The Working Man.
"If Dave has me eating meat other than people meat, GOMP him." -- Ted, taking a stand on his potential vegan lapse in "The World Is in the Turlet" video, via IM
"I like that you didn't challenge that also. You accepted that you possess the power to creep people out." -- Tom, noting Spike's embrace of his most obvious and effective superpower
"I like Adam Sandler, but I don't like his movies." -- Spike, offering an odd declaration of fandom for the film star
"You can't cuff a ghost." -- Tom, pointing out the perils of police responding to paranormal activity
"My God, that call was straight outta the Exorcist II: The Her-etic or something, wasn't it?" -- Darren Ploppleton, linking Officer Tom's ghost story to the horror sequel
"Uhhh. You are Zoso stupid, Tom." -- Darren, dissing Tom for not knowing about Jimmy Page's new medical practice
"Can you imagine going down to Jimmy Page's office, and all the nurses are like preppin' you for your like vasectomy or whatever, and you and Pagey are jammin' on 'Black Dogs'?" -- Darren, pondering one of the bonuses of having a guitar hero doctor
"You know, it seems like if I won, which I probably would, I just wouldn't get to spend any time with my family." -- Darren, joining the growing roster of Mayubernatorial dropouts
"It isn't because I'm growing dreadlocks, and you're not, is it?" -- Darren, trying to figure out why Tom is mad at him
"It's almost like the Hilter-Jesus Alliance." -- Darren, referencing an unlikely historical pairing to highlight the irony inherent in his The Spackler-Smails Alliance band
"Come on, we have a song called 'Doody!'" -- Darren, begging Tom to reenact the Caddyshack Baby Ruth pool scene during the debut TS-SA performance at The Lunchpad
"I think you'll be way, way, way down if you don't let Sven take that job." -- Darren, warning Tom about the ramifications of not relinquishing his double-C job to Sven Halversom
"I was like, 'Wow, who is this band? Who's that guy with the big nose and the hair?' Actually, I was like, "Who was that lady with the big nose and the big hair." - Michael K, getting his first glimpse of Mrs. Geddy Lee at a late-1970s Rush show in The Pitts
"I'm movin'. I'm movin' to Toronto. And no one can dissuade me from it." -- Tom, bearing a gift beyond price on the night of Canada's 141st birthday
"I should smear some liverwurst on it, let Dogmo go to town on it." -- Tom, concocting a plan to destroy Adrienne Barbeau's new vampire novel
"Yeah, he was you 30 years ago." -- Tom, schooling Tyler from the LES on David Peel
"I gotta say, we need to fill in the area between Wayne Gretzky and Mo Rocca." -- Tom, looking to populate the huge talent gulf between the Canadian hockey great and the American "fundit"
"It's actually hard for me to pinpoint which of them is more of a suck on the world's energy." -- Joanna from Portland, struggling to place Jared Leto above or below Harmony Korine
"You show up at any half respectable construction site wearing a Devo hat? You'll get beat by some guy with a nail gun. -- Tom, urging against the use of New Wave hardhats in actual work environments
Boris - "Laser Bean"
( Click here to buy Smile)
Granicus - "When You're Movin'"
( Click here to visit Granicus on Myplace!)
Made Out of Babies - "Buffalo"
( Click here to buy The Ruiner)
Unrest - "Can't Sit Still" (from Tink of S.E.)
( Click here to buy Unrest recordings)
Epoxies - "Molded Plastic"
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Sybris - "Burnout Babies"
( Click here to acquire Into the Trees)
Liz Phair - "Stratford-on-Guy"
( Click here to buy the Exile in Guyville reissue)
Guided By Voices - "Dig Through My Window"
( Click here to buy The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet)
Big Dipper - "Jet" (Wings cover)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun before the Western world perishes in 2023:
- A caller asks Tom if he's still soliciting opinions on Superhero Movie. He says that he kinda likes all those crazy spoof-em-ups. Tom says his favorite character in the film was James. He did it! Tom James'd James!!! He wonders how James likes them apples, which are now his favorite fruit since he referenced them in the context of putting the little worm back in his place. Tom bets that James's cheap toupee is spinning around on his bald head. He thinks the ASPCA should investigate this repulsive hairpiece.
Tom has frequently put on a figurative helmet (and accompanying strap) to cushion the blow of potentially damaging announcements from callers, but this week he's wearing a
legitimate metaphorical hardhat to return to his roots of radio for the Common Man. Tom later reveals that Mike brought his hardhat from work to protect him while screening calls. He finds it odd that the supervisors at Circuit City issued Mike a hardhat, especially one with "World's Greatest Grandpa" emblazoned on the front. Tom knows that Mike is not a grandfather, so he's concerned that there is a real one missing his hardhat. At one point during the show Mike asks Tom if a St. Patrick's Day hat is a viable hardhat substitute. Tom wants no part of a hat that is made from the flimsiest plastic on Earth. He believes that the holiday headgear is as appropriate as showing up to a construction site with a Devo hat. The end result of this ill-advised decision would involve getting attacked by mad hardhatters armed with nail guns. After checking his levels with a few hearty bellows of "Hard Hat Radio," Tom realizes that four lines are already lit up this early in the program. He jumps right into the terrifying pre-topic terrain.
- Power Caller Dave from Knoxville calls after a hiatus due to the chaos of the close of another academic campaign. He got tied up with administering final exams and the various activities of his own kids. As a result, Dave fell behind on The Best Show, but he was able to catch up this past weekend while the rest of his family was out of town. Dave reached the historic "The World Is in the Turlet" episode, which excited him more than any previous installment. He's a bit concerned that the white-hott tune will languish in the archives and not achieve the appropriate level of worldwide acclaim. Tom assures him that it's a hit, and he's hopeful that it will top the charts. Dave wants to pitch his idea for the video.
Section I: The atmosphere is very joyful as Ted opens with the roll call of the band members during a show at an open-air venue with a covered stage. As he gets to his name, flames suddenly erupt in the roof and out in the crowd. When Ted indicates that the Western world will perish in 15 years, the sky turns red followed by a whiteout. Tom likes it so far.
Section II: A little time has passed, indicated by the early stages of Ted's beard growth. He's been forced to survive in the wilderness of a decaying society, taking refuge in a grocery store along with the Pharmacists. He's wearing a t-shirt (Public Enemy?) with a button that says "Meat is Murder," a belief that is proving somewhat problematic at the end of a two-week hideout. Ted has exhausted the supply of vegan substenance. No electricity. No refrigeration. No additional food transports coming into town. Ted has to leave the safety of the store to figure out a way to sustain himself. As he roams the streets, he sees a group of teenagers kicking what appears to be a soccer ball. Ted approaches them and realizes that the ball is bouncing and rolling quite strangely. One kid gets ready to blast a shot just before the "palaver" line leads into the second chorus. He fires it against the wall to reveal that the ball is actually a human head that has been sewn inside a tote bag that was painted to look like a soccer ball.
Dave wants to avoid a crass marketing strategy, but he thinks there is a real opportunity to tailor the video to different target demographics. Since he expects regional and international airplay for the video, he recommends preparing three heads (sounds like a job for Tom Savini!):
Red States: Howard Dean
Blue States: Donald Rumsfeld
James Bob Saget, the most universally hated American
Dave sees the shot of the human soccer ball as an homage to the decapitated robot in Aliens . The zombie eyes will then pop open to sing along with the chorus.
Section III: The passage of more time has given Ted a much longer beard. He's scraggly and starving when he finds himself at the shore. Tom thinks Big Steve may have to shave for this video. Dave initially thinks Tom has cast flameout rookie/set nanny Steve from North Hollywood in the piece. Tom says he was referring to the drummer for the Pharmacists. He wouldn't let that other jinx within 10 miles of the project. In fact, Tom bans Steve from NoHo from even watching the finished video.
Ted is still wearing the "Meat is Murder" button on his now-tattered shirt, and his bandmates are staggering around. Ted's hunger is reaching new levels, and other displaced citizens appear to be taking some desperate survival measures: constructing homemade spits to roast large rats. These people are sourcing their proteins from a bubbling stream that outlets into the ocean. Intermittent explosions churn the waters to bring 8-10 rats swimming around the surface. The people then dive into the water, grab the rats, and put them on the spits. Ted checks his button. He's so hungry that he takes it off and throws it on the ground. He and the Pharmacists gather around the stream for the next wave of wet rats. As the song hurtles towards the "Moment of Triumph" conclusion, the band sees a rat riding downstream. They are hunkered down and getting in position to catch it. It reaches them just in time to match with the word "triumph." Ted jumps in and returns holding a rat aloft to celebrate his apparent success. But it's not a rat at all. It's a ratty old toupee.
Tom thinks it's a masterpiece. Dave says he has no talent for the requisite CGI to do the treatment justice, but he is confident that Petey will be able to handle it. Tom thinks we are in
good hands trouble with this choice for creative director. Dave says the video came to him yesterday like a dream, and he had to share his vision. Ted IM'd Tom during the discussion to request a GOMP if Dave had him eating meat other than human flesh. Dave says that he spared Ted that fate by substituting the rodent with the hairpiece, which will presumably not be consumed. Tom sees the underlying theme of the video as The Temptation of Ted Leo. He doesn't like it. He loves it. He wants to film the video as soon as he can secure the $8.5 million budget for what sounds like the "November Rain" of 2008. Dave says that he will take his hat to the highway to beg for donations.
Tom congratulates Dave on completing another school year, although the math professor is now teaching summer school every day. Tom thinks Dave can probably coast on these kids. Dave says that he introduces every class to The Best Show by showing them the (former) Supercaller poster and playing some clips. Tom thinks that's fantastic. He wonders if Dave brings in some Archie Comics so students can read them while he stares out the window for the duration of class. Dave compares his easygoing approach to the Mark Harmon vehicle, Summer School. Tom thought it was a good movie despite the fact that the kids all looked like they were 36. He recalls one male teen with a receding hairline that made him look older than Harmon. Dave asks Tom if he saw Transformers. Tom has been unable to get a copy of the film via Netflix. Dave says that Shia Laboof's girlfriend, played by Megan Fox, looks about 35. He thought she was the most sophisticated high school student he's ever seen in his life. Tom thanks Dave for a great call to get the show off to a great start. Things are about to change.
- The unmistakable sound of Spike's voice causes Tom to make a noise to indicate that the show has rapidly spiraled back down the turlet. DfK's video inspires Spike to ask TLRx to perform a free concert, which he would probably attend. (I suspect he would spend the bulk of the show shouting for some Animal Crackers/Citizens Arrest selections.) If he was asked, Spike would even introduce ("Heeeelllloooo, New York ...") the band, making a play to become the Beatle Bob of the Eastern seaboard. Tom really wants to make this work. A couple of weeks ago Spike appeared headed back to Chicago, but he now says that his summer trip will send him to D.C. or to visit friends in Boston. Tom informs Spike that TLRx will be doing a free show at Battery Park on Thursday, July 17th. Spike says that date is out because he has to go to his normal, non-dungeon job the next morning. Tom asks Spike if he works at Hardee's, but he still has his mysterious government job. Tom wonders if Spike is like Hellboy, working with a few other super-weirdos and kooks to save the world from dark forces. Spike says there are enough kooks in the White House.
Tom has an idea for a "Spike Force" collective of superheroes. Spike thinks it sounds lovely. Tom proposes an origin story that involves Spike in the audience for a sparsely-attended, God-forsaken, outdoor doo-wop spectacular in northern NJ. The Orioles are performing their big hit, "Crying in the Chapel," with their lone original member rolled out in a bed and hooked up to an oxygen tank. A lightning bolt suddenly strikes The Orioles and ricochets into Spike, transforming him into a superhero. Tom asks Spike what powers he would have other than the power to creep people out. Tom likes that Spike doesn't challenge him on this power. Spike adds flight and super-strength to his fictional resume. He tries to add another power, but he has difficultly articulating it. He wants to have the power to make sure that no one ages beyond 25. Tom is confused by Spike's apparent plan to suspend the aging process and create a world full of his most hated people. Spike says he would get rid of the kids. Tom realizes that Spike hasn't given the proper consideration to the specifics of this power. Spike says that he basically wants to ensure that everyone is 25 or older. Tom suggests the power to have everyone's age displayed on their foreheads to easily identify undesirables. Spike thinks this is a nice idea.
When a villain is attacking the city, Tom imagines that the mayor will project the image of a doo-wop 45 into the sky to signal Spike to get off his orange crate and put down the Healthy Choice meal that was heated in a microwave he found on the sidewalk. Spike will scurry into the dungeon and emerge in full superhero regalia like Superman spinning out of a phone booth. After taking flight, Spike will battle monsters like Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, and other anti-male irritants. Tom confirms that Spike will fight any woman who sticks up for themselves and feels that they have equal rights. Spike will also set his sights on the usual degenerates of society:
Frankie Lymon Snoop Kitty Kat, Seance, Jenny from the Bedroom, and Madonna. Tom is surprised that Spike doesn't have a clever nickname for Madonna. He says that its one of the seven words that George Carlin made sure you couldn't say on the radio. Tom appreciates Spike's restraint. Spike remembers to add Powder Puff Daddy to his enemy list.
Tom suggests that Spike would be like Travis Bickle if he got hit by lightning and had superpowers. Spike likes that idea even better because Taxi Driver is one of his favorite movies. Tom thinks he could also have the power to conjure the monsters from his favorite horror films and morph into his beloved villains. Spike, however, considers them to be heroes. Tom argues that while Spike may like them, they are villains because they spend their days killing normal people. Spike believes that they are heroically dispensing of stupid people. He gives Tom the go-head to continue fleshing out his story ideas. Tom asks Spike if he wants to have a full-time squadron or just conjure his cohorts as necessary. Spike prefers to conjure the likes of Chucky, Freddy, and Jason, putting on the classic hockey mask and whipping out a machete to take care of the horny teenagers. Tom thought Spike avoided dealing with under-25s, but Spike makes an exception when he is slicing and dicing them. He states his superhero policy of only taking care of people who irritate him. Tom thinks he has next summer booked with the shoots for the TLRx video and Spike and the Horror Squad. Spike thinks it's a lovely idea and allows Tom to sign him up for the latter project.
Tom asks Spike if he will see the upcoming Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Spike says he might, although he has not seen the first film. He is considering buying it on DVD at some point. Spike likes Adam Sandler, but he skipped You Don't Mess with the Zohan because he's not a fan of his movies. Tom finds this a bit strange considering Sandler has become a star by making films for the past two decades. He wonders if Spike prefers his interviews. Spike says he was a fan of Sandler on SNL and during his stand-up days. I was hoping that Spike would go really old-school and mention Sandler's great work (Stud Boy, Trivia Delinquent, etc.) on Remote Control, but no such luck. Spike is currently getting his entertainment fix from Judge Judy, his favorite television personality. Spike says that when he needs a laugh he turns to The Comedy Channel or pops in a DVD of Last House on the Left or I Spit On Your Grave. Tom gets rid of Spike because he crossed the line and summoned his power to creep people out. He doesn't see anything funny about those extreme films.
- Laurie from Miami asks Tom how he's doing, and she's concerned that he's just OK. Tom says that the peach pit is still lodged in his throat, although it's starting to diminish thanks to a potion of apple cider vinegar and the innards of a fourth-grade volcano experiment. Laurie hopes he gets better soon, but Tom thinks most listeners want him to die on the air. Laurie half-kiddingly suggests that would make for good radio. Tom predicts that his skin would be removed post-mortem so he could be displayed as "The DJ" alongside the Chinese political prisoners at the BODIES exhibition.
Laurie is calling because she wondered if Tom has ever seen something so bad that he couldn't look away. Tom can relate to this concept because he once saw James's toupee at the WFMU Record Fair. While Laurie was flipping through her jillion music video channels she was compelled to return to VH-1 Soul to more closely examine a performance by Josh Grogman and the Soweto Gospel Choir at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert last week in Hyde Park. He was singing the South African protest song "Weeping" in his usual tenor. She couldn't look away. Tom is certain that this is exactly what Mandela wanted on his big day.
Laurie says that Mandela also asked drug-addled British songstress Amy Winehouse to play his bash. Tom is certain that Mandela did not request the booking. (He reportedly did offer Shakira and her 30-person entourage $240,000, but she was already scheduled for Barbershop Eros III at the Western Maine Civic Center.) Laurie says Winehouse was a trainwreck, but not as bad as Grogman. Laurie posted the video on the FOT board, the official discussion site for the program . She says it's the first thing she checks when she gets on the Internet, and Tom thinks this is an appropriate way to start the day.
- Officer Tom calls from the squad car PA to throw his baton into the running for an audition for the new TLRx video. Tom puts him in on the fast track, and OT says he'd be happy to land another bit part. Tom says that Mike wants to do an old-fashioned soft-shoe in the video. OT suggests that he and Mike could perform a routine like the bumbling cops from the funny movie with the kids. Tom thinks he's referring to Bad Lieutenant, but it's actually Superbad. Tom would pay to see them try to match the Rogen-Hader antics.
OT says he recently initiated a newer cop in his department by renting Bad Lieutenant from Netflix. They screened the instructional film during a quiet midnight shift at the station. Tom doesn't think they should be watching it. OT believes it should be mandatory material for all new recruits to show them how not to behave while on duty. Tom is fine with it because he knows that OT is always on the right side of the law ... now. OT wants to know what's up with Spike because he throws him off a bit. Tom informs OT that he is lucky that Spike only causes a minor disruption. OT says he deals with a lot of dysfunctional people on a regular basis so you need to be extremely dysfunctional to register more than a blip on his radar. His antenna goes up on Spike because he's calling Tom to spread his skewed worldview. Tom is glad that at least one person is looking out for him. OT says he would serve as Tom's bodyguard for a post-show meet-up this summer. Tom agrees to plan the event. OT laments that he's lost some of his personal connection to the FOT community, but Tom thinks he could easily earn it back because people need to respect his HOF status. OT says he gives respect to people who deserve it.
OT called to mention a hair-raising and possibly paranormal complaint that he responded to yesterday. While he has no problem going into a bar to break up a 20-person biker gang fight, he's nervous about investigating a house where the lady is claiming that the lights are flickering and the doors are slamming on their own. OT notes that bullets are ineffective against the spirit world, and Tom adds that you can't cuff a ghost. However, he is not scared of the supernatural because he's already haunted by the ghosts that permanently reside in his head. OT says the woman was in her living room watching TV around 10 p.m. with her husband. Her kids were not the culprits (they have nem powers!) because they were all away at camp. OT got the sense that the couple were somewhat well-adjusted people who lived in a $1 million home. After noticing the frightening activity in the area of their 2.5-story grand entrance, they ran out of the house with their cell phone to call the cops.
Tom thinks Ghostbusters would have been more qualified to handle the situation. OT says there wasn't much he could do because he isn't a priest armed with a Holy Water supershooter. He considers adding the weapon to his arsenal, but Tom tells him not to bother since these types of calls are so rare. OT says he's had a few of these over the years, and they always throw him for a loop because he's so out of his element. He does watch Ghost Hunters, but he remains skeptical about the legitimacy of the field. Tom thinks OT is courting an attack by daring the supernatural to get him. He addresses the supernatural directly so they know to limit their revenge to Officer Tom. OT avoids the pseudo-science in favor of the age-old, real-world battle between good and evil. He points out that at 3 a.m. there are only two sets of beings roaming the streets: cops and criminals. Tom quotes Marion Cobretti from Cobra to summarize OT's law enforcement philosophy: "This is where the law stops and I start." OT thinks that was a good movie.
- A caller thinks Officer Tom's story was like something straight out of Exorcist II: The Her-etic. Tom agrees that it was a little creepy. The caller asks Tom how he's doing. Tom says he's doing okay, but he doesn't know who is on the line. The caller wants Tom to stop pretending that he doesn't know who it is. It's Darren Ploppleton, Tom's longtime co-worker and former bandmate. Darren doesn't like that Tom is being so formal. Tom says he simply wasn't sure who it was because he gets a lot of calls. Darren says "jeepers" and apologizes for the confusion. Tom says he's not judging him, but he hears a lot of different voices on the air that he can't always immediately identify. Darren wonders if Tom is now hearing voices like that cop. Tom says it's not like that.
Darren is calling because Pete over in Accounts Denied told him that Tom was still suffering from his throat problem. Tom confirms that the peach pit sensation continues to plague him. Darren recommends a cold beer to make it totally go right away. Tom doubts that the beverage will help at all. Darren asks Tom how awesome it would be if doctors were able to prescribe beer to their patients. Tom says he can't really assess this medical breakthrough because it's not even a possibility. Darren thinks it could happen if you visited Dr. James Page. He calls Tom a Led-dummy for not realizing that he was referring to Jimmy Page, the guitarist for Led Zeppelin. Tom is familiar with the musician, but Darren calls him "Zoso stupid" for being unaware of Page's medical credentials. He informs Tom that Page was recently awarded a doctoral from some college in Eng-uh-lund. Darren wonders how he could get Page to be his primary care physician.
Tom doesn't think Page is a practicing medical doctor. He believes it's just an honorary title that is often bestowed on famous people who have not actually completed the requisite coursework and subsequent residency requirements. Darren suspects that Tom will now tell him that Billy Joel isn't a doctor. He's right. Darren says that Rick in the maintenance department claims to visit Billy Joel for his medical needs. Darren believes Rick, and he doesn't understand why Tom doubts him. Tom says it's because the notion that Billy Joel is a medical doctor is insane. He points out that he was given the doctorate to entice him to show up to attend the campus ceromony. Darren doesn't really agree with this.
Darren imagines getting the chance to jam with Pagey on "Black Dogs" while his nurses prep him for a vasectomy procedure. He performs the opening riff from the song, but Tom tells him that it wasn't "Black Dog." Darren calls him a dummy because it was "Black Dogs." Tom says it wasn't "Black Dogs" or "Black Dog," which is the actual title of the Led Zeppelin song at issue. Darren insists that it was and performs the riff again. Tom informs him that he just did his second rendition of "Communication Breakdown." Darren doesn't know that that is. Tom tells him that it's a song from Led Zeppelin. Darren says he will agree to disagree.
Speaking of bands, Darren is very bummed out because, as Tom may have heard, he's been working on a supercool, secret project. He assumed that the double-C was abuzz over his covert plans, but Tom knows nothing about it. He has also never heard Consolidated Cardboard referred to by that abbreviation. Darren says it boils down to Tom not being hip enough to use this shorthand lingo. He lists the cool people who refer to their workplace as double-C: Joe, Don, Elaine, Sheila, Brad, Todd, Mike R, Mike L, Mike J, Troy, Wayne, plus a lot more. Darren says he's not judging Tom for not being in this not-so-exclusive club. Tom thinks he kind of did, but he'll let it go to get to the discussion of the new project.
Darren says his new band is about to play their first show on July 23rd at The Lunchpad, a new club on 347th Street that only has shows on weekday afternoons. Tom recalls passing by the venue and noticing its blackened windows. Darren says it's right near where they found Kurt Gaistburn's left hand last week. He asks Tom if he read about this incident in the paper. Tom did not hear about it. Darren says that Gaistburn, who survived the violent attack, dropped out of the mayubernatorial race after the severing. He announces that he is also ending his Greasy Funk Party candidacy because he just doesn't want to do it anymore. Tom barely remembers Darren being in the race, and he's amazed that eight people have dropped out in the past week. Darren says that if he won, which he probably would, he wouldn't get to spend any time with his family. Tom says that all the other candidates expressed a similar reason for ending their runs. Darren says that since his divorce from Kim Dalrymple he really misses his family.
Tom wonders if Darren is halting his campaign because of pressure from the family of the Norwegian chocolatier who called last week after striking fear into the likes of Horse and Gene Simmons. In addition to scaring top contenders out of the race, the rogue candyman also postponed the election until August by flooding all Newbridge polling stations with 16 inches of chocolate. Tom thinks the new political power brokers are the Haltsburns. Darren stutters nervously before revealing that it was Halversom. Tom notices that Darren sounded like a spooked Lou Costello trying to spit out the last name. Darren wants to know what era Tom had in mind -- My Aim Is True or Punch The Clock. Tom says he was referring to Lou Costello from Abbot & Costello, not singer-songwriter Elvis Costello.
The clarification is of little help because Darren does not know a man named Abbot N. Costello. Tom says that it's a comedy duo comprised of Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. He's surprised that Darren hasn't heard of their famous "Who's on First?" bit. Darren doesn't know who is on first and seems to think that Abbot & Costello are players on a baseball team. Tom explains that it's the title of a skit, and Darren wonders if it's something like Saturday Night Live. Tom says it would have been on the program if it was around at that time. Darren enjoyed the recent rerun of the 1975 SNL premiere to honor the late George Carlin because it featured two of his favorite musical acts: Billy Preston and Janis Ian. Darren requests that Tom play Ian's "At Seventeen" sometime tonight. Tom says he'll try to get to it. Darren apologizes for straying so far off-topic.
His new band works within a genre they've dubbed "Cinerock," a sonic landscape where movies (in this case, one specific movie) meet rock 'n roll. Tom was initially thrown because he thought Darren was saying the band united the trio of movies, meat, and rock 'n roll. Darren likes that concept as well, and he may use it for his next band. He really wants to get a new band together with Tom because he's such a skilled bass player. Tom held things down with Darren in The Burn and The Consolidated (renamed Hell Toupee after a corporate Battle of the Bands triumph), but he thinks his rocking days are now behind him. Darren vows to continue rocking.
He thinks Tom sounds mad at him, possibly because he has sprouted dreadlocks while Tom has not. Tom, who denies being mad, wants to know what Darren is trying to accomplish by adopting this hairstyle. Darren thinks they look great even though they start off small. He points out that all the reggae guys (Bob Marley and unnamed others) started off small as well. Tom's not sold on the look, but Darren thinks it shaves 10 years off him. The only word Tom can think of to describe the nascent dreads is "troubling." Darren interprets this as Trouble Walkin', and he can live with that tougher image. Tom was thinking more along the lines of the dreadlocks making him appear to have serious mental problems. Darren is very surprised to hear this. He says everyone seems to like his hair, including Sheila Larson. Tom knows her in passing from work, and Darren wants him to keep it that way. While he didn't mention it during this call, Darren has been erotically linked to Sheila, who may or may not be engaged to Dom Scharpling.
Darren asks Tom to name the movie he's been quoting ever since they saw it at the Newbridge Singleplex back in 1980. Tom remembers that Darren's favorite movie is Caddyshack. Darren announces that his new band is called The Spackler-Smails Alliance. He calls Tom a Bushwood-dummy for not being able to recognize the references to the links laffer. Darren explains that the name is based on the characters of Carl Spackler and Judge Smails. Tom knows that Smails is Ted Knight, and Darren informs him that Spackler is the groundskeeper played by Bill Murray. Darren believes the band name exudes an ironic power because the two men did not form an alliance in the movie. He compares it to the highly unlikely alliance between Adolf Hitler and Jesus. Tom doesn't want to know about that incongruant duo.
Darren says that all of TS-SA's songs revolve around the movie, such as "You'll Get Nothing And Like It," one of the many classic Smails lines. This track features Darren playing funk bass, popping the strings like Flea or Ross Valory from Journey. He suggests it could have been Tom bringing the low-end. Tom says he never thought of Journey as a being a heavy funk-influenced band. Darren says that Valory, Neil Schon, and Greg Rolie definitely had funk chops until drummer Steve Smith screwed it all up with his excessive fusion playing. He asks Tom to imagine any of the songs on Escape if they were funked up. Tom doesn't even want to think about these reconfigurations. Darren thinks Tom will love the other TS-SA tunes: "A Certain Zest for Living," the Green Day-ish "Missit, Noonan, Missit Noonan, Miss ... Miss ... Missit, Noo, Noo ... Missit, Noonan," "Greasy Grimey Gopher Guts," a power balled called "Nightputting," and "Tie Me Up With Your Ties, Ty." Tom doesn't like that one too much. Darren says they have 30 Caddyshack-themed compositions in their catalog.
Darren is bummed out because he just discovered that The Lunchpad bill includes four other concept bands, including a Fletch-inspired band called The Cock Tos Tones. Darren did find one really good TCTT song called "It's All Ball Bearings Nowadays" on their Myplace, a dirtier variant of the more well-known Myspace social network. Tom has seen Fletch more than once, but he doesn't have all the quotes memorized. Darren says the band also has a tune called "Can I Borrow Your Towel, I Just Ran Over a Water Buffalo." Tom correctly assumes that these are all Chevy Chase quips. He's not judging the single-movie Cinerock approach, but he thinks it's a very unique and narrow concept for a band. Darren tells Tom to get ready for Raging Bull. Tom assumes it's a band based on the film Raging Bull. Darren is annoyed that Tom didn't recognize it as a Night Court band, a reference to the hulking bailiff, Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon. Darren thinks a musical tribute to the Scorsese classic is stupid. Tom sarcastically agrees that it is stupid compared to a band that is a tribute to a supporting character on Night Court.
Darren doubts Tom will like Sergeant Hulka, a band that bases all of their songs on Warren Oates's lines from Stripes. Tom thinks this is a very narrow scope for a band. Darren is the band's enemy for life, but he does appreciate some of their songs: "Lighten Up, Francis," "Welcome to It-aly," "I'll Bet You'd Like To Take a Swing at Me," and "I'm Getting Too Old for This S." Tom thinks those titles are nuts. Darren is really mad that they've completely ripped off the melody from "A Certain Zest for Living" for their song called "I Don't Know What Kind of S You Guys Pulled At Graduation, But This Ain't No Glamour Detail We're On." Tom asks Darren if the burgeoning Cinerock scene is fueled by songwriting competition. Darren says he didn't even know these other bands existed until a couple of days ago. He's been doing research all day to find out about bands like Hey Hey Hey. Darren wants Tom to guess this band's theme. Tom makes a very reasonable guess of What's Happening!! because the band name appears to be the catchphrase greeting of Dwayne Nelson. However, it's actually a What's Happening Now!! outfit. Darren doesn't like the extremely narrow focus on the original show's mid-1980s revival.
The one band that really makes Darren want to turn this place into a car wish is another Caddyshack band called Cinderella Story. Tom thinks it's actually a pretty good band name -- a bit more direct that TS-SA. Darren seems annoyed that Tom likes it, and he starts to feel bad that his name may be stupid. Tom doesn't know why he'd think that The Spackler-Smails Alliance was a stupid name for a band. Darren says the worst part is that they go on right after Cinderella Story, so they will have to step up their game. Darren checked out their Myplace page, and their singer looks just like Ted Knight while still sounding like their age. He wonders if he took Oldzonareveren to accelerate his aging for a more authentic appearance. Tom didn't think anybody was taking that stuff since the Brendan Fraser/President Baseball debacle. Darren says it's hard to get a prescription for it.
Darren says that he needs Tom to be his band's secret weapon for their performance. Tom doesn't like the sound of it, but Darren thinks he'll love the concept. He 100% guarantees that Tom will agree to take part in it. Darren asks Tom to re-enact the Baby Ruth bar in the pool scene on stage. Tom thinks that's terrible. Darren wants to know what he doesn't like about the idea. Tom says that he doesn't like anything about it. Darren says that Tom will have to go onstage and enter a portable pool while wearing a swim mask and snorkel. Tom refuses to do it. He will then come face to face with the floating candy bar and start screaming "Doody!" like a little boy. Tom says he will not do that. Darren is very disappointed because it would be the perfect match for their song called "Doody!" He points out that Tom will now have plenty of time to re-enact movie scenes at concerts. Tom wants to know what would make Darren think that he would 100% agree to the assignment. Darren says it was because he won't have anything else going on in his life. Tom says that even if that were true, he would rather be at zero than dip into the negative with a stunt like this.
Darren says he was thinking that Tom would be interested in the performance because he won't be at Consolidated anymore. Tom doesn't know what he's talking about it. Darren says that Tim Dalrymple, Old Man Dalrymple's nephew, told him that Tom was quitting. Tom denies the rumor. Tim was also telling Irv Metzger in Accounts Accounted For about it today, noting that Tor Halversom's brother, Sven, is taking over for Tom. Tom says it's news to him, and he intends to remain with the company. Darren didn't think Tom had been at work for the past couple of days. Tom says he's been coming in late because of some doctor visits, but he's been there. Darren asks Tom if he's seen the other office they are putting together four doors down from Tom for Sven. He heard that Tom's current office will be converted into a broom closet or a mini-bathroom. Tom says he will be shocked if that happens, especially since his office does not have any plumbing. Darren agrees that is a weird aspect of the conversion. He's also heard that some people are already using Tom's office as their bathroom. Tom doesn't think that's true. Darren feels like he's misspoken, and he thinks he should go. Tom has no idea what he's talking about, and Darren says he might find out more details tomorrow. Tom mentions his up-and-down physical condition for the past week. Darren predicts that he will be way, way, way down if he doesn't relinquish his job to Sven. Tom makes it clear that he will remain employed at CC.
Darren returns to the Lou Costello stutter while warning Tom not to mess with the Norwegians. Tom says he has to keep his job. Darren doesn't think he'll be able to pull it off. He makes a final plea for Tom to do the Baby Ruth scene, but Tom advises him to find an alternate. Darren looks outside and gets very nervous after noticing some illuminated headlights that appear to be dripping with chocolate. Tom asks him if he'll see him at work tomorrow, but Darren hangs up before responding. Tom has no idea what is going on in this weird world.
- Michael K from The Cynics is relieved to be talking to another working man. Tom reprises the noise he made when Spike called. Since it was supposed to be the hardhats and lunchpails show, MK thought he should check in from America's sootiest city. Tom assures him that the blue-collar material is on the way. MK says that Pittsburgh stole the soot title from Los Angeles, but he's not sure what is producing all of the L.A. soot. He suspects it is emanating from the chimneys of all the dream factories, which are continually pumping out the smoky remains of the unproduced screenplays that litter Lipstick City. MK is convinced that the Rust Belt is coming back. Tom doesn't seem too excited by its resurgence.
MK was excited to receive The Best Show Fun Pack in the mail this past weekend. He got the Scarface t-shirt, the Neil Numberman poster, and the patented Patton Oswalt Limited Edition CD. He's waiting to devote enough time to give it a proper listen. Tom mentions that he saw PO deliver an unbelievable set (with John Mulaney killing it in the opening slot) this past weekend at Caroline's in NYC. MK wishes he could have been there because it sounds like the experience was similar to Rush's "Working Man." He performs a snippet of the chorus in the high-pitched voice of Geddy Lee. MK says that he still hasn't figured out why Lee sang the song as a castrato. Tom is not a Rush fan. MK saw them once with Cheap Trick when he was 14, and he was taken aback by the lady with the big nose and big hair fronting the band. While all the drummers in his high school were obsessed with Neil Peart's ability to hit all 30,000 drums in his massive kit, MK says that he never liked Rush. However, he was always amused by the woman's voice belting out "Working Man." He performs it again. Tom declares Peart the worst drummer on Earth, and MK says that his overplaying does not compel him to move his hips. Tom does an impression of Peart's complicated technique versus Daniel Woodgate holding down a simple, effective beat on Madness's "Our House." MK says that he would be happy with Teenage Jesus & the Jerks instead of Peart's jazz fills.
The Cynics recently completed a little tour with Mudhoney, and MK practically broke his ankle at the Middle East. He reports that Boston is full of FOT who were wondering if he's really the MK who calls The Best Show. They thought that somebody may have been pretending to be him on the air. MK can't imagine what kind of person would even attempt such a ruse. He's doing fine, but he realizes that traveling has becoming increasingly difficult despite his love for touring. MK says he's developed various OCDs that cause him to continually clean his hotel room, and he often ends up in the hospital with an injury after only a few shows. He plans to quit the music business to return to his job at the local steel mill. Tom says it sounds like a good plan.
MK believes that the exorbitant shipping and fuel prices may lead to resurgence in American steel. He predicts that Tom's next Cadillac will be constructed from steel made in Pittsburgh or Allentown. Tom says he will not be purchasing any Cadillacs. MK says he kids Tom because he loves him. He revises it to Tom's next pick-up truck. Tom says he'd get a Cadillac before he got a pick-up. MK thought he needed a vehicle to carry his PA system around for his meet-and-greets. Tom says the events are not like The Blues Brothers. If he were to get a fancy-schmancy car, it would be a 1960s Ford Mustang. MK says he has fond memories of the red Mustang his dad drove in the mid- to late-1970s. His mom was going crazy from having three kids one year apart, so his dad would take them on little rides through the rural areas of the state. The car had a foot pedal that he would push to trigger the windshield wipers. At the time, they all thought it was the most magical thing ever.
Tom wonders who opened the Rush/Cheap Trick show. MK says Rush opened for Cheap Trick (seems highly unlikely) at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. At that time, MK and his friends would drop the $5 to $10 to see just about any show that came through town so they could go smoke and hang out. MK always hated Rush, but his bandmates were into their musical proficiency. MK says he wanted to shoot himself in the head whenever he heard Alex Lifeson's guitar playing. He decided that Cheap Trick (circa their first record) were much better than the Canadians. Tom wants MK to write a book to make sure that his stories live forever. MK wants to collaborate with Tom, but Tom says that he doesn't have anything to contribute. MK gets quiet and embarrassed about the literary pep talk. Tom senses that he's avoiding the fact that he has work to do. MK says he will fire up the word processing machine, but he thinks that these stories are just the standard high school adventures of anyone's youth. Tom disagrees and wants them documented. MK says he will have time to write the book because he's quitting the music industry to get back to his lunchpail roots. Mike gives Tom a couple of signals because it's past 9:30 p.m. MK immediately signs off. Tom is amazed that he hasn't started the show yet.
- Paul in Toronto calls to wish Tom a Happy Canada Day on behalf of Sloan, Rush, and everyone else. Tom apologizes for Paul's extended hold time during MK's tilt towards steel mills. He wants to hear more about this national holiday. Paul says that Canada is celebrating its 141st birthday with free coffee and donuts from Tim Hortons, a noontime speech from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, widespread drinking, and fireworks displays in the big cities. Each citizen also receives a free beaver in the mail. Tom correctly assumes that there will be free Strange Brew screenings, and Paul mentions that Mike Myers is scheduled to personally greet every person in the country. Tom is surprised by this because he thought Canada Day was a holiday.
Paul agrees that the nationwide Myers tour would be terrible. He was never a fan of his work, and now people are turning against him after a series of cinematic embarrassments to their fine city. Paul notes that the T-dot does not have to accept Myers as a native son because he's actually from Scarborough. Tom suspects that while Paul is now disowning Myers, he was probably touting the actor as a Toronto hero when his career was more respectable. Paul says that he's not really from Toronto, either, so he can back off Myers with authority. He's not sure if he will have any fun tonight because a friend of his had some stuff go down. He may have to hang out with him, but he hopes to be able to catch the fireworks at some point. Tom loves Toronto, and he would move The Best Show there in a heartbeat. Paul thinks it would have been great if Tom was broadcasting tonight from the SkyDome. He says that one downside to Toronto is that the Blue Jays (currently in last place in the AL East) are not good. Tom says he always sides with the underdogs, plus he doesn't care about the diamond. He wonders who would bother with boring baseball when Toronto has Chris Bosh patrolling the hardwood for the Raptors.
Tom is ready to make the move. Paul expresses a desire to bounce Mike from his call screening post in exchange for free health care so Tom doesn't have to join MK at the mill. Tom is intrigued by the offer, but he needs a couple more enticements to seal the deal. Paul says that Chris Murphy and Pat Pentland from Sloan frequently have breakfast at a restaurant down the street. Tom says that he will arrive in Toronto tomorrow morning if Paul provides one more reason. Paul mentions that Toronto's ethnic diversity will provide an eclectic stable of regular callers. He throws in a bonus: Rush lives in Greektown. Tom is sold. Paul promises to get him a slot on the CBC despite having no connections with the media corporation. Tom's one fear about the transition is that that he will be forced to spin Kim Mitchell tracks every 15 minutes. Paul reveals that Mitchell is actually a DJ on The Mighty Q107. Tom tells Toronto to get ready for his arrival. Best Canada Day Eva!
- Former Call Screener Matt calls, but Tom doesn't believe it's him. He recognizes the voice of James and swiftly GOMPs the little creep. Tom doesn't think there is anything in the world sadder than James. He replays the Classic GOMP from the opening of the show to reiterate the immense sadsackiness he brings to every intrusion. Tom fears that he will soon have to conduct the show from an IM window because the peach pit is killing his instrument. Mike prepares Tom for another highly suspcious call from a likely mutant.
- The caller says he's not a bad dude like James, but Tom has to ask him to turn down his radio. He claims that he just turned it down. Tom GOMPs the dimwit because he can still hear the playback. He orders the caller to go to camp to help him become less soft-serve. Tom's bringing it hard every week, and he has no time for these antics. The Goshen Krank Krew tried. Hesh tried. The only winning move is not to melt. The guy calls back to get another chance and immediately launches into a rant about how soft-serve is one of the worst kinds of ice cream. Tom informs him that he needs to wait until he's welcomed onto the airwaves. The caller apologizes for not being a big radio guy. Tom assumes he's also not a big phone guy. The caller burns his second chance by saying that he can use a phone. Tom GOMPs him again and then pushes him off the the top girder so the hardhat workers can eat their lunch in peace. Tom is not sitting in the Dairy Queen parking lot eating a Fribble that he got to-go from Friendly's. He has to dig through his lunchpail from up on high.
The Best Show's Talent List
[Mr. Gallo has been deservedly elevated to the top spot via a little-used provision (66b-2-j) outlined in The Recapper's Handbook, Volume 3: Incorporating Your Personal Values Into Your Online Workspace. The only requirement is that the recapper obtains one signature supporting the override. Thanks, Martin!]
1. Vincent Gallo [suggested by Laurie from Miami]
2. Orson Welles [Tom]
3. The Guys from Pixar [Tom/Samir]
4. Coen Brothers [Nate from St. Paul]
5. Paul Thomas Anderson [David from D.C.]
6. Von Lmo [James from Brooklyn]
7. Robert Johnson [Petey]
8. Roky Erickson [Andrew in Philadelphia]
9. John Cale [Briant from CT]
10. David Bowie [Mark from Winnipeg]
11. Mick Collins [Derek from Detroit]
12. Mark Arm [Spoony from Brooklyn]
13. Edgar Wright [Jeff in Milwaukee]
14. Charles Barkley [Daniel from Boston]
15. Wayne Gretzky [unidentified caller]
16. Will Ferrell [Kevin from Manhattan]
17. LeBron James [John from Cleveland]
18. Larry David [Frank from Weehawken aka The IMAX Liar]
19. Mark Robinson [Tom]
20. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson [Emma from Toronto in NYC/Samir]
21. Chris Rock [Jack from The Bronx]
22. Gene Wilder [Andrew from Kansas City]
23. Shigeru Miyamoto (aka Video Game Dude) [Derek from Detroit]
24. Nick Cave [Samir in Florida]
25. Wolfman Jack [John from Wicker Park]
26. Jay Reatard [John from Boulder]
27. Tom Bosley [Matt from Portland, OR] & Bruno S. [Petey] (tie)
28. Ice-T [John from Boulder]
29. Benny Hill [Martin from Sweden --
30. Mo Rocca [Brian from Long Island]
31. Miley Cyrus (aka Silly Virus) [John from Cleveland]
32. The Two Coreys [AP Mike]
& Vincent Gallo (tie) (see #1; Abe Lincoln filling the vacated spot)
33. Ray Manzarek [Brian from Columbus, OH]
34. John Landis [Laura from Houston]
35. Michael Bay [Frank from Weehawken] & Harmony Korine [Tyler from the LES] (tie)
36. Dr. Demento [Tom]
37. David Crosby [Brian from Columbus, OH]
38. Jared Leto [Joanna from Portland, OR]
39. Rachel Ray [Jenny from Hottttlanta]
40. Kevin Costner [John from Waco]
41. Brett Ratner [Jeff in Milwaukee]
42. David Peel [Tom]
43. Lee Freeman (aka The Baltimore Fence Idiot) [Power Caller Erika from Baltimore]
44. Robert Englund [Andrew in Philadelphia]
45. Frank Zappa [John from Boulder]
46. Damien Hirst [Laurie]
47. Fred Durst [Laura from Houston]
48. ICP: Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope [Christopher from Kansas City]
49. Carlos Mencia [Nick from Boston]
50. Ted Nugent [James from Brooklyn]
- George W. Bush (Caller voted for GWB twice; now claims he's a moron because he has to play $52 fill-up at the gas station)
- Modern-day W. Axl Rose ("I don't want that pollutant on my list!" -- Tom)
- Donald Trump & His Hair (Frank from Weehawken suggested that Trump's hairpiece had its own heart and brain)
- Ann Coulter (too obvious)
- Joseph Campbell (Petey wasn't sure what to think of him)
- Chartreuse (Tom is not doing a list of colors)
- AP Mike (too polarizing)
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: "If I'm not back next week that means I can't take it anymore." -- Tom
Adrienne Barbeau: 1 Tom: 0
33 1/3 rejected Tom's proposal for Styx's Cornerstone, and now they have passed on the above hip-hop classic. Will The Kid strike out? I have two words (and one symbol) that will ensure enshrinement in the series: Cocked & Loaded.