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TL;DL (Too Long; Didn’t Listen)
This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text.
Ben Brock Johnson: Can you hear my bag?
(snack bag sounds)
Amory Sivertson: Quite loudly. Yes.
Ben: Alright, welcome to Endless Thread’s Snacktime where we kick back, freaking snack, and tell each other fun stories we find on Reddit in between our regular hard to the core ET episodes. Amory, I got a little snack for ya!
Amory: Ya do?
Amory: OK I’m ready
Ben: Are you a metal head?
Ben: Well this will be interesting then. I want you to listen to this song and tell me when it came out.
(Metal music plays)
Ben: When is that from?
Ben: OK, well this to me, would suggest a slight lack of metal fluency.
Amory: That’s fair.
Ben: Because listening to this song, you’re not entirely wrong, at least according to mysterious posts on the internet. But most people would listen to this song and say this song came out after 1985. And supposedly this song that we just heard a little bit of came out in 1973. And this is weird and kind of crazy because you and I probably [associate] the 1970s with proto-metal sounds like this.
(Black Sabbath's "Into The Void" plays)
Ben: That was Black Sabbath's "Into The Void." That song came out in 1971. So this is what’s weird, I’m gonna read you this comment. And this comes from the RBI or Reddit Bureau of Investigation subreddit community. The comment says, "I came across this song a while ago and searched around the internet attempting to find its source. It doesn’t come up whenever I use services like Shazam and when I look up the name of the band and supposed name of the demo, it only leads to links to Youtube videos and a LastFM page, which includes the following description: 'One of the first metal bands from the Philippines.' I guess the band is called Diablo? 'Formed sometime in the early 70's and often regarded as forgotten godfathers of the metal genre. Formed by young occult fanatics Morrison Uchida and Eldritch Yokoyama, they released one known demo called ‘Huling Sumpa’ in 1975 and played a few shocking gigs before vanishing into obscurity. Some say that one of these people was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 1981 or 1982 for killing three people and critically wounding eight others at a bar.'"
Amory: Oh my god.
Ben (continuing to read Reddit post): "The last known lineup of this band is Ben Diablo on vocals,” which seemed appropriate once I found this story. “Jesus Kalansay on guitar. Mesias on guitar. Bangkay on bass. And Madilim na Langit on drums. Yet, I can find no other sources on the internet to corroborate this. The music in question is surely not from 1973, unless the band was unbelievably ahead of their time. In this time "metal," as it's known today, was still in its infancy and the style of writing heard in the music wouldn't be heard until at least the late 1980s. This is unsolved. But a lot of users point to some interesting things. First of all, there are a lot of metal bands that make up this mythology about themselves, right? "So and so killed a guy. So metal!" Right?
Amory: Yep, yep.
Ben: And there’s apparently a few different versions of this story if you dig around online, including the murder part, which suggests maybe it’s not true? So maybe it’s a weird marketing campaign or something. Another person points out that it looks like the first mentions of this band on the internet are from 2012 and that this is right around the same time that this movie about the band Death from Detroit — I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that band, a punk band?
Ben: This band Death from Detroit had this movie come out about them and became more widely known as kind of like inventing genres of music decades before they were actually a thing. And so this makes one commenter think there’s a good possibility of someone hearing about the Death story or seeing that movie and then recreating it as a hoax with a Filipino metal band. So that’s one possibility. But just to play Diablo’s advocate, another person on this post, a Redditor named VampireQueenDespair...
Amory: ...very appropriate.
Ben: ...which feels appropriate, says, “I wouldn’t immediately discount it being real just because it accidentally invented the genre if it is. ‘70s Detroit punk band Death did that too. So it’s not unheard of to be so early to the party that it screws you over. It’s not likely, but don’t assume that that makes it impossible.” And as a second example of this, this Redditor comments [that] the band Cro Magnon accidentally invented old school industrial music back in 1969 with a song or a record called Caledonia.
("Caledonia" from Cro Magnon plays)
Amory: Much as I would like it to be a very clever marketing scheme, I think it’s only in hindsight when you go back and listen to an album a decade or two later that you say, “Wow! This person was really ahead of their time musically.”
Ben: Yeah, that’s fair. You want it to be a marketing hoax? You don’t really want that, right? You want it to be real!
Amory: I mean, I want it to be real but I’m admittedly delighted at the ways that people use the internet in ways that I would just never think to do. So I do and I don’t.
Ben: OK well, listeners, let us know what you think. When did that band’s music actually come out and do you believe the possibility that this Filipino band invented metal before metal was metal?
Amory: So Ben, I have a snack for you. I was home sick yesterday. I was home alone, in fact, which has to do with my story.
Ben: Is this gonna be a Macaulay Culkin story?!
Amory: It is gonna be a Macaulay Culkin story!
Ben: Oh I love it. Keep the change you filthy animal!
(clip from Home Alone: "Keep the change you filthy animal!")
Amory: So this post actually comes from the stand-up comedy subreddit, which is hilarious because stand-up comedy as we know is my nightmare. This was posted by a user who goes by Buttonzbowz.
Ben: Buttonzbowz, okay.
Amory: And the post reads, “Beginning in 2013, comedians Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick have hosted a monthly alt-comedy showcase titled ‘The Macaulay Culkin Show.’” Now Ben, this show has nothing to do with Macaulay Culkin.
Ben: Did he show up?
Amory: The post says, “last night, this happened!”
(noise of crowd excitement plays and fades under Amory speaking)
Amory: Okay so this is Macaulay Culkin coming on stage, randomly to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme song. He comes out in a cloud of smoke. He’s parading around the stage, kind of doing a little cat walk. He’s wearing a shirt that says "Macaulay Culkin" with an arrow pointing up to his head. And the audience is going crazy. But also, Brett Davis and Sally Burtnick, the hosts of this comedy showcase, are going crazy because they’re like, "Oh my god it’s Macaulay Culkin on our stage at the Macaulay Culkin show!" And the audience is just losing their mind.
Macaulay Culkin: I’m Macaulay Culkin!
Brett Davis: Finally!
Macaulay Culkin: And welcome to the Macaulay Culkin show!
Brett Davis: Macaulay Culkin’s here!
Amory: The whole thing is pretty epic. They’ve been doing this show since 2013, so that’s six years going strong. This was actually part of the Macaulay Culkin Show’s Sixth Annual Summer Comedy Fest. And it turns out, the big question I wanted to know is, did Macaulay Culkin just show up unannounced for this?
Ben: No. No way. He told them.
Amory: Well, when you see Brett Davis and Sally Burtnick’s faces in the videos, they look shocked! Brett falls to his knees, he picks up Sally and twirls her around. Everyone is freaking out. I reached out to Brett Davis and it turns out that they had had this in the works for almost a year trying to get Macaulay Culkin.
Ben: Of course they did.
Amory: This may have been a surprise to some people in the audience, but it was not a surprise to them, delighted as they sounded.
Ben: I like this because they played the long game. You know what I mean?
Ben: They were like, "Listen, we’ll just keeping doing it and eventually it's gonna get back to him and maybe he’ll show up."
Amory: Yeah and this is exactly the type of thing that Macaulay Culkin, for anyone who has been following his work lately, this is so up his alley. It’s up his alley to have a show named The Macaulay Culkin Show that has nothing to do with Macaulay Culkin. But also, for him to show up here is just perfectly Macaulay Culkin.
Ben: Classic Culkin.
Amory: Classic Culkin. There were some great comments on this post. The Redditor 1_whynot said, “And now I’d like to invite you all to my alt-comedy showcase titled the ‘Bill Gates Gave Me A Billion Dollars Show.’” Just in case, Bill, you wanna show up and make that happen. Someone else said something that I think is really on point. This is Redditor alwaysupdankTRUNKS who says, “There's a line by a woman in Mad Men in reference to a very rich, very sophisticated-yet-very-masculine man and his youth in which she says something to the effect of him behaving like a character in his own novel. This is the only way I can express how I believe Mr. Culkin is acting these days.”
Ben: That’s pretty good.
Amory: I agree! If you have not been following him, I did a little bit of digging, he’s been in a couple movies recently, a couple TV shows, those kinds of things.
Ben: Amory, he’s a huge celebrity, you did not do any digging. You typed something into Google.
Amory: No, no, no. Ben! I was trying to find out what he’s done recently.
Ben: Amory went to an ancient library and took out her magnifying glass.
Amory: Okay sir, let's quiz you. Let’s see if you are up with what Macaulay Culkin is up to these days.
Ben: Definitely not, I haven't even looked at dirt, let alone done some digging.
Amory: Are you familiar with Pizza Underground?
Ben: Sounds vaguely familiar, but I don’t know.
Amory: Okay, well, because you didn’t do your Macaulay Culkin research, Pizza Underground is the pizza-themed velvet underground tribute band lead by Macaulay Culkin and recorded in his own house.
Ben: This is not a good idea.
Amory: And I have a little sample here of one the songs they recorded. They turned These Days into Cheese Days.
(Pizza Underground’s "Cheese Days" plays)
Amory: This is why this one Redditor nailed it in saying that he’s the star of his own movie. He picks and chooses his projects so they are just perfectly Macaulay Culkin. And he can’t be anyone but himself and I love him for it.
Ben: He’s gotta keep it classic Culkin.
Amory: Classic Culkin, that’s right.
Ben: Alright, I want to do a little bit of an update Amory.
Ben: You may remember in our last Snacktime episode I told the story of this mysterious sound a camper heard in the middle of New Hampshire.
(weird sound plays)
Ben: I just wanna shout out a couple of the people who responded to us. We got an email from Chelsea.
Ben: Chelsea says, “Hi there, I just listened to your podcast about the noise in Andover. I live in New Hampshire, right on a small dam, and that sounds a lot like the noise of a water level adjustment being made. They have large mechanical parts that squeal and moan and make the worst noises in the middle of the night. Sometimes it’s like an elephant blowing a rusty trombone.” And by the way, don’t Google rusty trombone unless you're not at work. “I believe there is a dam in Andover that could be the culprit," she says. "I’m sure you can contact one of the hundreds of fisheries and water biologists in New Hampshire to verify. Thank you, Chelsea.” Chelsea, thank you! I am not yet in touch with a fishery, but I did get in touch with the town of Andover. I sent them the sound and they’re super jazzed and trying to search out an answer for us. So we may hear in a future episode from the town of Andover. We also got a message about this weird sound on Reddit. This is from a user named Geoshuwa.
Amory: Geoshuwa, I like it.
Ben: So the title of the message is Sound Theory. "I once spent an afternoon diving down the rabbit hole of a phenomenon called the hum, which reminds me a bit of the weird noise in the latest Snacktime episode.” And this person links to a video of this, I think it’s up in Canada. “Ultimately the sound from this video was the sound of freight trains shunting, which means slowing and changing direction."
(sound of freight trains shunting)
Ben: So we responded and were like, "Wow this is cool, this could be a whole new episode in itself." And Geoshuwa got back and said, “I started digging into it again and some other internet people have called them ‘sky trumpets’ or ‘Gabriel’s trumpet,’ for very Revelation-y reasons, which make sense because, if my memory serves me right, I stumbled across this stuff when I was reading about a doomsday cult.” Nice message Geoshuwa. So either it’s Gabriel’s Trumpet or maybe it's somebody making an adjustment on a dam, like a water level adjustment with a damn. Or maybe it's some elephants blowing on a rusty trombone.
Amory: I like that theory.
Ben: Anyway listeners, please give us all your theories on that weird heavy metal band. And…
Amory: ...Macaulay Culkin!
Ben: Give us all your theories on Culkin.
Amory: Special thanks to Brett Davis, Sally Burtnick, and Frank Flaherty at the Bell House for letting us use audio from the Macaulay Culkin Show’s Summer Comedy Fest. I only wish I had been in the audience to see Macaulay’s guest appearance. But I hope to catch the show sometime.
Ben: OK, that’s it for Snacktime this week. We’ll be back next week with a full episode. Also, by the way, we got a message from someone who said, “Can r/StickersExchangeClub get a mention? We’re connected to r/FreeStickers, which just reached over 30K subscribers. Woot!” So if you’re into exchanges, head over to StickersExchangeClub. Check it out. And we’ll talk to you next week!
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