A Decade Under the Influence.
"Every time I go into myyyyy dungeon, The Orioles are playing in McCarren Park ..." -- Tom, serenading the Man From Another Era
"I know, it drives me nuts how popular Metallica are now with kids." -- Tom, joining Spike in his disgust at the heavy metal favorites
"A denim salesman wouldn't dress a mannequin in denim as much as he was dressed in denim that day at Altamont." -- Tom, criticizing Marty Balin's attire at the infamous 1969 concert
"Are these the best songs to work out to or is he just literally listing the Wayne's World 2 soundtrack?" -- Tom, speculating on the source of Jeff Pearlman's ultimate workout mix
"They gave me a huge advance, which, I'll be honest, I blew on coke and ... well ... coke." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, snorting his Rock, Rot & Rule loot
"And I also said that he joined The Chieftains, and I also said that he killed his mother." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, playing loose with Larry Mullen, Jr.'s biography
"No, actually they called me 'The Conductor' because I used to orchestrate these elaborate sex scenes that I'd film at parties, and I use them to blackmail people." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle on the origins of his seemingly cocaine-themed nickname
"I like the Brian Setzer Orchestra just fine, but I'm more into rock and pop." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, explaining that he's not a big jazz fan
"Oh, you mean like Big Spider-Man?" -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, confusing 1920s jazz pioneer Bix Beiderbecke with the webbed, Civil War-era superhero
"He's kinda weird-looking actually. He's small, but he looks like he could be either 12 or 47." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle on a young or old Dom Scharpling
"'Rock' comma 'Rot' and, in parentheses, 'he will' out of parentheses 'Rule' back into parentheses 'You' comma 'Newbridge' close parentheses. It rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?" -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, revealing his catchy Newbridge mayubernatorial slogan
"I think everyone should be able to smoke wherever and whenever and whatever they want." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, bucking public opinion for a bold pro-smoking platform
"My first act is gonna entail you being drawn and quartered. Count on it! Yep, just gotta find the right artist first." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, vowing to ink Tom's inagural beating
"Get ready to swim, cause it's gonna be fun, except for the part where you drown." -- Ronald Thomas Clontle, pointing out one downside to the annual Turkey Pancake Fun Swim
"Yeah, hey, I've got this candy bar. It's made out of gravel, filth, dirt, and rocks. But it's magical!" -- Tom, concocting a confection to go with Citizen Cope's folk, blues, reggae, and R&B smoothie
"What is this, the Michael Winslow Invitational?" -- Tom, halting a techno impression-off after one round of competition
"Let me tell you something: I'm not nuts. I'm crazy, but I know I have great songs." -- Stevie Blue on his potential for national stardom
"Yeah, that haircut. Felt like I was at that Sonics show a few weeks ago." - Tom on Anton Chigurh's garage-rocker 'do in No Country for Old Codger
"I've been at places where they've offered salt. They had a salt lick, and the guy had a hunting knife. Admittedly, I was eating on a farm." - Tom, countering a caller who's enraged by waiters offering freshly-ground pepper
[More to come.]
Kay Hanley - "Spin Around" (for Jeff Pearlman!)
( Click here to buy Music From the Motion Picture Josie And The Pussycats)
DMZ - "Mighty Ida"
( Click here to buy DMZ)
Major Stars - "Can't End Today"
( Click here to buy Mirror/Messenger)
Dillinger Escape Plan - "Milk Lizard"
( Click here to buy Ire Works)
The Misfits - "We Bite"
( Click here to buy The Misfits - Box Set)
Corrosion of Conformity - "Eye For An Eye"
( Click here to buy Eye For An Eye (Plus Six Songs With Mike Singing))
Chisel - "The Unthinkable Is True"
( Click here to buy set you free)
Dolly Mixture - "Angel Treads"
( Click here to watch a live performance of "Been Teen")
"Now is the time for us to band together and fight for the things that we like and think are fun." -- Winston Churchill
The Blogging Madman is ready to grind out another Tuesday night extravagonza with restricted access to his phone lines. The Open Phone Tuesday concept is deader than the FOT membership cards, and Tom invites listeners to look into a mirror to determine the responsible party. The lines are silent, but Tom manages to conjure a pre-topic call with his mind. He's got nem powers! Mike suggests it's The Secret in action, but Tom thought that involved attracting things you actually want. (My guess is these powers also played some role in Tom's successful effort to reunite Big Dipper.) He prefers to start using these powers to obtain merchandise, particularly a snowmobile. Tom wonders if the vehicle will just show up outside one day with a mysterious From: You Know Who! gift tag. If that's the way it works, he is gonna think so hard about a new winter ride. He may have to use his mind to actually manufacture the various components (seat, handlebars, etc.) like the time Funzie went blind on Happy Days. Richie, Ralph Mouth, and Putzy disassembled his motorcycle and brought the pieces up to his apartment above the Cunningham garage. Tom can't imagine who wouldn't think a 5' 3", 37-year-old man living in a garage apartment and hanging out with people half his age was anything less than the epitome of cool. Funzie had to put it back to together by feeling around for the parts, asking the carburetah to get ready to meet his little friend.
INT. THAT SAME GARAGE APARTMENT
A triumphant Funzie polishing the gas tank of his reassembled bike.
Tom says he would let someone else take the first spin because the motorcycle was constructed by a blind man.
- Speaking of cool and makeshift apartments, Spike returns to his regular time slot to rummage through his usual canister of quips and snaps. Tom informs him that listeners have thrown him in their figurative hate pit. The registration process for the now-defunct FOT cards includes a questionnaire, and Spike is the runaway champion of what people don't like about the show. Spike's not sure why, but he doesn't care. He acknowledges that he rubs people the wrong way. Tom guesses that he simply wasn't made for these times. He then adapts Sixpence None the Richer's "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" with lyrics about Spike's dungeon and an improbable show by The Orioles (no doubt supporting TV on the Radio) in McCarren Park. Spike, a resident of Queens, says the Brooklyn location is a bit out of his geographic league. Tom wonders if Spike ever thought about joining a kickball league. Spike says someone suggested it to him years ago, but Tom points out that the leagues only surfaced around 2005. He wonders if Spike was thinking about starting some kind of proto-kickball league. Tom clarifies that he's talking about adult kickball, not children goofing around the playground. Spike confirms that he would never play recreational sports with children because he's the W.C. Fields of domination. He hates the annoying, filthy little beasts.
Tom can hear Spike clanging around his kitchen, and he suspects he's attempting to fry an egg. Spike says he only eats the whites. He's opting instead for a dinner of crab cakes (frozen), broccoli, carrots, and a nice bottle of playful Chardonnay. I'm currently using The Secret to produce an episode of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares at Chez Droopy Zippermouth. Sample dialogue: "Discipline? You're telling me about f**kin' discipline. F**k that. Shit. You don't even have any f**king utensils. This place if f**kin' filthy, man. Bloody f**kinel. I haven't seen this much debauchery since Jonathan Ross's bachelor party back in 1988. Let's just say his pet salamanders were involved, yeah? Actually I hung out with Steve Coogan last week, so that may top it, but this dungeon -- f**k that, it's a basement apartment for f**k's sake. Are those crab cakes frozen? F**k me."
Spike says he's used to being disliked because people who are abnormal generally don't like people who are normal. He's proud to be a renegade of sorts. Tom asks Spike if any original members from doo-wop groups have stopped by the dungeon, and he says he's only welcomed members of the fake groups. Tom wonders if any of the Moonglows showed up. Spike says all of the original members are deceased. He denies killing any of them, although the investigations are all still pending. Tom imagines Spike trying to get the Moonglows to autograph his copy of "Blue Moon", but Spike informs him that the song was famously reworked by The Marcels. Tom
knew didn't know that.
Metallica's latest #1 smash hit (as heard on Gossip Girl ) and MJB's reworking of the theme to Spike's beloved "stories"
Tom wants to know if Spike would be interested in starring as a music teacher in the film School of Doo Wop (per Viority, the cast will also include Ice Cube, Andy Milonakis, and Cate Blanchett as Frankie Lymon). Spike says he's interested in educating kids about quality music instead of the garbage that's played on modern radio. Tom agrees that current popular music is sick. Spike is particularly disgusted with purveyors of heavy metal like Metallica and Valerie Bertinelli's ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen. Tom says Metallica's continued popularity with kids also drives him nuts. He can't figure out what kids are thinking when they listen to this music. Spike is, of course, no fan of Snoop Kitty Kat, Britney, or Mary June Blight. Tom thinks Spike should share his nicknaming talents with Mad TV magazine. Spike does like Blige's "No More Drama" because it samples "Nadia's Theme", the current theme music for the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
Tom thinks Spike may be starting to crack and warm up to hip-hop and R&B. However, Spike is not into Chris Brown. Tom thinks he seems like a nice enough young man, but Spike is leery of Brown and his peers because they enjoy singing about impregnating four-year-olds. Tom's not familiar with the record exploring such risque themes. Spike says the previously mentioned Snoop Kitty Katy, P. Dimwit, and Jay-D fall into this category. Tom prefers "Jay-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz", and Spike is somewhat receptive to the rewrite because the rapper does indeed put him to sleep. Tom offers Spike two hypothetical tickets for the first 10 rows at a Jay-Z show, including limousine transportation to the club and $50 under both seats. Spike passes and claims he wouldn't go for $1 million. Tom thinks a string attached to a roast beef sandwich would easily lure Spike down the street and right into the venue. Spike says he's not that desperate for cash.
Spike will spend Thanksgiving with the family -- he gets along with them, unlike his radio hero, Lynn Samuels. Tom is taken aback by the sudden intrusion of Samuels into the conversation. Spike says she often speaks ill of her family on her radio show. Spike still calls her show using his real name, which he can't reveal now lest he spoil the mystery that's been tearing at the FOT for years. Tom asks Spike what he has planned for the final stretch of 2007, and he says Fred Claus looks appetizing. Tom's not sure how any movie looks appetizing. Spike is also interested in American Gangster. Tom wants him to review it, and Spike says he'll do it eventually. Tom GOMPs the coy snob. He wants him to see it this week and file his review next week. Spike thinks he has clout because Tom entertains him. He thinks he's running the show. He doesn't. He's not.
- Amber from Chicago calls prior to meeting a friend for a dinner of some Chicago Mexican food. Unlike their twisted takes on the hut dog and pizza, the city's chefs stick to the traditional cusine, skipping eccentric toppings like chocolate chips, although I suppose those might work in a mole. Amber asks Tom if he remembers her from an interview she did with him during The Art of the Slap promotional blitzkrieg earlier this year. Despite being interviewed numerous times, Tom does remember her. Amber says she received her packet of FOT paraphernalia, but there was no FOT card. They're gone, and Tom's not sure if he will fire up the presses again. Amber says she really wants one because her boyfriend got one from a previous application. She doesn't think it's fair, and Tom GOMPs her because she's not in keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit. Tom argues that it wasn't fair to spend 11 hours filling out 200 cards. The marathon effort caused his hand to swell, but Tom didn't make a peep about it. He decides to permanently discontinue the FOT cards due to "Amber's folly." If they do return, Tom will set up a Paypal account and charge $40/card. He considers going home because he's zombified from taking the red eye back to Newbridge. He splashed some cold water on his face and came in ready to do the best show of his life. Amber calls back to thank Tom for sending her a nice sticker.
- Chaki in SF calls to wish Tom a Happy Thanksgiving a share a not funny story. Tourgasm crew member Jay Davis started spamming his Myspace page with comments about upcoming shows, so he sent the comedian a mean message to halt the unwanted advertisements. Jay apologized and gave Chaki a free guest list spot to any of his performances. He did it. He killed him with kindness a la his signature "TLC Killer" bit. Tom announces the score: Jay Davis 1 Chaki 0. Bing bong!
- Erika also calls to say Happy Thanksgiving, and she's thankful to be able to spend the holiday with her family, which does not include Spike. Tom wishes he had a contest to "win" a Spike Thanksgiving. The unlucky person would receive a visit from Spike on Thursday. Erika bets he would take the energy level down a couple notches. Tom asks Erika to imagine Spike falling asleep in the living room after a day of stuffing himself with food. While everyone was settling down for some football, he would try to load Child's Play 2 or Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter into the DVD player.
- Dave in South Orange, the
former original call screener, calls to taunt his successor. Tom is surprised he got through considering Mike was throwing a temper tantrum about the possibility of his call. He put the program's call screeners into categories based on the first three Bruce Springsteen albums:
Mike: Born to Run
Dave says he has a couple of dozen vintage FOT cards, and Tom wonders if he went through his stuff. Mike calls Dave a kleptomaniac and wants to know his intent because it sounds like he's pulling the old Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. Dave says the siren song of eBay is a tempting marketplace for these rare pieces. Tom prepares him for disappointment and wants to make a bet on the over/under on the total revenue from the auctions. Dave asks him if there are comparable items on eBay for pricing comparison. Tom's sure that there are other freeform radio shows that are selling off membership cards in bulk. Dave says he would sell the cards individually. Tom says if he does another run, the cards will be metal and engraved. Dave says those cards would be problematic since they'd set off alarms at airport security checkpoints. Tom says this is a great point. Mike did not think of this when he told him the metal cards were a great idea. Dave stresses the value of bouncing ideas off of someone who has wisdom and experience. Tom tells Dave it's time for him to set his phone down and turn his radio up so he can continue the show.
- A young man named Dan in Hoboken sent Tom a link to Jeff Pearlman's hilarious "Run wild with the ultimate playlist" article for ESPN Page 2. Tom reads Pearlman's introduction:
In the clichéd world of the American marathon, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" reigns supreme and -- unfortunately for millions of innocent eardrums -- ubiquitous. Marching bands play it along courses. Cover bands butcher it incessantly. Those among us who believe in singing aloud to iPods squeal it with death-inducing gusto. In other words, it's fri**in'* everywhere.
*No, Jeff, you can't say the "f" word on Tom's show.
Pearlman compiles the ultimate workout mix:
1. "Lose Yourself" - Eminem
2. "Jesus Walks" - Kanyay West
Tom thinks a running song would be more appropriate four minutes into a workout.
3. "King of the Nighttime World" - Kiss
Tom questions sequencing a Kiss track this early in the setlist because the band generally preferred partying to physical fitness. He doesn't want to think of fat Gene Simmons when he's trying to pour it on.
4. "I Try" - Talib Kweli with Mary June Blight
Tom's okay with this one.
5. "Laying it on the Line" - Jefferson Starship
Pearlman's Why: "By this point Jefferson Starship (ROCK TIP: once Jefferson Airplane) had become a shell of its revolutionary self. But this song -- powerfully sung by Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas -- combined Aerosmith-esque gusto with a passionate anti-war message."
Tom believes this selection proves that Pearlman is insane and has the worst taste in music. He thinks the band's so-called revolutionary spirit involved seeing how much they could take for themselves. Tom's favorite part of the Altamont Speedway Free Festival is when Jefferson Airplane frontman Marty Balin, fresh from a trip to the Denim-Clad Dad's San Francisco boutique, is knocked out by a Hell's Angel. Tom questions Pearlman's reading of the song as anti-war unless the band is singing about the invasion of Grenada.
6. "Scenario" - A Tribe Called Quest
7. "Enter Sandman" - Metallica
Tom doesn't know who would ever want to hear this song again. Definitely not Spike.
8. "Jump Around" - House of Pain.
Tom wonders if Pearlman is working out at a frat house or a T.G.I. Friday's.
9. "Highway to Hell" - AC/DC
Tom initially can't place the track, but he quickly remembers that he's heard it 8 billion times.
Pearlman's Why: The beat, the tempo the riff, the message -- and one of the most celebrated voices in rock history," says Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw. "You can hurt yourself if you're not careful."
Tom dismisses Shaw's praise because he is responsible for tracks like Styx's "The Best of Times".
10. "Crazy in Love" - Beyonce w/ Jay-D
Tom likes it, but he would prefer this:
11. "Harder To Breathe" - Maroon 5
Pearlman's Why: Written by singer Adam Levine about the frustration of dealing with a record label. The result is a frenzied, angry, fast-paced masterpiece.
Tom doesn't want to endure Levine whining about back-end points and tour support while he's working out.
12. "Too Cold" - Vanilla Ice
Tom can't believe that Pearlman is bringing his best tracks to the table. He doesn't think there is room for this rap-metal remake of "Ice Ice Baby" on a 160-gb iPod. To be honest, I think the grooves are fairly crucial.
13. "Panama" - Van Halen
14. "Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osbourne
At this point, Tom thinks Pearlman may just be listing the tracks on the Wayne's World 2 soundtrack.
- A caller says he's totally on board with the Tommy Shaw bashing, and Tom continues to run down a few more Pearlman gems:
19. "Welcome to the Jungle" - GNR
The caller says it rocks. Tom agrees that it's a rockin' song, but he doesn't think people really need to hear it anymore. The caller says it doesn't rule, but it's a good song that definitely rocks.
22. "Walk This Way" - Run DMC w/ Steven Tyler & Joe Perry. Tom likes the Aerosmith original and plenty of Run-DMC material, but he doubts this collaboration made anyone happy. The caller loved it -- he thought the original rocked and the rap-rock remake ruled.
Tom recognizes the caller's voice and musical rating categories. It's Ronald Thomas Clontle. He's enjoying the show, and he thinks he may have appeared on it a couple of years ago. Tom says it would have been more than a couple years ago, but RTC says it seems like it was very recent. (It was in fact 111/19/97.) RTC recalls that Tom was giving him a hard time when he was promoting "The Bible." Tom remembers that he had "that book" out at the time, and RTC thinks this is very dismissive of Rock, Rot & Rule. He says that a lot of people refer to R-squared as their personal Bible. Tom thinks it should be R-cubed, but RTC says the comma between Rock and Rot joins the two words into a single R. He calls Tom an idiot for his grammatical-mathematical mishap. Tom thinks RTC is a bit spicy tonight. The book, which files a wide range of groups into the titular categories, was billed as the "ultimate argument settler", although many readers felt Clontle's research -- patrons of Java The Hut in Lawrence, Kansas, and a few stray Floridians -- was a bit thin. RTC says the book is in its 10th edition and continues to sell well.
RTC says things were going great for a long time, but he certainly made a lot of enemies with members of bands that received his rot rating. In a nutshell, the bass player from Letters to Cleo tried to kill him with a buck knife because Clontle said his band rotted. RTC says he somehow got into his apartment. Tom apologizes for laughing. RTC was not a fan of LTC's hit "Here and Now" because frontwoman Kay Hanley talked too fast for his liking. U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. also tried to end RTC's life due to his unauthorized biography, Irish Thunder: The Larry Mullen, Jr. Story, Part I. RTC says he was always fascinating by Mullen, Jr's dynamic drumming, but he always seemed like the quiet guy in the group. Since little was known about the man, RTC pitched the book idea to Penguin. They leapt at a follow-up because R-squared was selling so well and gave him a huge advance. RTC says he blew the money on coke and then some additional coke.
When RTC began work on the book, he discovered that Mullen, Jr. is not the most interesting guy on Earth. In order to add some excitement to his life story he had to start fudging facts. For example, he wrote that Mullen ran away from home at age 13 to play drums for Van Morrison, joined The Chieftains, and killed his mother. All three things were not true. Mullen was not pleased about the claims of matricide and blocked the book from release. While this was certainly a career setback, RTC says Jazz, Rot & Rule sent him further off the tracks. For this book, RTC took the ratings scale for R-squared and applied it to jazz music. He says that around this time he was riding so high and partying his buns off that his buddies gave him the nickname "The Conductor." He wants Tom to guess the origins of the moniker. Tom thinks it is based on the notion that RTC running the show at that time. RTC asks Tom what a conductor drives. Tom says a train. Bingo. RTC asks Tom what a train runs on, and Tom realizes that he's getting at rails, a common slang term of cocaine. However, RTC says he earned the nickname by orchestrating elaborate sex scenes at parties. He'd film the scenes and use them to blackmail people. Tom thinks it's terrible, but RTC think it's fun. He finds it hard to believe that Tom has never blackmailed anyone. He wants to know if the call screener kid has ever done any blackmailing. Tom assumes not because he's a good guy. RTC says it's just something you do. He's blackmailed at least 80 people to get money, free goods and products, and various favors.
RTC was at the top of his game and had a lucrative deal in place for JRR despite not being a big jazz fan. He likes Brian Setzer just fine, but he's really more into rock and pop. Tom's not sure if he'd consider Setzer jazz, but RTC says he has enough of a jazzy beat to qualify for the genre. He cites his take on "Jingle Bell Rock" as an example. Tom says that's not jazz. RTC says it sounds sorta like it. He thought the new book would be as easy as R-squared, but he found that he didn't really know that much about the artists. The lack of knowledge proved disastrous at a panel discussion the week of the book's release. The irascible Paul Higgins, VOTED the godfather of the modern convention, booked RTC for an appearance at the JazzCon. RTC says Higgins is still in the convention business, although he heard that he was recently almost murdered. In addition to RTC, the panel included Barry Newsome, the main editor at Downbeat, Milt Keller, jazz critic for The Boston Herald, and Wynton Marsalis. RTC says it got off to a really bad start when he didn't recognize Marsalis -- by name or face. Marsalis got really mad, and Keller explained to RTC that he was one of the great jazz trumpeters of all-time. RTC asked Keller if he meant like "Big Spider-Man", a failed attempt to reference the famous 1920s jazz pioneer Bix Beiderbecke. Tom is baffled by the wild misfire.
RTC says it's a name you hear a lot, but rarely see in print. Tom thinks RTC must have known that the Spider-Man character had not been around since the 1920s, but RTC says he thought Spidey and comics in general were around as far back as the Civil War. Tom points out that there were one-panel illustrations in that era, but not full-on superhero comic books. RTC wants to agree to disagree. Tom doesn't want to do that. RTC imagines that early Spider-Man arcs involved fighting abolitionist and top-shelf orator Frederick Douglass and helping clear the path for Major General William Sherman's march up to the north. Tom thinks RTC is just filling in the vast blanks in his head. RTC thinks it's sorta factual, but Tom says it has extremely little in common with factual historical information. To make matters worse, RTC said that Joe Zawinul was in the band Chicago. The panel informed him that JZ was in Weather Report. RTC says he tried to play it off like he meant he was in the city of Chicago that day. Everybody laughed and someone threw handburger at him. RTC then faked a "sick" (diarrhea) and ran off the diaz. RTC says he last heard that JRR was being used as insulation. Tom's curious about the sales figures. RTC has the data. It sold 132 copies. Tom says that's pretty bad, and RTC tells him to shut up.
RTC says things are about to take a turn for the much better because he just bought a half-house in Newbridge. He's excited about coming to town to be with a wonderful woman he fell completely in love with online. RTC says Sheila makes him so happy, and he's so glad he can help her out with her two kids. He's surprised that Tom knows of Sheila Larson because Newbridge is a big town. Tom thought she only had one kid, a youngster named Sky Walker. RTC calls Tom a munch because her son is named Sky Stalker. He says Sheila's second kid is named Dom. Tom says he has a brother named Dom who has been involved with Ms. Larson. RTC is not too concerned because it's a common name. Sheila sent him an odd picture of Dom -- he appears small, but he looks like he could be 12 or 47. Tom says 47 is the correct age for the Dom in question. RTC says he's wearing shoes, but his legs are very weird and stumpy. Tom suspects that Dom's adult legs are folded so his knees are on top of his shoes not unlike Tim Conway's condensed limbs for his Dorf on Golf character. RTC reviews the picture and says the comparison is accurate.
Dom is also wearing a tight, vintage-looking Transformers shirt. Tom says he knows his brother had such a shirt when he was in his mid- to late-teens, so this is likely an original, not one for the recent Michael Bay film. RTC asks Tom if he thinks Dom is with Sheila. Tom is sorry to bear the bearer of bad news, but he thinks RTC might be getting taken for a ride. RTC is distraught because now he will have to find a replacement First Lady (Kim Dalrymple?). He's pleased to announce his candidacy for the Newbridge Mayubernatorial election. He will officially enter the race this Thursday at the annual Turkey Pancake Fun Swim at Lake Newbridge. Tom's not familiar with this Thanksgiving event, and he's never consumed the main dish. RTC says they are super, super thick pancakes (about seven times the thickness of normal pancakes) with turkey parts and chunks. He thinks they are really good. RTC says each participant eats the required minimum of seven meat cakes and then goes for a swim in a "brisk" Lake Newbridge. Tom thinks the late-November water will be more than brisk, but RTC doesn't seem to mind because it gets the blood flowing. Tom wants to know if there are any ill effects from gorging on giant pancakes and then immediately exercising. RTC has heard of some problems, such as cramping, joint swelling, (heart stoppage), and some sinking. RTC says the turkey chunks can be really big and weigh down the swimmers.
RTC reveals his campagin slogan, which is best seen on a banner: Rock, Rot and (He Will) Rule (You, Newbridge). RTC thinks it rolls off the tongue. Tom thinks he's closing parentheses that were previously closed, but RTC points out that it was two sets of parentheses. He calls Tom a munch for failing to understand his punctuation. RTC says he will likely be running on behalf of The Ruler Party because he plans to rule everybody. Tom thinks that may be a bit intimidating for voters, but RTC says that once they hear about the primary issue of his platform, they will be excited. RTC is very concerned with cigarette smoking, which is about to be outlawed in public places in Newbridge. Tom wonders if he's looking to extend the law to stamp it out in other areas. RTC will do no such thing. He plans to overturn the ban because he thinks everyone should be able to smoke wherever, whenever, and whatever they want. Tom thinks there should be some restrictions on where you can smoke. RTC disagrees because smoking looks cool, citing Fonzie blowing smoke in people's faces while riding his chopper. Tom says Fonzie never smoked on Happy Days. RTC asks Tom to confirm this with Kevin, the call screener kid. Tom says it's Mike, and he will leave him out of the debate.
Since Tom is being such an argumentative creep, RTC says his fact act as mayor will entail Tom being drawn and quartered. He just needs to find the right artist to draw a picture of all the townspeople whipping quarters at his naked torso. He points out that Tom will be unable to guard his stuff because his hands will be tied up. Tom thinks that's insane. RTC says they used to do it all the time. Tom believes he can handle this variant on a punishment that is traditionally much more violent. While Tom will not attend the Turkey Pancake Fun Swim, RTC is sure Keith will be there. RTC is interested in Keith's mayubernatorial platform, and Tom says he's still in the brainstorming stage. Tank previously mentioned that Mike successfully floated a proposal to widen the mote around the old, abandoned Newbridge blimp hangar. RTC is not concerned about Keith siphoning votes because he will steal from him and film it to blackmail him, if necessary. Tom's not sure why he would document his own theft. RTC says he videotapes everything, including Tom right now. He's in a car outside the studio, and he plans to follow Tom home. He tells Tom he will see him on Thursday. He tells him to get ready to swim because it will be fun, except for the part where Tom drowns in the lake.
- Dan in Randolph, N.J., delivers one of the most bizarre comments in the history of the show, claiming that the previous caller was Bob, the disturbed man who delivered a medley of pre-recorded "takes" back in July. He wanted Tom to ask him how his unruly dog, Rollins Band, was doing. Dan is 18 years young, and he's applying to northeast schools such as Syracuse and Emerson to study communications. Tom suggests he might end up matriculating at Randolph CC, but Dan prefers to get to an exciting city like Syracuse where he can raise his freak flag. Tom hopes he's a fan of stock-car racing. Dan thinks he could get into the sport. Tom gets rid of Dan so he can resume puncturing Pearlman's playlist.
15. "Hot in Herrrrre" - Nelly
16. "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" - Public Enemy
Pearlman's Why: Simply the toughest, most poignant rap song ever written.
Tom disagrees. He think there are about nine other tougher, more poignant tracks on It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
17. "All These Things That I've Done" - The Killers
Pearlman's Why: Has gone from being yet another great song on a loaded album to a political call for action. Most importantly (running-wise), it's bouncy from beginning to end.
Tom, who was unfairly critical of the band's last album, doubts the song's activist bent, but he can't locate their debut to prove Pearlman wrong.
18. "Praise You" - Fatboy Slim
Pearlman's Why: What's not to love? Uplifting, lightning-fast, and it features a bridge that subtly samples the theme from the cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."
Tom laments Pearlman's woefully generic tastes.
20. "It Takes Two" - Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
Tom points out that Pearlman is stuck on hits, but then he starts to dig a little deeper.
21. "Son's Gonna Rise" - Citizen Cope
Pearlman's Why: Magical mixture of folk, blues, reggae and R&B, blending into one smooth sound.
Tom asks Mike to retrieve the band's The Clarence Greenwood Recordings recording to get a taste of this glorious fusion. He compares the merging of these genres to constructing a candy bar from gravel, filth, dirt, and rocks.
22. (see above)
23. "New Sensation" - INXS (pronounced "inks")
Pearlman's Why: For those who only know INXS from the insipid 2004 TV show "Rock Star," hit up the local CD store and buy the band's greatest hits album. The late Michael Hutchence had his issues, but his voice was a phonic cannon (emphasis added). "New Sensation" is INXS at its peak.
Tom would like to see Pearlman leave the 1980s. I'd recommend a Delorean ride to the early- to mid-1990s. Surely tracks like Urge Overkill's "Sister Havana", Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box", Green Day's "Basket Case", Warren G's "Regulate," and Veruca Salt's "Seether" would find purchase on the insides of his iPod. Wild Cards: Tool's "Sober", Nation of Ulysses' "Maniac Dragstrip", or Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter at Dame Lola's Erotic White Chocolate Store" (his "cooldown" song)
24. "Wanna Be Startin' Something" - Michael Jackson
Tom is speechless.
25. "Spin Around" - Kay Hanley
Pearlman's Why: Hanley, the former lead singer of Letters To Cleo, takes lame lyrics of lame songs from a lame movie* -- and absolutely, positively kills it. Letters To Cleo never earned the appreciation it deserved, but "Spin Around" and "Three Small Words" -- the best offerings on the Josie soundtrack -- show off Hanley's pipes and moxie and make for inspired running fare.
Hanley's Letters to Cleo ties remind Tom that the RTC Killer is still spying on him from his parked car. If nothing else, Pearlman has inspired Tom to run ... from his iPod.
*underrated and reportedly on the Criterion 2008 slate!
- A caller says all the talk about Pearlman's bloated "hair bands" reminded her that she saw a little story about Jens Hannemann, a recent guest on The Best Show, in last Sunday's The New York Times-Herald Times Tribune. After viewing the Complicated Drumming Technique DVD, she's highly motivated to learn to play drums in this progressive style. The caller asks Tom if the charismatic Hannemann generated an aura of electricity when he was in the studio. Tom says he did leave a presence behind. (A bag of Venezuelan Marching Powder, likely scored from his mother, was also discovered by a WFMU night janitor. He turned it over to Ken Freeman, and nobody has seen it since.) The caller mentions that she's part of a rare female trio, but Tom informs her that he gets more than a sprinkling of lady callers these days. She says she was surprised that Tom hung up on Amber, and then she gets a surprise of her own.
- Maniac FOT calls from North Windham, Maine, to say he totally agrees with Tom's assessment of Pearlman's horrendous playlist. He points out that it would be a terrible soundtrack for a workout because it's a mish-mash of tempos. Maniac FOT is a fan of music, but he's thinks it may be incompatible with running. Tom wants to videotape Pearlman on a treadmill to capture him shifting gears from "Hot in Herrrrrre" into "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" into the not-that-bouncy "All These Things That I've Done." Maniac FOT does an impression of techno music coming out of a Porta-Ghetto during a road race. He tells Tom that his FOT card has made the cut during wallet switcheroos for the past 4-5 years.
- Steve from the made-up enclave of Tiger Shark Alley, Brooklyn, calls to admit that several Pearlman picks were on his mix when he ran the New York City Marathon earlier this month. Steve included frat-fave "Jump Around" and The Killers tune. Tom asks Steve if he would really describe the latter as "bouncy from beginning to end." He wouldn't, but he thinks the slow-burn effectively mimics the ebbs and flows of a long trek. Tom has no use for this because he runs all 26+ marathon miles at top speed. He applies the same approach to everything he does, including this very radio show. Tom thinks Steve didn't win the race because he was derailed by his lethargic playlist. When Tom hears the starter pistol, he fires up just one song on a loop for the duration:
Tom considers entering the field for the 2008 NYC Marathon with one goal: to WIN. Steve admires Tom's confidence and laments that he lacked same competitive spirit.
- Buff calls from Montclair to improve on Maniac FOT's techno-music impression. Tom gives him the go-ahead, and he thinks Buff crushes Maniac FOT's performance despite an odd "How ya doin', man?" coda. Buff hopes Maniac FOT calls back because he doesn't think he gave it his best effort. Tom is not interested in turning his show into the Michael Winslow Pancake Invitational. He GOMPs Buff.
Time for a topic: Can We STOP? Tom flew back to Newbridge on the red-eye aeroplane (Deltoid?) and determined it was time to abandon the "No Smoking" signage and reminders in 2007. He doesn't think the flight attendants need to alert passengers to the smoke detectors in the lavatories unless gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson is on board. Tom would also like to put an end to the celebration of prevert publishing magnate Larry Flynt as some kind of proudly patriotic 1st Amendment crusader. He believes Flynt would gladly toss the U.S. Constitution out the window if its disposal offered a more lucrative business venture.
- Stephen in Chicago calls to say he used this topic two weeks ago at a Bingo Night he hosted. None of the patrons could offer any entries. Tom suspects Stephen is accusing him of sneaking into his Bingo game in a trenchcoat and sunglasses to steal his material. Stephen wants to stop the playing of John E. Cash's "Ring of Fire" at bars. Tom considers altering the topic title to avoid being compared to Carlos Mencia, but Stephen says he has nothing but respect for Tom's integrity. He planned to call pre-topic to discuss "Mike and the Mad Dog", an idea he may have stolen from Tom's previous Francesa & Russo takedowns. Stephen quotes Francesa talking about American Gangster: "Crowe is Crowe. This new movie's he's in -- and I haven't seen it -- but it's gotta be good. Crowe chasing Denzel? You gotta be a pretty bad director to have Crowe chasing Denzel and have it not be good." Tom tells Stephen that he did it.
- A short film by David Lynch based on Stevie Blue's (played by Michael J. Anderson) call to The Best Show. Let's Rock:
Stevie says Stephen in Chicago must be hanging out in the wrong bars because he can listen to John E. Cash songs one million times in a row and not get sick of them. He's also distressed by the advances in toy technology that have sapped all of the imagination from the childhood playtime experience. Stevie longs for the days when his son could make do with a teddy bear and a simple train set. He fears that children will become robots in 20 years. Stevie "says" his deceased uncle was once the Vice-President of Hasbro and got him simple delights like G.I. Joe dolls. He sees a lack of this kind of authenticity in the current toy marketplace. Tom's Deadwood-crazed nephew will play with 10-inch stove lighters for hours at at time, devising elaborate narratives where he's a flame-throwing hero doing battle against the walls of his house. He doesn't see the same level of creativity in kids riffing along with Guitar Hero. Stevie thinks we are headed for a day when four-year-olds will be able to obtain a pilot's license and fly a kiddie-sized aeroplane out of Kennedy Airport. Tom is very amused by the possibility, but he hopes he's dead by then (... and Stevie's gonna kill him).
Stevie says he was inspired to really push his music big-time after seeing the reality show, Six Degrees of Martina McBride. He thought all the contestants were terrible, while he has a catalog of great songs, such as his Valentine's Day 2006 single, "Chocolate Covered Hearts". He called Blackbird Studio in Nashville 20 times under the guise of Narvel Blackstock, Reba McIntire's husband, to try to get an "in" in the music industry. McBride's husband, John McBride, finally returned Stevie's call and cursed him out. At this point Stevie wants to pitch his material to John McBride in the hopes of him passing it along to his wife. He also wants to create a clothing line for the singer. Stevie claims someone called John on his behalf and got a positive response about this possible venture. He's now ready to send his songs, and he wants to know if Tom will get John on the air next week. He thought Tom might want to rap to him and make him part of the show. Stevie promises to take Tom (at gunpoint ... beep beep beep beepbeepbeepbeep) to the Grammy's next year. He will also make Tom his personal God if he agrees to help him out. Tom says he will think about it.
Stevie wants Tom to prep McBride about the Stevie Blue persona and his potential national impact. He admits to being crazy, but he's not nuts. He's confident that he has the tunes to become a star. Stevie thinks Martina McBride would be a great topic for The Best Show because people like her. Tom thinks she might be a tennis player, but Stevie tells him that she's actually a triple-platinum, Grammy-winning country singer. Tom will see what he can do and talk about it on a future show. He doesn't want to end up in Alan Freed territory. Stevie said he'd like to come back on the show and juice it up with some rockin' stuff. He asks Tom to just mull it over in his mind. Stevie signs off by telling Tom that he's #1 ... on his list of people he's going to murder. Stevie's dementia may be coming back in style. Stay tuned!
- The non-deciduous Martin in Edison wants to stop
the previous call everyone from being surprised at how fast Christmas-related decorations and music appear on the scene. Tom thinks this is a top-notch cease and desist order. After Halloween comes and goes, the Christmas stuff starts going up. End of story. Tom believes people who recall a later start date for the holiday push need to embrace a changing world. They probably remember polio, and we don't have that around anymore. Tom compares Martin to an evergreen because he brings it every week. The two men then express their love for each other.
- Tim K from Boston thanks Tom for playing some DMZ in his opening music set. Tom says it was either that or some Dropkick Murphys. Tim K thinks Tom made the right choice. Tom wants to stop all the phonies who became Red Sox fans four years ago when they finally broke the curse and won a World Series. Tim asks Tom if he has C
BVS in New Jersey. Tom does, but he will no longer shop there after Tim informs him that it stands for Consumer Value Store. Tim wants to stop the roaming pre-line that forms around the checkout counter when he's trying to buy his vitamin supplements. He finds it very nerve-wracking to get pushed all the way back to the seasonal aisle. Tom doesn't like this either. Along the same lines, he wants to stop the lone mutant who stands in the wrong spot at the Post Office, attracting other customers to join in on this stupid lane change.
- Chris from Boston is having some Survivor Guilt (pant rummage?) for receiving one of the last FOT membership cards. Tom tells Chris he should rid himself of it because he promptly filled out the application unlike some of his peers. While he will miss out on the substitute sticker pack, Chris says he's at a point in his life where he can get by with the Best Show sticker he already has. He wants to stop adults from dressing up like their favorite sports heroes on days other than 10/31. Tom is also not interested in seeing a fat, 5' 5" white guy walking down the street wearing Kevin Garnett's full uniform. Chris was on fire, but he loses it by trying to enter rarified air with an ill-advised reference to the Qdoba Mexican Grill. Word of advice: if you are going to reference a Mexican eatery on The Best Show, make it Paquito Mas or don't bother.
- Rookie of the Year Eddie from Long Beach, Long Island, steps back up to the plate to try to continue his torrid freshmen campaign. Eddie wants to stop guys from attempting to obscure their double-chins by growing a goatee. He cites Cablevision Chairman James Dolan as an offender of the dubious tactic that actually serves to accentuate the extra flap of skin. Tom was ready to zing Eddie back to a seat on the pine, but he pressed the right buttons once again.
- Boring Owen wants to scale back the weather reports to omit information such as wind chill-adjusted "real feel" readings. He just wants to know if it's cold so he can grab his coat. Tom would be fine if they skipped actual temperatures in favor of basic categories: Really Cold, Cold, Kinda Cold, Nice, Really Nice, and Hot. I wouldn't think Owen would really care about cold weather since it's always 135 degrees in his Hungrr costume.
- Weirder Jon wants to stop the faux LOL-ing that has become prevalent in IM conversations. He's had co-workers type LOL to him from the next cubicle, but he doesn't hear any laughter. Tom thinks he should call them out as liars for not making good on the OL claim. The LOLs often arrive with a smiley face, and Tom was working on a hot project for Pixar called Icons before the strike hit. The romantic comedy follows the story of the smiley face with the sunglasses (Patton Oswald) falling in love with the female smiley with the makeup (Kristen Wiig). The angry guy (Jeff Garlin) is his boss, and they end up getting into a big fight. The weisenheimer sticking his tongue out is sunglasses smiley's, and the bad guy is the confused smiley face (Jim Norton). Tom assures WJ that the one with the heart (Rip Taylor) will appear in Act III.
- Evan from Providence hates flag-waving veterans! (And people with magnetic "Support Our Troops" ribbons who won't let said vets merge.)
- Some guy hates freshly-ground black pepper!
[More to come.]
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Tom plays not one but TWO ABBA tracks, Glenn Donzig calls to announce some major news, and the powerful stench of Old Money!