The MV Podcast 192: The Great Pop-Punk Debate

The Modern Vinyl guys invited me on to talk about Rolling Stone's pop-punk list. I defend AFI. Good times are had.

On the newest episode of The Modern Vinyl Podcast, the hosts debate and dissect Rolling Stone’s recent “50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums” list. The conversation is split into categories, such as “Most Underrated,” “Most Overrated,” and “Right Band, Wrong Album.”

Writer/Podcaster Jacob Tender (Bantha Fodder) joins.

You can find a feed of every podcast appearance I make on shows outside of my own here.

WTG 058: Stranger Things 2

Deanna and I talk about Stranger Things 2 which is SO good. Dustin and Steve are the show's best pair.

Jacob Tender returns to the podcast to discuss the second season of Stranger Things. We talk about the new characters, the relationships between the characters, and much more.

You can find a feed of every podcast appearance I make on shows outside of my own here.

BF 24: Fan Edit The Word Diet (DigModiFicaTion Part 3)

In the final episode of our trilogy of fan-edit appreciation, we talk to fan editor DigModiFicaTion about Rise Of The Rebellion and Heir To The Force. Dig is a cool dude. We hope he doesn't find a reason to fan-edit this episode.

In the twenty-fourth episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob conclude their fan-edit trilogy by way of an interview with esteemed editor DigModiFicaTion.

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

The Last Jedi trailer breakdown

The trailer for The Last Jedi has arrived. Chapter two of the sequel trilogy is imminent and drawing ever closer. As I tend to do, I'm breaking down the trailer to pick out the nitty gritty details to draw any conclusions that I can.

Here we go...

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Snoke: "When I found you..."

If the photos published by Entertainment Weekly are any indication, this shot shows Kylo Ren overseeing the assembly of an armada which appears to include First Order equivalents to AT-ATs, AT-STs, and convoy ships designed to deploy them en masse.

"...I saw raw..."

Said AT-AT iterations make landfall on Crait, a planet we saw for the first time in the teaser which was named and described by Rian Johnson here.

These appear to be more heavily armored than those of Galactic Civil Wars past. These have more formidable canons affixed to the top of a more hunchbacked bodies. In fact, the feet drag across the ground with longer pads in a manner not unlike a lowland gorilla. This change in design may have been informed by Imperial defeats at the hands of the Rebellion at Hoth and Endor.

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"...untamed power."

It's hard to say where Kylo Ren is leading this formation of flametroopers, but the red streaks and context indicate this may be Crait. However, the black soil here contrasts the shots of white surfaces we've seen thus far. It's almost Sullustian, but what could the First Order need there?

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"And beyond that, something truly special."

The voice of Supreme Leader Snoke growls notes of affirmation to an unknown entity. What jumps out at me is the echo to the first teaser for The Force Awakens. Will this audio bite be used in full come December?

Could he be speaking to Kylo? I bet he'd enjoy that sort of patronly attention.

Could he be speaking to Rey? Later in this trailer we see a shot were the two of them are almost certainly in a room together, but it doesn't seem like Rey is reacting to a pep talk.

Here Ren picks up his lightsaber. Yes, it's the same one as before.

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They're beautiful things, lightsaber ignition shots. Rey is mentally preparing to actually learn how to use this thing properly, not that she had any trouble before.

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Lucasfilm's logo, GIFable as ever.

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"Something," Rey says softly, "inside me has always been there..."

More drone shots of Ach To confirmed. Rey approaches and officially hands off the saber to Luke, seamlessly bridging The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Luke's hand is skinless like we saw in Rey's vision and has a big old scorch mark just behind the sleeve. Maybe an unrepaired reminder of the time he was shot on Jabba's barge?

Luke still has an incredulous look on his face. I'd imagine he's probably surprised to see someone and a flood of significance probably washes over him when Rey passes the baton.

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Jedi training requirement: visit a decaying tree in the mist.

This definitely takes place on Ach To. Lots of leaked images of this circulated some months ago. A Force Tree perhaps, like the one from Shattered Empire or the one from Clone Wars.

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"...but now it's awake..."

As Rey finishes a cryptic line about her Force awakening, she draws near to the wooden shelf we saw in the first teaser. I think we're seeing a cavern of sorts among the roots of the Force Tree.

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"and I need help."

Oops! She wasn't quite done yet. Presumably talking to Luke here, she formally asks for some training.

Note: She needs help, she's not asking him to save the Resistance.

Looks like she gets what she asked for to some degree, because she's swinging that saber around with newfound form and control while Luke watches from further uphill.

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An extended shot of the one we saw in the teaser. Rey levitates pebbles in a nice callback to Empire, but to Luke's surprise she also puts a crack in the goddamn ground!

Rey is obviously very powerful and very awesome...

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...and apparently very scary.

"I've seen this raw strength only once before," stammers Jedi Master/hermit Luke Skywalker, "It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."

This shot almost certainly confirms what we suspected. Luke's Jedi Academy was burnt to the ground at the hands of his nephew.

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So many possibilities here.

Let's list a few:

  • "Wow, this water stuff is really great."
  • "Oh geez, I never made it back to Jakku. I hope I didn't miss my family's return."
  • "This dude just straight up told me I'm 'too powerful' to train even though I'm here to take down the punk that messed his whole life up."
  • "Chewbacca... he... he just kept popping porgs into his mouth like it was nothing... it was terrible..."
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"Let the past die," drones Kylo Ren.

The tantrums aren't over, folks. Killing his father did not end his emo streak. In fact...

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"Kill it, if you have to."

He's even more early '00s Victory Records than before. The plus side is what looks like some fantastic space battle scenes.

What is up with the metallic bandage looking thing on the lower half of his scar?

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"That's the only way to become who you were meant to be."

As well as some additional family tension. This trailer edit clearly wants us to believe he has his mother in his sights, and perhaps he does. It's difficult to say. I'd be willing to bet Poe comes through to send Kylo off-course. That in mind, it would be a ballsy move to finish Leia's storyline here.

It is good to see Carrie here. It's going to be an emotional visit to the theater this December.

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Well, 10 days before the holiday. I have tickets for two showings already, so I reckon I'll have 3 or 4 viewings under my belt before Santa arrives.

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This is my favorite shot. At first glance, this is your typical Millennium Falcon soaring through tight spaces sequence. Space Worm, Death Star 2, Imperial Star Destroyer submerged in sand, to name a few references.

But no! Look closely! This is a cave full of crystals! Red crystals, even, and perhaps cyber crystals? I -want- need to know more.

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You love them, you hate them, the exist to sell plush toys this holiday season... porgs. They squawk!

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Poe Dameron: "We are the spark..."

It's hard to say if this is the same space battle we saw before. Poe appears to be aboard a resistance shuttle as the fleet suffers an unexpected attack from behind.

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"...that'll light the fire..."

I think this shot is part of the same scene where Kylo made his flight debut. I'm counting on an encounter between the two ace pilots.

What's really peaked my interest here is the ship Poe is flying over. It's big, but as the following shot with BB-8 might show, not Death Star big.

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"...that will burn the First Order down."

Spoken like a true rebel, Poe.

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The faceoff we've been waiting for, and after this crazy year we've had in the States, the one I think we deserve.

Finn v Phasma. Z6 Riot Control Baton vs a pike? Finn, dressed in First Order officer garb, appears to be in full health once more and eager to engage the not-so-trash-compacted Captain Phasma amongst the burning wreckage of large structure. I spot a two-edged Walker behind Finn and to the right. I also spot Finn in Phasma's impeccably shiny helmet. After catching up on Thrones I'm ready for more of Gwendoline Christie's moves.

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Did you know that droids can shake off lightning like dogs can water?

Here's that big ship I mentioned before. Looks creepy and mean, don't you think?

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Luke: "This is not going to go..."

Scenario: Luke hesitantly trains Rey after she gives him a speech about how dire the situation is. In a trial, she bests Luke and he falls to the ground. Knowing that she may feel ready for the conflict ahead, he warns her like Yoda did he so long ago.

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"...the way you think."

I want all of the merchandise Lucasfilm can produce for these ice/salt/crystal foxes.

Leia looks out over the plains while the door closes, pretty much exactly like she did in Empire on Hoth.

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Snoke: "Fulfill..."

Splash... Rey dives into a pool and past what looks like a large reptilian skull, thank you very much. Another shot shows her rising in a cave with Luke present, slightly more dry.

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Finn again in First Order gear, being led with a look on his face that says "I'm not happy with this situation."

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"...your..."

Those walkers on Crait are joined by some TIE fighters, some of which are destroyed by something accompanying the new B-Wing-looking speeders. I say that because we don't see the speeders really leave the ground. The shot that forcibly eliminates the TIE in the close-up came from above.

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"destiny."

In The Last Jedi, Snoke and Rey meet. Unfortunately for Rey, it looks like Snoke is dominating the conversation.

Now these shots don't line up exactly. Snoke is wearing his goofy golden gown in both, but he's force gesturing towards the ceiling in the first one, not forwards where Rey is being tortured (again).

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Rey: "I need someone to show me my place in all of this."

I'm pretty sure Rey is talking to Luke in the overdub, but I see two combined scenes here. Where is Kylo here? What's on fire? It's not a flashback because he has the scar, but he doesn't have the metallic filling like he does in the space battle shots.

Will the two young Force users meet again in this film at all? She runs into Snoke somehow, but how will Kylo play into that equation?

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It's 2017 and we're getting another star wars movie. Rejoice!

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There is a lot of dialogue in this one. How much strictly ties to what we see is up for anyone to guess. There are clearly some visual misdirects throughout as well. 

Whereas Episode VII had plenty of similarities to Episode IV, I see Episode VII sharing just as much, if not more, to Episode V. The Crait/Hoth parallels are clear. Thematically, Rey is to Luke as Luke is to Yoda in *Empire* with a remote planet and a reclusive Jedi Master in hiding there. There will no doubt be challenges in the training and while Rey appears to have surpassed Luke at the same point in his training, she will likely remain unprepared to take on what's coming by herself. While she's undergoing this Force tutelage, our other heroes are embarking on their own adventures—just as Leia and Han did.

I predict we're going to find out exactly where Kylo's allegiances lay by the credits of this movie. I think Finn is going to grow a lot with his mission and run-ins with old foes. Poe will probably fly well and maybe even die. I mean come on, corny speech about sparks and flames and high stakes space battles with an ominous red hue covering 3/4ths of what we've seen? Someone's not going to live to see the third movie and Leia isn't going to be the only one to go—if she's even killed off.

Luckily for the dorks, there appears to be plenty of world-building on Ach To. Force relics, manuscripts, and a tree are canon fodder.   It's my hope and expectation that the Force is explored more thoroughly in movies going forward.

Questions: Who Benecio Del Toro's character DJ? Laura Dern, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, same question. Also, Praetorian Guards—more please.

Overall, lovely trailer. Really fun and super exciting. I can't wait for December 14th.

 

Mansions return with synthy ‘Deserter’ EP (listen to “Heel Theme”)

Mansions is/are back, baby. New tunes coming, one of which is streaming at the link.

via Brooklyn Vegan:

We’re premiering the EP’s first single, “Heel Theme.” which does have a noticeable electronic influence, but they haven’t fully abandoned their rock side or anything. It’s got some pretty heavy riffs, and it’s also a lot darker than the power pop of Doom Loop. Christopher still has his trademark boyish vocals, which sorta fall somewhere between Ben Gibbard and Andy Hull, and his naturally lighthearted sound makes for an appealing juxtaposition with the song’s darkness. Listen below.

I've grabbed my copies of the vinyl and cassette at Bad Timing, so you are now free to do so also.

BF 22: Cheese Is Integral (DigModiFicaTion Part 1)

I tricked Mike into watching the Star Wars movies more often under the pretense of fan edits. This is part one.

In the twenty-second episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob check out Heir To The Force, DigModiFicaTion's edit of The Force Awakens. They compare the goals of the edit to the result and note what they felt worked and did not work in favor of the cut.

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

Undocumented: The Frank Ocean Rarities Collection

undocumented-rare-feature

Over the years, I've ammassed an extensive collection of Lonny Breaux reference tracks and Frank Ocean rarities. In doing do, I've had plenty of help through existing collections of these songs. These tapes, which include The Lonny Breaux Collection and unreleased, MISC., laid the foundation for what my tape undocumented, RARE. would become. Still, there was more out there. Much more. After years of digging through blogs and scouring Internet archives (as well as the hard drives of some fellow stans), I've brought together the rest of Lonny/Frank's pre-Blonde discography and made it available to download in one place.

Here's some information on the collection:

undocumented, RARE. is a Frank Ocean Stan's best resource for unreleased tracks not included in The Lonny Breaux Collection. The tape was compiled with everything else featuring Lonny Breaux or Frank Ocean in the years spanning 2010 to 2015 including a few features and remixes that you can't purchase anywhere. The best audio has been sourced for each track and each have been tagged with the year they were released online, if not recorded.

The collection was created as a companion to The Lonny Breaux Collection . As such, this tape may contain some light overlap with that one depending on the version you downloaded. As more reference tracks have leaked over the years, varying versions have appeared with enough differences to allow some duplication here. So long as you have both, be confident that you've got everything that been available online as of Spring 2017.

The release has 40 tracks that include reference tracks, snippets, remixes, and all of the tracks Frank released on his Tumblr account. Each track has clean metadata including lyrics. Alternate album art is in the folder.

Chances are, if you're a stan like me you may already have many of these tracks. If so, you may want to check this release for better quality bitrates of the songs you have. By choice, there have been zero edits made to the encoding of these songs so that you can be sure you have the best versions available on the Internet. I just recently upgraded a few myself after listening to crappy youtube rips for years.

For those that are Frank Ocean fans, but looking to dig deeper. I hope that undocumented, RARE. as well as The Lonny Breaux Collection will save you some time and open you up to the fascinating world of songwriter extraordinaire Lonny Breaux.


2017 - undocumented, RARE. (unofficial)

  1. Heartbreak + Jet Lag
  2. Summer Remains
  3. I Need It
  4. Good Decoration
  5. Orion
  6. Math
  7. PDA
  8. Back (To You)
  9. Best Seller
  10. Theme Music (Snippet)
  11. Try
  12. Let Me (Feat. Kyle Christopher)
  13. Dreamkilla
  14. Back To You (Feat. Nikki Flores)
  15. Static
  16. Light Show
  17. Trouble (Snippet)
  18. Pyrite (Fool's Gold)
  19. U Got It
  20. 4 Tears
  21. Bend Ya (Feat. Frank Ocean & Kendrick Lamar) by Mann
  22. Scared of Beautiful (Demo)
  23. Acura Integurl
  24. Thinking About You (OG)
  25. Cameras (Snippet)
  26. Blue Whale
  27. Voodoo
  28. Whip Appeal
  29. Wiseman
  30. Hero (Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Diplo)
  31. Thinking About You (Remix Feat. Twista)
  32. Without You (Feat. Frank Ocean) by Stacy Barthe
  33. Golden Girl (Feat. Tyler, The Creator)
  34. Pink Matter (Remix Feat. André 3000 & Big Boi)
  35. Eyes Like Sky
  36. Thinking About You (SBTRKT Edit)
  37. Whip Appeal (SBTRKT Edit)
  38. Lovely Day (Feat. Lonny Breaux) by Mann
  39. Memrise
  40. You Are Luhh

Compiler footnotes:

Omitted are several popular rarities that I can't verify as Frank's. Namely, these are "Anywhere" and "Girlfriend's Best Friend." Before you get at my inbox, yes I've heard the unpitched versions of both. I like them, but—as close as they may sound—I just can't fully buy into either of them as Frank's tunes. I've linked to these in the master list under a section listing other known fake Frank songs, but pending legitimate confirmation (as if...), they will not be included in the tape for this reason.

If you notice that this release is missing anything, please let me know. I'd be glad to hear that I missed something or that you've found something new.

While we're on the topic, don't skip out on the master list. There are some great Frank Ocean related downloads there that any Stan would want to add to their collection including skits and clips from blonded RADIO, the instrumentals that streamed in the days leading up to Endless, and even an old livestream recording with Lonny and Ciara. If you're wondering where most of these tracks are coming from, I'll let Franky tell it.

I hope you enjoy this tape as much as I do. I sank a fair amount of time putting it together, so if you're feeling it, validate me on Twitter.

undocumented rare album art frank ocean lonny breaux

BF 20: A Sith Smoothie

Mike and I did one of our world famous trailer breakdowns. Enjoy!

In the Twentieth episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob exhume, penetrate, and disclose the secrets of The Last Jedi teaser that debuted at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017. Prepare to find the meaning in fingernails, pebbles, and status readouts.

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

BF 19: Jars of Sand

Mike and I run through everything we possibly can from Celebration 2017 and make plans to go to the next one.

In the nineteenth episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob discuss Star Wars Celebration 2017! From The Last Jedi trailer, the 40th anniversary panel, to all of the new books heading our way, they've got it covered!

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

Amazon Smile Redirect Extensions

Surely, if you’re a dedicated Amazon user, you’ve seen advertised or used Amazon Smile, the Foundation that donates 0.5% of the purchase price to a charity of your choice with every transaction. I’ve been a Amazon Prime member for almost 5 years and an Amazon Smile user for 3. In those years only 8 of what is probably hundreds of transactions have counted towards Amazon Smile. Why? My blasted memory.

The catch to this wonderful Amazon service is that your browser must be directed to smile.amazon.com for the purchase to count. When you click a link from a Google search or shop from the app, amazon.com is the default, making it difficult to really make use of what the foundation is offering. There are solutions for absent-minded yet conscientious people like me though. To start, there is a bookmarklet that you can add, but you still have to remember to click it and then search for what you wanted. Amazon offers a more advanced assistant that will redirect you to Amazon Smile but this won’t help with links or Google searches. It’s not a bad tool for the frequent Amazon shopper, but you still have to remember it's there.

After a bit of searching, I’ve found browser extensions for each of the three primary browsers that simply redirect any link heading to amazon.com to smile.amazon.com without any further input nescessary. To start, I recommend making sure you’re logged in to Amazon Smile, then follow the directions for each extension below.


Smile Always for Google Chrome

After waffling between Safari and Chrome again last year, I ended up in Google’s playpen once more. The best option for Amazon Smile redirects here is Smile Always by Josh Haimson and Dan Elitzer. Simply install the extension from the Chrome Web Store and you’re good to go.

KeepOnSmiling for Safari

Inspired by Smile Always, Craig S. Bosma created a similar plugin for Safari users with the same goal in mind. KeepOnSmiling is a small plugin that avoids the annoying page reloads of similar Safari extensions in just three lines of Javascript.

To install, visit Craig’s github and download the folder and proceed with the following directions.

  1. Go to Safari->Preferences->Advanced
  2. Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  3. Go to Safari->Show Extension Builder
  4. Click on the “+” on bottom left and choose “Add Extension…”
  5. Choose the KeepOnSmiling.safariextension folder which you download from GitHub.
  6. Choose “Install”

Smile Redirect for Firefox

This add-on for Mozilla’s browser is as simple and direct as the name. Download T. Scott Barnes’ extension from Mozilla’s add-on directory and you’re ready to go.


If you don’t have a charity in mind, but like the idea of donating through your purchases at Amazon, consider donating to HHT Foundation International Inc. as I do. This mission of this foundation is to find a cure for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia while saving the lives and improving the well-being of individuals and families affected by HHT. I chose this foundation before losing a friend to HHT a few years ago. More information about the disease and the foundation can be found here.

BF #18: No Sequel, Kid

Mike and I watched a documentary about those actors you don't remember from Star Wars and what they are doing now.

In the eighteenth episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob do some Star Wars news catch-up and talk about Elstree 1976, a documentary about Star Wars' unsung heroes and forgotten faces and the legacy the film left upon them.

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

WTG #022: Apple Music

I'm back again on Welcome To Geekdom to talk about Apple Music, the streaming service I use to access the rarites and unstreamables that were formally found only on my external hard drive.

I've been playing around in the Apple Music ecosystem quite a bit, so if you use Apple Music and want to learn a little more about the more advanced capabilities of iCloud Music Library, maybe this will teach you a thing or two.

Jacob Tender returns to talk about the complex features of Apple Music.

You can find a feed of every podcast appearance I make on shows outside of my own here.

BF #17: Luke Will Have Lines

The title for Episode VIII is out, so Mike and I started picking apart what it could mean. We make a few plot predictions and talk about our favorite moments in our first year as Star Wars podcasters. Thank you to everyone who has supported the show in its first year. If you haven't checked us out yet, consider subscribing using any of the links at the top of our website. If you have, consider leaving us a review on iTunes. It helps the show grow!

In the seventeenth episode of Bantha Fodder, Mike and Jacob discuss Episode VIII's title, 'The Last Jedi.' They make some early predictions and reminisce on year one of Bantha Fodder!

Find the show on Twitter and at banthafodder.fm.

VBR #23: 'Personal Mario Arcade Machine', with guest James Cassar

James and I recorded an episode of Variable Bitrate together in Chicago. Unfortunately, it was shit. Time constraints and the weariness of walking and talking for 3 hours around Navy Pier didn't allow us to do the thing justice. I still wanted him on the show, so we did it a week after we got home.

As long as I've known him, James has been inextricably tied to the band Modern Baseball in ways that I didn't fully understand. This episode should provide some context to that association and James' own perception of that entaglement.

Verified Twitter user James Cassar is a music industry writer, label owner, and podcaster. We discuss his start with Modern Vinyl, the formation of Near Mint, association with Modern Baseball, and his impending memoir.

Find the show on Twitter and on iTunes. If you'd like to sponsor the show, drop me a line here.

Evazan and Baba: A Tale Of Misadventure and Cosmetic Surgery

The Cantina Cast has published a peice of mine on two of my favorite Star Wars "background" characters. This is a complete history of Doctor Cornelius Evazan and his mate Ponda Baba. These characters are the subjects of Bantha Fodder's 2016 holiday special. My thank you to Rebecca Benjamin for publishing.

Encore 141: Hobbies, Work, and Everything Between

First time on Encore, the Chorus.fm podcast. Thomas can no longer commit to a steady podcasting schedule, so Jason has been asking some folks to fill in as guests. I was happy to oblige.

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Jacob Tender. This week we discuss AbsolutePunk.net, SpinMedia, UnderTheGun and a lot of behind the scenes chaos that plagued the music web community over the past few years. Then we move into a discussion about creating things and the balance between hobbies, work, and everything between. We look at what it’s like to create things, when to know if they’ve failed, and why it is we both feel a need to create and put things out into the world. There’s also talk about the new MacBooks with Touchbar, some thoughts on AirPods, as well as collecting media and how we track what we listen to, read, and watch.

I don't advertise it much, but I do have a feed for all of my podcast appearances outside of my own shows. Vain? Probably. Subscribe to Deanna's new show on iTunes or Overcast.