Episode 78: Tennis, Epic Losers, and Happy Birthday

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Tennis/Courtesy of the band

This week: Indie-pop duo Tennis live like luddites…A London conference aims for new, boring heights…We unveil the story behind globetrotting losers The Washington Generals…Plus, a joke from director Spike Jonze and a new song from Happy Birthday. (No not that song.)

Icebreaker: Spike Jonze
Director Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are, Adaptation) tells us about a tractor trip.

Small Talk: Best of Boring 2011
Andrew Womack, editor of daily online magazine This Morning News, makes boring interesting.

A History Lesson With Booze: Losing for a Living and the “Eternal Optimist”
This week in 1971, the hapless basketball counterpart to the Harlem Globetrotters – The Washington Generals – won their only game. Toast the biggest losers in sports’ history with a drink that keeps hope alive.

*”The Eternal Optimist,” as dreamed by Eric Holzherr, owner and bar maestro of Wisdom in Washington D.C.:

Shake it up in a martini shaker with ice. Pour it in a Tom Collins glass on the rocks. Drink it down in 13,000 tiny, pointless swallows.

Guest of Honor: Tennis
Get ready to puke: Two kids fall in love, save their money, buy a boat, live on it for seven months, get married, write songs about the experience, songs leak on the internet, the world loves them, the kids sign to a label, record a full-length and are now being interviewed on shows like The Dinner Party Download. Told you. The couple in question, Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore — aka Tennis — tell Brendan about growing up landlocked and living la vida luddite.

One For The Road: Happy Birthday – “Girls FM”
If you think Vermont only makes jam bands, pick up the debut from Happy Birthday, debuting in March on Sub Pop. Birthday’s songs are so pop that founding member Kyle Thomas, accustomed to playing more folk-oriented stuff with his other band Feathers, was initially embarrassed to play the songs live. Meanwhile, we find “Girls FM” to be packed with an embarassment of hooks. Best listened to while drinking lemonade in spite of winter.

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Brother Bones – “Sweet Georgia Brown”

The Bad Plus – “1980 World Champion”

Tennis – “Marathon”

Happy Birthday – “Girls FM”