Tag Archives: Sled Island

Ep. #158: Bruce McCulloch

Bruce McCulloch is a tremendously influential and iconic comedic writer, performer, and director from Alberta who currently lives in the Hollywood Hills. He has written for Saturday Night Live, directed films like Stealing Harvard and Superstar, and released two excellent comedy records, Shame-Based Man and Drunk Baby Project. McCulloch is best known as a member of the beloved and edgy troupe, Kids in the Hall, who produced one of the greatest sketch comedy shows ever. Some of his adventures with the Kids have been documented in his excellent new memoir, Let’s Start a Riot, which is out now via HarperCollins, and has been partially adapted for a new series called Young Drunk Punk, which premieres Wednesday January 21 on CityTV. Here, Bruce and I discuss editing Young Drunk Punk in Toronto, how the Hollywood machine inspired him to write a book, revisiting himself, his Pretty Wife, what to write about, growing up in Calgary and Edmonton, One Yellow Rabbit and Sled Island, loving music but being saved by comedy, knowing thyself, self-identifying as a punk, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and the den mother that was Don Pyle, wisdom and caution, celebrity and humility and explaining your creative life to your children, what the Kids in the Hall think of Bruce’s book, what Young Drunk Punk is about, Ian McKay not Ian MacKaye or even Ian McKay, upcoming North American Kids in the Hall live dates, playing characters on shows like Arrested Development, “Tired of Waking Up Tired” by the Diodes, and then it was time for happiness pie.

Related links: brucio.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #151: Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu is a very funny and incisive stand-up comedian who hails from Queens, New York. He has written for shows like Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show among others. Earlier this year, Kill Rock Stars released his highly acclaimed and hilarious stand-up album, Waiting for 2042, which is out on vinyl December 2. On Friday December 5, he headlines a show at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver and here, Hari and I discuss Queens New York not Seattle Washington, how Canada’s not so great, cowardly Americans, indigenous eradication and white demonry, fighting not fleeing, agreeable Canadians, how Stephen Harper might be slicker than George W. Bush, the downfall and terrible truth of Jian Ghomeshi, being on Q, knowing Jian and how he used to always call me ‘buddy,’ Jian’s aggressive egotism, comedy and show biz power dynamics, Hari’s mom doesn’t think he listens anymore, people who think I should have a shot at hosting Q, people who think brown people can replace other brown people, Hari’s #vishonQ campaign, accusations of race obsession in observational comedy, Aziz Ansari’s take on mining one’s cultural heritage in their work versus someone like Russell Peters who does accents in his act, how Peters has galvanized South Asian communities, whitewashed accents and losing our parents’ voices, the situation in Ferguson and what it says about our social progress, white demonry, the remorseless Darren Wilson, people who actually listen, the Terry Gross interview might’ve been a little too great, #vishonQ, Back to the Future and the way forward to politely colonizing Mars, CIA seed money, Weezer’s decline and my lapsed membership (#1234) in their fan club, the Pixies have also been a let-down, more empathy for artistic evolution, really obsessing over Weezer’s trajectory, how and why we measure artists’ creative output, Radiohead, Fugazi, Shellac, the Beatles and others who have created an interesting, nearly flawless body of work, Weezer’s time and place post-Kurt Cobain/at the dawn of widespread internet use in the mid-90s, Pinkerton is messed up, “El Scorcho” and “Across the Sea” are both racist, taking online flak, how Hari’s completion of a B.A. in Comparative Politics and a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics somehow led him to comedy, Paul Mooney, following his passion, you have to laugh when you want to cry, addressing the diaspora and telling his parents’ stories, my dad came here with nothing and now I’m an asshole, coming to Canada more, Sled Island, Northwest Canada and Vancouver, Todd Barry’s Crowd Work movie is great, #toddbarryonQ, Waiting for 2042 is on vinyl via Kill Rock Stars, and pandering to white people, not appreciating our parents’ cooking until white people tell us it’s good, “What’s that smell?,” thanks mom and dad, google.com, the comedy bit “Moving to Canada,” and also #vishonQ.

Related links: harikondabolu.com killrockstars.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #74: Stephen Malkmus

Stephen Malkmus is the lead singer and songwriter in a great band from Portland, Oregon called the Jicks. Since he dissolved his highly influential and respected band Pavement, Malkmus has led a prolific artistic life, releasing six albums with the Jicks and touring the world extensively over the past 14 years. The latest album by the Jicks is Wig Out at Jagbags, it’s out now via Matador Records, and the band makes Canadian stops in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria in the coming months. Here, Stephen and I discuss the end of snail mail and end times, living in Berlin and pretending to be Canadian, why I might not know anything about geography or culture because I’m a music journalist, our interaction at Sled Island where Stephen suggested I get my toddler a trampoline, my son’s obsession with Pavement and Silver Jews songs, the video for the Jicks song “Gardenia,” and how my son might eventually be into hair metal, how the new Jicks album is translating live, his perception of electric guitar solos and his approach as a player, feeling appreciated for his work, making music that has its own voice, the tension between nostalgia and appreciating history and certain eras, playing and creating things against memories, deflecting people’s perceptions of cynicism, the Pavement reunion and its ‘pure nostalgia,’ what it sounds like when my son and I sing “Stereo” and “Shady Lane” right before bed, and more.

Related links: stephenmalkmus.com matadorrecords.com vishkhanna.com

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