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Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The Lebowski Podcast"

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Readers often ask your Podthinker if, one day, the podcast well will run dry. It's a frightening thought, being left with nothing in the barrel except a few learn-French shows and Keith and the Girl, but it's not a realistic one. Podcasting technology is so accessible, so democratic that anyone can — and does — record and distribute podcasts about anything. No matter what it is, there will be a podcast about it. This week's recpient of Podthought is a case in point: it's about The Big Lebowski — and nothing else.

Of course, that's to be expected from a program entitled The Lebowski Podcast [iTunes link]. Given this Podthinker's previously noted background in film geekery, he'd presumably hand an automatic A+ to any show dedicated solely to discussion of such a respected "cult classic," would he not? Alas, the issue is more complicated, as the Lebowski Podcasters' film geekery is of a different stripe altogether, a stripe whose touchstones include the likes of Clerks, Pulp Fiction and Napoleon Dynamite. (Is there a name for this fandom?) But none of those, naturally, could ever hold a candle to The Big Lebowski, or as they simply call it, "The Movie".

This podcast seems like the source a casual filmgoer — even one already possessed of much enthusiasm for the Coen brothers' other works — would check out first for answers about why, exactly, The Big Lebowski is so intensely worshiped. The Movie has inspired a book [MP3], a 10th-anniversary DVD [MP3], annual festivals [MP3] and even a religion [MP3], none of which, as those links indicate, fly under the Lebowski crew's radar. If it's Big Lebowski-related, they discuss it; perhaps not in the best audio quality or in the most polished mic manner, but with the kind of zeal you'd expect from a group that got its start as a bunch of college floormates who just really, really liked The Dude and his surrealistic quest to replace a urine-soaked rug.

The crew leaves almost no inquiry unaddressed and no speculation unspeculated: where The Movie fits into the film noir tradition [MP3], how The Movie holds up to a feminist critique [MP3] and what song The Dude would have liked to have been included in The Movie's soundtrack [MP3]. They even touch on some only-tangentially-related-to-Lebowski filmic matters, such as Jeff Briges' then-latest film The Amateurs [MP3], or the Coens' then-latest, No Country for Old Men [MP3].

Alas, they never quite get around to directly answering that burning question: why The Big Lebowski? Why love it to the core of one's being rather than simply like it a lot? The Movie's transcendent greatness is axiomatic here, and perhaps that makes sense; it's clearly for hardcore Lebowski fans, after all, and indeed they'll love every minute. But one still wonders how they got that way.

Vital stats:
Format: group film discussion
Running since: January 2007
Duration: 10m-1h
Frequency: monthly, at least
Archive available on iTunes: all

[The Podthinker Colin Marshall abides. Get him at colinjmarshall at gmail, suggest podcasts for Podthoughts here or submit your own podcast for the next by-Max-Funsters column here.]

Bishop Lamont - Grow Up

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I like this track a lot. Bishop Lamont is signed to Aftermath -- the place where rappers go to never get their album released in a million bajillion years. I hope he's getting some good ghostwriting money from Dre, because I don't think he'll ever see any royalties.

via nahright

The Best People in the World

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I'm pretty sure the two best people in the world are Mr. David Letterman and Mr. Bill Murray.

Via SCHEER

Praise Tarvu!

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Say Hebbo! from Torvakian on Vimeo.

Praise Tarvu!

"Every land is nice, and everyone who lives there is nice too" - Tarvu

If you are looking for DIRECTION, FAITH or a HOLY OCTOPUS, then remember this: "It's SO Easy To Join!"

Janeane Garofalo, Actress & Comedian, Interviewed on The Sound of Young America

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Bullseye

Janeane Garofalo is an actress and comedian. As an actress, she's appeared in films like Wet Hot America Summer and Ratatouille, and on television series like 24 and The Larry Sanders Show. She was also an early leader in the alternative comedy movement of the early to mid 1990s, and is currently touring with comics like Marc Maron and Greg Proops as part of the Satiristas. She's also well known as a liberal activist, and for several years, she cohosted a leftist radio program on Air America Radio.

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Greg Behrendt & Tig Notaro Live at Bumbershoot on The Sound of Young America

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Last month we were live at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in Seattle. Our shows included two standup performances, from two of our favorite standup comics - Tig Notaro and Greg Behrendt (above).

Tig Notaro can be seen as Officer Tig on Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program, and of course touring the nation as a standup comic. She performed standup for us in Seattle.

Greg Behrendt is a veteran standup, who found unexpected success a few years ago with the relationship book "He's Just Not That Into You." The success of the book, and popularity of his appearances on Oprah Winfrey's show netted him a daytime talk show. Greg performed, then we talked with him about fitting his persona into the odd format of daytime talk.

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Podcast: JJGo Ep 75: Full Blown AIDs

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Jesse and Jordan are joined by comedian and actress Tig Notaro, potentially name a baby, and Jesse gets broken down.

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Bullseye

Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.

Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target. More About Bullseye

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Bob & Ray on Carson

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Bob & Ray perform "The Most Beautiful Face" and "Four Leaf Clover Farmer" on Carson. Catch the quick reference to aspiring actor Chris Elliott.

My VCR broke.

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And I'm not getting a new one.

So: if you are a MaxFun donor at the $5/month level or above and live in the US of A, I will send you all my VHS tapes. There's a couple dozen. Good ones, too.

Email your address to Casey@maximumfun.org. First one gets em. Also I will have to find a box.

Sorry! The VHS tapes have all been given away to Chad. Enjoy every single one of them.

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