This week we welcome special guest, Graham Elwood: comedian, documentarian, and podcast host. An influencial figure in the work of Crash Chords, Graham’s presence in the podcasting community is just as revered as his standup career, particularly as host of the Comedy Film Nerds podcast (co-hosted by Chris Mancini). He is also one of the creators of the podcast festival in L.A. called L.A. Podfest. Having released a documentary on his time performing for the troops in Afghanistan (called Laffghanistan), he is extending his interest in documentaries to a project called “Ear Buds”, a documentary about podcasting. Matt and Graham chat about his latest album, Palm Strike Dance Party (featuring a self-titled song written with former guest Mike Phirman), and about the many branches of the podcasting industry collectively changing the face of entertainment.
First appearing on Crash Chords in a 2010 interview, following the release of The Very Last Songs I Will Ever Record (Part 1), Matt welcomes back one of the most creative comedy musicians to emerge from the west coast, Mike Phirman. With his humble self-released ditties, Phirman’s capacity for brilliant satire also extends to a penchant for over-blowing benign subjects, such as breakfast, streetmeat, and children’s games. Whatever subject is at his whim, he consistently extracts a hilarious and addicting adventure. This time around, Matt and Phirman discuss the process behind writing a great comedy-music song, Phirman’s many influences, how certain tracks came together, and finally the peculiar position he is placed in as a full-time family man — thus caught between writing funny kids songs and writing funny songs for adults.
In the mood for some satirical gibberish? Who isn’t. That’s why we’re pushing forward with more reviews of comedy music albums. This week we chose The Wack Album by The Lonely Island (the comedy Hip-Hop troupe composed of former SNL staff & cast members, Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone). Then stick around for a brief intro to the use of satire in art. Conversely, stay tuned for a future discussion on the use of music to a comedic end.
This week we’re joined by the indomitable Gary Oransky and Nate Rider (a.k.a. Gary_O & JediN8) from the Average Intelligence Podcast. Apart from taking our weekly digressions to even scarier frontiers, they also deliver us our first music-comedy album, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s biting answer to the 1990s, Running with Scissors. Afterwards, Gary and Nate discuss their panoptical role on Average Intelligence as the self-described “bastard children of Pop Culture and Momma Media.” And so, what better way to wrap up a pop culture discussion than to sit back and gab about film sequels!