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May 16, 2014 / admin

Artist Mike Russell

russellWe knew writer/artist Mike Russell as a multi-talented and much respected  member of Portland’s creative community, but we were pleased to discover something else about him in this episode: he’s one funky mother!

Mike is the creator of the cartoon strips Sabertooth Vampire, Mr. Do & Mr. Don’t and Culture Pulp, and is also a longtime journalist and film critic whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, The Oregonian and Ain’t It Cool News.

Mike joined us to talk about the influence of Charles Schulz and Chuck Jones on his work, his approach to interviewing celebrities, the concept of cluster economic theory and why Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut is a deeply misunderstood gem.

Mike also talked with us about his search for his birth parents and why he didn’t have to look very far from home to find them.

Mike RFor more on Mike and his work, check out his website and follow him on Twitter @culturepulp.

And you’re gonna want to see the video of Stevie Wonder performing “Superstition” on Sesame Street that Mike mentions during the show (unless, of course, you don’t enjoy things that are awesome) and because it didn’t originally play properly during the show, check out Bobby Roberts’ Geek Remixed track Fistful of Rupees here.


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  1. Mike Russell / May 17 2014 1:17 pm

    Show-note: Here’s the complete playlist of making-stuff music I compiled for the “Karl Show! (starring Jason)” at their request (we didn’t get to all of these)….

    1. “A.D.T.” (“Act Don’t Talk”) By Lo-Fi-Fnk
    Stripped-down little song by a Swedish electropop band. Discovered it via Fluxblog years ago ( ). Love the first verse about the poser who won’t ever get around to writing that novel.

    2. “You Are The One” by Am-Fm
    3. “Back It On Up” by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers
    Couple of tracks off a recent acquisition, the awesome “GoGo Get Down” anthology collecting the classics of Washington, D.C.’s GoGo funk scene from the late ’70s and early ’80s. More info on the compilation:

    4. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Frank Sinatra (from 1966’s “Sinatra at the Sands,” featuring Count Basie)
    My favorite Sinatra song, and one I sang WAY too much at karaoke bars in my lame, long-lost early 20s.

    5. “The Asteroid Field” by John Williams
    Spent a lot of time as a kid drawing to John Williams scores. It’s still audio comfort food for me today.

    6. “Main Titles (Alternate)” from “Enter the Dragon” by Lalo Schifrin
    Had my film-music-loving horizons expanded later in life by listening to the great Jimmy Aquino’s “Fistful of Soundtracks” streaming show. He turned me on to a lot of the great brassy ’70s scores. Here’s one of my faves, from the legendary Lalo Schifrin.

    7. “Rush” by Yoko Kanno & Seatbelts
    Another life-changing “Fistful of Soundtracks” discovery: hard-charging brass from the now-classic score to the “Cowboy Bebop” anime. Great middle-of-the-night get-pumped on-deadline music. Bill Mudron has suffered through me penciling frantically to this on more than one occasion.

    8. “A Martini For Mancini” by Joey Altruda
    Never got over that bachelor-pad lounge revival fad from the mid-’90s. It’s terrific cartooning music. This track from L.A. ska and session musician Joey Altruda’s “Cocktails With Joey” is one of my faves from that period, and also how can you argue with epic flute solos.

    9. “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” by Stevie Wonder
    One of my all-time faves is 1970s Stevie Wonder. Kills me that so many people think he’s that 1980s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” hack when tracks like this 1974 anti-Nixon classic (featuring the Jackson 5 on backup vocals) exist.

    10. A Fistful of Rupees (draft), remixed by Bobby Roberts
    A shameless plug for my pal and former podcast-mate Bobby Roberts’ “Geek Remixed” albums, which I’m drawing to constantly:
    This track contains samples from “Ecstasy of Gold” composed by Ennio Morricone and “Overworld Theme” by Koji Kondo from “The Legend of Zelda.”

    11. “Make It Funky, Pts. 1-4” by James Brown
    I come up with a lot of cartooning/writing ideas while running, and this James Brown call-and-response epic is one of the secretly greatest long-distance running songs there is. Once jogged 10 miles listening to nothing but this on a loop.

    That is all.

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