|MIC LIFE: Funemployment duo Greg Sarah.|
- DRUNK DIAL: Two employees fired in KUFO’s Radio Black Friday last month have bounced back faster than even they expected. Two weeks ago, former Rick Emerson Show staffers Sarah X. Dylan and Greg Nibler each cracked open a can of Mickeys and debuted their new drinking/talking project Funemployment Radio (funemploymentradio.com), a free, daily podcast featuring everything from live karaoke and bitching about their lack of health insurance to an interview with Meatloaf. By Monday, Nov. 23, it had reached the top 20 on iTunes Comedy audio podcasts—beating out more than 6,000 other comedy podcasts on the site. The duo seem as surprised as anybody when it comes to the quick recognition of their boozy—still unpaid—efforts. “I think it’s the name that initially gets [people] interested, and once we get them to listen they enjoy it,” says Dylan. “Greg and I are making the most of what should be a depressing situation. I think people want to know that it’s not the end of the world if you lose your job.”
- HOTHOUSE: Coming soon to 750 N Fremont St. is the Waterheater, a “wide-ranging artist community” containing a woodshop, commercial kitchen and a dozen studios built in a 1951 warehouse constructed out of recycled water heaters.
- IT’S ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES: Ben Braun of local electropop outfit Mackintosh Braun just let Scoop know his band had signed a bigtime record deal. It turns out the group has already gathered a healthy following online and gotten its songs out there (including landing a couple of tracks on the hit NBC show Chuck). Now the group has signed to Chop Shop Records, an Atlantic Records subsidiary responsible for the Republic Tigers, the Little Ones, and most recently (drumroll, please) the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack. Mackintosh Braun’s atmospheric, vocoded pop tunes are nice-sounding stuff. The group’s first album, The Sound, is available as a free download on Last.fm. Its major-label debut releases in early 2010. And, we had to ask: Are these boys into Twilight? “Yeah, we’re both definitely fans of the Twilight series,” Braun says. “The New Moon soundtrack was really well done.” Good answer, Ben. Good answer.
- DEPT. OF SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: Thanks, Portland! Since Wednesday, Nov. 18, you’ve given more than $100,000 to the 79 awesome local nonprofits featured in WW’s Give!Guide 2009, from the Community Cycling Center and Street Yoga to Project POOCH and the Wallace Medical Concern. But who is the best at giving this season? It turns out that eastsiders are the biggest holiday helpers so far, with Northeast Portlanders accounting for 35 percent of donations and Southeast PDX-ers claiming 25 percent of the givin’ as of Monday, Nov. 23. Come on, west side! Where’s your sense of competition? Find a worthy nonprofit you want to help this season at giveguide.oaktree.com.