The Blerd Radio Podcast
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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

An innocuous comment made by our own Zack "Dr. Gonzo" Stiegler in an email thread led to a whole damn hour of the 4 1/2 Mikes crew (Stiegler + Big Money Mike + Michaels Cunningham, Duquette and Parr) talking about music of the '90s and whether it holds up to other decades in musical history. In this episode, you'll hear:

-The concert Dr. Gonzo went to that reads like a rummage through a '90s refuse bin

-Why we all secretly envy Mark McGrath

-Why the death of the commercial single made careers out of many of the bands *in* that refuse bin.

-How badly mixed/mastered two of the decade's defining albums are (and why Big Money should probably get his hearing checked.)

-Dr. Gonzo's Anthony Kiedis impression

-Cunningham's Madd Rapper impression

-Why the double CD is a thing that should never, ever, EVER happen again

-Buck O Nine. Really. Buck O Nine.

-"All Eyez On Me": yay or nay?

-"Emancipation": yay or nay?

-The enduring appeal of Sublime

-Cunningham's not being fit for a high-top fade

and so much more.

(oh, by the way...Cunningham's band has a new album out. You should buy it.)

Make sure you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and say nice things (or, hey, bad things too) about us on iTunes

Direct download: 73113_Podcast.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT

Blerd Radio 2013: (Get) Lucky #13

Big Money, Michael Parr, Mike Duquette, Mike Cunningham and Zack (Dr. Gonzo) are back for their summer review podcast. However, things take a bit of a turn, and the team ends up discussing 2013's three most talked about music releases: Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," Kanye West's "Yeezus" and Justin Timberlake's "20/20 Experience."

Each of those three albums has been a lightning rod for controversy. Daft Punk defied expectations by making an album that sounded like it came straight out of 1979, and are nevertheless enjoying the greatest success of their career while also providing a platform for the return of the legendary Nile Rodgers. Meanwhile, Kanye (whose name probably means "abrasive" in another language) made the most difficult and uncommercial album of his career. The remaining question is: did Kanye know exactly what he was doing when he recorded/released "Yeezus?" And what does this mean for his future?

Meanwhile, JT's latest album is far and away 2013's biggest seller. Is it an artistic as well as a commercial triumph? It certainly forms the musical bed for the podcast intro ("Let The Groove Get In.")

Make sure you like Popblerd on Facebook and Twitter, and feel free to download previous episodes directly from iTunes.

Direct download: July_15_Podcast.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:25am EDT

Blerd Radio Episode 12: The PrinceCast (Part Two of Two)

Know what today is? It's the birth date of one of the greatest musicians to ever click-clack his high heels across a floor. Yes, we are celebrating the 55th (!) birthday of Prince Rogers Nelson with Part Two of our Prince Podcast!

Once again, Big Money is joined by the team of Mike DuquetteZack (Dr. Gonzo) Stiegler and Michael Parr, in addition to welcoming recent Popblerd recruit Michael Cunningham (AKA “ThePacketMan”) 

Picking up from where we left off (Prince's recruit of Larry Graham as an Obi Wan Kenobi-type mentor, we discuss)

-What would have happened if Prince had not followed Larry Graham, but gone with, say, Sly Stone instead?

-Possible future collaborators for Prince, including ?uestlove and D'Angelo.

-What is the best Prince album of all time? (there was no majority vote.)

-Cunningham makes a somewhat uncomfortable comment in reference to "Sister."

-Duquette takes some good-natured roasting from the whole team.

-Is Prince "pop", "soul," or some ridiculously unclassifiable genre?

-The "Prince Drones": the sexy, indistinguishable string of proteges that he is most famous for.

-Did legitimate talents like Sheila E. suffer at the "Prince Drones"' expense?

-Would you have a beer herbal tea with Prince?

-Our Prince recommendations; which include a book or two, some 12" mixes, and lots of D.M.S.R.

We hope you not only enjoy our Prince-cast, but come back for future ones!

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Music: "We All Wanna Be Prince" by Felix da Housecat.

Direct download: Princecast_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Blerd Radio 2013 Episode 11: The Prince-Cast, Part One

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bring you...

Part One of our Prince Podcast (AKA "The Princecast)

In this purple episode, Big Money is joined by the team of Mike Duquette, Zack (Dr. Gonzo) Stiegler and Michael Parr, in addition to welcoming recent Popblerd recruit Michael Cunningham (AKA "ThePacketMan") We're all huge Prince fans, and we yapped so much about the Purple Yoda that we had to split the podcast into two parts.

In Part One:

-"New Prince" and 3rd Eye Girl: How does Prince appeal to the kids in an age of Skrillex and Britney Spears? Will he ever have another pop hit?

-What's the story with the 22 year old manager Prince found on...MySpace? Can he really be managed to someone who wasn't born until "0----|--->" came out?

-Zack tries (in vain) to defend "Lotusfl0w3r."

-What is Prince's worst studio album?

-Prince acolytes: Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5. If they can break through, why can't the originator?

-Please please please let us get Prince remasters (but if you're tired of waiting, there's always DJ Foefur's bootleg remasters. Go Look 'em up on YouTube)

-What's Tony M. doing these days, and can he do it in 30 minutes or less?

-The "Ultimate Prince" fiasco and this awesome Popmatters article.

-Good Prince vs. Bad Prince: the Purple Piano/Sampler

-Larry Graham's influence on Prince and what caused Prince to fall under his spell.

Stay tuned for Part II, coming in about a week (quite possibly on Prince's birthday, June 7th.)

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Direct download: Princecast_Part_One.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to this year's 10th episode of Blerd Radio! In this episode, Big Money joins forces with Bill Bodkin from Pop-break.com for a wide-ranging hour of chat that focuses heavily on what music, movies and television we'll be checking out this summer (holy crap, it's almost Memorial Day!)

Popblerd: Facebook | Twitter | Main Site | Leave a note for us on iTunes

We also discuss:

-The origin of the name Pop-break.com and how it relates to...Keanu Reeves?

-Why television's representation of the Jersey Shore (from where Bill originates) is ALL WRONG.

-That one time when Bill almost killed Simon Pegg.

-Big Money getting all hubba hubba over Zach Galifianakis

-We coin the term "gutler." 

-Bill's undying love for Leonardo Dicrapio DiCaprio

-Future president Chris Christie and a cautionary tale about having sex with someone who has had lap band surgery.

-Eazy-E and ODB's upcoming holograms.

-Why the cancelling of "Happy Endings" is the worst thing to happen to TV

and a whole lot more. Enjoy the show and be on the lookout for future Big Money/Bill podcasts!

Direct download: Mike_Bodkin_1.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 7:44am EDT

Blerd Radio 2013 Episode 9: Playoff Action, Its Fantastic!!

As we do every now and then, Blerd Radio is making a quick diversion into basketball territory. 

In this episode, Big Money is joined by GG as well as Jay from The New York Knicks podcast for an hour of playoff talk.

Although several games have been played since the episode was recorded, the teams involved remain the same. So, we discuss...

Do GG's Warriors really have what it takes to pick off the veteran San Antonio Spurs? (and why does GG want to get rid of David Lee so much?)

Can the Oklahoma City Thunder stand strong against the intmidating physicality of the Memphis Grizzlies without Russell Westbrook? In retrospect, do you think it might have been a good idea to keep James Harden, seeing as Serge Ibaka has faded into the background?

Is Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibideau playing mind games with the league officials, considering several questionable calls have popped up in their series against the Miami Heat? And why isn't Miami wiping the floor with a ridiculously shorthanded Bulls team?

Are the Indiana Pacers a junior version of the Memphis Grizzlies, and will the New York Knicks' JR Smith learn to stop partying with the likes of Rihanna and concentrate on basketball? Also...why does Jay call Amar'e Stoudamire the "black cloud?"

Also...

Who the hell voted Denver Nuggets coach George Karl Coach of the Year?

Will Chris Paul stay with the Los Angeles Clippers although he and superstar Blake Griffin appear to have major beef?

How fucked up are the Los Angeles Lakers?

(according to Jay, not as fucked up as the Brooklyn Nets.)

If the Miami Heat wins championship #2, are LeBron James' days numbered?

GG and Jay can both be found on Twitter, as can we, of course! Check us out on iTunes also!

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Direct download: Roundball_Soundoff_Playoff_Podcast.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT