Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Lost Art Of Quitting

Posted: January 18, 2017 in Be-Bop, Uncategorized

img_9489

Since I last wrote my “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, and fuck you, I’m out!” post last August, I’ve ended up doing stand up comedy again a handful of times for a variety of very good reasons that aren’t entirely just excuses.

  1. I was offered a substantial sum last fall to go to a complete stranger’s house on his birthday that I lived 2 blocks from at the time and then proceed to roast him in front of his friends and family.
  2. Purely on last minute impulse, I cashed in my airline miles and jetted down to Rochester, MN this summer to attend the last open mic before the closing of Goonie’s, the club I started at. I was asked by my old boss the GM to fill in as warmup  for a last minute cancellation before a roast of the very funny man who took over the open mic after I moved to Anchorage, Mr. John Russell.
  3. I just filled in this weekend for the hilarious comic Kyle Farrell for 3 shows with comedians Uncle Griff, Rudy Ascott & Chris Coleman. We all road tripped to support Kass Smiley’s new album release before she permanently relocates to the L48.

img_9492

(Coat check: Seward, AK)

It was so much fun and I did surprisingly well at both 4 Royle Parkers & Maverick Saloon in Soldotna as well as The Pit in Seward. I really needed this weekend both psychologically and emotionally, as it reminded me of everything I forget about that is so cool, fun and awesome about touring. Going to a new town where you don’t know anybody, getting free food & drinks, driving a relatively new rental car, staying in strange beds you don’t have to clean up, being viewed as exotic & exciting & mysterious by the local flirts, unique diners, weird but cool bars, gas station munchies, fighting over the radio, killing time writing set lists at sports bars, applause breaks, everything. All of the crazy, I miss it dearly.

I didn’t even really mind that there was no non-smoking section anywhere, that one of the shows almost got pre-empted due to poor planning by “DJ Hankerchief’s Neon Dance Party,” some sketchy hanger-on’s, etc. It all makes me think of an interview with the late great Mitch Hedberg. I’m paraphrasing here but his response was something along the lines of, “You should be grateful as an entertainer that you get to live your life in a hotel room. It is a privilege. It is an adventure. You are lucky in a way that most of us are not. This is fun and you should be grateful for this opportunity while you still have it.” Sadly, in his case, eventually at the end it just wasn’t enough.

Please note: Hedberg & I are both comics born in Saint Paul, MN but I am in no way shape or form comparing myself to Mitch, truly one of the greatest one-liner-writers that has ever walked this earth. 

A few people have asked me today if I’m second-guessing my self-imposed “retirement.” I will diplomatically answer by saying I really don’t know either way. I wonder about this the same way I wonder about moving back to MN. When I go home to visit, everyone makes time to visit with me and we go out to these great restaurants. But back when I lived there, I never saw a lot of those people, because I’m kinda anti-social & busy but also because my presence wasn’t a rare novelty treat back then. I’m sure there’s nostalgia about my home state glossing over unpleasant parts of my past there. By that same token, would I eventually just go back to hating everything in comedy again like I used to?

All I know for sure right now is that I didn’t realize how much I really miss my stand up comedy buddies. The bonding & commiserating you get with comedians in cars on the highway is real.  There is no substitute for that. It’s like a private club where civilians are not allowed. Stand up comedians do not judge you. Of course we are still competitive & jealous & rip on each other mercilessly. That never goes away. All comics really care about is whether or not you’re still funny.  I’m happy to report that apparently I still am. Cheers!

IMG_9484.jpg

Warning: Do not under any circumstances let this man use your hotel room sink.


1. Twin Towers 2 (No Fly Zone) Mixtape – Specifically the song “She Be Putting On”. It’s a terrible song in its own right, certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for a 1st single. To be fair, the weakest verse award goes to Slim Dunkin. (Side note: Slim Dunkin was shot to death while making a music video at a recording studio. Presumably that clip didn’t make the final cut.) 

  
2. The 2014 mixtape “I Can’t Rap Vol. 1” – arguably the most honest mixtape title of all time, one has to admire the sheer balls of assuming ahead of time that Volume 2 would even be necessary.

  
3. Dietary Preference Or Just A Picky Eater? As part of the grieving process in the aftermath of his brother’s suicide, Mr. Flame announced he had become “85% vegan.” With all due respect to his detox regimen, holding a press conference to announce your new wishy-washy diet choice is the most annoying American eating fad since Pescatarianism became mainstream respectable.

  
4. The So-Called “Flocka” Factor – it’s one thing to adapt your stage name from the signature punchline catchphrase of Fozzie Bear, the official patron saint of Hack Stand Up Comic Flop Sweat. It’s another thing entirely to run a campaign using 3 names. Mentioning the middle name never works. Initials, sure, that’s fine. Worked for Dubya. Plus, he holds the rare distinction of Waka F. Flame sounding just as insane and ridiculous and Muppet-esque as spelling it out.

  
5. Candidacy Announcement Planning Committee – where to start? A. Don’t declare your intent to run on 4-20. That’s Adolf Hitler’s birthday and the Columbine Massacre anniversary. B. Don’t make it an web exclusive video on rollingstone.com – you’re a rapper, not Keith Richards. C. Don’t immediately appeal to the lunatic Tea Bagger fringe base & the Koch Bros. You gotta ease into pandering towards powerful special interest lobbying groups like People Against Pets In Restaurants or Americans Against Americans With Big Ass Feet That Take Up The Whole Goddamn Sidewalk. D. Stick to the issues you know i.e. marijuana legalization. You are living proof it’s impossible to overdose on weed. Otherwise you would have died long before Slim Dunkin even ate his first donut, let alone picked up a microphone. 

  

All-Female Rock Tribute Bands

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Semi-Decent Names Already Taken

AC-DShe
Misstallica
Bitchfits
Lez Zeppelin
The Iron Maidens
Slaywhore
Malice Cooper
Mistress Of Reality (Black Sabbath reference, FYI)
Ladysmith
Cheap Chick
Vag Halen
Judas Priestess
The Ramonas
PRISS
Hell’s Belles (AC-DC reference, duh)
AC/DDC

Worst Of The Worst
ThundHERStruck
Aerochix (Too minivan-ish)
Allison Chains (assumably not to be confused with the porn star)
The She-Tles (methinks it sounds too much like the Shitty Beatles)
Ziggy Starlet and the Spiders from Venus (Male Cover Bands Are From Mars)
Iron Madame (So, like the audio equivalent of a medieval torture device popular during the Inquisition?)
Judith Priest (Too nursing home-esque)
Queen Diamond (Not an democratically-elected position)
The Minks (RIYL The Kinks, making P.E.T.A. upset, early period John Waters)
KISSES (Knights In Satan’s Service Entrepreneurial Society)
Fem Zeppelin (Try again.)
Hammer Of The Broads (One of those cases where it’s their word, it’s only ok if they call each other that; it’s empowering if they own it, I guess.)
Ladies Zeppelin (Ladies Room Zeppellin suck, or so I’ve heard)
Moby Chick (Whenever possible, avoid names referencing a 17-minute Herman Melville drum solo)
Zepparella (Is Jane Fonda attached to the project?)
Zeppelina (All Lazy Don Bluth References Go To Hell)
The Die Die My Darlings (I just made this one up right now, but I’m betting it’s being formed the instant I hit the Publish button.)
The MissFits (Can the logo please be Danzig getting punched in the face?)
Ms. Fits (Danzig apparently got divorced)
The Nuns (Ohhh…The Monks…yeah, I get it now…)
Queens Of Queen (Drag Queen Monarchies in England never have any real political power, it’s still just a ceremonial title.)
The Femones (Pheremones…better yet Ferremonies)
The Hormones (You’re not even trying at this point, are you?)
The Romanes (Those who misspell lettuce varieties are…ummm…doomed to repeat it?)
Tap This (Why not make original parodies of Weird Al Yankovic tunes? The mind reels…)
TurbonegrA (This Just In: Racism Lite doesn’t make you “provocative,” just kinda sad.)
Girls Girls Girls (Was Strip Club already copyrighted?)

The Van Halen One I Secretly Wish I Had Thought Of First
She-Ruption (They were into squirting before it was cool.)

Just Found 2 Other Total Randos, As The Kids Say Nowadays
Harptallica (The topper – from Lousiana)
Holy Divah! (What exactly the exclamation point indicate? Oh! Calcutta! The Informant! Etc!)

I’ve got to go find me some hot chick musicians that know how to half-decently play mid-period Tom Waits ballads before somebody else beats me to the punch.

Poetry

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Poetry

“I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
unintelligible,
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
under
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician–
nor is it valid
to discriminate against ‘business documents and

school-books’; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
‘literalists of
the imagination’–above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’, shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.”

Marianne Moore (November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972 / Kirkwood, Missouri)


Image

  1. Joke workshops
  2. Craigslist free stuff section – Buy one-get one free coupons – I posted that I was giving away 10 x single tickets to the first people to email with the subject header “standup.” I found it was a good way to do outreach to people who might not otherwise see live performance. When I corresponded about the tickets, I invited people to email after the show and share feedback; I got some nice feedback. Moreover, at the venue, after the show you can try to sweet talk them so they feel a personal connection and come back again in subsequent weeks.
  3. You could also go to workplaces in your area and offer blocks of tickets for groups of five or more. Office buildings, school staff rooms, swimming pool staff, restaurant staff, etc.
  4. At each event, maybe mention a password that will give a $2 discount for subsequent weeks
  5. Have a punch card, “attend 3 nights, get the 4th free.”
  6. After work summer barbeque
  7. Maybe each week’s ticket/hand stamp is an entry into a larger drawing for the end of the summer.
  8. You could have a lot of fun with gag prizes each week. Do one for the biggest group, or the person who came from the furthest distance. Do some trivia.
  9. Make it more of a “league” by doing challenges each week. Maybe one week is the all sports joke week, and the next is that every comedian has to use the prop of the emcee’s choice in his/her act (ooh prop comedy, edgy), and then the next week is all impersonations…you get the drift. People could vote at the end of the night and whoever gets the most votes wins. You could do it nightly or cumulatively.
  10. Collaborate with local businesses to do tradeoffs of services. Raffles in between comedians, free breadsticks at the pizza place down the block with your comedy ticket/stub/hand stamp, the works. The other places probably feel the economic pinch just like you.
  11. A free first drink would get me to show up.
  12. Text all of your friends.

*Please Note: these are all answers I originally found on the website ask.metafilter when I typed in “ideas on promoting standup comedy shows.” These are just the highlights I found the most useful.*Image

Don’t Be That Guy: DMB Edition

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Don’t be that guy. I’m talking about guys who listen to the Dave Matthews Band on purpose. This was your choice? Honestly, even Dave Matthews would think that’s weird. His music is very specifically written for women. His lyrics are for women. His melodies are for women. Young college women. Consider these lyrics:

· I wish that I could climb inside your mind and spend some time and hug and hold you.

· And I come into you, and I come into you.

· Kiss me oh won’t you kiss me now, and sleep I would inside your mouth.

· Lovely lady, let me drink you, please. Won’t spill a drop, no, I promise you.

· I’m mixing up a bunch of magic stuff, a magic mushroom cloud of care.

I Don't Listen To The Dave Matthews Band

2010 in review

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Minty-Fresh™.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 19 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 35 posts. There were 9 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 380kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 15th with 24 views. The most popular post that day was Why I Don’t Work At The Hotel Anymore & Why I’m Not With Deb Anymore.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, tips-tools-tutorials.com, twitter.com, and cordless-homephone.info.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for caps lock, am i pretentious quiz, capslock, john mayer guitar face, and nathan hall ipswich.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Why I Don’t Work At The Hotel Anymore & Why I’m Not With Deb Anymore December 2010

2

Happy Birthday Abey Baby! February 2010

3

18 Signs That I Am A Pretentious Tool (According To Details Magazine) September 2009

4

What Everyone Else In The World Named Nathan Hall Is Up To January 2010

5

While You Were Sleeping (Another List About Lists) November 2009