Dispatches from the Head

It’s Hit or Miss.

Hello, Folks!

Hope you had a fun Halloween. I didn’t really notice it until the first kid in a decade came by my house for candy. I didn’t have any. Almost had to give the little pirate some vinyl or maybe just pour some Puffins into her bag. Luckily I had some high end chocolate I snagged down in North Carolina. I’m not sure the kid will dig 70% Dark with Sea Salt but maybe she will. Maybe it will change her little life.

After the embarrassment of possibly enlightening the little pirate (but most likely disappointing her) I scrambled out to the Vons and grabbed a bag of Kit Kats that I am now in a standoff with. I’m happy to report that four other kids came by so the fight isn’t going to go on that long. There’s only half a bag left.

I was flattered and shocked that people tweeted pics of themselves dressed as me for Halloween. That is a scary costume. I imagine the downside of that costume is having to explain who I am to people that don’t know. I have to deal with that all the time. I would say one out of five people would be able to understand that costume. I hope that was a good experience for anyone who went out there dressed as me. Now you can know how it feels to be hanging with one person who is into you and four who are like ‘I’m sorry, I just don’t know who you are.' The number of people who don’t know me is probably much larger relatively speaking but I’m going with one out of five. I’m good with those numbers.

I’m actually fine with things exactly as they are externally. Internally, it’s hit or miss.
I’m a little down on myself at the moment and I have to track. Sometimes it just sneaks up on me while I’m sleeping. It’s weird and awful when things aren’t right in your head and your heart but everything seems to be going great. I’m not feeling sorry for myself or complaining. I know those of you who have been listening for a long time know that this isn’t uncommon for me. I guess just some days are internally shitty on occasion.

I think my mind and heart are wired for seasons. There’s a mode and tone to fall, a crispness that I look forward too. There’s a feeling to it that enables me to feel a slight melancholy and longing without going to down the hole. I think the fact that it was sunny and eighty here today is fucking with my internal seasonal clock. I’m at odds with the weather emotionally and the weather is good. Fucked up. I want to be reflective and nostalgic and a little dark but the sun if harshing my gloom buzz. I will wax poetic about the darkness that envelops me at times. I will try accept it but I will also do everything I can to avoid it and manage it when it happens. I should just learn to sit in it and watch it pass and not panic.

My mood might have had something to do with the dream I had last night or the movie I saw. I watched 99 Homes and it was pretty devastating. Great, but hardcore. Beautifully shot and acted and morally menacing without much redemption. I woke up feeling like I was a bad person. That’s a powerful film.

I had a great talk with Patricia Arquette that you can listen to today. She was intimidating to me but I don’t think you can tell. On Thursday I talk to James Corden. He was great as well. Fun and thoughtful. Good week on the show.


Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

I Need a Picnic.

Yes, People!

Yes, people. I am running out of ways to open this newsletter. So, I went with ‘Yes, People.’ I’m not yessing anything in particular. Just affirming, I guess.

I’m not cheap. I just think I have odd taste. Okay, maybe I’m a little cheap but if you don’t buy nice shit you don’t have to be heartbroken when it gets fucked up or lost or stolen or turns out to be cheap. I’ll get to the point. I threw out all of my old patio furniture because it was breaking and weather beaten Ikea stuff I’ve had for decade. It was embarrassing. If it wasn’t all breaking, I could’ve pushed it off as cool and almost antique but those weird hex keyed bolts that hold that shit together is a give away -- that and the breaking. It just looked like scary, dirty old garbage furniture that you didn’t want to sit on. So, my deck has been empty except for three scattered mismatched chairs, the ones that weren’t breaking. It looked kind of minimal but there’s a fine line between minimal and sad.

I looked at a bunch of patio stuff online. It’s always my first instinct to just replace what I had. That’s the easiest thing to do. Of course I was looking at the end of summer so there wasn’t a lot available. I looked at some fancier stuff and it just looked like run of the mill patio stuff. I like wood. I like it not to be too ornate. Then it hit me. I need a picnic. I need and old style, shitty, side of the road, campsite-style picnic table. That is the most practical thing and it would look cool. I kept telling myself that a picnic table would be hip. I was thinking out loud about it and on my birthday my girlfriend had one delivered. I had a fully-assembled, unpainted pine picnic table on my deck. Over the weekend I decided it needed to be stained red for it to have that classic campsite, roadside look, so we stained it red. Yes! I now have a red picnic table on my deck and three mismatched re-stained Ikea chairs and it is exactly what I wanted. I think I’ll invest in a nice umbrella. That will just make it perfect. Maybe not, though. Maybe I’ll leave it just like it is and I’ll pitch a tent out there. Camping.

Interesting shows this week. On Monday, I talk to Aaron Draplin. His company, Draplin Design Co., is pretty fucking groovy. I can’t remember how we were introduced but he’s an intense, self-made dude that makes cool shit. I wanted to talk to him. It seems out of my wheelhouse but it was great and I learned about someone else's passion for something I could understand but knew nothing about. On Thursday, I talk to the legendary record engineer, Steve Albini. Don’t call him a producer, he doesn’t like that. Even though he had his hands and fingers on the mixing board for some the best records ever he still sees himself as just an engineer there to make the band sound how they want to sound. Intense guy. Great talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Crushed and Crashed.

Good day, Folks-

I will now stop pestering you about Australia because I’m back. It’s done. It was great. I want to thank everyone who came out to the shows for coming out. They were amazing shows. I think the shows there were some of the best I’ve ever done in my life.

I had absolutely no time to do anything while I was there. I left on Monday night from Los Angeles and arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. I slept on-and-off on the plane, watched The Departed, Wolf of Wall Street and a third of the Godfather. Got off the the plane about 5am. Then the dream started. The strange thing about jet lag is you waver between two feelings. Sometimes you feel hungover but with nothing to regret. I guess if the trip doesn’t go well you can regret that, but mine went fine so I just felt queasy and lost. The other feeling is like waking consciousness. That is how I felt most of the time. Like it wasn’t quite a dream but I wasn’t awake either.

I got to the hotel and napped and wandered around a bit. I had TV to do and I didn’t quite have a sense of where I was. I’ve been to Melbourne a couple of times before but I could remember almost nothing. I must’ve felt the same way on those trips because it’s like a dream to me now-- fragments, bits and pieces of imagery, a meal or two. I was there for two weeks and I barely remember the shows. I remember they went well which is why I wanted to go back.

I had to do some TV the first night of this trip. I drank a bunch of coffee, ate a bunch of chocolate and got my brain humming hard and went to do The Live Project show. It’s a panel show. It went well. Talked about the Obama episode, got some laughs and got out. Crushed and crashed. Got up did a morning TV show then got a plane to Sydney. Got to the hotel, crashed, got up, ate shitload of chocolate, drank coffee and a couple Pepsi Max’s and did the show at The State Theatre. There were about 1200 people there. It’s a stunning old theater. I was nervous how it would go but it was an amazing show. I wandered through two hours of standup and it felt perfect.

The next morning I flew back to Melbourne, crashed, got up, coffee, chocolate, hit the stage at the Palais. Had about 1200 again. The Stones had played there in ’65. I wasn’t sure how it would feel. It was kind of a haunted old place in St. Kilda. Great crew there. Listened to loud AC/DC through the huge sound system before the doors opened. Got me in the right frame of mind. I did another two hour show, but tight. It was one of the best shows I have ever done. After, I had some amazing ramen and crashed.

Next day, flew to Brisbane. I had almost cancelled that show before I left because of low ticket sales but we were able to move it to a smaller venue and packed 375 people into it. It was at City Hall. Felt like a conference room. Thought it would be weird. It wasn’t. It was more intimate and emotionally raw but I did almost two hours again. It was sweet, connected.

All the people that came out to the shows were great. My openers Michael Hing, Anne Edmonds and Mel Buttle were all great.

Thanks, Australia. Now, I’m on a plane heading back and it all feels like a dream. Too short a trip, I’m leaving right as my body adjusted and now I’ll deal with lag on this side. Amazing trip.

A music week! Monday I talk to Mikal Cronin. I’ve loved his music for while now. He’s a pal of Ty Segall’s, they came up together. We had good talk. I also talk to Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus. I ran into him down at Permanent Records and told him to come by. Love their new record. On Thursday, the legendary James Taylor and I talk about all of it. I had no idea it would be such an amazing conversation.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

I’m Going to Do It This Time.

Good day, People!

I'm on my way to Australia. I want to thank the people with tickets ahead of time. If you don’t have your tickets and this is the first time you're hearing that I will be in Sydney on Thursday, Oct. 14, Melbourne on the 16th and Brisbane on the 17th, please grab your tickets. Links to all shows are available at wtfpod.com/calendar. No matter what happens, we will have some interesting shows. Looking forward to being there.

God, I hate flying. It is part of the gig but the energy it takes to sublimate my fear of take off is exhausting. I literally pass out just before the plane takes off. I used to assume it had something to do with the depressurization of the cabin but I’m starting to think it’s the nap of the neurotically exhausted. I’m usually okay after that, barring extreme turbulence. Shit, I don’t want to go now.

A therapist I used to see back in the early nineties in San Francisco recently contacted me. I had mentioned something he said to me back then on the podcast and I guess someone told him. So, he DMed me on Twitter, we exchanged emails and we met for dinner when he was down here in LA on business. It was wild to see someone I saw in that context more than twenty years later. I was excited to talk to him.

Sometimes it’s hard to see events that happen as part of a momentum that transcends coincidence. I have been very stressed out lately. I know that comes as no surprise if you know me but I shouldn’t be. Things are going good. I earn an honest living and I’m doing what I want to be doing. So, why the stress and insanity? I’m sure being back on the nicotine and coffee cycle does nothing to help anything. That and a lack of exercise routine is enough to cause insanity. Add a lapse of secret society meetings and you’ve got a perfect shit storm of escalating insanity. I have a brain that works in a specifically faulty way no matter what the externals are. It’s a drag. I am aware of it. Intensely aware. I need to take that next step to finding peace of mind and opening my heart more regularly. I know this.

But what has to happen? Well, after talking to my old therapist about his life and where it has taken him I had to heed the signs. He gave up private practice, did a lot of work in building family therapy centers and consulting in creating therapeutic environments and processes for effective family counseling and then went into private counseling for corporate workplaces. It was an impressive story and the one element that changed his life was MEDITATION. Now, I’ve been hearing about meditation from a few people whose work I respect and who are intelligent folks. Kismet! I tried it back in the day, kinda. I’ve thought about doing it. I don’t do a lot of things that would improve my inner life. WHY? Because it’s what I know. Insanity and chaos is my comfort zone. When I don’t have it in my external life I make it in my mind. I’m tired of it. I’m going to meditate. I’m going to do it this time. I downloaded an app so I’m more than halfway there. I keep you in the loop.

I am thrilled to have my first playwright on the show today. I talked to Annie Baker about her work and being awarded the Pulitzer last year. I saw two of her plays in NYC over the last few months. I was excited to talk to her. On Thursday I talk to Mike Epps about playing Richard Pryor in an upcoming biopic and about how he got to where he is. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

We Barely Made It Out.

Greetings, People!

Australia next week! We will have a good time no matter how how many people decided to come. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. October 15th, 16th and 17th! Check dates and links to tickets at wtfpod.com/calendar. Come if you can!

I was just in Raleigh, NC. The woman I am seeing, Sarah Cain, had a big art opening there at CAM Raleigh. I flew down to be there. She did a work on site. She painted the fuck out the place and it is pretty amazing. It’s moving to be thoroughly impressed and surprised by the work your partner does. I had seen a couple of her previous works on site before. They were great but this was some next level shit. I know her pretty well. I guess as well as someone knows someone they have been seeing a year. But how can you really know what a creative person is capable of or what is inside a creative person until they put it out into the world. I sat there with her before her opening and took it in and was moved to tears. It’s hard to say whether or not it was pride or awe or actually being moved by the massive colorful abstractions. It was probably a combination of the three and maybe a couple of other things. It was intense. I like being with someone who does something so outside of my wheelhouse that I don’t feel insecure or threatened by it. I could never do what she does. Sadly, sometimes it takes that for me to be able to appreciate something. If you live in that area or if you find yourself in Raleigh you should check it out. The show runs through January 3rd.

We barely made it out of Raleigh to come to NYC. At least it seemed like we barely made it out. The weather forecasts last week lead me to believe that I might not ever get out of NC. The foreboding possibility of a hurricane that seemed like it might destroy the entire Eastern seaboard was all anyone could talk about. I was ready to start looking at houses there.

It’s weird when you live in LA how relieving it is spend some time in a wet place that just seems to have water around and it's taken for granted. I’ve never surrendered to and enjoyed torrential downpours so much. It seems that LA is just slowly baking with no marinade and we’re all going to dry up there. It’s apocalyptic and frightening. I fantasize about living in a wet, rainy place.

I’m in NYC. I did the New Yorker festival where I was interviewed by Kelefa Sanneh. That went well. I’m heading out to Princeton to do a lecture on… me… I guess. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m in the same hall that Einstein presented his Theory of Relativity. So, no pressure.

Speaking of art, I had a pretty revelatory talk with Peaches on Monday. I knew very little about her other then she puts it all out there and is very provocative in a sometimes challenging and off-putting-but-hilarious way. It was good getting to know her. On Thursday I talk to British blues legend John Mayall about music and many of the rock legends that started in his band. I also spend a little time with The Sporkful’s Dan Pashman. We go back to the Air America days. It’s always entertaining to put Dan on the spot about food, or anything, really.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Some Things Have Leveled Off

Birthday time, People! Damn.

Somehow or another I’ve done it again. I’ve lived. Another year has passed and I am now fifty-fucking-two years old. I feel okay. Most things are going well. I understand that. There is part of my brain that insists that isn’t quite the case and has other plans. I am in damage control mode when there is no crisis. Exhausting. I have to figure out another mode.

It’s strange and I seem to be talking about it a lot one way or the other but I am getting older and sometimes I don’t know what to do with my life. I have spent so much of it driving myself crazy and pushing towards something and trying to make something work. I had a lot of faith that once I achieved whatever I was trying to do I would be all better. Now, some things have leveled off. I’ve achieved so much of what I set out to do and I am proud of it and grateful for it. I have to say I wonder what happens now. Do I just keep pushing or is there a time where I enjoy life? Or can I do them simultaneously? Or am I actually enjoying life? It seems that it should be clearer to me. More apparent.

Is it strange that I fantasize about moving off the cultural grid? Not the actual grid, just the draining, desperate, frustrated clutter of the end of civilization. You know, CONTENT! Media cancer. Clickbait. The grand fragmented distraction that people base their tragic, shallow perception on. I can't take it. That and fucking traffic. Yeah, I just would like to be on an island somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Sitting. Thinking, Walking around. Breathing. Figuring out what is important and what joy is. Is that a crazy dream? Maybe I can try it for a week. See how it goes. Maybe I’ll just keep it as a fantasy.

This week I talk to a man that grew up in show business and now has a very diverse career in it. Jake Kasdan, son of Lawrence, talks to me in the garage on Monday about directing, writing and producing. On Thursday the perfect Michaela Watkins. Amazing actress, amazing person and hilarious. Love her.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Large In My Psyche and Heart.

It’s only rock and roll, people.

I’m a little out of my mind. I have no idea how to relax. Of course, I don’t do much to try either, so I guess I can’t complain. I assume eventually, if I don’t die, I will wear down and be humbled into an aggravated calmness by time. I really need to make a decision around that. Like, should being calm and peaceful and in pursuit of joy and happiness be part of my life? Are those things important? Are they possible? Are they even good things? I don’t know. I’m amped up to think about it. Exhaustion is the closest I get to calm. Manic excitement is the closest I get to joy. Relief is the closest I get to happiness.

I like to play guitar.

So, this week is a big week. Well, a few weeks ago was really when the big day happened. I think some of you know that Keith Richards looms large in my psyche and heart. I don’t think I am alone in that. There are those of us who idolized the outlaw rock and roll image that he created and upheld. He was rock and roll to me when I was a kid. It wasn’t even about the music. It was just Keith. He was a human fuck you. I was fortunate in that I didn’t pursue the life that he represented so deeply that I died or, even more tragic, pursued a life in music. I say that because I just wasn’t cut out for it, and I was not a good enough player to do either. Or I probably just wasn’t a confident enough player to do it. Being in a rock band was not the direction my ego was dragging me and I think I am grateful for that. It did drag me down a drug hole but my conscience and heart always threw me a line if I got too far out.

The fact was, for years, Keith was a menacing mystery, king of the laid back riff of rhythm. It actually has taken me a lifetime to understand why he was and is so great at guitar. It took me years to understand his magic. It wasn’t until after I read his book that I realized that he was one of the great hyper-intelligent bullshit spinners of our time. There was plenty of hard truth, fact and history in there, but that guy can tell a story. He isn’t some brain-dead dope fiend. So, when the opportunity to talk to him for ten minutes happened I nearly lost my shit. Now, the opportunity to talk to him for an hour happened and… I did lose my shit. I was full of fanboy excitement that usually levels off after about ten minutes. Not this time. It just kept going. I did something with Keith that I hadn’t done in years, but I had to. There was really no choice. You’ll hear.

We did the interview at NPR in NYC. Keith was there to do Morning Edition and we were able to use the studio after. It was an amazing moment waiting around for Keith to finish that interview and a woman coming down the hall saying, ‘He’s smoking in there,' with a bit of panic in her voice. Everyone who heard her say it just stood there. Clearly no one was going to ask Keith to put his cigarette out.

So, enjoy Keith on Monday and on Thursday the slightly irascible and outspoken Nick DiPaolo talks to me during one of my visits to NYC. I’ve known Nick since I started. He’s an acquired taste. Not for the faint-hearted, pearl clutching crowd.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

It’s Good to Throw Shit Out.

People of the world!

I’m losing my fucking mind, again. It comes in cycles. I don’t want any diagnosis. It is what it is. There’s about to be a lot going on for a change. I’m not complaining. It just seems that what I do, instead of excitement and joy, is panic and dread. Then I get real OCD about stuff to keep the unknown at bay and focus, meticulously, on the present tasks which are generally unnecessary, but I make them urgent.

I went to see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and I thought it was exciting as fuck and a great movie. I knew nothing about any of it. I think that is one of the reasons biopics generally suck. If you are familiar with the person it can never match what you created in you mind or who they really are. I knew a few NWA songs but I knew nothing of their orgin story. I’m not a rap guy or that into hip hop. I have a few records but it wasn’t really my thing. I can appreciate it. I just missed it. I have a sense of Ice Cube because of his movies but I just didn’t know the story. I thought it was compelling, amazingly acted and well-paced. The music sounded great and the direction was just tight. Even the bits that were foreshadowing and a little hacky didn’t diminish anything. I actually accepted them as necessary. It was a rare, completely satisfying movie going experience.

I’ve been trying to get grounded here at home. I moved a shed, built a platform for it because the old one was rotted out, got up on the roof, cleaned it, did some work with some PVC, created a drain, sorted tools, did some time at the hardware store, all with a sense of urgency needed for me to stop beating the shit out of me. Spirituality. I had help but I was in it. It’s good to throw shit out and feel it go -- remnants of old loves, people leaving, projects that never happened, hopes and plans, pieces of the past, rusted out cans of combustibles, broken tools. Garbage. Hope.

I talked to Matt Sweeney today. He’s a new friend. Good guy. Good rap. Good guitar player. You probably know him but don't know that you do. It was a great talk. On Thursday I have an amazing conversation with Sir Patrick Stewart, about it all. It’s all there this week. Dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

it Was Astounding.

Hello, All!

I want to thank everyone across the pond who came out to the shows in Dublin and London. It was a big deal for me to make the trip. I get very nervous about whether or not people will like me overseas—anywhere. I’m not sure that insecurity is founded in anything logical because if you are coming to see me, you kind of know what you are getting into. I think given my general discomfort in my skin, being in my skin in another country just exacerbates it. BUT…the shows were amazing and the crowds were great. I had fun. Consider my fear of international audiences officially over!

I really like Ireland. I have barely been there but I have always felt enchanted by the place. This was the first time I actually got to hang around a little bit. I love walking around Dublin. The food is amazing and the entire vibe of the city is deep. It's not a very ethnically diverse city. I did spend some time in the black neighborhood. It’s basically a statue of Phil Lynott downtown. I had the insane pleasure of hanging out with Richard Thompson again in Dublin. He was at the venue I was in the night before. The Vicar Theater. I got in, jet-lagged, and went to see him. I never know if people really remember me or whether they would want to hang out again. He was cool. I went backstage, we talked a bit, I played around on his guitar for a sec and then I watched the show. It turns out I knew his bass player, too. Davey Faragher. We had some common friends back in the day and I guess he’s living in Dublin because Thompson had just hired him on. He said they hadn’t even really rehearsed. IT SOUNDED AMAZING. Fucking genius. That’s all. Just genius. All of it. The drummer, Michael Jerome, was outstanding.

The shows in London were great. Jarlath Regan opened for me and he did a great job. I had met him years ago during my bleak Edinburgh experience back in 2007. It was good to see him and see where his comedy is at now. I had fun in London. I walked around a bit. I ate amazing fucking Indian food at a place called Tayyabs-- seriously life changing food. I went to the Tate Modern and saw the Agnes Martin retrospective, which was astounding. The highpoint of the Tate for me was the Rothko room. They had a series of paintings that were commissioned for The Four Seasons Hotel in NYC but he reneged on the commission and gave them to the Tate. They are all in one room, dimly lit, ominous and amazingly powerful-- another life changer or maybe life adder is better.

Australia. I’ll be around your area in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in October. Check the calendar for details.

Today on the show is a hotel room chat with Bob Guccione, Jr. We talk the creation of Spin magazine, journalism, dads, rock and censorship among other things. Fred Armisen joins me Thursday for a very revealing talk considering it’s hard to really get a sense of who he is in there usually. I feel like I know him a bit now after our talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

I Think We’re Good.

Yes, People

All is well. Australia! I am coming to you. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane! Oct. 15th, 16th and 17th. Check the calendar for details.

I made it through actually doing something good for myself. The new driveway looks amazing. I’m sure I will keep looking at it for problems but all I know is that the age of sandbagging the garage when it rains and relying on a mystery hole in the cement are over. I am now the owner of a driveway with drainage. From what I am told, my timing is good. The forecast is that LA will be washed off the map and into the sea in November. Thus ending the drought and the seemingly endless scourge of bad entertainment and clickbait bullshit. My garage will be the only thing standing. It’s own perch. An island. I plan to be podcasting my final interview with Satan. Should be great. I think we’re good.

It’s amazing how much anxiety I can get over a good thing. I’m a festering mess of OCD trying to manage things going well. The rewards. Between the driveway and my new Camry I’m going to have to check into a mental institution.

This week on the show I talk to Lake Bell about a lot of stuff. The most amazing of which is childbirth. Mindblowing and completely out of my experience. I love her. On Thursday it’s a double-header with two very different musicians. Part one I talk to Richard Thompson who is one of the greatest singers, songwriters and guitar players ever. Part two I talk to Lemmy who is….Lemmy. Rock.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Protect the Box.

Hello, All.

Few plugs out of the gate here. I will be in Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday, September 2nd. Then I will be in London England on Thursday, September 3rd and Friday the 4th at the Southbank Centre. There are definitely a few tickets left for Dublin and you’ll have to check on London. I will be making a quick trip to Australia in October. I will be in Sydney at The State Theatre on the 15th, Melbourne at the Palais on the 16th and at Brisbane City Hall on the 17th. I’m excited to come but a little sad I won’t be able to hang out much anywhere. Just be there long enough to totally fuck my body clock up.

I think my appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher went well. It’s sort of astounding how out of touch I am in terms of politics and how quickly I can get back in touch enough to feel okay about going on that show. I used to be entrenched in the day-to-day political dialogue and I can't begin to tell you how much better my life is now that I am not. It wasn’t like I made any deep political points on Maher or that I was even really trying to but I thought I picked my moments well, got some laughs and said a couple of smart, funny things. That’s all I set out to do. Listen and find the moments. I used to spend the day before a taping like that working every angle I could find, writing jokes for all the topics and generally panicking about whether or not I would get any out or would seem too desperate to get them out and whether or not they would seem to even fit the conversation. I didn’t do any of that this time. I talked to Brendan about what was going on in the world of politics. Understood it. Then I just rolled the stuff around in my head a bit. When you have a propensity to be self-righteous, strident and underneath it you are fundamentally angry, you can get pretty annoying, pretty quickly. I know that about myself. The rush of self-righteous anger feels like a hit of crack. I avoid crack. I know it’s not good. I have come to avoid self-righteous anger as much as I can. I want to honor myself in all my encounters and exchanges. I want to avoid becoming a monster in a moment. The vigilance of self-management when a good part of you works outside the box with the specific agenda of destroying the box is recommended. If the box is you, protect the box.

Oddly, when I went out to dinner after taping ‘Real Time’ and doing a set at the comedy store I was consumed with self-righteous anger in a conversation I had with a couple of dudes. One was my old friend Tom Rhodes who I hadn’t seen in a while. The other was another guy who I won’t mention because he was the dude I got mad at. Look, I don’t care what you think of Maher. He’s a difficult person but he’s the real deal. He’s a comic who paid his dues, does the real comedy and built something sustainable for himself and for television. I was sitting with a guy who is trying to make a go of it in comedy and he says, ‘I don’t think Bill Maher works hard enough on his comedy.' He said some other stuff, again and again, until I snapped. ‘Who the fuck are you to shit on a lifer?' is what I said, among other things. I felt the rush of the anger. Almost couldn’t let it go. You can have an opinion but if you are going to shit on someone’s craft and output you better have something to show for yourself or step away from the table. It was an ugly moment but it felt GOOD.

Today I talk to Jerrod Carmichael. He’s a new comic with some real juice. On Thursday me and Peter Bogdanovich talk about his long journey in film. Pretty amazing talks.


Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

We’re On Howl!

It's Only Rock and Roll, Folks.

First off, exciting news. WTF is now part of Howl Premium. Howl has the archives from all the Earwolf and Wolfpop shows, plus exclusive Howl Originals, and now Howl Premium has all the WTF archives, too. You can still get the most recent 50 episodes for free, but to get the WTF archives and all the other Howl content click the Howl Premium banner on the left. Use WTF in the checkout for 20% off the monthly subscription. And here's another great thing: If you're already a WTF Premium member, your account will transfer over to Howl Premium for free and you'll pay exactly what you're already paying. Check your inboxes because you'll be getting an email from Howl this week with all the details.

Dublin, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane! Please check the calendar for upcoming dates in your cities.

As far as I know, I will be on Real Time with Bill Maher this Friday. So, there’s that.

Last Thursday marked the end of this season of ‘Maron’ on IFC and I am as disturbed by the condition of the Maron character as you are. We’ll see if they give me another season to get him moving in the right direction again.

I just got back from NYC. I have never flown back to the city specifically to do one interview but I did this time because it was Keith Richards. Yes. It was arguably just as important as the President… to me, anyway. It was a completely amazing experience for me. I looked up to this guy my whole life. He inspired me to make almost every bad decision I made in my early life. I barely kept it together for the interview but we talked for about an hour and had a great time. That will be airing in September when his new solo album drops. Look forward to it.

I also saw some theater when I was in NYC. The last time I was there I saw Annie Baker’s ‘The Flick.’ This time I saw her play ‘John.' I loved both. It’s amazing when someone breathes new life into the seemingly stale and staid world of theater. Baker’s plays are funny, deep and odd. She has her own timing. The plays seem new. Like there is a new thing here, finally. I never go to theater because I’m terrified of going to a bad play. I’d rather sit angrily doing nothing wondering why I’m not doing something that go see bad theater. I talked to Annie, too. It was a new experience to talk to a playwright. I have a lot of respect for her. Look forward to that talk, too.

On the home front, things are coming together and simultaneously falling apart. I guess that’s just called home ownership. Sundays are for getting shit done but sometimes they are for almost getting shit done or even getting something done that just leads to needing to do more shit. I have all this old Ikea patio furniture that I decided to scrub down and put back on my newly stained deck. This shit is like 6 or 7 years old and may have cost me 300 bucks for everything. It’s all covered in filth and pollen and baked dry. Why not just throw it all away and get some new stuff? Well, then I wouldn’t get to use my neighbor Dennis’ water blasting deep cleaning machine. We pulled that thing out and a good chunk of time, blood and tools went into getting it running right. Then I blasted an old table clean and it immediately broke into pieces. Then I turned the thing on my gate which needs staining. I couldn’t really see what I was doing because the sun was in my eyes and it was too much of a rush blasting away before I noticed that I was literally shredding the wood with the high powered cleaner. It took about two hours of beating the shit out of myself to decide it’s just part of the life of the gate. A history.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley joins me today and we talk about his time as a standup, which he wants to put behind him (and has). Great talk. On Thursday, director and media empire wizard Robert Rodriguez hangs out in the garage. Amazing. And I do a shorty with Jonathan Ames as well.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Thank All of You

Hola, peoples!

Hey! International travel on the horizon! I have dates in England, Ireland and Australia coming up. Check the calendar. I should be more specific. London, Dublin, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane!

I want to thank all of you for being there for me in a very real way. Yesterday I had 16 years sober. It’s no small feat and it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long but it has. I am very grateful to have the outlet of the podcast to speak my mind and talk to people and I’m glad so many of you find it compelling. Knowing that you are out there and ‘get’ me certainly makes my sobriety better. In all honesty, it helps me stay sober. It’s not that I am going to drink, but living a sober life and being mindful and aware of my own bullshit and owning it is what being sober is all about. Well, that and not getting fucked up. But the staying in check is something I share with you all. Thanks. If you fast forward through it, my ability to accept that is very sober.

Also, I’m glad so many of you who are trying to get or stay sober get strength from the show. Thank you for your emails and it gives me great pride and peace of mind to know that I help.

Also, thanks to a few of you, I’m going to the cardiologist today. Apparently my story of my ill-fated attempt at running in 100 degree heat has some of you concerned. I got an email and a tweet about the symptoms of a heart attack and clogged arteries. So, the day after the run I woke up in a complete panic. I called the health center I go to and asked if they had an appointment. The scheduling person asked why. I told her about the run. She asked if I was breathing okay and if the symptoms subsided and I told her for the most part they did and she told me to go to the emergency room. That freaked me out because I didn’t think I was having a heart event or attack or whatever but she almost convinced me. She even told me the doctor is probably going to just send me to the emergency room and asked me if I would rather drive there or go in an ambulance because that’s what would happen if the doctor sends me. She made me panic, hard. I think she almost gave me a heart attack. I got an appointment and within an hour a doctor was examining my vague symptoms. Everything they could check—EKG, pulse, pressure—was fine. She did give me a referral to the heart doc. I will keep you in the loop.

The problem with having the symptoms of anxiety in all their manifestations over the years AND seeing doctors is there is a cry wolf element. I am at an age now where, anxiety or not, I gotta go. Who knows when shit is going to break down.

Today I posted my conversation with Lynn Shelton. She makes beautiful movies and has a very interesting creative evolution AND is a good talker. I liked hanging out with her. On Thursday I talk to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, and not about politics. Yeah, imagine that. I got to know that guy a bit. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

I Love NYC.

People!

I’m on a plane watching ‘Best in Show’ as I write this. Hilarious. Fred Willard is a genius, but so is everyone in the movie, actually. Just thought I’d tell you that. In case you didn’t know. Also, I’ve interviewed three of the people in the cast. I’m going to try to get Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch, Eugene Levy, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge and John Michael Higgins on the show. See, there are a lot of people I want to interview. I’m sure I’m missing a few just from that film.

I have a few dates coming up across the pond. I will be in Dublin at Vicar Street on September 2nd and in London at Southbank Centre on the 3rd and 4th. I’m excited. I’ve never been to Dublin and it’s been years since I’ve been to London.

I’m flying back from Fort Worth, Texas. I gave a little talk/interview at Podcast Movement. It was great. There are a lot of people excited about podcasting. Before that I was in NYC for a couple of days. I went head to head with Charlie Rose on his show. Well, that’s a bit dramatic, but he interviewed me. It was exciting to me. He is the interview guy. The smart, long-form TV interview guy. We had a good talk. It was kind of wild waiting to go on, sitting in the green room area, watching him talk John Sununu. There was no beat between the two of us. They finished. I walked in the room. He said goodbye to John and I sat down. I watched Charlie look at his cards, load up his head, look up at the camera and mispronounce my name in the intro. I corrected him. We started over and had a nice chat.

That night Brendan McDonald and I went see Annie Baker’s ‘The Flick' at the Barrow Street Theatre. I can’t remember the last time I saw a play. I forget that it’s fucking essential to see theater a few times a year, at least. It somehow connects me with myself. The vulnerability and immediacy of the experience of seeing a play is elevating and completely organic simultaneously. The play itself is very subtle, very funny, but very challenging in its simplicity. It won the Pulitzer so it has to be reckoned with and we reckoned with it. It was a good night in NYC. We had a couple of slices, saw an award-winning play, walked across town talking about it, broke it down, hashed it out, did the big work and called it a night.

Then I hung out at the bar at the hotel and ran into Jason Segel, who was staying there as well. We had some laughs and I crashed. I love NYC. The next night I had some breakfast with guitar’s Matt Sweeney who brought along Matthew Johnson of Fat Possum Records. We talked blues, ate Moroccan food, then went to Rivington Guitars, played some classic rigs through some old tranformers and Sweeney laid some riffs on me. That night I saw Blake Mills summon the tube spirits at City Winery in a fucking wizardly one-hour 15-minute set closing with a cover of Dylan’s ‘When I Paint my Masterpiece.' Spectacular. Did I mention I fucking love New York?

The last time I was in NYC I ran into Harmony Korine, the filmmaker. He was in town for a screening of the film ‘Kids’ on the 20th anniversary of the film. Some of you might recall he did a live WTF in Austin that was a little dicey. I asked if he wanted to do the show and he agreed. It was a good talk that I put up today. On Thursday Jason Bateman and I have a loose, funny talk about the challenge of growing up in show business among other things. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Back to the Drawing Board.

That’s it, folks-

I did the last two dates of my ‘Maronation Tour’ this past weekend in Colorado. I had a great time doing the shows. I want to thank you all for coming out if you did. It was my first ‘theater’ tour and we did good. I had no idea whether or not I could get people out in the numbers I did and it was exciting. After spending more than half my career toiling in relative anonymity it’s pretty amazing to perform for big crowds of people that want to see me.

The hour and half I was touring with will be trimmed up to air in a special I did for Epix in Chicago. It’s called ‘More Later’ and will begin airing in December.

I will be doing dates in London and Ireland in September. Vicar Street in Dublin on Sept. 2 and Southbank Center in London Sept. 4-5.

Now, it’s back to the drawing board.

It’s always daunting to face having to build a new bunch of bits and chunks of comedy. I never think it will come but it does. I just start thinking out loud and talking it through on stage and it creates itself over time. I believe I will take a break though. It’s been a crammed few months and I feel like I need to give my brain a rest. I can’t even find the mental energy to tweet my thoughts. I know, tragedy, right?

Denver is a pretty great city with great food. Dean Delray and I had fun. Great record stores. There’s actually a couple of shops where you can find rare shit that may not be worth anything but they’re just records you don’t see much. We went to a place called Black and Read. It was a classic cluttered-stacks-of-stuff-of-all-kinds store. Thousands of records, books, toys, t-shirts, DVDs. It was nuts. I usually run out of steam (and hope) when I go to place that overwhelming. We were there for a couple hours I think. I picked records I had never seen before but thought I should have and some I’ve seen before but don’t have and some I have but bought again just because… who the fuck knows? I got: A few old Humble Pie, the first Richard Hell and Voidoids, Lou Reed’s Blue Mask (another copy - that’s three now - I don’t know why), Renegade by Thin Lizzy, a Nicky Hopkins solo record (what?), some band called Black Pearl, a Bongwater album and Dr. John’s Night Tripper. Crazy.

Then we went to Wax Trax and I picked up a Rank and File record. It was at Wax Trax I had the realization that I am not alone. I’ve had it before but for some reason it just stuck this time. We were going through the bins and I found an Earl Slick record and I couldn’t remember where I knew his name from. Dean said, ‘Bowie’s later band.’ I said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ Then some bearded guy that looked roughly like me said. ‘Yeah, it was.’ Then I looked around and there were no less then four dudes that looked like me digging through bins trying to remember and feel like they did when we had no other choices. There was even a guy standing there trying to explain to what must’ve been his six-year-old daughter the difference between the two ‘Some Girls’ covers. ‘Lucille Ball didn’t agree to have her picture used…’

There might be something sad about the whole vinyl endeavor and what it implies about my generation of men drifting into their fifties and wondering where it all went but I’m having a good time. I love holding, looking at and listening to the records. When we were walking out I saw that dad at the listening station with his daughter. She had headphones on and she was holding ‘Sgt. Peppers.' He said, ‘Getting her started on the good stuff.’ I said, 'Don’t let her fall down the rabbit hole we’re in.' He laughed.

I talked to Jason Segel for today’s show. I’ve always really liked him as an actor. I felt like we would have a lot in common for some reason and I was excited to talk to him. He’s playing David Foster Wallace in a new film called ‘The End of the Tour.' It’s a new kind of role for him. We had a good talk about DFW, work, drink and Judd. On Thursday, Sinbad and I talk about his amazing journey in comedy, music, Cosby and a few rough gigs. Great shows this week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron