Thursday, December 05, 2013
It's that time of year, kids! IT'S LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY CARD SHOWER TIME! Let everybody's favorite Cowboy know how much he means to you by sending him Seasons Greetings! Fan mail means the world to Ledge, so pop a card or letter in the mail today!
Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
PO Box 730742
San Jose, CA 95173
Also, while nosing around the interwebs I came across some footage of Ledge that I've never seen before. I'm guessing from the accents that it's from his Australian tour sometime in the 80's, but I can't be sure. Anybody know where this is from?
On MST3K 321 Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, Crow introduced us to the new holida classic entitled "Let's Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas". Holiday sing alongs around the Christmas tree haven't been the same since.
This year Reddit brings us a new version. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
We've been waiting for the Numero Group release of Purple Snow for months now, and I just found out on their blog that the purple vinyl editions for folks that pre-order (US!) has been delayed! Not fair. For those of you that didn't pre-order, Carl at Tune Town said they have the CD version now, with the LP version expected shortly. It's gonna be a great set, plus it features HAZE, the mystery band!
Because Numero is awesome, they made this cool promo as a tribute to the Twin Cities and the culture that Purple Snow grew out of. Enjoy!
OH! Almost forgot! If you're in the Twin Cities on Thursday night, Numero is holding a release party at The Depot. Should be a gas, though I will be working my day job that supports my Numero habit.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The other morning we discussed The Walking Dead mid-season finale, and we got pretty detailed about the events of the show. Later on Shelley posted the movie The Ninth Configuration to the Shuffle Function Facebook so that folks who were (SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY) mourning the death of Hershel could see Scott Wilson in a role that made Shelley a fan for life. That post wasn't prefaced by a spoiler alert warning about Hershel's demise, and a couple of folks got upset about the lack of warning. It's understandable.
We're pretty conscious of spoilers on the show, and when we discuss things we shout "SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY" if we think there may be spoiler heavy topics involved. The discussions on the show are pretty stream of consciousness, however, so sometimes we forget to give a head's up. It's not intentional when it happens. Anybody that listens to us knows by now that we try to be conscious of spoilers, and they also know that we ramble off into a million other unplanned tangents during our three hours of precious air time.
Obviously, spoiler alerts are preferred. I personally feel, however, that once a show has aired or a movie has been released that it's my responsibility to do what I can to keep myself in the dark about it. I avoid reviews and recaps as best I can, and I have a pretty good feel for any avenues that might deliver spoilers. Hopefully there won't be any giveaways in story headlines, but those are even harder to avoid. People like to talk about these things, though. It would be nice if they would always yell "SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY", but I know that it's unreasonable to expect everyone to do that.
Devin Faraci wrote a great op ed about this on the terrific entertainment website Bad Ass Digest. He says as much, but he says it in a much more eloquent fashion. It's food for thought in this spoiler heavy age.
Again, we really do try to be conscious of spoilers during the show, but sometimes during the course of our discussion stuff just comes up. Sorry if we ruin anything for you. It's not intentional.
There's an album coming out soon that brings comedians and musicians together to tell us all about history. It's called 2776, and the lineup is pretty stellar. PROOF: Yo La Tengo with Ira Glass and Eugene Mirman performing a song called Toymageddon. Get into it!
Monday, December 02, 2013
This Sunday marks the anniversary of John Lennon's death. We always do a big tribute on the show on that day, but since we aren't on the air on Sunday we're doing it THIS FRIDAY! We're playing only solo John Lennon or Lennon sung Beatles songs on this day to commemorate John's life and work. There are LOTS of rules for this day, and Shelley did a post about them all a few years ago.
For your song requesting ease, here are those rules:
There are a few rules of the road that we should address.
1) We must abide by FCC standards for radio - so that means there will be NO WORKING CLASS HERO. As much as we like the song, we like our radio license better! It has major F-Bombs, and we refuse to bleep them because that would neuter the song.
2) John Lennon's solo material is perfectly acceptable request material.
3) Beatles requests get a little tricky. We will happily play the songs that John sings out right. We will even play some that Paul shares singing duties with. WE WILL NOT PLAY SONGS FROM THE BEATLES SUNG BY ONLY PAUL, GEORGE or RINGO. That means no Long and Winding Road, no Yellow Submarine, and most importantly, NO OLD BROWN SHOE!!
Don't worry folks - as you can see by the elaborate flow chart I have built for this very day, I can help determine whether or not your request works or doesn't work.
4) If you have a Beatles request - I will ask you if you want to hear stereo or mono. Shyboy Tim will talk more about this on Friday.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Shelley saw Nebraska, the new Alexander Payne film, over the Thanksgiving holiday, and she raved about it. One of the many reasons I want to see it is Will Forte. Will Forte makes me laugh. He's not funny in Nebraska, but he's pretty damn funny otherwise. He had some of my favorite all time funny moments on Saturday Night Live, including the Potato Chip sketch. Lord knows I post that damn sketch on this blog at least once a year. I'm pretty sure this will be the second time. In any case, enjoy some awesome Will Forte!
As far as Pearl Jam is concerned, we're all pretty "meh" about them. Just not interested. Sometimes, though, they do stuff like this, and it's kind of awesome. They played in Portland recently, and for their encore they played Rockin' In The Free World. Who joined them on stage? Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and SLEATER-KINNEY. For the first time since 2006 Sleater-Kinney played together on stage. Awesome.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
His mailing address is as follows:
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Norman Carl Odam
P.O. Box 740742
San Jose, California
Thanks Shuffle Functioneers.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Seeing Andy Richter and Tony Hale in that Arrested Development documentary reminded me of ANOTHER show they were in that got cancelled way too soon. Andy Barker P.I. was a starring vehicle for Andy Richter, where his character is an accountant that inadvertently becomes a private investigator. Tony Hale plays a video store operator that gets sucked into Andy's cases and becomes his sidekick. The show lasted six whole hilarious episodes, and I think it only finished its run online when NBC dumped the remainder there. Thanks to the onlines, though, we can watch them FOREVER.
Around the holidays you hear people talking about how they will survive their family. What fresh hell will the dinner table bring this year? Good times. If only there was a show more messed up than the family they have that they could laugh at!
When it comes to dysfunctional TV families, there are few challengers to The Bluth family for top of the heap. Can you believe it has been TEN YEARS since the show premiered? Crazy. It was religious appointment television for the gang at Shuffle Function for its entire run. Did we binge watch the unexpected fourth season on Netflix? Hells yes. Arrested Development is one of the funniest shows we have ever seen. Of course it was too good to last!
I was milling around on Hulu tonight and I came across this documentary I had heard about a few years ago. It was produced years after the show was dead and buried, and it was completed just as the announcement about Netflix was made. It has the unfortunate title "The Arrested Development Documentary Project", and it features most of the cast (minus Jessica Walters and Michael Cera), as well as Mitch Hurwitz, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and even some network pinheads. If it has a major flaw it is the occasional annoying fan talking head, but the fans are a key part of the documentary, so you'll have to get used to it. But the stories about the production and the struggles of the show are pretty interesting for fans.
Can you intentionally manufacture a campy badness that makes something insanely watchable? There are several schools of thought on this, but I lean towards no. With few exceptions, manufactured badness comes off as self conscious and boring. It takes a truly special brand of good intentions to make unintended badness an exceptional thing. Sometimes that thing is so wonderfully bad that the person pulling the strings behind it wants to burn it, bury it a pit, and then dig it up and ship it off to some desert planet full of moisture farmers. As a result, it becomes legend.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Star Wars Holiday Special is that thing.
Airing once on November 17th, 1978, The Star Wars Holiday Special is a masterpiece of well intended cashing in. It cashes in on the tremendous success of Star Wars: A New Hope, plus brings all the charm of old Television Specials, and it fails on such a grand scale that George Lucas has vowed to never let it see the light of day. I remember watching it and hearing my parents comment on just how bad it was. Even as a kid I could see that, and I absorbed all things Star Wars.
Sometimes the passing years can reveal a genius that isn't detected at the time. Maybe the world wasn't ready for something like this? Could it have been produced with such far reaching vision that the world has only just now realized that this is the direction television had moving towards all along? No. It's just plain crap.
Once more: This is crap.
This is the one and only time (regrettably) that George Lucas turned control of the Star Wars universe over to some outsiders, and the lesson he learned from it is that you never let somebody else mess with your creation. That's an admirable and completely understandable position to take. You work hard and make this magical film that the world adores, and you would want to protect it, right? I get that. On the other hand, would we have ended up with Jar Jar Binks or Darth Vader yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" if Lucas would have let a few more people slap some sense into him?
The Star Wars Holiday Special revolved around Chewbacca's family and the Wookie celebration of Life Day. You get to see Chewbacca's family going about their business, and the scenes are so immersive that you don't hear anything other than Wookie spoken for the first half hour. Yep.
Gradually you get appearances by Han and Chewie and Luke, and even the very first appearance anywhere of Boba Fett. That's pretty cool. Even the coked up appearance of Carrie Fisher singing (LYRICS) the Star Wars theme is interesting, I guess. Things get next level, though, when Bea Arthur shows up as a Cantina owner and sings a song to the alien patrons, or when Harvey Korman (who is never not good) makes multiple appearances as different characters. Also, there's Art Carney. Did I mention that Jefferson Starship performs? Did I mention that Diahanne Carroll makes an appearance in some Wookie porn?
How are you not watching this yet?
People call for an official release of The Star Wars Holiday Special, but at this point I think that's the wrong thing to do. The SWHS belongs in the back alleys of Star Wars fandom. Let it be an easter egg for Star Wars obsessives.
The copy you'll be watching (soon, hopefully) was recorded off the air during the original broadcast. As a result you'll get to see all the original commercials, as well as great moments like this:
We hope you guys have a terrific Thanksgiving! Don't forget about Black Friday Record Store Day at Tune Town (or whatever your local independent record store is) and please... watch this responsibly.
The Star Wars Holiday Special by FilmGeek-TV