Category Archives: Podcast

The War of the Worlds Rehearsal

In a few hours, I’m heading to the theatre for the final rehearsal for tonight’s performance of The War of the Worlds, as part of the 2015 Sci-Fi Fest.

I have the great honor and privilege of playing Orson Welles as Professor Pierson. It’s a bit of a dream come true for me, because I’ve been listening to the infamous 1939 broadcast of War of the Worlds since I got my very first cassette player in the late 70s. I can recite most of it from memory, but for tonight’s performance, it was important to me that I didn’t just mimic Welles’ performance. I need to make the character my own, and to do that, I’ve been reading and performing the scenes just like I would to prepare for any other character I was creating.

I thought it would be interesting to share some of my rehearsal process, so I recorded myself yesterday, and put the recording on my Soundcloud.

It’s about ten minutes long, and I think some of you may find it interesting, and maybe even entertaining. You can listen to it there, or push play here:

a brief history of Radio Free Burrito

Way back in 2005, when I was trying to figure out where the next mortgage payment would come from, I tried just about anything creative that I could think of to help support my family.

Mostly, I did that by writing. I did columns and freelance work, and wrote a few books. It was creatively satisfying, and it helped us get through each day, then each week, and eventually through a few years.

Way back in 2005, the whole podcasting thing was just getting started, and I saw an opportunity to live out my childhood dream of having a radio show (in fact, even earlier in the 2000s, I had done a live broadcast where I played music and did my best DJ impression. I had to give it up for reasons that are lost to history). Just as blogging tools like Greymatter and Blogger had made it easy for me to become a self-published writer, Garageband made it easy for me to become a self-published radio sort of guy. Back then, I felt incredibly guilty if I did something or spent money on something that was just for fun, without also supporting my family. I couldn’t really afford to do a radio show or podcast just for fun, but maybe I could get sponsors or sell ads or take donations or whatever.

So way back in 2005, Radio Free Burrito was born. It never really helped me support my family, but it helped me find some more creative confidence, and it gave me an opportunity to pretend I was one of those late night DJs I grew up loving, listening to on a tiny transistor radio in my bedroom long after I was supposed to have gone to sleep.

I did Radio Free Burrito with some regularity for several years, trying my best to stick to a weekly schedule, but since this was back before I got treated for Depression, it was really, really hard to stick to it. I put a lot of work into each episode, and sometime around 2008, it just felt like it wasn’t worth the effort.

But something happened around the end of 2009. I don’t remember what it was, but — wait. I think I know what it was. I think that’s when I finally got treated for Depression.

Huh. That’s weird. I hadn’t really put these two things together until just now. Which is ironic, because I’ve been struggling to hold a pretty bad Depression and Anxiety thing at arm’s length for at least a week.

ANYway, around the end of 2009, I found a groove, and I got comfortable with the sound of my own stupid voice. Radio Free Burrito hit what I’ll call its golden age during 2010, and I looked forward to it so much, I started another podcast to support my book Memories of the Future, Volume 1.

After almost a year of consistent releases, my life started to really turn around. Not to mistake correlation for causation, but this was when I started to work like crazy as an actor again. I think it was around 2011 that I started working on Leverage, then Eureka, then Big Bang Theory, and then Tabletop was born. As much as I had loved working on the Burrito every week, I actually didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it, and since I felt like it never really passed more than a couple hundred listeners, anyway, I had to make a choice to let it go and invest my time and creative energy in other places.

The last show I did was in February of 2013. People asked me about it all the time, but I was pretty sure that Radio Free Burrito was done.

Until this weekend, when I had an idea.

See, I’ve been listening to Serial and Snap Judgment and 99% Invisible and Nerdist and Dan Carlin.  Thanks to all of that, something landed in my brain and refused to leave. See, I’m sort of between big projects at the moment (finishing Tabletop and getting started on our RPG spinoff), and I think that The Thing I’m Going To Do Between Things is Radio Free Burrito. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay on a weekly schedule, but I think I can. I think that, if I remember that the point is not to make something perfect, but is actually to just make a thing, I’ll enjoy it, and maybe a couple hundred people will enjoy it with me.

So yesterday, I did a brand new Radio Free Burrito. It isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible, and it’s a thing where there wasn’t a thing before. I had fun when I was making it, and all I’ve been able to think about since I made it was what I’m going to do when I make the next one, which is pretty cool.

I won’t do this with every episode, but I wanted to share it and its show notes, here on the mothership, so as many people as possible can know about it.

Well, it looks like we’re really back, for reals, and on an actual schedule. Welcome to Radio Free Burrito Episode 35 – Ring of Fire

This week, I talk about the first thing to come to my mind, including trains and books. I tell a pretty gross story that gives the episode its title. This will also be the first episode that has an actual name, because some day I’d like to come up with something as magnificent as #Torsoshorts.

Okay, that’s everything. Please enjoy Radio Free Burrito Episode 35 – Ring of Fire.

yeahYUH!

My very favourite Nerdist podcasts are the ones where Chris, Matt, and Jonah just sit around and talk about stuff. Every time I listen to them, I find myself talking back to the recording like I’m there, wanting very much to join into the conversation.

Anne is sick with a terrible sinus infection this weekend, so while she sleeps and tries not to feel like her head is in a vise at the bottom of the ocean, I’ve been doing dishes and putting shit away so it’s one less thing she has to deal with before we go to Chicago next week.*

I’ve been listening to Nerdist Podcast 386 while I clean up, and I feel like I’m hanging out with my friends. It’s really great, and worth listening to.

Side note: I’m incredibly proud of Chris, and so so so so so so happy that he’s as successful as he is. Every now and then some idiot tries to engage me in some sort of Geek & Sundry vs. Nerdist bullshit, and I always tell them, “You’ve got it all wrong. It isn’t Geek & Sundry vs. Nerdist. It’s Geek & Sundry and Nerdist vs. Lame Boring McMedia.” Then I tell them that they are a stupidhead before I put on my cowboy hat and hop into my Camaro, flipping them the bird while I drive away.

Anyway, go listen to these guys, and get inspired to do awesome things.

 

*PRO TIP: One of the keys to a healthy and joyful relationship is helping each other carry the burden of just existing together without ever being asked by the other.

There’s a new episode of Radio Free Burrito

image from i.imgur.com

These puppies want you to listen to Radio Free Burrito.

So from time to time, I make this stupid podcast called Radio Free Burrito.

It's this thing that I do because it's creative and entertaining to me, and is an easy way for me to amuse myself and hopefully share some interesting things with people. At the same time, though, it feels like this thing I do that like 100 people in the world listen to, which is kind of weird.

Yesterday, I made a new episode. I think it doesn't totally suck (though it is pretty rambling at points and features some profoundly offensive stuff when I'm demo-ing Cards Against Humanity live), so I'm telling the world that Radio Free Burrito Episode Thirty-Three exists.

I’m on a boat: Radio Free Burrito

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.

I miss doing Radio Free Burrito as much as the people who ask me every day if I'll do another one. Reading all the old entries that I've published this week has inspired me to write more, so maybe linking to some of my favorite RFBs will inspire me to record some new ones.

Radio Free Burrito

Hi there. I'm Wil Wheaton, and I'm from the Internet.

I grew up in Los Angeles, listening to great broadcasters like Jim Ladd, Richard Blade, and Doctor Demento. I listened to radio stations like KLOS, KROQ, and KMET, all during their glory days from the late 70s until the late 80s. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't love music, and didn't want to be on the radio.

I got a little sidetracked by an acting career, but even when I was at the height of my acting success, my dream of broadcasting never entirely went away. I was never able to make it into actual radio, but when the internet made podcasting possible, I seized the opportunity to play music, tell stories, and finally satisfy my delusions of DJ grandeur.

Radio Free Burrito is an infrequently-updated podcast, mostly focused on podsafe or creative-commons-licensed music. The first 13 posts here at the RFB homepage are considered the archives, and they cover a time period from 2005-2008. Comments are closed on all the archive posts, but as new episodes of RFB are added, those comments will be open.

A note to the listener: these podcasts are old, and the e-mail addresses I mention in them were sent to the land of wind and ghosts a long time ago. You can send all the mail you want to them, but it's just going to bounce.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the Burrito.

Episode 26

Holy Crap, it's time for a new episode of Radio Free Burrito!

At long last, the planets align, I have time and ideas, and the GDMF construction next door is quiet.

Show Notes:

 

  • The logo was designed by WWdN:iX reader Marc, who asked that I not link to his "in progress" website. Thanks, Marc!
  • Radio Free Burrito doesn't work as hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag as Memories of the Futurecastdoes, but it still manages to upset mom and get Twitter breakup messages from sensitive people. You have been warned.
  • This week's theme music is from The Legend of Zelda, one of my favorite video games of all time.
  • On today's show, I read two stories from The Happiest Days of Our Lives, currently available from Subterranean Press as a special edition.
  • There is also an audio version of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, if you'd like to hear me read even more of it to you.
  • Movin' Right Along was performed by 15-16 Puzzle. If you have some time to check out hismusical archives, I believe you will find it worth your while.
  • I decided that this episode was brought to you by coffee … specifically the amazing cup of Sumatra that I made using beans that were roasted by my friend Aric. He's @WayOfCoffee on Twitter, and you can even order your own amazing beans from him at FremontCoffee.net. Did I mention that they're amazing? They totally are.
  • I just realized that I have friends who do awesome things, and I should make them the unofficial "sponsors" of RFB each week, so RFB listeners can discover nifty things. I hope I remember to do that next week.
  • When I read Close Your Eyes and Then It's Past, I played music from Robert Rich as a bed. He has a ton of albums at Magnatune.com; I used music from Calling Down The Sky today.
  • Actually, well over 90% of listeners said the audio levels were messed up, and that the music, which I'd hoped would be a nice background bed, was actually way too loud and distracted from my reading. Since this podcast is all about me, I remastered the episode and removed the music. 
  • Of course, if you didn't get this episode right when it was released yesterday, you probably won't notice the difference. Ahhhh … BLISSS!
  • This episode is about 69.5MB. Yikes.
  • This episode is about 48 minutes long.
  • I am aware that the tags are screwed up and the feed doesn't validate, so unless you're grabbing RFB from iTunes or getting it directly here, it's a giant hassle to get it. I am aware of this problem, but it's a gigantic pain in the ass for me to correct it, given the tools I have available to me. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and I'm very annoyed by it, but I can make a podcast, or I can be a bug-squashing code monkey. I can't do both, and I quite frankly prefer making the podcast. Listener Dave K. built a workaround that you can learn all about hereThanks, Dave!
  • Again, no embedded artwork. This distresses me, but it's Apple's fault, not mine, and it's too much of a pain in the ass to get it done. Hopefully, they'll fix the bug REALLY SOON.
  • This is the end of the notes. 

Ready? Then put down your kazoo, step away from the punch bowl, and 

Download Radio Free Burrito Episode 26!

Episode 20

Holy Crap, it's time for a new episode of Radio Free Burrito!

I must say, I'm pretty proud of my ability to get this one out on time. If I keep this up, I may have to remove the phrase "infrequently updated" from the show's description.

Show Notes:

  • The logo was designed by WWdN:iX reader Marc, who asked that I not link to his "in progress" website. Thanks, Marc!
  • Radio Free Burrito doesn't work as hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag as Memories of the Futurecastdoes, but it still manages to upset mom and get Twitter breakup messages from sensitive people. You have been warned.
  • This week's theme music is Super Bon Bon by the legendary Soul Coughing, fronted by the equally-legendary Mike Doughty.
  • On today's show, I read a story from the forthcoming special edition of The Happiest Days of our Lives, called Green Grass and High Tides Forever (and ever and ever and
  • If you liked that story, you may want to check out the audio version of The Happiest Days of our Lives.
  • Green Grass And High Tides can be yours for 99 cents at Amazon. That's, like, 10 cents a minute, which would have been a big deal in long distance pricing back when digital watches were a pretty neat idea.
  • You know what's cheaper than building a time machine and going back to 1977 to watch Wizards? Yep. Watching it on DVD right here in the future.
  • I don't know why Thundarr The Barbarian isn't out in a deluxe Criterion edition, which it obviously deserves. We will just have to console ourselves with the Dungeons & Dragons animated series.
  • The Dark Tower at Boardgame Geek.
  • The Dark Tower online.
  • The Dark Tower commercial featuring ORSON FUCKING WELLES.
  • Flash version of The Dark Tower.
  • This link that has nothing at all to do with The Dark Tower.
  • This episode is just over 27 minutes long.
  • This episode is about 26MB.
  • This episode doesn't have artwork embedded, because I still can't figure out how to get it into the goddamn file without exporting as .m4a and converting to .mp3, doubling the filesize in the process. I mean, I could probably figure it out if I spent a lot of time working on it, but that's not nearly as fun as just producing the show.
  • This is the end of the notes. 

Ready? Then put on your awesome dragon shirt and

 Download Radio Free Burrito Episode 20

And finally, the RFB Mixtape, Volume One

As long as I can remember, my friends and I made mix tapes for each other. We'd grab stuff off the radio, record each other talking, tape tracks from records, and even grab stuff off the television.

A few minutes on the Internets revealed that I was not unique at all in this activity, which is as unsurprising as it is totally awesome.

I found myself in an empty house this weekend, and I became inspired by a midnight viewing of Videodrome to audio hijack some dialog from the film, drop in some of the weird audio I've scraped off the tubes in the last couple of months, and put it all together just like I did with those magnetic tapes so many years ago.

The audio levels are not as equalized as I'd like, but that's the way it was back then, too, so try to think of it as part of the charm, instead of an annoying technical failing on my part.

There aren't any show notes for this one, because we didn't bother to make show notes back in the old days. There are some titles embedded in the file, though, so you can imagine that they're scrawled on the TDK cardboard insert in blue Bic pen.

This was fun as hell to make, and I hope you like it. If you can spare a mirror, I'd be most grateful, because the file is quite large to preserve the audio quality.

Torrents, from Brian May:

High (orig):http://athena.unearthed.org/torrents/radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one.mp3.torrent

Low (mono, VBR bit rate range 0-24, 5.6 megs):http://athena.unearthed.org/torrents/radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one-low.mp3.torrent

Download radio_free_burritos_mix_tape_volume_one.mp3

TRT: 32:30
Filesize: 29.6 MB (Yep, it's all music, so it's huge, even encoded at 128).

(Image via Make)

 

knock me your lobes

I have begun a new project, which until I come up with a better name is called Project Do Something Creative Every Day For The Rest Of The Year (Yes, This Includes Holidays).

The first entry in PDSCEDFTROTY (YTIH) is a new episode of my neglected and long-overdue-for-updating podcast, Radio Free Burrito.

On this RFB, I deliver a bunch of weird audio collected from the internets, a whole lot of thank yous, and a reading from the special edition of The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

I don't usually promote RFB on my blog, but I had a lot of fun putting this episode together, so there you go.

Speaking of things I don't promote enough, did you know I partnered with Jinx to make some spiffy T-shirts? The costume department at Big Bang Theory even chose one of them for Evil Wil Wheaton to wear in The 21-second Excitation. I thought it was a pretty clever bit of meta meta. As it happens, that shirt is my favorite of all the shirts we did together, so hooray for that, too.

 

 

echoes beyond the infinite

I found this video while putting together the show notes for today's Radio Free Burrito (wherein I perform yesterday's story for you, with music and puppets*) as I said on Twitter, it's not the same as syncing it up with a record and the laserdisc, but it's still pretty awesome if you have about 24 minutes to spend however you want.

Anyway, I'm very proud of today's RFB, and just wanted an excuse to mention it here, because not very many people seem to be hearing it over there.

So now you know, and can tell your friends! Yay!

*please note that RFB is audio-only, so you'll have to use your imagination to properly enjoy the puppet portion of the production.

knock me your lobes

Did I mention that Radio Free Burrito finally grew up and moved into its own URL at Radio Free Burrito dot Com?

You can get all 13 of the old Radio Free Burritos (which I've christened "the archives"), as well as two new shows (cleverly numbered 14 and 15) which were recently recorded by me, Wil Wheaton*.

My plan is to do a RFB every week in place of the Futurecast, until the Futurecast gets going again in a few months, but I'm not promising anything. Unless you want to bribe me with Burrito money, in which case I'll make it a top priority, with a giant warehouse and wooden crates and everything. No, seriously. I know a guy who can get me a giant warehouse for, like, cheap.

Yes, Virginia, there is an RSS feed for the Burrito, helpfully located at: feeds.feedburner.com/radiofreeburrito Yes, Virginia's shy roommate, you can subscribe to it in iTunes. No, Virginia's weird talking cat, I don't know if it's in the Zune Marketplace. Also, Virginia? I invited you over for Rock Band, and it's kind of a dick move that you brought your whole fuckin' apartment with you. And what's with all the questions? JEEZE!

Of course, if I've already mentioned this but the information fell victim to the history eraser button in my brain, you have my apologies.

*That's a callback I bet 99% of you won't get, so allow me to explain: a million years ago, I did a Classic Television Talk Show – I'm not sure why I capitalized that title but it feels right – at the ACME Comedy Theater. It was hosted by J. Keith vanStraaten, and I played the role of Ed McMahon (or Andy Richter, as the case may be.)

When I started the show, we did a reoccurring bit where I wore this shit-eating grin, and talked about "Me, Wil Wheaton." For example, "Yes, Keith, it was a delightful evening, particularly because all the people in attendance were graced by the presence of me, Wil Wheaton."

I think this is losing something in the translation, but now you know why I'm giggling right now. Which I guess I should have told you before, because then you would have been all, "Hey, Wil, why are you giggling when you say that?" And I could be all, "Well, that's a callback, so let me tell you about it.)

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Nine

Futurecast700px-CHoly crap! It's time for Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Three important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that. In fact, it is available right now! Woo!
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.
  3. Did I mention that you can get your very own copy of Memories of the Future, Volume One, right now, for $19.87, or as a $10 DRM-free PDF? Okay, just checking.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • Our theme music this week is Harvey Danger's Wine, Women and Song, from their third album Little by Little. HD has made the entire album available for download, for free, from their website. I think it's worth paying for, though, so toss some coins their way if you agree.
  • This week's show features THE BATTLE (or, "What's that Rattle? It's a Ferengi exacting his blood revenge.")
  • Memories of the Futurecast finally grew up and moved into its own apartment. From now on, you can find new episodes at MemoriesOfTheFuturecast.com. It probably won't work for a couple of days, but should be working by Wednesday at the latest. 
  • Single! Turgid! Episode!
  • Memories of the Futurecast has its own Podcast feed, too! For your convenience (and great justice) you can get your podcast fetcher-o-doodle and stick feeds.feedburner.com/futurecast into it.
  • This is the last full episode that I'll post here at WWdN:iX, so subscribe or bookmark or tattoo the new URL if you don't want to miss a 
  • Memories of the Futurecast takes the A train.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is 12.4 MB this week.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is 26 minutes long this week.
  • Memories of the Futurecast wonders if anyone even reads the shownotes it works so hard to write.
  • Memories of the Futurecast gets busy … sometimes.

Okay enough notes! Let's get to business:

Download Memories of the Futurecast Episode Nine

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Eight

Futurecast700px-B Holy crap! It's time for Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Three important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that. In fact, it is available right now! Woo!
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.
  3. Did I mention that you can get your very own copy of Memories of the Future, Volume One, right now, for $19.87, or as a $10 DRM-free PDF? Okay, just checking.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • This week's theme music is Down on the River By The Sugarplant, from Mike Doughty.
  • Mike Doughty is on Twitter, you know, and if you want to get his new record Sad Man Happy Man(OMG GET IT FERREALZ) you can find it at Amazon, among other places.
  • This week, I dish out some JUSTICE, y'all. Don't listen to this one around the kids, unless you're ready to have The Talk with them, ifyaknowhatimean.
  • Why, yes, I did toss up some new artwork this week. Thanks for noticing.
  • As promised, here's a link that will direct you to a full, live performance.
  • I don't think I said thank you enough in the podcast, so, just to be sure I was clear: Seriously, guys, thank you for your support with Memories of the Future.
  • Memories of the Futurecast wants the Three Worf Moon Shirt.
  • Memories of the Futurecast snores when it sleeps in the sun by the couch.
  • Memories of the Futurecast wants you to add your own pictures to Wheaton's Books In The Wild at Flickr.
  • Memories of the Futurecast puts the lotion on its skin.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is 28.8 MB.
  • Memories of the Futurecast starts on page 74. But, seriously, good luck following along.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is 30 minutes long.

Ready?! Okay, then! Set your phasers to: Download Memories of the Futurecast episode eight

Buy your own copy of Memories of the Future, Volume One. It's just $19.87 for a print version, or $10 for the DRM-free PDF.