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John Montagna: Blog

A hundred million!  
It almost sounds like a made up number, like a child exaggerating.  Yet according to comedian Marc Maron, that's how many times his "WTF With Marc Maron" podcast has been downloaded since its inception in September 2009!   
The great thing about podcasts (as any media/technology expert will tell you) is that there's actual hard data that allows you to track and count how many listeners you've got (unlike radio & TV, which rely on fuzzy estimates).  So when Maron says "WTF" has reached 100,000,000 downloads, I believe him.  
I've been a fan of Maron since he co-hosted Morning Sedition on Air America Radio.  I wasn't interested in talk radio or lefto politics before, but Maron was the real deal.  He brought the badass swagger of rock n roll to the AM talk arena; he was funny, clever and insightful, and took no shit.  I hung on to everything he said, and I was thankful that he was saying it.  When I attended a few live [...]
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The hills are alive!

Posted on December 6, 2013 with 2 comments
So NBC's "The Sound Of Music Live" failed to match the greatness of the iconic 1965 film.  Is anyone surprised at this?  We've all had a lifetime to appreciate the film, and its legend grows and grows with each passing year.  Did we expect NBC's staged production to equal that impact in a single night?  Of course not; don't be ridiculous.  
Yes, the acting was stiff; how could it not be?  Forget the fact that these poor souls were keenly aware of the pressure they were under to honor these characters and what they mean to millions of TSOM fans; a production that prides itself on being "faithful to the original Broadway stage version" should have been staged in front of a live audience.  Instead, the cast performed to a soundstage full of camera lenses, lighting rigs and crew members; not exactly an inspiring atmosphere.  
You were disappointed with Carrie Underwood?  Of course you were.  But don't blame her; blame the executives who opted [...]
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Life is having such great music.

Posted on November 14, 2013 with 0 comments
By now you've probably visited what-would-i-say.com, which gathers up all of your past Facebook statuses and randomly generates new ones that supposedly "sound like you."  (Or at least a spambot version of you.)
I will happily admit to being addicted to my "John-bot" and the endless pearls of gibberish that have been streaming from him/it/me.  But when these sentences are strung all together, they tell a fascinating story.  (Capitalization and/or punctuation have been left intact, as they originally appeared.)
Enjoy!
Be well
JM
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  
Life is having such great music.
No rehearsal, no preparation or advance warning I started it Looking for reasons to find out!  Me and Duke would never have to.  He's a good October sunrise.  Don't they research these things first? 
Happy Together tour, package revue of very cool parent peeps.  Day one vocal rehearsal with how sophisticated [...]
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Pick and choose

Posted on November 4, 2013 with 3 comments
(An unnamed Facebooker apparently made an "offhand" comment that if you play the bass with a pick, you're "not a real bassist."  My solo bass rendering of "Live And Let Die" was offered up as pro-pick evidence.  The following is a response to the unnamed Facebooker, and the 67 + people who commented on the original post.)
Jerry Seinfeld has a brilliant new web series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.  Each episode features Seinfeld driving a different car, and picking up a different comedian friend for lunch and/or coffee and a great conversation.  
There's a memorable moment with his "Seinfeld" co-star Michael Richards, who laments that he should have enjoyed himself more when they were shooting the series.  "It's always a struggle for me," he says.  But Jerry immediately shuts him down: "No, no, no.  I DON'T ACCEPT THE JUDGING OF PROCESS.  We're all trying to get to the same island.  Whether you swim, fly, surf, or skydive in, it doesn't matter.  [...]
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Branson

Posted on October 22, 2013 with 0 comments
Still settling in after our weekend trip to Branson, Missouri.  Four days, three nights, two "Happy Together" shows at Andy Williams' Moon River Theater.  I assumed it would be an easy, uneventful hit: fly in, check into the hotel directly across from the venue, play two shows, fly home.  
I was not, however, prepared for the Show Business Mojo I was walking in to!  The Moon River Theater is indeed "the house that Andy built," a gorgeous, modern venue designed to blend in with the beautiful natural environment of the surrounding Ozark Mountains.  The theater opened in 1992 and was Mr. Williams' base of operations until his passing late last year.  Since then it has become a sort of shrine to Mr. Williams; as the first non-country artist to open a theater in Branson, he paved the way for other entertainers to settle in the area and thus helped to transform the tiny midwestern town into "the live music capital of the world."   
The backstage walls are [...]
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