Much like Chanel West Coast, Sara is always one to cheer on ridiculousness in its many forms
This week from Sam and Josiah.
Sam keeps leaving this part of the newsletter for me, and with nothing to promote it has really become a sort of, erm, well, uh, ahem, liminal space. So I’m going to use it as a diary entry. Sara and I went on vacation to Dollywood and Nashville last week (more on that shortly), and it was so fun. I am bright red with a disgusting sunburn. I got pod recognized at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. I went to Buc-ees for the first time. I met southerners with the most comical accents you’ve ever heard. Well, today was my first day back in Montreal, and my city greeted me with another 5+ hour power outage. Using a hotspot, I still found the time to terrorize Disturbed frontman David Draiman into blocking me. Things really do just snap back into place after some time away.
Here’s some stuff we’ve been digging into this week.
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Doghouse Rose “Jacob’s Sweater”
Sam: Something is amiss here - this band is from Toronto, but across all their socials our only mutual seems to be a promoter from Calgary I met like ten years ago who has become a weird Canadian MAGA guy? They’re also signed to Stomp? But devoid of all this unsettling context (also the video, which I’m not watching), I do love exactly this shit. It sounds like a pop-punk song on the Mallrats soundtrack from a band who isn’t actually punk. They lyrics sound like they were written by native French speakers reaching for a wider audience (“Jacob is drinking a beer inside a can”?) but include a specific callout to Toronto’s thriving street meat culture (“Condiments all over that greasy glizzy”????) that I have never heard before in song. Really weird experience all around that I enjoyed very much!
Jos: Wait, am I the weird Calgary MAGA guy you met 10 years ago? It’s so funny that basically every white millennial on earth who isn’t in a deadened post-punk band is in a post-Charly Bliss style OST pop rock band. I hated this a lot, and I assume that means one of the 75 interchangeable bass players from these bands is going to spit in my pulled pork sandwich next time I’m in hogtown. Well guess what, your spit probably tastes good you lil NPC! Also the lyrics you quoted are awesome. But I had to turn this off because I was afraid my neighbours or wife might be able to hear me listening to it.
Oscar Bait “For Free”
Sam: Oh baby this is the Sam stuff. Those verrrrrry compressed guitars with those verrrrrrry Small Brown Bike vocals? Very midwest! EP also has a song called “Diamonds and Guns 2” that is sick but not quite as interesting as this one because it’s more of a straight rager but it’s ALSO sick I don’t want to mislead you. Damn now I’m listening to this entire thing honestly this band rocks. I think Taking Meds is becoming very sneaky influential because I feeeeeeel like I didn’t hear anyone doing this shit (well) for a decade and now * it’s happening meme *. Cool!
Jos: Your caption was making me want to come to hogtown and spit in your pulled pork sandwich, but then I heard those compressed guitars and started
soySamfacing. I don’t really understand the rest of the song at all… the vocals feel like they belong on a different song, and the chorus also doesn’t deliver on the promise of those sweet gated guits. Maybe I wanted it to turn into a Britney Spears song or something when I heard that intro?
Tommy Howell & Friends: E.T. Cast Reunion
Jos: I don’t really understand my own life sometimes, but there are long stretches where the funniest things to ever happen to Sara and I keep happening. She was in Nashville for work, and I decided to fly down and meet her, only to learn that somehow there was a country-themed E.T. cast reunion happening at City Winery, a venue that had also just hosted the back-to-back events “Inebriated Shakespeare Presents Romeo & Juliet” and “Mental Health Night.” Much like Chanel West Coast, Sara is always one to cheer on ridiculousness in its many forms, so she bought us front row tickets. Well, it turns out this guy Tommy Howell is a former child actor who rebranded as a country star during COVID, and he’s finagled a regular residency by inviting his Hollywood buddies to come down for a “variety show.” On this night, it meant Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace and Robert McNaughton sitting down for a brief discussion about E.T. and a lengthy discussion with Howell’s dad, who was a stuntman for Wallace on the movie Cujo. The night also included over an hour of Tommy performing his own country songs with his full band (which included Tanya Tucker’s daughter). His songs include one that is basically just a list of all his IMDb credits and another that reminds you he was Ponyboy in The Outsiders simply called “Ponygirl.” There was also a moment where he shone the spotlight on a table of men who represented a whisky company that was sponsoring the show, and he said “I don’t want to jinx it but we’ve been in talks to bring this variety show to television, and it’s almost definitely going to happen.” I forgot to mention that City Winery is a dinner theater, so we were surrounded by people chowing down on blue cheese-heavy charcuterie boards and loudly placing their leftovers into to-go boxes. All in all, it was one of the strangest nights of our lives, though those nights seem to happen to us quite frequently. Read Sara’s take.
Sam: I feel like Josiah and Sara are always having a fun adventure somewhere. I genuinely think if I went to Nashville at the exact same time and tried to find this I wouldn’t even be able to see the poster or find the venue, like adults who can’t hear Santa’s bells in The Polar Express. Josiah truly believes, and E.T.’s bells will always ring for him.
John Early ‘Now More Than Ever’ (live at City Winery)
Jos: While looking up the logistics for the big country-themed E.T. reunion (?), we noticed that John Early was playing at City Winery at the tail end of our trip, so we nabbed tickets for that too. Little did we realize that he’s actually from Nashville, and 75% of the venue had been sold to various characters from his childhood. It felt like we were accidentally seated at the head table at a wedding — as soon as we sat down, these kind southerners asked us how we knew John. Turns out they were friends of his parents, who they later introduced us to, along with his siblings and all of his family friends. We were basically deeply embedded in the entire Second Presbyterian Church Nashville congregation in which Early was raised, all of us sitting there at City Winery, packing up leftovers and listening to jokes about millennial malaise and anal sex. It was a truly surreal experience that ended with lengthy conversations with the friendly inner sanctum that raised John Early, and even though we didn’t get to meet him we now feel like we are part of his family somehow ahaha. Also, for what it’s worth, the set (which comes out on HBO on June 17) is packed with incisive jokes, brilliant observations and John’s singular performance style. It’s some of the best comedy I’ve experienced in years. We’re all so proud of you, John.
Sam: Damn this sounds sick. I have been watching Search Party in fits and starts and honestly I think it’s mostly kind of annoying except for John Early, who is always the light of my life whenever he is on screen. Cool that I did a pod with his family friend all these years and didn’t even know it.
blink-182 update: Hoppus watch
Jos: I really want to stop talking about blink-182, but they keep making it completely impossible. Mark Hoppus has not one but two tabloidy stories that paint him as the one true Karen of pop-punk. The deuxmoi not-so-blind item above suggests the most hilarious scenario of Mark trying to be inconspicuous at his own arena concert while he either watches Turnstile or the shitty crypto band he owns while dressed in his Hokas and like, dinosaur eating tacos graphic tee or whatever, and then being bombarded by acolytes. It’s too good. And better yet, apparently his fan Discord was heavily modding any mention of the DeuxMoi post and scolding people for talking about it. I found that out from our Discord. Everyone needs to have their own Discord.
But it gets better, Mark was also in TMZ this week because he’s suing his neighbour for growing a big tree. Apparently the planning commission had set a rule that no pine tree could grow above 15 feet, and the neighbour has been ignoring his requests to trim them so he’s gone to a judge to seek damages. It’s too perfect. So much so that if we’d attempted to riff on it on a podcast, we’d add nothing.
Sam: Because mods are cops, who are troops, all of whomst I respect, I am forced to side with Mark’s loser minions on this. Let the man wear his graphic tees in peace.
Free every Friday.