The Blerd Radio Podcast

Hey Folks! It's the very last Blerd Radio podcast of 2013. Big Money (the actual "blerd" of the show) is joined by his usual colleagues Mike DuquetteMike CunninghamMichael Parr and Dr. Z.

Except wait. Michael Parr isn't on this one. Ah well. One day all five will be on the show at the same time.

At any rate, this podcast discusses the best (and some of the worst) of the year that is just about to end. While the panel focuses mostly on music, there is also discussion about film, television and politics...the usual things that make Popblerd tick.

In this episode:

-We catch up with Cunningham, who missed the last podcast because his band, Neighbours, was rehearsing for a gig in which they had to play strictly Christmas songs.

-A discussion about Christmas music (carried over from the last episode) leads into Cunningham giving sincere praise to the Ying Yang Twinz holiday offerings.

-Beyonce's surprise album leads to a discussion about music consumption that highlights Amazon.com and their auto-rip feature...something that's referenced often throughout the rest of the podcast. Matter of fact, if Blerd Radio had sponsors...(hint, hint...)

-There's a weird foreign noise that appears in the background for about two minutes which turns out to be Big Money's radiator. It goes away, we promise.

-Cunningham ponders a disturbing trend in popular music; songs sounding ridiculously alike. He points to Sara Bareilles (which he has a little trouble pronouncing)'s "Brave" and Katy Perry's "Roar" as the most egregious example. Big Money simultaneously attempts to uncover a Grammy Award conspiracy involving the two songs.

-Duquette's brother did his senior thesis about "iCarly." This is not a joke.

-Names are thrown about for the best music of 2013, and Daft Punk and Disclosure give our lists a highly electronic sheen.

-What the hell is "Blurred Lines" fatigue?

-The panel attempts to figure out what the hell happened to rock music, while Dr. Z croons a few bars of a Led Zeppelin classic for our listening pleasure.

-As our conversation switches over to film, Cunningham and Dr. Z both agree that Idris Elba is the man, while Big Money tries to uncover another conspiracy; this one involving the news of Nelson Mandela's passing.

-The rest of the panel attempts to force Big Money to watch a Madea Tyler Perry movie.

-"Arrested Development" returns, and a member of the panel has a weird (and extremely vulgar: be on notice!) explanation for how Portia De Rossi's face ended up looking like this.

Portia

-Finally, the panel picks their "People Of The Year." We won't give away the names before you listen, but the honorees include a religious icon, a troubled whistleblower, a comely actress, and the baddest drummer in all the land (nope, not Dave Grohl. Sorry y'all.)

See you all in 2014!

Direct download: Best_2013.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Our latest podcast episode takes its name from an unheralded Christmas classic. A soul-stirring movie starring Ving Rhames (yes, that Ving Rhames) as...a female impersonator who looks suspiciously like disco superstar Sylvester.

Holiday Hart

As you would expect from a December podcast, our focus is on the holidays. Most specifically, holiday movies and holiday music. The ultimate '80s movie showdown takes place, as Big Money, Dr. Z and Michaels Duquette and Parr decide once and for all which is better- "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" or "Scrooged."

Michael Cunningham is taking the week off to concentrate on schoolwork, his band, and disliking Karen Carpenter and Hall & Oates, which, of course, we filter and come up with "Cunningham hates white people!"

As far as tunes, the team discusses their favorite "nontraditional" Christmas music; a list that encompasses everything from Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" to The Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping."

Along the way, you'll hear the shocking story of when a near-teenage Duquette realized that Santa Claus didn't exist (SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE READING THAT STILL BELIEVES IN SANTA,) and the gang wonders whether the infamously mercurial Prince ever fired a member of his staff in person (because, of course, there has to be a Prince reference in every podcast.) Also, have your hearts and your nether regions warned by Dr. Z's story of the strangest Christmas gift he's ever been witness to.

Oh, and there's also the first actual instance of gas on a Blerd Radio episode. So, there's that.

 Our recommendations on this podcast are as follows:

Big MoneyDamnation Alley Distillery in Belmont, MA

DuquetteDisney's brand new movie, Frozen.

ParrForeverly, the brand new duets album by Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones. Oh, and Real Husbands of Hollywood

ZThe 33 1/3 book discussing Portishead's classic album, Dummy, written by RJ Wheaton.

Don't be a mitch! Listen to the show, and if you listen on iTunes, shoot us a comment!

Direct download: Xmas_Podcast.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

Blerd Radio 2013 | Episode 22: 30 Odd Foot Of Podcast

Hey Folks,

On this episode, Mike is joined by Bill Bodkin of Pop-break.com. We have a couple of relatively minor audio issues (which will be corrected in future episodes,) but we hope you listen anyway!

Without one central topic to discuss, the conversation winds up covering tons of juicy pop culture goodness. In this episode, you'll hear:

-Apparently this show was recorded on NATIONAL METAL DAY (and also Veteran's Day.)

-Bill went househunting with Jim Florentine-sort of. Not really.

-Who listens to the radio anymore and will it ever return to prominence?

-Oh HEY WE HAVEN'T INTRODUCED OURSELVES YET (10 minutes into the podcast...)

-Mike counters Bill's 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts listening experience with his Kevin Federline listening experience.

-Thanksgiving's coming up! Why is it a favorite holiday of both panelists? (Hint: FOOD)

-Can diabetics drink vodka? What about The Situation's "Devotion Vodka?" (disclaimer: it's not his vodka. He was the face of it for a time, though.)

-Bill and Mike try to make sense of "Black Friday"

-Bill really, REALLY, REALLY loves KISS (an addendum to the last two podcasts we did-which covered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) Bill apparently also really, REALLY, REALLY hates John Mayer. Mike has a sad.

-Mike is incorrect-Willie Nelson is NOT in the RNRHOF.

-A conversation about the most recent episode of "Law & Order: SVU" leads one of the panelists to admit that he's a fan of Taylor Hicks. SOUL PATROL!!!

-Are music-based reality shows going to go the way of the dinosaur?

-Why are "American Idol" superfans so cray-cray?

-We wrap up with a brief discussion about bullying and the Richie Incognito fiasco.

Make sure you follow Popblerd AND Pop-break on Twitter.

-Mike shares memories of working a Ticketmaster counter back in the day,

Direct download: Mike_Bill_November.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 6:05pm EST

Blerd Radio 2013 | Episode 21: Jann Wenner Can Bite Me (Part 2)

Now that we've discussed the nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class Of 2014, it's time to get into the nitty gritty.

Dr. Gonzo, Big Money, Cunningham and Parr continue their Hall of Fame discussion, with a large part of this episode based around two questions:

-What *is* "rock and roll" music?

-Why does this museum exist in the first place?

This conversation leads us down a few different words, and also leads to one of the team's more, shall we say, spirited discussions.

Also discussed:

-Is the induction ceremony an actual event? Do people care? 

-Which artists have been left off the party list? And are the voters biased against British acts/bands?

-What is the shelf life of the museum? How long after Jann Wenner passes away will the Hall of Fame actually exist?

-Will these two Hall of Fame moments ever be beat? (Prince's guitar-gasm and Mike Love's freak out)

Also, this episode finds the team digging deep into recommendations, which include:

Christine Feldman's book "We Are The Mods" (Gonzo)

Paul McCartney's "New" (Parr)

Lou Reed's "Berlin" (Cunningham)

Toad The Wet Sprocket's "New Constellation" and Questlove's Soul Train book

Please follow us on Twitter: The main popblerd feed | Parr | Cunningham | Gonzo

Also, don't forget to like Popblerd on Facebook, and please leave comments for us on iTunes!

Direct download: RNRHOF_Podcast_Part_2.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

Blerd Radio 2013 | Episde 20: Jann Wenner Can Bite Me (Part 1)

In case ya missed it, nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class Of 2014 were announced several weeks ago. The list includes The Paul Butterfield Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, The Meters, NWA, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, The Replacements, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and The Zombies. 

Being the pop culture (specifically music) gluttons that we are, we couldn't resist the urge to talk about the nominees, and we talked SO much about them (and the institution of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum) that we have yet another two-part podcast.

Of course, with the loss of Lou Reed over the weekend, we had to discuss that as well. In Part One, you'll hear:

-Why Big Money (and Cunningham)'s Lou Reed memories will always have at least a tangential tie-in to Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch

-Recommendations of the best work of Lou, both solo and with Velvet Underground, and a promise of mix CDs from Cunningham & Gonzo to Big Money.

-Will Link Wray or The Paul Butterfield Band be 2014's wild card?

(Gonzo also attempts to sing the Paul Butterfield Band's "Love March")

-Gonzo's woeful tale of being dragged to a latter-day Deep Purple concert.

-Cunningham's assertion that Sponge will find themselves in the HOF someday.

-A discussion about when Hall And Oates became cool with hipsters.

-Ice Cube's complete lack of gangsta credentials.

-Cunningham hates ABBA, Hall & Oates and KISS and is therefore a Communist.

-Gonzo and Big Money both appear to have trouble with the alphabet.

-A group version of an Aaron Neville impression, and the thought of a Neville/Barry Gibb duet.

-Gonzo's Fred Schneider impression!

-What Cat Stevens & Jim Morrison have in common.

-The introduction of the 5-year rule for prog rock bands

And so much more.

Please follow us on Twitter: The main popblerd feed | Parr | Cunningham | Gonzo

Also, don't forget to like Popblerd on Facebook, and please leave comments for us on iTunes!

Direct download: HOF_Podcast_Part_One.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 9:42pm EST

With the regular team temporarily indisposed, the erstwhile Big Money joins forces with Bill Bodkin, the creator and editor-in-chief of Popblerd's sister site Pop-break.com for what they hope will be an occasional podcast.

The resulting episode is a delightfully all-over-the-place conversation that, like most Blerd Radios of late, had to be cut into two parts. In Part One, you'll hear:

-A general State of the State of Pop-break.com, including some sizzling interviews with today's biggest artists.

-Government shutdown my ass! Bill has a new job!

-Why Bill is your ultimate bachelor party guest.

-Kids, don't try 151 rum, you might end up passed out in someone's lap.

-Why don't they make 'em like Axl Rose anymore?

-You've heard of "Waiting For Godot?" Well, there was the one time Bill appeared in "Waiting For Grohl."

-Pop-break.com correspondent Maxwell Barna has fine taste in cardigans.

-The new fall season is upon us! Bill is digging "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," but Mike can't watch.

-Meanwhile, Mike is digging "The Michael J. Fox Show,' but Bill can't watch.

Of course, there's tons more. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and hey, leave a nice comment for us on iTunes!

Direct download: Blerd_Radio_2013_Ep_18_Bill_1.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 7:52am EST

Blerd Radio 2013 | Episode 18: 1993 (Part Two)

How difficult is it for five people to get into one studio?

Oh wait, that's how we started the last podcast.

Here's part two of our time machine trip to 1993. Dr. Gonzo is, once again, MIA, but the remaining crew of Big Money, Cunningham, Mike Duquette and Michael Parr hold down the fort until the next podcast with a series of humorous and educational anecdotes about a pivotal year in pop culture.

What will you hear/learn?

-We shout out Billboard's Top 10 albums of 1993, where Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" uncomfortably shared space with Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" and Kenny G.'s "Breathless," which sold 3.6 MILLION COPIES in 1993. Just for reference's sake: Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" is the best selling album of 2013 so far. Mr. G sold almost double that in one year.

-We attempt to figure out which of Garth Brooks' albums was in 1993, since the covers seemed to follow sort of, a...template?

-Cunningham indulges his Britpop fetish with a discussion about The London Suede.

-What's your beef with U2's "Zooropa?" The album that confounded millions of fans is now regarded as something of a cult classic (and rightfully so, if you agree with the gang.)

-Why did the NYPD love Fat Joe so much?

-Parr geeks out over The Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream" and his personal favorite track, "Mayonaise."

-Although two iconic bands of the '80s came back in 1993 (Duran Duran and Run-DMC, for those playing at home,) did 1993 represent the end of the "old guard" of the previous decade?

-We pay our respects to Frank Zappa (who passed in 1993) by asking the immortal question...can you enjoy his music without the aid of drugs?

-We also briefly discuss the 1993 passing of another icon, actor River Phoenix.

-We set a record for the most awkward time machine jokes of all time!

-Parr sets a personal record for most bands involved with in one year...a record that might have been broken since by Dave Grohl.

-It's Big Money's 20th workiversary and he's fishing for props!

-The podcast concludes with a lesson in "Pittsburgh-ese" from Cunningham.

If you are so inclined, please download this podcast from iTunes, or just leave us a rating and a comment!

Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Direct download: 1993_Podcast_Part_2.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 4:40pm EST

How difficult is it for five people to get into one studio?

For the third consecutive podcast, we are down a man. This time, Michael Cunningham is back and the lovable, huggable Dr. Gonzo is out.

However, the four remaining co-hosts (Big Money, Cunningham, Mike Duquette and Michael Parr) do not suffer in Dr. Gonzo's absence. Actually, enough material was recorded for two podcasts. So take that, Zachary!

Anyhow, this two-parter finds us hopping into the Blerd Radio Time Machine (not unlike the Great Space Coaster) and taking a trip back in time...landing in 1993. It's a transitional year that brought forth everything from the falls from grace of pop icons to hip-hop's nexus shifting Westward. In part one, you'll hear:

-Michael Parr provides us with a Michael Winslow-esque soundtrack for our time travel adventures.

-A tip of the hat to the film "Addams Family Values" and props to the late Raul Julia.

-WTF Moment #1 of 1993: Michael Jackson being charged with child molestation, being forced to strip for the LAPD, and broadcasting his innocence Live From Neverland Ranch.

-WTF Moment #2 of 1993: Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol. Or, wait...maybe there *is* a pronunciation.

-We briefly discuss old people who stay with MTV too long (Kurt Loder, Jon Norris, Su Chin Pak, Sway)

-It's the 20th anniversary of the releases of two seminal albums: "Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)" and The Breeders' "Last Splash."

-Cunningham does the best RZA impression in the history of the world.

-Has West Coast hip-hop not aged as well as East Coast hip-hop? And what of the revolution in Southern hip-hop that had yet to occur in 1993?

-What the hell is President Obama doing in the "Whoomp! There It Is!" video?

-What the hell is Drake doing in a movie called "Charlie Bartlett"?

-Cunningham explains "intrinsic ethos" as it pertains to artists today (Lupe Fiasco) and yesterday (Ice Cube/2Pac)

-Why are we talking about Drake and Lupe Fiasco on a podcast dedicated to 1993?

-Cunningham Goof #1: This is not Faith Hill

-Cunningham Goof #2: Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre were not members of the N.W.O.

-Cunningham redeems himself by offering up the most white people-friendly version of 2Pac's "Strictly 4 My N-----" album title possible.

-Discussion of two more albums celebrating their 20th anniversaries: Nirvana's "In Utero" and Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way" leads to...

-Is Lenny Kravitz underrated?

-We discuss how to properly pronounce "Vanessa Paradis"

-And finally, we examine the subtle differences between musically harkening back to a particular era (a la Amy Winehouse) and directly ripping off the sound of specific artists (like our pal Lenny.)

Part two will be up very soon, so don't fret! Your favorite artist will be covered!

If you are so inclined, please download this podcast from iTunes, or just leave us a rating and a comment!

Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Direct download: 1993_Podcast_Part_1.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:55pm EST

Blerd Radio 2013 | Episode 16 (F'Real): Ga Ga For GaGa (Oh Ra Oh Ra Ma!)

Whoops...did we say the last episode was #16? Actually, THIS episode is #16. Hey, we're podcasters and pop culture gluttons, not mathematicians. Anyway, the latest episode of Blerd Radio focuses largely on one person and one person only--the estimable Lady Gaga. Yes, it's a Gaga podcast--and three of the four participants are heterosexual.

Anyhoo, the team is down a Mike for the second consecutive show, although Mike Duquette has returned from a one-episode absence. Unfortunately, Michael Cunningham decided to play dutiful boyfriend and attend to his ailin lady. Although we think he just didn't want to talk about Lady GaGa.

Among the sub-topics Big Money, Michael Parr, & Dr. Gonzo explore are:

-Does Lady Gaga's fixation on artistic credibility detract from her considerable pop smarts?

-Is Lady Gaga's embrace of elements of gay culture helpful or hurtful?

-How big is the Haus of Gaga?

-What was the purpose of the viral video with the naked...whatever she was doing?

-Is ArtPop the end for Lady Gaga as a cultural force, and if not, when will the end be?

Oh, and we talk about Madonna. A lot.

Recommendations this week include the Michael Jackson "Bad 25" documentary. John Mayer's Paradise Valley, the band Haim, and the documentary Bury The Hatchet. We also give props to Cunningham's band Neighbours and their great new album.

If you are so inclined, please download this podcast from iTunes, or just leave us a rating and a comment!

Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Direct download: Blerd_Radio_2013_Ep_17.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:19pm EST

It's almost VMA time, so the great minds of the Blerd Radio podcast decided to spend an hour (or so) talking about MTV and its evolution over the past thirty years. However, our normal team of 4 1/2 Mikes is down one Mike this week-Mike Duquette called in sick to the podcast. So, it's up to Big Money, Michael Parr, Michael Cunningham and DOCTOR Zack Stiegler to pick up the proverbial slack. And pick up the slack, we do.

Highlights of this episode include:

-The podcast delving into a tangential conversation about Prince within five minutes of the opening bell.

-A fairly shameless plug for Cunningham's band Neighbours, who have a record out right now.

-Have radio and MTV (at least as a vehicle for music videos) completely gone the way of the dinosaur?

-Despite the bevy of options available to us for consuming music, how the chances of discovering new music have decreased sharply.

-The VMAs vs. The Grammy Awards

-We coin the term "Jehovah Pan"-yes, it's in relation to Michael Jackson

-Kanye West has performed on 7 VMA shows-how come we don't remember all of them?

-We discuss the most awarded artists in VMA history and ask how and why Fatboy Slim has nine moonmen.

-Is Lady GaGa the only pop artist flourishing currently in the medium of music video? Hell, why are music videos even made anymore, period?

-Michael Parr indulges his semi-inexplicable man crush on the band Coheed And Cambria.

-We try to convince Cunningham to leave his job and become a video director.

-Best VMA moments, including Krist Novocelic beaning himself with his bass, Howard Stern as Fartman, a wheelchair-bound Snoop Dogg, Poison scrapping on stage, and the Diana Ross/Lil Kim titty incident.

If you are so inclined, please download this podcast from iTunes, or just leave us a rating and a comment!

Also, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Direct download: Blerd_Radio_2013_Episode_16.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 7:39pm EST