The Radio Show You’re Not Listening to (But Should Be)

I admit that I’m writing this review of “The Jim & Mickey Show” for selfish reasons.

My friends are probably getting tired of hearing me talk about the show. So I figured: give people a short review and a shortcut to take a listen themselves (find a player with the most recent podcast below).

But why should they, or you, listen at all? Aren’t there already too many online radio programs now, which drone on about the same topics week in and week out? Sort of.


Image credit: Mickey White/Facebook


Image credit: Jim Geraghty/Facebook

“The Jim & Mickey Show,” a new, one hour show that sounds like it’s live but is really a podcast which comes out Fridays, is different. It’s not heavy on hard-boiled political strategy, griping about the Establishment or throwing red meat to the masses. It’s not even acidly sarcastic, which is easy enough to do.

If it’s anything, “Jim & Mickey” is good-natured and funny and sometimes goofy — many of the things that people on the right forget to be when they’re in front of a mic or looking into a camera lens. It’s also real.

Among the subjects they discuss on the most recent episodes: Nobel Peace Prize winners and TIME Person of the Year winners, Jim bringing up the NFL’s woes overshadowing the start of the new season’s action on the field, Mickey singing a line from They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” during Jim’s recounting of his experiences in Turkey, why stupid people are famous (Mickey thinks it’s our fault, but Jim doesn’t completely agree), with some nuggets of political stories of the day mixed in. While they’re discussing a high profile kidnapping case in the D.C. area, Mickey shares her thoughts on the U.S. drinking age and the wisdom of the buddy system.

If you’re unfamiliar with Jim Geraghty, he writes about politics at National Review Online, and has a new novel, The Weed Agency. And Mickey White has been a political and radio broadcasting stalwart for years.

There is another reason I’m writing this. Because there are so many shows vying for your attention, any newcomer needs a review. And that’s fitting, too, since “The Jim & Mickey Show” is itself a review show, with the hosts deconstructing the world much as Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert used to deconstruct movies on their long-running TV series “At the Movies.” There’s a depth and importance that thoughtful conversations like these have – conversations in which people aren’t agreeing 100% – which will be welcome as we pass the November mid-terms and into another presidential election cycle. More importantly, it’s the kind of conversation that’s just fun to listen to.

The things that Jim and Mickey talk about are, as the show tagline reads, “what you’re talking about.” But they don’t do it in a glib or superficial way. There’s more to any given topic than, “you should be interested because my opinion is so funny/racy/outrageous that you need to repeat it to your friends.” Something else is going on here. Take a listen. And try not to annoy your friends, telling them how great it is.


Weekend Arts Roundup & Potpourri- Sept. 13


So, there’s something new happening. I’m finding that I have stories I want to share, but they aren’t all about entertainment or the arts. This time, you’ll find some “potpourri” mixed in with the arts stories. And as always, let me know what you like and what you don’t. Thanks!

The stories:

Dazed: The film that made Bill Murray quit acting

“Bill is actually a very religious guy — educated at Loyola by the Jesuits, who are really kind of brutal about drumming it into your head,” Byrum told The Old Corner, a fansite dedicated to The Razor’s Edge, in 2003. “I think one of his main draws to this book was the religious theme.”

There’s a dead link in the source quote. Find the full interview with the film’s director and co-writer, John Byrum, here.

Paste: David Lynch-Directed Duran Duran Documentary to Screen in 300 Theaters

[Singer Simon] Le Bon continued, “The most surreal moment for me is when he intercuts footage of somebody barbecuing sausages into the song ‘Come Undone.’ Not what we had it mind, but it’s absolutely hilarious.”


Telegraph UK: How Isil doctored the image of Obama, making him appear haggard in videos

Daily BeastThis Charming Man: Meet ‘Ronnissey,’ Brooklyn’s Fake Morrissey

Pacific Standard: The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy

And not just (red) wine, either. A compelling and possibly important read, especially for anyone who abstains from alcohol.

NY Daily News: Mel Brooks leaves 11-finger handprints in cement ceremony outside Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre

Who else thinks this was long overdue?

Yahoo! News via Good Morning America: Minnesota Lottery Winner Going Back to Waiting Tables

Remarkable. The family won 11.4 million… and in case you’re wondering, that lottery pays the state & local taxes on it.

FTR Radio Podcast: “The Dark Side”: Kira Davis returns from hiatus, and talks about her son beginning homeschooling for the first time this school year and other topics: September 9, 2014

Top image credit: Sony Movie Channel


Weekly Arts Roundup – Sept. 4


Paul Mazursky, right, directs Robin Williams (Vladimir Ivanoff) and Cleavant Derricks (Lionel Witherspoon) on the set of “Moscow on the Hudson” in 1984.

The stories:

Paste: Prince Releases Two Songs Ahead of New Albums

For Warner Brothers, no less…

Prince returned to Warner Bros. in April, after a bitter split with the company 18 years ago. Appeased by a deal that gave him the rights to his catalog as well as the promise of a 20th anniversary re-release of Purple Rain, Prince has wasted no time supplying new material to his old label.

Stereogum: Brandon Flowers [The Killers] Is Recording A Solo Album With Ariel Rechtshaid

 NME reports that Ariel Rechtshaid, who had a hand in [Danielle] Haim’s Days Are Gone as well as other amazing 2013 releases by Vampire Weekend, Sky Ferreira, and Charli XCX, is working with Flowers on a solo record for release next year….

Flowers had this to say about working with Rechtshaid: “He’s taking me out of my comfort zone. Normally I make demos and they’re pretty similar to how the song ends up. but he’ll take a song and be like, ’I hear this.’

Unfortunately, you can’t find those nekkid Jennifer Lawrence pics at Blackmailers Don’t Shoot… but Gene has other goodies on display. Check it out!

You can watch the original ‘Ghostbusters’ on the big screen!

via Fandango:

To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the original 1984 film has been restored and remastered in 4K and will be returning to the big screen, in the United States and Canada, for a limited engagement starting August 29 (Labor Day weekend).

EDIT: Read Kira Davis’ essential tribute to the late Joan Rivers. RIP!

Somehow I missed this obituary, while the blog was on hiatus (emphasis mine):

LA Times: Paul Mazursky dies at 84; director chronicled trends of ’60s and ’70s

After the disappointments of “Willie and Phil” (1980) and “Tempest” (1982), his next hit was “Moscow on the Hudson” (1984), which showcased Robin Williams as a Russian musician who defects in the middle of a Bloomingdale’s department store.

“Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (1986) was Mazursky’s greatest commercial success. A farce inspired by the 1932 Jean Renoir film “Boudou Saved From Drowning,” it concerns a wealthy couple (Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfuss) who live in a mansion with a dog that has its own psychiatrist. Their posh life is disrupted by a homeless man (Nick Nolte) who tries to drown himself in their pool. Sympathizing with his plight, the couple invite him to move in.

The purpose of the film was “to reflect on the absurdity of having it all and still having nothing,” Mazursky told the Chicago Tribune in 1986.

Read the whole thing.

I’m a huge fan of ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills,’ which I saw in the theater and still remember the crowd reaction: continuous, rapturous laughter. You sometimes missed lines, because the audience was still laughing. Another film I love by Mazursky is ‘Tempest,’ his modern take on Shakespeare’s story. It marked the film debut of a young Molly Ringwald, and also included John Cassavetes, Susan Sarandon, and Raul Julia.

There’s a great YouTube interview from 2011 with the director here, covering his entire career.


The Wrap: Paul Mazursky in His Own Words: Director Rates His Movies in Vintage Interview


Image credit: LA Times/Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images



Labor Day Weekend Arts Capsule – August 31

TV films of the weekIt’s not you, baby, it’s me. Here’s your new Weekend Arts capsule. Say you’re not mad

NY Daily News: Sheila E. confirms engagement to Prince, describes niece Nicole Richie’s adoption in new memoir 

NYT: At DuArt, Thousands of Unclaimed Films

You may not have heard Howard Stern’s ‘Robin Williams’ story from August 18. Worth a listen.

I got Netflix about a week ago (no cable since the move west), so will be catching up on movie watching. Soon, I’ll have a review of a recent film I watched. I’m also planning on watching more documentaries, which I’ll write about in a future post.

While we’re on the subject… via Paste: A handy list of movies leaving Netflix’s library starting September 1st.

The Wrap: Martin Scorsese Planning to Direct Movie About The Ramones

This isn’t his next project, but the article hints (subtly) that it may be released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut record (2016).

Billboard: Album Sales Hit A New Low
That’s it. Record executives are finally admitting that streaming is the death knell of the mega-hit album.

So, this seems like a creative project worthy of support: A photographer is compiling a book, Art Desks, which captures images of artists and other creatives at work, which includes the state of their desks and apparently some of their cats as well:

Just an aside- my fave title of the participants: ‘Director of Identity and Outreach, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’. How cool is that, seriously?

Make sure to stay tuned for my next post — Lowering the Boom turns 2-years-old! In case you missed my last post, here’s a preview of the new Interpol album. See you…

Related: At the Movies with Siskel & Ebert review, ‘Ghostbusters’

Popcorn graphic, image credit: Mirror UK


First New Album From Interpol in 4 Years — Free Streaming


Image credit: The Guardian UK

Now a three-piece, and after a four-year hiatus, New York’s Interpol return in early September with a new album ‘El Pintor’ (and something of a sunnier demeanor. See the Guardian UK interview below).

Earlier this summer, two of the new songs acted as a teaser for the full album. Now the whole thing is streaming for free (courtesy of NPR).

Take a listen!

If you just want one of the teaser tracks, here’s the video for the album opener, “All the Rage Back Home.”

H/T Stereogum

Related: The Guardian UK: Interpol on supermodels, surfing and (not) hanging out with the Strokes


Video: Flashback,1991: Siskel & Ebert ‘Review’ a Film Parody Made By Howard Stern

After watching a YouTube of a “Siskel & Ebert” review for ‘Murphy’s Romance,’ a James Garner/Sally Fields film I remembered fondly, I spent a few hours over the weekend watching old episodes of “Siskel & Ebert.”

Then I came across this bizarre mismatch of an interview: both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel appeared on Howard Stern’s Channel 9 tv show, along with sidekick Robin Quivers, in 1991. Howard and his gang had made a parody short film based on the Robin Williams/Robert DeNiro movie ‘Awakenings,’ and asked the vaunted reviewers for their honest opinion.

There’s a version of the full interview in one video here.


Memorial Day Weekend Arts Roundup


Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper, in ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’ (1992)

My apologies for being away so long… enjoy the stories:

Slate: The “Missing Pieces” From Twin Peaks Are Finally Seeing the Light

The Camp of the Saints’ Bob Belvedere says “Arrivederci, Amico Mio, Genari” to singer Jerry Vale.

Let’s meander out to the left coast, look at some entertainment biz news and check in with our friend Gene…

THR: Coen Brothers to Write Steven Spielberg’s KGB Movie for Tom Hanks (Exclusive)

Mashable: MTV Video Music Awards Returning to California After Only 1 Year in NYC

Blackmailers Don’t Shoot: Emilia Clarke Unleashes Dragons on Hollywood Boulevard

Bloggers Corner:

Jimmie Bise writing at Rock Star, Ninja, or Guru: Which One Are You?

Anyone who would like to support the “moving to the southwest fund” may do so through the tip jar. This is the area where I’ll be living. So cool!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and prayers. They have made a difference in my life! Until next weekend… some great rock music to inspire you:



Why I’m Moving to the Valley of the Sun Over the Summer

PhoenixTreeBack in April, Bloomberg‘s BusinessWeek published a neat, little article titled “Austin or Bust: America’s Biggest Cities Lose People to the Urban B-List.” It has all the charts and graphs you might expect in this kind of economy-centric periodical and on this kind of topic. In this case, ‘b-list’ isn’t some sort of slam against the places listed: they are more like the diva’s understudy waiting for the spotlight than one of Cinderella’s undeserving step sisters.

I don’t really understand what all of the data points mean, or what the graphs portend. (Maybe someone could VoxSplain it all to me?) It might surprise you to learn that- in droves- people are shedding the cities with the highest cost for the homes desirable to middle-income earners. Or maybe it won’t. This statistic, I think, is a positive thing. What it means is Americans are still scrapping and clawing, even in this dismal economy, to achieve the epitome of the American dream, home ownership. Increasingly, they’re finding it, not in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but in smaller cities like Nashville, Tennessee, Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas.

“But it’s hot….”

About thirty days from now, I’ll be moving back west, not to Las Vegas, where I spent most of the 2000s (did we ever settle on what to call that decade?), but to its sister to the south, Phoenix. I know Phoenix has the same soul-stealing heat, gorgeous red rock scenery, and other things you’ll find in or around Sin City. There are things that Bugsy Siegel’s ‘Paradise’ doesn’t have over the Valley of the Sun that appeal to me. For instance, baseball. The Cactus League is home to many major league spring training camps, including that of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last year, the league set an all-time attendance record as over 1.7 million happy fans crowded the stadiums that dot the landscape. I hear rumors that Arizona has other professional sports teams, too, which of course we don’t have in Cincinnati.We only have the Bengals.

Phoenix has museums and zoos and lots and lots of other stuff to keep you cool indoors. And besides the blistering summer months, the rest of the calendar is mild and pleasant. When I think of Phoenix, I think of an willowy,aproned Flo and “Mel’s Diner.” I wonder if sassy waitresses there ever say,”Kiss my grits”?

Often, whenever you tell someone you used to live in Vegas, people will give you an incredulous look, and say something like, “But it’s so hot there. How did you stand it?”

“No, really. It’s hot!”

I’ll tell you how you stand the heat. You become like a wily lizard. You plan ahead and seek out the way. Any shade — tree leaves, awnings, an extremely tall person — will do. You also plan your most active part of the day when it’s coolest: in the early mornings or the late evenings. You find your occupation someplace indoors, in the merciful splendor of air conditioned modernity.Then you make sure to have access to an outdoor swimming pool, where you reside in comfort once the sun goes down.

Now, you might cotton to the line of thinking found in this Salon article: “Say goodbye to Phoenix — and the American West,” they say, because climate change is making all of the water dry up. I’ll leave that for the pundits and the scientists to duke it out. Because I’m going…

“But why leave Cincinnati? What’s wrong with it?”

There’s nothing wrong with Cincinnati, necessarily. Well, there is the fact that the state itself is trending toward stagnation and liberalism, rife with aging dinosaurs looking to lead the state Republican party ever onward to more compromises with a growing, progressive left. Our governor, the “compassionate conservative” John Kasich, decided that it would be “the right thing to do” to cut a deal with the Obama Administration on expanding Medicaid, over the will of the people of Ohio and her elected majority GOP legislature. We have a Speaker of the House (yes, I live in John Boehner’s district) who waffles and weaves… and sobs his way to overwhelming election wins, every two years. Really, the less said about him, the better, don’t you think?

Beyond all that, Cincinnati is a lovely city. I’m going to miss United Dairy Farmers and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest on Fountain Square (Check The Guinness Book of World Records- it’s in there!); Reds Opening Day and Skyline Chili. And the reason I’m leaving contains the reason it’s so appealing to others: it’s not going to change all that much, no matter how long I’m away. More than likely, all of these great things will be here– when I come back and visit.


Weekend Arts Capsule- 3/31/14

A slightly-short Capsule today.

Our friends at share a great visual story :Bill Murray rocking some… unique golf duds!

The stories:
Los Angeles Times:
Nicolas Cage’s Christian drama ‘Left Behind’ to get October release

Hat tip Gene

Daily Mail UK: EXCLUSIVE: ‘It took the world’s biggest movie star to play my sister’: Steel Magnolias writer on the REAL story behind the Hollywood hit

It is the image of a small, blonde-haired all-American boy beaming in the Easter sunshine that flashes up at the end of Hollywood classic Steel Magnolias – and stays with you long after the credits have rolled.

As writer Robert Harling explains, many new fans will not even know that the movie is rooted in truth and that boy is, in fact, based on his real-life nephew and namesake.

Softly spoken and with a Southern accent that still hints at his Louisiana upbringing, Robert Harling wrote the play Steel Magnolias shortly after the death of his beloved sister Susan Robinson aged just 33 in 1985.

Read more.

Daily Mail UK: Salma Hayek says she would ‘kill for a role in Downton Abbey’ but as a Mexican would have to ‘play deaf and dumb’ in the show

Reuters: Sale of rare Stradivari viola could set world auction record

Hat tip Conservative Animal
Tina Fey Hit With Workers’ Comp Judgment

“New York State officials say comedian owes $79,000 tab”

AP: Social painting grows popular at bars, art studios

The new LinkFest is now available from Blackmailers Don’t Shoot… so, yeah, girls and stuff.

Guess what? Not only is the 8 hour sleep rule a myth, but it’s not for the reason you might think. (emphasis mine)

via Psychology Today:

Yet, the insistence that “monophasic” sleep, with eight hours of continuous nightly rest, is the necessary way to refresh ourselves not only creates stress for people who are unable to achieve that goal, but ignores other common variations in sleep patterns, and historical precedent as well….

History yields valuable insights regarding sleep. According to some recent research, until the age of electricity many people slept in two segments. They would wake up in the night for an hour or two, then return to sleep for another block of time. “The dominant pattern of sleep, arguably since time immemorial, was biphasic,” says Roger Ekirch, a sleep historian at Virginia Tech University and author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past. “Humans slept in two four-hour blocks, which were separated by a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night lasting an hour or more. During this time, some might stay in bed, pray, think about their dreams or talk with their spouses. Others might get up and do tasks or even visit neighbors before going back to sleep.”

References to “first sleep” or “deep sleep,” and “second sleep” or “morning sleep” abound in historical legal depositions, works of literature, and other pre-Industrial era archival documents. Gradually, during the 19th century, references to segmented sleep disappeared, Ekirch says, “and now people call it insomnia.”

Read the whole thing.

Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is tomorrow. So you might want to check into this.
Hat tip Jay Caruso

As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I probably enjoy this tweet more than I should:

[Edit: I had to add this.]

Did you notice that there’s a new news portal, No matter where you stand politically, you will find the whole picture on the news there. Take a look.

That’s all for now. If you’ve liked some of what you’ve read here, and you have a few bucks, please show your support. Even if you can’t, thanks for the encouragement! It matters.

Tim Booth (formerly of James) & Angelo Badalamenti (Best known for his soundtrack work with David Lynch) —




Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/27/14

Weekend Arts Capsule – Babooshka- 3/22/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/19/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/13/14


Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/27/14

From the “I did not make this up!” file:

Image credit: AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Image credit: AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Putin wants Russians to get in shape. Can Steven Seagal help?

The stories:

I find the next two photo session ideas intriguing… unsettling, perhaps, but intriguing.

FeatureShoot:Photographer Memorializes Deceased Animals in a Unique and Memorable Way

Flavorwire:Photographer Inserts Her Adult Self Next to Her Childhood Self in Family Photographs

Coincidentally, someone had the same idea, only with red carpet-walking celebs. Creepy.

Click on any of the above if you’re interested– but don’t say you were warned.

The Hollywood Reporter: Kevin Spacey to Play Winston Churchill (Exclusive)

Remember when terrorist-centric movies were shelved immediately after 9/11? Oh, Hollywood…

Aussie Flight Disaster Film ‘Deep Water’ Shelved Over Eerie Resemblance to Missing Malaysia Flight

“‘Deep Water,’ a loose follow-up to hit horror movie “Bait 3D,” tells the story of a flight that mysteriously crashes into a remote stretch of the ocean on its way to China.”

That’s right– and you can guess who ends up as the ‘bait’ this time around.

Take a gander at this overdue review of ‘American Hustle’ from Blackmailers Don’t Shoot.

David O Russel’s American Hustle is an entertaining but slightly confused movie loosely based on the Abscam scandal of the late 70s. The film isn’t quite sure if it wants to be a buddy flick, a romance or a celebration of the postmodern antihero, but the writing and performances make it at least worth the few bucks I spent for the On Demand rental.

Do you agree or disagree?

Bradley Raines…
Daily Caller: Actor James Rebhorn wrote his own lovely obituary

Character actor James Rebhorn, who popped up in everything from “Scent of a Woman” to “Independence Day” to “30 Rock” and “Homeland,” lost his battle to melanoma over the weekend at the age of 65.

But Rebhorn left a little piece of himself behind when he wrote his own loving and emotional obituary.

Rebhorn’s obit was originally published on St. Paul Lutheran Church’s website over the weekend and it just proves that life is unfair because Rebhorn was obviously a wonderful person who died too young.

Read more.

PetaPixel: Former Garbage Man Has Saved Over 5,000 Photos Taken on the Front Lines of WWI

The PetaPixel folks also shared this awesome YouTube via Gizmodo:

YouTuber Shaun O’Callaghan, however, is a bit more brave — if that’s the right word here — than the rest of us.

Using his DJI Phantom [drone] with camera attached, O’Callaghan captured the continuous eruption of a volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu.

Polyvore is like playing virtual fashion magazine editor… so of course I’m now addicted!
Hat tip (curse you! ;) ): Kate Barnett

Black Girl Nerds: Jem & The Holograms Movie: Where Is Christy Marx?

Acculturated: Learn from the Best: 10 Course Syllabi by Famous Authors

One more piece from Acculturated, by RJ Moeller of the Dennis Prager Show:

Good vs. Bad Faith-Based Films (emphasis mine):

In my Son of God review, I touched upon something that I’d like to flesh out in greater detail here. If people of faith hope to have an impact in Hollywood, their “safe” and “easy to digest” content will not cut it. It’s not that there isn’t a market for family-friendly programming and filmmaking. Of course there is. And may it be so forever.
But the problem is precisely this: no one who doesn’t already believe in God will go see Son of God. And many who do believe in God and who do go see it are, like me, plopping down $14 or $15 purely from a sense of solidarity with the well-intentioned creators of such projects. There are other, better “Jesus movies.”…
And while neither option likely interests your secular, non-religious co-worker, neighbor, or relative, all of them will go see something like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. This is why I, as a Christian, am infinitely more excited about Noah than any other “faith-based” film in a long time – regardless of the theology or worldview found in it.

Please read the whole thing.

And we close with some beautiful music from one of the Gershwin brothers (George), via our friends at American Elephant:

Read the lovely tribute to the Gershwins at the link.


If you have tips or comments on the arts content, hit me up right here or on Twitter. And again, if you like what you read, leave something in the donation jar to keep it going. Thanks!


Weekend Arts Capsule – Babooshka- 3/22/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/19/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/13/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/10/14

Weekend Arts Capsule- 3/1/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/24/14

Debut- Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/18/14