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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Smodcast Podcast Network



In the beginning of the year, I wrote about Kevin Smith's Smodcast-- his weekly podcast co-hosted by his producing partner Scott Mosier (along with special guest hosts, including his wife and his mother). I have been a Kevin Smith fan for a long time-- particularly his writing, which tends to be very smart and funny (and FILTHY...which is great!) When I discovered his podcast, it was a great thing to look forward to. As I've said before, listening to these guys talk reminded me so much of my old friends...which, incidentally, I had to cut out of my life a few years ago because...well, they turned out to be real pieces of shit. And it sucks, because the conversations I used to have with those guys were so much fun; I really felt that I could geek out on all of my movie/comic book shit that would make other people's eyes glaze over. Listening to Smodcast is like reliving the good times with good friends...as opposed to the douchebags that I once knew.

So, to my surprise, one day I went to the Smodcast website and found....8 new podcasts! Holy shit-- I couldn't believe it!

Turns out that Smith, after that whole Southwest Airlines bullshit that he went through, started busing it. He bought a bus, which he now does the bulk of his traveling in. This prompted him to take Smodcast on the road-- kind of like his "Evening with Kevin Smith" DVDs. The live shows (called Live Nude Smod) were so successful, he decided to open up a small theater in LA called The Smodcastle, where he and his friends perform live shows, which are then broadcast from the Smodcast website, thus creating The Smodcast Podcast Network.

Every day brings a different show. Sundays are the original SModcast. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are four shows that, frankly, I have not listened to yet: a hockey show called Puck Nuts (not a hockey fan), Tell 'em Steve-Dave (just haven't gotten around to it yet), Highlands: A Peephole History (again, haven't gotten around to it), and Live from Smodcastle.

My four favorite shows (including the original Smodcast) are the ones that remind me most of my old friends. Monday is Hollywood Babble-on, with co-host Ralph Garman-- who I did not know of until this show (and Sharktopus). He's apparently a radio personality in LA, who clicked with Smith and the two decided to do a movie news podcast. Funny? Jesus, yes! Garman is sharp and has a great ear (and mouth) for impressions (his Jerry Lewis and Harrison Ford are PRICELESS). And the references to film, music, and other pop culture icons is so fucking great-- I don't feel like I'm the only nerd in the world that knows any of this junk.

On Wednesdays, there's Blow Hard, co-hosted with filmmaker and bear Malcolm Ingram. Now, the only reason I know about bears is because one of my aforementioned former best friends is a bear. Not only did I know him when he came out of the closet (nearly 18 years ago), I remember when he came out as a bear. I've even been to a bear bar in Amsterdam with him. He was to me like Malcolm is to Kevin-- his "avatar" into the gay world.  This is a funny and enlightening show that always makes me laugh-- and has even featured Jason Mewes as co-host for a few weeks (Smith is currently filming Red State...which I cannot WAIT to see).

And speaking of Jason Mewes, Thurdsay's show is called Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. The first several episodes of this show chronicles the long time off-screen relationship of Smith and Mewes. Often times hilarious, sometimes sad, and always reflective-- theirs is a friendship that has seen a great deal of stress and strife, good times and bad times...but at the end of the day, their relationship has only grown stronger. Smith has said that the creation of this particular podcast was a way for him to keep Mewes, who has had a drug problem for several years, sober. He says that now, Mewes not only owed it to himself and the people in his life to stay sober...but that his new-found fan base could also help to keep him accountable. That, is a great friend. And it is this podcast in particular that makes me sometimes miss my old friends. These are friends that had come out of their worse situations, not unscathed...but able to grow and move forward.  After hearing these shows, I think of my old friends, and I do miss them. But when I remember why we are no longer friends, and I go through point-by-point why I decided to leave them behind...that's when I realize that I made the right decision. It kinda sucks that I no longer have a group like that...how 18 years of friendships could be gone "just like that".  But it had to happen.

Maybe sometime soon I'll again have a group of friends that I can share with, in the same ways that Smith has been able to do with The Smodcast Podcast Network. When it comes down to it, these are people that enjoy each other's company, love each other very much, and have great fucking times together. And the best part is, we get to enjoy it every week!

UPDATE:

For the last few weeks, I have been listening to Tell 'em Steve-Dave. Ho-lee-SHIT is this show funny! It certainly lives up to the tag-line "Let there be bickering!".  Tell 'em Steve Dave is a show hosted by Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan, friends of Smiths that host their show from The Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ. The guys are joined by "tech guy" Brian Quinn, and computer guy Ming Chen. The show is named for a line that Flanagan uses in the movie Mallrats.

I highly recommend listening to their "Makin' Hay" episodes (#12 & 13), where the boys visit Collingswood Flea Market to interview some of the vendors. It's over 4 hours of show, and WELL worth the time (episode 12 is one of the funniest I've heard so far, and 13 has quite an amazing bombshell).  I'm currently on episode 17, and I'm still enjoying the shit out of it.

2 comments:

Geoff Whitman said...

Really interesting post, and an even more interesting phenomenon that prompted it - the lack of like-minded conversation partners in your life, and the gap that's filled by podcasts of this type.

I find myself in that same boat. I also have been a Smith fan since "Clerks" and listen to (almost) all of the SMOD-network casts.

I also recently started listening to Brian Lynch and co's "Partytruck USA" (Lynch is a long-standing friend of Smith's since, I believe, Chasing Amy).

I blogged a similar idea a few weeks ago (in a REALLY quick, perfunctory way) http://unadulterateddouchebloggery2.blogspot.com/2010/09/saturday-mornings-all-right-for.html

The post was noticed by Lynch (after I tweeted it at him) and they read my craptacular review on their show http://unadulterateddouchebloggery2.blogspot.com/2010/09/partytruck-usa-and-me-sittin-in-tree.html

All this was finally followed by another review, the reaction to which I'm still waiting for http://unadulterateddouchebloggery2.blogspot.com/2010/10/things-are-gonna-get-bit-meta-before.html

Anyhoo - all this jibber-jabber is in support of me saying that it's nice to know that this phenomenon (dudes losing their like-minded counterparts as they get older, and finding a replacement of sorts via podcasts) isn't as rare as I thought it was, and if you'd like to chat/tweet/blog more about the subject with me, then feel free to get in touch.

Cheers;
-g-

Geoff Whitman said...

None of my links worked. Dammit. If you want to read the articles in question, they're all at

http://unadulterateddouchebloggery2.blogspot.com/

-g-