Posted in Animation
, Bruce McCall
, Daily Grace
, Mark Malkoff
, My Damn Channel
with tags Web Series Awards
, Awards Season
, IAWTV nominations
, Golden Globe nominations
, Oscar nominations
, Academy Awards
, SAG nominations
on 12/15/2011 8:00:00 AM by Maria
It's Awards Nomination Season: Golden Globe nominations! SAG nominations! Oscar nominations! IAWTV Award nominations!
Yes, the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) created these Awards to "provide a venue for celebrating original entertainment distributed on the open Internet by honoring the best in web television programming and recognizing the achievements of online content creators."
And that's US!
We scored FOUR nominations and couldn't be prouder:
Best Writing (Non-Fiction): Daily Grace
Best Animated Series: The World of Bruce McCall
Best Variety Series: Mark Malkoff
Best Comedy Series: Gigi: Almost American
Congrats to all of our fellow nominees! We're honored to be among you. Can't wait to see all of you in Las Vegas in January, at the IAWTV Awards Ceremony
June 18, 2011
The world just lost a piece of its soul tonite. Clarence Clemons has been an inspiration, a hero, a touchstone, and a non-stop deliverer of the big sound, big love, and big joy to me and all of my closest friends. It's hard to think of this world without him.
I rarely cry. But I'm crying tonite. From the first minute we heard him on vinyl - and throughout every night we saw him walk onto that stage - everyone who loved Clarence knew we had the biggest, baddest, best man at our side.
The lifelong thrill of loving Bruce & Clarence & The E Street Band might be what it feels like to be addicted to comics and Superheroes. We're dedicated to getting together with people of like-minds and like-souls -- all of us looking up to the image of the friendships we want - experiencing the ultimate teamwork we know is possible - and the hardest part about tonite is figuring out how to handle the loss of the image of permanence we felt every time that man took the stage.
Bruce Intros Clarence:
When Clarence Met The Big Man:
I have been Clarence's fan and friend for almost 40 years. His death is a tremendous loss to all of my best friends and to everyone who loves his sound and his gracious soul. Let's send love to Clarence, to his big family and friends, and to Bruce and the entire E Street Family.
Posted in Howard Stern
with tags Howard Stern
, Howard TV
, Rob Barnett
, My Damn Channel
, Steven Clean
, Harry Shearer
, The Rolling Stones
on 4/24/2010 5:08:43 PM by Rob Barnett
Like millions of us, my stepmom is a lifelong Howard Stern fan. She just sent this photo taken off of Howard TV, airing our in-studio interview from earlier this week. I had the honor of being Howard Stern's guest on his Tuesday, 420 show (scroll to 840a).
Response is coming into My Damn Channel via email, phones, video views, comments, new subscribers, tweets, wall postings, and even a live spotting this afternoon in a clothing store (to complete the surreality). The influx of intense energy all flows back to a man undeniably uniquely qualified to hold the heavyweight title: "King of All Media."
Howard endures as one of the most talented and honest souls alive. He embodies the freedom of speech with every breath. For all who've been fired, laid off, downsized, pink slipped, discharged, axed, or job eliminated...it's hard to imagine speaking truth to power on a live microphone the way Howard has done it for decades.
I first followed Howard Stern on a carrier current, college radio station, 64 WTBU at Boston University. (There's a great scene depicting TBU in "Private Parts.")
If you've ever chased a radio dream, then your college years are likely the last time and place you ever experienced the fear and thrill of exercising your freedom of speech over a live mic.
Primordial FM rock radio stations were created in the late 1960's. Early heroes like Harry Shearer and Steven Clean were blowing minds at places like KPPC in Pasadena, California (which eventually became the world famous KROQ).
The combined forces of original radio talents and pre-corporate rock music created stations throughout the 70s powerful enough to infect audiences with a sense of community, purpose, passion, sex and fun that began to hit the wall around 1980.
I was sitting on the front steps of my apartment on Beacon Street in Boston with Steven Clean and my best friend, Mike Isabella the night Ronald Reagan was elected President. I was 20. I was about to drop out of college and take a full-time job as a rock radio jock at WAAF out in Worcester, Mass. One year later, I had the only radio thrill that came closest to being on Howard's show this week. Lightning struck and we convinced the Rolling Stones to do a private show for our station's fans in 1981 to start up the "Tattoo You" tour.
But, back to Mr. Clean. I'd been Steven's intern for a time at WCOZ in Boston. At that point in his career, Clean had been fired by many of the best radio stations in the country. He was a real life inspiration for the Dr. Johnny Fever character in "WKRP in Cincinnati." Steven was incredibly talented, brilliant, a true music expert and fan...and he was rebellious enough to drive the most patient souls to the edge of their sanity.
Considering the nation's new President, Steven held a joint firmly in my face and said, "See this? This is OVER!"
By the time of Reagan's second term, most radio station managers had a "Just Say No" policy for disc jockeys expressing free thoughts on mic, or taking free reign over any music playlist.
A small number of former radio station program directors shaved their beards, cut their hair, bought expensive suits, and armed themselves with halliburton briefcases filled with blow and bullshit designed to convince every fearful radio exec that they had the only secrets to ratings success, fortune and fame.
Conformity soon became the norm. Tighter playlists made stations sound the same from city-to-city. The job of disc jockey was transforming free thinkers into people paid to read positioning slogans, timechecks and weather forecasts.
In the midst of all this unholy homogenization, Howard Stern began to build a radio show free from the constraints put on most of his competitors. His talent grew on the radio and expanded with every carefully planned new project he launched.
Superfans know that Howard pays homage to legends who came before him like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. I can't think of another entertainer who has more succesfully won battles with corporate brass than Howard. One of the many surprises about the real man to outsiders is how he maintains his position with grace and wisdom.
No one knows what the next chapter will be for the Stern show in 2011. Assume Howard can see the possible moves on the chess board more clearly than most. As a fan, I'll be following as I have since the beginning. As a business owner, My Damn Channel stands ready to serve The King anytime he calls.
Posted in Bruce
with tags Bruce Springsteen
, Little Steven
, Working on a Dream
on 1/31/2009 6:27:34 AM by Rob Barnett
The over-used Bruce moniker is too old and too simple a way to refer to all that he represents. In one of the many new write-ups surrounding the brand new album, the Superbowl, and more - there's a revelation, from one of the dark caverns inside the mind of Little Steven that says the nickname was actually Steven's at the start. But we're not here to talk about credits this early morning.
It's a weekend to reconsider Springsteen and rededicate yourself to a traditional soul journeys like listening to an album from start to finish - and soaking up the suds and glory of the annual, ultimate football Sunday.
I'm still working on Working On A Dream, but so far, I'm going back to "My Lucky Day," ""Good Eye," "The Last Carnival," and "The Wrestler."
Tour tickets go on sale Monday btw.
Posted with tags Bruce Springsteen
on 9/23/2008 4:05:07 AM by Rob Barnett
Respect, Thanks & Love
Months ago, Mother Jones uncovered this 'playlist' of tunes our country is using to torture prisoners:
1. Fuck Your God – Deicide
2. Die MF Die – Dope
3. Take Your Best Shot – Dope
4. White America – Eminem
5. Kim – Eminem
6. Barney Theme Song – Barney The Dinosaur
7. Bodies – Drowning Pool
8. Enter Sandman – Metallica
9. Meow Mix TV commercial
10. Sesame Street TV theme
11. Babylon – David Gray
12. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
13. Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC
14. Stayin' Alive – Bee Gees
15. All Eyes On Me – Tupac
16. Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
17. America – Neil Diamond
18. Bulls On Parade – Rage Against The Machine
19. American Pie – Don McLean
20. Click Click Boom – Saliva
21. Cold – Matchbox 20
22. Swan Dive – Hed P.E.
23. Raspberry Beret – Prince
Harry Shearer offers a new torture technique on today's premiere episode of "Found Objects."
Posted in Heroes
with tags Tim Russert
, Bruce Springsteen
, Father's Day
on 6/15/2008 8:03:35 AM by Rob Barnett
Rest in Peace this Father's Day....
BRUCE OFFERS TRIBUTE TO TIM RUSSERT IN CARDIFF
From the stage at Cardiff Millennium Dome Stadium: Saturday June 14.
Introduction before "Thunder Road"
"I'd like to do this tonight for a long time friend of the E Street Band who passed away suddenly.
"Tim Russert was an important unreplacable voice in American journalism. I watched him hold our politicians feet to the fire on many Sunday mornings. He was always a strong voice for honesty and accountability in American government .. but beyond that he was a lovely presence, a good father, husband, and good guy. He was a regular at many E Street Band shows and I'm going to miss looking down and seeing that big smiling face in the crowd.
"We send this out all the way back to the states tonight for his son Luke, his wife Maureen, his dad Big Russ , and all the Russert family.
"Tim , God Bless You, We will miss you..."
Posted in My Damn Channel
with tags Procrast-errific
, Ad Age
, My Damn Channel
on 5/10/2008 3:50:34 AM by Rob Barnett
Dobrow's Procrast-errific Web Video Destination
Media Reviews for Media People: My Damn Channel
I spend 37 hours per day in front of the computer and have the attention span of a sugared-up first-grader, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I inhale a staggering amount of online video. Indeed, as I craft my masterworks of Western thought and struggle to locate that elusive mot juste
("luftmensch"? "jecoral"?), web video serves as the default procrastination apparatus. Mostly my wanderings lead to Springsteen clips
, which I then forward to my similarly Jer-Z-fied pals. We've wasted 7,250 hours on low-res 1978 versions of "Prove It All Night
My Damn Channel's 'Cookin' With Coolio'
revels in its own silliness.
So no, I don't have a single regular supplier for my video fix, and I'm probably like the vast majority of web monkeys in that regard. For texty information and illumination and whatnot, there are 15 or so sites I'll check out every day. For video, I unthinkingly go wherever my idiot friends point me.
Happily, I've found a procrast-errific web-video destination in My Damn Channel
, a better-realized version of the astronomically hyped, Ferrell-and-Apatow-backed Funny or Die. That's not a slap at Funny or Die, so much as an endorsement of the more comically consistent My Damn Channel. It's all well and good that the Ian Zierings and John Mayers of the world have chosen Funny or Die as their preferred venue for gentle image-tweaking, but such lazy bits pale next to the goodies tucked away in each of My Damn Channel's, uh, channels.
Where Funny or Die throws up a bunch of clips and calls it an afternoon, My Damn Channel showcases a range of distinct personalities. Funnyfolk like David Wain, Harry Shearer
and Andy Milonakis
get online mini-laboratories to call their own, and use them for everything from low-concept weirdness to wry political commentary. No one channel is like the next, though each shares a twitchy, absurdist comic sensibility that should resonate with fans of Andy Samberg's SNL Digital Shorts, "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" and anything involving alumni from MTV's "The State."
My Damn Channel has justly been lauded for the passive-aggressive (and educational!) comic gold that is "You Suck at Photoshop
" series and Wain's vigorously quirky "Wainy Days
" quest to find his fictional self a gal. The site's less-hyped content -- especially the soap opera spoof "Horrible People" and the self-explanatory "Cookin' With Coolio" -- similarly revels in its own silliness, especially the former's asides about how "a waxed ***hole is a window to the soul."
I also dig Grace
, the gal who, for lack of a better way to put it, serves as My Damn Channel's hostess and hype woman. She has the Sarah Silverman I'm-adorable-so-I-can-get-away-with-saying-stuff-about-Hitler-and-weed thing down pat, but doesn't overplay the gimmick -- which makes it all the more rewarding when she sweetly intones "be nice to your mother
, because you f*cked up her baby hole." Her presence keeps My Damn Channel from feeling like a guys-only clubhouse, a fate that Funny or Die hasn't been able to avoid.
My Damn Channel even pulls off the nifty trick of being entertaining in its advertising. Don Was' music channel
boasts Lincoln as a primary sponsor, for example, but also tapes performances in the grungy "grand showroom of our sponsor, The Furniture Outlet
, located in North Hollywood, California, at 13054 Sherman Way ... c'mon down for some great music and some great bargains on love seats and bedroom sets!" A bunch of brands that appeal to homebound drones like me -- iTunes, Wolfgang's Vault, National Geographic Channel -- have been in heavy ad rotation of late, as have web mainstays like Match.com and Peapod. They're all easy fits, just as cellphone tchotchkes and other portable media devices would be. Ads for new movies or records would probably get lost amid all the content, though.
The two potential worries here for marketers? One, that few of the clips are safe for work; and two, that almost none of the humor here is linear, meaning that devotees of Jay Leno and "Two and a Half Men" will furrow their brows in a futile attempt to grasp the punch lines.
In the end, you can easily lose yourself for 45 minutes at a time at My Damn Channel -- in fact, I kinda just now did, courtesy of the Lori McKenna
clips on the Don Was channel. I've yet to feel a comparable pull to any other web-video destination not named YouTube, and YouTube's clip quality and smallish viewing window seem primitive nowadays when compared to MDC, Funny or Die, Hulu and the like. If you can visit My Damn Channel without meandering around for awhile, I applaud your self-discipline.
Posted in Uncategorized
with tags Bruce Springsteen
, Danny Federici
on 4/25/2008 6:08:00 AM by Rob Barnett
This eulogy was delivered by Bruce Springsteen at Danny's funeral on April 21 in Red Bank, New Jersey:
FAREWELL TO DANNY
Let me start with the stories.
Back in the days of miracles, the frontier days when "Mad Dog" Lopez and his temper struck fear into the band, small club owners, innocent civilians and all women, children and small animals.
Back in the days when you could still sign your life away on the hood of a parked car in New York City.
Back shortly after a young red-headed accordionist struck gold on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and he and his mama were sent to Switzerland to show them how it's really done.
Back before beach bums were featured on the cover of Time magazine.
I'm talking about back when the E Street Band was a communist organization! My pal, quiet, shy Dan Federici, was a one-man creator of some of the hairiest circumstances of our 40 year career... And that wasn't easy to do. He had "Mad Dog" Lopez to compete with.... Danny just outlasted him.
Maybe it was the "police riot" in Middletown, New Jersey. A show we were doing to raise bail money for "Mad Log" Lopez who was in jail in Richmond, Virginia, for having an altercation with police officers who we'd aggravated by playing too long. Danny allegedly knocked over our huge Marshall stacks on some of Middletown's finest who had rushed the stage because we broke the law by...playing too long.
As I stood there watching, several police oficers crawled out from underneath the speaker cabinets and rushed away to seek medical attention. Another nice young officer stood in front of me onstage waving his nightstick, poking and calling me nasty names. I looked over to see Danny with a beefy police officer pulling on one arm while Flo Federici, his first wife, pulled on the other, assisting her man in resisting arrest.
A kid leapt from the audience onto the stage, momentarily distracting the beefy officer with the insults of the day. Forever thereafter, "Phantom" Dan Federici slipped into the crowd and disappeared.
A warrant out for his arrest and one month on the lam later, he still hadn't been brought to justice. We hid him in various places but now we had a problem. We had a show coming at Monmouth College. We needed the money and we had to do the gig. We tried a replacement but it didn't work out. So Danny, to all of our admiration, stepped up and said he'd risk his freedom, take the chance and play.
Show night. 2,000 screaming fans in the Monmouth College gym. We had it worked out so Danny would not appear onstage until the moment we started playing. We figured the police who were there to arrest him wouldn't do so onstage during the show and risk starting another riot.
Let me set the scene for you. Danny is hiding, hunkered down in the backseat of a car in the parking lot. At five minutes to eight, our scheduled start time, I go out to whisk him in. I tap on the window.
"Danny, come on, it's time."
I hear back, "I'm not going."
Me: "What do you mean you're not going?"
Danny: "The cops are on the roof of the gym. I've seen them and they're going to nail me the minute I step out of this car."
As I open the door, I realize that Danny has been smoking a little something and had grown rather paranoid. I said, "Dan, there are no cops on the roof."
He says, "Yes, I saw them, I tell you. I'm not coming in."
So I used a procedure I'd call on often over the next forty years in dealing with my old pal's concerns. I threatened him...and cajoled. Finally, out he came. Across the parking lot and into the gym we swept for a rapturous concert during which we laughted like thieves at our excellent dodge of the local cops.
At the end of the evening, during the last song, I pulled the entire crowd up onto the stage and Danny slipped into the audience and out the front door. Once again, "Phantom" Dan had made his exit. (I still get the occasional card from the old Chief of Police of Middletown wishing us well. Our histories are forever intertwined.) And that, my friends, was only the beginning.
There was the time Danny quit the band during a rough period at Max's Kansas City, explaining to me that he was leaving to fix televisions. I asked him to think about that and come back later.
Or Danny, in the band rental car, bouncing off several parked cars after a night of entertainment, smashing out the windshield with his head but saved from severe injury by the huge hard cowboy hat he bought in Texas on our last Western swing.
Or Danny, leaving a large marijuana plant on the front seat of his car in a tow away zone. The car was promptly towed. He said, "Bruce, I'm going to go down and report that it was stolen." I said, "I'm not sure that's a good idea."
Down he went and straight into the slammer without passing go.
Or Danny, the only member of the E Street Band to be physically thrown out of the Stone Pony. Considering all the money we made them, that wasn't easy to do.
Or Danny receiving and surviving a "cautionary assault" from an enraged but restrained "Big Man" Clarence Clemons while they were living together and Danny finally drove the "Big Man" over the big top.
Or Danny assisting me in removing my foot from his stereo speaker after being the only band member ever to drive me into a violent rage.
And through it all, Danny played his beautiful, soulful B3 organ for me and our love grew. And continued to grow. Life is funny like that. He was my homeboy, and great, and for that you make considerations... And he was much more tolerant of my failures than I was of his.
When Danny wasn't causing chaos, he was a sweet, talented, unassuming, unpretentious good-hearted guy who simply had an unchecked ability to make good fortune and things in general go fabulously wrong.
But beyond all of that, he also had a mountain of the right stuff. He had the heart and soul of an engineer. He learned to fly. He was always up on the latest technology and would explain it to you patiently and in enormous detail. He was always "souping" something up, his car, his stereo, his B3. When Patti joined the band, he was the most welcoming, thoughtful, kindest friend to the first woman entering our "boys club."
He loved his kids, always bragging about Jason, Harley, and Madison, and he loved his wife Maya for the new things she brought into his life.
And then there was his artistry. He was the most intuitive player I've ever seen. His style was slippery and fluid, drawn to the spaces the other musicians in the E Street Band left. He wasn't an assertive player, he was a complementary player. A true accompanist. He naturally supplied the glue that bound the band's sound together. In doing so, he created for himself a very specific style. When you hear Dan Federici, you don't hear a blanket of sound, you hear a riff, packed with energy, flying above everything else for a few moments and then gone back in the track. "Phantom" Dan Federici. Now you hear him, now you don't.
Offstage, Danny couldn't recite a lyric or a chord progression for one of my songs. Onstage, his ears opened up. He listened, he felt, he played, finding the perfect hole and placement for a chord or a flurry of notes. This style created a tremendous feeling of spontaneity in our ensemble playing.
In the studio, if I wanted to loosen up the track we were recording, I'd put Danny on it and not tell him what to play. I'd just set him loose. He brought with him the sound of the carnival, the amusements, the boardwalk, the beach, the geography of our youth and the heart and soul of the birthplace of the E Street Band.
Then we grew up. Very slowly. We stood together through a lot of trials and tribulations. Danny's response to a mistake onstage, hard times, catastrophic events was usually a shrug and a smile. Sort of an "I am but one man in a raging sea, but I'm still afloat. And we're all still here."
I watched Danny fight and conquer some tough addictions. I watched him struggle to put his life together and in the last decade when the band reunited, thrive on sitting in his seat behind that big B3, filled with life and, yes, a new maturity, passion for his job, his family and his home in the brother and sisterhood of our band.
Finally, I watched him fight his cancer without complaint and with great courage and spirit. When I asked him how things looked, he just said, "what are you going to do? I'm looking forward to tomorrow." Danny, the sunny side up fatalist. He never gave up right to the end.
A few weeks back we ended up onstage in Indianapolis for what would be the last time. Before we went on I asked him what he wanted to play and he said, "Sandy." He wanted to strap on the accordion and revisit the boardwalk of our youth during the summer nights when we'd walk along the boards with all the time in the world.
So what if we just smashed into three parked cars, it's a beautiful night! So what if we're on the lam from the entire Middletown police department, let's go take a swim! He wanted to play once more the song that is of course about the end of something wonderful and the beginning of something unknown and new.
Let's go back to the days of miracles. Pete Townshend said, "a rock and roll band is a crazy thing. You meet some people when you're a kid and unlike any other occupation in the whole world, you're stuck with them your whole life no matter who they are or what crazy things they do."
If we didn't play together, the E Street Band at this point would probably not know one another. We wouldn't be in this room together. But we do... We do play together. And every night at 8 p.m., we walk out on stage together and that, my friends, is a place where miracles occur...old and new miracles. And those you are with, in the presence of miracles, you never forget. Life does not separate you. Death does not separate you. Those you are with who create miracles for you, like Danny did for me every night, you are honored to be amongst.
Of course we all grow up and we know "it's only rock and roll"...but it's not. After a lifetime of watching a man perform his miracle for you, night after night, it feels an awful lot like love.
So today, making another one of his mysterious exits, we say farewell to Danny, "Phantom" Dan, Federici. Father, husband, my brother, my friend, my mystery, my thorn, my rose, my keyboard player, my miracle man and lifelong member in good standing of the house rockin', pants droppin', earth shockin', hard rockin', booty shakin', love makin', heart breakin', soul cryin'... and, yes, death defyin' legendary E Street Band.
(video tribute to Danny at www.BruceSpringsteen.net)
Posted in My Damn Channel
with tags Andy Milonakis
, Bruce Springsteen
, Carnival of Stuff
, Daily Grace
, Danny Federici
, Donnie Hoyle
, Grace Helbig
, Harry Shearer
, Horrible People
, The Alphas
, Wainy Days
, Was (Not Was)
on 4/20/2008 8:57:00 AM by Rob Barnett
Hillary & Barack look like they're both about to puke if the campaign goes another day
- Fri 4/25 opens up a new chapter in the book of "DONNIE" - amen