team conan!

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Conan O’Brien for a long time. I loved him on Late Night, and what he’s done so far during his brief time on The Tonight Show is spectacular. He’s updating the franchise for our generation, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the work he’s done in the past seven months. Sadly, NBC thinks differently.

I’m sure you’re aware of the fiasco going on at NBC right now, and if you feel the same way I do, feel free to copy and paste the email addresses here and let your opinion be known:

Subject: The Tonight Show
To: JOHN.ECK@nbc.com, Jeff.Gaspin@nbc.com, JEFF.ZUCKER@nbc.com, jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com, STEVE.CAPUS@nbc.com, ALLISON.GOLLUST@nbc.com, PAULA.MADISON@nbc.com, CORY.SHIELDS@nbc.com, JOHN.WALLACE@nbc.com, David.Verdi@nbc.com, Jeff.Zucker@nbc.com, Bob.Wright@nbc.com, LYNN.CALPETER@nbc.com, DICK.EBERSOL@nbc.com, MARK.HOFFMAN@nbc.com, MICHAEL.PILOT@nbc.com, david.verdi@nbc.com, MARC.CHINI@nbcuni.com, Alyssa.Corcoran@nbcuni.com, MICHAEL.BASS@nbcuni.com, MICHAEL.PILOT@nbcuni.com, Ron.Lamprecht@nbcuni.com

Dear NBC Executives,

I’m writing in regards to…well, you already know, so I won’t waste your time with an introduction.

I’ve enjoyed watching Conan on Late Night, and much more briefly on The Tonight Show, for the better part of two decades. He is my favorite late night host on any network by far. If he stays on NBC, I will continue to watch him on NBC. But if this reckless move that you are proposing goes through, then I will not watch any late night show on NBC, the local news on NBC affiliates, nor will I tune in to any NBC show other than The Office, which for me at the current moment, is the network’s only worthwhile output other than The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.

The reason why Jay’s show failed and Conan’s show has been losing to Letterman in the ratings is two-fold. First, Jay is not funny. Secondly, and related to the first point, Jay was not put back on the air until months after Conan took over The Tonight Show. Thus, many of Jay’s remaining fans split themselves between Letterman and Conan. By the time Jay finally returned at 10, he was easily forgotten because of his aforementioned inability to be funny, and because he had already lost so many viewers to Letterman and Conan. He may have been able to survive at 10 had his show began immediately when Conan took over, so that Jay’s fans could watch him and then hopefully stay tuned for Conan, but NBC took another route, and have failed. Suck it up, and cancel–not move–Jay, just as you would cancel any other show that fails. Jay Leno has had his moment in the spotlight for long enough, and it’s now Conan’s turn.

If Conan does not remain the host of The Tonight Show at 11:35pm EST, every weekday on NBC, I can guarantee that whatever he does next will far exceed–both in content and in ratings–anything that Leno can do for your network. The aftermath of your decision will not be pretty. You will lose far more viewers than you have lost already, myself included.

Please reconsider your decision, and let Conan stay just where he is. Give him the time he needs to produce the best late night show on TV, one that advances the show’s format instead of allowing it to remain stale, because that’s exactly what Conan is going to do–whether he’s on NBC or not.

I hope you make the right decision.

Luke Humphrey

And here’s one of my favorite bits from Late Night, which inexplicably, Conan has not brought over to The Tonight Show:

http://teamconan.com
http://imwithcoco.com

those were the days when you were so cosmopolitan

I’ve spent most of this Christmas at home with loved ones, playing some new video games (DJ Hero and New Super Mario Bros Wii, and revisiting Super Mario Galaxy and Animal Crossing), and thinking a lot about Vic Chesnutt’s passing.

I discovered Vic just a couple of years ago thanks to a college friend who burnt me a copy of About to Choke. Vic first caught my ear in the late ’90s, but I was too busy listening to Chumbawamba and Fastball at the time (it’s painful to admit that). I was blown away by Vic’s raw, lonesome, but powerful presence. I knew I had been missing out on something, so I quickly tried to catch myself up, but I wasn’t quick enough.

Here’s one of my favorite cuts from Is the Actor Happy?



For me, and for everyone, he left too soon. RIP, Vic.

feels like you’ve been asleep for days

In lieu of a podcast once again, here’s a bootleg. This one comes from an obvious favorite of mine, The Format. (I have a few other recordings from them that I’ll be putting up soon too.)

There was an audience recording of this show on the late kickasstunes.net (which is now, sadly, some porn site) which used to have an archive of rarities from The Format, Steel Train, Reubens Accomplice, and all those guys. But this recording is actually from KASC, the AM station at ASU, who broadcast the show live. (So, credit goes to them.) I think it’s better, but you may not. You don’t get the annoying audience chatter, but it does sound fuzzy and noisy as any AM recording would, and it skips a little. So this is not for audiophiles, but if you were a fan of The Format, you will enjoy this pre-Dog Problems acoustic set.

[photo from Phoenix New Times]

The Format Live at Western Tread Show Revue III, Tempe, AZ
Download ZIP Archive

1. I’m Actual
2. Tune Out
3. Give It Up
4. Snails
5. The Compromise
6. On Your Porch
7. The First Single
8. If Work Permits
9. A Save Situation

the first thing you see is the light

There’s a mixtape thread going over at TVCY, and people are getting pretty creative. I love making mixes, and I’m often forced to limit myself to 80 minutes because I don’t have an iPod, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

As these songs came together, I saw some loose themes connecting them and I decided to go conceptual. This mix chronicles either a) the destruction of Earth by an angry but loving God, or b) the stages of a break-up. Or nothing, you decide.

Beautiful Destruction
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1. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s – “A Children’s Crusade on Acid”
2. Massive Attack – “Unfinished Sympathy”
3. Danielle Brisebois – “Promise Tomorrow Tonight”
4. Modern Skirts – “Bridges and Overpasses”
5. The Olivia Tremor Control – “Tropical Bells”
6. Coheed and Cambria – “The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End”
7. Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power, and the Amorphous Strums – “Teddy Bear”
8. Dark Meat – “Well Fuck You Then”
9. Titus Andronicus – “My Time Outside the Womb”
10. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – “The Debtor”
11. Japandroids – “I Quit Girls”
12. Counting Crows – “August and Everything After”
13. Metric – “Help I’m Alive (Acoustic)”
14. fun. – “Walking the Dog II”
15. Volcano Choir – “Seeplymouth”
16. Jon Brion – “Peer Pressure”
17. Ben Thornewill – “His Good Side”

Podcast #17 (and frustration)

Podcast #17: November 1, 2005

While I’m happy to have a home on the web again, I’m still not doing what I wanted to do with this space. New podcasts have been slow coming because I’m a total novice when it comes to home recording, and I can’t seem to get this working right. So, have mercy on a total noob.

I have a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer, a Behringer C-1 Condenser Microphone, several RCA cables and stereo cables (mini and 1/4), and a Behringer UCA202 to connect the mixer to my PowerBook via USB. So yeah, I’ve invested in this a little bit. I want to send the audio from my computer to the mixer (songs played in iTunes) while recording everything on my computer simultaneously. Every setup I’ve tried results in a feedback loop. It works alright if I’m just using the mic, but using my laptop as both an input and output is a no-go. Surely this is possible and not doomed to result in an endless feedback loop, right? I’m tired of returning cables to RadioShack.

slow down, we’ve got time left to be lazy

I was lucky to have been on Twitter just in time to catch this and record it. The excellent fun. debut (Nate from The Format, Jack from Steel Train, Andrew from Anathallo) album Aim and Ignite releases tomorrow, and in honor of the release, they played an informal acoustic set this afternoon for JamBase. I’ve uploaded it here, banter and all.

fun. Live on JamBase
Download ZIP Archive

1. Benson Hedges
2. “You Might Want to Pawn This”
3. Walking the Dog
4. “Man Cleavage”
5. All the Pretty Girls
6. “Bigger Than Shark Week”
7. The Gambler
8. “Dan Goldstein”
9. At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)
10. “You Can’t Say 69 For the Number”
11. Take Your Time (Coming Home)

(Sorry about the low bitrate, but it was a webcast, so anything higher would have hardly made a difference, anyway.)

fun. is currently on tour; you can find the dates on their MySpace. I’ll be at the ATL show!

Podcast #16

Podcast #16: October 25, 2005

Yes, it’s old. I just thought I’d post another archived podcast to pass the time. Some of these are quite horrible upon a second listen four years later…

But what’s exciting is that I’m finally going to be relocating to Athens next week, which means I’ll be setting up to record again real soon. And the blog is finally looking pretty and functional, thanks to Ahren Code’s Ahisma WordPress theme.

I’m hoping that within the next few weeks, I’ll have a brand new podcast up. So, song requests? Suggested topics of discussion? Post them here.

since the beat done gone

So I’ve had a terribly lazy summer. Late nights, late mornings, and the paychecks kept rolling in (how?!). I’ve also had an awfully hard time getting settled in anywhere. I’m hoping that both will change in the next few weeks.

I’d like to take a break from our un-regularly, unscheduled program.

I’ve kind of gotten used to living in the South in recent years. There are two things that will keep me here, if I do keep myself here: the most classic food anywhere, and Athens. What a town. There’s an Athens band I’ve loved for several years now called Modern Skirts, which if you pay attention to the Athens scene at all, you know them. Their most recent album All of Us in Our Night was released nationwide in January. And, wouldn’t you know it, the boys just got done recording another brand new batch of songs in New Orleans.

Before that, though, they recorded this wonderful live session at Ardent Studios in Memphis. This is the best peek you’ll get, right now, at the new stuff. And it’s wonderful; quite possibly the most adventurous songs they’ve done. “DUI” has every member on percussion, and it’s a blast to see live. “Happy 81” is arguably the most catchy song they’ve done. The less recent songs in this set (I can’t call them old just yet) sound better than ever; perhaps better than on the record, really proving the Skirts prowess as a live act. I’ve been going to their shows for years; they’re loads of fun and the coolest guys.

The set is officially up for download in MP3 format at the link above, but there’s one inconvenient thing about it: it’s not exactly iTunes-friendly, as the songs aren’t split up. I’ve gone ahead and split them up for you here; you’ll want to put this on your iPod or burn it, or something. (Needless to say, all credit goes to Modern Skirts/Ardent Studios in Memphis.)

Modern Skirts Live at Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN
Download ZIP Archive

1. Intro
2. DUI
3. Hitler on Wheels
4. Radio Breaks
5. Chanel
6. Bridges and Overpasses
7. Happy 81
8. Eveready
9. Soft Pedals
10. Yugo
11. Like Lunatics

podcast #15

podcast #15: october 18, 2005

Another one from the archives to let you know I’m still alive here. Again, I don’t remember at all what this contains. I do remember fall 2005 as being pretty incredible though. It’s a time I often miss while I’m trying to survive the quarterlife crisis.

I’ve been a total slacker, but in my defense I’ve had quite a busy summer. Steph and I went on a good old fashioned road trip up to Long Island, NY. We hit the Eternal Sunshine spots that we could. And yes, we got engaged. It was perfect and gorgeous and I’m excited about what the future holds, even though I’m on my last couple of paychecks from the teaching gig. I’ll save the nitty gritty details and photos for Facebook.

New podcasts are still on the way. The equipment works wonderfully, but the cables are giving me trouble (recording only one channel for some reason). I could record in one channel and upload that, in fact I’m really anxious to go ahead and do that, but it’d bug me to listen to that so I’m trying to get it sorted out. I know very little about the recording/mixing process so I’m learning as I go along.

Thanks for the non-spam comments (Andrew and Jess). We’ll have to build this thing up from the ground again.