I discovered Weird Paul on YouTube when I saw that Pittsburgh rapper Lord Grunge subscibed to his channel. When I commented on one of Paul's videos and Paul recognized my name, I reached out to him and asked him if I could interview him when I played Pittsburgh next. We talk about how he started creating content in the 80s, his influences and the future of YouTube. We also talk about his upcoming album "Lit A.F." and the new documentary about his life, "Will Work for Views". An amazing conversation with a very inspiring guy!
This week, I sit down with with Sean Jordan (a.k.a. Wordburglar), one of Canada's most revered nerdcore rappers. Sean talks about how he got his start, the stories behind some of his more serious songs, and why he loves G.I. Joe so much. We also talk about how he joined the Backburner crew, his friendship with Jesse Dangerously, and the time he beat Drake for a commercial audition. An energetic, talented rapper, Wordburglar was a lot of fun to talk to this week. Thanks Sean!
I met Rob Lanterman a few years ago when he played bass for Big O, while they supported Mega Ran and me on our US tour. I learned that Rob had a record label, Hidden Home Records, a Boise label that specializes in pop punk. We talk about how Rob gets his bands publicity, the economics of his business, and what he's learned from other labels. We also talk about his philosophy, and how he translates his knowledge as a touring musician into helping grow Hidden Home Records. Thanks Rob!
This week, I catch up with to Bryan Atchison, the other half of Koo Koo Kanga Roo. We talk about how we met on the VANS Warped Tour, our frequent tours together to the UK, and how he and Neil first met at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, shortly before starting Koo. We also talk about fatherhood, the music industry, and the creative process, and the serious business of being silly on stage. We discuss our musical influences and speculate on the future of Koo Koo Kanga Roo and MC Lars. An awesome conversation with a creative and brilliant artist!
An interview with Neil Olstad (one half of the legendary Twin Cities children’s band Koo Koo Kanga Roo)! I caught up with Neil while we were both on tour in the UK to talk basketball, theme parks and music. We discuss about the similarities between a curated day at Disneyland and coming to see a Koo show, and tips and tricks on how touring bands can help rescue bad shows (which never happens to Koo or me). We also talk about the podcast medium and Neil’s two shows, both on Minneapolis’s professional basketball teams ("Lynx Dynasty" and "Wolvescast"). A great interview with a brilliant dude.
Back in high school, my friend Chris Gates and I had a radio show on KSPB. These days, he's a successful pop culture journalist who has published his own comic book and written articles from everyone from Playboy to Mashable. This week on the MC Lars Podcast, we talk about the years he spent writing for MAD Magazine, our shared excitement for Super Mario Maker 2, awkward middle school memories, and our first band together (Horris). We also talk about the day I decided to call myself Lars!
It’s too cold today
Even for Facebook marketing
So as many of you probably know, my friend Mega Ran and I made an album a few years ago about our favorite literary masterpieces. We then did a Kickstarter so people could pre-order it and we could pay the people who worked on the album. The physical copies have been sent to the backers and the album is available everywhere digitally this coming Friday (even though most of the songs have already been posted as singles). Yay.
There are two videos out already, which you can watch below. My dream is that one day they’ll get millions of views, but as of right now, we are continuing to promote them however we can. “1984” has about three thousand views and “Walden” has about five hundred. I know we don’t have millions of subscribers, but I think these videos are really special. Between Mega Ran and me tweeting about them and the pair of us doing all of these interviews that our publicist Sue has set up, I know our videos will find their audience. (In other words, please tell a friend.)
I just finished Trout Fish in America by Richard Brautigan. It’s a weird, funny, inspiring book that felt a lot like Infinite Jest in how it plays with time, reality and narration perspective. I will write a song about this California classic by “the last of the Beats” (which is how I have heard Brautigan described). Life is exciting, but it is also very weird right now. I am thankful for my friends and these upcoming shows, as well as the exciting tours that might be happening later this year. Also, there has been some progress on a huge project I’ve been working on for a decade, which is wonderful. I’m more patient these days.
The world is increasingly getting scarier with these shootings and the death of democracy. Reading makes me happy, as does exercise, but I will admit that I feel isolated right now. I am working on losing weight and being a more kind person. I started reading Danny Goldberg’s book about Kurt Cobain. I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros for Switch and dreaming of a brighter tomorrow.
Playing the Atlantic City date with my full band. Can’t wait!
I was intrigued by Chuck Klosterman’s essay about Wallace in But What If We’re Wrong?, so I began reading Infinite Jest casually in early 2016, diving in earnestly on Dec 26th, 2018. It took a lot of discipline to finish the 1,079 page novel, but I did, and it inspired a bunch of Patreon tracks, of which I am very proud. I feel like I can read anything now.
You can listen to my interview with Wallace scholar Greg Carlisle here, where I ask him dozens of questions about Wallace’s book’s plot and Carlisle’s fantastic Elegant Complexity, a guide that greatly helped me understand Jest.
It was scary at first,
this precarious curse
my nefarious thirst
for hilarious shirts
“We travel in packs
And do it from the back”
(Said a man fortunate enough
To beat a murder rap)
The good lord
I wonder what you would have looked like
We made room in the office for your crib
And thought about pre-school
Sitting in the hospital
She was crying at the vet earlier when it happened
Our cat needed a heart scan
Balancing the insane motion
Surprising blood and pieces of a life
Red underwear in the bathroom and our tears
And I feel helpless
Hand-me-downs and birthdays hoped for
Smash cakes and smiling grandparents
Wishing you could have come this summer
But knowing it wasn’t time
Explosions across the sky when you left
Blue light lit up Astoria
Just like how you came
Making us wonder “What if?”