Earth's most beloved podcast

THIS IS NOT A TEST with Michael Jerome Phillips


THIS IS NOT A TEST, with your pal and confidant Michael Jerome Phillips

A hot night with First Aid Kit – THIS IS NOT A TEST #33

Let me tell you about First Aid Kit, and what it was like when I saw them perform the other night. Let me also tell you about the Inland Empire, cult-speak, living in a Walmart parking lot, plowing the same fields over and over, sibling vocal harmony as competition, authenticity, suffering for your god, the rudeness of Los Angeles audiences, angels and kitties, Black Sabbath, using your god damn phone to take pictures and video during a concert, feeling human, hitchhikers, movie theaters, Led Zeppelin, being among the 25% of podcasters who are too stupid or masochistic to give up, screaming from the top of Mt. Wilson and 11,520 birds chirping.

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Big Brother is watching, and he wants your applause – THIS IS NOT A TEST #32

What happens when I’m part of the audience at a live Big Brother TV show. Not to mention, blown tires, wobbly CV joints, drifting, soggy in New York, Ed Sullivan, The Beatles, punk cred, the L.A. river, Julie’s boudoir, the angriest white man in America, amping up the excitement level, lemonade, grade school pictures, how babies dance before they have full control of their bodies, the age of consent in Canada, trained seals, identical twins, good natured ribbing, making an ass of yourself, elevator conversations, smoke alarms, ceiling joists, rugs and curtains, unrealistic expectations and screaming.

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New “Studio”

For almost 7 months THIS IS NOT A TEST has come to you directly from my Los Angeles kitchen. Now it will be coming to you from about five feet away from the kitchen, in the dining room music room/library of my palatial rented estate.

This was part of a comprehensive kitchen table reclamation project. The podcast was never meant to be installed there permanently, but that’s just the way things go, isn’t it. “Oh, we’ll just put this here for now…” then 16 years later it’s still there. Whatever “it” is.

So now we have our kitchen table back, and I’ll be recording in a room with rugs and curtains, so it might sound a bit different next week. But don’t worry about it getting too slick. This is about as professional as it gets around here.

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Fear and loathing on craigslist – THIS IS NOT A TEST #31

Misadventures in trying to give things away on the Internet. Also: dicking around, vacations, text messaging, ridiculously humid days, lying about your name, setting fires in your front yard, people at the post office, bubble wrap, the customer is usually wrong, the Recycler, that TV show about guys up in Maine buying and selling and bartering out of a weekly classifieds paper, selling guitars, blacksmithery, things like soap, riding the wave of change, the middle class, being frozen or suspended or whatever they do to preserve our flimsy bodies after we die and trust.

Also, as an added bonus, here’s a caption for the picture below: “Oh, hi handsome! Where did you come from? I was just reading this book with my butt. Care to join me?”

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The clothes make the man – THIS IS NOT A TEST #30

Let’s talk about clothes. We all wear them, we all love them. You do love them, don’t you? Along the way let’s also mention humidity, the people who really run shit, guacamole, Chinese boots, caves and castles, going topless, Victorian era women, flappers, frozen steaks, Comic-Con, Captain America, mouth-breathers, subcultures, fishermen, black jeans and Babylon.

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Charles Bukowski: let’s kill a few myths – THIS IS NOT A TEST #29

It’s time to get to the bottom of Charles Bukowski’s “10 year drunk” and many other Bukowski myths. Also, taking it easy in Greece, Pearl Harbor, meditation, BMWs, expensive wine and a veritable slew of new Bukowski books due out later this year.

Links mentioned in the episode:
The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost – THIS IS NOT A TEST #2

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Why THIS IS NOT A TEST will always be ad-free

The primary goal of many podcasters, whether they have an audience or not, is to MONETIZE their CONTENT. To make money from the podcast. Just this week I read a post from a charming young lady in a podcasting community asking for tips on MONETIZING her podcast before she’d even produced one episode. The absurdity and delusion of that aside, that is not the goal here. So here is why THIS IS NOT A TEST will never have ads or a sponsor:

– It hardly costs anything to do this. Even if a million people download 10 episodes a day, it’s still ridiculously cheap.

– I want to remain free to say whatever I’d like about whomever I’d like. No one who has a sponsor has that luxury.

– I’m of the opinion that ads and donate buttons and Patreon and every other form of Internet begging make the web an unnecessarily shittier place than it used to be, or could be.

– I like doing this. It’s fun. Only a sociopath would believe they should be paid to have fun.

Right about now you may be thinking, “Sure loudmouth, it’s easy to say you won’t have a sponsor when no one wants to sponsor you anyway!” That’s true. I’m not big enough to attract a sponsor. I suppose I’m just saying this because I feel like it, and because I’m growing weary of the endless parade of knuckle-draggers who fancy themselves entrepreneurs, whose big entrepreneurial idea is to start a blog or website or podcast with no purpose other than to make money. Blanketing the world with more useless CONTENT. More dry shit clogging the drain.

I like the other Internet. The wild west Internet. The FTW Internet (but not the current Internet meaning of FTW). I like creative people and people who do things for themselves and people who share information or entertainment without picking your pocket. That doesn’t mean everything has to be free, it means everything doesn’t have to have a price tag on it. I like Kentucky bourbon, giraffes, a medium rare steak (but not a giraffe steak), long skirts and dogs, large and small. I like a lot of things. And I like doing this. So let’s just do it, as some big advertising agency once said.

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It’s July 4th, do you know where your independence is? THIS IS NOT A TEST #28

It’s the 4th of July, what better day to talk about independence. We’ll wave the flag and maybe talk about some other things, like the President, Marc Maron, Rolling Stone and the Rolling Stones, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Joan Jett and the Runaways, the Sex Pistols and Green Day, blowing shit up, refusing to kiss the king’s ring, weasels, politicians, tough bastards, the Maldives, the homeland, military regimes, censorship, learning a new language, flags, explorers, colonists, Stonehenge, Vikings, fracking, a McDonald’s in Denver, rainforests and deserts, the plains, a pile of beanbag chairs, working until the day you drop dead, food that cooks itself, North Korea, corn on the cob and plastic. Among other things.

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