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The Department of Tangents Podcast

Years ago, playing a sort of improv game with friends in which we all picked super powers based on our personalities, I dubbed myself “Tangent Lad.” I was not a very strong superhero, and I could not defeat a super villain on my own, but I could distract them with Monty Python quotes and football trivia. I have many times since apologized to an interview subject in my capacity as a journalist by saying, “I am either very good or very bad at tangents, depending on how you feel about tangents.”

I had a rough time coming up with the concept and naming this blog/podcast. I knew I wanted to create a place where I could address things I’m passionate about – comedy, music, and horror. Finding a name that communicated all three of those things proved a bit impossible. I bugged my friends, and they all tried to help. To no avail. Then I thought, maybe I’m approaching this from the wrong angle. Maybe my lack of focus should be the focus.

As a journalist, I have written for The Boston Globe since 2000, starting out writing CD reviews and then writing a regular column on comedy for seven and a half years. I still contribute there, and to Kirkus Reviews, and other publications. I’m also a musician, and released my debut full-length album, Blue Skies and Broken Arrows, in March of 2015. And I’ve been publishing short horror fiction for a couple of years.

I like to climb into things I love and see how they operate. That’s what the Department of Tangents is for. I’ll be writing regular features, essays, and news bits about the big three – comedy, music, and horror – and offering clips from people I’ve taped interviews with over the past nearly twenty years of writing. Some of the best parts of the interviews I’ve done have been completely off-point and inappropriate for print. I’ll get to explore more of that here. I’m also hoping to convince some friends to tell me about the things they love that I might not even know about, and pass that along to you.

The DoT podcast might be short or long, depending on where the conversation leads. You cant purposefully create an interesting tangent in conversation – it has to happen naturally. But I can confidently forecast that there will be moments in the individual podcasts where things veer off wonderfully.

The main thing here is love. To write about the things that make I’ve loved forever, and some new things that might stand the test and be around, at least for me, for decades to come. I’ve had to be critical in my writing at times, and it might not all be nonstop roses here, but in the end, what I really want to talk about is the good stuff. That’s why I will regularly write about things I think are “Perfect,” even if someone can demonstrate empirically that they are flawed. Still perfect to me.

Also, fish.

I hope you, dear anonymous surfer person, will come to expect only the highest-quality, free-range, grass-fed tangents. And I hope some of you love the same things I do and find it useful. Or at least a welcome distraction until the others get here.

Oct 17, 2019

This is the Department of Tangents special joy of Halloween and horror episode with Lamont Price. I love Halloween, and so does Price. And that’s really the only inspiration for this episode. Price is an incredibly entertaining human being, so we sat down with no real notes and not much of an agenda other than to discuss why we love the holiday, horror movies and books, what scares us and what doesn’t. We talked about trick or treating as kids, how that was part of the first taste of independence you get as a kid. And we go through all the major creeps and spooks to weigh in on how and why they scare us – ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires, serial killers, aliens. 
To prepare for the episode, we went to a couple of Halloween stores before we taped. You can watch Price’s Instagram to see if any of the videos from those visits pop up. Until then, enjoy Price rocking out as Slimer on his Twitter page.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ladies, why won&#39;t you let me love you? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Lamont Price (@LPizzle) <a href="">October 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> 
Look for his "Lamont’s Boston" segments on <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"></a>, and find him <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">on Twitter under @lpizzle</a> and on <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Instagram under @lpizzle12</a>, and on his site at <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"></a>.
Our featured track this week is “Collector of Things,” the first track from the new Even Twice album, <em>This Is Boomerang</em>. Believe it or not, Even Twice is just two guys – drummer/singer Pat O’Shea and bassist/singer Bob Hait. They make a beautiful rock and roll racket together, and for a two-instrument band, they cover a lot of different styles on <em>Boomerang</em>. There is a driving, punk edged sound at the heart of it. But sometimes it sounds like sludgy prog rock a la King Crimson’s “20th Century Schizoid Man.” Sometimes, as on “Collector of Things,” it sounds like 60s garage rock, rough around the edges but with a solid melodic center. You can find the new album on Spotify or better yet, buy it on BandCamp. Find them <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">on Twitter under @EvenTwice</a>, and look them up on Facebook. This is “Collector of Things” off of <em>This Is Boomerang</em> by Even Twice.