The Love Pit.
"Fontasies." -- Matthew "Fluxblog" Perpetua, correcting Pseu on the pronunciation of his pledge card ode to Gene
"We gotta keep Mike's phone busy, 'cause otherwise he's gonna start telling August about weird movies, and we don't want that to happen." -- Tom, trying to thwart corrupting Lukas Moodysson and Werner Herzog dissertations with pledges
"Amoeba, very nice store. Very hard to shoplift from that store. Very hard." -- Tom on the tight security at the West Coast independent music retailer
"Jerry Reed is doing The Iceman Cometh down there now, so anybody who wants to check that out -- it's really thrilling." -- Tom, recommending the Eugene O'Neill production at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, FL
"I'm from the streets! Everything I learned I learned in back alleys, like around garbage cans with flames coming out of there like the beginning of Rocky." Tom, reiterating his slob bona fides in an appeal to the Common Man
"Fix that thing, nerds. Place is filled with nerds. Can't throw a rock without hittin' a nerd around here. Step up, nerds, fix that thing!" -- Tom, looking for prompt IT support after pledges set the computer ablaze
"I come in with the wind, I disappear in the morning mist." -- The Famous Flamer, detailing the oddly peaceful itinerary for his Weekend Sale-a-Thons
"My life is either awesome or horrible. I got no time for 74 degrees and clear. It's either gotta be blazin' hot and I'm on a skateboard, or it's snowin' and there's a Yeti comin' after me with a machine gun." -- The Famous Flamer, reveling in the extremes
"You know what's fair? Foghat at full volume -- that's fair!" -- The Famous Flamer, rejecting WFMU's indie garbage in favor of loud classic rock
"You can't unsee something like that." -- Tom on the horrific vision of a shirtless Jim Norton, the funniest comedian in New Jersey, submerged in a water tank at one of The Flamer's "salebrations"
"'Tumbleweeds' is slang for crank, right?" -- Patton Oswalt, confirming that Mac from Las Cruces was making a drug reference in his pledge comment
"I want to squeeze every cent out of everyone listening. We are not gonna hit 11 o'clock before I have shook all of you upside down by your legs, and the coins have fallen out." -- Tom, taking your lunch money and bleeding you dry
"He has this knife on his belt. It scares me. He sharpens it like on a leather strap." -- Tom, revealing Associate Producer Mike's weapon of choice
"Yes, we clap for Pitchfork! What're you worried about 7.5s? We clap! We get a 7.8 now." -- Tom, saluting the music website for their support
"... the life of kings." -- H. L. Mencken
Mott The Hopple - "The Journey"
( Click here to buy Brain Capers)
Sleater-Kinney - "Anonymous"
( Click here to buy Call The Doctor)
Be Your Own Pet - "Heart Throb"
( Click here to buy Get Awkward)
Negative FX - "The Few, The Proud"
( Click here to buy Negative FX/Last Rights)
Black Francis - "When They Come To Murder Me"
( Click here pre-order SVN Fngrs)
Sixteen Deluxe - "Babyheadrush"
( Click here to buy Backfeed Magnet Babe)
Superchunk - "Seed Toss" (live)
( Click here to buy Clambake Series Vol. 1: Acoustic In-Stores East & West)
Soft Machine - "We Did It Again"
( Click here to buy Vols. 1 & 2)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
The Week 2 Marathon Players
Host: Tom Tom Thomas The Tank Engine
Co-host: So Pseu Me I Ran Over Your Dog Braun
Special Guests: Ted Leo The Lionhearted (straight-up funny not just musician funny), Ben Ben 10 of 10 Gibbard, Famous Flamin' Floyd from Fresno, and Gen. Patton "The Wizard of" Oswalt
Tom starts off his final marathon show with Jay-Z's "What More Can I Say?", indicating that he's run out of words to stress how important it is for everyone -- from the white whales to the guppies to the carp in Lake Newbridge -- to pledge to The Best Show. If you live in Brooklyn, you will have to forgo cocaine purchases for the next month in order to do the right thing. Tom knows that everyone would get sad and cry if WFMU didn't exist, so donating money is the only way to avoid this emotional breakdown for another year. Last week, he brought in an amazing $40,000, and he will ascend to his rightful throne if he can top it. The pieces are all in place for a very special night. Tom asks Glen to pump up Pseu's volume to take full advantage of her commanding pipes. The equally stentorian Ted Leo is primed to reprise his legendary 2007 Marathon appearance, and he's got former Wawa recording artist Gibb Benson to help make even more rock 'n roll dreams come through. Professional comedian Patton Oswalt is en route from a candlelight vigil for D&D pioneer Gary Gygax. Unless you want to get catapulted to that great Level-1 Module in the sky, it's time to pony up some 20-sided pledges. If there are no pledges, There Will Be No FUN. It's go time.
Tom announces that Mike the Associate Producer will autograph two Strotesick DVDs, including his personal copy, as part of tonight's impressive prize stash. Mike has frequently displayed an infinite reservoir of cinematic sickness by championing depressing European art films as legitimate comedies. Tom prefers American fare like The Wedding Crunchers to depictions of ski-lift suicides and existentially futile games of chicken Tic-Tac-Toe.
Winner #1: Joan from Seattle
Winner #2: ??????????
Ted Leo Set #1
Ted Leo - "The Spirit of Radio" (for "Deep Pockets" Laurie)
Ted Leo - "Clowntime Is Over"
Since Patton is stuck in traffic, he sends Famous Flamin' Floyd from Fresno, an aggressive car salesman known for running "Weekend Sale-a-Thons" at Orzman Dodge in Vienna, VA, Fair Oaks Dodge in Centerville, VA, and Miller Nissan in Richmond, KY, to shoot pledges through the roof. The Flamer, who has been at it on the double nickel (i.e., 20 years), explains that he's not affiliated with a home dealership -- he's just a hired gun who comes in with the wind and disappears in the morning mist, leaving behind an empty lot. He sets the asphalt on fire (figuratively?), forcing people to purchase the vehicles before they burn to cinders. The Flamer's stellar sales record includes moving 417 cars in one day back in 1991.
The Flamer salutes the phone volunteers and makes some intriguing revisions to the pledge board:
Brain Donor (The Y3K Pledge) ($1,000) = Space Champion
Heart Donor (50th Anniversary Pledge) ($500) = Spartan Warrior
Ear Donor (Mouse of Today Pledge) ($365) = Steve McQueen with a Skull Face
Eye Donor ($150) = RAPIST
Kidney Donor ($75) = Honky Lips
The Flamer says he'd like Spartan Warror-level pledgers to be shirtless and ripped while waving swords and mowing down everyone in their paths. He employs a similar strategy at his Weekend Salebrations on the lot. For example, if a customer leaves the premises without a new car, he follows them home to spray paint "RAPIST" on their garage door. Tom isn't entirely sure what the term "Honky Lips" means, and The Flamer is unable to provide a proper defintion. However, he assures Tom that it will elicit an egging when scrawled across the exterior of one's home. The bottom line: The Flamer is confident that listeners prefer to be Steve McQueen with a Skull Face instead of Rapists and Honky Lips. He lives his life by placing things into the extreme camps of awesome or horrible. The Flamer says he has no time 74 degrees and clear. He wants to ride a skateboard in the blazing heat or get attacked by a Yeti with a machine gun in the middle of a snowstorm.
When The Flamer arrives at a dealership, he tells the staff that the days of just meeting quotas are over. Under his tutelage, they will either drain the competition in the local market or meet a fiery end. The Flamer threatens to sneak in at night to light Sterno® cans under the air conditioner, sending flames back into the heating ducts and burning the place to the ground. He refers to this strategy as "sales." Tom thinks it's something completely different. The Flamer usually works in tandem with "The Blue Raja", a wet brain he retrieves from the train tracks and paints blue. If customers can chase his underling around the lot three times, The Flamer will give them $10 off any car they want. Tom is confused about this promotion. The Flamer is pleased because his techniques are not for Tom to understand. He's says that he's trying to create an exciting event, not a knowable "thing" that you can stick in a photo album. He compares his approach to lightning -- it's a force out there in the air, and you just have to get out of its way. Tom is troubled by the fact that he actually kinda understands this explanation.
The Flamer thinks Tom would be an asset on one of his Price Chopper Tours. He is often hired by three rival dealerships in the same county/area code to set off competitive warfare in a round-robin format. Widdershins and harvest moons are somehow involved. By Sunday at 9 a.m. the entire town has gone crazy, and, more importantly, they are all driving around in new cars that they probably did not need. Tom criticizes the Price Chopper fly-bys for being a short-term solution to sales shortfalls. The Flamer argues that the short-term is the long-term -- if you get the money now and frighten people into being called Rapists and Honky Lips, they will become lifelong customers. Similarly, listeners will now pledge to become Steve McQueen with a Skull Face, yielding another year of WFMU's "godawful indie music" programming. Tom thinks the assessment is unfair, but The Flamer thinks Foghat at full volume is more fair. He later approves of a pledge request for The Hooters' "And We Danced" and attempts to perform the melodica part.
Tom agrees to cart up some Foghat if The Flamer can deliver pledges. The Flamer heard Ted Leo's opening set, but he didn't quite get it aside from the Rush riff. He frequently plays "The Spirit of Radio" as accompaniment to promotions involving an oiled lady riding an electronic bull in the parking lot. While customers watch the show, The Flamer's employees lift their wallets, run their credit cards, and leave them with a new car they have to drive home. He says the scheme never fails. Tom finds it a bit too extreme for his liking. The Flamer orchestrates a "W! FMU!" clap-chant and tells the volunteers they will be fired if they don't start answering phones. Tom asks The Flamer to give out the phone number, but he doesn't know what it is. He says he's more accustomed to closing the deal by running and throwing keys at people. The prospective customers get so scared that they leave with a new car. The Flamer bumps Pseu aside and reads the relevant pledge particulars, including the option to pledge online, the "Internet thing for shut-ins." He predicts that Mr. Oswalt will whine and moan when he finally arrives at the studio. The Flamer suspects that he's currently sipping herbal tea and reading a Sue Grafton novel. Meanwhile, the Flamer is attaching a jet engine to Tom's diesel chainsaw. Tom loves it. Space Champions! No Rapists!
The Flamer asks Pseu for permission to do clap pushups behind her as she thanks the next batch of pledgers. He completes one grueling set.
Ben Gibbard Set #1
Ben Gibbard - "You Remind Me of Home"
Ben Gibbard - "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" (for Hate Pit resident Mickey Dolenz)
Gibbard's performance causes The Flamer to get caught up in the "indie loser" spirit. He says he will stay at WFMU until dawn and challenges anyone to stop by for a crunch contest at 5 a.m. The Flamer eventually applies some lip balm and becomes very sleepy. It's Blue, presumably purchased at Das Sieben Und Der Elf. He's out. A well-deserved nap.
A Tale of Two GOMPs
"You GOMP people, too? My GOMP is a guy in a big green costume, and if you leave without buying a car, he throws a hammer at you. That's what we call GOMPing." -- The Flamer, opting for a more violent take on Tom's sissified, Miss Marple hang-ups
Ted Leo Set #2
An out-of-breath Patton rushes into the studio after a delayed flight, and he wants to make sure that The Flamer arrived from Ponca City, OK. Tom informs him that his opening act is currently resting. Patton says he heard something about The Flamer either doubling all the pledges or putting anthrax in the New Jersey water supply. While The Flamer was a bit more boisterous, Patton, whose voicework in the Academy Award-winning Ratalouie launched him into the top 1% of the semi-famous, is equally effective at garnering pledges. Tom was under the mistaken impression that the Pixar film was a Pearcy & Blotzer musical.
"Whenever I see a morbidly obese pop-n-locker guy in the front with suspenders, that's the first guy I search." -- Patton Oswalt, scoping out the bootleggers at his live comedy shows
Oh My God
Ben Gibbard (ft. Ted Leo) - "Porcupine Pie"
1. Sloan - Never Hear The End Of It (Winner: Eric from Red Bank)
2. Times New Viking - Rip It Off (Winner: Rory from Madision, WI)
3. Carbonas - Carbonas (Winner: Andy from Brooklyn)
4. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Jukebox Explosion: Rockin' Mid-90s Punkers! (Winner: Mason from Ontario)
5. Pavement - Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (Winner: Bob from Portland, OR)
6. The Replacements - Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? - The Best of the Replacements (Winner: Colin from Toronto)
7. Amy Sedaris - I Like You: The Life and Times of Borat S. (Winner: Keenan from Brooklyn)
8. The Dictators - Every Day Is Saturday (Winner: South River Johnny)
9. Hank IV - Third Person Shooter (Winner Bob from Seattle)
10. Tetes Lourdes: Francais Metal de Proto: Le Super Rock Serie 1970 (Winner: Mick from JC)
The ending of Home Box Office's The Wire Kelley Stoltz - Circular Sounds (Winner: Paul from Belleville)
12. Miss Alex White and The Red Orchestra - Space & Time (Winner: Gordon from
South Dakota Ossining)
13. Autographed Ted Leo poster (Winner: Lee in Oklahoma City)
14. The Final Solutions - Songs By Solutions (Winner: Pudge in Newbridge)
15. Norse Savage - We've Got Spirit (Winner: Sam in Whitehall, Michigan)
Grand Prize: Todd Barry - From Heaven / Patton Oswalt - Werewolves and Lollipops / Zach Galifiankis - Live at the Purple Onion / Human Giant - The Complete First Season DVD / Autographed Conan O'Brien picture / Autographed Aqua Teen Hunger Force poster (Winner: Kent in Toronto)
NJ Landmarks Cited
- Nevada Diner
- Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash
- Romantic Depot
- Russian Dream Restaurant
- Scotchwood Diner
- Fords Jewelers
- Avenel Prison, Prevert Unit
- Vintage Vinyl
- Fire N Ice
- South Amboy Chuck E. Cheese (RIP)
- West Essex YMCA
Better Luck in 2009: (Mostly) Unfulfilled Pledge Requests
Billy Joel - "Just The Way You Are"
Rod Stewart - "Maggie Mae"
K7 - "Come Baby Come"
The Cure - "Six Different Ways"
Glen Campbell - "Wichita Lineman"
Chisel (any tracks)
Big Dipper (any tracks)
Jonathan Richman - "Government Center"
Black Flag - "TV Party"
The Adicts - "Viva La Revolution"
Billy Bragg - "New England"
Neutral Milk Hotel - "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
Robert Pollard - "I'm A Strong Lion"
The Hooters - "And We Danced"
Sheryl Crow - "If It Makes You Happy"
Bruce Springsteen - "Dancing in the Dark"
Taylor Dayne - "Tell It To My Heart" (PO performed an a cappella snippet)
Tom Scharpling - "Pizza Party"
The Pogues - "Dirty Old Town"
The Postal Workers - "Such Great Heights"
The Mighty Diamonds - "I Need A Roof"
Carly Simon - "Anticipation"
Henry Owings - "Tom, I'll Double My Pledge If You Take Your Clothes Off"
"What do you want from us? If this place blows up, the entertainment industry's in trouble. This place blows up, you're gonna be asking that guy from Third Eye Blind to start working on a new album. Nobody wants that! We finally showed that guy the door. Now we're gonna have to let him back in 'cause there's nobody good alive." -- Tom, stressing the importance of protecting the Good Guys by pledging during The Big Push
Tom Scharpling & Ben Gibbard & Ted Leo & Patton Oswalt - "Take A Chance On Me"
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Tom makes the jump to XM for "Hour of Power", his new program featuring Adult Album Alternative and chit-chat with your favorite Republican luminaries. Eat chain, Little Steven. GOOD GUY WINS!!!!
Scharpling Makes, The World Takes.