This week we hear from comedian, writer, and so much more, Jonah Ray. And from the great band CSS. We talk astrology, E! entertainment news, and weigh the benefits of becoming a realtor versus pursuing your dreams. Or at least versus not becoming a realtor.
As you've become accustomed to, this episode is hosted, produced, and executive produced by Sub Pop Podcast hosts / producers / executive producers Alissa Atkins and Arwen Nicks. From the murder closet.
This week’s interviews with Jonah Ray and CSS were recorded in Los Angeles a when Arwen and Alissa were there for MaxFunCon. On that trip, Arwen (in her third decade on Earth) attended live comedy for the first time ever—twice! She “discovered” Ali Wong (recently profiled in the New Yorker, btw) and Eric Andre (who may have been profiled somewhere recently, but not, as far as I can remember, in the New Yorker). (I highly suggest tapping on that Eric Andre link.)
Much was learned and everyone came home to Seattle wiser and just a little bit more optimistic.
First up on the show (after much lively banter from our hosts) is the tousle-haired comedian/writer/podcast co-host Jonah Ray. Thank you to wikipedia and the concept of “public domain” for the above photopic.
We already talked about Jonah Ray a bit on episode three in the context of Hutch Harris appearing in an episode of Jonah Ray’s “TV” show Hidden America that was (partly) filmed at the Sub Pop offices. Since episode three, this photographic evidence of the two of them being at Sub Pop World HQ has surfaced:
Behind Jonah and Hutch are many of the photobooth photos from our old photobooth (RIP).
So anyway, this episode discussed a LOT of different things Jonah Ray
is doing all at the same time, so let’s link to some of those (as many
as I can remember…). He is a co-host on The Nerdist
Podcast, he has
(had?) a show on Comedy Central called The Meltdown with Jonah and
he’s going to be the host of the reboot(?) of Mystery Science Theater
a/k/a Mystery Science Theater
3000, which the
rebooting of was a crowdfunding
story of the
highest order (I must assume). Bringing it all together, read a piece
on Nerdist about
They must’ve been stoked to be able to get that
mst3k.com domain name!
And don’t forget the (twice) aforementioned Hidden America, which I still have not gotten a chance to watch but is apparently a spoof of the “travel show” genre. A spoof where people die.
Oh, and he has his own podcast, the punningly named Jonah Raydio which, if I understand correctly, is a casual little podcast about music.
When Jonah Ray said he used to be some kind of producer for things like “E!’s 50 Most Insane Celebrity Oops,” I thought he was just talking about the type of thing he was doing, not that that was a real E! show (is E! still around?). Well, 0.04 seconds of googling on Youtube tells me there really was such a show. All I could find was Jeff Dye’s (a comedian, I think?) sizzle reel, but it’s enough to prove that the show is real!
The almost-last thing I want to say about Jonah Ray is about the music he licensed through Sub Pop for Hidden America. AND I want to point out that the music on this episode of The Sub Pop Podcast is comprised of some of Jonah’s picks for Hidden America. Before I could even do googling about that, I went to Jonah’s (seemingly somewhat infrequently updated, but who can blame the guy—he’s busy!) blog, and THIS is what I was greeted with:
Sub Pop, right there in your face! On that page you can read a loooong list of songs used in season one of H.A., all licensed through Sub Pop’s award winning licensing department. Pretty cooooool.
And remember, eating crow, eating ramen, and eating #CAKE are as different from each other as night, day, and the ocean.
This week’s Mega Mart “ad”… where to even start? It’s no joke being thrice attacked by an owl, let me tell you. I did tell you! But, as pointed out, a Sub Pop dome piece can’t hurt if you’re being attacked by an owl (I don’t think it can hurt… I’m neither a doctor nor a lawyer nor a zoologist). There are so many hats there, let me make some suggestions. If it’s winter, go for:
If hats aren’t your speed, maybe a t-shirt. Show some Sub Pop pride already!
Next up we heard from noted Brazilians Ana and Luiza of the band CSS.
CSS have a long-ish history, and have put out many records, with two of their full lengths being on Sub Pop: Cansei De Ser Sexy and Donkey (in addition to many 12” singles). To this day I play Donkey on a regular basis. I could listen to it all day long (and I have). Even the cover is great—the donkey head on the cover is an original piece of art by… Lovefoxxx? By one of the memebers, anyway.
The story is that “CSS” stands for “Cansei de Ser Sexy,” which is a translation into Portuguese of a quote attributed to Beyoncé: “I got tired of being sexy.” I am not saying that I disbelieve this nugget, but the only evidence that I could find (in 0.8 seconds of googling) was on CSS’s own wikipedia page. That said, I do believe it.
CSS got some of their initial “buzz” from having their song “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” featured in an iPod Touch commercial. Do you remember what an iPod Touch is?
That ad is from 2007. In 2006 the very same song was used by Microsoft in an ad for the defunct-since-2012 iPod competitor, the Zune music player. Brilliant. (I can’t find video of the Zune ad online. If you can, email firstname.lastname@example.org!)
I think the last time CSS visited the Sub Pop office was in 2013, at which point they made one of my two favorite graffiti on our wall:
(For the record, my other favorite is Ryan Rapsys’s “signature” from the 10 seconds he drummed for King Tuff. Hi Ryan!)
CSS have a sort of odd Youtube page with four videos on it, including one of Carol combing Lovefoxxx’s hair with a fork!
If you can’t get enough CSS video content (and I’m not even done yet), check out this Sub Pop playlist:
I found this charming Ameoba Records What’s In My Bag episode featuring the music lovers who are CSS:
I love that the Congos get a mention, lots of Brazilian bands get picked, and the Canadian tuxedo even gets a mention!
CSS is on twitter.
Don’t sign stuff without looking at it.
In conclusion / bonus section
As I sit here typing this, two things are happening. First, I wish I were standing, not sitting. Second, it’s election day in the United States of America. In honor of point #2, and in honor of member of Clipping (guests on Season 2, Episode 2) Daveed Diggs appearing on Jimmy Fallon’s show again, let’s watch Daveed and Tariq Trotter, a/k/a Black Thought trade some lines about the election.
Not quite the last bonus content in this week’s notes, but let’s get a taste of extra John Atkins’s art from this episode.
Next week on the show, in episode SIX, we’ll be in LA again, this time talking to Jimmy Tamborello of The Postal Service and Dntel. Then back up to Seattle to hear from The Postal Service’s Ben Gibbard (also, of course, of Death Cab for Cutie). Alissa and Arwen gave us some bonus beats of Ben’s interview where they talk about Chastity Belt. (In fact, this same ground was covered from the opposite (complementary?) angle in season one episode nine.)
Anyway, as a bonus to that bonus, Arwen wanted me to post evidence of Julia’s shrine to Ben…
…and other insta-evidence of Ben’s / DCFC’s / Chastity Belt’s simpatico-ness.
Which, believe me, I am more than happy to do!
Until next time, take care of yourself!
Songs from this Episode
- Mudhoney - Good Enough
- S - Losers
- CSS - Give Up
- METZ - Get Off
- Chad VanGaalen - Evil
- Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper
- Mass Gothic - Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me
- Beach House - Majorette
- Rose Windows - There Is a Light
- Mudhoney - I Like It Small
- S - Tell Me
- CSS - Music Is My Hot Hot Sex
- CSS - Move
- CSS - Beautiful Song
- CSS - CSS Suxxx
- CSS - Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above
- CSS - Fuckoff Is Not the Only Thing You Have to Show
- Chastity Belt - Time to Go Home
- Avi Buffalo - Memories of You