear two tunes from those fancy-schmancy Internet-enabled jukeboxes. Mike hates those because they have access to death metal. Tom doesn't think death metal should be transmitted over a jukebox, but that's the way it goes in lawless Williamsburg. He wonders if any families have ever accidentally booked a trip to Williamsburg, Brooklyn instead of the historic district Colonial Williamsburg, Virgina. While they expected to see people in old-timey garb, they would likely be puzzled by the weird guy in the $200 ironic Ratt t-shirt (and, presumably, white belt) and all the tall bikers. Tom says that even if you get three songs for $1, the cost has skyrocketed true the roof since 1981. Tom wants to hear more examples of Insane Inflation. Mike says cereal, and Tom adds comic books -- 35 cents in 1978 to $3.50 today.
- A caller says (starts at 2:25) arcade games have inflated to $2.50 to play Tekken 6 for 30 seconds as people crowd around to watch you get whupped on the big screen. He longs for the days of the Ms. Pac-Man machine at the 7-11, dropping a mere quarter for 9-12 minutes of good-time entertainment.
- A caller puts (starts at 2:27) pay phones on the list. He paid $1 for a call from Manhattan to New Jersey. He thinks it used to cost a nickel, but Tom's not sure about that. They both agree that it certainly wasn't $1.
- A caller says (starts at 2:27) that it's becoming increasingly expensive to be hygienic these days. He's looking for new options because he spends $25 on a supply of turlet paper and paper towels that only last a week. Tom gets rid of him for referring to cleanliness "down there" -- what Zachary Brimstead, Esq. would call "undercarriage maintenance" -- like he's some kind of dog.
- Justin calls (starts at 2:28) from Chester, NY, where not a damn thing ever happens. He's going to stick around with his family for now, but he hopes to escape to Mexico fairly soon. Justin mentions that the price of CDs have remained constant for all of eternity, still clinging to that absurd $15.99 sticker. Tom is old, so he remembers when CDs were first introduced. At the time, the prevailing wisdom was that they would be expensive until the format took off, and then the price floor would fall out. No such luck. Tom tells Justin to stay in his parents' basement and hide from this sick world.
- A caller remembers (starts at 2:30) the good old days when a slice of pizza could be had for a mere 55 cents compared to the $2.00 of today. Tom says it depends where you eat your pizza because he can get cheaper slices at the Hess station. The caller says he was referring to some decent pizza at Union Market. Tom doesn't appreciate the Hess diss, and he asks the caller if he's ever sampled any of their pies. The caller says he thankfully has never even seen it in there. Tom was unaware that he was talking to Mario Bataglia. He GOMPs the caller for trying to make him feel bad about liking gas station grub. Tom doesn't appreciate the snobatorium attitude of "foodies". He argues that it's just eating, and he's not too stupid to know when he's eating good stuff and when he's eating junk.
- Dustin calls (starts at 2:32) from D.C., but he's not at the Dischord house listening to the Teen Idles, S.O.A., or that Egg Hunt single. He left the local punk scene in search of the quiet life. Dustin points out that cans of vending machine soda that used to cost 25 cents will now run you $1. Tom doesn't know how the cost of soda quadrupled, but it makes him mad. He thinks the topic is making him sound like a grouch, but he's really just fascinated by the inflation of consumer goods and services. He switches the topic to People Who Make You Feel Bad in honor of the guy who was showing off with his love of high-end pizza. Tom doesn't like people who make him feel like he should be eating Whoppers like a GEICO caveman.
[REMAINDER OF RECAP LOST DUE TO TECHNICAL GLITCHERY.]
W. 2007 Best Show record improves to 18-0.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Hesh calls to get Tom's take on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Tom discusses Roger Scharpling's Memorial Day rampage after Dom passed him some imported mustard, Josh in Miami calls to talk about the prices of hot roll steel and titanium, and Pancake Promenade proprietor Paul Pritchett praises the potent Poptastrophe performance of Penny and the Popsicles.
Take us home, filthmouth Cousin Oliver: