The hunnerdth episode of our podcast, Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average), is now online.
This week’s episode: Special guests Molly Lewis and Chris Wright join us while we drive from Austin to Dallas, for a special “mobile” podcast; playing “Slug Cows” and other punching-based travel games; worst/longest trips, by car and train; what happens when Disneyland becomes an everyday experience; what constitutes “old” in CA vs. other places; favorite audience behaviors; and the world premiere of the “back of the minivan” recording of Molly’s song, “An Open Letter to Stephen Fry”.
Post-show song: “An Open Letter to Stephen Fry”, Molly Lewis
I already miss w00tstock 2.10! (Tons of videos from it at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheFiveIronFanatic, though) I would have stuck around to meet youse guys if I didn’t have class at 8:00 the next morning at my college, which is three hours from Dallas. But it was a FANTASTIC evening. Please come back soon!
Oh, and congratulations on your hundredrd podcast! Here’s hoping for… Well, at least a few more.
I learned that particular travel game as “Punchbuggy”.
My favourite “longest trip” story involves the train from Athens to Budapest via Bucharest. Due to a lack of common language with anyone in the train station, we did not realize that the trip takes a DAY AND A HALF. We did not have any food.
The full tale involves vandalized seats, salt water, moldy bread, and being ripped off by gypsies in Romania. Lesson learned: the most unpleasant parts of travelling make the best stories.
The best care game that me and my brothers do and it doesn’t involve punching is called padiddle. If you see a car with only one headlight on you hit the ceiling and the first to do that and say padiddle won.
I have two classic real-rockers-mess-up stories from concerts I’ve attended.
The first was a Dylan show that was interrupted by a power failure. He was unplugged by a force of nature. For the second half of his set, all we could hear was the drummer. They eventually broke out the cheap-ass percussion. I got to listen to Bob Dylan play cowbell, though. If only it had been Blue Öyster Cult, alas.
The second was TMBG playing a Flood show where they botched the opening of Hot Cha. Having played a Flood show, you may have some idea how easy that one is to screw up; the intro is wonky and doesn’t really communicate to the musicians when they all need to come in.
One of the joys of on-stage screw-ups, as far as the audience is concerned, is that they let us know whether the performers are lip synching. Mess up and show us that you’re not lip synching, and we’ll respect you. You’re “keeping it real,” as the kids say. Mess up and show that you are lip synching (e.g. by falling off the stage while continuing to sing flawlessly), and you lose credibility.
Nothing like the Alphabet game where you look for each letter of the alphabet in order as the start of a word or license plate anywhere outside the car for a long car ride game that doesn’t involve violence. Heck, when stuck in traffic commuting around Chicago I used to pull this one out to give me something to do. To do it competitively, once someone sees a particular word for their letter, no one else can use it, as each goes through the alphabet.
I’ve done a few overnight train rides in the US as well. If you can, spring for the sleeper cars. Meals in the dining car are included, and you generally get to sit with other travelers and have a nice conversation with them.
Longest car ride was from Ames, Iowa to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, starting at 5 PM one night in college. Two of us took an ill-fated road trip, rotating drivers every 4 hours or so, and once we arrived in Chapel Hill we both collapsed due to exhaustion. The road trip was ill-fated because my car broke down twice on the way home.
My fellow Minions, I have an idea for a campaign. A campaign so awesome that we must make it happen. We’re all clearly fans of fantastic comedy, and tonight a fantastic comedian came back on the air with a brand new show. That man’s name is Conan O’Brien. This man would not be on the air anymore were it not for a massive groundswell of support from our fellow geeks, and evidence suggests that Conan is a bit of a geek himself. While our masters have geeky tendencies themselves, most of their music is focused more on comedic efforts, but they have a good friend who also would not have an entertainment carrer if not for the support of geeks, and writes mostly about geeky topics himself. A friend who is currently working on a new album with the assistance of They Might Be Giants themselves. A man named Jonathan Coulton. Coulton has long been called JoCo by fans, and O’Brien was dubbed Coco by Tom Hanks, a name that he loathed at first but has since embraced as his supporters dubbed themselves “Team Coco” while campaigning for NBC to keep him on the air. Friends, I ask you today to spread the word and create a movement to have these two people meet. Three words, ten letters, that’s all it will take you to tell others exactly what we want, and what we want is this: JoCo on Coco.
Help me make this happen.
(Here’s a helpful hashtag for twitter: #JoCoOnCoco)
It’s not so much that we enjoy seeing our favorite performers screw up for the sake of seeing them screw up. (For me, anyway.) It’s more that we enjoy sharing in a genuine human moment, and we feel like we’re participating in the artistic process in some small way by rooting for you to get it right. Plus, you always react to the mistakes in amusing ways. If you threw an Ashlee Simpson style tantrum, it wouldn’t be fun.
Sadly, I haven’t been on the great American road trip yet. Unless you count the family vacation when I was 3 on which my dad attempted to make the 1000+ mile drive from New Hampshire to Florida in one shot. That was… not a good idea.
As for comparative oldness of cities, I live in Boston, which seems old to most Americans. Even to me, on occasion. But some friends and I just got back from a vacation in Rome where the oldness is an order of magnitude greater in places, and that just blows my mind. Here we have “old” structures that are a couple hundred years old. Theirs are a couple of thousand. It’s a little hard to comprehend, but also an inspiring reminder of the continuity of human history.
[Full disclosure: Yes, I studied ancient history in college, so I’m more susceptible to that kind of awe than a lot of people. And to using big words.]
The real question is if cartoon bunny Molly is cuter than cartoon bunny Paul and cartoon bunny Storm.