Help Me Make My Nut Tonight.
"He's making calls! He's tying one of the phones up! Unbelievable. Come on, Mike." -- Tom, denouncing the telephonic trickery of his Associate Producer
"'Cause that's what it is. It kind of supports the thing. It's like you keep it going, and then you're entertained by it, we do what we do because you're entertained by it, and then the pledge money ... something like that." -- Tom, explaining the Ouroborosness of the WFMU model
"Something tells me we're gonna have a hard time collecting on that pledge from 'Deuce'. Prove me wrong, Deuce! Make me eat my words, Deuce!" -- Tom, challenging the hard working Hyde Park, NY man to Do It
"Apparently we've run out of names on Twitter. Where now some dude actually has to choose the name 'Sheeplovr.' Fair enough. I guess that had to happen at some point." -- Tom, accepting the overpopulated Twitter terrain
"You can watch me leaning on this chair talking like I'm modeling slacks in the Sears® catalog." -- Tom, promoting the live video stream, shortly before declaring, "Chair Time Is Ova!" (the skewed posture actually altered his thought patterns)
"This better be worth it." -- Carl Newman, growing tired of the dramatic buildup to the White Whale prize reveal
"Should we talk about things you can relate to? Battlestar Galactica and ... what else? Bras? Well, you're a lady. Bras. Shoes. Sex and the City. Cupcakes." -- Tom, a 100% Carrie per Jen Kirkman, brainstorming Therese-friendly topics after she got lost in the McAdoo/Pippen funhouse
"We are not seven 50 years ago." -- Tom, issuing a cease and desist order on Therese's use of the old-timey "No backsies" slogan
"We say it Zum-pono down here. Yeah, that's how we roll down here." -- Tom, sticking it to Canadian songsmith Carl Newman
"Yeah, but they're great, though. They're trying really hard out there." -- Carl Newman, praising The Black Eyed Peas's high school talent show bounce-arounds
"What is it like to be able to actually sing and have it sound good? What is that like?" -- Tom, wondering how Carl Newman deals with his vocal talent
"Yes, and a good night to you, too, Ma'am ... and Sir." -- Gene Simmons, finishing up his fourth session of the day
"Because I do. I'm Gene Simmons of KISS, why?" -- Gene Simmons, justifying his decision to carry more than $42,000 in his wallet
"She seemed to like it. Yes, she was screaming." -- Gene Simmons, putting a positive spin on Aimme Mann's response to his groping
"You'll love it. All the doctors, nurses, and the condystripers, they dress up in KISS makeup." -- Gene, touting some of the pleasures of the KISS-isted living staff at KISS Acres
"Uh, more like Paul's Dynasty-era cape. It's pink." -- Gene Simmons, describing the attire of the mouse that scurried past him
"You'll also both have to have extensive chest hair implant surgery and facial reconstruction." -- Gene Simmons, informing Ted and Carl about the prerequisites to becoming the new Paul and Gene
"I don't know what it is. Look at you, you're like if Mr. Clean was a fat blob made of wet, fetid fudge." -- Gene Simmons, disqualifying Tom as his possible replacement
"Hey, I certainly am. Ask any of those 8,000 women I've boinked." -- Gene Simmons, offering Tom a bevy of witnesses in waiting to confirm that he's a handsome gem
"Oh ... fudge." -- Gene Simmons, realizing that something has gone horribly wrong with his Emerald Nightmare herbal tincture experiment
"Next person who calls can talk to Colleen about how much she hates Southern people. 800-989-9368. Talk about rubes from down South, right?" -- Tom, teasing the volunteer who recently abandoned Baton Rouge
"It keeps me off the streets, it keeps me out of therapy, it keeps me off of meds." -- Associate Producer Mike, observing and reporting on what The Best Show on WFMU means to him: a warm room on cold Tuesday nights
Stan Bush & Barrage - "Crank That Radio"
( Click here to buy Stan Bush & Barrage)
OFF! - "Panic Attack"
( Click here to buy First Four EPs)
Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard - "Frequent Weaver Who Burns"
( Click here to buy Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department)
Lifeguards - "Keep It In Orbit"
( Click here to buy Waving at the Astronauts)
Beauty Constant - "Ed's Anthem"
( Click here to acquire the rest of Like The Enemy)
Three Hits - "Numbers"
( Click here to snag the A-side of the single)
Danielson - "This Day Is A Loaf"
( Click here to buy Best of Gloucester County)
Lemuria - "Pleaser"
( Click here to buy Pebble)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun and pledge:
Alright. Alright, everybody. Tom Scharpling begins Week 1 of the 2011 The Best Show Marathon with his usual testimonial from Volcano Suns, but the rousing rallying cry gives way to the sickening silence of a dead Phone Room. Tom cannot believe this is happening to him. He laments that he's already winded at the 10-minute mark, further evidence that the show is slowly killing him week after week. Tom considers pulling the plug and playing Pangaea for the next three hours, but he can't Do That. He explains that everyone must stop thinking about it and just DO IT like Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End). The illuminated DO IT sign starts to heat up the Phone Room by a few degrees of Mr. Fahrenheit.
The bottom line: After 50 weeks of fun connective tissue, it's time to pledge some bones and celebrate WFMU. Tom promises that he will deliver a Prize-a-Palooza for the next three hours instead of some PBS snooze-a-thon. He also invited rock musicians Ted Leo and Carl Newman to join him at this year's festivities. They will play music songs if the phones start ringing. Tom even recruited pretty ladies who will be forced to talk to creeps in order to document their payment information. Will host steady the submarine to victory lane or go down in a flaming ball of defeat and retreat back to his glamorous life of solo dining at the Hometown Buffet?
Tom welcomes Therese, a friend, a colleague, and his co-host for the evening. Therese reports some action on the phones and online. She concludes that everyone wants a piece of Tommy, The Best Show, and WFMU.
Cape-Wearing Phone Room Volunteers and Other Support Personnel
Boardmaster: Glenn Luttman
Resident Mathematician: Chad
- AP Mike/Harold (HOT CORNER; somehow eluded their parole officers to make it)
- Evan "Funk" Davies
- Karen L
- Karen H
- DJ Terre T
- Brian Turner
- Jon Dalton
Don't Stop Me Now 2011 Best Show Fontasy Pack premium ($75)
1. "Rated GG" 7-inch, featuring cleaned-up classics from the dearly departed scum rocker, Kevin Michael "GG" Allin! Family-friendly participants include the following:
- Ben Gibbard ("Friends in the City")
- Mountain Goats ("Drink, Fight, and Frolic")
- F'd Up ("Expose Yourself to Adults")
- Ty Segall ("Pettin' The Dog")
- Ted Leo ("Who Clogged My Fudge Dispenser?")
PLUS a digital download for computore listening with bonus tracks from Dump, Home Blitz, the comedy duo stylings of The Scharpling & The Wurster, Julie Klausner, and more! Tom is cracking this motherfucker WIDE OPEN.
2. A poster designed by the artist named Charles Burns (Black Hole, Big Baby, every issue of The Believer, the cover of Jim Osterberg's Brick by Brick). This is known throughout The Biz as a "get." [A $500 Pledge yields a special, higher-quality screened version of the poster.]
3. Tom & Jon & Mike & Spike & Roy & Sheila Larson T-shirt.
5. Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium CASSette (autographed by Wally Backman and Wally Wackiman)
NOTE: Tom takes the leftover premium Fontasy Packs and jams them down a random sewer in the middle of the day. So it goes.
After a brief flurry, Tom senses a lag in the pledge activity. He also spots AP Mike whooping it up on what appears to be a personal phone call. Tom obviously wants to know more about this outrageous breach of marathon protocol. Therese believes that the particulars of how he's figured out how to make outgoing calls on the station's phone system is better left as one of life's great mysteries. She suspects that AP Mike does not have long-distance capabilities on his home phone. Tom envisions a scenario where AP Mike makes a(n obscene) call, the unlucky recipient sees 800-989-9368 on their Caller ID, and they call back to investigate the intrusion. In a nutshell, AP Mike is potentially tying up two phone lines with his antics. Tom asks him if he's making outgoing calls, and AP Mike yells that he "doesn't have time!" in a voice that sounds like Kermit the Frog after four Four Lokos. Tom recalls that last week he almost threw up when he heard AP Mike acting like a weird lapdog while telling guest Chris Elliot that he was a Big Fan of his work. Hatch eventually confirms the bad news: Mike is indeed tying up one of the phone lines. Despite AP Mike's sabotage attempts, Tom will continue to try to keep the beautiful, freeform behemoth on the air for another year. He points out that WFMU only exists in the real world because of support from the listeners. Tom compares the give-and-take approach to the snake chasing the snake, although he has some difficulty articulating exactly how it all works. Therese thinks the snake that eats its own tail is called an Ouroboros. She boils it down to its essence: the listeners and the station have a symbiotic relationship. Tom doesn't know what "symbiotic" means. He admits to being basically stupid, but he is well-schooled in some crucial marathon details like 800-989-9368, wfmu.org, and $75 to secure his premium. Tom also knows that the phones must keep ringing and the computer box must keep popping out paper like the readout slips on Judge Davies's higher-end digital devices.
As Therese reads the first batch of pledge cards, Tom charts who is coming through for him. While he appreciates the financial support, he also wants to compile an extensive list of potential safe houses throughout North America and beyond so he can hide out -- The Fugitive-style -- while on the lam from a murder rap. For example, Tom might find himself in the basement of Lindsay in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He also cites the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle (e.g., bowels of the Dean Dome, back room of Time-Out Chicken, John Darnielle's dungeon) as an appealing location for avoiding capture.
White Whale Prize
The biggest pledgeroller over the two weeks of The Best Show will receive Steve Lambert's UNSTOPPABLE lightbox. This piece of art is 30 inches wide, 6.5 inches tall, and 5.5 inches deep. It is constructed from wood, laser-cut acrylic, and internal lighting components. You can hang it on the wall or put it on a tabletop. Hand-signed artist proof from an edition of 10. Also signed by Tom!
Ted Leo Set #1
Ted Leo - "The King of Time" (from Tej Leo(?), Rx/Pharmacists)
Ted Leo - "Colleen" (from Living with the Living)
TLRx's latest album, The Brutalist Bricks, is
unfortunately completely sold out and no longer available for purchase currently available in a variety of formats at traditional retails outlets and e-commerce hubs. Last August it was adapted into a Broadway punk musical. Following this performance, Ted goes for a soda as an homage to Kim Mitchell, Carl Newman's Canadian hero.
In one of the night's more disturbing revelations, some Twitter users report that AP Mike is calling them to borrow $75 so he can pledge at a premium level. Therese doesn't understand how he got their phone numbers. She's kind of impressed that he figured out how to call someone based solely on their Twitter handle. Tom notes that AP Mike doesn't even own a cell phone, but he can apparently perpetrate telephonic Twitter hacks. Therese reminds/warns everyone that AP Mike has a creepy shovel in the trunk of his car. Tom confirms that AP Mike is indeed a Trunk Tool Killer. After misbehaving through the early portion of the show, AP Mike calms down enough to actually log some pledges. Later in the show he resurfaces to wave some dumb dog toy (aka "Squeaky") at Tom while he was making a passionate king's speech about the glories of freeform programming. AP Mike argues that the presence of "Squeaky" (and "Horny") has become a tradition at The Best Show marathon shows. Tom counters that it is a tradition he's forced on everyone, much like racial segregation.
Carl Newman (The New Pornographers, Thee Crusaders, Zumpano, Superconductor, Anvil, and A.C. Newman solo efforts) brought his guitar into the studio because he fancies himself a wandering minstrel. Tom notes that Carl and Ted both had great achievements in the past year. Carl points out that the two most famous things they did -- the "Bottled in Cork" and "Moves" video clips -- were made by Tom. He considers the possibility that it was a bad year for all of them.
Carl Newman Set #1
Carl Newman - "Elemental" (from Get Guilty)
While the audio feed suggests otherwise, Carl claims that he is "not that good at singing." This may explain the surprising announcement that his next album will be a The Black Eyed Peas-style game-changer. Carl says that he intends to rap over the top of popular songs. Tom, a vocal supporter of the much-maligned BEP Super Bowl performance, is excited to hear this.
You wanted the best? Well, you got the best: Ted, Carl, Eric, and Tommy!
- Gene Simmons, the bassist for the rock group KISS, checks in because he understands that Tom is having a little pledge drive tonight. Tom confirms that the annual WFMU fundraising marathon is underway. Gene says it must be very exciting for Tom. He's referring, of course, to Tom getting a chance to talk to him. Tom says it's always exciting to chat with the God of Thunder. Gene thinks he's talked to Tom before, but he's talked to so many people over the years. He guesses that Tom has raised $31 so far. Tom informs Gene that the early returns are still being tabulated, but they are definitely better than $31. Gene senses that Tom thinks he's a Big Man on par with telethon king Jerry Lewis. Tom denies it. Gene expresses displeasure with the little bit of attitude he's getting from Tom. He asks Tom to hold on for a moment while he finishes up his fourth lovemaking session of the day. Gene bids goodnight to a woman and a man, which elicits a strong reaction from the studio. It was not clear if the session in question was a ménage a trois proper, or if the third person was merely a spectator. Gene requests that he not be judged for his behavior.
He proceeds to increase the stakes of tonight's festivities with a wager. Gene says that if Tom doesn't reach his pledge goal, he will take over The Best Show for a year. Tom wonders what a Gene Simmons radio show would be like. (Guess he's never seen Trick or Treat!) Gene reveals that the renamed "The Best Show on WKISS" will feature nonstop KISS music. Since he's a little upset with Paul Stanley right now, he will only play the songs that he wrote and sang, such as "Deuce," "Ladies in Waiting," "She's So European," "Dance All Over Your Face," "Love's a Slap in the Face," "Cadillac Dreams," and "The Street Giveth And The Street Taketh Away." Ted Leo asks Gene if "Gold Gin" is one his tunes. Carl Newman quickly identifies it as an Ace Frehley track. Gene claims that he saved Ace's poor craftsmanship by singing it. Tom informs Gene that Ted Leo and Carl Newman are with him in the studio. Gene asks the boys how they are doing. He will get to them later.
TBSOWKISS will also feature a solid hour of Gene just going on about life and love and reality and fontasy. Gene says that on some nights the entire show will consist of him going through his wallet and counting all the money and checks over the air. He asks Tom to guess how much money he has in his wallet right now. Tom guesses $5,000. Gene says he has $42,057. ("It's a big wallet, yes.") Tom asks Gene why he carries that much money with him. Gene says it's because he's Gene Simmons of KISS. Tom accepts that as a good enough reason for the bulge.
Gene continues describing the parameters of the wager and refers to Tom's pledge quota as his "nut," so to speak. He loves that term, which he learned from singer-songwriter Aimee Mann. Gene says that he is currently writing a song with Mann called "Help Me Make My Nut Tonight." Tom thinks the title is disgusting and horrifying. He asks Gene if Mann knows about this collaboration. Gene asks Tom to define the word "know." Tom asks Gene if he's met Mann. Gene asks Tom to define "met" because he has groped her. Tom disapproves of this encounter. Gene says that Mann seemed to like it because she was screaming. Tom points out that this reaction does not indicate that she enjoyed the contact. Gene says that it does in "his world." Blabbermouth.net is reporting that Gene will release the Grope Obsessed 12" EP on 4/16/11 as a 2011 Record Store Day exclusive. The record was co-produced by Kevin Rutan (Nile, Goatwhore, Mountain Goats) and That Metal Show host Edward Trunk.
Music for "The Elders": Enjoying some afternoon TV time at KISS Acres
If Tom does make his nut, Gene promises to guarantee him a very nice room at KISS Acres, the newest, most state-of-the-art assisted living facility in Newbridge. He says that the care for residents at this KISS-themed old-age home is actually called "KISS-isted living." Gene points out that all the doctors, nurses, and condystripers dress up in KISS makeup. Tom wonders if this is a jarring visual for people who have never served in the KISS Army. Gene says they love it and are big fons of living out their golden years amongst KISS enthusiasts. Tom finds it hard to believe that they love the idea of waking up to someone looking like Ace Frehley staring them in the face. Gene assumes that Tom would love this scenario, as well as one in which he was greeted by a Vinnie Vincent stand-in. Tom says he would not like any of it. Gene seems confused and concludes that Tom doesn't have any taste at all.
Gene asks Tom to remind him of the names of the two boys in the studio. Tom confirms that Ted and Carl are the certified rock 'n rollers in question. Gene wants them to listen up. He assumes they know that KISS has replaced Ace Frehley and Peter Criss with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Gene claims that the fons love them even more than the original band members. Tom voices his doubts about the fan response. At this point Gene gets momentarily flustered by something he has never seen before. Tom correctly guesses that a mouse ran by him. He asks Gene if the mouse was wearing anything. Gene says it was a cape. Tom wonders if it was the kind of cape that Gene would wear on stage during a KISS concert. Gene says it was more like Paul's pink Dynasty-era cape. He declares the cape-clad mouse to be the funniest thing he's ever seen. Gene assumes that Tom can tell that he's cracking up over it. Tom jokingly suggests that Gene is known for being a fun guy who loves to laugh. Gene says he's a very fun guy and tells Tom to ask Shannon Tweed for confirmation. He changes his mind and requests that Tom not solicit his longtime companion's opinion on the matter of his joie de vivre.
Gene acknowledges that there will come a sad day when he and Paul will no longer be able to Do It. As a result, they need to start scouting people to take over for them and keep KISS going strong. Gene wants Carl to become Paul, and he wants Ted to become him. The initial reaction is somewhat positive. Ted is "kind of honored" by the offer. Carl says that he was always a big Ace fan with Gene as his solid #2. Ted tells Gene that he would prefer to be Paul. Gene says it's "no biggie" to switch it up. He sweetens the deal with a compensation package of $300 each per week. However, they will have to buy their own makeup and wardrobe from him. Carl asks Gene if he could be the guy with the "Onk" on his face. He thinks it was Eric Singer, but that's the Catman. Gene informs him that Vinnie Vincent was "The Ankh Warrior" character. He does give Carl points for doing his trademark a/o sound switcheroo with "Onk." Gene says that both boys will have to undergo extensive chest hair implant surgery and facial reconstruction. He mentions that some bloating is needed to convincingly portray him. Ted assumes that a tongue implant will also be required.
Gene asks Carl to give him a quickie take on KISS's "I Was Made For Lovin' You," the hit single from 1979. Carl isn't sure if he can pull it off at the moment. Ted takes a crack at it, and Gene thinks it's a classic rendition. Gene wants Carl to give him a hearty "Ohhhh, yeah!" Carl delivers the guttural goods. Gene loves it. Tom does one, and Gene is very impressed. In fact, he thinks Tom is as good as he is at this particular exclamation. Gene Googles Tom to see if he could emerge as a viable candidate to replace him. He doesn't like what he sees: half animal, part ape, part party machine. Gene describes Tom's look as Mr. Clean if the household cleaner mascot was a fat blob made out of wet, fetid fudge. Tom doesn't think this is a nice or accurate description. Gene says that you have to be handsome to replace him because he was voted one of the Top 5 most sexually electrifying rock 'n roll singers in rock 'n roll. Tom wonders who bestowed this honor on him. Gene says it was KISS Fever, a magazine he may or may not have been editor of at one point. Tom apologizes for not being attractive enough to be Gene. Gene says that not everybody has what it takes to be him. Tom says that Gene is no gem. Gene tells Tom to ask any of the 8,000 women he's "boinked" about that.
Gene asks Tom if the bet is on. Tom accepts the bet, but he can't remember what he will get if he wins. Gene says Tom will get a nice room at KISS Acres. He excuses himself from the conversation because he's testing an herbal tincture for possible inclusion in the Simmons brand family. Gene says that someone in Newbridge turned him onto an item called Emerald Nightmare, a volatile superdrug that has hit the streets in recent months. Tom warns Gene that he might want to watch out. An explosion is heard, Gene says "Oh, fudge," and the phone goes dead. Ted is interested in accepting Gene's offer for $300/week. He asks Tom if he has Gene's contact information. Tom plans to get it from Caller ID. Carl says that he will accept 300 Canadian ($305 US). Tom realizes that the music business is in rougher shape that he thought.
Week #1 Prize Wall ($15+)
1. Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records [Winner: Jim in Portland, OR]
This book features Scharpling wisdom such as passing on the chance to release a Neutral Milk Hotel record. However, his 18 Wheeler label did hit the jackpot with the Trixter "Route 17" b/w "The Ocelot Incident" 7-inch.
2. Bob's Burgers pilot script signed by the creatore and entire cast [Winner: Jarnell in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3. Exit from the Gift Shop DVD [Winner: Michael in St. Paul]
4. Who's the Caboose? / Pilot Season Sam Seder DVD Two-Pack [Winner: Taylor in Savannah, GA]
5. Moonage Daydream: The Life & Times of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie (text) and Mick Rock (photographs) [Winner: Michael and Christine in Brooklyn, NY]
6. John Hodgman's More Information Than You Require (signed) /PFT's Impersonal CD (signed) [Winner: Samir in Florida]
7. The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms CD [Winner: Kaylee in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada]
8. FreeDarko Presents: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac and FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History books [Winner: Samuel in Meredith, NH]
9. Steven Blush's American Hardcore: A Tribal History (signed) [Winner: Mark in South Orange, NJ]
10. Chain & The Gang - Music's No For Everyone CD [Winner: Augustine]
11. Paul Myers's A Wizard, A True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio [Winner: Nick in Toronto, Ontario, Canada]
Ted & Carl Closing Set
Ted Leo & Carl Newman - "I Love My Label"/"I Love The Best Show" (Nick Lowe cover/reworking)
Grand Prize Pit
Grand Prize #1: The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD Box Set signed by Terry Gilliam [Winner: Thomas in Baltimore, MD]
Grand Prize #2: I Found This Funny [edited by Judd Apatow] / Comedy by the Numbers / Art Spiegleman's Be a Nose! McSweeney's Books Three-Pack [Winner: Patrick in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada]
Grand Prize #3: The Misfits coffin-shaped box set [Winner: Peter in Metuchen, NJ; staying in Jersey WHERE IT BELONGS]
Week #1 TOTAL: $81,500
Next on ... The Best Show on WFMU: The return of the new Gene & Paul. Philly Phanatic Kurt Vile. Authore John Hodgman. Pledge money flowin' like nem liquid gold fountains of the classical music days.
Until then please practice your circle headbanging while enjoying this 1997 rock concert by the Double-C: