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News Podcast

Ep. #284: Vic Berger

Vic Berger is a talented video editor and satirist based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Currently employed by the online video and production company Super Deluxe, Berger has made a name for himself with his surreal video creations, in which he re-edits existing news and pop culture footage to highlight their most odd and socially awkward moments. While he’s been at it a while now, both independently and in collaboration with the ingeniously uncompromising comedian Tim Heidecker, Berger’s profile has risen considerably since he began producing clips that tweak the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its various debates, and, in particular, the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Here, Vic and I discuss growing up and living in Bethlehem, little cities and big success, working from home for Hollywood, perogies all day, his degree in music and songwriting, the Beatles and Beach Boys, DIY independence but also well-adjusted socializing, playing in a band in high school before going solo, getting into music again someday, current faves like Of Montreal, Foxygen, the Lemon Twigs, raising kids and finding time for music in one’s life, going to Philly, no more movies, background music, growing sick of this negative U.S. election campaign, Donald Trump and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, catering to the alt right movement and its key figures, The Daily Show remote segments with Trump supporters, disappointment with people more than the candidate, Hillary Clinton hatred, dealing with Trump’s inconsistencies, immovable bases, obfuscation and deliberate voter suppression, political engagement, political engagement prior to 2016, what he’s learned about the media, a lack of substantive news reporting, CNN, Giuliani the goldmine, music therapy and election stress, therapeutic Vines and YouTube videos, comedic communication and coping, making music videos and fooling Tim Heidecker and On Cinema at the Cinema into thinking he had real expertise, comedic influences like Tim & Eric, the BBC version of The Office, awkward and uncomfortable comedy, six political degrees of Larry David, vicariousness, nihilism and civilization, Curb Your Enthusiasm, giving Trump too much credit, insult comedy, the horrifying ‘Hillary should be in jail’ comment during the second presidential debate, gaudy style over meaningful substance, the stylistic trademarks of his videos, saturating Trump, digital zooming, Jeb Bush tries to seem cool, diminishing powerful people’s power, the Jimmy Fallon/Trump’s hair clip, maybe Jimmy wasn’t onboard, comedy shows held to the same standards as news shows, humanizing Trump, the air horn, Melania says “Hello?”, how he made the video sending up the recent Town Hall debate between Clinton and Trump, what works and doesn’t work, telling stories in his videos, what to expect from the third and final presidential debate, nastiness, how he thinks the election will end up going, Trump’s horribly dangerous and intimidating Election Day instructions for his supporters, divisiveness and healing, upcoming projects and people to cover, “Jeb is a Mess,” the Bush family, and that was paaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp!

Related links: victorberger.com superdeluxe.com vishkhanna.com

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Categories
News Podcast

Ep. #283: Dylan Moran

Dylan Moran is a highly esteemed and award-winning Irish comedian, writer, author, actor, and filmmaker whose work has been compared to that of William Shakespear and Oscar Wilde. In a four-star review, The Guardian once said, “His comedy takes on an existential dimension, as tubby, nicotine-starved, emasculated Moran comes to represent the struggles we all wage for meaning and connection.” After a successful tour of Europe, Moran brings his Off the Hook tour to North America, including Canadian dates in Toronto on October 14, Ottawa on October 15, Halifax on October 17, Calgary on October 30, Vancouver on November 2, and Victoria on November. Here, Dylan and I discuss life in Edinburgh, Brexit and the E.U. and Scotland, how inflamed xenophobia impacts an artistic mind, yearning for darker times, no more white filters and tribalism, the frightgeist, keeping up and comedy, getting out of bed, Off the Hook, having fun, feel and winging it, a whole other show, a world with no mirrors, articulating what you’re doing while you’re doing it, what we know about Ireland and what some people know Canada, Dublin’s different, Irish syntax, the Great White North, stock taking, and that was it.

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Related links: dylanmoran.com vishkhanna.com

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Categories
News Podcast

Ep. #282: The Rutabega

The Rutabega is a two-piece pop-infused rock band consisting of Joshua Wayne Hensley and Garth Mason. Based in South Bend, Indiana, the Rutabega began some 15 years ago, as a solo outlet for Hensley’s fragile yet strong songwriting. In 2011, he connected with Mason, a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer, who has bolstered the Rutabega to become this mighty, beloved musical force. In the summer of 2016, Comedy Minus One released the band’s excellent record Unreliable Narrator, and the Rutabega have been playing select shows ever since, including upcoming dates on October 15 in South Bend, Indiana, on October 20 in Chicago, Illinois, and October 21 in Mattawan, Michigan. Here, Josh and Garth and I discuss high rotation Rutabega, Jay Arner and Jay II and my family’s love affair with both, down in the Bad Breath Club, getting my head around South Bend, the Studebaker Car Company Factory there that shut down decades ago, South Bend on the mend, an openly gay Mayor in Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Governor Mike Pence, progressive bubbles, whether or not most Americans want to discuss the presidential election, good versus evil, living through history, music as a realm expressing one’s thoughts about the whole world, new songs, personal and political, creativity and hopefulness, the band Space and Noise Productions, Josh’s early solo recordings and the origins of the Rutabega, nicknames Josh’s dad gave him, questioning answers, a rutabaga, a Studebaker, how Garth encountered Josh and then joined him in a band, multi-instrumentalism, Jon Solomon should’ve better prepped me for this interview, all of the instruments that Garth can almost play, South Bend’s segregated music communities, the city’s dubious crime history, Indiana music pride, “my favourite music is made by my friends,” discovering other good bands when you’re in a band, Canadindiana, Sloan, the Weakerthans, Propagandhi, Neil Young, Weed, Eric’s Trip, thoughts on Canada, the Inbreds and Mike O’Neill’s bass playing, the evolution of the Rutabega, 2013’s Brother The Lights Don’t Work, the Rutabega’s future, the song “Problem Solving Skills,’ the finer distinctions between the American and Canadian versions of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ and that was it.

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Related links: comedyminusone.com/bands/the-rutabega vishkhanna.com

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