Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Waiting Here for Everyman - 12 - Vince Amlin

Each week on the show I interview a regular person about the music in their life.  My cousin Vince is a talented vocalist who spent a year studying music and decided it wasn't for him.  Now he works as a minister and uses music in some very interesting ways.

This will be the final episode of the first season. While this project does have a special place in my heart, it's become harder and harder to find a new person to interview for every episode. Once I can get a handful of subjects lined up, I'll try and record a second season.  In the meantime "Pull List," "War and Beast," and "That's What We Called Music?" are still going strong, so give them a try! Not to mention, if you haven't listened to all 12 episodes, they're still available!
Here's the episode!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

That's What We Called Music? - 5 - Say You'll Be There

Kendall, Molly, Sarah, and special guest Joe discuss the second single off of The Spice Girls' "Spice" album.

*Outro music is a cover of "Say You'll Be There" by 

Here's the episode!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mister Pull List 11-29

We discuss November's comic books including Doomsday Clock, The Batman Who Laughs, Punisher, and a number of others.  In other media, we discuss The Punisher Netflix series and Thor Ragnarok.  Then Jared berates Kendall for not watching the Infinity War Trailer.

Here's the episode!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

That's What We Called Music? 4 Flagpole Sitta

On this week's episode, we discuss a song that Sarah loves and I didn't know existed:  Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta.  This is the last episode from our first recording session, but I felt like it turned out pretty good.

Here's the episode!

When did the Simpsons get bad? Part 4

Since I was trying for peak Simpsons last time, I decided to find a low point to start with this time.

Bart-Mangled Banner is the lowest rated non-clip show episode on imdb of the first fifteen seasons of the show. In the episode, Bart accidentally moons the American flag, and the town overreacts. In the aftermath, Marge and Lisa also criticize blind patriotism, which leads to the family going to jail under the show’s version of The Patriot Act.

The poorly written one star reviews on imdb called this a “Pro-American” episode. Even if I agreed with that assessment, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The episode, however, is clearly a commentary on the unquestioning patriotism of the time. Granted, it’s not all that nuanced in its commentary, but it’s got its moments. Bart gives his most sincere apology that I can think of in the series, and Marge’s statement about America not being perfect was actually fairly subversive for the time.

On the other hand, the fact that it was subversive “for the time” dates the episode. It’s definitely not a timeless classic.
Favorite Quote:  "Lord give us the courage to worship the American Flag."

“Fraudcast News” on the other hand is a classic. Lisa starts her own newspaper just as Mr. Burns buys all media outlets in town. This leads to a classic Lisa versus Mr. Burns battle complete with an awkward conversation about popular music. Eventually, after Lisa seemingly loses, Homer and basically everyone in Springfield start their own little independent papers.

The first time I saw this episode in high school, the ending made me cry. I cry at a lot of media, but I can’t think of any other Simpsons episodes did this(maybe the movie?). Unlike the previous episode, the David and Goliath struggle of this episode is timeless and inspiring. In addition, the support Lisa gets from Bart, Skinner, and Homer when she’s at her lowest shows that these people care about each other. A lesser show wouldn’t have these inspiring relationships. Honestly, I was shocked to find that a classic episode like this was at the end of season 15.
Favorite Quote: "Instead of one big shot controlling all the media, now there's a thousand freaks Xeroxing their worthless opinions."

Season 16 starts with a Treehouse of Horror episode. I skipped it since the Halloween episodes have pretty much always been solid. The next episode, “All’s Fair in Oven War,” misses the mark a bit. Homer and Marge spend 2 years and $100,000 remodeling their kitchen, which makes Marge a better cook for some reason. She enters a TV cooking competition, and after her competitors all cheat, adds baby ear medicine to all of their dishes. Lisa finds out and confronts Marge and you know the rest…

Favorite Quote: I don’t remember a single line from this episode. Normally, I would look up a quote to at least fill the spot, but this was just a bad episode... not worth it...

I remember being entertained by this episode, but I don’t remember any of the jokes. I’m also sure there was a b-plot that I’m forgetting. Maybe season 16 is when the show got bad? I’ll have more next time!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Waiting Here for Everyman - 11 - Ben Marshall

Each week on the show, I interview a regular person about the music in their life.  Ben Marshall played in a band called FATE in High School.  In recent years, he's been developing as a songwriter in his own right with his album The Final Giraffe.

Check out Ben's work at

Music This Episode:
For Everyman by Jackson Browne performed by Kendall Halman
Twilight, Repeat Mode, and In Our Own Key by Ben Marshall

Here's the episode!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

When did The Simpsons get bad? Part 3

When trying to find where the Simpsons started going downhill, I decided it would be important to set a standard with which to compare the episodes I’m watching.  That’s why this week I decided to watch a batch of episodes from an era that The Internet has decided is good.  I started by watching “Marge versus the Monorail,” a season 4 episode that many people consider to be the best Simpsons episode period.

If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you know the episode.  After Springfield gets 3 million dollars from Mr. Burns, Phil Hartman plays Lyle Lanley, a con artist who parodies The Music Man and convinces the town to build a monorail.  Homer becomes the conductor and Marge investigates to find what happened in the previous towns where Lanley built monorails.  Hijinks ensue, and Homer saves the day by anchoring the malfunctioning monorail to a donut.

This is definitely a solid episode, but I wouldn’t put it in my personal top 10, much less number 1.  Honestly, the episode seems just a little too goofy and is much closer to “Worst Episode Ever” than “Homerpalooza”(my personal favorite.
Favorite Quote:  Donuts - is there anything they can't do?

To go along with my arbitrary rules of this project, I watched the next two episodes of season 4 as well.  “Selma’s Choice” is my favorite of the three I watched this week.  After “Great Aunt Gladys” dies and gives a final message of “don’t die alone” to Patty and Selma, Selma decides she wants a baby.  She jumps through a bunch of hoops and changes her mind after taking Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens.

Not every Simpsons episode needs to have a dark message about mortality or even a moral at all.  That said, The Simpsons’ ability to approach serious subjects humorously without belittling the issues is one of the things that puts it ahead of shows like Family Guy and South Park.  This episode is a perfect example.  In between going on a date with Hans Moleman and dealing with Lisa drinking water from a Duff Beer themed “It’s a Small World” knockoff ride, Selma learns of the real challenges associated with becoming a parent and decides she’s not ready.  Instead, Patty and Selma take Aunt Gladys’s iguana back from their mother and we meet Jub Jub.

Favorite Quote:  “Lisa, drink the water!”

The last episode I watched was “Brother from the same planet.”  Homer forgets to pick Bart up from soccer practice, which leads Bart to join the “Bigger Brother” program under false pretenses.  Bart meets Tom, a super cool father figure, and Homer gets jealous.  Homer also joins the program and mentors Pepi.  They go to Sea World and run into each other… you get where this is going.

It’s a fun little episode, if somewhat forgettable.  We get to see Nelson’s dad before he left for the store, so that’s cool.  I also like that “Revenge” is a viable reason for joining the “Bigger Brother” program.

Favorite Quote:  “That's right.  You’re not the only one who can abuse a non-profit organization.”(I don’t think I got the quote right.  Please look this up before posting.)

Watching these episodes only further confirms my feeling that if The Simpsons ever got bad, it was much later than most people suggest, and maybe even when it was good, they weren’t all good.  Maybe next week I’ll go much later in the series and try to find a legitimately bad string of episodes.