The Page Count
For some crazy reason we decided to get some recording equipment and make a podcast. We’re still working out the kinks, but if you want to listen to Aaron, Eric, Marc, Nico, & Sean fumble through a discussion of books, publishing, and whatever silliness comes to their minds, and you aren’t able to invite them out for beers in Boston, this is your best avenue. New episodes monthly.
March 2014: Bro2Bro – 3/22/14
The gang is a few short this month, but we bring you all sorts of new fun, including a working soundboard, a game called “Kristen Stewart or Alan Ginsberg?” and a new segment: Bro2Bro. We talk about plenty of books, James Patterson’s doucheyness, and plenty more.
Books touched on: Simon & Kirby Library: Horror!; Discipline & Punish, Michel Foucault; Galveston, Nick Pizzelato; Dominion, by CJ Sansom; Snowpiercer Vol. 2, by Jacque Lob; My Lunches with Orson, by Henry Jaglom; 33 1/3: Histoire de Melody Nelson, by Darren Anderson;
Recommendations: My Lunches with Orson, by Henry Jaglom; Divergent, by Veronica Roth; The Knife Thrower and Other Stories, by Steven Millhauser.
Musical Credits: Planetary Motion by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks; Walkabout by Atlas Sound.
February 2014: 25 Reasons Buzzfeed Sucks Balls
Time for the first podcast of 2014. The C4 gang talks about the best audiobooks for your bucks, Korean monster movies, the uncensored 4th Lord of the Rings book “Boner Party: There and Back Again,” sensory books, and Caligula. Later, Eric leads his personal pals in a game/discussion surrounding negative reviews of literary classics.
Books touched on: Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy; Best American Short Stories 2013; The Stories of John Cheever; The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson; Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson; The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau; Dominion, by CJ Samsom; Claire of the Sea Light, by Edwidge Danticat; The Secret History, by Donna Tartt; The Conductor, by Jean Ferry; Marvel Comics: The Untold Stories, by Sean Howe; Snowpiercer Vol. 1, by Jacque Lob; Miracle Man #1, by Nick Anglo.
Recommendations: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote; Lost Girls, by Alan Moore; The Girl Who Was Plugged In, by James Tiptree Jr.; The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson.
December 2013: 12 (or 5 anyway) Podcasts of Xmas – 12/18/13
Join us for the segments of this years holiday extravaganza that actually survived: Best Books 2013; Amazon & Indies; James Franco or Juvenalia?; JITTERY REVIEW: Zabibah & the King by Saddam Hussein (transcribed by Rev.com); and a DRUNK REVIEW of Sarah Palin’s Christmas book.
November 2013 B-Side: Convince Me to Buy Hawkeye – 11/5/13
In this bonus episode, Marc and Aaron chat about Marvel’s “Hawkeye”, one of the best mainstream comics out there. Aaron attempts to persuade Marc to set aside his reservations about the character and pick up the first trade. Does he succeed? Does Marc survive the gritty streets of Chicago and make it home alive? And who is Cockeye? Find out inside, dear listener!
DRUNK REVIEW: The Juliette Society, by Sasha Grey – 11/2/13
Aaron read and actually liked former porn actress Sasha Grey’s Eyes Wide Shut-y. So we got him drunk for the second month in a row to talk about it. Also, for better or for worse, Sean has a soundboard to play with.
Musical Credits: “Sex Club” by Womb; “I Just Had Sex” by Lonely Island.
November 2013: Sexvember – 11/2/13
October was busy with the launch of the lit mag issue, but we’re back in full for November (well, almost full–Marc couldn’t make it again, though he and Aaron have a bonus comics ‘cast coming later this month). This month we talk about YA books’ paralleling of saving the world and losing virginity, the Noid, the James Franco of porn, the worth of negative book reviews, Twitter etiquette surrounding book reviewers including author Twitter handles, and holy cow Sean ‘s been spending too much time in middle school and says “like” a lot.
Books Touched On: The World Atlas of Street Art, by Rafael Schachter; Divergent, by Veronica Roth; The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton; Harvest, by Jim Crace; On Love, by Alain de Botton; Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert; The Nimrod Flipout, by Etgar Keret; Dissident Gardens, by Johnathan Lethem; The Complete Short Fiction, by Bernard Malamud; Mind MGMT, by Matt Kint; Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction; Sex, by Joe Kowalski; The Juliet Society, by Sasha Gray; The Boat, by Nam Lee; The Ten Thousand Things, by Maria Dermeut; The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, by Patrick Somerville; Satellite Sam, by Howard Shaken.
Musical Credits: “Hanging on the Telephone” by Blondie; “Hang Onto Your Ego” by Frank Black.
September 2013: Doo Wop You Want – 9/14/13
This month we talk about which authors are the biggest assholes, the canon, intellectual conservatism, Mary Gaitskill’s weird takedown of Gillian Flynn, Anton Lavey, DC’s weird and destructive editorial choices.
Books touched on: Monster Massacre, by Titan Comics; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collection Vol.1, by Eastman and Laird; Archangel, by Andrea Barrett; The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom; Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson; Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn; Message to Adolf Vol. 2, by Osamu Tezuka.
Musical Credits: “Mama, Don’t Tear My Clothes” by Snooks Eaglin; “Long Promised Road” by The Beach Boys.
August 2013: Making Out with the Mirror – 8/24/13
We’re missing Eric and Marc this month, but WriteByNight’s David Duhr joins Aaron, Nico, and Sean to discuss books; Jeff Bezos buying WaPo; Marisha Pessl’s crappy appbook; douchebag historical reenactors; self-love, Wonder Woman poses, and hara kiri; television mysteries; VHS boardgames; and stories written by robots. We also break out some more juvenalia.
Johnny Tremain and Paul Revere and the World He Lived In, by Esther Forbes; You Are Now Less Dumb, by David McRaney; The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., by Adele Waldman; Submergence, by JM Ledgard; Books, by Larry McMurtry; The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, by Yukio Mishima; Turbulence, by Samit Basu.
Musical Credits: “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by Velvet Underground and Nico; “Fat Cat Keeps Getting Fatter” by Squirrel Nut Zippers.
DRUNK REVIEW: The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, by Molly Harper – 8/24/13
We got this crappy book for a buck and convinced Aaron to read it in 50 page chunks, stopping every 50 pages to take a shot and give a summary. It works great, as the inebriated host takes the show down a deep path of taxonomy, lamenting the non-existence of lizards, or something like that.
Musical Credits: “Werewolf” by Fiona Apple; “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran; “The Ballad of Johnny Butt” by Sublime; “I Gots a Weasel” by Ween; “Piss on the Wall” by J. Geils Band; “Sex Machine” by My Robot Friend; “Drink and Drive” by Black Flag.
July 2013: Excellent Use of the Word “Morass” – 7/27/13
We’re back! And we’ve got some also emails to read! We make up for lost time with chats about Barnes and Noble’s pending demise, Rolling Stone’s putting the Marathon Bomber on its cover, renaming post-apocalyptic fiction to “post-trauma” (?), biographizing, Jaco Pastorius and the Bass of Doom, and other random stuff.
Books touched on: Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut; The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller; Papa, by Vera Greentea; The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green; The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling); The New Wave, by James Monaco; 45: Raydon, by Aaron Cometbus; The Complete Flash Gordon Volume 2, by Alex Raymond; The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy; Ravelstein, by Saul Bellow; No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July.
Musical Credits: “Gypsy Jazz Super Mario Bros. 2″ by Adrian Holovaty; “Daylight” by Matt & Kim; “Birdland” by Weather Report.
DRUNK REVIEW: Inferno by Dan Brown – 7/27/13
Nico explains how Dan Brown is somehow admirable despite a crippling case of stupid.
Musical credits: “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps; “The Museum of Idiots” by They Might Be Giants.
May 2013: Butt Backgaux – 5/16/13
This month: Kurt Vonnegut & JFK, more James Franco, One-Star Amazon reviews of Moby Dick, Afganistanimation, good literary genre books, and more.
Books touched on: Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language, by Umberto Eco; Herzog, by Saul Bellow; Temperatures Rising, by Mike McGonigal; Message to Adolf, by Osamu Tezuka; The Best of All Possible Worlds, by Karen Lord; Travels in Elysium, by William Azuski; A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole; “The Way of All Flesh” by Ted Conover.
Musical Credit: Doin’ It Right by Daft Punk
DRUNK REVIEW: The Lords of Salem, by Rob Zombie – 5/16/2013
The Kakutani Game Round 4 – 4/6/2013
No Drunk Review this month, but we do have a new round of The Kakutani Game.
Musical Credit: “Zombie” by the Trucks.
April 2013: Lt. Blueberry and How to Write With Your Butt Cheeks - 4/6/2013
This month we gab about Jane Goodall’s integrity implosion, the future of libraries, women writers in comics, David Copperfield concerts, Amazon and Goodreads jumping into bed together, and imagine how Jim Cary’s new book might have been written with his butt cheeks
Books Touched On: The Women of Porto Pim, by Antonio Tabucchi; The Complete Short Stories, by Bernard Malamud; He Died With His Eyes Open, by Derek Raymond; The Blue Book, by A. L. Kennedy; City of Dark Magic, by Magnus Flight; The Lords of Salem, by Rob Zombie and B. K. Evenson; DMZ, by Brian Wood; Mysterious the Unfathomable, by Jeff Parker; Silver Surfer collection, by Stan Lee and Mobius; My Planet, by Mary Roach; Muck City, by Brian Mealer.
Book Recommendations: The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelica, by Antonio Tabucchi; Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, by Patton Oswald; Henry IV, by Shakespeare; Immobility, by Brian Evenson.
Musical Credits: “Trembling Hands” by Explosions in the Sky; “Can You Fly Sister” by Mohikan Family.
DRUNK REVIEW: Victory at Yorktown by Newt Gingrich – 3/9/13
It’s the last night of AWP, and Mark teaches Aaron how to shotgun beers while he relates the misery that was reading this pompus novel by a toady little troll. And the poet magician aborts a baby…
Musical Credits: “Party All the Time” by Rick James and Eddie Murphy
Day 1: #AWPen!s – 3/7/13
Day #1 of our time spent in the AWP Bookfair. We start off talking what we’re reading (including a lot of Arthur C. Clarke), spend some time heckling passersby, and even get up the gumption to actually interview some people.
Books touched on: The Men of Tomorrow, by Gerard Jones; Animal Man, Grant Morrison; 2001: A Space Odyssey / The City and The Stars, Arthur C. Clarke; Constellation Games, Leonard Richardson; The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner; The Broom in the System, David Foster Wallace.
Musical Credits: “Torte in Faccia” and “Zombi (Supermarket)” by Goblin, “Slow Jam ’98″ by Ben Folds, “No One Died This Time!” by El Ten Eleven.
Day 2: Namaste, Laughed the Illuminati – 3/8/13
We’re back at table Z-29 for some exciting book action. We talk more books and DFW, bug some conference lurkers, chat about the nonfiction advantage on audiobooks, rate AWPs of the past, interview some cats about Spanx and getting friend zoned and future-frogs,, and hide from the Illuminati.
Books touched on: There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya; Cold War, by Jean Lewis Gaddis; Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card; A Working Theory of Love, by Scott Hutchins, The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown (who sucks).
Guests: Matthew Quinn Martin, Libby Cudmore, Lauren Belski, some duder who calls himself ”Terence Degnan.”
Musical Credits: “A Final Warning” by Caribou, “Keeper” by Jason Anick, “7PM Woke Up an Hour Ago” by Death Set, “Lonely” by OK Ikumi, “Ether” by Electric President.
AWP Day 3: Interview with Anomalous Press – 3/9/13
Nico sits down with Erica Mena, Sarah Gilmore, and Shannon Walsh from Anomalous Press and chats about books, AWP, and their successful Kickstarter campaign, and how crowd-sourced funding fits in the publishing space.
What Are They Reading: That Vicious Red Relic, Love, by Anna Joy Springer; Cyborgia, Susan Slaviero; Life on Mars, by Tracy K. Smith; Wild, by Ceryl Strayed.
Musical Credit: “The Kickstarter Song” by Ethan Newberry and Rigor Tortoise, “Cyborg” by M83.
AWP After Hours – 3/9/13
Our last podcast of the AWP Extravaganza leaves the gang pretty sloppy, but we’ve got some fun guests to help us out, and even get a call in! Eric took the time to highlight the dumbest panels names from the AWP 2013 schedule, and so we read them to you. Just one last time: #AWPenis.
Musical Credit: “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John
Don’t Call Comcast for Medical Advice - 2/16/2013
We’re short one Marcos this month, but it’s okay because Sean gets drunk enough for two. We talk about a whole slew of books, and Nico and a castrato Aaron debate the merits of the Netflix original show House of Cards (minor spoilers). As an added bonus, Eric stages a reading of the poem James Franco wrote to commemorate President Obama’s 2nd inauguration.
What We’re Reading: Snow White Must Die, by Nell Neuhaus; The Departure, by Neal Asher; The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi; Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward; The Balloonist, by MacDonald Harris; Seduction of the Innocent, by Max Allan Collins; Men of Tomorrow, by Gerard Jones; Tunes: a Comic Book History of Rock and Roll, edited by Vincent Brunner; The One Trick Rip-Off and Deep Cuts, by Paul Pope; Red Army Red, by Jehanne Dubrow; Schroeder, by Amity Gaige.
Musical Credits: “You Don’t Need to Be a Weatherman” by Darkstar; “The Obama Song” Michael Franti and Spearhead; “Political Science” by Randy Newman.
February B-Side: Kakutani Game round 3
We play another round of Marc’s surprisingly good book quiz game based on Michiko Kakutani’s long library of book reviews. Winner gets a cool picture, loser has to read Inferno, by Dan Brown.
Chocolate Spagetti – 1/19/2013
For our maybe-eleventh episode, we’ve decided to drop the numbering. And the mics work (except ab’s who’s still a little echo-y)! We talk ablout a whole slew of books, make our reading resolutions for 2013, kvetch about the new format for the National Book Awards, make fun of that terrible Megan Fox interview in Esquire, and discuss eating feces for entirely too long.
Books touched on: The Tenth of December, by George Saunders; On the Map, by Simon Garfield; The Fifty-Year Sword, by Mark Z. Danielewski; Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan; Jagannath, by Karen Tidbeck; The Round House, by Louise Erdrich; The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; Prophet, by Brandon Graham; The Letters of Joh Cheever; The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico, by Antonio Tabucchi; The Fixer, by Bernard Malamud.
Book Recommendations: The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico, by Antonio Tabucchi; The House of Leaves, by Marl Z. Danielewski; The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt.
Musical Credits: “Don’t Shit Where You Eat” by Ween; “Kittens Inspired by Kittens” by The Death Set; “Lonely” by OK Ikumi.
DRUNK REVIEW: Monday Night Jihad by Jason Elam
After a few hours of getting Sean thoroughly intoxicated, the gang listens as he tries to explain just what’s going on in Jason Elam’s counter-terrorism daydreams.
Musical credits: “Monday Night Football” by Hank Williams Jr.
THE TWELVE PODCASTS OF CHRISTMAS (2012)
Day 1: Critical Dicks / What Are We Reading?
The first installment of our Twelve Podcasts of Christmas special has the whole gang still mostly sober, talking about what they’ve been reading and considering launching a second website: CriticalDicks.com.
Books touched on: Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan; The Art of Fielding, by Chad Hardbach; Flash Gordon Sundays, by Alex Raymond; The Man in the High Castle, by Phillip K. Dick; The Long Road Home, by Ben Shepard; Kiev 1941, by David Stahl; The Song of Achilles, by Madeleine Miller; How to Cook a Wolf, by MFK Fischer.
Musical credits: Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas, John Denver; The Page Count Theme, by Shiftypop.
Day 2: Best Books 2012, Part 1
Part 1 of our Best Books 2012 discussion. We discuss some of this years best books, as well as some great books from years past.
Books touched on: This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz; A Partial History of Lost Causes, by Jennifer DuBois; Three Weeks in Africa, Audrey, Schulman; The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco; The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Sister Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt; Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn; Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel; Building Stories, by Chris Ware; Habibi, by Craig Thompson; We the Animals, by Justin Torres; Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket; Immobility, by Brian Evenson; On Celestial Music, by Rick Moody; Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, by DT Max; Wild, Cheryl Strayd; The Passage of Power, by Robert Caro; Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie; Elsewhere, by Richard Russo.
Musical Credits: Feliz Navidad by Snowy O. McSnowers
Day 3: Best Books of 2012, Part 2
The continuation of our Best Books of 2012 discussions, with a followup chat about the value of best books lists. Plus, Sean spoils the heck out of Sweet Tooth.
Books touched on: Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction; Batman Inc., by Grant Morrison; Saga, by Brian K. Vaughn; Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman; Mind Management, by Matthew Kint; The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, by Mark Leyner; The Company of the Dead, by David Kowalski; Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan; The Twenty-Year Death, by Ariel S. Winter.
Musical Credits: Slay Bells by People Like Us
Day 4: What Good Are Best Book Lists?
It’s day 4 and the alcohol is starting to catch up with us. We still manage to remain fairly cogent, though, as we wrap up our best books of 2012 discussion by asking, what good are these best-of lists all over the web?
Musical Credit: Let’s All Go by DJ Cutman
Day 5: Rolling Dice with the NZA and Manfred Mann
Marc makes us play a dice game where we name authors, and one of us is really bad. The loser of the game has to read Monday Night Jihad by Jason Elam.
Musical Credits: Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Day 6: Juvenilia
The days are getting shorter. This time, the gang does some dramatic readings of terrible poems and story they wrote years ago.
Musical Credits: Winters Love by Animal Collective and Dominick the Christmas Donkey by Lou Monte
Day 7: The Kakutani Game Part 1
Things are derailing, but we keep it together to play a book quiz game based on Michiko Kakutani’s long library of book reviews.
Musical Credits: Last Christmas by Wham!
Day 8: The Kakutani Game Part 2
The conclusion to Marc’s surprisingly good book quiz game based on Michiko Kakutani’s long library of book reviews.
Musical Credits: Santa’s Beard by The Beach Boys.
Day 9: The Bad Sex Awards Game
We end the third quarter with a guessing game with this year’s nominees for The Literary Review’s “Bad Sex in Fiction” Award for 2012.
Musical Credit: Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
Day 10: DRUNK REVIEW: The Exceptions
We finally (finally!) got a recording of Eric’s drunk review of David Cristofano’s The Exceptions stick. So here it is for a Christmas present from us.
Musical Credit: Christmas in Japan by The Kyoto Connection.
Day 11: Uncle Ben’s Reviews
We say 2 podcasts, but that was a lie. Sean and Marc are given 20 minutes and a glass of moonshine and tasked with a classic they haven’t read. Sean was given “A Tale of Cities” by Charles Dickens and Marc got “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. This pile of slurred speech is the result. (Heads up, sound gets a little trippy at parts.)
Musical Credit: Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police and We Built This City by Jefferson Starship
Day 12: “The Gift of the Magi” via Gizoogle
Mics are shaky but it’s worth it. Marcos delivers a Christmas reading of “The Gift of the Magi” hip hop filtered through Gizoogle. Catch up on the beers, then listen to the final (finally!) day of the 12 Podcasts of Xmas. We love you, -C4
Episode 9A – 11/16/2012
We’re 2 for 3 in losing our most recent podcasts. But finally one stuck. We break down the National Book Awards, riff on the Random House Penguin merger, and talk about plenty of nonsense and books.
What We’re Reading: There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights, by Laura van den Berg; The White Guard, by Mikhail Bolgakov; Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon; Jennifer Government, by Max Berry; Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan; Tarzan – The Centennial Celebration, by Scott Tracy Griffin; The Man in the High Castle, by Phillip K. Dick; Life Itself, by Roger Ebert; Dune, by Frank Herbert; Gravity’s Engines, by Caleb Scharf; Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan; The Silent History, by various authors; Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain.
Book Recs: The Mighty, by Peter J. Thomasi; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon; There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights, by Laura van den Berg; Refusing Heaven, by Jack Gilbert; What Used to Grow Around Here, by Lauren Belski.
Musical Credits: The [new] Page Count theme by Shiftypop; “In the House of Stone and Light” by Martin Page; “Keymonica” by Pietnastka.
Episode 9: Vistiting Irish Peasantry
Alas, the recording messed up and this one is probably gone forever. It was really good though, you’re missing out.
DRUNK REVIEWS: Gorilla Beach
Nico had to read Snooki’s 3rd (!) book, Gorilla Beach, for JNR. It was a doosie. He decided to force the gang to join him in drinking blackouts, the official drinks of Jersey Shore–and they live up to their name…
Musical Credits: “Tube Ride” by Jake Kaufman; “Just Like Oskar We’ll Never Grow Up” by Stealing Orchestra.
Episode 8 – 9/8/12
Sorry for the long hiatus. We actually recorded this in September, but a month busy with a magazine launch put the editing on hold and now it’s October. Get past the first couple minutes, we actually manage to stay on task and talk about books once we get rolling. We spend a while taking about David Foster Wallace and Bret Easton Ellis; play Hot or Not with Emily Dickinson; and discuss China Mieville, the future of the novel, and the idea of book remixes.
Book’s touched on: The Twenty-Year Death, by Ariel S Winter; Saving The School, by Michael Brick; Vengeance, by Benjamin Black; vN, by Madeline Ashby; The Fifth Lash, by Anis Shivani; The Fran Lebowitz Reader, by Fran Liebowitz; Afrodisiac, by Jim Rugg; Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, by DT Max.
Musical Credits: “Theme from Tattle Tales” by Edd Kalehoff; “Neon Jungle” by Mango Tango; “9-bit Expedition” by Lifeformed.
DRUNK REVIEWS: Heaven is For Real
Marc Velasquez, our resident Catholic, got the unenviable task of reading and reviewing Heaven is for Real, in which an Evangelical pastor exploits his sick child to sell books about Jesus. Luckily for Marc, we allowed 40′s and chicken wings while doing his audio review. WriteByNights‘s Dave Duhr joins the Page Count gang while Marc expounds on this infuriating book. Fun and games abound at the Burpos’s expense, Dave takes an on-mic pee, there’s some bible lessons that incorporate Moby Dick and the Godshocker™ and Marc reveals himself as perhaps the best human being here at C4.
Musical Credits: “All My Doubts I Give to Jesus” by J. C. Morgan; “All Obey the Sun” by Solar Skeletons.
Episode 7 – 8/10/12
Aaron Block’s final tour as host begins with a spelling bee to determine who gets to read Snooki’s ‘Gorilla Beach’ and who gets stuck slogging thorugh David Cristofano’s ‘The Exceptions.’ We discuss a number of books, revisted Jonah Lehrer’s shenanigans, and riff on New Journalism, and the value of criticism and responsibilities of book reviewers.
Books touched on: A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers; Wild, Cheryl Strayed; Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau, Guy Adams; The City of Dreaming Books, Walter Moers; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon; Albert of Adelaide, Howard Anderson; Sorry Please Thanks You, Charles Yu; The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John le Carre; Best Writing Music 2011, Alex Ross (ed.); Black Kiss 2, Howard Chayken; A Once Crowded Sky, Tom King; The Informationist, Taylor Stevens.
Book Recommendations: Fraud, David Rackoff; The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon; Black Kiss (1) by Howard Chayken; Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert.
Musical Credits: “Upsidedown Stars” by Emma Straub; “Gameshowtheme” by Alastair Cameron; “Wind in Her Hair” by Motorama; “Is This It” by The Superfools.
DRUNK REVIEWS: Dollhouse
The next drunk review is here. This time it’s the horribly depressing novel Dollhouse, by Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian. Sean decided not to get drunk for his drunk review, but the gang was happy to pick up his slack. We cover the gamut of everything Kardashian, including how many ice cubes the Kardashian matriarch can fit in her vagina (it’s 12, that’s actually in this book…). We also learn how Marcos used to sniff Strawberry Shortcake, Sean’s hatred of escalator riders and overuse of the word titties, alligator vaginas, and more. Aaron tries to give the ladies the benefit of the doubt and dub this book a roman a clef, but it falls on deaf (drunk) ears.
Musical Credits: “Sky Runner” by Hip Tanaka; “Killbots” by Blasterheads.
Episode 6 – 7/7/12
We’re back, and the mics are still working. The gang covers a whole bunch of books new and old. We also spend some time talking about LBJ’s pants and bunghole (here’s the link), as well as Jonah Lehrer and the recent uproar about his reusing of his own content. (Here’s the link for that.) And don’t miss the dramatic reading of the poem Aaron wrote as a teenager.
Books touched on: Rabbit Redux, John Updike; The Osiris Ritual, George Mann; The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker; The Passage of Power, Robert Caro; I’ll Go Home Then, It’s Warm and Has Chairs, David Thorne; Amped, Daniel H. Wilson; The Singles Club, Kieron Gillen; Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem.
Reading Suggestions: The Toaster Project, by Thomas Thwaites; Pastoralia, by George Saunders; The Very Young Mrs. Poe, by Cothburn O’Neal; Superman Birthright, by Mark Waid.
Musical Credits: “Is This Real” by The Superfools, “Happiness” by Poddington Bear, “Fool” by The Sights.
DRUNK REVIEWS: Fifty Shades of Grey
As part of our ongoing tournament with each round’s loser being assigned a terrible book, Aaron sits down with just a microphone and a liver dripping with blue Pucker and hard cider and delivers a rolicking explaination of just how bad a book “Fifty Shades of Grey” really is.
Musical Credits: “8bitdetective” by Bass Assassin, “Lookatcha” by Morphamish. All music from freemusicarchive.com.
Episode 5 – 6/11/2012
Hey, friends, we finally got the mics working! Heck yes. We spend a lot of time on a Ray Bradbury rememberances. We also talk about lots of books, and comic apps on mobile devices, nipple piercings, little teapots, Israel’s bookseller regulations, Twilight Zone, Yann Martel being a douche, and more.
Books touched on: False Negative, Joseph Koenig; The Complete Sherlock Homes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; The Tiger Rising, Kate DiCamillo; Dollhouse, the Kardashian sisters(?); The Ectacy of Influence, Jonathan Lethem; Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Wells Tower; Three Weeks in December, Audrey Schulman; The Passage of Power, Robert Caro; Farther Away, Jonathan Franzen; The Toaster Project, Thomas Thwaits; Angelmaker, Nick Harkaway; Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn; Falling Man, Don DeLillo; Phonogram, Kieron Gillen; The Essex County Trilogy, Jeff Lemire. Ray Bradbury: Farenheit 451, Martian Chronicles, A Sound of Thunder, I Sing the Body Electric, Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Reading Suggestions: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Gracia Marquez; Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov; Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon; Portnoy’s Complaint, Phillip Roth; Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut.
Musical Credits: “Is This New” by The Superfools; ”Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie; “Spike on a Rail” by Darren Korb.
Episode 4.5 – 5/14/2012
Episode 4 got pretty fouled up, so we’ve recorded a bonus episode to tide you over until June. Better yet, we finally got the mics working properly. We all watched the tragically bad Age of the Dragons, a shoddy fantasy interpretation of Moby Dick, and here we are talking about it. We also recap the books in the lost episode’s What Are We Reading? section, as well as offer up plenty of reading suggestions.
Books touched on: The Infernals and The Book of Lost Things, John Connolloy; Lady, Go Die, Mickey Spillane; The Affinity Bridge, George Mann; Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson; Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowells; Are You My Mother? Alison Bechdel; Habibi, Craig Thompson; The Incredible Changebots 2, Jeffrey Brown; Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James.
Reading recs: Moby Dick, Herman Melville; Blood and Grits, Harry Crews; Skippy Dies, Paul Murray; Any Empire, Nate Powell; The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, Patrick Somerville.
Episode 4 – 5/5/2012
Well, we fixed cavern-sounding problem, but due to other technical difficulties, this episode may never see the light of day. We’ll try our best to clean it up and release it all the same though. Look for a bonus mini-cast mid-May to tide you over.
Books touched on: Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel; Habibi by Craig Thompson; Lady, Go Die! by Mickey Spillane; The Affinity Bridge by George Mann; The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James; Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.
Episode 3 – 4/9/2012
Mics are still a little cruddy for our third episode, but the gang is in top form. We discuss a number of new books this week. Also, Aaron gets ready to read Fifty Shades of Grey, we talk about mongooses and fisher cats, and get into a few shenanigans. Two discussion topics this month: How should critics approach books?; Who or what is the “ideal reader” supposed to be? (Note: despite what Sean said in the ‘cast, we’re not going to add Goodreads links to every book. It looks ugly and it’s not very hard for you to google the books yourself.)
Books touched on: Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway; The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner; On Celestial Music by Rick Moody; Blood and Grits by Harry Crews; How To Listen To Great Music by Robert Greenberg; Live From New York by Tom Shales.
Musical Credits: “Is This New” by The Superfools; “Part of Me” by Black Math; “Any Place” by Single Copy. All music from freemusicarchive.com.
Episode 2 – 3/3/2012
For our second episode, we bring in guest Eric Markowsky to join the gang’s discussion. More guys than mics mean we sound like we’re holding a debate in a cavern, but on the positive side, we managed to be a lot more focused (and sober) than episode 1. Primary topics of discussion: dystopian fiction; nonfiction perspective and the balance between art and veracity.
Books touched on: Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo; Love Begins in Winter, Simon Van Booy; Lost at Sea, Bryan Lee O’Malley; Time Travelling in Einstein’s Universe, J. Richard Gott; Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart; Pure, Julianna Baggot; Company of the Dead, David Kowalski; The Comedy is Finished, David Westlake; The Operators, Michael Hastings; Lifespan of a Fact, John D’Agata.
Musical Credits: “Is This New” by The Superfools; “Deep Sky Blue” by Graphiqs Groove; “Ophelia’s Song” by Musetta. All music from freemusicarchive.com.
Episode 1 – 2/4/2012
In this first episode: The Demi-Monde: Winter, by Rod Rees; Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami; Any Empire, by Nate Powell; One Model Nation, by Courtney Taylor-Taylor. Also, Cliff Notes makes movies now; trying to predict the future of big publishing now that Amazon’s created an imprint; we wonder if the Watchmen prequel is a good idea; Mad Men, Gossip Girl, and how writing is depicted on television; more.
Here’s the link to Cliffs Notes Films. The youTube casting video might be linked to here at a later date.
Musical credits: “Is This New” “Tea for Two” “Not Like Us Mambo” by The Superfools; “Disembarking from Tentacle Island” by Paneye; “I Do Like to Be Beside the Seashore” by John H. Glover. All music from freemusicarchive.com.