Yoshi Didn't Podcast
First of all, I want to congratulate the city of Sacramento for saving their NBA team, the Kings. I'm sad that Seattle does not yet have their team back, but we will! And we'll do it without ripping out the hearts of another city.

Anyhoo, for this podcast I spoke, once again, with the great Hunter Moore - and a new guest, Mr. WWW (Walter White of Weed), aka HeisenDab, aka Diamond Baby in Sac-Town.

Our conversation with Hunter got cut short because he was scheduled to travel to the wonderful city of Chicago early the next day. In it, he explained why he's so popular in places such as Ohio, NYC, and especially in Canada. He was amazingly coherent for someone smoking up Diamond Baby's powerful yet gentle weed. (Actually, all three of us were smoking during this discussion.)

I spend the rest of the show learning about what motivates Diamond Baby to produce the best weed possible - his reasons might surprise you - and how he got into the dab business. Please follow him on his podcast "Weedist" with RJ. (Especially Episode 7 with me in it.) And check out the "Hunter Moore Podcast With Diamond Baby." Underneath that fun and stoned persona lies a wonderful young man with a tragic past. Hope you enjoy all the high talk. 

Direct download: SHOW_24.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 1:05am PDT

My last trip to Seattle was memorable for two reasons: getting to see my younger brother, and this conversation with Carl Warmenhoven. Carl worked as assistant manager of Seattle's well-respected standup club, Comedy Underground. He is, without a doubt, the most beloved comedy figure in the Seattle area.

We start off talking about Carl's childhood in the Netherlands and his eventual move to the States. He relates a number of his family's World War 2 stories, ranging from the absurd (German hookers living next to his parent's home) to the inspirational (Carl's mom rescuing a rabbi). One amusing anecdote explains how tobacco and Jesus "saved" his parent from hunger.

Growing up in Seattle, Carl used laughter to get along with people. He learned a lot about comedy by observing the legendary Steve Allen, who was famous for the way he played with language. Carl details his history in Seattle's standup comedy scene starting in 1979, eventually working with megastars such as Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK and Chelsea Handler. There's also a quick story about his dinner with young Jerry Seinfeld, when Jerry talked about working on a new sitcom - which later became the world-famous "Seinfeld." The abovementioned comedians were incredibly kind, professional and gracious in their dealings with him.

Carl speaks to the importance of stage time, the value of performing in a variety of places, and his philosophy of learning from the best. We end the interview by looking at Carl's record of all the individuals who took the stage at his open-mic shows, and reminiscing about many prominent performers who worked at Comedy Underground. Please enjoy this episode (and I do apologize for the audio problems).

Direct download: Episode_23.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:16am PDT

I’m writing this synopsis of Yoshi Didn't from Baltimore, Maryland, with both excitement and sadness. I am excited because I will finally able to visit the home of The Wire. But I’m sad because the interview I recently did with my friend, Verlon Brown, was tragic, and at times seemed hopeless. Verlon is an African-American standup comedian and social worker in Seattle. He’s definitely been an older brother figure to me for years.

Due to an emergency at Verlon’s job, we had to shorten the conversation. In our brief interview, he explains why he’s not discouraged by his most troubled clients (homeless and/or addicts), instead discussing his frustration with the system (one of the major themes of The Wire). Verlon explains the concept of “harm reduction,” and talks about his 30 years of commitment to social work, his belief that racism is based on economics, and the importance of having an honest conversation about racism.

We wrap up by talking about our mutual respect for the Scandinavian way of dealing with social ills, and a grudging respect for “redneck renaissance” reality shows (like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, Buckwild, etc.) which present white people in difficult situations and acknowledge that they too need help like minorities. Enjoy, and let me know what you guys think! (And I’m looking forward to exploring The Wire’s Baltimore.)

Direct download: Episode_22.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:03am PDT

This episode of Yoshi Didn't introduces Charles Wing Krafft, a very prominent painter and ceramic artist in Seattle, Washington. I became intrigued after hearing about the controversy surrounding his artwork ("Disasterware") and beliefs. Mr. Krafft was introduced to me through my younger brother. Charles' son was an avid fan of skateboarding; when Charles met my brother, they became fast friends. I thank my brother for the introduction.

An article published earlier this year in the online journal "The Stranger" about Charles' historical interests and skepticism about the Holocaust went viral, stirring up a big shitstorm in the art world. I wasn't sure Charles would be willing to meet up during a period when he was still the brunt of ad hominem rumors and media attacks. I'm happy to report that he was kind, courteous and generous with his time. We met one afternoon at his Seattle residence.

We start right away discussing how the controversy has affected him, from press smears to getting his artwork removed from a European art show. Charles explains becoming interested in the history of the Holocaust and questioning whether gas chambers were actually used to exterminate Jewish prisoners, referencing his extensive research and travels to Europe. We also talk about controversial Romanian Archbishop Valerian Trifa, and the magnificent Raphael Lemkin, who coined the word "genocide".

The last portion is more lighthearted conversation. Charles discusses making the transition from painter to ceramicist, being strongly influenced by custom car king Von Dutch, and how difficult it is to be an artist these days. Please enjoy my talk with this talented artist and fascinating contrarian: Mr. Charles Wing Krafft. 

Charles' contact info:

Here's The Stranger article on Charles Krafft:

Direct download: Episode_21.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:20pm PDT