Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Behind the Show Monday January 21st, 2008

I thought you might like to see some behind the scenes photos of the show we did on Monday night January 21st, 2008. As you can see we have a great time doing the show. We record the show in a dark and dingy basement at my house. I use Garageband on a Mac G5 and for an example we used over 23 tracks of audio to create the show. On average, if we don't do anything special for the show, i.e. use a theme or have a special guest, it takes us around 90 minutes to record a 35-45 minute show. We don't redo much of anything, so what you hear is live and almost always unscripted. We might stop the recording and say a few quick things to each other, but mostly it's done off the cuff. What you hear is what you get with us.

Ryan and I have been doing things like this for nearly 25 years in some fashion or another. I remember the first time we did an audio recording. It was in my room at my parents house when we were in the 6th grade. Yeah you heard me right, Ryan and I have been friends since 1983. For those of you keeping track at home, Marcus Allen was a rookie in that year for the Oakland Raiders. I have that rookie card actually, well more than one.

Our first recording was called, wait for it, "Being Stupid". We were 11, give us a break, the title sucked but it was a blast to do. From that point on we were basically unstoppable. Moving forward with at least two full length audio tapes each year. We switched recording locations to my parents basement cause my father built me my own room there. At this point there were NO parents to hear what we said so we went nuts. This was the "Radiation Tools/Paul Michealson" era. We truly spun off the rails at this point and never looked back.

After a couple of years Ryan followed suit and moved down into his fathers basement. At this point we proceeded to destroy pretty much that whole basement. Ryan bought or got a boombox for Christmas which we turned into the stunt recorder and it flew down the stairs at least a half dozen times. Somewhere in the archives there is a picture of a very young Ryan lying next to his prized stunt boombox.

A few more audio tapes followed. A couple of them we actually did on our own away from each other. I had a couple that seemed really fun at the time, but turned out to be giant turds after hearing them many years later. One thing I was proud of in that time was a thing I did called, "Mothers of Demention" of course a copy of Frank Zappas band from the early 70's. It really had nothing to do with music, but I still liked the name. I basically mixed up a whole bunch of shit into tiny little clips onto audio tape. Little snips of audio from here and there for a whopping 45 minutes. This might sound strange even to todays standards, but it was, and still is, very interesting to listen to. I must say it was so far a head of it's time that it's still outdated. Ryan of course tried to do something similar, and he had similar results. I will let him tell his side of the story in another blog.

Then we come to the year 1990 when my parents helped me by a Sony Hi-8mm Camcorder. This was the beginning of the end for the advancement of film in my book. We destroyed anything that might have once been common and turned it into a sick and twisted show we called, "Chronic Insomnia". The pedigree for this podcast was born. We worked on Chronic Insomnia steady for the first few months from January of 1990 to sometime in the late summer of that same year. After that off and on for about the next year and a half with many attempts to bring the show back, but the fire was gone, and we were gobbled up by things such as Magic: The Gathering and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. At this point, having been out of High School for about a year it was time to get serious about a job and get some cash flowing, so "Chronic" took a back seat.

From 1991 to 1995 or so we basically role-played, bought Magic cards and did spotty work at best on the show. A couple of attempts at audio tapes and some video work including a couple of movies that basically only worked and played well for the two of us and those that were involved. Sometime in there Ryan and I decided to matriculate at North Hennipen Community College. Well we never really made it to school that often cause on the route there was a Rocky Roccocos with awesome pizza and we often times failed our saving throw vs. bread sticks and skipped out on school.

In 1996 Ryan and I split up, filing for divorce in the district court of Saint Cloud MN. For about a year we went on pretending to still like hanging out with each other, but honestly neither one of us could see much past our uniform or the girlfriends which were controlling our lives at that point. I should mention I ended up marrying that girl, so I regret only one thing from this time in my life. Not talking to Ryan more and hanging out with him, but hindsight is 20/20 and I have two beautiful children and the best wife I could have ever hoped for.

Until about 2000 this was the norm in our relationship. This is the area where things get foggy as to what really happened to get us back together. I think it might be something Ryan will have to fill in at this point. The one thing I know is I actually cried not being able to invite Ryan to my wedding and ask him to be my best man. I just thought he would say no and I wouldn't have been able to take that rejection. I wanted him to stand by me on my wedding day, but I never got up the guts to call and ask him. I was a chicken shit and I regret that everytime I think, or look at photos from my wedding. Anyways...

Ryan and I decided to get together and we started meeting in weird spots to talk. It was VERY awkward but I plowed through it cause dammit I wanted my friend back and I wasn't going to let my discomfort get in the way. I remember the first time I met him in Saint Cloud. He seemed nervous, but I can't be sure cause I was so nervous myself. It was a little like meeting an old girlfriend from High School or something. It was strange and it shouldn't have been. We used to be the best of friends. We literally hung out DAILY for over 10 years. It wasn't even a question of, "what are you doing tonight man?" It was more like, "what are we doing tonight?" Honestly my life right now is incredible, but those times were something I will never forget.

After a while of these forceful meetings, mostly by me by the way, we started to hang out again. Ryan would come down here and just bullshit with me for a while talking mostly about the past and all the cool things we used to do. Basically feeling each other up mentally from our lack of contact over the past 5 years or so. I have to give my wife credit, she was the one that kept pushing me to talk to Ryan. I thank her almost daily in my head for that.

Then one day things just seem to click back into place and we were like peas and carrots again. We started working on a couple of ideas for audio comedy and things progressed from there. Ryan and I started to hang out more and more often. He was still hard to get a hold of at times, cause he hates talking on the phone, but it was as good as it was going to get for the time being. I was having a blast hanging out with my best bud again.

Over the next couple of years we just basically chatted things up and hung out and role-played off and on with our other friends. Along with Ryan I gained another of my awesome friends from the past back, basically through osmosis. Dave was now a viable friend again and I hope even now that he understands how messed up woman can make you in the head, and what kind of things they can have you do, even though you know it's the WRONG thing to do at the time. I regret a great many things from those days, but in all honesty I might not be as happy today if those things wouldn't have happened. I am not sure I have ever apologized for all the things I did, but that's because honestly I don't really know what it was, I was blinded by poon and in love at the same time, so I was a lost cause. Some of us move away to other states for woman, and some of us turn our backs on best friends. I am not sure it's worth it in most cases but in mine it was, JUST BARELY.

2005 brought us together for our first of two consecutive audio tapes for a thing Ryan was organizing with our friends called, "The Devils Muse Expo". We were to bring things we created to this and show them off to others. I wrote and played a few things myself and Ryan and I got together to record a few ideas. At first we were pretty choppy, but after a while we started to flow and we churned out some decent, not great, but decent recordings.

2006 was much the same with more recordings and theme audio albums. One was called "Magical Clitorismas". This was something I really loved recording and was as back to true form as we had been since around 1991. It was like strapping on an old pair of sneakers and realizing how great they still fit. I couldn't help but smile inside. I was having a blast and I wanted more. I was a crack addict for more and I came up with the idea of a podcast.

2007 January, I bring to Ryan an idea of making a podcast radio show. At the time I was naive and I didn't realize you couldn't just play "Alice In Chains" on your podcast. There were such things as copyrights and I wouldn't be able to have the type of radio show I wanted. In February my love of Comic Books came back into my life when I went to my local comic shop and picked up a Spiderman Civil War trade and it was all downhill/uphill from there. I still wanted to do a podcast and Ryan said we should do a Comic Book podcast. At first I was like, "oh man, how can that be fun to do?" So I rejected the idea. I said we could do a segment of comic books on the show and Ryan said that would be just fine. At this point, sometime in May of 2006 I was turning my brain over and over thinking about what to do on our show when I suddenly realized that a comic book podcast would be a great idea. I called up Ryan and told him we were a go.

June 2007, we start recording our first show. I had to wing it with the programs for the show and didn't really know what the fuck we were going to do or say. However that has never stopped us in the past so we plowed forward and finished up the first of what is now 28 shows. Admittedly the first shows were not as good as they are today. Mostly this is because I was so focused on the production I was barely there mentally for the show at all. I hardly remember anything from the first 5 episodes or so. I was working with the computer trying to expand our abilities with the limited program were using. Once we recorded the "Harry goes to the Doctor" skit I was full on in the game again. The program was easy to use and we were on top of our game again. I was and still am having a blast doing the show on a weekly basis. I get to hang out with my best friend and work on something creative each week. Life with the show couldn't be better at this point.

Wow where did all that come from? I was just going to write a simple little thing on the show so you could see some behind the scenes photos, but it turned into a retrospective/heartfelt novella about me and show. Go figure.


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