"A Life Well Wasted" (Robert Ashley's Podcast)

kuddles wrote:

Relax guys. Let's stop the petty bickering, shake hands and agree that Seanbaby and King of the Hill are both equally unfunny.

I agree that I have low standards of humor and love both!

boogle wrote:
kuddles wrote:

Relax guys. Let's stop the petty bickering, shake hands and agree that Seanbaby and King of the Hill are both equally unfunny.

I agree that I have low standards of humor and love both!

I'm with you. To paraphrase Gandhi, a dick joke for a hillbilly joke leaves the whole world humorless.

I don't care if you have "DiM" jokes-- I don't need 10 minutes of them.

Its amazing they forced you to listen to it. Did they hold your fingers down and make you not fast forward? And King of the Hill sucks, just because it was on the air for awhile doesn't mean its funny, the Simpsons is still going and that's a bunch of sh*t.

Anyway...

Bobito's noted on twitter that he's working on the next episode, looking foward to it. I'm curious as what gear he's using and the music he's splicing into his interviews. Not sure where to find his contact info, as I'm assuming he's not checking his 1Up messages. I'd like to see a return of The Merchants of Cool, such a classic GFW moment.

nukacola23 wrote:

Anyway...

Bobito's noted on twitter that he's working on the next episode, looking foward to it. I'm curious as what gear he's using and the music he's splicing into his interviews. Not sure where to find his contact info, as I'm assuming he's not checking his 1Up messages. I'd like to see a return of The Merchants of Cool, such a classic GFW moment.

I believe he is using some of his own music? His bands name is "I come to Shanghai".

Came across this podcast browsing iTunes. All I have to say is that it is fantastic. I love the format, writing, and the production overall. It is nice to see someone finally make something other than a rowdy roundtable. I hope he sticks with it, because it is the best podcast I have heard in a long time. I almost felt like I was listening to This American Life. It is that good.

Cheers!!

On his twitter today Robert was asking if anybody could put him in contact with some professional gamers. Sounds like the next show should be interesting and he's making good on his promise to bring in 'other' perspectives.

AmazingZoidberg wrote:

On his twitter today Robert was asking if anybody could put him in contact with some professional gamers. Sounds like the next show should be interesting and he's making good on his promise to bring in 'other' perspectives.

I'd buy a Robert Ashley gaming mouse. Just saying.

I dig the "This American Life" style of production. I just wonder if this is going to be a podcast that gets 4 episodes out and disappears forever.

Grubber788 wrote:
AmazingZoidberg wrote:

On his twitter today Robert was asking if anybody could put him in contact with some professional gamers. Sounds like the next show should be interesting and he's making good on his promise to bring in 'other' perspectives.

I'd buy a Robert Ashley gaming mouse. Just saying.

I don't know. I'd never really feel safe touching it.

Episode Four of A Life Well Wasted is Up for anyone that kind of forgot about it over these many months.

I am listening to it now. The production values are really high.

Yup, another amazingly well produced and exceptionally interesting episode. I do wish he had the time to make these more frequently, but I suppose they might lose a bit of their charm if he did.

I listened to 30 minutes of the new one on my way in to work.

Is it just me, or is he getting overly cute with the editing? I'm specifically reacting to the stuff like the pitch shifting on the voice of the cosplayer he interviewed, so it is artificially low when she is quoting her brother, or artificially high when she is quoting herself as a child. Or him just spontaneously breaking up her words into quarter notes so he can turn it into an impromptu song about a robot. I guess Ashley has always done some stuff like that, but I liked it more when it was more naturalistic, more like This American Life for gamers and less like fun with Soundforge starring Robert Ashley and some people he interviewed and a big bag of weed that he just smoked.

I haven't listened to it too deeply, but the production quality doesn't surprise me; he had tweeted that he was working on guitar solos for the episode at one point.

Is it just me, or is he getting overly cute with the editing? I'm specifically reacting to the stuff like the pitch shifting on the voice of the cosplayer he interviewed, so it is artificially low when she is quoting her brother, or artificially high when she is quoting herself as a child. Or him just spontaneously breaking up her words into quarter notes so he can turn it into an impromptu song about a robot. I guess Ashley has always done some stuff like that,

Yeah, I'm pretty sure all the episodes have been sort of like that, although it was maybe a tad more pronounced on this one.

but I liked it more when it was more naturalistic, more like This American Life for gamers and less like fun with Soundforge starring Robert Ashley and some people he interviewed and a big bag of weed that he just smoked.

I dunno, I guess it just doesn't bother me, although I suppose I can see how it could get on someone's nerves.

It's just you... or you and the people who agree with you, who are not me.

What I really like about ALWW is that Ashley has taken the podcast format and used it to create a unique piece of art. Rather than being a simple interview show ALWW is an interpretation of the theme using interviews as the primary brushstrokes.

It is certainly not for everyone, and I wouldn't want every podcast to adopt his format (if for no other reason than because no one would be able to turn out a weekly podcast in this format) but I love it.

I like the effects. To me its because they are not over done. If you are a sound person or have heard a lot of it before maybe they are all lame but its all new to me and for what ever reason it feels right.

Podunk wrote:

Is it just me, or is he getting overly cute with the editing? I'm specifically reacting to the stuff like the pitch shifting on the voice of the cosplayer he interviewed, so it is artificially low when she is quoting her brother, or artificially high when she is quoting herself as a child. Or him just spontaneously breaking up her words into quarter notes so he can turn it into an impromptu song about a robot. I guess Ashley has always done some stuff like that, but I liked it more when it was more naturalistic, more like This American Life for gamers and less like fun with Soundforge starring Robert Ashley and some people he interviewed and a big bag of weed that he just smoked.

The podcast has always felt like this to me, and it's why I don't like it despite the rather interesting topics he covers. I can see what he's going for, it's just over-produced for me.

AmazingZoidberg wrote:

It's just you... or you and the people who agree with you, who are not me.

To be clear, I've really enjoyed all of his podcasts up to this one, so it's not like I have a bone to pick with the format in general.

I feel like with this episode he's trying harder to distance himself from mainstream shows like This American Life--more aggressive editing and artistic processing of the interview audio, less of him narrating and contextualizing. I like the idea in theory, but in practice I find it distracting and a little bit embarrassing. It becomes more about Ashley and his creative indie aesthetic and his music and less about the topic or the person he's interviewing. Based on the first 30 minutes, at least, it's a departure from what I liked so much about previous episodes.

If I recall correctly, these effects are mostly in the first segment and the others are more straight forward. I thought this was a pretty interesting episode, although there wasn't anything mind blowing.

I think the strongest episode was the 3rd where he edited together listener's responses to "Why do you play games?" I think it gave a look into many aspects that influence how and why people choose to spend their time.

Regarding the editing, I did notice that quite starkly, but for some reason it seemed to make the episode stand out more. I think he's riding the edge between editing for editing's sake and editing to emphasize. It's a fine line to walk, and hopefully he can continue to be on the safe side of it.
The playing around with the editing reminds me of some of the stuff Chris Remo does on Idle Thumbs.

The fact that he actually produced more music (whether it was just some stuff from the cutting room floor for his album, or actually came out of the creative process, it doesn't matter) for the episode made me go check his album out. Incidentally, it's really good.

Okay, the rest of the episode was way better.

Podunk wrote:
AmazingZoidberg wrote:

It's just you... or you and the people who agree with you, who are not me.

To be clear, I've really enjoyed all of his podcasts up to this one, so it's not like I have a bone to pick with the format in general.

I feel like with this episode he's trying harder to distance himself from mainstream shows like This American Life--more aggressive editing and artistic processing of the interview audio, less of him narrating and contextualizing. I like the idea in theory, but in practice I find it distracting and a little bit embarrassing. It becomes more about Ashley and his creative indie aesthetic and his music and less about the topic or the person he's interviewing. Based on the first 30 minutes, at least, it's a departure from what I liked so much about previous episodes.

This is why I would always content that his show more like Radio Lab than This American Life. Radio Lab's gimmick is their wacky editing, who use almost exactly the same techniques he does on his show.

Podunk wrote:

Okay, the rest of the episode was way better. :D

Dude, I could listen to him interview that last lady for hours. Especially with that last interview he figured out the perfect balance, but before in EP4 he had too little story IMO.

Definitely not worth the 4-month wait IMO. I made it about halfway through before turning it off. I guess the topic(s) of the show just wasn't for me. Meh.

For the record, I really liked the earlier episodes, back when he was releasing them once a month.

I really enjoyed what he did with the first segment. If he would've continued with the same style through the entire podcast then it probably would've gotten old, but for that first segment I loved it. The central thread of this episode didn't seem to be as strong as the other episodes, but in general I still really enjoyed it. I'm now looking forward to the sub-episode with some of the edited snippets from this episode.

I agree with those who found the editing in the first segments to detract from the episode as a whole. I've always enjoyed the musical interludes in the past episodes, but I found the "cutesy" editing within the interviews to be a bit excessive. But, yay for a new episode!

boogle wrote:

Dude, I could listen to him interview that last lady for hours.

Seriously. Jeri Ellsworth is a total badass.

inspiringsn wrote:

The central thread of this episode didn't seem to be as strong as the other episodes, but in general I still really enjoyed it. I'm now looking forward to the sub-episode with some of the edited snippets from this episode.

The central thread wasn't as explicitly stated for sure. I think this was a product of removing Ashley's abundant narration. I felt that the thread was very strong though. It was the story of how games lead some to create. It's certainly not as simple as "why game?"

From everything I've seen (mostly from Robert's twitter) the delay of this episode was not because he's been slaving over a single episode but because the summer is a crazy busy time for a freelance journalist trying to cover the major conferences.

Anodyne wrote:
boogle wrote:

Dude, I could listen to him interview that last lady for hours.

Seriously. Jeri Ellsworth is a total badass. :D

QFT x 2. She is amazing.