"The 404 1,489: Where we get lost in the options with Reggie Watts (podcast)"
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The 404 1,489: Where we get lost in the options with Reggie Watts (podcast)
It's Tuesday, May 20th.
I'm Mark Lasea and from our CBS studios in New York City, welcome to the 404.
What's going on ladies and gentleman?
Thank you for tuning into the 404 show.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
Today I am joined by a man, who I am sure, you're familiar with.
I'm sure you know he's a comedian, musician, you've seen him on Conan, you've heard his music before, I'm positive of that.
It's pretty much a guarantee, by now, that every living human has heard it.
He's a man of many talents, the co-host of the Comedy Bang Bang show on IFC which is currently in it's third season and can be seen Thursday nights at 10:30.
Please welcome to the show, for the very first time Mr. Reggie Watts.
[clapping] Round of applause for Reggie Watts.
Thanks for being here, man.
Yeah, my pleasure man.
This is this.
You know, it means a lot when you say you're excited, because most people say that, and we could tell that they're full of it.
You sir, we know for sure the genuine excitement.
I, I can't, I can't hide it.
I can't hide it.
So you, so you, you're actually like a C-Net fan?
I probably watch maybe three to four C-Net videos per day.
I would say so, yeah.
I don't watch that per day.
I know, I know, I know.
I know, and then I'm like oh, there's no new videos, [LAUGH] and I watch and I go into the archives.
[LAUGH] You just weep in the corner.
Yeah so, [INAUDIBLE] a review of some phone that no one has.
So this is a crazy story.
So, so, one, it, it does blow me away that you are such a C-Net fan and then you, you wound up meeting my co-host, Justin.
At some point in Brooklyn.
What happened there, cuz he comes in, this is the best story, this is like a couple years ago.
He comes in and he's like, dude, I met Reggie Watts yesterday.
And me selfishly, I'm like cool, did you ask him to come on our show?
And he's like no I forgot.
I'm like, I'm like how did I. I'm like you talk to Reggie Watts for this time, it's like come on.
So what did, so you just ran into each other [UNKNOWN].
Yeah, we just literally was on this street and I recognized him.
And you know, I was like oh man, big fan of C-Net [LAUGH].
And he must have had this flabbergasted look on his face.
It was like [INAUDIBLE].
Nice, very nice young man.
And he can help you with your groceries, I'm sure.
No, I, I, I know [LAUGH].
Yeah, it was just like this, I was like, oh that's weird seeing that.
It was great.
And then I met another, another CNET personality on the street.
Who's the, oh, I'm trying to remember.
He's a phone reviewer.
Oh, Brian Bennet?
Third time's the charm.
So where did that happen then?
That was in New York as well.
And he was like, oh, thank you, thank you.
Did he know who you were?
I don't know.
I have no idea.
I didn't say hey, do you know who I am?
I was gonna say.
[LAUGH] Before we part ways, do you know who I am?
He's like are you a person or are you?
I'm a person.
I'll see ya later.
You just frolic away.
He was like, that was interesting.
So, so be honest.
What's your favorite part of C-Net because I don't, I don't know, I don't, is it, besides our show obviously.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[UNKNOWN] Of course.
No, I mean, I enjoy the, I'm a big reviewer guy.
Like I do my own research all the time on products.
So I'm always like checking out new phones and new computers or new operating systems or new gadgets, film video sound stuff.
Or eco stuff, so and I love cars.
C-Net on cars is awesome.
I, I, I love that show.
I even like was it X car?
X cars the new show now.
Which is great.
I really like that kind of it's, you think its enough power?
But it's not.
[LAUGH] Everything about this says it should be, and yet the experience is not.
It's amazing that kind of beautiful way of speaking is great.
But I love, I love bot because because I think, it, it's just the, the, how much people are passionate about.
The actual thing.
And, all the details that they get right.
About, like, navigation touchscreen response time.
Or, like, ergonomic placement of controls.
Or safety features, or why this is particularly better than another thing.
Or road noise, or whatever.
Like I just wonder how they really get into the ins and outs of what makes this thing a great or mediocre or terrible thing.
So, yeah, I just, I, I, I, I love doing.
In fact we were going to do a comedy thing, me and John Benjamin.
We'd like to do, or sorrt John Glazer, we're going to do a review show.
Oh right on.
It's going to be like really dumb.
But we would review like technical clothing.
Like how practical the zipper is.
Yeah yeah yeah, like is this a stay fast, are they using Fast-X?
[LAUGH] Snap buttons, or?
Yeah, snap buttons or is it polymer, is it like two, two layers, what's the hydrophobic ratio on that?
You know, just like.
It's funny cause you see a lot of parodies, like we've noticed.
You know, they've done like, SNL's done like C-Net parodies before.
Oh, they have?
Yeah, when like, whenever there's a big iPhone announcement, they'll.
I remember there was one skit.
I forget what it was specifically.
But they had like the quote unquote, you know, C-Net guy there.
And yeah, yeah.
Oh, that's awesome.
Well that's cool.
It's, it's better, it's better with.
Then by people who actually know.
Oh 100% [CROSSTALK]
That's the thing with Jon Glaser and I, he, we're both gear heads.
So, if we're talking about something, we're gonna actually know about it.
Yeah, and it's believable.
Because of that it makes it that much more funny.
well, I covered games from C-Net, in addition to doing 404.
I know you are a gamer.
In some capacity.
I am, yes.
I've read some tweets.
Some stuff like that.
Can I bring up one of the tweets you've written?
Tweet, it's [CROSSTALK]
Alright, this is going back to January.
And I share a lot of your, your sentiment.
Don't, I'm, I'm not trying to, you know, grill you here.
You wrote back in January, dear video game industry can we get less games about killing and more about intellectual dilemmas.
That said, I can't wait for the division game.
[LAUGH] So, for people who don't know, the division is a game coming out from Ubi Soft, basically about apocalyptic New York City.
After a black Friday where a virus gets unleashed.
Do you feel passionately about violence in games?
Is that something that's an issue close to your heart.
It's like you know, for me it's like I, I think violence in games is, is cool as long as, my favorite types if there's violence are cartoonish.
Violence like Borderlands is one of my favorite all time.
Borderlands, Borderlands 2.
One of my favorite all time games and I just finally finished Borderlands 2 after like two years.
Oh, you finally got the Handsome Jack, huh?
Yeah, Handsome Jack.
It's just like, I hate you.
It's like, hey [NOISE].
[LAUGH] But what a character though, right?
Yeah, it's just like.
He's always eating an apple.
He's always eating something.
It's so casual.
Such a jerk.
But yeah, I don't mind.
I don't mind, violence if it's cartoonish.
What, what kind of bums me out, what stresses me out is is like stuff like what's the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare or.
I played that and got through it.
It's too stressful.
Because it's too like, it's just too real, if that makes any sense.
No, it does.
I understand what you're saying.
They're trying to like, give you that experience like, you know.
Even though it's very far from like actual battle experience I'm sure.
Like I've always said, you know, you give a 13-year-old an M4 and have him or her shoot it on a, they will cry.
It's just, it's just a controlled explosion in your hand.
It's just like rapid explosion in your hand.
And the recoil is devastating.
And it would just shock these people.
But you make a good point.
Like you said, it's, it's trying to create this, you know, emulation.
That perhaps desensitizes people to what's really going on.
Yeah, it does and its just, it's not that imaginative if that makes any sense.
I know, okay, video game programmers are gonna be like, well I worked really hard on it.
I'm sure you did, but like.
It's the end result is like, well, I've played games like this.
Like, I enjoy Halo.
Halo's great, it's cartoonish, it's futuristic sci-fi.
I love Mass Effect, it's beautiful.
I love the tech of the weapons, you know, you're dealing with [CROSSTALK] guns.
Made, Mark a very happy man.
[LAUGH] Mass Effect, he is not mad at you.
Are you kidding?
We were just talking about that yesterday.
Yeah, Mass Effect and supposedly a movies coming out.
Which is totally, it's prime for it.
We share an office, and I was like, man, Jeff wasn't Mass Effect an awesome game?
And he's like that was random.
Well, it was funny.
He goes, he was, like, what do you like about Mass.
I was, like, well, the first one was, was was okay.
The second one was amazing.
The third one was a little over rated, I think.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
And he's, like, that's exactly correct.
I was, like, all right.
Yeah, Mass Effect, it's, like, you know, in aspect it's like, you know, the characters.
Who's the assassin guy?
The lizard kind of dude.
I don't know, he was like that bad **** assassin dude.
He was in the second game, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
He has like a, kind of like a cat face?
What's his name?
There you go.
And kind of like that weird three voices happening.
One of the illest characters.
I thought he was just so sick, but, but I love those games because they're so imaginative and [CROSSTALK] you know.
Sure, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
The premises deal with existential crisis, stuff like that.
I think that that's great.
When it's something that's trying to be a little bit too hardwired into like current times or slightly near future, whatever.
old, actually the, the God, there's so many games What was the early World War II game?
Call of Duty.
Yeah, Call of Duty.
Yeah, that was kind of interesting because, it's you know, it takes place in old, it's a period piece.
Right and when they're recreating like the storm on Normandy and stuff like that right?
Yeah, that's kind of interesting because there's some history to it, you know?
I, I remember, before I lost, my grandparents, I, I had shown, them that scene in Medal of Honor.
And it was just, and they didn't realize, like, as a, as, like, an 18-year-old what I might be doing.
And it was like one of those moments where it was like, oh my god.
You know, where, where it's like I can't believe what I'm seeing.
It's kind of a terrifying thing and.
I wish in retrospect maybe I didn't do that.
I kind of regret going back and exposing.
But nevertheless, you know, your learning.
Is important, right?
Biggest video game.
Now I mean, I mean I just like, you know for me it's like I would love video games that have just a little bit more, I, I like, I like the Sims.
Like, I was into the Sims, because I liked the idea of something being generative.
Like something kind of existing kind of like a Tamagotchi or whatever.
Like a sandbox sort of thing.
It's just like, it's this thing that's happening and it's, and it's kind of simulating life, you know, or Spore.
You know, something like that.
I enjoy that, but I also like really believable simulation, but that's kind of more like, what's the thing, it's called Watchdogs.
That's gonna be an amazing game, I think.
I hope, have you played it?
I may or may not have.
I am not at liberty to say right now.
I gotcha, I gotcha.
Definitely, you haven't played it.
But the review will be out Tuesday.
Yeah, I'll look for Tuesday.
yeah, basically, like I, I like the idea of kind of immersing yourself in, in, in a reality that has like little details.
Like, for instance, in The Division that's coming out.
Fully destructive environments.
You know like seeing that scene in the demo where you know, you see that police car getting shot up and the chairs are depressurizing.
And and the damage state is.
Concrete barricade chipping apart and stuff like that.
Yeah, and that that type of stuff.
I love that because then you, are you are exposed to the kinetic reality.
Of the situation and it's, and it's you know it not based off of something now.
It could potentially maybe something like that could happen, but so it puts you in this beautiful kind of sci fi zone.
I am looking forward to Oculus Rift.
Getting in there with that kind of immersion.
Lot of developers are, there a little dicey with it.
Yeah, why is that?
Well, the way I understand it is developing a game for a TV where you have that limited resolution like 1080p or if you have a gaming PC you could go beyond that.
That's sort of, you know, two-dimensional in a way that you can kind of maintain.
When you're developing for Oculus, that resolution is now like this 360 degree.
You know, complex sort of plane.
So, you know, it's tough to wrap my head around it, because I'm not a developer.
But I, you know, I do work a lot in the games industry and I do understand the trials and tribulations that these guys go through.
But, you know, when you look at games that take like seven, eight years to put together.
And then they're like okay well, we're just gonna like quadruple the resolution for you and you know, insert all these variables.
I can imagine, yeah.
For me, like I think Occulus Rift is a great idea for something like real estate.
Oh, real estate?
Like I want to buy a place in LA.
Right, but I don't want to fly there.
Let me load that up in to my visual, you know, display and I'll walk around the apartment and check it out.
Yeah, that's something that I'm experimenting with now.
I'm working with a guy we're 360 degree video, so we're going to use Occulus Rift.
To like experience a video.
And be able look at it at any angle you want to while it's running.
You know, so I like that immersive element to it.
I mean, perhaps there are games that fuse real world footage.
So you don't have to worry so much about resolution.
So you are inserting, you know, things that are real into other real situations, that's the way to go.
The future is wide open for that sort of stuff.
I mean, I feel like you should belong at E3, tell me you are going to E3.
I am not, I only hear E3 and I get excited about the reviews and let them [LAUGH].
You, you, you make sure you're in LA and we'll figure something out.
Okay, all right.
I want to bring you along.
When is it?
It's,uh, June, 8th.
It starts, s couple weeks.
Oh, that could.
Two weeks from Sunday.
That, that could happen, that could happen.
If you're in LA.
You get in touch and we'll make something happen.
All right, sounds cool, yea.
Mark will be there too.
Just trying to ask everyone about Mass Effect 4. Is Mass Effect 4 going to happen?
No, we're just going to go to Mass Effect 5.
Four is going to be a book and then five will be.
That will be crushing his dreams right there.
You know, and I'm, I'm glad you, you have an opinion about that, it's, it's nice to hear that you're, you know, invested in that emotionally.
I think it's important for sure.
Games go through a lot of flack, you know they, they, they've, it's taken a really long time for them to be considered a serious medium, and I don't even think they're all the way there yet.
I know, I know, I know, yeah, you're right.
You look at like the, what's happening with independent games.
That is a major blockbuster sort of medium that's breaking out right now.
Yeah, that's right.
Have you, have you had any experience with [CROSSTALK]?
I want to get into Ria.
And I know that's one way to go.
That is one way to go.
Yeah, I don't know, like, where do you, where do you get these things?
You just buy em like they're either apps or you can get em for your computer.
You've heard of Steam, right?
Yeah, Steam, yeah.
Steam hosts pretty much every independent game out there.
And then the steam box, right?
There's, there are steam boxes coming out.
But if you have a gaming PC you just load steam up on that and you're rocking and rolling.
I'll take care of you.
Oh, good, good.
I would like to find out about these.
This is a, this is, this is a mutual beneficial sort of situation
Right, I love games and right now I am just kinda console oriented.
Just because I don't have tons of time but I'm finding more time but I tell you one thing that I did that I thought was the coolest thing I have ever done.
I got a pair of the HMB, or sorry, HMD's the so, the new Sony HMD's [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] and
[LAUGH] I was on a plane, and I took my Xbox on the plane.
And put it on the thing, and put the seat back up [LAUGH].
Planning, playing Boarderland, Boarderlands at 35000 feet, it was pretty awesome.
So, I would, could just imagine a flight attendant coming by and like poking you, like, Mr. Spaceman, would you like a Coke?
[LAUGH] Yeah, totally, I told them like in advance like listen don't be afraid to, to, to wake me up or whatever I'm doing, if I'm playing.
Just, just hit me.
That's a brilliant idea, take the XBox on the, on the flight.
It was so crazy.
I was just like, will it work?
And I got like an extension cord, with like a, you know, like a whole hydra splitter or whatever.
Right, right, right.
Put everything in and I was just like, this is crazy.
I love it!
You know that's a great application for Occulus, man.
I'm telling you one of these airlines is going to do something with them and be like, look I just want all 212 people to be wearing your mask so that they can't bother us for the entirety of the flight.
Yeah, totally, totally.
If Occulus just stayed flat, I mean you don't necessarily need to have all those inertia, I mean you could just, I mean I liked playing a game.
But the problem with all these head mounted displays is they are heavy and they way on the bridge on your nose.
I remember taking them off after the flight and it looked like I was scarred.
And it took like an hour until my nose looked normal again.
Untill it came back to normal [LAUGH].
I know the Occulus is comfortable.
Yeah, they did a good job with that.
So I don't know.
We'll have to see what happens.
Let's shift gears.
Just a little bit.
I wanna talk about your music.
And the very unique sort of style that you've carved out.
first, I want you to talk a little bit about the band you're in.
I did not know of the band before I started preparing for the interview, and I'm now a fan.
Like for real.
I need you to know that.
But can you, but, tell me, is it Mahk-TUB?
It's pronounced MAHK-toob.
So tell, can you sorta tell me a little bit about that.
And maybe how you transitioned from Starting Merit.
And going off into your sort of comedian or comedy music oriented sort of styling.
Yeah I mean Mocktube was a band, I was living in, I moved to Seattle in 1990.
And around I think it's 96, I should ask Davis, he's the drummer of the band and he's like got a mind like a steel trap but, I think it was like 96 or something like that.
I had just broken up with another band and he was like waiting.
[LAUGH] And he was just like You wanna be in a, in a band [CROSSTALK]
Catch ya on the rebound.
It was like oh [UNKNOWN].
And and then had a jam session with my friend Kevin and at the time, the first keyboardist, Alex Feeley.
And yeah we just kind of like hit it off.
We wrote a song immediately and, and it was great.
And then we proceeded to we made an album.
We made an album with Steve Fisk who, he produced Nirvana's Bleach album.
He's kind of a Northwest legend guy and that was awesome.
We made that album.
Played out, made a second album and then, yeah I guess we made three, I guess we made five albums total.
Yeah, we have, I have five records.
Yeah five albums, the last one was called Five.
Not a coincidence.
Not a coincidence.
It's like we've always wanted to name an album Five, but it's weird.
But there's no coincidence.
But yeah, so we made all these albums and the band did well in the Northwest and we toured a few times nationally.
But we had a problem, but it was like a perception problem.
The industry didn't know.
You know, the industry at that time, especially in the mid-90s.
Was kind of taking a hard hit.
And was having an identity crisis.
So they weren't willing to take as many risks.
And when they saw our band, they usually loved, they, they loved the band live, and they liked what we did.
And they liked some of the music, but they didn't know where to put us.
So we kind of had that dilemma, you know?
Right, right, right.
And we kept making music.
And then probably like 2000, something like that, the guys from the state, Michael Showwalter, Michael Ian Black and Dave Wayne have Stella.
And they were, they were touring The Stella Comedy Group in New York.
And Eugene Mormon was opening for them.
And then a weirdly, a friend of mine, who, a guy that I became friends with, who's an artist, performance artist, who's doing a thing with the dance group, that mark to do a benefit for.
Knew Eugene Murmon because he went to school with him, told me that he's coming into town with Stellar.
Coincidentally, another friend who had moved to New York, came to visit in Seattle, took me outside, in the break at one of my gigs that I was having in Seattle, showed me some Stellar clips.
And I totally fell in love.
I was like this guy, oh, they, this is exactly what kind of comedy I love, I love to make comedy like this.
And then and then the friend of Eugene is like yeah, they, they're coming into town.
I was like what?
And so they came into town, I hooked up with Eugene, and was like, I might be in New York, I started writing music with his band Soullive, and I said I might be in New York writing and he's like, feel free to stop in and do a set, and I have been messing around with my line six.
pedal, doing weird comedic stuff a little bit Seattle.
So I went to New York and stopped in to Invite Them Up, which was kind of like the iconic night.
And I just hit it off.
Like it just, it just, everybody who was there felt like my long lost family.
And so at that point I thought, well,.
I've, I've got this music thing but it's, it's, I don't know how I'm gonna make a living in the long term doing it.
And comedy seems to be something I'm really passionate about.
And so, I just started pursuing it after that.
And when I went to I did like a few more show in New York and it just seemed like I should just move to New York.
So, I had to break the news to the guys.
It wasn't easy but like yeah.
But you know I moved to New York and we made Nash make two more records for Motley.
You know it's an amazing story, just that one night sort of lined up, all the stars lined up.
Yeah, it was crazy.
It was crazy.
So how would you compare.
Performing, I mean.
Your, your, you know, your comedic sort of performance is not a typical stand up experience, right?
You have a different sort of you know, I guess, aura.
How would you compare that to performing in a band?
Is that, do you just sort of chalk it up as just like I'm a performer and that's what it is?
I would imagine, obviously, the venues change.
How would you compare the two?
there, there kind of similar in that they, well, they're somewhere in there and booked on stages and [LAUGH] people come to check it out.
I don't know, I mean, it's like, it's like singing solo, I mean, it's really solo performance.
So, and because it has music, because I do music in what I do.
It is kind of, like a one man variety show in a way.
And it's not dissimilar to what I did in high school.
When I was in drama in high school I use to improvise little shows all the time, so it's just kind of a continuation of that.
You know, I just think of it as.
It's a comedic solo performance.
And, you know, and I was glad when I, when I ran when I did invite them up in New York.
It was so nice that people didn't think oh, you know, it's a crutch.
He's using music, you know, it's just kind of a crutch and.
You know, you know, he doesn't belong in here whatever.
They everybody was very accepting.
And that was amazing.
And so that enabled me, it gave me the confidence to continue going on stage and doing all sorts of comedian's nights.
They have line up shows all over the place in weird venues you know.
And then started doing you know, doing stuff in other cities and other countries.
It's, I just think of it kind of, you know, Eddie is art, is little bit.
LIke I'm not comparing myself to his talents but he, he's amazing.
And he just kind of does multitude of things on the stage, you know.
Or Lily Tomlin, or you know.
There's kind of a precedent for.
People doing unusual things, you know.
But, you know, here's my thing.
Right, it's an evolution and it's, and it's [INAUDIBLE] And I want to talk a little bit about that.
the, the gadgets you use.
How did you.
Get into that.
I find that so amazing how you know, you, your presence on stage.
There's, there's like no laptop, you know, which is sort of like for.
For what I consider, and I, I don't know if you agree, but laptops are now sort of like the.
The, you know, regular background of like a DJ booth, or something like that.
And I feel like it's just unwanted, sort of, noise.
It seems like that's almost like a deliberate omission for you, right?
Oh, for sure.
I, I don't, I mean.
Laptops are great for producing music, and it's portable, the powerful you know, computation systems and you can interact with them and you can do all sorts of amazing things with them.
I don't necessarily think that they belong on stage.
At least visibly.
I think when I see a laptop on stage I'm always a little disappointed, because I'm like.
No one knows what that person is doing, when they're staring at a laptop screen.
And like, pressing buttons and stuff.
Well, they could have just signed into Facebook, they could be doing an update, now they're going back to a track and EQing.
You have no idea.
Because they're using something that you have,.
But it's not an instrument really it's just a computer.
It can be, it's neutral.
It can be whatever, right?
I prefer an instrument.
I prefer a things that are specifically designed for performance.
So when you see a violin you know it's a violin and you play it and you make music with it.
And you don't have one you know, or maybe you do and, but that person makes a living out of it, whatever.
But the point is that.
Even if I did use, I mean, I've used my, I've used my iPhone on stage before.
Using a little program cuz my stuff like stopped working.
I've tried to use iPads before, but the touch interface it's, it's just a smooth piece with no texture to it.
Right there's [CROSSTALK]
I like knobs on computers.
Yeah, I like to interact with the objects.
I, I have, I have some friends that use a lot of computers on the stage for what they do, but now they've started to hide them.
And now they just have the interfaces.
Which is so much better.
I, I, I don't have a problem with like however you make your music.
It's great, but.
Visually, there is something to consider.
There's an aesthetic that it's like, you know, it, it's almost creates this like odd curtain.
And you're like, well, what's, what's really happening behind there?
And everyone's getting that skeptical glance that they [CROSSTALK]
Like what's going on?
Well, that's why I always, I love it when I see DJs just.
And, like, and I understand, many DJs have gotten so many back problems, from like.
Right, just hunched over.
Lugging tons and and tons of records, you know, just like, And I understand that it's nice to carry a USB stick and just like plug it in and use, you know, [UNKNOWN], or whatever.
And I understand that.
But at the same time there's something nice when you don't see the laptop.
Because the laptop, again, you don't know what's happening?
The music, as long, ultimately, as long as the music's banging, and everyone's having a good time, whatever.
99.9% of the people, yeah, yeah.
You,re gonna look up in the booth and see a laptop, whatever I'm having a great time, that's fine.
But and they, and a lot of DJ's do really incredible creative things.
But in general, I always find it a bonus when I don't see the laptop.
Absolutely, it, you may, its, its amazing just to talk about like Apple, like that, talk about the branding that they've-.
They've just been able to and not even on purpose, it's almost like this organic association of like quality and like.
This guys got a Macbook there, he knows what the F he's doing up there.
I'm gonna be taken care sonically tonight.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You know, and it's just this amazing sort of vail that's be thrown over.
It's they've, they've, they've become synonymous with art.
No, absolutely, you're 100%.
And that's, that's what it was before Macs got popular.
Like, I don't need a Mac, I don't edit video.
I don't need a Mac, I don't use Photoshop.
And now, it's just like I need a Mac.
I need a $3,000 Facebook machine, you know, like.
I know, I just bought.
I just bought the fully maxed out Mac Pro.
Oh, yeah you did.
We, we, need, we, I think we need, I think we need to have a video of your review of the Mac Pro.
I'd freaking watch that.
I, I will, I, I know.
I'm just investing because I want to do some, like, video editing in the future and I just don't.
I want a massive number cruncher.
Yeah, you're gonna be well taken care of.
I know, it's like, and I wanna, you know, I think about future, you know, future proofing.
I'm really into future proofing.
You're way millenia into the future that thing, you're in good shape.
I, you know leads to the discussion about like music discovery.
The digitalization of music.
You know, we, we sort of lived through these generations where it's completely analog, to the mix tape, to the, to the spo, to age of Spotify.
I read a review you did of a, of a death metal record.
Oh yeah, Necrocracy.
By by Exhumed.
And you know, I when I first heard about it and Justin turned me on to it, he's like you gotta read this review.
I'm like he reviewed a record by.
It's, I think it's amazing that this digitalisation is opening the taste, it's that spectrum of people's musical taste, has broadened so wide.
And you get all of these sub-genres and sort of sub-cultures that interact.
How do you, how do you sort of like exist in that world?
For, I I don't know, maybe I just feel like I'm getting older.
I'm just like what the hells going on
I can't even like, you know, put a finger.
It's just like just stop doing, just sit still for five seconds.
[LAUGH] Yeah, yeah.
How do, how do you coexist with all that?
It's a it's, it's weird because I really think.
You know, I have my taste in music.
And definitely, some of those functionalities of like Genius playlists or like algorithmical, heuristic, you know, learning systems for like, you know, finding the best matches and things you might like.
They certainly do work at times.
I definitely you know, discovered amazing music that way.
I think you know, what can happen is it, it, those type of things in the digital age and you know, those algorithmic, algorithmical kind of tendencies that we kind of you know, we just kind of plug into.
I think sometimes can turn people into collectors.
And that collectors doesn't necessarily mean that you're listening to everything.
So, before you know it, you've now just purchased or whatever, acquired so much music that you.
Forget the stuff that you just got.
So you know, you may, i used to Shazam a lot, since I am in LA, WKTW is like, the most amazing station ever.
And I am like Shazaming, Shazaming, Shazaming, you know, I bought like six new albums, on one drive.
You know, cause everything they play, most everything they play is very interesting to me.
The problem is trying to sort through, and use what you have, you know.
And because everything is digital and so easy to get you just end up getting stuff.
Like you know, I'll send music to some, to my friends sometimes and I'll ask them how did you like it, and they're like I haven't checked it out yet.
Cuz it's so easy to share.
But these experiences are still like an hour long you know.
I listen, I tend to listen to albums.
I don't like the single.
Which no one understands.
I know, they're like, why?
You bought the whole album?"
Was there like a flood or something?
Did they make you?
Who made you?
I don't know.
I just figure if someone is going to go through the trouble to make an album, I'm going to check it out.
The attention spans of people has kind of evaporated.
And I get that.
And I'm not trying to be like the crotchety old guy, like, oh when I was your age I listened front and back and read all the lyrics and the packaging.
But you're right, I think that culture shift lends itself to a much shorter.
In, ingestion of, of, of the actual bigger piece of work.
Yeah, I think that, I think what we're gonna see in the future is, I remember Brian, Brian Eno once said you know, less is more is gonna be the thing.
Like, people are going to play us a premium on, on being able to have less in their lives.
And that's like curation based you know whatever.
You gonna basically figure out a way to create this sphere around you, this kinda media sphere kinda firewall, that has like these filters that enable to kind of like, get the things that you would really like and are interested in and get rid of a lot of the noise.
There's so much stuff and you are getting it from like.
Emails, IMs, social media hear say, radio, satellite, whatever.
It's coming at you constantly all the time, and sometimes I'm just reacting to things.
Cuz I feel like it's important to respond.
And oh I need to watch this video now.
Oh I didn't, I didn't see this Vine.
Did you see, okay I got the Vine.
Okay would you.
Oh, you sent me an Instagram.
But that's on Twitter.
You sent it through Twitter.
I'm gonna look at twitter.
[LAUGH] All right, might as well go to the Instagram account.
Who's account is this?
Oh, let me look at their account.
Let me look at their history.
Like, you're inundated with so much information.
And if you're someone like me that likes to kind of be on top of stuff, it's terrible
Because now I'm like, all day long I feel like I'm missing out on stuff.
We're slaves to that.
It, it's crazy.
So if I can figure out a way to kind of.
Create a nice like little, safety net.
Or bubble, kinda firewall thing.
I, I think I'd go for that because I, I need to figure out a way to reduce, the stuff that's coming at me all the time.
It's like the new, you know, the new commodity decluttering.
And finding that nirvana is just.
It's like chasing the dragon.
You just, you know.
Everybody wants your attention.
Everybody wants it.
Yeah for sure.
You know, cause there like argh, getting it.
Everybody wants the next big thing.
And I understand it.
But, I think it's evolutionarily, I think, err evolutionary.
It's a, it's a, it's, it's essentially just a stage in evolution.
And I think that there's like.
What can we do with this thing called the internet.
We've got this ieieioyeow!
Like more, more, more and then now it's gonna be like okay less, less, less, less, less, less.
Absolutely, they, you know, it's, it's, like, it's still the frigging Wild West.
Yes, it's still.
On the internet and,
And you know, if you look at like cultural evolution from, you know, as long as we've been keeping track.
These, it's just this natural thing that we go through.
So, why shouldn't that same process, you know, run its course in the digital age as well.
It, it's gonna have to.
Because our brains can only handle so much.
And we're gonna know, we're gonna learn those thresholds.
And there's gonna be a backfire.
Right, right, right.
You know, it happens all the time.
I'm waiting for Facebook to backfire at some point.
It kinda is a little bit.
I hope, I hope so.
Certainly not, you know, I mean obviously it, it seems to be doing well.
The stocks going up.
But you're right, there is some sort of like friction, that's starting to happen at, at the very, you know, tip of it I think.
Because I was aware there is Friendster.
Yeah, way back when.
Back in the day.
Friendster was like" Oh my god, look at that, And then Myspace.
And then Myspace, and then Facebook.
And I quit Facebook like three years ago.
I still have accounts on there in my management, and then like updates, like advertisements.
But, I'm so glad I did, because I'm so inundated with stuff without it.
So I can't imagine having it, with all the stuff I'm doing.
Right, what I just, you know.
Go over a million times in my head, it's just like someone who's like five right now.
Where and I'm, I just feel terrible for them.
I'm like not, [INAUDIBLE] I used to be like man, I wish I was five again.
Now I'm like I'm sorry for you, you little.
I know, I know, I know, I know.
I think about like, I call it the perfect curve,
You know I feel like.
I was born in the 70s.
I got to play with sticks and dirt.
I lived in Montana.
I listened for my mom calling for dinner.
You know, we had to walk to school.
In below zero weather in gigantic snow suits.
Kind of like, I had enough of tactile analogue existence, and then all of a sudden.
You know pong and Atari.
And TI994A, you know, all of these like gadgets started creeping up and I became fascinated with them.
And I was collecting them, and taking them apart but it didn't, the communications part of it didn't kick in until.
Like the early 90s.
When I had a pager, and I was fascinated with that.
And then they had two-way paging, alphanumeric text and, and then, oh, I've got a cell phone, a StarTAC.
You know, guys hey look, I gotta StarTAC.
It flips open.
I'm in a cover band.
I can afford this phone.
I can't really afford it, but I have it.
And, you know, I had every organizer under the sun.
It's on every address book.
Yeah every PDA, Compaq, you know.
Justin has a fetish with them.
Oh forget it.
All that stuff.
Yeah, I was all about it, and then.
You know, then it got bigger and bigger, now I'm kind of inundated with it.
I cannot imagine.
Being born like late 90s or something.
That kid got no shot, you know, it's like.
Like man, you're not gonna.
You don't know how to use a screwdriver.
You're probably not gonna know how to use shears.
Maybe not how to know how to edge a lawn or use a lawnmower.
I'm telling you.
And I, and I say this all the time like we were able to experience growing up in a time were like if something broke, you figure out how to fix it.
Yeah, you do.
And there's this like durst of trouble shooting going on now, where people just expect, like I tap this and it works and it's just magic and this just.
That's how it works.
And, no, no, dude, it doesn't, you know.
There's a lot of crap behind the scenes.
Yeah, it's, it's crazy.
It's just no, you know, I always just try to encourage kids like if I go talk to kids I just say, like, make sure that you play.
Turn off your phones.
I hate seeing, a six year old kids, like someone just hands them an iPad.
The babysitter, yeah.
Here, distract yourself with this.
I'll go enjoy my.
You know, it's like, what about parenting?
Like, like it's okay to be with your kids.
You don't need to distract them
I understand we need breaks once in a while.
I get it.
I was, I was hard on my mom.
And she would always like here, have this toy, you know go play with your toys in your room or whatever.
But like when I see people hunched over, like kids, with their heads on [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] looking at this thing and just doing this, and then seeing smudge marks in kitchens from kids trying to use touch interface.
On objects that don't do that.
I'm like what's happening?
It's like, it's like cavemen painting [INAUDIBLE].
I know, it's like what's is this?
[NOISE] It's turning into another thing when I touch it, what's wrong?
It's idiocracy, right?
Totally, oh no.
That's it, that's it.
I'm telling you right?
Someone wants, someone wants to ha, [LAUGH], I forget who said it, and whoever it is, I, I give you the utmost credit, they said Idiocracy will be the first fictional film that turns into a documentary.
[LAUGH] I think, I think you're right, I think you're right.
It's it's a little scary.
I mean, you know, that's hopeful.
There's some, you know, these people have their heads on right.
And definitely giving the kids a shot but.
It's not all gone.
It's not but it's.
It's pretty addictive, it's tempting.
Real quick I want to talk about your work in designing, theme songs and stuff like that.
I didn't really know a lot of this and I want people to hear this because this is amazing.
You've contributed music and theme songs to shows like Key and Peele.
The Pete Holmes podcast, obviously Comedy Bang Bang, and Louie.
What, what, how does that work?
What's that work flow like?
How does that process go?
Cause that's, it's sort of like I feel like it's like an editor in a, in a, in a piece of, in a TV show or film, it's like this unsung hero.
how, how do you go through that process?
Well, all, I mean, there are are all, they're all slightly different.
But with Louie that, that was a pre-existing song.
So, it's a cover, and Louie himself pasted together two versions.
Of, of the songs?
One was performed by a group called Chocolate, and I think I can't remember the, the, the other, the other band.
But that song came out the same year.
Both versions of that song came out the same year.
So there was the original, which did okay on the Billboard.
Charts and then the other one I think by Chocolate or Hot Chocolate became a huge hit.
So, so simultaneously the original and the cover.
Were both in the chart at the same time but the cover was more popular.
So, he likes the elements of both.
And he spliced them together and he played them for me, and I was like that's cool.
It's a really cool splice.
I see why you like these two elements, and so we had to recreate that.
So it's really about recreating it, and finding and Louie found the original singer.
We sing if and we got him to sing it and I sang the backing vocal like all the women voices that you hear.
And and so that was just a recreation.
The stuff like Key, Key & Peele, or Pete Holmes, or Penelope Princess of Pets, Chris and Shawls show way back when, those were just me going into the studio, Like, for Key & Peele, I was in London and they wanted the thing, and they were like, you know, do.
I can't remember they gave me some set of instructions and then I was like okay, so I made kind of a slicker thing really quickly in the studio, and sent it to them and they were like you know what just do whatever you want.
They weren't quite, feeling it.
So then I went into the studio in London, I just booked some time that day, went in and just did like three improvised.
And they just, picked the second one, and that's the theme song.
And that's that.
Yeah, and we sent it to get mastered and stuff but like, that was it.
[UNKNOWN] And so a lot of these theme songs, even yeah.
They're mostly just me doing one take.
And I'm like, here's the theme song.
And they're like oh that's great.
I like it.
Like it used to be Comedy Death-Ray.
I did the theme song.
I just did it real quick.
And sent it.
And they used it.
And that's it.
Just like a, one take wonder.
I, I call myself the.
Like the Mike Post of...of comedy shows and pod casts, or something like that.
or, I don't call myself that.
Just internally, in your own head?
Sometimes I call myself Mike Post.
No, but yea, there was just a time when people were really asking for that.
And it was, it's cool to be able to do it.
But I like to work really quickly anyways, I don't like to belabor things.
So as long as they like it's like, great.
It's like great, we'll use it.
See you guys later!
I'm out of here!
Yea, I'm out of here.
I feel like a, lot of your gadgets, a lot of your toys, some of the things you find surrounded with.
We just get the vibe that like, maybe you've been through a couple of thrift stores in your day.
Is that, is that a fair assessment?
Yeah, I mean, I love thrift stores.
I mean, in high school I went to thrift stores a lot.
Just cuz, you know, that's what we did.
We didn't have enough money, to buy new clothes.
So, you know, me and all of my friends just got weird clothes.
So, yeah, we, you know, and I love all the gadgets and weird wires.
My friend John Thomas, who, who I'm still in great contact with in Montana.
He's like a tinker guy.
So he's always he, he kind of followed after his grandfather, you know, so, he always had tons of parts everywhere and wires, he's was wiring things, and putting batteries and [UNKNOWN] stuff.
Now he's, he's wiring motors.
You know, so.
Yeah, I took apart a lot of things, found things in thrift stores, I, I loved all of that stuff.
We have a fascination with thrift stores on our show.
We talk about it all the time.
Justin's a big, digger in these places and we've gotta show you something we found.
We found a Casio PT1.
Have you ever heard of this?
You gotta, you gotta listen.
So, the way I understand it is that they probably just did the entire soundtrack to Napoleon Dynamite.
With just like, one of these little things.
It's so cute.
Is this not the-
It's so small.
And, and it's even got like a little output.
You got a little headphones.
Casios are great.
Yeah, I had like two different models of Casios.
Those are great.
It's funny thing.
The plastic turns yellow over time.
That's just how it works.
Like, it can't sustain.
The pure whiteness, it always has to go.
I go, it has to go yellow.
So the volume here-
It's not quite.
[LAUGH] Can't get too fancy with it.
And and, how much did you pay for this?
You paid $3 for it.
That's what fantasy sounds like.
There you go.
There's the speed metal version of it.
It's wacky, right?
And you can record.
You can record a performance.
And you can record.
And one, one key player, that's awesome.
And like this thing, I'm, I wonder how much, how much do you think this was back in the day?
Boy, this been like 40 bucks.
And it, it's just amazing like, this our, our culture just, culture just loves to be cyclical.
And now this, this, this you, you, I'm, you know, you spend plenty of time in New York.
This is in every.
Saturday night at 3 a.m.
Oh, oh yeah.
And it's wrapped around some guy's like, torso.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, yeah it's just unnecessarily presented.
It's just there.
It's just there.
Check this thing out.
Like oh my god.
You got [CROSSTALK]
And then there's like people emulating the sounds.
It's like this new thousand dollar synthesizer.
Emulate this $40.
[LAUGH] His like wow, that great, it really, it has the same action and everything.
This is, this is crazy.
Yeah, I used to, I used to play with these all the time, and then be frustrated that it didn't do more.
Right, you be like, man, I wish I had 12 you know, rhythms and things like that.
Yeah, it's like its.
Just kinda limited, and just, you know, and then I get like a work of music work station that had a sampler built into it and a 16-track sequencer and I was like, well see you later dude.
And then you come back to this.
This is awesome, man.
I, I, I was blown away.
He, he has a gift, he has a gift.
A beautiful color.
That color is not, represented in nature anywhere.
Just like the, the, yellow stained keys.
Cannot be done in nature.
It's just like.
This is like.
Hey this is my new.
Have you seen the OP-1?
I have not.
It's so great.
I wish I would have brought it with me.
Yeah, it's it's this size.
Oh, no way.
And it's a little flatter and it's made out of machined aluminum.
But swedish cats [CROSSTALK]
Okay, yeah, yeah.
Brilliant genius guys.
Finally came out with a keyboard that's this size that I've always wanted to have.
An instrument unto itself.
It's got its own sounds, drum, drum stuff.
But it's super, advanced.
It's just got one little screen, and it does all these amazing things.
But, it gets you back into this feel.
That feel of just like, I'm going to hang out in my basement, and see what happens.
Just be on the airplane you're just.
Four track recording, you know.
You like doing everything because it does everything, that's right.
Yeah, that's, it's amazing.
I want I want people to check our your Vine stuff.
Because, you know, we talked a little bit about, you know, all of that over, over sort of like stimulated world that we all live in.
But, you know, I noticed that you, you really dig Vines.
Because Vine, kind of, I don't want to say came and went
But it made a big splash and sorta of like, I don't want to say fizzled out
But kind of took a back seat
What do you think about Vine, why do you think, where do you think it is right now.
I like, i like Vine because, it's limited.
It's yeah, it's, it's basically like, I like anything that has constrictions.
Like Instagram, you know, I was kind of bummed that Instagram got bought by Facebook.
I was like I wanted go and stay away from you guys.
But luckily they haven't screwed it up too much.
They did add video capability, which is Response.
So Vine even knows [CROSSTALK] do exactly what Vine does.
So it's like, well Instagram is for pictures.
It's not for video.
So I ranted about that a little bit.
But I have made, like two videos for it.
Vine, I love it because it's a its a loop, and it only gives you a finite amount of time.
And, because of that people figure out all sorts of amazing creative ways to use it.
You either use it like straight, one take, all the way through or you chop it up and make stop motion stuff.
Or you do scene by scene stuff you know, or you figure out a way to use the loop to your advantage.
Depending on the operating system, the loop point changes.
From Android to iOS.
I'm down with that.
I'll make, I'll make something like on Android and I'll be like, oh.
Yeah, that sounds pretty right.
And then I'll listen to it on iPhone and I'm like, man.
That's not a good loop.
So, it presents all these great challenges.
And I, I like that, and I like seeing what people come up with.
Like, skateboarding videos are great.
Oh yeah, for sure.
I follow this guy, I forget his name, but I think Bust Crew was the name.
They have, the best skate videos.
You get like everything you want, in this skate video.
In six seconds.
In six seconds.
Cause it, when I see something like this, I kind of see like the simplicity of a toy.
And in Vine is that simplicity.
It's got restrictions.
It's like this finite sort of sandbox.
That you're just dealt a certain amount of you know, range
And that's it and you have to see what you can do with it.
And that's, yeah that's it.>> Yeah.
It's your imagination, that has to overcome the limitations.
And I think that's great, and that's why I don't like, things that are just so broad.
And like anything can happen.
It's like you know, again, I call it getting lost you know, I, I don't.
Other people have said lost in the options.
And people said, that combination words.
I, I, I think so [LAUGH].
But getting lost in the options.
It's like going to the grocery store, and seeing like 15.
You don't need, 15 laundry detergents.
We need maybe three maximum.
so, everything that, when you walk in, and you get that overwhelming feeling, kind of paralysis.
I don't like that feeling.
It's like, when I use audio editing.
Like Able to not so much but like other systems like Logic and Pro Tools, like being in recording sessions just seeing engineers just go down that rabbit hole like," Maybe, we'll just shave a little bit.
You know we'll bump the,ah, 300 hertz thing on there.
Oh you know what I think we'll add a little bit more compression on there, let's add a noise gate on there.
. . And then you're like well, it sounds weird now, and they're like oh, yeah, damn and then there's just like revert to zero again and you're like wow, that was a lot of time that we just lost.
Right and we'd have knobs galore, you know what I mean.
It's just like.
And so I do appreciate Vine.
That's what, I like things like that.
They're just simplified, it's beautiful.
The path didn't work on me.
That doesn't work.
Didn't, I know, path, seems like path is on it's way.
And then, someone just.
There was like, they, they fell into some privacy concerns.
And then, no one ever heard from them again.
I know, no one ever heard from them again.
Or rock melt.
Oh, I don't know rock melt.
Do you remember that?
What was rock melt?
It was like this, it was a browser.
And it was supposed to incorporate all of your social media in one place.
But it, I tried it out for, it just.
I didn't like the name before.
And then, then the experience, you know, I appreciated where they wanted to go there, but it was like, I, I couldn't just see it surviving and it didn't.
It just kind of went away.
It's tough out there man.
I mean, I worked on this.
I consulted on this app called Keezy which I think, addresses the simplification thing and it's just the same a sampler.
You know, it's just a very basic room entry.
Same for which is easy, very intuitive, anybody can use it.
And and it's really fun.
I'm surprised and i, i, mean, I like it, but other people are just loving it.
So much yeah, cuz it's like simple and it's immediately fun and it's all about you.
You know, simplicity is the key.
That's why, Macbooks are everywhere.
Say what you will about them, when you turn it one, it's just freaking work, right?
I know, it turns on, it works.
And it makes.
And joyful animations, and I'm happy [LAUGH] and complete in my Mac experience.
Reggie, this has been so much fun, man.
Thank you so much for being here, I hope we can make this a regular thing.
Total pleasure, yeah, anytime, anytime.
Right on, okay.
Make sure you're watching, comedy bang bang.
That's on every Thursday night.
It's in its third third season.
Reggie, you have a new special, or relatively new special that's on Netflix.
Reggie Watts, A Live At Central Park.
You can buy that online at shop.comedycentral.com.
Obviously, you're gonna wanna.
Follow Reggie on twitter @ReggieWatts, and then go check out reggiewatts.com.
Thank you so much for being her, man.
Such a pleasure.
CNET for ever.
I love it.
That's gonna do it for us.
Shoot me an e-mail email@example.com.
We're back here tomorrow.
Follow us on Facebook, reddit, instagram, all that junk.
Follow us on Rockmelt.
[LAUGH] We'll see you guys tomorrow.
I'm Jim Bakalar.
404 Show high tech lowbrow.
We'll see you tomorrow.
Awesome, that was such a blast dude.
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