Field of Dreams.
"You know if you see some DJ dancing ... he's dancing? Not a DJ. He's a guy with a fast Internet connection." -- Tom, preferring the throwback stylings of sore-backed DJ Ted Shred to the laptop chowderheads
"He's got that friendly, super-warm, Everyman quality. He doesn't seem like a bullying blowhard at all." -- Tom on endearing Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson
"Is that the one on the horse or in the pool?" -- Tom, asking Mark in Toronto about his country's beloved lacrosse
"If you're a giant robot, be a giant robot!" -- Tom, giving the Transformers a pep talk
"It looks like if Paul Simon was a balloon, somebody poked a hole in the Paul Simon balloon, and it's slowly leaking air." -- Tom on the music man's Imus-y flesh
"You might as well walk around with a nice little hand-crafted statue then and talk into that. This looks nice, too!" -- Tom, giving Monica an idea for a more cost-effective "phone"
“Man, isn’t Weird-O-Wood too much?” -- Philly Boy Roy on the excessiveness of his new favorite town
“Between you and me? Being a little bit of a pain in my keyster.” -- Philly Boy Roy on belligerent Wawa recording artist Ben Gibbard
“I didn’t make the rules up. Omelette Ertegun did!” -- Philly Boy Roy on the legacy of the famed Atlantic Records mogul
“He says it’s like Home Improvement meets Nashville.” -- Philly Boy Roy, revealing Roy Jr.'s tagline for his adaptation of How To Fix A Broken Hearth
"Not much of a reader, are you?" -- Tom on Philly Boy Roy's struggles to recite his son's list of recommended films
“Who’s she?” -- Philly Boy Roy, asking about Oriential film legend Akira Kurosawa
"His name is James Gandolfini. I think he'd make a great mafia guy." -- Philly Boy Roy on his dream casting for the lead in The Loch Ness Mobster
"He said he found his films 'crettenous' and 'ABhorrent'. That sounds like high praise to me, don't it?" -- Philly Boy Roy on Joff Stallone's take on his uncle's cinematic ouevre
"Did the main rat look like Kevin Costner?" -- Tom, trying to determine if Philly Boy Roy screened Ratatouille or Mr. Brooks
"Note to self: maybe don't do that no more. Or maybe just only take four." -- Philly Boy Roy, issuing a reminder to at least scale back on his pre-film 'shrooming
"I guarantee it. There's no possible way anything could possibly go wrong." -- Philly Boy Roy on his impending, Philly-style success
"If I went to the dark side and decided to become a criminal, I would be the best criminal you ever saw." -- Tom on his theoretical and highly successful lapse into lawlessness
"Those creeps out in Brooklyn, those anarchists ... they hate you, but I love you." -- Tom, sending out Birds of Avalon's "Bicentennial Baby" to Lady Liberty
Enuff Z'Nuff - "New Thing"
( Click here to buy Enuff Z'Nuff)
Melt Banana - "Crow's Paint Brush (Color Repair)"
( Click here to buy Bambi's Dilemma)
Birds of Avalon - "Horse Called Dust"
( Click here to buy Bazaar Bazaar)
Meat Puppets - "New Leaf"
( Click here to pre-order Rise To Your Knees)
Thurston Moore - "Fri/End" (from the forthcoming Trees Outside The Academy)
( Click here to visit the Ecstatic Peace headquarters)
Caribou - "Eli" (from the forthcoming Andorra)
( Click here to visit D. Snaith's Merge headquarters)
The Anniversary - "Crooked Crown"
( Click here to buy Your Majesty)
The Rentals - "Little Bit Of You In Everything"
Ambrosia - "Cowboy Star"
( Click here to buy Somewhere I've Never Travelled)
My Bloody Valentine (ft. Ira Kaplan & Hope Sandoval) - "Field of Waves" (from Creation Myth, due in early 2008)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. HERE WE GO! You may listen to it four days later on your iPod/Phone, but this show -- Part 2 of "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Murder" -- went down LIVE! One take. The Zen Arcade of radio mirth.
The guy who hosts that old music show walked in and scared Tom right as he was about to execute the perfect transitional cue from NOU into the theme music. The Kid was thrown off his game, so the show is already operating from an 11-0 deficit. Tom points out that he's referring to a basketball tally, so the coach just called a quick 20-second TO to regroup and set up a go-to play (the trusty "picket fence" to free Mike the Associate Producer for an open jumper) to get something on the board. If it was hockey, Tom would just go home right now.
Thus Spoke Scharpling: This clip cuts off just before Kubrick's music credit
Tom is still struggling to get used to his new Gary Owens-style microphone, and he compares its gimbaled glory to talking into the space shuttle in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was recently arguing with someone about whether Kubrick wrote the music for the film. Mike the Associate Producer says he didn't, but Tom would almost wager everything he owns that he saw an "Original Music Composed By Stanley Kubrick" credit on the screen. He performs a sample from An der schönen blauen Donau op. 314, which may have been written by Kubrick. I found some online sources that attribute that composition to a guy named Johann Straus II, Esq.. Tom also has some memory of Kubrick performing his his 2001 music on a television variety show. The director was joined by a seal playing a row of horns. Tom says Kubrick was really proud of his musical mammal, but he's not sure if he actually trained it. Sounds like Mike and Tom should make a cinebet!
It's 4th of July Eve (perhaps Roger Scharpling took the family to Captain's Donuts to celebrate with the $22.99 buffet), and Tom says he can always tell when a major holiday arrives because Best Show Hate Pit resident Matt Drudge alters the color schemes of his website. (Christmas in July!) While many people will be enjoying hot dogs, handburgers, and fireworks, Tom's only plans for tomorrow are to sit in his living room and quietly contemplate the power of America for three hours. Prior to meditating on his country, he will gather all the kids in Natas Acres (hoist that flag exactly 6 1/16th inches above the top of the door frame!) to lecture them on the meaning of citizenship and instill a sense of Proud Patriotism in their young minds. Mike will spend the day campaigning for Mitt Romney, his choice for the 2008 Presidential election. (Check out Mike's new blog here.) While Mike remains a Mitt Man, Tom's still undecided because he's abandoned George W. Bush over high gas prices. He's obviously pro-Rudy, but he likes a lot of what he's been hearing from the Romney camp. Tom says he's also been really warming to character actor and former Senator Fred Thompson, who recently ditched Law & Order to explore entering the Republican fray. He thinks Thompson has a friendly Everyman vibe and rejects any notion that he's a bullying blowhard.
- Mark in Toronto calls (starts at 30:06) on the heels of his country's rip-off version of July 4th. Tom doesn't think Mark likes our holiday because it's a victory celebration for the U S and A beating down every country on Earth. Mark says he won't argue with that bit of historical fact. He wants to get Tom's take GWB's commutation of Scooter Libby's jail sentence from two years to nothing.
Tom reminds listeners that he's a news junkie who reads 14 newspapers before he gets out of bed ... at 7 p.m. It takes him 11 hours to get through all of them. Tom is pretty happy that Libby will avoid jail because he's a snitch, and those who snitch get stitched. The bottom line: Mr. Libby would likely have a rough go of it in the butt hutt. Having the name "Scooter" probably wouldn't help, either. Tom learned about the "snitches get stitches" fate during his time on the streets. He doubts Mark knows about that kind of stuff up in gentle Canada, but he wonders if their street violence involves getting hit with the business end of a hockey stick. Mark says it depends on the time of the year. He claims the national (summer) sport of Canada is
curling drinking eating donuts lacrosse. Tom doesn't believe it, and Mark offers to confirm it via Wikipedia. Despite its national standing, Marks admits that he doesn't know anyone who has actually played the sport. Tom isn't sure if lacrosse involves players on horseback or if it takes place in a pool. Mark explains that the primary lacrosse equipment is a little net stick, and it can be adapted for water. Tom asks him if the game play centers around one person closing their eyes while everyone else hides. Mark identifies this as the children's game called Marco Polo, which is not the national sport of Canada because it's too chilly for swimming-based sports.
As Tom understands the Libby saga, he was a spy who heard some information while in hiding. He then revealed what he knew to a pundit on The McLaughin Report. Tom informs Mark about the recent revelation that three of the regulars on the political talk show are in fact deceased. They tipped over this past Sunday, and one guy shattered the coffee table. Mark gives Tom the short version of Libby's transgressions. In a nutshell, he outed a CIA agent while working as a henchman for VP Dick Cheney. Tom thinks it sounds like Libby outed a gay operative a la celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Mark says he revealed the identity of female CIA agent Valerie Plame, the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Ghana who became critical of GWB's war. Tom has to get rid of Mark for making his head hurt. He starts chanting "U.S.A.!!!!" to cleanse his mind. Tom doesn't know who or what "Ghana" is, and he's not particularly interested in finding out. He just wants to give it up for America on it's 231st birthday. Tom later said that he hoped all the "limousine liberals" lay off Libby for whatever he did.
- Tom requests (starts at 36:37) a call from someone on Apple's hott new iPhone. He doesn't understand the big rush to purchase the device on opening day when there are 18 million other functional cellular phones to be had at much lower price points. Tom suspects that there are people prowling around major cities flaunting their new toy, talking loudly about surfing for Italian dinner spots and cocking their elbow completely parallel to the ground so everyone notices them. At this point, the eager consumer realizes that the Web browser is broken because the first-generation phone is infested with software bugs. He then informs his friend that he will have to call back from a Penn Station pay phone while his iPhone is rebooting. Tom didn't even wait on line when the technology first hit the market to free people from their home-based land lines. He wants to hear the iPhone's amazing fidelity over the radio, but he suspects the call will be marred by beeps, buzzes, and clicks as someone attempts to install a new version iTunes or get the showtimes for Transformers.
Tom continues traveling down the road of "I Can't Stand It" and lands on the Michael Bay's cracked cobblestone. He admits that he wasn't six when the alien robots first hit the scene in 1984, but he still can't figure out target demo for the Michael Bay film in 2007. He thinks that if you're a giant robot, you should embrace that and not feel compelled to disguise yourself by "transforming" into a lowly pick-up truck. Tom had an opportunity to see the film in an advance screening while he was in Los Angeles (that's right), but he declined because he didn't want his good mood to get transformed. He's willing to learn more about Transformers because he comes from a generation that was more enamored with horror hosts, Howdy Doody, "Fibber McGee and Molly", "The Shadow", and Upstairs, Downstairs. Tom wants the kids out there to teach him about all the tractor-trailer (driven by Karl Malone?) vs. truck robot battles he's been missing over the years. He saw the film's trailer and was unable to focus due to headache-inducing twisty
cameracomputerwork by some special effects dope. He had the same experience with the smash-up
Live Free or Die Hard trailer. I was hoping Sky Stalker would call with a Transformers review, but no such luck.
- Poughkeepsie from Poughkeepsie calls (starts at 43:18) to say that he feels he represents the town well enough to adopt its name. He's also two for two on Tom's requests: he owns an iPhone and he screened Transformers today. Tom thinks he's teasing, but it's all true. Poughkeepsie says he got the iPhone as a birthday gift, and he saw the film with his girlfriend. He says that his previous cell phone broke, so his parents surprised him with the iPhone, signing their lives over to Apple/AT&T until 2018. Poughkeepsie reports that he's visited the Friends of Tom site on his iPhone. Tom dreads the thought of having to take a broken iPhone over to the "Genius Bar" at the Apple Store. Poughkeepsie thinks it's a cute name for a repair station, preferring it to Best Buy's "Geek Squad". Tom says the two entities are in a two-way tie for last. Poughkeepsie disagrees, putting the A-Class "Genius Bar" above the D-Class "Geek Squad" because the geniuses will teach you how to fix the devices yourself. He assumes that Tom is not a Macintosh enthusiast. Au contraire! Tom owns a Mac. Poughkeepsie thinks this claim is nonsense because any true Mac enthusiast would also be an early adopter of the iPhone. Tom apologizes for not keeping up and buying one in the first four days of its release. Poughkeepsie keeps pressing Tom on his Mac bonafides, so Tom points out that he was simply stating that he wasn't an enemy of Apple products. Poughkeepsie doesn't buy it and tells Tom to put on a tie to personify the PC like John Hodgman in the "Get a Mac" commercials. Tom says he'd rather be like the PC guy than the mutant cool guy portraying the Mac. Poughkeepsie points out that the Mac also appears in Live Free or Die Hard, another summer film he enjoyed. Tom wants him to rate it on a scale of 1 - 10, but Poughkeepsie can't count. He gives it a "strong 3." Tom recommends trying an abacus and GOMPs him. I think they sell those at Circuit City's new "Tutoring Tavern" kiosk.
- A caller offers (starts at 46:21) some insight into why he and others would wait in line for three hours to buy an iPhone. He believes it's no different than queuing up for a Playstation or the new Harry Potter book. Tom suspects the fundamental principle at play is having a hole in your life that must be filled by a gadget. The caller rejects this theory. He had an old cell phone that wasn't bringing it, plus he was tired of his iPod Nano (he waited in line for 90 minutes to get it) that could only hold half a CD. He thought it was a good deal to consolidate these into one product that could deliver what he wanted. Since he wasn't busy on opening day, he figured it was worth waiting in line to avoid the sellouts that might occur that weekend. Tom understands his point, but he's sticking with his previous statement about the caller's existential void. The caller claims his doctor confirmed that there wasn't a hole in his life. Tom immediately hangs up after this bush-league comedy routine. He imagines the caller yelling into his iPhone while in the middle of a Starbucks: "YOU WANT TO WHAT? YOU WANT TO GO SEE A MIGHTY HEART? WELL LET ME LOOK UP SOME MOVIE TIMES!"
- Ryan from Short Hills 07078 calls (starts at 49:04) to continue the phone topic with a discussion about how ringtones are extremely annoying noise pollution. He's content to leave his phone in vibrate mode. My current ringtone is Poison's cover of "Your Mama Don't Dance". It's really fun for the summer, and I've already received several compliments. I had previously been using a remix of Metallica's epic "... And Justice For All" featuring clips from the climactic courtroom scene from ... And Justice For All. I once installed the Halloween theme (composed by Stanley Kubrick during his late-1970s keyboard phase), but this proved to be disastrous. My phone rang while I was browsing around a Barnes & Noble, and it scared the s hit out of me. I immediately switched back to the relatively soothing Cingular default.
Ryan is not entirely sure which tones drive him nuts, but he heard one the other day that was like a fire engine blast. He thinks it's unnecessary; Tom thinks it's dangerous because people might think the fire truck from that dog food commercial is barreling down the road. Ryan believes that ringtone would lead to a mass exodus if it erupted in a crowded movie theater. Tom is less concerned about it setting off panic alarms. He agrees that it's obnoxious, but he doubts anyone would be duped by a wimpy ring that sounded like a miniature fire truck was coming to put out a tiny fire. A real fire truck is loud.
Ryan thinks the presets are actually worse than any pop tunes or vehicular sireens. Tom performs the Caribbean samba tone and asks people to drop the $2 on an actual song. Mike's ringtone is Simon & Garfunkle's "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)". Tom says it really drives him nuts because Mike sings along with it every time he receives a call. Tom does an a cappella snippet of the track Ryan mistakenly places on the Bookends album. He's stalled in 1968 on his romp through the S&G catalog and has yet to reach Bridge Over Troubled Water. Tom is surprised to discover that he's not the hugest S&G fan. Ryan saw Paul Simon on The Charlie Rose Show, and he thought the 66-year-old singer-songwriter looked terrible. Tom tells Ryan that Simon has the same skin condition as Don Imus. Tom describes the ravages of the affliction as looking like a punctured balloon that's slowly leaking air. Ryan saw similarly puffy and weathered visages in his friend's sculpture class. Tom commissions a sculpture of Paul Simon reading the initial reviews to his ill-fated Broadway musical, The Capeman. Ryan says Simon admitted to losing his creative spark after the show landed with a whoosh and a thud. Tom GOMPs Ryan for making him feel bad about throwing Simon under the bus.
- Superstar WFMU DJ Monica calls (starts at 53:30) to announce that she acquired an iPhone. Like the previous caller, she had a hole in her life that she needed to fill with an overpriced gadget. Monica says she also needed a mobile device for a business trip to L.A. next week. She regrets the purchase due to two fundamental problems.
1. She cannot send e-mail from the iPhone.
After spending the weekend troubleshooting the issue with Apple and Road Runner tech support, Monica found out that the ISP's SMTP servers are not compatible with the iPhone. Monica says she's not interested in causing confusion by changing her business and personal e-mail addresses.
2. She cannot properly set up her voicemail.
Monica offers to give Tom a sampling of the iPhone's ringtones, and Mike starts shouting for "El Condor Pasa". The iPhone does not offer the S&G tune, perhaps the most egregious of its early shortcomings. It does boast these cool sounds:
- Bell Tower
- Harp (actually performed by Joanna Newsom per Stereogum!)
After hearing the cartoony "boing" tone, Tom imagines someone derailing his enjoyment at the movies by boing-boinging right behind his head to inform his friend that he's seeing Ratalouie. Monica says that she got suckered by the 20-minute iPhone indoctrination video (produced by Steve Jobs in collaboration with the Hanso Foundation) and picked one up after only a 10-minute wait at the SoHo Apple Store. She's still being bounced around various customer service units as all of the relevant parties are blaming each other for her disappointing hunk of $500 junk. Monica disputes the notion that Apple employs geniuses because she's encountered some bottom-rung tech non-supporters who are not privy to how the iPhone actually operates. She canceled the
Genius Salad Bar reservation she made with the online concierge after realizing it wasn't worth the effort. The bottom line: Monica is stuck with a good-looking device with subpar functionality. Tom suggests the cheaper alternative of just talking into a nice, hand-crafted statue. Tom bids Monica farewell and hopes her iPhone can make it through her trip to L.A. He appreciates a fellow DJ checking in because The Best Show is usually an island. A lone loudmouth trying to hold things down.
- John from Harrisburg, PA, calls (starts at 59:49) from a phone he wishes was an iPhone so he could multi-task. He had no interest in it until two days ago when he started craving something because it had been four days since his last purchase. Tom says that free-spending Americans make him sick. He points out John's sarcastic laugh, which is actually worse in person. John says that people have mocked him by impersonating his bad laugh, and Tom directs him to go back to the drawing board to craft a new laugh. John tests out a more pleasant sitcom-y laugh, but quickly regresses into a chuckle that sounds like he's twirling his mustache after tying someone to the train tracks. John says he mainly just wanted to say hello to all the FOTs and talk to Mr. Scharpling himself. Tom accepts his modest agenda and wishes him a good night.
- Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 1:02) with a question for Tom: “Where wazya last week?” Tom tells him he was in Los Angeles, and it turns out that PBR was there as well. He asks Tom to confirm that “Weird-O-Wood” is too much. PBR says he’s always used that term for Hollywood, but it seems that he may have picked it up from The Gorch when they both appeared live in the studio a few weeks ago. Tom says that people generally say “Hollyweird” when they want to indicate the town’s crazy atmosphere and inhabitants. PBR is surprised and wants to know who says such a thing. Tom says he’s heard everyone say it for his entire life. PBR ain’t never heard that stupid phrase, and he doesn’t even get it. Tom explains that it’s a simple adaptation of the actual town called Hollywood where the “wood” portion is replaced by “weird”. Hollywood. Hollyweird. PBR says it don’t roll off the tongue like “Weird-O-Wood.” Tom questions the tongue-rolling properties of PBR’s preferred term, but he’s unable to sway him. Regardless of its nickname, PBR says he loved it out there, and he thinks a mogul like himself is made for the city.
He enjoyed driving around town, but he only spotted a single palm tree. It was in his hotel lobby. Tom says the trees are everywhere, and PBR thinks it’s weird that he didn’t notice any outdoors. PBR says he was mainly focused on “business as usual” -- doing deals and stuff on behalf of Wawa Records & Filmed Entertainment, Inc. Philly Boy Roy excitedly announces that he’s now involved the movie industry. Tom is not particularly enthused about PBR leading Wawa’s expansion into a new medium. PBR says that his new role makes him even more of a media mogul than when he last spoke to Tom. His trip to W-O-W involved pitching stuff to backers and big film studios. PBR says he was interested in acquiring the rights to a good book so he could pitch a film adaptation to execs. However, he’s kinda strapped for cash due to ongoing litigation involving Wawa Records’ ill-advised attempts to release a live Rolling Stones album that he recorded himself on the first two dates of the 1981 Tattoo You tour. Tom is pretty sure that Wawa has no legal rights to release the recording, but PBR doesn’t want to get into it. He reminds Tom that he recently signed Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard to a solo deal, but he’s being a little pain in his keyster.
PBR says that Gibbard refuses to listen to his ideas about songs and musical direction for his inaugural Wawa recording. For example, PBR is not pleased that Gibbard didn’t deliver any hit songs that are suitable for heavy radio rotation. PBR says he’s interested in good, tuneful songs like The Hooters’ “And We Danced”, Robert Hazard’s “Escalator of Life”, Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”, The O’Jays’ “Love Train”, and Cinderella’s “Gypsy Road”. Tom wonders if PBR expected Gibbard to actually do cover songs for the album. PBR says that was a possibility, but Gibbard wouldn’t do it. He wasn’t pleased with Gibbard's originals, and he suspects he’s saving his best tunes for Death Cab and his side-project, The Letter Sorters. Tom says his other band is actually called The Postal Service. PBR disagrees. He also thinks that A&R stands for “Airwaves and Radio”. Tom informs him that it’s “Artists and Repertoire”. PBR doesn’t get it. Tom points out that his definition doesn’t make sense because the “A” and the “R” are describing the same thing. PBR says he’s not responsible for the rules of the record industry since they were established long ago by Atlantic Records co-founder Omelette Ertegun, one of the biggest record label heads of all-time.
PBR thinks he may be Russian or something, as is his brother and fellow music mogul, Neshley Ertegun, the namesake of the popular powdered chocolate. Tom finds it hard to believe that the Erteguns named one of their sons after an egg preparation, while the other inspired the name of a multinational Swiss chocolatier. PBR says he doesn’t know how they do it over in Russia, and he assumes they must have loved them some chocolate. Tom thinks the brothers were Turkish, but PBR says Tom doesn’t know because he doesn't travel within industry circles. Tom jokes that he’s not as educated on an Omelette or Nestle Ertegun, and PBR tips his hat to ye for admitting it. Tom is taken aback by the lapse into Old English, but he wants to move forward. (In the meantime, I have my fingers crossed for a PBR Philly-centric adaptation of Beowulf.)
Due to his temporary lack of cash flow, PBR says he could only afford to buy the rights to Benjamin P. Gortner’s How To Fix A Broken Hearth. He didn’t really read the book before he bought it, and he admits this was a dumb creative and business move. PBR thought it was a love story called How To Fix A Broken Heart, but it’s actually a repair manual for bread ovens. He optioned the how-to for $42,000, but he’s confident that he’ll recoup his costs in the secondary market with DVD revenue. PBR says he hired a brilliant young screenwriter to turn How To Fix A Broken Hearth into a great movie. The emerging scribe is Roydon Ziegler, II. Tom correctly guesses that this is the nom de plume for Roy, Jr. because he’s been down this 40 miles of bad road about 80 times before. (For example, PBR has previously noted that Roy, Jr. goes by Roydon Ziegler II, Esq. when working on -- and presumably cooking -- Wawa Records's accounting books.) PBR says Roy, Jr. is nearing completion on a screenplay he describes as a cross between the Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement and the 1975 ensemble musical drama Nashville. The odd mash-up piques Tom’s interest in the film. While no actors are attached to the project, PBR says he’d reunite the cast of Dr. T. and the Women if he had his brothers. The gyno romcom starred Richard Gere, Tara Reid, Kate Hudson, and Farrah Fawcett, and PBR thinks they would be great in this new film. Tom questions whether the world is screaming for the reteaming of the principals from a critical and commercial dud. PBR seems to think moviegoers are interested in seeing these actors navigate a different story. He says that Roy, Jr. recently gave him some advice on how to find success in the movie business: “Roy, if you’re gonna be a film mogul, youse gotta know films.”
Roy, Jr. hasn’t called PBR “dad” in about five years, and this remains a sore spot in the Ziegler household. He does refer to Rhoda as “mom”. PBR says he don’t get it, he don’t like it, and he don’t approve of it, but when he expresses his stance on the issue, Roy, Jr. responds by saying, “Shut up, Roy.” Tom chuckles at Roy, Jr’s sassiness. PBR reveals his son’s list of recommended films:
1. Nashville (Robert AltMAN)
2. Casablanka (Michael Cur-tez)
3. Chinatown (RoMAN Pollenski)
4. Seven Summuri (Arcura "Something-Oriental")
5. MAGnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)
6. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wooooolf? (Mik NICHols)
7. Citizen Kane (OrSON Welles)
8. Rear Window (AlFRED Hitchcock)
9. Mallrats (Kevin Smith)
Tom assumes that Roy is not much of a reader based on his eccentric pronunciations of these films and filmmakers. PBR says it's weird that he has to go a little slower when the words are written out for him. If the words reside in his head, they tend to come out of his mouth pretty regular when speaking them. Tom reprimands PBR for being about 60 years behind the times by referring to Japanese director Akira Kurosawa with the Asian catchall "Oriental". PBR thinks Kurosawa is a woman.
Periscope Up: The Loch Ness Mobsters rear their ugly, collective head to fool the people of Scotland
PBR says he plans to go to Blockbuster tonight to take the films. Tom thinks he may only find Mallrats in stock, so PBR says he may have to use that Internet movie rental service. Tom tells him it’s called Netflix, but PBR initially mishears it as "Nutflix." He writes it down. It takes 25 seconds to get through all seven letters. PBR says nobody was really into How To Fix A Broken Hearth, but he had better luck with a second pitch. He asks Tom if he’s strapped in and wearing a helmet before he reveals the hott project. Tom confirms both safety measures. PBR asks him if he got a helmet since he last talked to him, but Tom is just donning his usual figurative headgear. PBR says Wawa Filmed Entertainment, Inc’s second film is called The Loch Ness Mobster. Tom thinks the title is a play on words. It's not. PBR calls him a dummy for being unfamiliar with this actual organized crime syndicate. PBR says he’ll lay it out all for Tom in a dumbed-down version of his original pitch. In Europe -- Scotland to be exact -- there’s a big lake, but over there they call this body of water a “loch”. PBR has no idea why they do that. The O’Malley crime family controls all the gambling, prostitution, and fish-and-chip shops, but they’re always in danger of getting arrested by the “Blobbies”, the police force in Engaland. Tom thinks they are called “Bobbies”, but he wants to move on sans debate.
PBR says that when the mob wants to hide, they board an oversized submarine and go under the lake. He says that the submarine -- aka the "Loch Ness Mobster" -- is actually what people have long referred to as the mysterious “Loch Ness Monster”. The periscope and the body of the vessel often become visible, and the mobsters get a thrill out of fooling people. PBR says he found a backer for the cinematic adventures of The O'Malleys in the form of a young patron of the arts named Todd Y. Kern, who is part of the Kern Pharmaceuticals empire. PBR says he’ll only work with the best, and he points out that Kern has produced many made-for-TV movies over the years, including The Stepuncle. Tom has always said it as "step uncle", but PBR prefers to let it roll off the tongue all together. PBR compares this pronunciation divide to the fact that Tom says "tomato" and he, too, says "tomato". The Stepuncle was the last major role for Lisa Welchel, most known for playing the preppy Blair Warner on The Facts of Life. PBR notes that the film was released in 1985, two years before the theatrical release of The Stepfather. Since The Stepuncle had to adhere to network standards, the violence was replaced by the titular creep massaging his brother's previous step-family to death. PBR describes the character as an "evil bachelor masseuse," but he's not sure if the correct term is "masseur." Tom's not exactly sure either, and he doesn't like sharing the same zone of intellectual uncertainly as Philly Boy Roy. PBR claims this is a first because he's usually towering over Tom's head, looking down on youse.
Kern also produced Fudge Face, the inspirational story of a boy who overcomes incredible odds to become the top-ranked speed-eater of fudge in the world. While most Edward Norton filmographies cite Primar Fear as his film debut, PBR claims that his first role was playing young Danny in Fudge Face. PBR says he turned in a great performance in the starring role, especially in the way he ate the fudge. Tom is not familiar with Fudge Face. This sounds like something The Shout! Network would greenlight. PBR is eyeing a specific actor for a role of Roddy O'Malley in The Loch Ness Mobster: James Gandolfini. PBR thinks he'd make a great mafia guy. Tom mentions that Gandolfini spent the last nine years playing mobster Tony Soprano, but PBR doesn't know who that is. He became interested in the actor after seeing his work as sleazoid Eddie Poole in 8mm. PBR calls Tom a "cinedummy" for not immediately associating the character with the film.
Tom says that 8 mm is one of the worst films he's ever seen, but PBR thinks he's nuts. He loved it, and he wants to know what Tom disliked about it. Tom says he didn't care for the plot, the acting, and the directing. PBR says he will agree to disagree because Tom will never be able to swing him to his negative view of the film. PBR says he's seen The Sopranos, and Tom remembers him discussing it on the show. PBR and his family would view the program through the glass doors of a Circuit City in Manyunk while sitting in the parking lot 25 feet away. In addition to having no sound, PBR says it was hard to make out a lot of the faces. He was certain that the lead character (Fred Detweiler) was played by Cheech Marin. Tom is 1,000% sure that Marin was not the star of the show, and PBR wants to place a "cinebet" on it. PBR decides that $72,000 is doable for him. Tom wants to get the bet straight before he agrees to any of its terms. He confirms that PBR is saying that Cheech Marin played the lead role of Tony Soprano on The Sopranos. Tom is saying it was James Gandolfini. PBR enlists "call screener" Mike to serve as their witness because he doubts anyone else is listening to the show. Tom assures him that people are listening, but PBR doesn't think so.
PBR says he's trying to get Roy, Jr. to write a part in the movie for his new big-time Hollywood buddy, Dr. Christian Harfouche. PBR spotted the born-again, mixed martial artist in the workout room of his hotel. He says he did not discuss Christianity with Harfouche, who was in town for a UFC collectible card signing engagement. PBR says he was super cool until he punched him in the face out of the blue. Harfouche went into a weird rage, and PBR says the attack definitely got his attention. Tom wants to make sure that PBR didn't say anything to set him off. PBR wants Tom to define "say". Tom asks him if anything provocative came out of his mouth to set Harfouche off. PBR didn't think it was a big deal to call the 4' 1" Harfouche "shrimpy." Harfouche apparently disagreed and punched PBR in the face. PBR says he can still feel that fist in his face, and he considers the retaliatory blow to be kind of a badge of honor. Tom tries not to think of violence as worthy of that status.
Speaking of honor, PBR says he had the most incredible honor while he was out in Weird-O-Wood. He met Stallone, and they talked for four hours about everything -- Rocky, Rambo, Over The Top, Tango & Cash, and Copland. Stallone even talked about Rhinestone for half an hour. PBR says he was very down-to-Earth and approachable -- a real guy's guy. Tom is impressed that PBR got a chance to talk about the nuts and bolts of moviemaking with Stallone, and he wonders if he talked about getting back in the ring and absorbing the punishment for last year's Rocky Balboa. PBR doesn't know how he would know anything about that. Tom tells him that he was the star of the film, but PBR reveals that he was not talking to Sylvester Stallone. He was chatting with Joffrey ("Joff" for short) Stallone, Frank Stallone's son, who he met while eating in the commissary on the Paramount lot. PBR says Joff Stallone makes the best pot roast he's ever tasted. He noticed the unmistakable look of this worker, and he told him that he had "it". He agreed, and it came out that he was Joffrey Stallone. PBR says he was very excited to talk about his uncle's films, which he called "crettenous" and "ABhor-rent". PBR wrote the words down because he didn't know what they were at the time. He thinks it sounds like high praise and suspects that Joff is in awe of his uncle's career. Tom concurs with this assessment.
PBR says the kicker to his trip was that he saw a great movie called Ratalouie. He calls Tom a "dunce" and an "idiot" for not knowing about the #1 film in America. PBR says a dummy like Tom doesn't belong on the radio, and he reiterates his intention to purchase WFMU to convert it into WAWA-FM. He says he loved the film, and Tom wants to hear more about this Ratalouie. PBR says he liked how the film actually showed what Ratalouie's conscience looked like as it was telling him what to do. He especially loved the scene where Ratalouie discovers that Demi Moore, the lady cop who's investigatin' stuff, is a multimillionaire. PBR says the scene was so smart and brave. Tom begins to suspect that PBR is confused, so he asks him if Ratalouie was animated. It wasn't. Tom confirms that PBR screened a film featuring a female cop on the trail of a lead character who was murdering people. He tells PBR that he saw Mr. Brooks. PBR doesn't know what that is, but he does report that the main rat looked like Kevin Costner. PBR is now confused about Ratalouie.
Tom is only familiar with Ratatouille, and he doesn't know how PBR could confuse a violent, live-action movie with the new Pixar blockbuster aimed at kids. PBR wants to find out more about the plot of the animated film. Tom says it's about a rat who wants to be a chef, and PBR says there were rats all over the place in the film he saw. He says he saw them on the screen, and he had to leave the theater a few times because rats were crawling on him. Tom goes out on a limb and asks a leading question about whether PBR ate or did anything before seeing Ratalouie. PBR says he consumed his usual pre-flick menu: popcorn, Peanut Chews, Frank's soda, a handful of 'shrooms, and Twizzlers. These items help him kick back and enjoy a night at the movies. Tom wants PBR to back up a bit. PBR thinks Tom wants to discuss the Twizzlers or Frank's soda, but he's more interested in the thing between those two treats. Tom thinks the handful of 'shrooms may have played a role in PBR wandering into the wrong movie and hallucinating that rats were attacking him. PBR says he never made that connection, but it's possible. He thinks the 'shrooms may also explain why his friend told him that he got up on the platform in front of the screen and started saying, "If you build it, they will come." Tom doesn't hesitate to attribute the mushrooms to that incident as well. PBR issues a note to himself about either quitting 'shrooms or only taking four next time. The handful he took prior to the movie contained 17 because he was celebrating his newfound success.
PBR has to roll because he's got a lot of big deals going down, but he promises to call next week to let Tom know how huge he's become in the entertainment world. He promises that the call will not contain any gloating. Tom thinks PBR's transformation into some kind of a mogul is a shocking turn of events. PBR then gives himself the moniker "Roy Diddy." Tom doesn't like it. He hates it. PBR tricks Tom into calling him by that name, and he believes that Tom is now his "Philaminion." Tom's not interested in the job. PBR tells Tom not to be surprised if he shows up on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, and that other one next week. He thinks he will become a huge star once all of his deals are announced in Viority, an industry trade that PBR discovered once he entered the belly of the biz. Tom says he'll look out for that. PBR says he might hire him as his intern, and Tom is crossing his fingers that he'll get to check out all the Viority back issues around the office. PBR says he usually likes to burn them, but he may save some for Tom to peruse. Tom can't believe he's succeeding on this level, and PBR guarantees that it will only get bigger and better. The sky is the limit, and he can't be stopped or topped. Tom is praying that he's cruising for a fall, but PBR says that's impossible. Not. a. chance.
Tom believes that PBR is digging a massive hole with his arrogance. He remembers just a few years ago when he got fired from his humble factory job at Robert's Pencils. PBR says those were difficult times, but also the times that made him what he is today: the biggest entertainment mogul in the history of entertainment. Tom guarantees that it will all come crashing down, but PBR doesn't see any possible way that anything could possibly go wrong. He says he'll give Tom a ring next week if he still deigns to talk to him. He cackles and signs off with "LATE". Tom thinks that may be the most despicable thing he said all night. He's certain that PBR's hubris will be his ultimate undoing, not unlike the mighty LZ 129 Hindenburg and the mighty RMS Titanic. The former was destroyed by a fiery crash landing, while the latter sunk on its maiden voyage.
- While Tom was on the left coast taking care of some Consolidated Cardboard business, he spotted two comedy meccas within a mile of each other on Sunset Blvd. The first was the headquarters of comedian Carlos Mencia, and the second was the headquarters of comedian Dane Cook. Tom thought these places looked atrocious. Dane Cook HQ was promoting Mr. Brooks with an old-timey directive to "Watch His New Movie" on its marquee. Tom questions the verb choice by the guy doing the lettering since people have been seeing movies for the past 75 years. Tom also met two famous people during his stay:
1. The one and only Henry Rollins
2. Mandy Moore (seated across the aisle on the flight to L.A.)
Tom begins to realize that his trip was actually pretty boring, but then he remembers that he went to the HUSTLER store. He purchased an outrageous t-shirt with the name of the filthy magazine emblazoned on it. HUSTLER. When people ask Tom where he got the HUSTLER shirt, he will tell them Los Angeles -- where else? HUSTLER. Mike makes an astute observation in declaring the HUSTLER shirt to be the West Coast's answer to the East Coast's CBGB's shirt. HUSTLER. In addition to being outrageous, Tom thinks the shirt is pretty cool and sharp. It's red with white lettering. HUSTLER. Tom knows it's pretty shocking to walk down the street wearing clothing that has the name of a pornographic periodical written on it, but he's doing it anyway. HUSTLER!
Tom also went to a bar for a meet-up with members of the West Coast comedy circuit, including some nice guys from the A Special Thing comedy board. He bought himself a nice soft drink and then treated one of his new compatriots to one. Tom stepped away for a moment, and then he saw a member of the Los Angeles comedy community trying to steal one of the beverages he purchased. He caught him in the act, and the thief said he was just holding onto Tom's drink until he returned. Tom did not appreciate the impromptu homage to Oliver Twist and the preview of Ocean's 14. He thinks most people learn not to take things that don't belong to them when they are four years old. Tom says that if this shameful act is representative of the West Coast comedy world, then he wants nothing to do with a place where the basic rules of society have not yet dawned. Tom wonders if the person who pulled this crazy, mixed-up heist thinks they are above the law like Stephen Seagal. The bottom line: civilized society has rules. If you lack the funds to buy your own drink, you go without it because it will make you work harder to be able to get it on your own. Tom can't believe the blatant lack of manners he witnessed, and he hopes the bandit is appropriately embarrassed..
Tom thinks it would be a lot easier to ditch his moral code and be lawless like everyone else in 2007. It's hard being a hero. He contemplates becoming a crook, and, in a boast worthy of Philly Boy Roy, he believes he would be the best criminal of all-time if he actually turned to the dark side. Tom would assemble his own Danny Ocean-grade crime squad, complete with set-up men, decoys, and other con artists. Tentative canon fodder: Mike, Petey, Stevie Blue, and Captain Jack. Tom says he would let Cpt. Jack get arrested while doing a "double-cross". None of this will ever go down because Tom is one of the Good Guys, and Good Guys don't rob. They defend those who have been robbed. These resources could probably be diverted to Tom's McCarren Park task force. Tom can see drinkstealia's face, and he threatens to bring the entire AST community to its knees by naming names. Speaking of society run amok, Tom says he showed his nephew four more episodes of Deadwood. The toilet talk continues unabated in the second season, and Tom's nephew has learned some decidedly foul language. Tom doubts the series will ever transform into a good old-fashioned western.
He's now watched the first three hours of John From Cincinnati, and he's still waiting for some action aside from a levitation, some surfing, and Al Bundy waking up a comatose child with a peck from a cockatoo. Tom questions the media frenzy that treats the three generations of Yost surfers like they are American royalty. He didn't even know there were surfing competitions until he started watching the program, and he certainly didn't think the sport's champions hypnotized the populace. Tom says he thought it was more likely to award prizes for air hockey than surfing. He's not sure how you could accurately rate a surfing performance because the waves are constantly changing. Tom says John From Cincinatti has hypnotized him into waiting for something to happen. It's his new favorite show. He's sticking with it in the hopes getting the ultimate payday, while everyone who bailed will have to scramble to catch up. Tom is getting the feeling it might not play out this way. He expects a seven-episode, third season arc involving a stolen, glowing boogie board from the local surf shop. Mystical realism! Tom predicts the thrilling conclusion to the series will involve Butch Yost's deciding what to eat for dinner. He also doesn't understand why the surfadummies haven't caught on to the main character parroting everything they say with a different inflection. A+ for fume control, Butchie?
- Ramsey from Rochester calls (starts at 1:55) to find out if Tom saw the final episodes of Aaron Sorkin's celebrated religious/political drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Tom says he was sad to see the series end because the colossal mess made him happy every week. Ramsey shares this sense of loss. They both mention the how the finale wrapped up every storyline with a happy ending. Tom Jeter's brother, who has been stationed IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN, was rescued from terrorist captivity! Jordan McDeere is alive! Her premature baby is alive! She married Danny Tripp! She wanted to marry him ever since she first saw him! Matt and Harriet are back in love and those crazy kids can't stop jabbering about FAITH VS. SCIENCE! That ASIAN WOMAN is still part of the cast! So is that CHUBBY GUY! The Guy from The Kids in the Hall seems to be doing well! Dawn from The Office cries a lot! Simon is angry! Jack Rudolph loves his Scotch! Cal Shanley is holding things down on the other side of the glass! Everything is back to normal just in time for cancellation.
Tom does want the countdown wall clock that Matt Albie spoke to at the end of the final episode. If he gets it, he will reset it after each show so he knows exactly when he has to start writing again. (Don't take any pain pills or 'shroom handfuls, Tom!) Ramsey says he was a fan of the show's theme music, and Tom wants to use it as his ringtone. He says he'd give in and get an iPhone if it came preloaded with the Studio 60 theme or Tony Soprano's ringtone. Ramsey informs Tom that he'll likely have to settle for The West Wing or Sports Night for his telephonic Sorkin fix.
- Mark from Toronto calls to follow-up on Tom's surfing riff. He says he's been an avid surfer for 25 years, and Tom clarifies that he was talking about the water sport, not Web surfing. Mark used to surf in West Australia, but now he settles for Nova Scotia. He says that some locals actually surf on the Great Lakes despite the crappy waves. Mark has participated in a surf competiton, so Tom wants some insight into the rating system. He says that wave selection is crucial -- if you catch a big wave for a long ride, you will garner points. You'll get more if you do good stuff with said wave. Tom asks Mark if he had a long day at work because he appears to be running out of gas. He kinda admits to fading, but he regains enough pep to mention a crazy article he saw on Surfline. Two big (70-ft.) wave surfers are heading to Alaska where there's a 400-ft ice glacier right next to the ocean. They hope to board an ice cap skidoo in order to catch some waves. Marks says this quest struck him as being the height of ridiculousness. Tom thinks the surfers are gonna love it when the polar ice caps melt and they can surf off the Statue of Liberty's nose. He hopes they never have the chance to nasal surf because it will mean that the entire country is submerged. Mark recommends scouting real estate on Mt. McKinkley and declares every Best Show a W.
- A caller from Jersey City wants to get the title of the soul-funk track he just heard because The Kid didn't back-announce all of his second music set. It was Esther Phillips's "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" from Soul Sides Volume Two: The Covers. The caller announces his intentions to celebrate the 4th of July at the Liberty State Park if it's not too crowded. Tom prefers to drive around Staten Island and check out all the residential firework displays. He compares the experience to navigating war-torn Beirut. The caller says he already hears some fireworks, although I think that was the annual July 3rd Laser Allin in Westbridge. Tom can understand the premature partying because people love America. The caller loves America, but not enough to launch fireworks a day early. Tom asks him what he loves more: his family or his country. He finally admits that he's not terribly fond of the weird weather patterns of the American political climate. Tom guesses that he's upset that George W. Bush cannot run for a third term. The caller says he's a little mad about that, and he was hoping that his miniature countepart Lil' Bush could run in his place. Tom thinks the satirical cartoon is funny and timely since Bush still has nine more days in office. He praises the animation for not looking like something a 13-year-old could knock off in 20 minutes. Tom GOMPs the caller for dissing America. We won. End of story.
[TO BE CONTINUED]
* Mike thinks he can dethrone Neil Diamond's "Porcupine Pie" with Ambrosia's "Cowboy Star".
* Jamie Lee Curtis blogs about reality teevee!
W. The show has made it past the halfway point of 2007 sans an L*.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU:: DJ Ted Shred lugs his crates of vinyl to WFMU and does a live, old-school mash-up of Ambrosia's "Cowboy Star" and Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" (he'll also be spinning at Reggie Monroe's "Blue Party" at midnight), former MTV VJ "Smash" calls with an update on his career, and professional funnyman Patton Oswalt discusses how his geekiness is getting in the way of his nerdiness.
*disputed by dirty Commie Hesh and his (Phila?)minions.