Archive for May, 2010

The Bull Pit #55 – Sandbox Rebel

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

sandboxrebelMy guest this episode is Shane Sweet from Sandbox Rebel who joins me for an interview and live acoustic performance via Skype.

A multi-instrumentalist, Shane performs and composes all facets of Sandbox Rebel and blends countless styles into one. Described as “Elliot Smith meeting Zack de la Rocha,” often within a single song classical music can be heard intertwined with hip hop and alternative, or acoustic melodies meet dance with dramatic soundscaping all aimed at creating an image in the listener’s mind complete with characters, a scene and dialogue. Sandbox Rebel is a merging of the arts through music.

Go to Podbean or iTunes to stream, download or subscribe. Bull Pit skull artwork by Mike Dyson, Guerrilla808 Studios (guerrilla808@gmail.com).

The Bull Pit #54 – Gimme that Shit!

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

russian-party-1280A rock party you won’t soon forget with Rocco, Soda Pop Kids, Straight Outta Junior High, AM Stereo, Patty Hurst Shifter, Sonic Avenues and Kirsten DeHaan.

Go to Podbean or iTunes to stream, download or subscribe. Bull Pit skull artwork by Mike Dyson, Guerrilla808 Studios (guerrilla808@gmail.com). Music provided by MusicAlley from MEVIO.

New Terminal Hotel as Pulp Fiction

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

nexgenpinupA new review in NexGen Pulp’s Spring 2010 issue provides a fresh perspective on New Terminal Hotel, parting from the dumbed-down, bloodporn junkie point of view found in most horror reviews found online.

When I first read BC’s script for NTH, I thought gothic noir. Of course it’s more than that, but as a fan of classic noir films, I was delighted by the story. I’m even more taken with the finished product. NexGen seems to feel the same way calling it an “exciting new incarnation of new film noir”, with allusions to Hitchcock, Lovecraft and Poe.

Here are a few excerpts:

“It is reminiscent of more than one pulp genre. To begin with, the setting of the seedy hotel, the murders, and the unfolding mystery as to what motivates the killer all hearken back to the classic detective stories, only the film puts the audience in the P.I.’s chair.”

“It is the character of that killer, Don Malek, that is the mystery. It is hard to tell, at first, if his actions and mannerisms are coming from twisted eccentricity or some yet to be revealed depth. It saves the first half of the film from becoming yet another Hostel-style horror film that relies on shock factor in place of character development.”

“New Terminal Hotel is an exciting new incarnation of new film noir and new pulp fiction. It is firmly rooted in the spirit of the old pulps but develops in a modern setting relevant to a modern viewer. That said, it may not be for every pulp fan, as the “genre” is a wide one. But horror fans, craving more than cheap tricks and surprise turns of character masquerading as psychological depth, will.”

To subscribe to the e-zine, which also features short stories and sexy pinups, simply send a blank email to subscriptions@nexgenpulpfiction.com. Visit their site here (or on Facebook).

Get your copy of NTH on Amazon.com, and go to BCFurtney.net for more info.

The Bull Pit #53 – Get Ready for Samurai Rock n’ Roll

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

samurai rockSongs by the High School Motherfuckers, Inazuma, 900 Pound Gorilla, Tokyo Pop Stars, The Magic People and The Gentlemen.

Go to Podbean or iTunes to stream, download or subscribe. Bull Pit skull artwork by Mike Dyson, Guerrilla808 Studios (guerrilla808@gmail.com).

Podcast Guide: Radio On-Demand

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

howard_stern

To me there is no one more punk rock than Howard Stern. He is the devil to so many, but not only does he make me laugh, he sticks it to the man harder than anyone I’ve ever heard and is a true virtuoso at his craft. Non-listeners like to paint him as nothing more than a shock jock, but the truth is that he’s a brilliant comic talent in the classic tradition of Groucho Marx, and also happens to be extremely gifted at his chosen medium, a medium that is too often overlooked as something that’s easy to do: Talk radio.

When Stern left terrestrial talk radio he destroyed it. The two biggest markets, NY and LA, stations that became talk stations only after Stern proved the format financially lucrative, crumbled in his absence and were forced to return back to all-music formats. Now he is on the verge of doing the same to satellite radio, the medium he saved by making the switch, unless they pay close attention to what he wants. If there is one entertainer who needs no corporate entity in 2010, it is Howard Stern.

I was a casual listener back in the terrestrial radio days, but when the show was ramping up to the Sirius launch toward the end of 2005, I couldn’t wait to hear this groundbreaking radio he said he was going to be able to do once he was free of FCC censorship. I was inspired by the fact that he knew he’d have only a fraction of his audience but was willing to give it up for creative freedom. I was listening to the first notes of his historical opening broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006 when Will the Farter farted the 2001 theme.  What a brilliant way to start this new revolution.

sirius-xmOnce I had my Sirius radio plugged in, I never went back to terrestrial radio. There was no need to. Anything musical that I may have been interested in hearing was available on Sirius, sans commercials. And there was Stern, NPR, all sorts of political shows, etc.

There are problems with satellite radio however. There have been countless times when my radio wasn’t working due to worn or broken cables, and I have spent a lot of money replacing accessories or radios when the accessories are more expensive than the radios themselves (or simply not available anymore).

Another problem with the Stern show on Sirius is that I miss a lot of it. Even though it loops throughout the day, I seem to always be in my car during the same segments (morning, noon and night). Luckily there is Howard TV (On-Demand) where I actually get to watch a lot of the interviews and show segments that I miss. I wish the entire show were available On-Demand. In this day and age I don’t think there is an excuse for that not being an option when we are paying good money for the service (I pay close to $30 per month for Sirius and Howard TV). And it wouldn’t be difficult…

There are Sirius radios that record, but after talking with a friend who has one, I’ve learned that he is always missing shows or parts of shows. Plus he can’t record the entire show as it is listed as being a four hour program, and usually goes over. There is also a space issue as the radio cannot hold much more than a few hours of content.

But I have the answer: Podcasting. Podcasting is Radio On-Demand. And there are no reception issues; no cables required other than the one connecting an iPod to a car radio’s auxiliary jack. No need to program anything or schedule recording on a proprietary device. All that’s required is a download which just takes a few minutes.

I first read about podcasting back in 2005 or so, when I got my first iPod. I was curious about it but never looked into it until a couple years ago. There seemed to be a big dark cloud of a learning curve. I forced myself to learn about it when I was stuck at work listening to the same music day after day on my iTunes. I was desperate for new content. The first show I found was Michael Butler’s Rock and Roll Geek Show and from there I’ve found many other great ones. Now, aside from doing my own weekly rock podcast, I love to check out new ones and keep up with my favorites.

Howard Stern is threatening to not re-sign with Sirius after his five-year contract runs out at the end of this year. I believe that unless Sirius comes up with solutions to the issues I’ve brought up; they are going to fail when he leaves to produce his own show online. The technology is antiquated. Stern used to say that Satellite Radio is the future. He doesn’t say that as often anymore. He also seems a bit fed up with how comfortable they seem to be there, as if when he leaves they’ll still be able to continue. But we know, and Howard knows, that will not be the case, whether or not he admits it publicly. According to this article (which Stern read on the air yesterday), Sirius is barely hanging on even with The Howard Stern Show still on their channels.

You might notice if you read this blog that I promote a lot of other podcasts than just my own. I do this because I want podcasting to succeed. I believe IT is the future. I believe that radio can go no further than this. Sure, nothing can replace a live show, and nothing should, but once that show is recorded it should be available for download so that we can take it with us wherever we go, and never miss a minute. We have busy lives; we can’t always be by a radio when things are on that we want to hear. When we miss our favorite TV shows we have On Demand and Tivo, but who has time, or the means to record an entire 4-5 hour daily morning radio show? We should just be able to download it and listen to it when we want. Especially if we are paying for it!

Stern could copyright-protect his show and make each episode available as a podcast as soon as it was done. He could even put each hour up as they are created. Anyone wanting to distribute illegal copies would have to record it in real time, which is as equally possible to do now from a Sirius radio. I haven’t heard that pirating is a problem for Sirius. I don’t think that making the show available as a copyright-protected download for subscribers would lose revenue for the company. I think quite the opposite is the case. The dependence on this proprietary hardware is annoying and keeps a lot of people from subscribing. The live show is already available via iPhone, so a podcast version would be the next step.

For those of you who are as intimidated as I used to be about podcasting, the following is an easy-to-use guide that I think if you follow, will help you fall in love with this medium as deeply as I have. Join the podcasting revolution and let’s put terrestrial radio out of commission forever, and force Sirius/XM to get with the program!

 

PODCAST GUIDE

FIND A SHOW The first thing you should do is search in the iTunes Music Store for a show you’d like to listen to. This is how I found the Rock and Roll Geek Show.

SUBSCRIBE When you find the show you want to check out, click the Subscribe button. This is not a permanent thing, it is easy to undo. You don’t need to send an email to anyone or fill anything out to unsubscribe. Subscribing simply downloads the latest episode of the podcast into your Podcast Folder in iTunes. If you decide that you don’t like the show, you can unsubscribe with three clicks.

FIND YOUR PODCAST FOLDER On the left of your iTunes browser, you will see the following folders under LIBRARY: Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts and Radio. This is all your downloaded content (except for Radio which is what you think it might be, live internet radio channeled through iTunes). Click on Podcasts. You should see the show you subscribed to in the main window.

HEADERS In the main window you will see the following headers: Podcast, Time, Release Date and Description.

VIEW ARCHIVES  To the left of the show title (which is under the header Podcast) there will be an arrow pointing to the right. Click this arrow, and you will see all the show’s archives open up (click it again to close the archives). They will be grayed out, meaning that they haven’t been downloaded yet. The headers will make more sense from this view. Time is the length of each episode, Release Date is the date the podcaster made the episode available and Description tells you what the episode is about (guests, artists, songs, topics, etc.).

LISTEN TO YOUR PODCAST To listen to the show you subscribed to, double-click on the episode. To stop listening, you can click the pause button, much like a CD player. The podcast episode will behave in iTunes exactly like a song, the only difference being if you come back to it later, you can double-click and it will start from where you last stopped rather than starting over.

DRAG TO YOUR iPOD  Just like songs, you can drag podcast episodes to your iPod to take with you. They will end up in an automatically created Podcasts folder.

DOWNLOAD AN EARLIER EPISODE  Scroll down to view the archives. Look at the Podcast and Description columns for info on what the various episodes are about. If you see one that stands out for you, click the GET button to the right of the Podcast field. The episode will automatically download and once complete, the text will darken, looking similar to the latest episode you downloaded when subscribing.

REFRESH Podcasts are updated regularly and you won’t know exactly when this will happen. So when you go back into your iTunes folder, click the REFRESH button to have all your subscriptions updated. This means all the new episodes will automatically download. Sometimes this happens automatically when you open iTunes, but if not you can click the button.

UNSUBSCRIBE If you decide that a podcast is taking up too much space, or you don’t like it, you can unsubscribe by simply right-clicking on the top line and deleting. You will get messages asking if you want to also delete the content from your computer. Say yes, then empty your recycle bin to be sure the space is freed up.

Below is a list of my favorite podcasts and links to them in the iTunes Music Store:

 

rnrgeekThe Rock and Roll Geek Show Hosted by Michael Butler, the show consists of punk and classic rock interviews, concert/album reviews and analysis. It is an interactive show as the audience contributes much of its content via emails read on the air and audio comments. Butler was one of the first podcasters. Read more about him on Wikipedia here.

 

 

indiecastThe Rock and Roll Geek Indie Cast The “mostly music companion to the Rock and Roll Geek Show”, this is my favorite podcast. Recently expanded to an hour, it’s basically non-stop hard rock, and Butler has good taste. You’ll discover tons of new bands.

 

 

 

covervilleCoverville Brian Ibbott hosts this mostly-music covers show. It’s eclectic to say the least, and always entertaining. The show alternates between episodes focused on one artist, usually coinciding with a birthday or anniversary, and all-request episodes. Lately Brian has integrated new ideas where listeners can vote on their favorite versions of songs on his website. If you like covers, this show will be your crack cocaine.

 

 

goodcleanfunThe Good Clean Fun Show “Another Rock and Roll Geek train wreck” of a show, hosted by Michael Butler and his friend Jasper. Lots of rock talk, and whatever else comes up in between occasional songs. It’s recorded live with listeners online via UStream, and although I usually listen to the recorded podcast version, the one time I logged into the chat, it was pretty fun.

 

 

onestepOne Step Beyond This podcast is a spin-off of One Step Beyond Radio, which is broadcast live every Saturday night from 6-9 Pacific. If you live in Goshen, IN, you can hear the radio show on The Globe 91.1 FM, or stream it from their site here. Host Jeremiah has become a friend and played drums for a band called Sad Tropics who I have played on The Bull Pit. I also interviewed Jeremiah on episode 47. His taste in music is extremely eclectic, the songs are good and the shows are always entertaining.

 

burroFrom the Burro This one is hosted by another friend named Dave who plays good rock and punk. Dave plays in a band called Tokyo Pop Stars and does his show out of Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

smodcastSmodcast Writer/director Kevin Smith’s podcast that he hosts with his long time producer partner Scott Mosier. Great stories. A highlight was when Smith talked about his Southwest Airlines controversy. Check out 106 and 107 for that.

 

 

 

boilingfrogsThe Boiling Frogs Sibel Edmunds is an FBI whistleblower who has an amazing story to tell. Read her story in Vanity Fair for some background. She uncovered some incredible horrors happening in the FBI and when she brought it to the attention of her superiors, she was fired. What she learned was that this was standard practice in the FBI and CIA. This podcast is mostly interviews with fellow whistleblowers with amazing stories to tell. Her co-host is Peter B. Collins. If you want the truth about what has and is happening in America, this is the first place you should go to get it. Completely non-partisan, this isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but it’s what we need to learn to move forward. I can’t recommend this one higher. Subscribe today!

 

leftrightcenterKCRW’s Left, Right and Center This one has something for everyone if you like political commentary. During the stealing of the 2004 election I was a bit annoyed by them as they refused to discuss it, yet had no problem talking about the Ukraine election that was happening at the same time. Now it’s pretty much common knowledge that the election was stolen, but they’ve never talked about it. You can at least hear semi-intelligent opinions from all sides of the political spectrum. It’s only 30 minutes so it goes by fast. 

 

soundopSound Opinions Based in Chicago, Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation. In addition, they are the top music critics and dedicated competitors at Chicago’s two daily newspapers, the Chicago Sun-Times (Jim) and the Chicago Tribune (Greg). They call it the only music talk radio show, but that’s not true if you include podcasts.

  

cdbabyThe CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast This is good for anyone interested in the future of music and technology. The basic premise is that labels are dead, it’s DIY from here on out, and all aspects of it are discussed.

 

 

 

paranoidThe Paranoid Squirrel This UK podcast, hosted by Armitage, brings you music that you should hear on the radio but don’t. Mostly hard rock, classic rock, punk and metal. Some bootleg live recordings that are interesting.

 

 

 

harmonyHarmony in My Head Not a podcast, but I found an illegal site that has all the archives available as mp3s. I always miss Henry Rollins’ Saturday night radio show here in LA on KCRW. But all the episodes are there. You don’t get the subscribe feature, but you can grab what you want as the playlists are all there as well. There are months of great content, it’s all you need. I <3 Henry Rollins if you don’t know that about me already, and I’ve not even begun to delve into these archives.

 

 

There are many more podcast options out there. That’s the great thing about it. Few are making money on podcasting, but us listeners have never had more options. It makes me kind of wish Howard Stern would go off the air or do a shorter show so I could take in more of what’s available.

If you have any questions about podcasts, don’t hesitate to contact me at johndissed@hotmail.com.

The Bull Pit #52 – FTX Yo!

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

FTX YoAn interview with my friend Shyam about next weekend’s French Toast and Hugs event happening at the Rocky Statue in Philadelphia. Go to the FTX Gang’s Facebook Page for more info.

I open the show with the song “Rubbermade” by The Lusties, and end with music by Prototype, a multimedia collective that I’ve recently been invited to be part of.

Go to Podbean or iTunes to stream, download or subscribe. Bull Pit skull artwork by Mike Dyson, Guerrilla808 Studios (guerrilla808@gmail.com).