The Adam Carolla Podcast Gets Legit

It is year #2 for the Adam Carolla podcast, and the word from the Aceman is that the show is going forward full steam for another year. That’s good news for all us working Monkeys who need something interesting to listen to during the day.

The Carolla podcast is also a good business model for the early part of the 21st century. The long and short of the story is this: Carolla gets laid off from his LA radio gig and decides to use his newfound spare time to start a daily podcast. The podcast catches fire, becomes a consistant top pick on the itunes site, and it has broadened his audience and brought him a whole new level of visibility.

Carolla can now start to make money to support the show by selling some limited advertising spots, making some content available for a premium, and taking the podcast on the road for paid events.

This Monkey does not mind listening to a few commercials to get a huge amount of content (at least an hour per day M-F) for free, and he does not mind spreading the word about the show, either. It is worth it.  

Plus, the Carolla network is going to start expanding with other shows that share the same sensibility. Frequent Carolla collaborator Kevin Hench and former NBA player John Salley are going to be hosting their own sports show. Andy Dick was a recent guest and is planning to bring his show to the network.

All in all, it’s encouraging to see that there’s room for someone to build a new entertainment platform from scratch and without charging people up front. Build the audience first, and the funding will come.

Here is a link to the show that explains in better detail what your Monkey tried to summarize above.

Here is an intro to today’s podcast.

P.S. This Money might have a crush on Teresa the News Girl.


How Coverville Delivered One Monkey from the Workweek Blues

So here we are on Monday.

The two weeks of vacation that coincide with Christmas and New Year’s are over. School is back in session, traffic is back on the road, and your Monkey is back to being grumpy.

After three days of snow and quiet, it was tough to return to the direct marketing grindhouse and find the energy to deal with ALL THAT HAS TO BE DONE.

There is copy to write and pages to proof and concepts to develop and it all has to be done NOW NOW NOW.

There is no time to think or gather yourself, my friend. We must push ever onward toward deadlines and deliverables and measurable achievement.

The one saving grace in an otherwise grumpy day was catching up on a Coverville podcast from last month.

For those of you who don’t know, Brian Ibbott’s Coverville is a thrice weekly podcast that is all about cover songs.

Each year Ibbott hosts a Coverville countdown where he asks his listeners to vote on the best cover songs of the year.

Having done the countdown for a couple of years now, Ibbott has amassed enough of the top vote-getters to put together a Coverville Hall of Fame.

These inductees will no longer be eligible for the annual countdown so that other songs can have a chance to shine.

But if you haven’t heard Coverville before, this hall of fame list is a great place to start.

Here is a link to the show.

And the song below is a live version one of this Monkey’s favorite Coverville discoveries.

(This version is OK, but you should really hear the recorded version. The Coverville show is a great place to get it).

Music, Podcasts, Shameless self indulgence, Writing

Random Thoughts Part II

It might be the insufferable heat and humidity here at Monkey central, but once again the inspiration just doesn’t seem to be coming. Therefore it’s time for yet another episode of random Monkey thoughts.

  1. The Adam Carolla podcast continues to deliver an amazing amount of free content each week. We’re talking an hour of solid programming each day, and apparently there is also a car-themed podcast that the guy is doing as well. Your Monkey is not a grease monkey and has no business with the car-themed podcast, but the regular podcast is really hitting the mark. Recently we’ve had good turns by Curb Your Enthusiasm Star Jeff Garlin and Rotten Tomatoes TV cohost Brett Erlich. Erlich in particular proves that you don’t have to be a name guest to make a good podcast. Click here for link to site.
  2. Everyone should read at least one article from the New York Times each day. Not because it is a pretentious thing to do, but because the Times is home to by far the best set of journalists anywhere. They have a marvelous talent for digging up interesting stories, finding unique angles to explore, and capturing the imagination without resorting to cheap sensationalism. Check out this piece that explores a series of bad omens leading up to a horrific car crash in Long Island over the weekend. It’s everything you want good journalism to be  (i.e. informative without being insensitive).
  3. It’s a wonder George Orwell wasn’t more of a pessimist. Listening to Dan Carlin outline the devastation that was caused during the war between Germany and Russia in World War II makes one realize that we are truly fortunate to live in a time and a place where copywriters pretending to be Monkeys can write long blog posts complaining about the unfairness of the world. We are so far removed from true suffering that it is all too easy to lose our perspective.  Check out Carlin’s Ghosts of the Ostfront series here, and then realize that Orwell started writing 1984 only a few years after this awful mess.
  4. Someone owes Iron and Wine an apology. A couple of days ago a certain Monkey may have praised the Great Lake Swimmers for doing mellow acoustic folk without being sleepy and dull. This same Monkey may have then suggested that Iron and Wine might be guilty of putting people to sleep with his “so soft you can barely hear it” mellow acoustic folk. But then Iron and Wine has to go and deliver a great new song called “Belated Promise Ring.”
  5. Your Monkey is usually against posting YouTube videos that are just one still shot of the album cover with the song playing underneath. Let’s face it, this practice is just one step below illegal file sharing. But since this song is available as a free download as part of the Current’s Song of the Day Podcast, a video is included here.
Music, Podcasts, Shameless self indulgence

Random Thoughts

In an effort to keep this blog going during a period of low creative inspiration, your Monkey will now attempt to type a catch-all report of some thoughts from the past week.

  1. KEXP Live Performance Podcasts are perfectly timed at about a 1/2 an hour each. There was a time when your Monkey was greedy for more and larger podcasts, but lately he has been finding it hard to listen to two hours worth of anything. The NPR All Songs Considered Live Concert podcasts, for all the great artists that are featured, sometime seem a little too long for this Monkey’s tastes. As far as KEXP goes, the last two weeks of live performance podcasts have featured English duo The Kills (doing an acoustic set) and English electro-folkie James Yuill. Both are worth checking out. Here is a link to the KEXP live performance podcast.
  2. George Orwell’s 1984 was written under bleak circumstances that fit the book’s pessimistic world view. Few “required reading” books from high school left as strong an impression as Orwell’s 1984. This excellently written piece in the UK Guardian explains the struggle that Orwell (nee Eric Blair) went through to birth this book.
  3. You can tell Neil Gaiman is a hugely talented writer just by reading his blog posts. Whether he is reminiscing fondly about his kids or talking about a quiet evening with a friend, Gaiman turns descriptions of everyday events into marvelously written prose. Highly recommended reading. Here’s a link to the blog
  4. People who run secondhand shops are usually odds and ends themselves. This is the kind of whimsical observational musing that you will find on my new radio show, Lake Grump-be-gon Tales, in which I play the slightly curmudgeonly Monkey editor of a local newspaper in small town Minnesota.
  5. The Mermen play excellent psyche-surf rock. This San Francisco band has an excellent mellow sound. Here is a video that is fittingly shot in an aquarium.

Rating the Cohosts of the Adam Carolla Podcasts

The Adam Carolla podcast has been up and running for a couple of months now, and it seems like the show has settled into a pretty good rhythm of regular co-hosts and special guests.

If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, you really should check it out. Much like the Howard Stern show, it’s a good mix of everyday life and show business talk, with Carolla frequently riffing on topics related to sex, work, immigration, ticket-happy California police departments, and his generally miserable childhood.

Just about every show has at least one co-host. So far there have been a few standout acts, a couple of surprise winners, and one or two duds.

Standout Acts in the Regular Rotation:
These co-hosts have all been on more than once and have been solid performers every time.

Bill Simmons (ESPN’s the sports guy), Dave Dameshek (chatty ESPN radio host), Jimmy Kimmel (Carolla pal, former Man Show Co-host and current ABC talk show host), and Theresa and Bald Brian (former members of Carolla’s terrestrial radio show).

One Time All Stars:

These guys have only made one appearance thus far, but the shows were truly memorable. Brad Garrett (who knew the dour brother from Everyone Loves Raymond could be so bitterly funny about the network TV business?) and Harland Williams (the comedian of “Seven Minute Abs” fame was way out there with his comments but way funny at the same time).

Surprise Success Story Thus Far:
Jimmy Pardo of the “Never Not Funny” podcast. Pardo and Carolla got into a surprisingly candid conversation about being caught masturbating that was way funnier than one would have thought. (That is if one had listened to Pardo’s podcast before and didn’t find it all that funny).


Mike Tyson — Look, it’s a little unfair to think that Carolla would be able to wrangle the oddball Tyson into a coherent conversation, but since they are both into boxing there was some hope that they could at least talk shop about the sport. Instead it was weird and uncomfortable and ended too early.

Tom Bergeron — Too much Dancing With the Stars Talk.

Bobcat Goldthwait — Nothing against the guy, but it was a little uncomfortable to hear him protest over and over and over again about how he’s not bothered by people who only see him as the Bobcat character and not as a talented comedy director. If you’re a director and you’re confident about it, then there’s no need to protest too much.

Most Gleefuly Uncomfortable Interview:

Adam with Jack from Jack in the Box: There might be a funny comedian behind the voice of the fast food icon, but it was clear that the man didn’t want to do anything that would compromise his position with the company. Listening to Carolla make him uncomfortable by delving into sex topics was worth any product placement messages that might have filtered through with the podcast.

Overall, this is a great podcast that we are fortunate to be getting for free. Here’s a link to the podcast homepage. You can also find it on itunes.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Music, Podcasts

One Great Song from the Great Lake Swimmers

Today’s posting will be a simple one.

There will be no whining about Your Monkey’s failed job search, no belabored attempts to put pop culture into context, no complaining about the general unsound state of the planet, and no bad banana jokes.

Instead we will have a very mellow and melodic song from the Great Lake Swimmers, which came to your Monkey courtesy of the KEXP song of the day podcast. Here is a link to the station’s site.

Thanks to KEXP for putting out the song, to the Great Lake Swimmers for allowing it to be a free download, and to Nettwerk music for posting the video on YouTube.

Here’s a link to the Great Lake Swimmers’ website, too.

Music, Podcasts

A Couple of New Podcasting Discoveries for Eager Ears

Your Monkey is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest podcasts to fill his workday and take up all the possible memory space on his outdated computers.  Just having one good podcast is not enough– he must have eight, ten, twenty, thirty-three.  Heck, it never seems to end.

Bad for this Monkey’s ADHD and obsessive compulsive disorder. Good for you and your ears, because this means that you have someone to filter through the good, the bad and the ugly to find the true gems.

For instance, your Monkey can tell you that the M. Ward Live Performance podcast that was recently released by KEXP is a real winner. He can also tell you that the latest JeffMix podcast has an excellent Neko Case song at somewhere around the 30 minute mark. (It’s track number 8 of 20, to be specific).

But the big news for today is a couple new additions to your must-hear list.

First and foremost, your Monkey is falling all over himself for the Clockwork Cabaret. This is a steampunk-themed radio show hosted by the magnificent Davenport sisters that offers a blend of the unusual and unique.

The Cabaret playlist includes songs from artists as varied as Thomas Dolby, the Decemberists, Grinderman, renowned theramin player Clara Rockmore, and lots, lots more. A future post will explore this excellent show further, but for now let’s get the word out.

Second on the list is Spirited History, and podcast that explores haunted happenings at various historial sites in the United States. So far, your Monkey has heard podcasts about the spooky goings on at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, and a report on possible ghost sightings on the battlefields of the Civil War.

How about some music for a change? Here is a song from Grinderman that was featured on Clockwork Cabaret.

This, by the way, is how we should all be rocking and rolling and making better films every day. Nick Cave is in his 50s and he may be a prickish interview, but he knows how to make interesting music and command a stage.

Now if you’ll excuse this Monkey, he’s off to grow a long beard, buy an ill fitting suit, and play some of that rock music the kids like.