Dispatches from the Head

I bought a bike.

Okay, Folks!

Last week at the Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater went great. Thanks again for coming out. If you want to come see the process of me figuring out what to talk about on stage there are at least two other opportunities. I will be doing the rambling self-wrestling workshops on March 4th and 11th at 8pm. I will have someone opening for me. Last week was Nate Bargatze. I’m not sure who it will be for the next two shows. You can get tickets here.

I bought a bike. I’ve bought bikes before but I really feel like I am going to ride this bike. Don’t you? I mean I didn’t get a bike that would pressure me. You know the kind. They have 29 gears, fancy handle bars that you have to hunch over to use, a tiny seat set way up and those dumb thingies that you have to put your feet in to pedal. I’ve decided those are dangerous. Not just the pedal thingies but fancy bikes in general. They seem to have expectations that I can’t live up to and I am not going to try anymore. I bought a cruiser. It has 7 speeds and ‘Hey, I’m riding a bike because it’s fun’ handlebars. It’s simple and badass. I’m going now to see if I can equip it with saddlebags or a basket of some kind because in my mind I’m going to be running all my local errands on that bike. I guess the trick now is to find a badass bike basket. I don’t even know if they exist. I’m hanging on to hope. Hope for a badass basket.
If you’ve never been called a sociopath apparently you aren’t making an impact on the people around you. Like narcissist, sociopath gets bandied about like regular people have the ability to diagnose psychiatric disorders based on their own feelings about someone. If you’ve been called either of these names I have to assume that the caller was not happy with you and there is a good chance they spent several years with you. I’m speaking in general terms here, hypothetical.

On Monday’s show I have a conversation with Jon Ronson who wrote a book called ‘The Psychopath Test’ which I read and found informative, compelling, personal and funny. It is also full of conscience or at the very least, self-awareness, which means that Jon is not a psychopath. Though he wasn’t entirely sure at points. On Thursday the always-talking Tom Arnold talks to me. It’s actually a revealing chat that made me see Tom differently. Hell of a story.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
4

I had a great time in Minnesota.

Snow, people, snow-

LA folks! I will be doing some shows at The Trepany House at the Steve Allen Theater! These are what I call ramble, flounder and wrestle shows. I need to find some new material and the way I do it is by splaying myself open in front of a room full of strangers as I try to figure it out. The shows are 8 dollars and all proceeds go the benefit the theater. You can get tickets here.

I didn’t tell you that I was going but I was in St. Paul, Minnesota for the night last Friday. I went there to appear on Wits, the radio show with John Moe. It was Minnesota in February so it was fucking cold and there was snow on the ground. No problem. Living in LA after living in wintery places for most of my life leaves me with a bit of craving for a taste of the white stuff. I was happy to be there and cold. Appearing on the show with me was Jason Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires. Many of you were telling me that I should interview him. I had no idea who he was. Then my friend told me he was in the Drive-By Truckers who I like and I was curious. Turns out the Truckers albums that I was familiar with were the ones Jason was on. This compelled me to bring my recording equipment with me. When I got to St. Paul I immediately downloaded all of Jason’s solo work, listened, loved them. Then I asked him on Twitter if he wanted to do the show. He said yes.

Everything was fine at the show. We did the sound check, we all ate, we rehearsed, we started the show and the first act went great. I went back in my dressing room at intermission to find that my iPhone and charger had been stolen from the DRESSING ROOM. IN MINNESOTA. This killed my last bit of belief in people being good. I was livid. That feeling when you lose your phone is one thing but knowing someone had all of me that was in that phone, it was like someone cut me open and stole an organ. I only had a few minutes to freak out, go to the Apple phone tracker to see if it was nearby (wasn’t). Then I emailed my mac guy who did his magic and had the phone locked down and killed from space. I was amazed that I went out for the second act of the show and didn’t ruin it for everyone. I had a great time actually. I did some singing and guitar playing. I let it go. I had done all I could about the phone. I called Moon and changed my password on Twitter. Those seemed most important. Then I went back to the hotel and Jason Isbell and me had a chat. He was a trooper. He was going on two hours sleep and had to be up at five to hit the road. Real deal. Good talk. We even recorded a song Alan Lomax style in the room. The Wits show made it right by buying me a phone the next morning. I had all my info delivered from space and was ready to go.

Got on a plane and as soon as I did it started snowing. If there is one thing I love about Minnesota is that they are not afraid of snow, they work with it, they fly in it. I loved the fact that we were held up briefly but there was never a question that we would leave. That is a big city problem. In Minnesota, they fly in the snow.

This week one of the most respected hard working comics around, Billy Gardell, is on the show. On Thursday the amazing comedian and writer for Conan O'Brien, Laurie Kilmartin, joins me in the garage. Great talks. Real deal people. Dig.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
4

Eating in NYC.

NYC, Folks!

Just getting ready to leave NYC. Had a really great time here. I think I needed the rest and needed to get out of LA after wrapping season 2 of ‘Maron.' I also had some business here that I don’t think I am at liberty to really talk about but let's say it went well. Everyone who was involved seemed happy with it.

I’m a bit anxious. I hope I can get out of NYC. I think I should be able to but I have become terrified of the weather in terms of travel. They used to fly in snow but not so much anymore. We’ll see. There’s a bit in the forecast but maybe we’ll get out.

Let me break down what I put in my body while I was here. I think you all should know. First night here we went to Angelika Kitchen. Healthy shit. The best macro joint on the planet though I’ve only eaten at maybe three. It was a good way to start. After eating there some part of you thinks, "why not eat like this all the time," and then, the following night, the Carnegie Deli steps in and shows you why you can't. A pastrami sandwich, matzoh ball soup and a slice of cheesecake later you think, "I don’t think I can ever eat again." That passes. Next day, Mogador Café for tagines and groovy Moroccan sides, mint tea, solid. Next day, Veselka, hot borscht and perogi. Then Russ and Daughter for just two fillets of matjes herring which almost cost me my new relationship. It’s a rocky initiation into the latent culinary yearnings of eastern European Jew lineage. She didn’t like it but she tried it. I think her immediate response was, "foul." Last night up we went to Scott Conant's NYC Scarpetta and had an awesome meal. I believe I may have a heart attack but I also believe this was just the trip to push me into a healthier food and exercise regimen. We’ll see. Both could happen.

And, yes, I am dating Moon Zappa. So, there. It’s been fun and grown up and AGE APPROPRIATE. Lots of crying (good kind) and laughing and talking and learning how to be in a relationship in a healthy way and other stuff (shy).

Do you know what Dr. Bronner’s All in One Soap is? Have you read the label? Do you remember the first time you saw the label and thought, "What the fuck is this?" I do. Through some weird coincidences I was able to interview David Bronner who is the grandson of Emmanuel Bronner who is the guy who wrote that stuff on the label. I was curious and obsessed about it. Interesting talk. On Thursday, if all goes as planned, the amazing Ron White will be on the show. I love Ron. He’s the real deal. I’m looking forward to talking to him.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

He will be missed.

Sad news, People-

Being someone who has struggled a bit with addiction, it’s always tragic to hear about someone who loses that battle. When I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead from an overdose of heroin it hit me right in the guts because I know he was always fighting that demon. Drug addiction is the closest true parallel to demonic possession that I know of. Having been possessed myself there is no worse feeling than being held hostage in your own body and mind by a demon that is hijacking and dictating all of your decisions. The demon is using your will to kill you in the name of relief and euphoria. That is the horror of the disease of addiction and I am sad that it took Hoffman. He will be missed.

On other fronts we wrapped the second season of ‘Maron’ last week and I spent the day editing the episode I directed. It is just fucking amazing what a good editor can do and how quickly you can look at options and make dramatic changes to a story. The entire directorial process is very exciting. I would like to try it when I am not in every scene and I can actually sit back and say action every time and not have to shout cut from the set I am on. Sadly, a cut was called a beat too early on one occasion. I blame the director. He’s the new guy. Again, very excited about the new season. I think they are good shows and I’m not a guy who says that about something I do.

My crazy cat LaFonda has a cone on her head so she won't pick at her stitches on her lip. She had a little cyst removed. So, now my life is full of crazed feline fury and tweak. Never a dull moment. She’s been under the bed for two days giving me stink eye when I look at her. The stink is tempered by the ridiculousness of the cone. I feel bad I am putting her through that. I will take it off soon.

Comic and writer, Morgan Murphy joins me in the garage today. We have some dicey history so that should be good. On Thursday the engaging and earnest Langhorne Slim hangs out with me and sings a bit. I love this guy. I feel like I’ve known him since he was a kid because I have. I interviewed him on the radio like 8 years ago when he was just starting out. We’ve both grown up a bit since then. I think.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
1

I went to a modern dance thing.

Okay, Action!

So, folks my special ‘Thinky Pain’ is now available on DVD for purchase at wherever you purchase DVDs if that is something you would like to own. It’s there for you to have.

Also, did you know if you put chia seed in coconut milk over night it makes almost a pudding. This was an amazing thing that someone showed me and I am beside myself about it. I just put chia seeds in a one-to-four ratio with some unsweetened coconut milk with a little Stevia and let it set in the fridge overnight and woke up to this awesome pudding thing. It was a life changer that I thought I should share.

Last night I went to a modern dance thing. It was Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance troupe. The thing was called FAR. I know nothing about dance, zero. It was wild to see. I think it’s easy for most of us to dismiss ‘modern dance’ as being this ridiculous mode but I have to say I was impressed and moved. I hate that I dismiss things as something I wouldn’t like just because I make it ridiculous in my mind. Dance is one of the important arts and I was reticent to go because I think I was traumatized by a modern dance performance in college. That was 30 years ago. I don’t think I’ve gone to a modern dance performance in thirty years because it seemed ridiculous to College Marc. Many things were ridiculous to College Marc. He was an ‘art’ guy but for some reason dance wasn’t part of it. It was an astounding performance. It was only an hour (perfect). I drifted in and out a bit but the great thing about modern dance is that if you space out and come back you can get right back on board because you probably didn’t miss any plot points.

I went with my friend Moon, her daughter who is 9 and her daughter’s friend who is 8. Like me they were very excited initially. As I strained to keep focused on the dancers and was beginning to drift I looked over at the two girls about twenty minutes in and they had moved into glazed almost nap mode. So, that gave me pause because I realized I had the attention span of an 8 year old when it comes to modern dance. I forced myself to hold steady and lock in for the rest of the show. It was challenging but amazing. I cried a bit for reasons I don’t understand. I guess that means it was good art.

I am directing the last episode of Maron this week. I am not nervous but I am doing something I have never done before and excited to learn and feel what it is like. I will let you know how that goes and whether or not I sent us over budget with my vision.

This week on the show Simon Amstell talks to me on Monday. He’s a comic from the UK who I have surprisingly way too much in common with. On Thursday Spin writer Marc Spitz talks to me about his journey through drugs and music. For most of it, we were blocks away from each other in NYC in the 90s. It is all in his newish memoir ‘Poseur.’

Enjoy!

Boomer lives.



Love,

Marc
5

I don’t have a lot to say.

Hello, Friends-

Hope all is well.

I don’t have a lot to say today. It’s been a crazy week of shooting. My whole life is shooting ‘Maron’ at the moment. I’m exhausted but the show is coming out great. All the episodes are coming together well. I am actually going to direct the last episode and I’m excited about it. I’ve never done any directing before but the crew I am working with is amazing and I’m looking forward to it. The story is comedian-based and I will be working with the infamous Joey Diaz. I actually conceived the part with him in mind and it's going to be a blast working with him. I can’t tell you anything about the story but It’s a good one.

I’ve been using a lot of comics on the show. I love hanging out with comics on the set. Kindred spirits busting balls. Good times.

As I write this I am watching '12 Years a Slave' trying desperately to figure out whether or not it is a good movie. I'll let you know what I think.

Health update. Since I got the cholesterol numbers I’ve been trying to eat better, and I have been. Something happened. Some folks sent me some dried posole and chiles from my home state of New Mexico and I couldn’t help myself. Had to whip up a batch of red chile and pot of posole and pork. One day isn’t going to kill me, right? Right? I’ve been exercising, too, so that should fix it, right? One pork day a week should be okay I think. Fuck getting old. Fuck genetics. I’m okay.

Monday is a live show from The LA Podcast Festival with Dave Anthony, Aisha Tyler, Dana Gould, Paul Gilmartin and Jimmy Pardo. This was great live show. Everyone was awesome. On Thursday things are a little tricky. I went to Harry Dean Stanton’s house to interview him. I had just seen the documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy talk because he barely talked in the film about him. It was a beautiful movie but I still couldn’t get a sense of him. Then I talked to him and I couldn’t get through, really. Then I talked to the director, Sophie Huber, who had once had a romantic relationship with Stanton to try to figure out what we were all trying to figure out about him. Interesting talks. Mysterious man.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron

Everything is going all right.

Holy shit, folks-

If there are some of you that aren’t subscribing to the premium app or are new to the show I would say now is a good time to do that. We are going to start creating some exclusive premium content. The first installment will be my producer, Brendan McDonald, and I talking about some of the lesser known episodes. By lesser known I mean that I know some of you will see a name that you don’t recognize and perhaps not listen. We are going block by block in 25 episode chunks giving some backstory of the show and reflecting on some of the episodes. So, get the free app and upgrade for a few bucks to get in on that.

Everything is going all right. I have been having an amazing experience shooting season 2 of ‘Maron.' So much of the stuff that I was freaking out about making season 1 just isn’t there anymore in my mind. I think we have some great stories and some great co-stars and cameos. The early cuts of the first few shows look amazing and that’s not always the case. I am relaxed and in the present with the work. Again, I’m not sure if that is peace of mind and wisdom or complete anxiety paralysis but I will roll with it. I read recently that stress can affect your short term memory. I’m looking at that as a plus.

I don’t know if you know this about me but I am kind of obsessed with the late 60s-early 70s Hollywood. I have it mythologized in my mind. I am fascinated by the fact that Hollywood is an industry town and that industry is show business and at that time it was a relatively small community. There were a few networks, a few studios and a few labels, and everyone was running around the hills going to parties and getting fucked up. Some part of me wishes I lived back then before everything got broken wide open and most things became garbage. Maybe I’m romanticizing it but the whole town seemed to have a dirty integrity to it that is now gone leaving only the dirty and unoriginal to procreate.

Ed Begley lived through that time and was running around the hills high as kite and he shares some pretty great stories with me on Monday’s show about what this town felt like in the era. On Thursday the intense and brilliant Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus blasts me with his truth and makes his music make complete sense. Rock.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
3

Just get rid of it all.

Okay, People-

Almost a week into the New Year and I’m exhausted.

Let me hip you to a couple of things that I’m sure many of you know. The first season of ‘Maron’ from IFC is now available on Netflix. If you weren’t able to see it because you didn’t get IFC or you don’t know what IFC is, here’s your opportunity to either love it or hate it all at once. I’m very excited that so many people are getting to watch it.

Also, I want to make sure you all know about the WTF app. You can get the free app on your device and download the most recent 50 eps. If you upgrade for a few bucks you can stream all 459 episodes anytime. That’s the way we do things now, Everything, all at once.

The hiatus has been harrowing in a good way. I had to re-engage with my life and the pile of papers, books, records, CDs, mail, etc. that had been piling up for a month. It is an amazing thing to organize and purge. It makes you realize how little you actually need and it might actually be much better to have almost nothing. Who has the courage to do that? Just get rid of it all. I need my things that make me feel like I have things that mean something to me. Someday I will have a garage sale.

Today we resume shooting of ‘Maron’ season two. It’s been a trip. I think I am in a much different place on all levels since we shot the first season. I’m not as freaked out. I think the scripts we are working with are amazing and we got them all written before shooting began. So, I am able to focus on the acting and also keep a sense of what works best comedically and emotionally for the scenes and the episodes as we shoot them. I’m working with a great team of people AND I am having more fun this time. I think the fact that I’m not hung up on the future or another season or what’s going to happen next or whether people will like the show or mired in emotional chaos is also helping. You can’t second guess yourself based on speculation because that’s like being imprisoned in your brain and your sentence is fear. I’m not sure where some of this peace of mind is coming from. Whether it’s age and wisdom or I’m repressing so much stress and panic that my brain is no longer processing fear properly. Either way I’m good with it.

A couple of SNL veterans on the show this week. I talk to Andy Samberg today on the show. He’s a good kid. As you know sometimes it’s tricky for me to talk to well-adjusted young people who are focused and grounded and have found success but I did okay with him. He’s a talented, funny dude who works hard. On Thursday Will Forte talks to me about how he had no real intention of being a performer and how he went from being on a successful TV writing trajectory to SNL to being in a movie opposite Bruce Dern and being amazing in it. We also talk a little OCD.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
2

WTF - Andy Samberg is not smart.

Full episode out 1/6

3

WTF - Artie Lange talks about Luna Lounge.

Full episode out 1/2

3

Happy New Year!

People!

Firstly, my IFC show 'Maron' is now available on Netflix if you didn't get to see it. Dig that.

Secondly, hope you all made it through Christmas and your expectations of the New Year are tempered and reasonable. I generally do an early comedy spot and run home. I don’t want become part of someone else’s bad night.

I had a pretty great time in Phoenix hanging out with my brother and six of his kids and step kids. I told you I was hoping to buy my niece an electric guitar. Well, it happened. I took her to Guitar Center and sat with her and explained to her the difference between humbuckers and single coil pickups. She didn’t know there would be an amp involved. She only knows a few chords. We decided on a white Squire Strat because I thought that would give her more sound variations. We got a little acoustic amp that had a gain knob on it so she could make it dirty if she wanted. I’m not sure she knew what she was getting into but whoever has been giving her lessons has taught her the riff for Smoke on the Water and Sunshine of Your Love. Some things never change. I was taught those exact same things. She’s taken it upon herself to try to learn the opening riff of Sweet Child of Mine as well. She was doing it all on an acoustic. When we got everything set up in her room and she plugged in for the first time and heard the sound of her first amplified chord her reaction was just heartwarming. She is a pretty quiet 16-year-old girl. She’s very smart and together. Just to see that weird feeling of owning loud rock power moving through her guitar and coming out of that amp was beautiful. I hope she keeps it up and learns how to rock out.

I took my 14-year-old niece to the mall and bought her first pair of real Doc Martens. I was impressed and happy she wanted the classic black with no shine to them. I was happy to help out with whatever they represented to her. I think there’s still some fight in those boots.

I took my 12-year-old nephew and his step brother to laser tag and we won. We have certificates to prove it. All in all, a great weekend and I think I left a pretty cool uncle which is actually important to me. I love those kids.

Oh, yeah. I also turned them all on to Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Just trying to help.

This week is a pretty big week, show-wise. On Monday the lofty and thinky Father John Misty talks some heady talk and plays songs on my guitar. On Thursday the inimitable raconteur and traveller to hell and back Artie Lange lays it out. Great talks.

Happy New Year!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
6

WTF - Father John Misty talks authenticity.

Full episode out 12/30

4

WTF - Billy Braver’s timing is off.

Full episode out 12/26

5

Merry Merry.

Merry Christmas-


I mean that.

I don’t care what you believe in but culturally we are pressured to take this time off and be inundated with not-so-subliminal messages of coercion to buy and be peaceful and fucking enjoy the season—trees, snowmen, ornaments and bearded fat men. Go out on the streets filled with young Santas dressed in plaid, wearing tuques and drinking IPA and say, "Merry Christmas, little hipster Santa. Did you lose your reindeer, you drunk dummy?"

I don't feel bullied to buy this year because I don't really have anyone in my immediate life to buy for. It's fine. It's good. It's great. Alone is okay for Christmas.

Despite all of the xmas bullshit, from which I am way removed, I do like this time of year. I know I’m not digging my car out of snow but it is a reflective time and a time of transition. I hope you get everything you want and that people enjoy what you got them. I hope you eat well and that the season didn’t break you financially. I hope you don't hurt yourself or others and I hope you do something charitable and truly giving.

And also, break some shit if you have to. It helps sometimes.

I had a ridiculous plan to drive to Albuquerque and stay at the Los Poblanos Inn and just sit in the room and wander around my home town alone. I guess I wanted to use the fuel of the forced festive tone of the season to go down the dark nostalgia hole and retrieve something from my past and sit with it like a sad Ghost of Me Past. Oh, and I was also going to spend some time with my dad. Some part of me thought that would be relaxing. Things changed. Given that I was sick as dog, if a dog was sick with a flu/cold thing last week, I decided against a 12 hour drive into melancholy and my dad. I was too tired and too sick on all levels. I need to just hang out and re-groove my life. Shooting 13 hours a day for weeks on end zaps you.

I will say that I honestly think the second season of ‘Maron’ is looking great. I don’t just say that kind of thing lightly.

So, I’m just going to recoup. I’m going to fly out to Phoenix for a couple of days and re-introduce myself to my brother’s kids. I heard my niece started playing guitar and she’s got her mind on an electric and the only big gift I will buy this year with joy in my heart is my niece’s first electric guitar. I hope she wants to go axe shopping.

This week director, writer and former child actor Jason Woliner joins me on Monday. On Thursday a comic from the 70s, Billy Braver, joins me. I wanted to talk to Billy about what it was like to quit comedy because I had seen a little doc called "Saab Story" about him but the tone of interview became "dreams die hard but don’t really ever die."

Saw Deaf Black Cat today so he’s alive and….

Boomer lives!

Merry merry.


Love,
Maron
4

WTF - Jason Woliner will force you to quit college.

Full episode out 12/23

1