Brain Dead III – Commercial Free Re-Issue

When I was looking for a picture to use for this episode of Digital Flotsam. I had a picture of my daughter Billie in mind that I guessed was taken around the time described in this show. I searched dozens of CDs filled with old pictures but I couldn’t find it. I eventually ran across the one above on my hard drive. It wasn’t the picture I was looking for, but it appeared to be from the right time period. When I loaded it into Photoshop, I gasped. If you look closely… in this picture… her hands… especially her left… are covered with ant bites. [insert Twilight Zone theme music]

Loads of folks to thank for this episode… first and foremost, Billie, known throughout her life at home as “best pal”. She is the one I refer to as my “Anglo” daughter. She wrote a great story, which will no doubt inspire me to one day talk about the same incident from a parent’s perspective. It was quite an experience to be at work and get a phone call announcing that your daughter was just taken away unconscious in an ambulance.

A special thank you to Brian Noe (of The Frank Truth) for adding a couple of Pythonesque asides. Thanks to Larry Josephson, long time producer of Bob & Ray, and for allowing me access to their enormous library of fun.

I used music by the late Hank Marr, Larry Seyer, Enter The Haggis, and Incidental Fusion. I also played the world podcast premiere of “The Word” by 3 Blind Mice, upon which the Digital Flotsam theme music is based, which is a wonderful song from their as yet unreleased CD. But go buy their first two CDs, they are every bit as wonderful.

23 comments to Brain Dead III – Commercial Free Re-Issue

  • Cewl Episode !! I gues i was one of the first to download it because the feed picked it up and you did not put this part online yet.
    About the podcast: I laughed my ass off ! It was soooooooo very backflash with what we all did when we were very young. (We’re still young ;-) )

    Billy, congratulations with your very first Digital Flotsam. It is a HIT !
    Like the 3BM song! YEAH ! I LOVE IT !

  • Thank you so much, Gert. This was actually Billie’s second Digital Flotsam guest shot. The first was Episode 17 – “The Fear of Flying” (no longer online). Billie told a story called “The Plane”.. which was also very well received.

    Billie keeps claiming she is going to start her own podcast. But she inherited other traits from her dad… like a love for the fine art of procrastination.

  • I feel a bit stupid. I have that one on my computer (I have them all), but it is one I never listened to. I am right now :-)

    I guess the 100 GB of received podcast has it’s toll. I try to make a nice mix of all I have.
    Well, I’m going to put the DF’s on CD’s for the 24 hrs shift I’m working in right now. Yesterday I had a 20 hour day, many problems solved in our network. And a LOT of time listening to podcasts while driving through the Netherlands: Ens to Amsterdam to Ens to Zwolle to Hoogeveen to Assen to Groningen to Ens. Vroom. ;-) 500+ Kilometers of quality time.

    P.S. When Billy is lowering her voice to imitate her mom…she REALY sounds like dad. So about that genetic part……

  • Ryan

    I suffered a bit of a love/hate relationship with this particular episode. Enjoyed the memories of crazy days spent in very similiar circumstances, without the Hospital trip though. The hate portion stems from the 3 young ones I have, and worrying about them having similiar experiences.
    One thing you did get from your father, was his incredible storytelling ability. Great job.

  • What I like about Digital Flotsam is that it reminds me of listening to Jean Shepherd on WOR radio when I was a little kid. Now in this episode, there was a mention of Larry Josephson as the long-time producer of Bob & Ray. This seems to be the same guy who had the radio show on WBAI. It’s weird how stuff like that happens — People who liked or knew about the same things years ago are somehow drawn into the same things now, but not in a real straightforward way. I was probably Billie’s age when I was listening to Larry Josephson. 2900 miles and almost 40 years away from that time and place, and it just keeps coming back. No matter what. ;-)

  • It’s weird. As a former New Yorker, I was a big fan of Jean Shepherd. However his shoes are way too big on me :-) The other weird thing is your mentioning WBAI. WBAI is where I lost my radio production virginity. Bob Fass played a few of my pieces in the late 60s / early 70s on his all night show. Some of which I may incorporate into a future Digital Flotsam. I feel I am part of the last generation of true radio lovers (Bob & Ray included). I grew up right at the cusp of the Radio to TV transition, and I have never stopped loving the experience of radio. I think “podcasting” is kind of a re-birth of that experience. I think broadcast radio eventually transformed and merged itself into nothing but marketing and formulas. Podcasting seems to prove that was a mistake.

  • Another great episode! I have no stories like this from my own younger days (at least not before college, anyway), but got a kick out of the way Billie told the story. As a mom, I’m sure it wasn’t quite so funny at the time! :-)

  • Nor as a dad. “Funny” took years to be used in relation to this story.

  • Billie

    Yeah. Thanks for posting THAT pic Dad. Just looking at the bites! I counted about 16 bites on my 2 hands. I hope everyone realises that that was just the tip of the iceberg.

    Thanks all for you’re kind words. I had a great time recording it, and didn’t my Dad do a fantastic job putting the show together, or what? Dad, great music shoices by the way. Haggis, how perfect was that?

  • First of all, I have to say how much I enjoyed Billie’s story. Procrastination is great if, when the time comes, the results are as good as can be. This story was top-notch.

    A great deal of the enjoyment of it was the fine music mixed in. I was reminded of your comments a few podcasts ago that you couldn’t use the music that came right into your head any longer (or something like that). Well, I’m learning from the music that you’ve picked, and I wouldn’t have learned as much if old but comfortable standards were your choice.

    No doubt this way is a lot more work for you, but heck — you’re pioneering, blazing a new trail, instead of just wandering around a familiar neighborhood. The benefit to us listeners is that we are exposed to new artists selected by you, a person with an experienced ear. I could never, ever come up with such good choices. I hope you have some satisfaction in being able to do this so well.

    So thanks to Billie and to you. And yes, she sounds just like you.

  • Forgot: I was also raised on Larry Josephson and Larry the bagelman. I frantically put together my Heathkit AR-15 at home while Larry wired up the stereo circuitry over at WBAI. I got it finished but not installed in its case when Larry turned the stereo light on, then off, then on again, thrilled with what he could do in homes all over the NYC area. I was thrilled that my little red light worked at all. He cost me an arm and a leg, for the next things I needed to buy were two (count ‘em, two) Revox reel-to-reel recorders so I could time-shift my listening. Now we have podcasting… it would have been so much easier.

  • Thank you for another perfectly cool show.
    Her wonderful skill to tell a story is also genetic, I’d say.

  • Statistics for this week: Worked way to many hours, drove about 4200 Kilometres on the road and listened a huge amount of podcasts while being in the car. And imagine a ride home listening to ‘The word’. Driving from the Internet Exchange in Amsterdam to my home: 104 Kilometres on the road at an average speed of 90 Kilometres per hour. I specially made a standalone version and I played it over and over again. LOUD! It took me home in one gigantic swinging (and singing) mood after a long, very looooooong day. Man, I can’t wait for the album to arrive.
    Of course there were lots of DF’s (including the DF number 17) on my way. And now the 24 shifts are over for another 5 weeks.

  • Yes Awake to all who listened to, Jean Shepard maybe the first podcaster to exist! The ability to communicate is a great genetic imprint ! It is a wonderful complement when parents and children interact ! It does not happen by accident, it takes work though and a lot of kindness ! You both are to be applauded ! Oh the Tasty Horn Solos on the 3 Blind Mice Tune and the vocals first rate !
    I Know Because I Have Good Taste ! Studio quality, well arranged, recorded with skill ! I will buy it cuz I dig it ! Imagine p-dub you the shaman of podcasting have given the world a great actress and given folks a reason to write great music ! Rumor has it next year you will be teaching , music and voice at Berkelee,
    also your Harmonica Concert at Oberlin was breathtaking ! Willy Nelson and Nat Henhof gave it five stars ! I especially like the tune Wind In Your Sails it amazed me that your solo lasted fifteen minutes without drawing a breath, you have great breath control and no doubt a large amount of wind ! I dozed off during the solo and missed the bridge, but i iwll buy the sheet music and practice it with my humazoo ! Onward be strong, podcast more freedom less crap !

  • “p-dub you the shaman of podcasting” — P-Dub, I think you have finally been ‘dubbed’ with a moniker that befits your talents…

    “First there was the Podfather, who hired unto his company a wizard of audio technical talents and storytelling unsurpassed. And thusly he was named the ‘Shaman of Podcasting’, for his work did soothe ills and heal the soul.”


  • Hi Man!
    You are my favorite storyteller, and discovering the same skill in Billie makes me feel ok thinking when you’ll start thinking about retirement ;)

    Hugs from Italy!


  • Frungi

    What is the piano, at the very end of her story? I swear I’ve heard it elsewhere.

  • My apologies to the wonderful artist, Rob Costlow. I believe that is his composition called “Family”. I don’t know why I left it out of the show notes. I love his stuff.

  • Frungi

    Nope, not Rob Costlow. After some PMN searching and listening, I figured out it was Incidental Fusion’s Equinoxal, from the album of the same name:
    Rob is great, though. I miss his New Artist Podcast.

  • Well I retract my apology. Turns out I gave Incidental Fusion credit after all. :-)

  • Hey P-Dub! It appears that the 3 Blind Mice album is finally available on iTunes!!!

  • P-Dub

    Wow… if it wasn’t available before, that is great news. Now if we can get them to get back together and record another one… :-)

  • Eugene Tamura

    I don’t know how long this episode has been sitting on my ipod but I just found and listened to it yesterday. It is the last thing on the feed. Is there another feed which is more current? I don’t like missing out. Thanks!