I have a conversation with Jason Amelio, frontman for the long-lived tongue-in-cheek metal band, Fangboy and the Ghouls, author of urban fantasy novel, Jake Swift: Knight, and voice of Foe the Destroyer in The Velveteen Band. Fangboy plays their last show on April 9th after a 21-year run as Ventura's metal jokesters and I ask him about his band and what "being part of the scene" even means, if anything. We talk about the accessibility of creating art in the modern age and the recent phenomenon of conventions and the ever-more compartmentalized character of music. We deal with having daughters and what the difference is between the literary genres, fantasy and hard fantasy. We dissect the problems with the conspiracy theorist mindset and praise the efficiency of the DMV. Jason airs his concerns about Bernie Sanders' bid for the presidency and we basically predict the end of civilization in a generation or two if Star Trek doesn't happen, and fast. I lament the passing of a local teen killed in an experiment gone wrong and agonize over the choice between keeping our kids safe from harm or letting kids explore and experiment with the world around them.
I have a conversation with Dan Flores, manager and voice of Fum the Puppet of The Velveteen Band a multi-genre steampunk band that plays Ventura regularly and is a common sight at steam and comic conventions all over California. Dan has been involved in lots of Ventura bands over the years and always brings a sense of a humor and showmanship to whatever project he's involved with. He's a kindergarten teacher who teaches in Spanish and I ask him about the idea behind that sort of education and how he balances work, life and art. We talk puppets and about a certain seven and a half foot tall rabbit that never seems to be in the same room as Dan. Dan's old band, Force 4-D provided one of the most delightful performances in Anal Family Christmas history and we recount how that came about, including the tribulation of Mr. Dan Watson who was stuck in a box for several hours with nothing more than cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey to comfort him. Dan tries his best to drag me back into producing local music events and I recount the saga of the Local Rock Picnic. Dan sells me on the Netflix series Daredevil and we wonder aloud why Marvel comics have translated well into movies and DC comics have not. I offer up an analogy for understanding human conscience and why it's so difficult to equate distant human suffering with suffering that hits closer to home.
This week, I have a conversation with my long-time friend and former business partner and American Cheese Band bandmate, Travis Whitlock. Travis is currently running The Spindown Record Club, a box-of-the-month club meets Netflix mailer-esque service delivering vinyl records paired with microbrew beer and wine and selling his charcoal drawings via Dapper Crow Art. We talk about how we came to be music promoters in the Ventura music scene by way of the of putting together elaborate campfire shows in the Boy Scouts and what it means to, "slop one's dripper." He details his family's journey across the states to find a place that worked for them and we chat about kids and what music you should expose them to. Answer: "Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits." Travis talks about the myriad projects he's launched over the years, from websites selling punk baby clothes, launching a record label, a record distribution company, a music merch website, and several others. Travis suggests Humbolt is the strangest place in California and we discuss what it means to be an artist and why getting paid to create art made him not want to make art anymore. We defend both being house husbands and Travis lays out his theory about alien encounters. I jam out to the song "Check Your Bones," by the band My Goodness from their record Shiver + Shake on Votiv. I rant about voting for Bernie even though Hillary has the delegate math on her side.
This week, I have a conversation with Camilo Alvear, a comedy promoter who produces a weekly comedy open mic, The Glory Hole at the Hong Kong Inn, and regular headline comedy showcases with his partners in the 805 Comedy Underground. Camilo talks about the comedy scene in Ventura and how he built a community of comedians and fans after being banned from the major comedy club in town. Camilo drops a bombshell about his employment status and Brian credits hosting Camilo's 27th Birthday Roast as part of the inspiration to produce this podcast. We extoll the virtues of Karaoke and Camilo does an amazing Jorge Riverol impression. We discuss the effect of El Nino on Ventura's sandy beaches and what the difference is between Ventura and Hawaii. Camilo plots the perfect murder using the items found in my garage. I rant about Donald Trump's lack of core values and how that might be a good thing.
This week, I have a conversation with Goat (God Of All Texas), a musician and street performer in Austin, TX, by way of Ventura, CA, who walks the streets at night, clad in nothing more than a thong, a few bandannas and a flag draped across his back playing music and taking pictures with tourists. In 2013, a video of a backyard performance of his band, G.O.A.T and Your M.O.M., performing the song, "Quack Like A Duck," went viral after being featured as a "Video Breakdown" on Tosh.0. We talk about what it's like to have a video go viral, and the life of an profane musician living the dream. We talk through his Netflix queue and, again, I rail against Chloe Grace Moretz and Goat wonders aloud why girls with huge foreheads don't know about bangs. We explore the possibility of building a porn empire by providing college girls with cigarette money and Goat talks about the movie Ex Machina and gives us his take on sex robots of the future and whether or not they should be programmed to nag you. WARNING: This conversation is very explicit and includes a very frank discussion of one man's (That man being Goat) very particular sexual proclivities. It's definitely not one for the kids. I do my best Dustin Hoffman ala Hook impression and call, "Bad Form!," on Marco Rubio and Black Lives Matter activist Ashley Williams.
This episode I record myself getting a haircut by Kyle Wyner, my hairstylist of over a dozen years. This recording takes place in the very busy Cruz Vincent Salon in midtown Ventura and there is a lot of background noise, but give it a chance. Kyle is a very outgoing and engaging guy who is a familiar face in Ventura. We talk shit about Supercuts, obviously, and then talk about the "Bakersfield Sound" an influential style of country music and what Buck Owens and Korn have in common. Kyle talks about the value of ego over attitude when building confidance. Talk turns to the racial make up in California, the sad plight of Native Americans and why Mexicans grow mustaches. We rave about local music and some of the people that make the Ventura scene unique. Kyle and I fundamentally disagree about Lady Gaga. I rant about Kesha's music contract woes and wonder why we undervalue musical talent in record contracts.
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I have a conversation with Lisa Bean, whom you might be familiar with as Boh Nellis, host of The Spliff Potcast. She’s an advocate for safe, legal access to medical marijuana. We talk about state and local politics and guess at the various reasons why the stigma against marijuana use still exists. We talk about her upbringing with an adoptive family and what it was like to reconnect with her biological mother after many years. Lisa is embarking on a career as a voice over actor and we discuss the ins and outs of her craft. I rant about Chloë Grace Moretz. We talk about the relative dangers of marathon running compared to pot smoking and why people love shoving bacon and cheese down their throats. We play an improv version of the segment, “I’m Not An Expert, But…” and I take a moment to review a blog post I wrote about Donald Trump a few weeks back that suggests he really wants to drop out of the race and wonder if it's still relevant. (Spoiler: I think it is.)
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