RotL Links of Interest
Powered by Squarespace

Ep. 18: "Main Pastrami Incisor"


Ep. 17: "Antisocially Promoted"


Ep. 16: "Cotton Candy Pink Poofy La-La"

Roderick on the Line - Ep. 16: “Cotton Candy Pink Poofy La-La” on Huffduffer

The Problems: some Tommies in rock; the ad mominem attack; a Shirley Jackson “The Lottery”-type situation; passing diabetes to the tater tots; John’s quest for a worthy Smart Hate Sink; fighting to stay grandfathered into free nights, weekends, and friends; always with the ping-pong; and, why it might finally be time for John to whip out his long, pastoral paean.


Click to read more ...


Ep. 15: "Covered in Sauce"

The Problems: little things and Erma Bombeck syndrome; relaxing with a couple meatball subs; the high line’s cyrogenic prolongation; still no luck dialing down the ping-pong; Merlin suffers a moist or missing Times; enjoying Michigan’s passing sandwiches; why marijuana sometimes makes sense; extra meat for a dollar; speculation on the genesis of bathrooms; skirting the waiting period for goats; four twenty, amirite?; adding value with Xfinity, Fahrvergnügen and/or Hospitaliano!; freeing the dragons of causality; raging boners from a black and blue sheep; an impromptu delta Skype jam; Welcome to McIntosh; the disappointing corduroy of underwater sex; rugby balls at the Double Musky; our generation’s inexorable menarche of music; California’s inexcusable Mucinex crackdown; the waitron’s worst nightmare; some tertiary problems of pre–27 greatness; remembering the rust belt’s two or three great rivers; why Mussolini dared illness in the rain; karaoke as busman’s holiday; the piano sounds like a carnival; the atavistic import of knee-to-eyebrow sauce; how an honest man devours a family lobster; stoney multitasking from the road; The Boss’s ostrich, llama, and video game estate; ZZ Top blows the Afterburner—hard; pitting “Private Eyes” against Ms. Jackson; BIG portions over at Load Jammerz; finally remastering “The Swab”; times we ’hoid the 10- and 14-bar blues; when Bill Evans repeatedly saw a man about some horse; that whole Columbia House racket; and, why John’s life, lover, and lady registers as the sea.

[MP3] Ep. 15: "Covered in Sauce"


Ep. 14: "Big City Apology"

Roderick on the Line - Ep. 14: “Big City Apology” on Huffduffer

The Problems: all things golden, antiqued, chocolatey, and considered; public radio murmuring; tales of fraud and malfeasance in Adam Ant wallet licensing; thwarted love in a 6-story wooden bookcase; tea taxonomies; The Dustin Hoffman Scenario; hats off to the Confident Delivery Guy; the scotty that nails 3-pointers; Blackie chases Blackie; still working on dialing down the ping-pong talk; getting one’s hands around The Ladder of Enlightenment; John’s Aerostar residency; taking Clydesdales to the Prom; long con involving a sailboat; shtupping the honey bear; pony keg of Axe; JFK’s struggle with Hodgman’s Disease; Busch v. Anheuser feud; the box in Geneva holding a Glock and 7 passports; disputes in international band nomenclature; the old money of Canadia; Bob’s Dad was such an asshole; the thing about the Village People; a thread on the Buckaroos (not the pipe guys); the jailer’s keychain surrogacy; anxious Bonobo regret; going Dutch—again; Lapsang Souchong is NOT the lady from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma); the inescapable dander of the compulsive onanist; some followup from Merlin’s Other Program; why John can’t go to Tonga; the thing about deer at a watering hole; and, that one time a steely-eyed yeti with twigs in its fur demanded satisfaction.

Click to read more ...


Ep. 13: "Then There Was Pump Chili"

The Problems: John’s commercial opportunities; Dio’s “Oh, Holy (Diver) Night”; the steer’s troubled path from dandelion field to doily thingee; ★★★★ men, kneeling to be all they can-can be; dialing down the ping-pong talk; harmonica convergence with Blind “Melon” Jefferson; directing John towards the third hole; Spokane’s Amityville Horror; Clapton and Beck concerns; a natural assumption of Englishness; bad judgement re: Merlin’s sailor suit; band-to-drug preferences; many metal memories; finding consolation in an orange flight suit; benefitting from Scorpions’ hop to Asia; John bist rocken mit Matthias Jabs; again with The Cold War; speculation on J. Edgar Hoover’s head games; Locke v. Hobbes and kayfabe v. omertà; what goes unsaid in the South; backronymous Arby’s and their liquid meats (yes, sir!); John’s complex relationship with BMs and BMI; return of The Simple Butcher; the exponential problems of dander; locavore fistfights hit the PNW; a more plausible explanation for how truckers probably pee; regional penetration on the Trail of Steers; the Patty Hearst place near the Phở; Synchronicity and Diversity; the real secret behind conspiracy theories; yet more talk about dander, pee, and steer; John struggles with a bespoke jacket from the Blitz; leathery Grinder on trial; John formally falls back on this lucrative podcast racket; at length, John’s intimacy with the corridors of power; and, just really so much talk about “Pump Chili.”

[Special thanks to our pal, Jonathan Coulton, for generously inviting John to use his studio–and for not minding some gentle blow-suck in his baby-powdered bass harmonica.]

Click to read more ...


Ep. 12: "Cold-Calling the Jewess"

Roderick on the Line - Ep. 12: “Cold-Calling the Jewess” on Huffduffer

The Problems: Merlin’s sniffly allergies (sorry); directions for the connoisseur of keyboard-oriented music; your hosts’s chronic and irreconcilable Sloan disconnect; that time when Tiny Tim wheeled over to The Magazine Shoppe with John’s Radiohead; the dynamics of recording in a rented castle; almost getting NASCAP’d for a Little Grass Shack; favoring amongst the four R.E.M.s; how Carl Newman’s maybe a little like a cat; overdue credit for Hetfield’s pointing; getting Telecasters into the trunk; almost getting to Merlin’s rules; skipping hard over “Electioneering”; relocating John’s candles to the piano; some follow-up on “The Jeez”; tucking a beard in a belt; goin’ deep catalog on Jerry Lewis; sniffing at the indestructible SM57; high-profile christening of Hotel Motherfucker; going to see the doctor of divinity; suspending the D; Tom Wolfe scoffs that it lacks a “persuasive theory”; and how one mysterious visitor very nearly filled Merlin’s wife with spiders.

Click to read more ...


Ep. 11: "Everybody Knew What Mr. Finnell Did"

Roderick on the Line, Ep. 11: “Everybody Knew What Mr. Finnell Did” on Huffduffer

The Problems: the status of Napoleon’s hat; historically significant panties on the auction block; major issues in corporal punishment; Liza’s mostly lifelike Naugahyde partner; recovering our Oprah memories; John’s investigative broom closet journalism; the IMAX technology that was wasted on the Gunther Gebel Williams clan; conspiracy theories around Pee-wee’s Sarasota jam-up; why Seattle’s goin’ hungry in the lemon yellow sun; Mr. Finnell’s copy is goldenrod; Donovan’s probably fake smile; tackling our usual authenticity issues; some “e”-zy diaeresis häcks; why John’s just not a fan; the salient différence; Merlin’s glass-lined taxi driver problems; how the sunshine bores the daylights out of the one Rolling Stones lick Merlin knows; knowing how or whether to marry the other one from Wham! (U.K.); an opium-dulled death by a thousand mimeographs; the varieties of childhood paddles; in Soviet Alaska, Teamsters bust you; knowing when to save those pedagogically-stained Dolphin shorts; the seasonal difficulties of adjudicating clowns; some sensitive cultural subtleties of ping-pong; and the complex reasons why John can’t stop playing solitaire in traffic.

Click to read more ...


Ep. 10: "They Usually Come in the Mornings"


Ep. 09: "He Was Apparently a Talented Baker"

Ep. 09: “He Was Apparently a Talented Baker” - Roderick on the Line - Merlin Mann on Huffduffer

The Problems: the dolory of John’s wet and unrakeable leaves; some nuanced aspects around fulfilling The Belgian Promise; Kim Gordon’s sassy and industry-ruining boas; solving an Argentinian heiress’s mystery on the pampas; new ways to make iced tea while your kids are in rehab; the passing of Maurice; the challenge of becoming a truly memorable serial killer when saddled with just two names; one stinky Nigerian Prince and the weltanschauung he brings to organizing a Goodwill; mothballs, mildew, and dreams deferred; the timeless advice Merlin shared with his infant daughter; how Merlin helps by taxonomizing his toddler daughter’s toys; how John will eventually help by explaining this process to Merlin’s teenage daughter; why St. Paul was definitely a Taurus and probably a komodo dragon; scouring every molecule of the Duritz from Jennifer Aniston’s bath tub; choosing John Roderick to block; marching orders for The Salivation Army; Merlin discusses something pelvically; the bespoke wardrobe of Philadelphia’s most pretty-wristed dandy; The Story of O’s self-enlightened snacks; exploring the artisanal baked goods of Alaska’s busy bush pilots; Merlin’s numerous confusions about Zooey Deschanel (SAY: “/ˈzoʊ.iː deɪʃəˈnɛl/ zoh-ee day-shə-nel”); thoughts from John’s Mom on the controversial versatility of Meg Ryan; tips for insulating potted plants for winter; swerving around John on the road to Damascus; balloons v. bottles in the service of optimistic correspondence; why Lenin secretly never peed on fruit juice; John’s plaintive voi ch’entrate regarding opening any ladies’ magazines; a renewed interest in shiny ladies in big shoes standing on ladders (a/k/a “Ladder Girls”); and the pressing need to attach a proper Boswell to John’s Johnson.

Click to read more ...