Show #126: Carthago Delenda Est

The oney-honey tweddy-stritch 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: the machine is chugging; that scraping teeth feeling that oogs you out; LearningTown, our new comedy musical on the new Geek and Sundry YouTube channel; Wil Wheaton’s TableTop; smoochies for PAX; perfect songs; cockeyed theories involving music and brains and stuff; music that sucks but that you respect anyway; a technical boo-boo; and GET EXCITED ABOUT SPACE.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: What song or songs do you believe are “perfect”, and why? AND…

Show #126: Carthago Delenda Est



  1. Brett Glass
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Er, guys…. One minor nit. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” was written by Jim Steinman (who went to my high school and was inspired by some of the same teachers). Meatloaf was just the vocalist.

  2. J.
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    SO glad Mo is well enough to be doing stuff with you guys! SO excited!

    Sir Duke is pretty amazing and classic! Paradise has always struck me as a very well composed song in addition to being funny and entertaining.

    In the all-the-little-things and compositions category, I’ve always liked “Breaking the Girl” by the RHCP (maybe not a stand-the-test-of-time thing, but it was one of my first experiences with little epiphanies with each re-listen), Tool’s “Lateralus” (Fibonacci FTW!), and the 1812 Overture (rings my bells in that familiar pattern sort of way). I don’t know if they’re universal in appeal, but they’re so indelible in my brain – Frankie Lymon’s “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”, The Supremes’ “I Hear a Symmphony”, and “Time Warp”.

    Re: Evanescence, what about Nightwish? I tend to have a fondness for the grandiosity – which is also what draws me to Phantom of the Opera. The roller coaster effect of the actual Overture/”Phantom of the Opera” sections is just plain fun.

    One of these days, I’ll have to read some Oliver Sacks. This seems relevant to your discussion about the brain hoodoo! And for a tangent that makes me thing of music and science:

    What about Anthems? Perhaps a future topic? One of my favorite Men Without Hats songs, “Jenny Wore Black” tends to strike me as something on an anthem – at least compositionally.

  3. Claire
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Talk of Paul nekkid? Is it warm in here, or is it just me?


    I don’t think it’s weird to dry your hair whilst nekkid, but I do think it’s affected by how much hair you have. Back in my youth, when my flowing locks reached my waist, drying my hair was an extremely long and tedious task. I’d have been nekkid in the bathroom all day if I hadn’t got dressed until it was dry. Much easier to get dressed first, then sit somewhere comfortable with comb and straighteners and what have you to spend an hour getting it somewhere in the vague vicinity of dry.

    These days, my hair is short like a boy, so it pretty much just needs a vigorous rub with a towel and it’s done. In which case I might as well do it first, and avoid dampening my shirt when I pull it over my head.

  4. Ken
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Not a song, but the one piece of music I’ve always felt is perfect is the first movement of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony (Eroica). However my brain is wired, that piece just hits every single bit of it right. Not a single note that doesn’t work for me. Brahms Tragic Overture also has a very similar effect.

  5. Alex
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Perfect music? Well the one that springs to mind right now is Carl Orff’s Gassenhauer.
    As for more modern music, the one I like most is actually a mashup. It’s called Dirty Rockk and it was made by Robin Skouteris.

  6. Alex
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    On second thought, I take that second song back. It’s not perfect because I feel it would be much better without any inclusion of Little Wayne.

  7. Posted March 29, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Storm, you’re not crazy in considering the neuroscientific reasons for why we like the music that we do. In fact, you sounded like you were quoting the books “This Is Your Brain on Music” and “The World in Six Songs” by Daniel Levitin.

    Levitin is the Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, where he runs the Laboratory for Music Cognition, Perception and Expertise.

    Both of his books are an excellent and easy read … I’d HIGHLY recommend them.

    Check out his web site at

  8. Robin (the Mini-Minion)
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t use a blow dryer at all, but I can certainly see the sense of doing so before getting dressed. Then again, I can also see why the ladies of your household might find it strange if that’s not their habit.

    My musical tastes are too fickle for me to pick a single perfect song. There are occasionally perfect songs for a given moment.

  9. Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    As far as perfect songs go, regardless of genre, here’s a few that come to mind …

    Almost everything on JoCo’s “Artificial Heart” fits your definition. In fact, I think that album is so dang good because it’s got so many perfect songs on it. The only exception (for me) is the song “Artificial Heart”, which I think goes on a bit too long and is a bit too repetitive. “The Stache” flirts with crossing that line, but doesn’t. But those are minor blemishes … I can’t possibly imagine how the rest of that album could be any better.

    “Popular” from “Wicked” is also high on my list of perfect songs. The balance of internal and external rhymes, the catchiness of the melody, and how well the lyric/mood fits the characters and scene … it’s brilliant and efficient songsmithery. “What Is This Feeling?” (the “Loathing” song) is also right up there.

    I think “That’s Mathematics” by Tom Lehrer is also a beautiful, elegant song, just an amazing balance in rhyme, message, rhythm, and melody. So is most of the rest of what he wrote.

    My wife is the Artistic Director of the Girl Choir of South Florida. She has a knack for digging up perfect songs for her concert programs. Here are two: “Winter Solstice” (9 minutes of a winter soundscape) and “Geographical Fugue” (3 minutes of noisy brilliance).

    Winter Solstice by Paul Carey

    Geographical Fugue
    Video –
    Lyrics –

    (As I think about it, a Paul and Storm and Friends version of “Geographical Fugue” would crush everything.)

  10. Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I shaved my head, so the whole ‘hair drying’ thing is kind of moot, but I’m totally behind the ‘walking around naked until it’s dry’ camp. It would be silly to put clothes on while your body and your hair are still damp and then have that oogy damp-clothes feeling all day. Bleah.

    Perfect music. I have always found Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” hits all my musical “bells,” as it were. Also Basia’s “Time and Tide.” And Orleans’ “Dance with Me,” but I think that one is mostly because I once had it stuck in my head on constant play (CONSTANT. PLAY.) for 13 solid days. I think it might have driven me just slightly insane.

  11. Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    “Good Vibrations,” bitches. “Good Vibrations.”

  12. Brett Glass
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Toch’s “Geographical Fugue” inspired a comedy bit by The Vestibules called “Bulbous Bouffant,” which Dr. Demento plays frequently. I would hardly call it perfect, but it’s very funny.

  13. Ulysses D. Vishkapatnam
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Pink Floyd, “Comfortably Numb”.

  14. Nancy
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Perfect and iconic.

  15. Posted April 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    There are too many ‘perfect’ songs out there. Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir are legendary, but there are others that are less obvious… and I agree, Bohemian Rhapsody is never going to get better, even if screamed from the back of a cop car while drunk.
    Something In The Way She Moves and Fire and Rain by James Taylor
    American Pie by Don Maclean
    The Loadout/Stay by Jackson Browne
    Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg
    Take On Me by A-Ha
    Invisible Touch by Genesis
    I have a soft spot (probably in my skull) for Cyndi Lauper’s Goonies R Good Enough
    I Want To Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston

    I could spend a large portion of my day on this….. so I’ll stop here. Have a nice day!
    I’m not going to mention any particular Michael Jackson song, because that’s a debate all its own

  16. Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I think that The Barenaked Ladies’ “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” is about as perfect a song as you can get. It pokes my brain in all the right places.

  17. shamm_rock
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    One of my perfect songs is “Let’s Stay Together”. It completely pokes my brain and makes me smile. It’s such a happy song!

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