"I would like to apologize to the fine people at Arby's for implying that this conversation could take place at an Arby's." - Tom, relieving the fast foodery of the responsibility for hosting the Spike/Julie summit
"Please stick around ... please stick around." - Brad in Newbridge, begging the Foo Fighters to remain active
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know I was talking to Bryant Gumball or Keith Olderman." -- Brad, comparing Tom to the television journalists for suggesting that he should know the names of all four Foos
"It kicks ass. Killer! Oh, awesome!" - Brad, rejoicing at the modern rock stylings of Hinder
"Hey, come on, man. I'm only 34 years old. I got a whole life ahead of me." - Brad, justifying his rash decision to transform "Mount Foomore" into "Hinder Hill"
"You know what you might want to do before you become a member of the Hinder Army? Try becoming a Hinder Album Owner." -- Tom, urging Brad to do further research before committing to his new favorite band
"Sweeeeeeeeet!" -- Steve from NoHo, expressing too many sugary approvals for Tom's "Yay" votes
"It's not just that he wanted a croquet mallet. It's that he wanted a croquet mallet immediately." -- Tom, marveling at the minimalist beauty of the H-Man's Facebook status updates
[More quotations to come.]
"I don't even care about it now. I'm gonna cancel the tour, I think." -- Chris Langstrom, crying on the inside after Tom blows the lid off the reconciliation with his long-lost father
"What're you doing to my son?! What're you fillin' his head with? Lies!" -- Rod Langstrom, accusing Tom of re-opening old family wounds
"Well, it's still gonna be the classiest porn site out there. Oh yeah, all the models are gonna wear the finest rubies and emerils." -- Rod Langstrom, promoting his new venture on wednesdayrockers.com
"Crack a triple album much? Doesn't sound like you do." -- Rod Langstrom, questioning Tom's knowledge of prog rock
"History's full of guys who left their kids much older than me. Lincoln." -- Rod Langstrom, justifying his absentee parenting with some surprising Presidential trivia
"It's lingerie. And it's tasteful and denim. No one else is doin' it. Is there? You don't know anyone else who's doin' it, do you?" -- Rod Langstrom, confirming that he's captured a niche market
"The guys in Yes? Incredibly cruel. They'd whip you and laugh at you ... while you're bleeding." -- Rod Langstrom, revealing the violence that fueled the legendary band
"Look, I'll take my chances with Steve Howe. For some reason that does not scare me." -- Tom, preparing to do battle with Yes's most daunting whipper
"What a night. WHAT A NIGHT! I LOVE THIS DIRTY RADIO STATION!!!" -- Tom, declaring his affection for the pride of Newbridge Junior High
Boston Spaceships - "Zero Fix"
( Click here to buy Brown Submarine)
The Ettes - "Girls Are Mad"
( Click here to buy Look at Life Again)
Billy Childish and Holly Golightly - "Upside Mine"
( Click here to buy In Blood)
Julie Ruin - "The Punk Singer"
( Click here to buy Julie Ruin)
( Click here to buy The Wacky Hi-Jinks of ...)
Probot (ft. Mike Dean) - "Access Babylon"
( Click here to buy Probot)
The Wax Museums - "Locked in the Mall"
( Click here to buy The Wax Museums)
Gem - "Your Heroes Hate You"
( Click here to buy Hexed)
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:
- Arthur from Murray, Kentucky, says he's become such big fan of The Best Show over the past six months that he went through the trouble of downloading RealPlayer to fire up the archives. He thinks the early shows were a bit rough, but things have really picked up since then. Tom asks Arthur to explain the nature of this roughness. Arthur says that there was some stuff that Tom needed to work out when he launched the program back in 2000. Tom reports that someone in the FOT Chat just zinged Arthur for enduring the trouble of downloading a free media player. He salutes Arthur as an American Hero for managing to click the "Download Now!" button. Arthur says that he actually completed the difficult task on two machines, including his Mac. Tom doesn't appreciate him flaunting his Mac ownership, and Arthur really crosses the line by claiming that the fancy computer is his version of the ABBA box. Tom immediately GOMPs him for insulting the beloved collection. He has a Mac and an ABBA box, but he would throw the Mac on the street before daring to look crooked at his blue-felt buddy. Tom drafts a new Best Show Law to prevent any future transgressions: Do not besmirch the ABBA box
in any way, shape, or form. Boom.
It's WWWWWWWAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is WAR. It's also time for Tom Scharpling, your host/Commander-in-Chief for this and all future Tuuuuuesday night extravagonzas, to lead the surge into the radio battlefield for another three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem. A lot of other radio hosts just don't understand what it takes, but Tom has the experience to get things done. He has chaired committees, guided Best Show legislation to swift passage, reduced enemies to puddles of flop sweat, and absorbed valuable life lessons from his good friend and fellow Proud Patriot Ronald Reagan. He even did some time in the trenches during a rousing 2007 USO tour (aka the supposed three-week "tummy ache" hiatus) with David Faustino, Lou Holtz, and a reunited Red Aunts! While guitarist Terry Wahl distributed red velvet cupcakes, Tom wowed the troops with some choice Meatloaf covers. He has earned his reputation as a WFMU maverick.
Tom says that "they" (Mennen executives? R. Fuqua and B.J. Bryson? Kern henchmen?) tried to replace him, but they failed to prevent him from making magic all day and all night. He reveals that Mike the Associate Producer honored this staying power with a "Best Show 4 Life" ankle tattoo. Tom was bummed out by the location because Mike gave his eccentric tattoo of a Zune playing the "Red Band" Tropic Thunder -- as well as the zeppole and calzone renderings -- prime real estate on his arm. After back-announcing (and teasing the story behind his surprising Dolenz-based Monkees spin) the opening music set, he gets a jolt from Mike, who appears out of nowhere like the titular hero from the 1992 slasher Candyman. As it turns out, Mike has an even scarier proposition for Tom: Julie from Cincinnati (line 4) wants to talk to Spike (line 1).
- Tom welcomes Spike to the program and asks him if he has any interest in chatting with JfC. Spike is willing to give it a try. Since Spike has shown signs of a gender bias, Tom warns him that JfC is a woman. Spike clarifies that he doesn't hate all women. Tom asks Spike to name three women that he likes. Spike offers the trio of Tina Turner, Robin Quivers, and Ronnie Spector. (In a previous call Spike expressed admiration for former congresswoman Pat Schroeder.) Tom puts Julie on the air to facilitate a meeting of the minds on par with the vicious banter at the Algonquin Round Table. He then downgrades the event to something closer to an exchange at an Arby's table. JfC is pleased that Tom shifted the venue from the historic Manhattan hotel to the fast food eatery because she would never equate her Algonquin ancestors with Spike. Tom asks JfC if her ancestors worked at Arby's. JfC says they probably did, although they also had the native bloods. Tom decides to step out of the way to let JfC and Spike get to know each other. Julie conducts the conversation in the form of an interview:
Julie: Spike, um, I wanna know about The Sims like if you were The Sims character why would you be a Sims character?
Spike: Oh, because I think that The Sims characters are very interesting. They get ... um ... they lead very interesting ... uh ... lives.
Julie: Spike, I have to interview you then. What about ... I like Robin Quivers fine, why do you like her?
Spike: Oh, I've always liked Howard [Stoyne] and Robin.
Julie: I know, but, um ...
Spike: She has a very melodious voice
Julie: That's not a why, that's very political of you.
Spike: I'm sorry?
Julie: That sounds like a political answer, but I'm putting you on the spot.
Spike: [garbled] But I've always liked Robin, I've always liked her melodious voice.
Julie: Do you ever go on the boats and stuff with her?
Julie: [Yetta barks in background] Do you like dogs?
Spike: Mmmmm ... from a distance. I'm not really a pet person.
Julie: Are you antisocial?
Spike: Mmm ... not really.
Julie: Oh! Have you got friends in real life?
Spike: Yes I do.
Julie: Oh. I don't.
Spike: Uh huh. And why is that?
Julie: Um ... my personality and all.
Spike: Okay ...
Tom: This is the most depressing thing I've ever heard in my life.
Julie: So ... why don't you like women, though?
Spike: Oh, I didn't say I hate all women.
Julie: I know, I'm just sayin' like in general why do you hate women?
Spike: Oh, I don't hate women in general, I just hate certain women that bother me.
Julie: Oh! Is it easier for you to name the women you don't hate?
Tom: Imagine being trapped in an elevator with these two ...
Julie: Or to name the women you hate?
Tom: ... this conversation going on.
Spike: Well, the women ... like I mentioned to Tom, you know, there's women I do like. I never met them, but I do like them.
Tom: I would like to apologize to the fine people at Arby's for implying that this conversation could take place at an Arby's.
Julie: But like have you met women that you like?
Spike: Yes. I do know people--
Julie: Oh! Do you think you would hate me or would you pour lime on my body after you decapitated me and all that?
Spike: I'm sorry, repeat that again?
Julie: Um ...
Spike: I talked over you, that's why.
Spike: I talked over you, so I didn't hear the beginning of what you said?
Julie: I believe I talked over you.
Spike: Oh, okay.
Julie: Um ... do you want to kill anyone?
Spike: Mmmmmmmmm ... yes, there's some people ...
Tom: I do.
Spike: ... I wouldn't mind decapitating.
Tom: Suddenly I do.
Tom: I got the bloodlust all of a sudden.
Julie: Wow. Who?
Tom: I wanna conk these two's heads together.
Spike: Well, half my neighborhood.
Julie: Tell me about your family. You got a brother and sisters?
Spike: I have two sisters, older, and my mother.
Tom: I don't wanna know this stuff!
Julie: Do they tell you what to do?
Spike: Not always. I always get the last word.
Tom: (barely audible sigh) Uhh
Julie: Oh, really?!
Tom: Oh God.
Julie: You're probably not really a serial killer then, are you?
Tom: (annoyed) He never said he was a serial killer.
Julie: (disappointed) Oh ...
Tom: The level of comprehension is [inaudible, but obviously something suggesting that comprehension was poor].
Julie: Well, I don't really like serial ... I like you, Spike. Now, you're my new ... well, um ...
Tom: Oh God.
Julie: ... will you be my friend?
Tom: Oh, this is the saddest thing ever.
Spike: Okay, why not.
Julie: What ... why not, but why so?
Spike: No, I--
Julie: I like you, that's a good reason.
Tom: At least I'm getting' these over with. I'm gettin' two of these over with at once.
Julie: I got your back.
Spike: Mmm-hmmm. Okay.
Julie: And uh ... theoretically.
Julie: Have you got a big nose?
Tom: Hey, this is a great conversation, let's uh ...
Julie: Hey. Huh?
Spike: Nnnnnnnnno I don't.
Tom: It looks like a little friendship has been birthed tonight!
Julie says that she's trying to make friends, which is something she often struggles to do. Tom thinks it sounds like Jfc and Spike have really become all palsy-walsy. Jfc wishes that were the case, but she fears that Spike doesn't like her. Tom thinks he does. Spike says that he has nothing against her, but JfC points out that having nothing against something is different that having something for that same thing. Tom decides to give them another minute to work on their burgeoning friendship. JfC tells Spike that he's nice and gives him their final minute of airtime. Tom retracts his offer due to concerns about the content of an unmoderated Spike minute. Spike asks Tom to be nice. Tom gives JfC the Heave Ho after she declares him to be her favorite of all the people she doesn't know. Spike laments the dismissal because things were just getting interesting. Tom gives Spike the Heave Ho for suggesting that he played that wrong.
Tom delivers on his promise to explain why he played The Monkees' "Sometime in the Morning" featuring Mickey Dolenz on lead vocals instead of Peter Tork's "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?," Mike Nesmith's alternate version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," or Davy Jones's "Laugh." In a nutshell, he used the tune to usher Dolenz out of The Hate Pit. The disgraced Monkee becomes the first person to escape the fires (and Bob Saget quips) of Best Show Hell since Matthew "Fluxblog" Perpetua was released last year after a brief, Kanyay West-based stint. Tom forgives Dolenz for snubbing/humiliating him during an encounter at the U.S. Open tennis championships. He walked across the room at a star-studded event (other guests included Herb Williams and Tim Blake Nelson) to tell Dolenz that he was a huge fan of Head. Dolenz made Tom feel like a grade-A jerk by brushing aside his compliment and turning away. Tom is granting Dolenz freedom as part of his new effort to be a Big Man instead of a Little Man.
- Matt from Austin, TX, earns a pre-topic clock stoppage by talking about politics. He wants to get Tom's take on the viral video featuring actor Matt Damon Matt Damon discussing John McLain's controversial choice of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential running mate. Tom assumes that Damon declared his support for the Alaskan upstart. He also wonders if he's actually talking to Matt Damon. Matt not-Damon says that Damon was actually highly critical of the selection and expressed concerns about whether Palin really believed that dinosaurs roamed the Earth with humans 4,000 years ago. Tom says that he's scared of dinosaurs, especially since they probably still exist on some lost island off the grid. Matt doesn't think it's outside the realm of possibility. Tom ends the dinosaur talk segment because The Best Show is not a trip to Toys "R" Us, an IMAX edutainment screening, or a program on the History Channel. Tom believes that everyone with a tiny bit of common sense knows that dinosaurs existed a long time ago. Matt thanks Tom for taking his question.
Tom asks him how things are in Austin, and Matt says he's pleased that the weather has finally cooled off to 80 degrees. Tom wonders if his crisp autumn evenings still include trips to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Matt thinks Tom showed impressive hipness by knowing about the local hotspot. Tom appears to be disgusted by the notion of accruing hipness via the reference. Matt says the ADC is still showing Pineapple Express daily at 4:20 p.m., as well as hosting the ongoing Fontastic Fest. He enjoys all the cool stuff that goes on there, but it's also really expensive.
- A somber Brad in Newbridge says that he's still reeling from the news. Tom assumes that he's concerned about the recent volatility in the stock markets with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the liquidity crisis that plagued insurance giant AIG. He agrees that the past week has been pretty nuts. Brad doesn't know what happened with any stocking market. Tom explains that there's been a huge upheaval after the Federal Reserve announced an emergency bailout for AIG as a prelude to a larger package that could involve the government earmarking as much as $700 billion of taxpayer revenues to take on troubled mortgage-backed securities amidst falling real estate values and rising unemployment. Brad is not aware of this dystopian nightmare. He says that he was shaken by the "big news." Tom wants to know what big news has him reeling.
Brad says that Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recently announced that the band is going on an extended hiatus. He's devastated by the decision, which has caused great anxiety about the dim prospects of surviving in a Foo-free world. Tom tells Brad that he's sorry to hear that his favorite band is taking a break. Brad asks Tom if they are also his favorite band. Tom says they are not his favorite. Brad wants to know why. As Tom starts to explain his position, Brad interrupts with a heartfelt rendition of the chorus to "My Hero," the third single from the Foo's third LP, The Colour and the Shape. He has to stop after one line because he's too emotional -- the lyrics taking on even greater resonance as his "heroes" (the band) walk away from him, perhaps their biggest fan. Tom detects that Brad is coming unraveled. Brad tries to regain his composure by fighting through tears with a snippet of TCatS' "Everlong," more than enough to convey his deep sense of loss. He then begs the band to please stick around via "I'll Stick Around" from their self-titled debut. Brad is particularly upset because he only got to see them live four times this year. Tom asks him how many times he's seen them in total. Brad says he's seen them about eight times on every tour for the past 13 years. Tom does some quick math (accounting for their multiple tours per year) and puts the final tally at around 80 shows. Brad says he's seen them at last that many times.
Brad reveals that his extreme fandom includes a back tattoo of "Mount Foomore," a depiction of Mount Rushmore with the faces of the Dave, drummer Taylor Hawkins, and the other two guys replacing the four U.S. Presidents. Tom is surprised that their biggest fan can't name guitarist Chris Shiflett or bassist Nate Mendel. Brad apologizes for not realizing that he was talking to a newsman of the caliber of Bryant Gumball or Keith Olderman. He compares his 50% success rate to how fans of The Beatles could only name the two important ones: John Lennon and George Harrison. Tom laughs in disbelief and mentions Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Brad is not familiar with them, so he asks Tom to hang on while he looks it up. His research confirms that Tom correctly rounded out the Beatles' semi-famous lineup.
Brad hopes that Grohl doesn't spend the downtime on any of those side-projects like Kwasta. Tom doesn't know what that is. Brad was pronouncing the acronym for Queens of the Stone Age, who tapped Grohl as the guest drummer for their Songs for the Deaf record and subsequent touring back in 2002. Tom points out that it should have been "Kwatsa" because the correct sequence is Q-O-T-S-A. Brad gets very upset with himself for ruining another tattoo. He recalls jumping onstage at a QOTSA show and yelling, "You're ruining your reputation!" at Grohl during a break between songs. The outburst was met with silence, and Brad followed up with "Give me Foos or give me death!" as he was being carried off by security. After this parting shot Brad became the first guy to ever get tased at a show. However, Brad didn't make a "don't tase me, bro!" plea like the infamous YouTube guy. Tom wants to know what he said instead. Brad opted for a piercing wail of "OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! OH OH OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!," which is similar to his reaction upon hearing the news of the hiatus.
Tom tries to ease the pain by noting that a hiatus is not the same as a breakup. Brad says that Grohl suggested the band could be out of action for as long as 10 years. He speculates that they decided it would be impossible to ever top Espatgra. Tom is confused by the term. Brad questions the amount of time Tom spends cracking radio stations if he doesn't know the most recent Foo Fighters album. Tom says he had no idea that was the title. Brad explains that ESPatGra is just his shorthand for the full title of their masterwork: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. He fears the impending struggle to fill the musical void. Tom says he can still listen to their recordings, but Brad says it won't be the same. He wonders if there are other good bands out there. Tom recommends checking out the multitude of quality alternatives.
Brad visits one of his favorite modern rock websites to sample some sound clips. He puts one ear next to his headphones and finds a pretty cool band called Hinder. Tom chuckles because he's not a big fan of this music group from Oklahoma. Brad thinks they are awesome. He hits up their Wikipedia page to discover that they have a fanclub called The Hinder Army. Brad asks Tom to quantify the coolness of that name. Tom determines that the coolness quotient is "not very." Brad is also delighted to find out that Hinder spent last summer on the cool "Bad Boys of Rock" (ft. Buckchery and Papa Roach) tour. Tom finds this package even less cool than the fanclub. Brad thinks the production of their music is cool because they use even more compression techniques than the Foo Fighters to create a tiny band of sound with no mid-range frequencies. Tom correctly identifies it as pretty much monaural. Brad says he loves the sound and doesn't really know of records that sound any different. (Sterling Sound mastering engineer Ted Jensen has already disowned his work on Hinder's forthcoming Take It to the Limit: "I got brickwalled in yet another skirmish in the raging Loudness War, but I will still have fun cashing Universal's check. Time for that fifth yacht, LOL.") Tom guesses that Brad may have found his new favorite band. Brad continues to sample kick-ass Hinder tracks with killer riffs.
He also just texted his tattoo artist, Rick, who has an opening on Friday to chisel Mt. Foomore into Hinder Hill. Tom is baffled that Brad is committed to permanent body art after only hearing 40 seconds of the band's music. Brad argues that he has his whole life ahead of him since he's only 34. Tom recommends taking additional time to ponder this new Hinder back piece. Brad says that Rick already texted back to confirm his appointment, but he called him Lowell. While Rick knows his name, he frequently types "Sounds great, LOL" when responding to Brad's latest tattoo idea. Tom tells Brad that it's Internet slang for "laughing out loud." He suspects that Rick is amused by these ill-conceived designs. Brad says that he always thought it was just temporary confusion about his name. Tom confirms that Rick also laughs out loud when he sees Brad in person. Brad has previously assumed that someone said something funny right before he arrives. Tom believes that Rick thinks the tattoos are funny. Brad can't imagine why Rick would think that because Tom doesn't. Tom says he considers the topographic tale to be more sad than funny. Brad assures Tom that the needles only go in for a little bit and cause minimal pain. Tom says he was referring to the tragic end result. Brad claims that everybody agrees that the art looks great, and Tom wants some examples of people who like his Foo Fighters tattoos. Brad says his parents like them, although it's really just his mom. He thinks his dad would like tattoos if he didn't leave the house as soon as he took his shirt off to avoid ever having to look at them.
Brad asks Tom for his e-mail address so he can send him some .jpgs of the completed Hinder Hill tattoo. Tom says he doesn't want to receive any images. Brad says he will get the address from Call Screener Trey. Tom asks him to at least hold off on the Hinder ink until he listens to more of their music. Brad thinks about it right now and decides to fire up those needles. He asks Tom to play some Hinder to celebrate. Tom declines to play any Hinder or Foos tracks. Brad promises to send Tom a picture of his back when it's all slicked up from post-Hinder Hill salve. Tom says he has the same policy as Brad's father when it comes to viewing his body art. Brad starts whining about Tom's refusal to look at his fresh tattoo. Tom asks him to stop, and Brad whines while denying that he's whining. He then threatens to sign Tom up for the Hinder Army. Tom thinks he should try becoming a Hinder Album Owner before enlisting in their battalion. Brad says that he will
uploaddownload one tonight. Tom mentions iTunes, but Brad doesn't know the online store because he doesn't pay for music. He supports the artists by getting tattoos on his back. Tom points out that the band does not see any of revenues from fan tattoos. Brad says that he used to charge people $5/peak at Foos shows. He'd get some takers, but a lot of people were not interested. Tom correctly guesses that people would also throw things at him. Brad says he often got tased during these public viewings.
Tom asks Brad if the band has ever seen his tattoos. Brad says that he got banned from sitting near the stage for the last four tours after their one peak. Tom assumes that he got stuck in the back of the arena. Brad asks for a definition of "back of the arena." Tom defines it as a section where nobody is sitting behind him. Brad says that is true. If he leans back, he will bang his head on his car seat. Tom asks him how he's in his car at a Foo Fighters show. Brad says it's because the band wouldn't actually let him near the arena. He got bumped to the parking lot after he threw a thick, hockey goalie stick at Grohl. Tom wants to know why he would fire a projectile at someone he greatly admires. Brad thought he would like it. Tom doubts anyone would like getting hit by a stick and wonders about ultimate goal of the attack. Brad says he just wanted to get noticed, jump onstage, and give Grohl the "full back" to hopefully earn his friendship. Tom thinks Brad desperately needs some perspective on life. Brad says he can't do it and resumes whining. He also renews his promise to get Tom's e-mail from Call Screener Trey. Tom says that he will not open any emails. Brad tells Tom that he'll call him tonight and hangs up. Tom appears to have heard enough from Brad for one night. Jeepers Creepers!
- Steve in NoHoUhOh calls to revive the Yay/Nay/Eh? topic from the end of last week's show. Tom asks Mike to rule on the request. Mike approves the late entries, although Tom is concerned that this call might throw off tonight's pacing.
1. Japanese import game show Ninja Warrior: N/A
2. Defunct Swedish punk band Refused: Eh
3. The guitar riff from "Please [sic] Go All The Way" by The Raspberries: Yay
Uh oh. Tom says that Steve couldn't have teed him up any better with that creepess. He was horrified by an online video clip of Munn pulling a ruse at some dumb video gaming conference. Munn approached two nerds who were minding their own business at a game console and pretended to be interested in them as potential lovemaking partners. While Munn is a total knockout w/r/t physical appearance, she also thinks she is one of the funniest people on Earth. Tom knows that attractive ladies can be funny, but in this case, Munn mistook being mean for being funny -- the hallmark of The Unfunny Person. She teased the nerds with faux advances, but they didn't fall into her "comedic" trap. The nerds smelled a rat because they are acutely aware of their life scoreboards. Munn then pretended to be annoyed that they weren't receptive to her insincere flirtations. Tom gives a thumbs down to the monster and throws her into the Hate Pit slot vacated by Mickey Dolenz. Steve now realizes that he cracked open a can of worms.
5. Swimming in the ocean: Yay
6. CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory: Nay
Steve thinks Tom's response is fair enough. Tom wonders if Steve took offense because his best buddy Nate Hartley is in the cast. Steve says he's been digging the show, so he just wanted to know if Tom also liked it. He also mentions that his roommate's friend from college is on it. Tom asks Steve for an update on Hartley's recent work. Steve says that he took him in for a voiceover audition a few days ago, and Hartley just sent him a Myspace message about tricking some "studio" into financing his independent feature. Hartley told Steve that there's a part in it for him. Tom does an impression of some suit whipping out his checkbook to sign the kid from Drillbit Taylor to a $500 deal for perpetual, galaxy-wide rights to the film. Steve says that Hartley is still being very secretive about the project he supposedly filmed in Iowa. Tom was convinced that he was just visiting his grandmother. Steve reports that a film called Lemon Heart has appeared on his Wikipedia page (removed on 28 September 2008 as a "dubious listing"), but he's not sure if it's the answer to the Midwestern mystery. Tom is looking forward to seeing Hartley's turn alongside Kim Kardashian, Steve-O, Eddie Griffin, and Leslie Nielson in Disaster Movie 3, if he's lucky. Steve says that Hartley's his boy, but he would skip that one.
7. The approaching Halloween season: Yay
Steve responds with "Sweeeeeet!" for the third time during the call. Tom offers one piece of advice: stop saying "sweet." Steve thinks he can do this.
- Quality Caller Mike from Summit, N.J., says he's really excited about the Munn-for-Dolenz Hate Pit switcheroo. He previously talked to Tom about his Monkees-crazed friend, whose descent into madness now includes following Davy Jones around the country. Mike says his fanaticism is causing serious relationship problems. Tom thinks his Jones journeys are particularly bizarre because he's probably getting the same setlist every night. He imagines a scenario where Mike's friend touts a bootleg of a Jones show in Waco, TX, with an unbelievable array of deep cuts and rarities ("Someday Man" (acoustic), "Hold On Girl," "Forget That Girl," and "You and I") followed by hits like "When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door)" and "The Day We Fall in Love." Mike says that his friend is trying to get his girlfriend into The Monkees' b-sides and even defended tourmate David Cassidy. He thinks an intervention is needed because the guy already broke up with one girlfriend after Peter Tork asked her to raise her shirt so he could autograph her belly. He believes that Tork deserves to be thrown into the pit for the risqué request. Tom wonders if he's in the middle of a Monkees Confidential exposé. Mike welcomes Tom into his life.
Tom bets that Jones cringes when he pulls back the stage curtain and keeps seeing this guy in the front row. Jones then plows through a jumpy version of "(Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow" knowing that his eventual Steve Blue-like murderer is hanging on every word. Tom wants Mike to tell his friend to put things in perspective and stop following Davy Jones all over the country. He points out that Jones doesn't even want to be at most of these shows. Mike realizes that it's time for the guy to let it go now that he's in his mid-30s. Tom doesn't think it should have ever started. Mike thanks Tom for letting him vent his frustrations.
- Derrick from Detroit calls with a couple more Yay/Nay/Ehs:
1. Donovan: Yay
2. Anthony Bourdain: N/A (leaning Nay)
Tom, a noted critic of celebrity chefs like David Chang, just wants to get his food without a monologue on the nuances of pan-searing techniques. Derrick says his six-year-old son, Noah, wants to talk to Tom, assuming the little guy's still awake. Tom questions the decision to rouse a sleeping child for a radio appearance. Derrick discovers that Noah is asleep, but Tom wants him to go all the way by hitting the youngster with the phone or a pillow. Derrick says he never planned to wake him because getting him to sleep is often a difficult task. He mentions that Noah is such a big fan of Mayubernatorial frontrunner Roydon Ziegler that he cracks up whenever he hears someone say "hoagie" or "Philly" on television. Tom gives Derrick the Heave Ho for a lack of parental supervision that led to his son adopting one of the biggest creeps in the world as his hero.
- Showbiz Sean from Los Angeles brings the scoop from the heart of the four-block radius where Home Box Office's Entourage is filmed. He moved to a WeHo neighborhood where he can visit the stomping grounds of Vince and the boys, as well as some restaurants that appear on The Hills. Tom gives the rundown of the extremely condensed shooting locations: zip by The Roxy Theater and The Viper Room, scoot past Mel's drive-in, hit the Pink Dot at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega, turn around in the parking lot next to the laundromat, and then maybe go down the hill to the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Avenue. Repeat. Sean says that he and his girlfriend were almost taken out by a gaggle of paparazzi when they were carting a giant plank of wood back from the lumber yard across from the PDC. The six overzealous photojournalists were trying to snap shots of a blond starlet. Sean, an industry insider, was unable to identify their target, and Tom wonders it was someone from The Hills. Sean says he's pretty confident that it wasn't. He laments that he has to take celebrity sightings wherever he can get them because he lives in a rent-control apartment.
Sean asks Tom if he got any feedback on last week's reading of the H-Man's Facebook status updates. He gives that segment a gigantic Yay. Tom says that when he originally tapped the H-Man as his protégé he expected him to be running the show by this point. However, the promising host still needs time to be molded into a fine Greek Adonis. Sean compares the relaxing experience of hearing the online prose to flipping through a deck of Oblique Strategies cards written by Chauncey Gardiner. Tom isn't sure what that means, but he safely assumes that the cards would be equally relaxing. Sean says the updates got his creative juices flowing after a period of blockage. While the feedback was all positive, Tom fears that the well has been poisoned. He imagines that the H-Man is now staring at the screen for 30 minutes to craft new updates for his adoring fans. Sean says he was leery of calling for this very reason. Tom is relieved when he checks the H-Man's feed to see that he's taking the magic up a notch1. Sean mentions the H-Man's intriguing and ultimately successful quest to obtain a croquet mallet post-haste. He has never known anyone who wanted one within any timeframe. Tom reveals that this is why the "H" stands for "Mystery." Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy!
1. "Harri Woliner is gonna take a break from facebook statuses to spend more time with his family... (Tor Halversom made me do it)." [9/29/08]
- Christine, the famous rock 'n roll guitarist from Finest Dearest, calls to say hello during a rare live listen. TBS observers will certainly recall FD's Smash or Trash triumph with "We're Making a Sound 1" back in October 2006. She's been enjoying Tom's recent Marijuana Cigarette 5 spins, and tonight's set opener "Looking At You" is one of her all-time favorites songs. However, Christine cites the band's "Teenage Lust" as one of her all-time least favorite songs. Tom admits that the MC5 has some clunkers, but only by their high standards. Christine thinks Tom would be less kind if he reviewed the horrible "Teenage Lust" lyrics.
Tom says that if even if you put up some of the more bizarre entries in the MC5 catalog against something by Ambrosia, they would easily win. Christine agreed with last week's worst-song-ever nomination of The Mamas & The Papas' "Blueberries for Breakfast," but she doesn't think it can top "Teenage Lust." Tom asks Mike to fetch the track for a reassessment. Christine hopes that Finest Dearest lyrics will not be similarly scrutinized after this call. She likes their lyrics, but Tom is certain that Dennis Thompson liked this:
Back in Lincoln Park where I was mostly raised
Hanging around town where I got totally crazed
Surrounded by bitches who wouldn't give it in
Who thought that getting down was an unnatural sin
I'd whisper 'Baby baby help me, you really must,
I need a healthy outlet
For my teenage lust
Tom now realizes that these are very bad indeed. Mike, who is a Jon Landau enthusiast, picks Kick Out the Jams as his favorite MC5 record. Tom notes the abrupt shift from the revolutionary zeal of KotJ to Back in the USA with its Charles Berry title track and general rah-rah-rah sis-boom-bah. He thinks that dwarfs even The Turtles' trend-hopping transitions from its surf-rock beginnings (as Crossfires from the Planet Mars) to Dylan covers to a Lovin' Spoonful of pop-rock to psychedelia.
- [Spike #2 TK]
- [Tom Turns the Corner TK]
- [Never Again! featuring Jim from Nutley, Joe in Livingston, Deb from Best Buy #452 in Portland, OR, QC Samir in Florida, Charlie in Seattle, QC Weirder Jon from Maplewood, Superaller/Powercaller Paycheque in Toronto, Spike #3, Laurie in Miami, QC Martin in Edison, Alvaro in Glen Mills, PA, Frank from Weehawken TK]
- Chris Langstrom, the lead singer for Newbridge's The Wednesday Rockets, checks in to promote the big release of Reconciled, the band's hotly anticipated fourth album. He tells Tom that early industry buzz gives it a good chance of knocking Metallica's Death Magnetic out of the top spot on next week's Billboard album chart. Tom congratulates the hometown hero on the new record and all of his success. Langstrom says he put his heart and soul into Reconciled, and he's really excited that his dad plays lead guitar on it. Tom correctly presumes that his dad is a fellow musician, but Langstrom didn't even know this until about a year ago. He mentions that the main lyrical theme of the band's three previous records (Kid Pain, The Life I Never Had, and Crying on the Inside) was the years of pain and self-doubt that plagued him following his father's abandonment at age 3. Tom understands how meaningful it is for Langstrom to have his father join the TWR fold. Langstrom says the title of the new album is no accident.
Tom suspects that Langstrom's dad reached out to him after enjoying his band's increasingly popular music over the past few years. Langstrom says that his dad was not really a fan, as far as he knows. In fact, his father didn't even know about his son's music career until he saw the cover story last year in Rolling Stone. Tom mentions that TWR were featured in the magazine after Crying on the Inside became a top 5 album and put them on the musical map. Langstrom says he tried to track down his dad over the years, but he appeared to be in hiding. However, everything changed on the fateful night of July 16, 2007. Langstrom says he was getting ready for the first gig of a two-night stand at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago when his tour manager gave him a message that his dad called. The news shook Langstrom and brought on feelings of severe hatred mixed with a strong desire to reconnect.
After the show Langstrom called his dad, who said he wanted to apologize in person. Langstrom decided to fly him back to L.A. a few weeks later, and the two have been together ever since. Tom thinks it's a really cool reunion. He assumes that his dad's first exposure to TWR's music was through the breakthrough CotI, but Langstrom indicates that his knowledge of the band was limited to the Rolling Stone cover photo. While he sent him all the albums via his estranged uncle, he never got any response. Langstrom did make a weird discovery when he helped his dad move out to L.A. He says that he found three of those CDs in his collection, but the discs were inside different cases. Tom notes that the first two records were not commercial success despite some decent critical notices. Langstrom learned that his dad played in bands over the years, but they never took off due to managerial ball drops and label choke jobs. After these setbacks he was forced to move to Europe for unspecified reasons. Langstrom says that his dad was living in Norway when he spotted the Rolling Stone issue.
Tom says that he doesn't want to be rude, but he sees a correlation between the band's rise to fame and the reemergence of his father. Langstrom seems a bit taken aback by this analysis. Tom thinks it's a very dramatic shift, especially since TWR's music revolves around the intense father-son dynamic with tracks like "Childhood's End," "Where Did You Go?," and the particularly sad "I Was My Own Father" from Kid Pain. Langstrom agrees that these tracks cut to the emotional bone. Tom knows that it's probably a touchy subject, and he doesn't want to bum Langstrom out when he should be celebrating his new release. Langstrom says that his dad lobbied to remove "I Was My Own Father" from their set because it would be too painful for him to have to play it every night. Tom had no idea that his dad is now a full touring member of TWR.
Langstrom says he was in such a good place before the call, but now he's having a big crisis of doubt. Tom says that wasn't his goal and tries to make up for it by plugging the new album. Langstrom says he no longer cares about it and can barely remember its title. He considers canceling the tour and bailing on the band's scheduled appearance on Saturday Night Live. Tom apologizes for sending him on a downward spiral. Langstrom thanks everybody in Newbridge for being there over the years. He's not sure if he'll ever see them again. Tom apologizes again, and Langstrom bids his fans goodnight. While Tom admits to kind of putting his foot in his mouth, he thinks it's glaringly obvious that the elder Langstrom's motives are less than noble.
- [Frank from Weehawken #2 TK]
- [Melanie from Chicago TK]
- [Listener T from Los Ang-a-leez TK]
- [Matt from New Orleans TK]
- [Emma in Toronto TK]
- An enraged ROD LANGSTROM calls to find out why Tom is filling his son's head with lies. Tom explains that he was just having a nice chat about the new record when Chris revealed the weird nature of their real-life reconciliation. While Rod isn't entirely sure what Tom was feeding him, he's convinced that it's a bunch of BS. He doesn't appreciate Tom's take on his parenting and livelihood. Rod catches himself and quickly revises it to "life." Tom cites the mishap as further evidence of his ulterior motives. Rod denies it and calls Tom a yutznuckle for making the accusation.
Tom wants to set the record straight on this complex relationship. Rod claims that Chris never sent him the band's first two CDs. Tom tells him that Chris spotted them in a box during the move. Rod makes a noise that people make when they are uncomfortable and stalling for time to respond and then accuses his son of lying. He says that his son must be sorely mistaken because he doesn't own a box, let alone one that ever contained Kid Pain and The Life I Never Had. Rod says he hasn't heard any of the early material except "I Was My Own Father," which he dismisses as fantasy. He said "no thank you" when Chris brought it up the other day during rehearsals. Rod announces that the new name of the band is The Wednesday Rockers Plus Papa. Tom informs him that it's The Wednesday Rockets. Rod now realizes why he was able to grab the wednesdayrockers.com URL. However, he's not too concerned because it will still be the classiest porn website on the Internet with models wearing the finest rubies and emerils. Tom wonders if he's referring to the famous chef and television personality Emeril Lagasse. Rod says it's called jewelry, a luxury item that Tom is probably too poor to afford. Tom tells him that the gemstone in question is an emerald. Rod disagrees.
Tom figured that Rod was the Papa, but he thinks it's insane for an established band to change their name at the height of their success. Rod says that Chris doesn't really know about it. He predicts that his son will love the shirts when he sees them ... tomorrow. Rod plans to use masking tape to make the R look like a T. He's also trying to turn the band onto some good sounds instead of their brand of emo rock. He wants to make them classier by getting "The Fish" to play on a track. Tom is not familiar with the desired guest musician. Rod says it's the nickname of Yes bassist Chris Squire. He doesn't think it sounds like Tom cracks many triple-albums. Rod says he used to hang out with all those Yes guys back in the day, and he'd love for TWR+P to cover some tracks from Tufto. Tom thinks he said "turf toe," the common name for the hallux-based metatarsal phalangeal joint sprain. Rod was actually referring to the Yes album Tales from Topographic Oceans. He calls Tom a progdummy for not realizing that. Rod believes that this is one of many things that Tom doesn't realize. Tom admits to not being a big fan of progressive rock music.
Rod thinks Tom's read of him is completely off mark. Tom wants to test that by tracking the timeline beginning with Rod's departure when Chris was three years old. Rod says he had to bolt because he just wasn't feeling it. At age 29, he was simply too young to deal with the responsibilities of supporting a family. Tom thinks that's way too old to be bolting. Rod argues that history is full of guys who left their kids at an older age, such as Abraham Lincoln. Tom laughs at this obscure bit of trivia. Rod recalls that George Washington was the first guy to leave his family really late. Tom thinks Rod is desperately trying to justify his stand by leveling bizarre charges against respected Presidents. Rod strongly denies it and says he had to sew his O's. Tom doesn't bother with a correction. He assumes that Rod is a failed musician trying to recapture his dreams, but Rod says that his band The Need were big in Norway after releasing a tape.
Tom mentions that Chris tried to get in touch via Rod's brother. Rod initially disputes this, but then admits that he ignored his son because he didn't care for the early TWR music. He still thinks the band kind of stinks. Rod says he was filled with fatherly pride when he saw the Rolling Stone cover, but Tom sees it as pure opportunism resulting in his spot in the band a year later. Rod says he's the right person to take them to a higher level. Tom seems skeptical that his associations with Squire will be sufficient for any sort of musical upgrade. Rod goes on the record to say that he loves his son and wants nothing from his TWR bandmates. He does think of one thing he wants: his own line of tasteful denim lingerie. Rod doesn't think anybody else is offering this type of undergarment. Tom assures him that he doesn't have any competition in this niche. Rod says the lingerie is just a fun hobby he does for a laugh, whereas his primary concern is seeing the guys in the band do their best. He feels that he has to be in the band because they are falling apart from excessive cocaine use. Rod says the guys are doing more lines than he did back in 1980 when he was performing Chic covers in Ibiza. The drug abuse has also led to an off-the-hook orgy of sexual deviancy. Rod doesn't think Tom will ever believe what Richie's winkle was doing the other day. Tom doesn't want to know.
Rod sees his stint in the band as a rescue mission from the perspective of an adult who's taken tons of lumps over the years. He says that he's been literally whipped by all the guys from Yes. Tom thinks he's talking about being worn out from the rigors of the road, but Rod says he was also whipped with horse whips. He notes a correction: keyboardist Rick Wakeman opted for a buggy whip. Rod says the Yes guys are all champion whippers, even Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes from the Buggles, who only played on one Yes record, 1980's Drama. Rod says the duo were incredible, violent whippers. The bottom line: the members of Yes were incredibly cruel men who would whip you and then laugh as you bled.
Tom wants to know why they attacked people. Rod thinks this is a good question and recommends asking frontman Jon Anderson why he once dropped him naked in the middle of the moors one night. When Rod managed to find his way back to the pub, Anderson greeted him with laughter. Tom thinks this Sean and Freud is terrible and doesn't understand why Rod associated with such crettens. Rod says he tolerated their antics because he thought they were cool guys. He still thinks they're the best. Tom can't believe he continues to idolize people who treated him horribly. Rod says the whippings were just part of a hazing ritual to welcome him into the Yes family. He's pretty sure that things would be different now that he's part of a big band poised to knock Magnets of Death off its perch. Tom catches Rod referring to his son as Craig, which he claims it's a pet name. Tom considers it a telling a slip of the tongue, but Rod thinks he's nuts. He's certain that when Anderson, Wakeman, Howe, Alan White, and Squire hear about the TWR+P chart position, they will invite him to jam and then join Yes as the new second guitarist/lead vocalist. Tom thinks his voice is too scratchy to effectively hit the high notes that span across the band's catalog. He allows Rod to give him a sample of his singing.
Rod performs a snippet of "Roundabout," the lead-off track from 1971's Fragile, at an extremely high volume. Tom thinks it sounded off-key. Rod explains that he usually does a shot of bourbon to help smooth out his raspy tone. Tom respectfully disagrees that any elixir could salvage his vocals. He's still shocked that Yes were so brutal. Rod laughs as he recalls the post-show whipping parties, spilling bourbon all over his slacks. While you'd expect the band to whip groupies, Rod says they actually targeted each other. Tom wonders what the crew thought about the rock stars beating each other backstage. Rod says the sessions took place in private with a camera, and then everyone watched the footage the next day on the tour bus. He knows some tapes are floating around and hopes he's not on them. Tom thinks this is terrible behavior, but Rod thinks it's also fun to experience all 3' 8" of Jon Anderson having it out on his back. Tom can't believe he's that tiny. Rod thinks he could be as short as 3' 6". He mentions that Anderson recently suffered an illness, so the rest of the band replaced him with Benoit David for a tour set to start on November 4th. Tom had no idea that whipping was such a vital part of the Yes history.
Rod asks Tom not to tell anyone, and he's glad he's not on the air. Tom tells him that he is definitely on the air. Rod expresses his shock by yelling "Whaaaaaaaat?" with the "in and around the lake" line from "Roundabout" inserted in the middle. Tom was under the impression that Rod heard the earlier segment, but he found out when Chris called him in tears. Rod says he found the show by Googling "Newbridge High School radio station." Tom isn't sure how he got to the WFMU website because it's not a high school station. Rod downgrades it to a junior-high operation. He says that Chris was very upset and started accusing him of all kinds of stuff. Tom sides with Chris based on what he's heard for the past 15 minutes. Rod told
Craig Chris that he can't listen to Tom.
Prior to calling the show Rod enlisted his old buddies Officer Harrups and Tor Halversom to pay Tom a visit later tonight. Steve Howe, who wields the biggest whip of any Yes member, will join them. Tom is ready to take his chances because for some reason Howe does not scare him. Rod wishes him luck in the imminent whipping battle. Tom thinks Rod's situation with TWR is a little gross, and he hopes he'll just let those kids sink or swim on their own merits and hard work. Rod begins cracking a whip on his own back to get ready to go over to Jon Anderson's house. He begs Tom to come with him and/or whip him. Tom finds the whole thing very weird and dumps Rod as he requests a whipping at the hands of Call Screener Treyorwhateverhisnameis. At this point Tom is so flustered that he can't even remember the name of his own associate. He just wanted to congratulate a Newbridge artist on his new album, but he got swept up in the Langstrom family madness.
- James is back. Oh, James ...
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Matthew Tompkins promotes Shout!'s fast-tracked Hate Pit sitcom The Munnsters, The Wednesday Rockets Plus Papa offshoot Rod Langstrom's Armada featuring Herman Menderchuck & Little Mikey Halversom cover the entirety of "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)" over the phone, and Brad in Newbridge discusses his decision to reduce Hinder Hill to an Alien Ant Farm.
They did it!