Dispatches from the Head

Podcasters are under attack from a patent troll.

Okay, Nerd Warriors and others!

The time had come to ride off into the Internet and find some weapons for the good fight.

Podcasters are under attack from a patent troll called Personal Audio. Personal Audio claims to own a patent that covers distributing episodes via the Internet—basically, well, podcasting. Specifically, Personal Audio makes the ridiculous claim that it invented an "apparatus for disseminating a series of episodes represented by media files via the Internet as said episodes become available."

Broad patents like these are all too common these days, and unfortunately they often end up in the hands of patent trolls.

Patent trolls are companies who don’t make anything or don’t sell anything, but own patents and use them as a weapon to extort money from businesses and individuals, usually demanding licensing fees that are cheaper than actually litigating a case in court.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation plans to challenge the patent at the U.S. Patent Office. To do this, the EFF needs to show that the claimed invention was not new (or prove that it was obvious). To do this, they need to find publications from before October 2, 1996 that disclose similar or identical ideas. This also known as "prior art." In other words, anything that describes early versions of podcasting or any other kind of episode distribution over the Internet.

More details here, including where to send prior art:

http://www.eff.org/save-podcasting

A patent troll uses patents as legal weapons, instead of actually creating any new products or coming up with new ideas. Instead, trolls are in the business of litigation (or even just threatening litigation). The business model works because patent litigation is so expensive—often costing well into the millions of dollars. This means that when facing the threat of a patent suit, many will choose to settle instead of fight. Of course, this just further emboldens the patent trolls.

Adam Carolla is already being sued. I have received letters of intimidations as has Jesse Thorn, Sam Seder, Comedy Bang Bang, Ari Shaffir and John Oliver’s show The Bugle, among others. We can’t give into this. It really isn’t right. Please help us fight the good fight.

This week on the show, I talk to a multi-talented comedian, Kevin Christy. He paints, acts, does comedy and design—all well. Impressive. On Thursday, Tommy Stinson of The Replacements talks rock. Real rock.

Thanks for helping out.

Boomer lives!

Enjoy!


Love,
Maron
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WTF - Kevin Christy talks about how boring art school is.

Full episode out 6/3

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If not a history, an education.

Rock and Roll lives, people!

First a couple of dates. I will be at The Ice House in Pasadena on June 2. I can’t say it will be a new hour but I will try to work through some stuff. Come hang out. I have reading events coming up in DC, NYC and Boston. Check the calendar to the left for deets.

I’m not even old enough to have the deep relationship that I do with music from the era before mine but I realized that I was alive in 1972. I was nine. I was living in a basement in Albuquerque, NM. It was a nice basement. It had shag carpeting and two twin beds where my brother and I slept. It even had its own bathroom. I also had somehow inherited a large AIWA cassette player that had removable speakers. It was a pretty cool piece of equipment for a nine year old. I think what had happened is my father moved up to reel-to-reel and vinyl and I got what I assumed was their old unit. With it came a strange collection of cassette tapes. Here is the list: Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin, Jerry Vale’s Greatest Hits, Bobby Gentry’s Ode to Billy Joe and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmos Factory.

The one song that I played over and over again was Up Around the Bend. The opening guitar riff is searing. When the drum kicked in with John Fogerty’s voice and the rest of the band the drive was raw energy. I loved it. I couldn’t get enough of that song. When I look at the songs on that album it’s like a full education in rock, country, blues and soul. If not a history, an education.

I’m not sure where I picked them up but I’ve had the first three CCR albums for years. I think I got them from my aunt and uncle. I just recently picked up the vinyl of Cosmos Factory. It holds up. It all holds up. When I want to play my new set up for someone I put on the first CCR record. It sounds perfect. It was produced pure and remains so.

When I saw Fogerty at Sundance with Dave Grohl’s band it was one of the greatest performances I’d seen and it was only three songs and it was only because Fogerty was still totally true to himself and his sound and it seemed timeless. It stopped time. That is some amazing music and an amazing artist.

When I was given the opportunity to interview Fogerty I felt honored. I chose to stay away from his well-documented legal hassles to try to get his songs back and instead kept the conversation to the songs and his life. You will hear that talk today. His new album of collaborations is spectacular. The cover of Long As I can See the Light with My Morning Jacket is beautiful.

Speaking of originals and veterans of a form, on Thursday I talk to Phil Hendrie. Phil has a way of doing radio and now podcasts like no one else. He utilizes the medium in completely unique way that is really all his own. It was honor to speak to him. I can’t tell you how much I dig talking to real deal artists of any form. Love it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
3

WTF - John Fogerty did not invent Stereo.

Full episode out 5/27

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WTF - Billy Bragg goes through the history of “Pub Rock.”

Full episode out 5/23

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The people that get it are digging it.

It’s weird, people -

All of the promotion is slowly easing up. I’m actually home for a couple of weeks now. I know some kind of depression is going to set in. I can taste it. I’ve already started to dwell on the fact that my book, Attempting Normal, made it onto the extended bestseller list at #24 but couldn’t climb or stay on it. I started to wonder what I had to do to sell more books. How many of ‘my people’ actually stepped up and bought one? Why can’t someone huge step in and Oprah that thing.

Then I realized it’s all just pride fucking with me.

The book is doing fine. The people that got it are digging it. The TV show, Maron, is finding its audience. The people that get it are digging it. I have to realize that I never do anything with making money in mind. That is always the afterthought. When I talk or write or do standup or anything that I create it’s never with the thought to make money. I just want to get what I do out there in as honest a way as possible. The truest way. And when I do come up with some great idea to make money the opposite happens. I couldn’t give away those ‘Nerd Cock’ t-shirts and I thought that was genius. Who wouldn’t want a Nerd Cock t-shirt? Well, the answer to that is: most people. I mean, I know I do ads on the show but we all know that is what needs to happen for the show to make money. So, I guess I do that, but that isn't coming out of my heart. I have a hard time monetizing my heart.

I guess some part of me, after all the promotion I’ve done (and done well), thought that the time has come for most people to ‘get’ me and embrace me. My ego expanded a bit but for a very short time. It was actually maybe a week and half of me thinking I would be huge. Now, it is contracting. I’m back to normal, back at home. I’m dealing with immediate issues. Both of my cats need to go to the vet for eye things. I have to get the vacuum repaired. I need to go to the doctor for a check up. I need tires. I need to start living a life that a human lives again. At the very least so I can have something to talk about.

I’ve begun circling a house down the street because I thought I saw Boomer there last time I was home. I thought I caught a glimpse of him in the yard. I guess I just should just go up and ask but I think part of me knows that it isn’t him so I’ll just keep circling occasionally for the hope buzz.

On the show this week: Monday I talk to the sparky Pamela Adlon, which was great. On Thursday Billy Bragg is in the garage talking my ear off and playing some songs. It was pretty great.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
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WTF - Pam Adlon talks about her dead dad.

Full episode out 5/20

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WTF - Sam Simon talks Medical Marijuana.

Full episode out 5/16

Happy Day After Mother’s Day!

Hello Mothers & others!

I hope all you mothers had a nice time being treated nice.

I am in Portland as I write this. On the desk here in the hotel room is a Voodoo Doughnuts box that is almost empty and a NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit. I am living the life. I’m doing a reading from my book at Powell’s and I will be full of Doughnuts and snot. Good times. I have to pick what pieces I’ll be reading but all I want to do now is lay down.

It’s a weird feeling having as much of me out in the world as there is right now. I hope I don’t run out. I know I have to take some down time over the summer to regroup and live a life so I can generate some new stuff. I’m not sure I know how to be home anymore. I’ve been away so much. I have dreams of relaxing, starting an exercise regimen, buying a new house, maybe getting married, having a baby, whoa. Holy shit. I better book some more road dates. I just saw the rest of my life flash before my eyes in those last few sentences. It will be good. I’ll probably hit two out of the five.

I did The Tonight Show last week for the first time ever. I know you know that I have talked shit about it. My general feeling is that I don’t watch it, I never really watched it with Jay and it’s sort of a circus. So, I never tried to get on. Truth be told I used to like Jay Leno and I really don’t have anything against him. Whatever went down with the late night debacle was more business politics than personalities. Either way, I have a book to sell and a show on the air and I wanted to do The Tonight Show. I wanted to do it when Conan had it but he never got to me. So, I went on with Jay. It was a bizarre experience. Not because of the show but because I had never met Jay, ever. He came into my dressing room before the show and we talked for like a half hour. He sort of explained himself to me and was shocked that I was coming on because he assumed I didn’t like him. We talked like comics. It was wild and odd. I think it went well.

Noah Baumbach came to my garage a couple of days ago. I don’t usually put a show up right after I do it unless it’s part of the way I can talk to someone but I would have done it for Noah anyway. I love his movies. They are raw and personal. The Squid and the Whale is a masterpiece and Greenberg seemed to be about me somehow. His new film, Frances Ha, opens this week and I wanted to help him get that out there. I don’t talk to a lot of directors so I was excited. I will post that show today. On Thursday I talk to the co-creator of The Simpsons, Sam Simon. I went to his house. Sam has cancer bad and I wanted to talk to him. He didn’t really want to talk about TV too much so we talked about cancer, weed, vegetarianism, whales, animals, Poker, Groucho, Elvis, money and The Simpsons a bit. Hope you dig it.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
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Pictures from Friday’s Live WTF from the Trepany House

Check out these pics from the Live WTF from the Trepany House with Jason Nash, Christina Pazsitzky, Matt Kirshen, Jeff Richards & Jim Earl coming out this Friday!

christina pazsitzky

matt kirshen

jason nash

jeff rubins

jim earl

Full set HERE
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I’m Exhausted.

Holy shit, I’m exhausted, People!

What an amazing few weeks it’s been. I want to thank all of you for showing up for me and ordering the book and watching the show and listening and, honestly, being there for all this. I appreciate it.

Now, the book tour begins. I will be doing book events at Powell's in Portland on May 12th, at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles with Judd Apatow moderating on May 15th, at the JCCSF in San Francisco on May 17th, at The 6th and I Synagogue in DC on June 11th, at Barnes and Noble Union Square in New York City on June 12th, at the Summer Reading Series in NYC in Bryant Park on June 13th and at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square in Cambridge MA on June 14th. Please check the schedule to the left of this email for dates and places.

Since I’ve last written I have had the honor a pleasure of being interviewed by both Howard Stern and Terry Gross. I appeared on the Opie and Anthony Show and Jimmy Fallon’s show as well, but I feel like I know those guys. I wasn’t freaking out or nervous about it. With Terry and Howard I was freaking out and nervous for similar reasons. They both do intimate interview shows. They both have their own style. I am generally pretty comfortable on a mic and more than willing to talk but these two are the standard bearers of the one on one interview—something I have become known for as well. I’ve listened to both Howard and Terry a bit, neither regularly, but I had a sense of their styles. Terry is smooth and disarming and Howard is aggressive and disarming. I really didn’t know how Howard was going to come at me. I had never talked to him or met him. I didn’t know if he was going to dig something up and blindside me with something that would make me uncomfortable. Then I realized there is nothing that I really haven’t talked about publicly.

When you are walked into Howard’s studio by his producer, Gary, Howard is already talking to you as Gary puts the headphones with a built in mic on your head. It is disarming and jarring but I get it. I was excited he wasn’t wearing his sunglasses. I could see his eyes and connect. He came at me with my jealousy and anger issues and it was perfect. He was gracious and present and it was a pleasure to talk to the guy. Terry is not in the room, almost ever. I had talked to her when Jerusalem Syndrome came out and she chose to talk to me about ‘blue’ comedy for a lot of the interview. It was okay but I couldn’t figure out why that was the topic. This time we talked a lot about talking to people. We talked about my father. We talked about having kids and I actually made her laugh so much she snorted a bit. I love the fact that she left it in. Then, she brought up porn and we talked about that, for a while. She didn’t include it in the show but it is up on the NPR site. For some reason Terry Gross likes to talk about dirty things with me. I’m very flattered.

It was a big deal for me to talk to these two professional interviewers. I was very aware of their styles and it was an honor to be in conversation with the best.

Response to IFC’s ‘Maron’ has been very good. At least what I am getting directly. There have been great reviews and some heady, okay-but-thoughtful reviews. I don’t mind the criticism. I really don’t. Really. If it’s smart I can learn from it. Can’t wait for everyone to see more episodes.

We’re doing three shows again this week. On Monday Community’s Gillian Jacobs hangs out and talks about, among other things, choosing Julliard over Harvard (crazy). On Wednesday, also from Community as well as Mad Men, Alison Brie, lays it out, pretty bare. It’s a great talk. On Friday I will air a live WTF from The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater featuring Jeff Richards, Christina Pazsitzky, Jason Nash, Matt Kirshen and Jim Earl.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
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