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A bit of the old Ludwig Van: My son wants to watch “A Clockwork Orange”

My oldest son has, lately, acquired an obsession with vinyl records. He’s barely a teenager, but he would spend every waking moment poring through vinyl stacks if he could. (I can’t get him to take 5 minutes to load the dishwasher, but he would willingly spend 50 minutes bent over a pile of albums for sale.)

I can’t really complain about this. There are far worse vices for a child, and if my boy is drawn to records? I thank my lucky stars.

But last night, he brought me something that unearthed memories I had long forgotten. He brought me my vinyl copy of the soundtrack from the movie “A Clockwork Orange.”

Jesus christ. Continue reading

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You Matter, episode 4: Dave Conover, The Vogue, and Louisville’s film culture

I’ve known Dave for many years. I have had the pleasure of making him dinner, of watching movies with him, of arguing about movies with him.

We used to be minimum-wage clerks side-by-side at a video store in the Highlands of Louisville. Today, he is one of the frontrunners of arguably the biggest and most important modeling and hobby expo in the world, Wonderfest, which takes place right here in June in Louisville.

One thing Dave said to me in this interview stood out: “film was my religion.” This man has always loved the movies, and has always done whatever he could to move them further along.

That, naturally, led us to a conversation about the late, lamented Vogue Theater. And just how much times have changed since it closed its doors.

We can watch a movie on our phone now. But honestly … do you want to? Or would you rather be able to go back to The Vogue?

Please enjoy my conversation with Dave. Please leave some comments. And remember, you matter.

(Photo courtesy of Bill Eichelberger.)

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You Matter, episode 2: Meteorologist Ben Pine

For episode 2, I managed to get the very busy and very talented Ben Pine on the line for a few minutes. We all rely on Ben and his contemporaries every day, but it’s easy to overlook just how difficult and specialized a job this is. Meteorologists not only have to have a mind for and a deep understanding of science – they also have to be comfortable in front of a green-screen, without a script, and make it look effortless. So I hope you enjoy this brief conversation with Ben.

As for the podcast itself, if you’d like to nominate someone to be a future guest, please drop me an email and tell me why. Seriously. Does one of your grandparents have a great war story to tell? Is there someone in your office who is the most amazing and underrated baker or chef that you know? Is your neighbor interesting, for reasons that only you would be able to tell me? Reach out, please, or comment below. I’m recording new episodes constantly.

(Housekeeping note: I’m wrangling with the good people at Apple to get this into the iTunes podcast store. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to subscribe in your favorite podcast app, and have new episodes delivered automatically. Stay tuned …)

Next time, I will be talking with The Funny Guy. If you’ve not met The Funny Guy yet … trust me, you want to. Cheers, and you matter.

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You Matter, episode 1: Greg Erskine

For the first episode of this new podcast (which I explain more fully here), I have as my guest the ridiculously smart and talented Greg Erskine. If you’re a MeFite, you know him as GregNog. But either way, he’s a smart and thoughtful guy, and it’s always a pleasure to get to spend some time with him.

Enjoy the episode!

(Please note: As this is our first episode, there was a technical glitch and as a result, Greg’s voice has a little bit of an echo to it. We’ll have that fixed in time for the next episode. In the meantime, just pretend that Greg is from another planet or something and that explains why his voice is so swirly and otherworldly.)

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My new podcast launches tonight, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

You matter. Let me tell you why, and then let me let you tell me why.

I have a lot of irons in the fire right now, but first and foremost is this concept that’s been on my mind for many years, and I’ve realized that perhaps the podcast format is the best way to bring it to life.

For 20 or so years, I have interviewed people. Many of them very interesting and worthy of your attention. Perhaps my favorite was Barry Manilow. Or maybe it was the late great Ray Harryhausen, whose autographed copy of “Jason and the Argonauts” I still cherish. I got to talk with Neil Gaiman about ten years before he had become the cultural and literary icon that he has always deserved to be. I have been blessed with some truly great opportunities for conversations.

I have listened to countless hours of interviews on talk radio, and watched unspeakable hours of interviews on late-night TV. I got to sit across the table from John Glenn and Russell Banks and the members of countless bands, from Kings of Leon to Hem to Dawes. It’s been a really good thing, and I have been blessed by all of it.

But do you know what all of those interviews have in common? They are always, without fail, someone who has something to sell. A new book to push. A new movie that is coming out this weekend. A new TV show they are starring in. A political campaign that needs some particular bump.

I have been wrankled by this for some time, and that wrankling (which is not a proper word, I know) has come out in the form of this podcast.

I am calling it “You Matter.” Because you – yes, YOU – matter. I know that sometimes you think you don’t, and I know that some days are far worse than others. But you still matter. The hottie guy or the sexy girl in whatever movie is opening this weekend is not any more intrinsically valuable than you are. You matter, my dear.

So, the point of this podcast is to interview “ordinary” people, but use the same level of discipline and research and professionalism that I would have used at NPR.

Because you are not ordinary. You matter. I will publish the first episode at midnight tonight. Join me?