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Music Raygun

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Each episode of "Music Raygun" explores a different musical artist, topic or concept. Hosts Paul Ciampanelli and Kirk Pynchon watch and discuss related music videos, TV clips, commercials, interviews and other pop-culture ephemera on YouTube.

Each episode of "Music Raygun" explores a different musical artist, topic or concept. Hosts Paul Ciampanelli and Kirk Pynchon watch and discuss related music videos, TV clips, commercials, interviews and other pop-culture ephemera on YouTube.
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Each episode of "Music Raygun" explores a different musical artist, topic or concept. Hosts Paul Ciampanelli and Kirk Pynchon watch and discuss related music videos, TV clips, commercials, interviews and other pop-culture ephemera on YouTube.








24: Los Angeles

Kirk and Paul already paid tribute to their respective hometowns of Cleveland and Providence, so now it’s time to acknowledge their shared current home: Los Angeles. All the clips in this episode feature bands from LA. But Kirk and Paul skew hard to their different favored genres. Kirk brings rap, R&B and funk to the table. Paul prefers garage rock, punk and power pop. And Angelyne makes an appearance, naturally. It’s a schizophrenic good time. Just like Los Angeles itself! We love/hate...

Duration: 01:29:43

23: Bad

Happy New Year, raygunners! In celebration of 2018’s dawn, this episode is something a little different. Kirk and Paul watch just one video. Well, two videos. It’s one music video, plus a short “making of” segment about it. And it’s Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” the Martin Scorsese-directed long-form music video that turned 30 a few months ago. “Bad” is 18 minutes of MJ at his most extra, at least up until that point. It’s equal parts genuinely cool and deeply corny. So there’s a lot to talk...

Duration: 01:41:36

22: Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, wonderful solstice and cool Yule to everyone. We know a lot of people say they hate Christmas music, and to them we ask: Are you listening to the right Christmas music? We hope you’ll find something to like in our holiday playlist, which includes Grace Jones, The Ramones, Kurtis Blow, Kaela Kimura and more. There’s also a holiday treat from the worst boy band of all time. And Paul and Kirk reflect on a year without George Michael in the...

Duration: 01:16:52

21: Charlene deGuzman

For the first time on “Music Raygun,” the topic of the episode is its guest. Charlene deGuzman is a writer, comedian, actor, musician, dancer and advice columnist. She and Paul look at her time as a member of Stomp, Hannah Montana’s drummer, the creator of a YouTube video you might have seen along with 51 million other people, and many more projects. Look for her upcoming film, “Unlovable,” which she wrote with Sarah Adina Smith and Mark Duplass, and stars in with John Hawkes and Melissa...

Duration: 01:10:42

20: Grab Bag II

For the second time on “Music Raygun,” our topic for this episode is no topic at all. It’s our first sequel episode as we bring you another grab bag of videos. We’re looking at an assortment of our favorite clips that more or less defy categorization. That means Elvis, Chakha Khan, Captain Beefheart and Anita O’Day all in one podcast. And that’s just to name a few of the wild artists we visit in this episode. Wesley Snipes is in there somewhere too. It’s a pod-boy bouillabaisse. To see the...

Duration: 01:30:00

19: Dance

We’re joined by special guest Isabel Nelson, a friend of the show and, like Kirk, a trained dancer. That’s why the focus of this episode is dance. Isabel and Kirk are here to speak intelligently about the art form, with thoughtful comments rooted in their education and experience. Paul’s here too, to say his dumb opinions based on nothing. We’re talking about Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse, Boogaloo Shrimp and many others. It’s an especially visual episode, so be sure to check out the featured...

Duration: 01:41:41

18: Halloween

It’s the most frightening episode of the show yet. Kirk and Paul are celebrating Halloween with the very spookiest and ookiest music clips they could find on YouTube. Some of them are Halloween-themed videos. One’s just something that terrified Kirk for no explainable reason when he was a kid. There’s also another visit with the great Bev and Bob. Listen to this eerie episode to get you in that Halloween mood, but don’t be surprised if by the end of it your hair has turned bone white! To...

Duration: 01:29:49

17: The Jackson Dynasty

Michael Jackson was so huge in the 1980s that his success affected everyone in the music industry, not excluding the other Jacksons, i.e., Michael’s siblings. Everyone was so desperate for a piece of what Michael had that anyone related to him got a record deal. That’s what this episode is about: what Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy, Rebbie, La Toya and even Janet were doing at the height of their brother’s fame. Some of it’s bad, some of it’s weird, and some of it’s surprisingly...

Duration: 01:32:36


We’ve done a “grab bag” episode in the past where we said the theme was no theme. It was kind of random videos that didn’t fit any topic. We’re doing another assortment show this time, but it’s sort of the opposite, because instead of no theme, it’s all the themes. We’re going back to themes we’ve done in the first 15 episodes of the show, and picking new videos that didn’t quite make the cut for whatever reason the first time around. Call them Music Raygun B-sides. To see the videos we...

Duration: 01:34:31

15: Punk

to talk about punk. Cretins hop, Pistols curse, and GG Allin does, well, the things that GG Allin did before he passed on. Knowing that Kirk doesn’t actually like punk music, Paul made sure to load this episode up with interesting archival material, including a fantastic old interview with John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil, and a look at that infamous “battle of the bands” episode of “CHiPs.” To see the videos we watch in this episode, visit

Duration: 01:51:55

13: Disco

Kirk takes the wheel as the “Music Raygun” goes back in time to the 1970s, when everything was bright and shiny on the outside, but sort of washed out and profoundly bleak beneath the surface. That's right: It's our disco episode. There’s Travolta, “Dance Fever” and, of course, a “Soul Train” line. That’s all to be expected. Less expected is… Ethel Merman? And don’t worry; we also sit through “Disco Duck.” Yeah. We do that. For you. All this, plus a fish saves the city of Pittsburgh. To...

Duration: 01:33:31

12: Rhode Island and Northeast Ohio

We're going home, back to our respective hometowns. Paul is presenting the music of Rhode Island, and Kirk visits his old stomping grounds in Cleveland/Northeast Ohio. Both areas spawned bands with a working-class, blue-collar aesthetic, but that’s where the similarities end. Rhode Island provides the alternative and punk rock, while Cleveland brings the smooth pop and R&B. Then again, those differences probably have way more to do with our respective tastes than the regions where we come...

Duration: 01:36:55

11: Saxophone

For the first time, we’re focusing our attention on one instrument: the saxophone. This has been a long time coming. When we first discussed what topics we wanted to have on the show, “saxophone” was Kirk’s immediate thought. There’s lots of smooth jazz and pop here to make him happy, but there's also some punk rock to keep Paul satisfied. We learn what’s wrong with the greatest pop sax solo of all time, and we spend 20 minutes talking about just one Kenny G video. Strap in. To see the...

Duration: 06:13:35

10: Harry Nilsson

Katie Willert is back! She's co-hosting while Kirk is on vacation. As promised during Katie’s first appearance on “Music Raygun,” she and Paul devote this episode to a legendary artist whom they love: Harry Nilsson. Nilsson never performed live, but he was creative with his projects on record, on TV and in movies, and there’s lots of cool video of him to look at. He was a true weirdo, a deeply troubled man and a tragic figure. So there’s both laughter and honest-to-God tears in this one....

Duration: 04:03:28

9: Grab Bag

We always say every episode of “Music Raygun” features a particular music artist, concept or topic. Well, we lied to you about that. Because this time, our topic is... no topic. It's the first "grab bag" episode. We each chose a few of our favorite videos that, frankly, defy categorization. But they’re too good to ignore just because we normally make a themed podcast. We’ll watch a dance contest, a domestic dispute, and the most coked-out band in the world. Also, Paul convinces Kirk to...

Duration: 04:59:14

8: New Edition

Kirk is really happy whenever he gets to talk about one of his top five, possibly top three favorite bands ever. We’re talking about Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike (and Ralph and Johnny). It’s the long-planned New Edition episode. And that means we also have to cover the whole New Edition family tree. That means Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe, New Kids on the Block, Another Bad Creation, Heads of State and more. N.E. has been around for almost 40 years, so there's much to discuss. To see the...

Duration: 02:22:02

7: Katie Willert

We’re joined by the fantastic Katie Willert, who’s here to share with us (and you) some of her favorite songs and videos. You know Katie from Cracked's "After Hours," the Upright Citizens Brigade, Funny or Die and and many other comedy things. We know her because we all used to work together making Internet stuff. Katie’s picks include Roxy Music, Talking Heads, HAIM and more. We also take a special look at some of her own musical comedy sketches. Plus, a future episode topic is decided...

Duration: 04:39:28

6: Yacht Rock

After a very brief hiatus, "Music Raygun" has returned. Kirk is back from vacation, and it’s time for us to turn our attentions to yacht rock, and admittedly nebulous, non-specific music genre that was roughly codified by a comedy web series circa 2005. So, aptly, there are some comedy videos in this one, like sketches from “SCTV,” “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” and “Documentary Now.” Plus Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Toto and more. Basically, we find Michael McDonald everywhere we...

Duration: 04:24:35

5: Rebel Girls

We’re celebrating just a few of the coolest, baddest-ass and most revolutionary women in rock. A fictional band refuses to put out. A real band throws a used tampon at an audience. And the Plasmatics scare the bejesus out of Kirk. We take an all-too-brief look at the riot grrrl movement, Tina Turner’s ‘80s legacy, and more. Honestly, we barely managed to scratch the surface of this topic. But what we do talk about extremely kicks ass. This is dedicated to Liz Phair on her 50th birthday. To...

Duration: 05:35:27

4: Billy Joel

It’s time to take a close look at Christie Brinkley’s ex-husband William. You may know him better as Billy. Billy Joel. It's Billy Joel. See, just because music is uncool doesn’t mean it can’t be good. Billy Joel is one of the most profoundly uncool pop singers of all time, but we both love him. We love his hits. We love his piano playing. We love his dumb music videos. We even love his early, pre-fame bands, The Hassles and Attila. Don’t know them? You’re about to. To see the videos we...

Duration: 06:07:42

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