Entries tagged with: Eugene Mirman
by Klaus Kinski
Euegene Mirman @ The Eugene Mirman Festival (more by David Andrako)
Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching that time of year when I feel so oppressed and destroyed by the heat and humidity that I can't help but contemplate suicide knowing that I must endure this for many many many more weeks. As the sweat and grease springs forth from every pore of my body... as the sweat that begins at the back of my neck rolls its way south and converges with my back sweat and picks up momentum and girth as the sweaty tidal wave approaches my butt-crack... as I wince through this every day I think, "Dead people don't have to deal with this. It must be much cooler and shadier being entombed." (it's DEFINITELY cooler being in the band Entombed). People migrate to the beach not just to enjoy the sun and the water; they do so to escape the revolting sight of people like me panting and sweating through our clothing and the sheer lack of comfort we exude. It is at this point in the calendar year that I feel my lowest and need a serious and somewhat sustained pick-me-up. Thankfully, the fine folks at Creaghead & Company have a pile of comedic fare for me to ingest in the coming weeks that will hopefully keep me from the edge. It will do nothing for my perpetual moisture and shininess, but it'll make life more tolerable!
For those of you not in the know, Creaghead & Company is a small, mom and pop outfit from Brooklyn that puts together some seriously rad music and comedy events. You may not have known it, but Creaghead & Company was/is behind events and tours such as Pretty Good Friends (a weekly comedy show at Union Hall hosted by Eugene Mirman) (there was also a PGF tour that featured Mirman, Reggie Watts, and Kumail Nanjiani), The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Heart of Darkness (brain child of Greg Barris), Marking Out (hosted by Matt McCarthy), and more. The shows C&Co put together aren't just standard stand-up fare. Each and ever yone of these shows DO feature some of the best minds in comedy currently drawing breath.
A more elaborate listing of their upcoming events are listed below, but allow me to take time out of MY busy day and give YOU a quick de-briefing (not the underwear kind) of what to expect in the coming days/weeks. The fun starts, like, soon... as in, like, Monday July 11th when Matt McCarthy's show Marking Out hits the Ace Hotel with guests including Michael Showalter,
Joe Mande, Adam Lowitt, and musical guest Toys & Tiny Instruments. For the record, McCarthy is an absolute comedic force. Sort of like the real Klaus Kinski, only hilarious and completely different looking. Or maybe like the Minor Threat of comedy where you want to be up front gnashing your teeth and pumping your fist with him, but instead reel it in and respectfully listen while he does his thing. One of my favorites in the biz.
Marking Out is at 8pm which means you can probably catch it before Whiplash, which, like every Monday night, starts at 11pm at UCB.
Then on Wednesday July 13th you can catch Tom Shillue's FunnyStory.biz at Caroline's On Broadway. The show is hosted by Klaus favorite Tom Shillue and features Kurt Braunohler, Rich Vos, Swords, and John Flynn. Yes, it's at Carolines but it's only 10 bucks. And as side note, I know Caroline's gets a lot of shit for being a corporate Time's Square tourist venue, but they have made a serious effort lately to have $5 shows, one of which is hosted by the great Joe Mande. So give 'em a break. You pompous shrill.
Then on Saturday July 16th you can catch Heart of Darkness at Union Hall. Hosted by Greg Barris, Heart of Darkness is waaayyyy more than a stand up revue. I spoke about it in my little corner of the internet, but to sum:
"It is an incorporative show," explains the project's charismatic creator, 28-year-old comedian Greg Barris, who will also take the stage. "The band and the comics will all be performing together, the audience will be involved, special guests will be involved--the whole way through. And people's sins will be forgiven."This particular episode featuresJaneane Garofalo, John F. O'Donnell, BV favorite Reggie Watts, and MIND WARRIOR: from the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University - Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D. This is something you experience, not passively watch. I really urge you to see this. If I had my way this show would happen nightly.
Head back to Union Hall on Monday July 18th for a pretty serious Creaghead & Company Mandatory Staff Meeting featuring Head Creaghead Caroline Creaghead. The meeting will also feature Department Heads: Eugene Mirman, Murderfist, Mike Pomranz, and intern Roger Hailes. And more. This event is actually not optional. If you don't go you'll be fired, from life. Pretty serious stuff.
Also, you might want to make sure that on July 29th you get your cut-off wearing ass over to the Williamsburg Waterfront for Creaghead & Co. related event Pretty Good Friends featuring Eugene Mirman, Patton Oswalt, Todd Barry, Kristen Schaal, and They Might Be Giants. The setting is beautiful, the event is free, and you deserve a good laugh. Trust me, you do.
More details on all these shows below...
People at Williamsburg Waterfront last year (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
This summer's Williamsburg Waterfront concert season begins this weekend with a free show on Saturday (6/11) (5:30pm doors). For what it's worth, that show is Coheed and Cambria, Adrian Belew Power Trio and Tigers Jaw, but it is free. It's also one of three currently announced free shows (there will be five free shows total, one of which will be classical music). The other two announced free events are Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends (Patton Oswalt will be one of those friends!) and special musical guests They Might Be Giants on July 29, and a children's show with Moey's Music Party and Story Pirates (who recently hosted a benefit) on June 19 at noon.
Ticketed shows include Death From Above 1979, Death Cab for Cutie, Sonic Youth, Bright Eyes, Thievery Corporation (with Dam-Funk & Master Blazter and Raphael Saadiq opening), TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes and more. Check out the full lineup with openers listed below...
"It's probably one of the weirdest thing if not the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me," said Simone. "I was not even on the cusp of writing a book, or an article or a short story or anything."Brooklyn singer/songwriter Alina Simone is not only celebrating the release of her new album Make Your Own Danger tomorrow (6/9) at Joe's Pub, but also her first book of personal essays, You Must Go and Win. She'll be reading from her book in addition to performing with a band that includes Conrad Doucette on drums. Alina's longtime friend Amanda Palmer will be a special guest at the show. According to Amanda's twitter, tickets are almost sold out.
The resulting book is a collection of funny, cynical essays on meeting sketchy producers off of Craigslist, her obsession with Skopsy, a Russian castrati set, and battling fleas in her Williamsburg apartment. [The Brooklyn Paper]
Alina Simone is also performing at Largehearted Lit: Singers Who Write, Writers Who Sing tonight (6/8) at WORD in Brooklyn with Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding). In July she'll appear at the second Girls Write Now benefit at Brooklyn Winery (7/14) with Deb Olin Unferth, Jami Attenberg, Maud Newton, and Kio Stark.
Amanda Palmer has some of her own upcoming shows as well. She plays a show at a secret location in Boston on 6/25 (details at her site), and NYC-area shows at Maxwell's on June 22 and The Bell House on June 23. Both of those NYC-area shows, both with Sarah Borrello and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, unfortunately sold out before we even realized they were announced to famous Amanda's 500,000+ Twitter followers.
Speaking of which, Alina started videotaping her friend Amanda 12 years ago. "She wanted to be famous" and "succeeded", says Alina in the video of lost 1999 footage she recently posted to Youtube. Check that out below.
All dates, some videos where Alina's friend Eugene Mirman gives her book marketing advice, and Alina's video of Amanda Palmer, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano
The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Son of a Gun @ Joe's Pub
* The Lonely Island @ Apple Store SoHo
* Ulysses S. Grant @ The Living Room
* Josh Roseman Water Surgeons @ Barbes
* Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen @ Littlefield
* The Features, Backwords @ Mercury Lounge
* Jim Campilongo Electric Trio @ The Living Room
* Kinky Friedman, Mary McBride @ Highline Ballroom
* Karl Berger's Stone Workshop Orchestra @ The Stone
* Corridors, Bow Ribbons, Greenpot Bluepot @ Zebulon
* Yael Naim & David Donatien, Anath @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Sherlock's Daughter, New Moods, Slowdance @ Knitting Factory
* J-Roddy Walston & The Business, These United States @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Freak Owls, Murder Mystery, Ravens & Chimes, Secret Gordon @ Rock Shop (free)
* Small Beast w/ Craig Casey & The Fresh Juice Party, Burnt Rome, Val Opielski @ The Delancey
* John Maus, Gary War, Holy Shit, DJ International Tapes, DJ Weird Magic @ Glasslands
You can see New Moods at Knitting Factory tonight for free.
You can see Ravens & Chimes @ The Rock Shop tonight for free.
Eugene Mirman's special musical guest at Union Hall last night was Evan Dando. His special comedy guest last night was Zach Galifianakis. Eugene Mirman appears at Whiplash at UCB tonight. So does Colin Quinn.
The Lonely Island appears at the Apple Store SoHo tonight for free. Their new video for "Jack Sparrow" featuring Michael Bolton, off their new/second record Turtleneck & Chain which is out Tuesday, below....
Williamsburg Waterfront last year (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
As I previously wrote, "there will be concerts at the Williamsburg Waterfront this summer. In fact, the plan is to have 10 ticketed shows and 5 free shows." And, "The five free concert dates are still TBD, but one will be of a classical/philharmonic nature, and one will be geared towards kids. The free shows may or may not be on Sundays or even on weekends, and they will definitely not have anything to do with Jelly."
Since then three ticketed shows have been announced: Kid Cudi on Wednesday, July 6th (on sale), Death Cab For Cutie/Frightened Rabbit on Tuesday, August 2nd (on sale 5/6, but a presale starts 4/29), and Sonic Youth/Wild Flag on Friday, August 12th (on sale Friday). Seven more announcements to come.
Service Charge-free tickets are available at the Best Buy Theater Box Office (44th and Broadway in Manhattan) and at Sound Fix Records (44 Berry St. at North 11th St. in Brooklyn).
Two of the five free shows have also now been announced. The first is nothing like what Jelly would have booked: Coheed and Cambria, Adrian Belew Power Trio, and Tigers Jaw play the Williamsburg Waterfront on Saturday, June 11th. The second is sort of like what Jelly might have booked, but more closely resembles what you'd get at Celebrate Brooklyn: Eugene Mirman "& Pretty Good Friends Featuring Kristen Schaal & Many Surprise Guests" open for They Might Be Giants at Wiliamsburg Waterfront on Friday, July 29th.
Assuming TMBG won't be playing a kids set, and that the comedians will tell a few dirty jokes, the free kids show announcement is still to come, as is the classical concert date info (which means just one more completely unknown free lineup to come). Both announced free shows open their doors at 5:30pm.
All five shows, ticketed and free, are part of the "2011 T-MOBILE WILLIAMSBURG WATERFRONT CONCERT SERIES PRESENTED BY OSA" and "supported by Onitsuka Tiger, Vitamin Water, and Brooklyn Brewery."
All five shows are listed in an easy-to-read format below....
Ra Ra Riot @ MHOW in 2010 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Very funny UK comedian Tom Allen, who just completed a mini 'Pretty Good Friends' east coast tour with Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts and Kumail Nanjiani, is now on their homebase and playing his own show at Union Hall tonight (3/8).
It's a late show - begins at 10pm. If you want to make a night of it, another comedy show, with Kristen Schaal and more, is happening at the same venue earlier.
The next 'Pretty Good Friends' with Eugene Mirman happens at Union Hall on Sunday, 3/13 at 7pm. That's an early show that is followed, strangely, by a "CONAN O'BRIEN STAND-UP GUEST SHOWCASE" with Eliot Glazer, Andy Haynes, Matt McCarthy, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts, Dan St. Germain, Myq Kaplan, Joe Mande, Dave Hill, Jay Oakerson, and Kurt Metzger. It is unclear if Conan even knows about this intimate Park Slope basement show with his name on it, but it should be good nonetheless.
Reggie Watts may or may not being playing a free show at Cake Shop tonight (3/8), but he's definitely playing TWO shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 30th.
Aziz Ansari may or may not be on the bill of "Tell Your Friends" at Lolita bar tonight, but host Liam McEneaney has leaked the following clue:
JUST ADDED TONIGHT:Brody Stevens, who like many of these guys is also heading to SXSW, will be there too!
A guy whose name is very nearly an anagram for "ZZ Sariani."
You might know him from his show that is anagrammed as "A Crankiest Pardoner."
And his sketch show on "VTM" might also be known as "Giant Human."
And his first name is "Aziz."
And I "farted."
Eugene Mirman can also be found at City Winery with John Wesley Harding (and Andrew Bird) on April 22nd.
A Tom Allen video below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
DOWNLOAD: The Dodos - Don't Stop (MP3)
"In 45 minutes the show with Showalter starts! It's gonna be amazing, I can tell by his purple sweater. Color of royalty. He's feelin' it!" - Neko Case
Neko Case helped Michael Showalter promote his new book at an event at Barnes & Noble in Union Square last night (2/24), or to be more specific, Upstairs at the Square. Katherine Lanpher hosted. Neko sang four songs (setlist below). Showalter read a couple passages including a beat poetry inspired poem and a chapter about what to put in a Hollywood script. He also discussed the orgin of The Baxter, and they both talked about their writing process. Pictures from the bookstore are in this post.
Uptairs at the Square returns to Barnes & Noble in Union Square twice in March. Wednesday, March 9 will feature Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and Cubic Zirconia (Follow Your Heart), and Thursday, March 24 has my favorite Keren Ann (101) with Barbara Browning (The Correspondence Artist).
Audience members included Eugene Mirman (who will again join Michael at the Bell House this weekend) and Todd Barry (who just announced an April tour with Neil Hamburger - dates below) (not to be confused with Neil's February and March tour).
Earlier in the day Neko "leaked" a new Dodos song via her Twitter. She wrote, "Fave song off new Dodos. Bummed I didn't didn't get to sing on it (I shouldn't be so greedy cuz I did sing on lots)." Download that above. The Dodos are heading out on tour in March and they'll be playing lots of SXSW shows in the process. Their updated dates, a BrooklynVegan day party included, are below.
Michael Showalter is also touring, though he won't be at SXSW. Neko Case is not touring, though she did just play a show at the Bell House and is giving away her car.
More B&N pictures, Dodos & Barry dates, and Neko's setlist, below...
John Wesley Harding @ the Eugene Mirman Fest (more by David Andrako)
The next edition of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders goes down at City Winery in NYC tonight, 2/11, with Eugene Mirman, Ted Leo, The Fiery Furnaces, Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, Ben Ottewell (of Gomez), and Rivka Galchen Patrick McGrath. That's an amazing lineup and tickets are still available for the show that features a few people who appeared on the lineup of last night's Neil Young tribute at Carnegie Hall.
As mentioned, Ben Ottewell also plays an early show at Mercury Lounge tonight.
Tonight's show is Ted Leo's only upcoming NYC appearance, though those in Austin in March can catch him at the BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase and at other shows. His full solo tour includes February west coast dates, and April east coast dates (Philly, Scranton & CT included). All dates are listed below...
Last week Littlefield wasn't listing any more editions of "Hot Tub" on their schedule, but it is in fact back tonight (2/7). Corn Mo, Brent Sullivan, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Free Love Forum will all join Kurt Braunohler (but maybe not Kristen) at the Brooklyn venue this evening. There's also a lineup listed for 2/14 - "Found Footage Festival, Sandra Bauleo, Surprise Guests, + more!" (and Kristen's name is on that bill).
Speaking of Diddy (not actually), the great Reggie Watts has announced another big headlining show. Having already sold out Manhattan's Highline Ballroom, his next big NYC conquest will be Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 30th. Tickets for the "partially seated show" go on sale Friday at noon.
Reggie will also join Eugene Mirman (and Kumail Nanjiani) for a special Boston edition of "Pretty Good Friends" on March 1st. Meanwhile catch the next edition of Mirman's "Pretty Good Friends" at its usual home of Union Hall in Park Slope this Sunday (2/13), and don't miss the extra-large Brooklyn edition coming to the Bell House on 2/27 in honor of Michael Showalter's new book.
And speaking of The Bell House and new books...
TUE 2/8: 8pm / FREEThat's like half the cast of the new New Pornographers video all in one place and it's free!
JON GLASER BOOK RELEASE PARTY
Please join us for an evening of readings and music from Jon Glaser's new book "My Dead Dad Was In ZZ Top" (Harper Perennial), followed by general hanging out good times. Paul Rudd, Scott Adsit, John Hodgman, Zoe Lister-Jones, Ira Kaplan, Jon Hamm, and other special guests are scheduled to appear. Books will be on sale, plus the first 25 people to purchase books receive a special free un-named gift!
Last but not least, Tuesday night live comedy series "Tell Your Friends" (who are advertisng a secret musical guest for this Tuesday's show) are releasing a movie! Trailer (starring Reggie Watts, Kurt Braunohler, Kristen Schaal and many others) and more details below...
In related comedy news, Michael Showalter is kicking off his "Mr. Funny Pants" tour on February 24th at Barnes & Noble in Union Square with special musical guest Neko Case. He swings back through town mid-tour to hit the Bell House in Brooklyn on 2/27. Tickets are still on sale for that special edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani and special guests ("Please note this show will be mixed seated and standing. For best seat selection please arrive early and use the TicketFast print-at-home ticketing option. ").
Michael and Michael, as many know, used to be on a very funny show called The State along with red head Kevin Allison who is still doing his thing as well. Catch his show called "RISK! STORYSLAM" tonight (1/31) at the Pit at 6pm for FREE. If you miss it, there's always next Monday and the Monday after that and...
Also on Mondays (but much later): Whiplash at UCB. Jon Friedman, Myq Kaplan, Mike DeStefano and Adira Amram will all be there tonight.
Also coming up at the Bell House in Brooklyn: two chances to see "WTF With Marc Maron". Early and late March 10th shows are on sale.
Also coming up at the Bell House:
MON 1/31: 7:30pm doors / FREEDJ Russ and DJ Choyce Hacks will also be supplying the tunes at the Brooklyn beard event.
WONDER TWINS & RUSSCOMM PRESENT
THE 2011 BROOKLYN BEARDFEST & STACHE BASH:
By members of Storybook Burlesque, featuring:
Magdalena Fox, Victoria Privates, and Jenny C'est Quoi with mustacio'd stage kitten Rosey la Rouge
Finally - a festival for bearded and mustached people and the people who love them! Come celebrate all things beard with us on Monday January 31st as we prepare to enter "Facial Hair February" with beardy bands, mustached DJs, vendors, contests, food and more.
Speaking of tunes, piano-playing comedian Bo Burnham isn't even old enough to drink but he is big enough to headline Best Buy Theater in Times Square on February 4th. Tickets are still on sale. Maybe you caught Bo's special on Comedy Central. If not, it airs again on February 4th and February 11th.
Speaking of Comedy Central, Nick Kroll's special that was taped at Music Hall of Williamsburg aired on Saturday. I don't know when it will air again, but I only caught about 10 minutes and wish I saw the rest - in part because it's fun to see the barely recognizable Brooklyn venue on TV. Meanwhile you can watch two clips below.
Kurt Braunohler and Kristen's next edition of Hot Tub @ Littlefield in Brooklyn (the only remaining Hot Tub on Littlefield's schedule for now) happens tonight (1/31). Their guests include Dan St. Germain, Matt Higgins, Dr. Uke and Daughters, "+ more!"
It won't be long before you see more of Kurt though. He's starting a new talk show at the Pit called "Night of the Living." "This monthly show will feature special house band Adira Amram and the Experience, and bits and sketches from New York City's finest comedians. Come see the beginning of something very cool. And very stupid. Because that's how we like it." Its first episode happens live on February 4th with special guests Eugene Mirman, Jon Glaser, and a secret musical guest. Tickets are on sale.
Daniel Kitson played his final show at St. Ann's Warehouse last night.
Neil Hamburger is touring in February and March. Tickets are on sale for a March 17th Brooklyn show at Knitting Factory with "The Kenny 'K-Strass' Strasser Yo-Yo Extravaganza" and "Major Entertainer Mike H." All tour dates are below....
Raccoons (by Penh)
Tickets are still on sale for both Yann Tiersen shows at Highline Ballroom, but since first announcing they clarified that the Feb 18th show will be "unplugged with orchestra" and Feb 19th will be "regular band."
Tickets are on sale for the Versus show at Mercury Lounge.
Versus the band should not be confused with "Versus: An evening of contests, interviews and duets" that is happening at Littlefield on 1/26 with Eugene Mirman, Julie Klausner, Sean O'Connor & Julian McCullough, Robert Krulwich, Damian Kulash, Michael Moschen, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Carla Rhodes & Cecil Sinclaire, The Brothers Lucas, Matt Oberg. Tickets are on sale for that too.
The Go! Team return to NYC in April. They play Brooklyn Bowl on the 16th of that month. Tickets are on sale. All dates below.
Neko Case at Lollapalooza with The Dodos (more by Josh Darr)
Neko Case is still on board to play a free show at Barnes & Noble in Union Square on 2/24 with Michael Showalter, but now she has another and longer show scheduled in NYC even sooner. She plays The Bell House on February 6th. Tickets go on sale at noon today (1/12).
Though she doesn't have a new record to flaunt at the show, Neko Case will have new material out soon. The Dodos, who recently parted ways with vibraphonist Keaton Snyder (making them a duo again), will release their new album entitled No Color via Frenchkiss Records on on March 15. Case reportedly sings on about half of it. You might remember that she joined the band on stage during their recent run of dates with The New Pornographers (pictures from the Terminal 5 date here). A video on the making of the LP, as well as the art and tracklisting are all below.
"Pretty Good Friends" presents an evening of comedy, music and reading to celebrate the launch of Michael Showalter's new book, "Mr. Funnypants." The event is hosted by Michael Showalter and features Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani and special guests.Tickets are on sale. Michael Showalter will also appear at Brooklyn Book Court on 3/1.
All tour dates and more details on that Dodos LP are below...
"We regarded music as a form of socializing, and took a resolutely unprofessional approach. Only a few of us in the scene ever imagined becoming professional musicians. We were the stepchildren of the first generation of no wave bands (a term Chris Nelson coined in the New York Rocker, where I was a part-time photographer) like Mars, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, D.N.A. and the Contortions. We took pride in our facile and self-taught instrumental licks, and played music that was often hookless and even atonal. Our influences were broad, including jazz, African music, commercial jingles, and the English punk movement, especially the artier aspects. We avidly followed bands like the Fall (in its earliest incarnations), Wire, and X-Ray Spex, all of whom we were able to see at CBGB.As prophesized, Mofungo opened for Yo La Tengo on the sixth night of Hanukkah at Maxwell's in Hoboken. I have no idea when the last time the No Wave band (if ever) got back together, but according to the above-quoted article, they played their last show in June 1992 at CBGB. And Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric were in fact special guests, as were Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and Tara Key of Antietam, and Gil Divine. Eugene Mirman returned as comedy opener. Ira made the mix disc. And they do it again tonight. Last night's setlist below...
It was an era when the East Village was not the tourist trap it has become. There were few restaurants open in the evening, and nearly every hipster you saw on the street was carrying an instrument. Everyone was either in a band, or was a DJ or rock critic. Music was featured at loft parties, festivals, and impromtu neighborhood clubs. One regular Mofungo gig was on the roof of my building at 630 East 14th Street, where we threw a party every Fourth of July. We also formed an alliance with Chain Gang, a punk outfit from the Bronx, whose members made a living driving cabs and self-released a series of amazing singles."
[The inside story of Mofungo by Robert Sietsama]
words and photos by Chris Gersbeck
Yo La Tengo played their third of eight Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's on Friday night (12/3), and this was probably the most anticipated due to strong rumors of Jeff Tweedy opening which turned out to be true.
Each Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show has an associated charity, and this night's was the Elsyian Charter School of Hoboken, so the show started with twenty or so children taking the stage to perform some Yo La classics. I almost felt bad laughing (as did everyone else) when they began singing "Stockholm Syndrome", but only because it was just so adorable. After performing "Sugarcube" and "Mr. Tough", the children parted the crowd to make their exit (they really did sound great by the way), and shortly after we were treated to an intimate and absolutely beautiful set from Jeff Tweedy.
Playing Wilco classics like "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart", and rotating through Uncle Tupelo songs and covers, Tweedy's voice sounded as great as ever. The crowd was clearly filled with his fans as well; many of them were singing along throughout. After closing with a stellar and, well I'll just say it, mind-blowing rendition of "A Shot in the Arm", Tweedy thanked the crowd and promised we would see him later. And that would definitely happen...
Eugene Mirman, who has always been one of my favorite standup comics, was the comedian guest of the night. The highlight of his set included revealing his fascination with the Tea Party, his subsequent registering on a Tea Party social networking site, and his printouts of legitimate Tea Party members profile pictures from that site. My favorite being simply a photo of a machine gun laying on a carpeted floor, the owner's toes only barely visible on the bottom of the photo. Wow. Eugene's reading of his favorite tweets, accompanied with a theremin, was also a great and hilarious way to end his set.
Eugene didn't join Yo La Tengo on the stage during the show like Tweedy would, but I'm not sure many people were expecting that anyway. Tweedy in fact performed nearly the entire initial set with Yo La, pleasing the crowd with a version of Wilco's "Jesus, Etc.", Bob Dylan's "One Of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" and quite a few of my favorite songs from Yo La Tengo's prolific catalogue such as "Can't Forget", "The Race Is On Again", and "I Should Have Known Better". For such a small room, they really get quite a big sound.
Yo La Tengo's encore was mostly a tribute to the late Alex Chilton, who has joined them on Hanukkah in the past. After Ira Kaplan stated that some of Chilton's most notable work was with legendary punk band the Cramps, he invited Cramps' guitarist Kid Congo Powers for a couple covers of his band. Ending the night on a particularly loud note, though I probably should stop standing right next to those gigantic speakers, Yo La Tengo said "we'll see you tomorrow!" and left the stage through the crowd.
Jeff Tweedy headlined Bowery Ballroom one night later, and Yo La Tengo continue playing Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's through 12/8 (the final night of Hanukkah). More pictures and some videos from the third night, below...
Todd Barry @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Want to laugh Tuesday night? Head over to Lolita Bar at Broome and Allen for another edition of "Tell Your Friends!". This week's special guests include HANNIBAL BURESS (who performs a free show every Sunday at Knitting Factory) (and who recently opened for Aziz Ansari at Beacon Theater), LIAM McENEANEY, ANDY DE LA TOUR, and a "MYSTERY GUEST" who "is doing a big big show later in the week, and can't be advertised for this. He appears all over television and films, though, and this may be your last chance to see him in a basement before he's too famous for our show. - A MUST SEE!" Hmm.
Speaking of a big big show later in the week, Nick Kroll's two tapings at Music Hall of Williamsburg take place this Thursday, 11/18.
MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden will be a guest at the live broadcast of WFMU's comedy/variety show "Seven Second Delay" at UCB Theatre on Wednesday (11/17). $5.00 tickets are still on sale, though note that he won't be performing. They'll be interviewing him, but they promise they have a couple of surprises planned. Other guests appearing on the same show: former New York Times Ombudsman Dan Okrent, and author / gambling expert / former bookie Beth Raymer.
That WFMU thing is early - like 6pm. Stick around after for an edition of Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkel's Totally J/K with special guests Hari Kondabalu (Comedy Central Presents), Greg Johnson (Sirius/XM Radio) "& more!" Then stay even longer, cause Joe Mande is also part of the show right after that too. Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn & Ed Gavagan also perform in "The Nights of Our Lives"
Much like Pee Wee Herman, Colin Quinn has a new show on Broadway (which is directed by Jerry Seinfeld) (the Colin show) (Jerry didn't direct the Pee Wee show). We are giving away tickets to see Pee Wee. The Apiary has a pair up for grabs to see Colin.
What about Eugene Mirman you ask? Well, in addition to stuff we've mentioned in the past and his somewhat regularly scheduled Sunday night shows at Union Hall, you can catch him along with John Roderick (as Santa Claus), A.C. Newman, John Hodgman, Gary Shteyngart, and Ollabelle on December 17th at City Winery for the next edition of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders. Tickets are on sale.
You will also find Eugene Mirman at the Bell House on December 12th for "Pretty Good Friends (formerly Tearing the Veil of Maya) End of the Year Holiday Blowout" with Kristen Schaal, Jon Glaser and "more to be announced." Tickets are on sale.
Speaking of Kristen Schaal, was she at Littlefield last night/tonight/Monday night for "Hot Tub with Kurt"? It's unclear from the listings whether Kurt Braunohler is doing "Hot Tub" without her every Monday night through 11/29. Upcoming listed guests include Wyatt Cenac, Laura Krafft, Dan Friel, Jon Friedman, Liam McEneaney, and Chris Rozzi.
Patton Oswalt has four shows coming up at Caroline's - two on January 7th and two on January 8th. Tickets are on sale.
On other comedy news, check out Eugene Mirman's posted set of tour dates:
Sun, Nov 7 - Tearing The Veil of Maya @ Union HallYou can also catch Eugene at Brooklyn Bowl in November and at the Rock Shop in December, and probably many other Sundays at Union Hall in the future (as Tearing the Veil of Maya is semi-regular occurrence that recently turned four)
Sun, Nov 14 - Tearing The Veil of Maya @ Union Hall
Sat, Jan 22 - Opening for Aziz Ansari @ Carnegie Hall
And don't forget you can catch Hannibal Buress (friend of Avey Tare?) for free every Sunday at Knitting Factory in another section of Brooklyn, including on Halloween (Tearing the Veil of Maya is taking that day off).
PREVIOUSLY: Nick Kroll has some tapings coming up
Check out a video of Reggie Watts playing a song about pancakes on his iPhone below...
In their own words, "PALOMAR is playing a "benefits residency" every Tuesday [at the Rock Shop] from Nov 16-Dec 14, called 5 GREAT NIGHTS, 5 GREAT CAUSES. The band will play songs from their new, yet-to-be-released album, and have roped in some big names including Nada Surf, Charles and Kevin of The Wrens and many more." Other guests at the shows include Walter Schreifels, Todd Barry, Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, and Robbers on High Street. Right now only $40 tickets are on sale. That gets you into all five shows. Individual show tickets will be on sale Friday.
Exact dates, full lineups, flyer, and more below...
Festival of Strikes: A Benefit for JDub is taking place at Brooklyn Bowl on November 30th (Haukkah eve) featuring JDub artists The Sway Machinery, DeLeon, and other special guests to be added. Eugene Mirman will host. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.
Highline Ballroom is hosting the 4th Annual Menorah Horah on December 4th. The burlesque-filled lineup for the night includes The Schlep Sisters, Minnie Tonka, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Jonny Porkpie, Sapphire Jones, Dottie Lux, Angelique A'lamode, Etta-May Freeway, Lady Rizo, DJ Mikey Palms and host Seth Herzog
And speaking of Hanukkah (December 1-9, 2010), much like Yo La Tengo, Matisyahu is returning to New York City with Hanukah shows this year, but in a slightly less ambitious way . He'll be here for the two nights preceding Hanukkah and only stay for three actual Hanukah dates (instead of playing all 8 nights in NYC like he did in the past). This time he'll finish up his own "Festival of Light" in other east coast states. Tickets are on sale now for 11/29 at Brooklyn Bowl, 11/30 at Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Tally Hall, 12/4 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DJ Rekha, and 12/5 at Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Moon Taxi. Other dates include 12/1 at Northern Lights - Clifton Park, NY, 12/6 at Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA, 12/7 at Ram's Head Live - Baltimore, MD, 12/8 at Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA, and 12/9 at State Theatre - Portland, ME.
Speaking of artists linked to the jam band scene playing multiple nights in NYC with various openers, The Disco Biscuits are playing three nights at Terminal 5, and they definitely win in the opener department. Raekwon is opening up the 12/27 show. DFA artist Holy Ghost! is opening on 12/28 and Crystal Method is 12/29. Tickets are on sale now.
And while we're on the subject, Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, is playing The Wellmont Theatre on December 28. Tickets are on sale now.
The Roots are playing 3 sets on New Years Eve at Brooklyn Bowl.
But sorry for getting ahead of myself, you probably still don't even know what you're doing on Halloween.
words & photos by David Andrako
"Boo Todd relentlessly. Throw shit at him. When Jon (Benjamin) and I tell you to stop, ignore us and boo louder." - David Cross's instructions to the audience just before Todd Barry's "surprise" appearance.
The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival came to a close on Sunday, its fourth and final day, at The Bell House with two sold out shows. There was the early show billed as "Wes and Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders", and the late show "A Toddless Tinkle."
Friend and frequent collaborator of Eugene, John Wesley Harding, hosted the early show along with Eugene. The show featured performances by Yo La Tengo, John Oliver, Colson Whitehead, Darin Strauss, and Scott McCaughey.
Darin Strauss, the Brooklyn based author of "Half a Life" read a recently written piece entitled "Puberty", which was an autobiographical story set in the mid 1980s that involved gaining entrance to a much cooler high school classmate's party. Scott McCaughey, touring member of REM, performed two songs backed by Harding and his backing band The English UK including a 5 minute tribute to the 1986 Mets.
Eugene Mirman made a brief appearance with his newly purchased $380 Theremin and also returned to the stage to "sing" a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." Colson Whitehead, the New York based author, read a chapter from his best selling 2009 book, Sag Harbor. "John Wesley Harding's favorite comedian", John Oliver, from The Daily Show and the upcoming "Smurfs" movie followed with a set that featured a particularly interesting story about a gig in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Yo La Tengo closed the show with a five song set that featured both Harding and McCaughey and included covers of "I'm A Believer" and The Kinks' "All That Will."
Between the shows Eugene made his way out to the dunk tank in front of The Bell House as John Oliver and Daniel Kitson threw balls at the target and were cheered on by the long line of fans waiting for the 2nd show.
The 2nd show, "A Toddless Tinkle", was hosted by Tinkle founders David Cross and Jon Benjamin. Todd Barry, the other member of the Tinkle crew was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg as an opening act for Superchunk. From the beginning of the show Cross and Benjamin let the crowd in on the fact that Todd would be making a "surprise" walk on sometime between 10 and 11PM. Both agreed that the proper greeting for Todd would be for the audience to boo him off stage. Throughout the evening random audience members were brought onstage to audition to fill the role of "Todd." "Todd #2", an audience member named Andy ventured out into the audience to attempt to do some of Todd's famous crowd work. Andy failed miserably but did offer some unintentional comedy when he approached (and didn't recognize) Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo and mocked him for his orange shirt and told him that he looked like Gilbert Gotfried. Cross quickly jumped in and saved Kaplan from being mocked by the auditioning "Todd".
Todd Barry made his way to The Bell House shortly after 11PM and was greeted by the aforementioned boos as well as cups, beer cans and hundreds of expletives. He attempted to win the crowd over but ended up quickly leaving the stage and the venue.
The nearly 3 hour show featured short sets from John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and Karen Kilgariff. Festival favorite Daniel Kitson was the final performer of the evening with a 12 minute set that saw him chastise the audience over their reaction to Todd Barry's appearance and pointed out that everyone went along with the "mean boys" (Cross and Benjamin). The show ended with the 2nd ever screening of Cross and Bejamin's "Paid Programming", a mock informercial that aired a handful of times on Adult Swim last fall. The 11 minute short was meant to be aired at 4AM and didn't have any mention of the creators. And with that the 3rd Annual Festival came to a close. 9 shows, 3 venues, 25 velvet paintings of Eugene and 1 angry Todd Barry.
words & photos by David Andrako
"It looks like America might have fallen in love with a Pakistani!" Eugene Mirman after Kumail Nanjiani's well received set at The Bell House.
The third day of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (Saturday) saw four shows performed at three different venues around Park Slope and Gowanus along with performances from over 20 comedians, a song by John Wesley Harding and a heavy dose of Bourne Trilogy references.
The early show, "Mike Birbiglia Interviews A Bunch Of Sort Of Authors and Sarah Vowell", was hosted by the aforementioned Birbiglia and saw him interviewing Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman, Patrick Borelli and Sarah Vowell about their most recent books. Birbiglia based the order of the interviews on his anxiety about the interviews from highest to lowest. Sarah Vowell went first and Eugene Mirman closed. Sarah, the most accomplished author on the panel, admitted being jealous of Chuck Klosterman "because he would get mentioned on The O.C." She also spoke of her next project, a historical book on the American annexation of Hawaii.
Michael Showalter's book "Mr. Funny Pants" will be released early next year and was described as "a book about how to write a book." He and Birbiglia read a chapter from the book that recapped a fictional interview with Charlie Rose. Patrick Borelli gave a surprisingly heartfelt slideshow of headshots from his book, "Holy Headshots." Birgibilia reminded Borelli about their short-lived two man improv team "Michael O' Patrick" from earlier in their careers. Eugene Mirman joined Birbiglia to chat about his book "Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life" that was released in February of 2009. The two also recounted the origin of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that was hatched during a night of heavy drinking and may or may not have been the result of a dare that Eugene accepted. The early show ended with all of the authors having a Q&A with the audience.
The two middle shows of the evening ran simultaneously at Union Hall and The Rock Shop. Eugene headed over to Union Hall to host "Eugene's World Class Masters of Comedy" which featured sets from Daniel Kitson (who also performed the night before), Ron Lynch, Marc Maron and Todd Barry. Being that I'd seen or would be seeing all of the comedians at Union Hall (except Todd Barry) at other shows during the festival I opted to head over to The Rock Shop for "A Night of Gay or Foreign Comedy." The show was hosted by Gabe Liedman and featured Maeve Higgins (who also performed the night before), Glenn Wool, Brent Sulivan, Kumail Nanjiani and Mehran Khaghani. Standouts of the show were Higgins, Boston based comic Mehran Khagani and Brent Sullivan (I agree with Eugene's description in the Festival guide that one of his jokes is a Top 5 joke of 2010).
The final show of the evening was held back at The Bell House and was billed as (deep breath) "Why Do I Know Everything about Everyone At The French Dinner? An Evening of Espionage Themed Comedy Celebrating Our Love of the Bourne Trilogy and All Things Spy." Eugene opened the show by explaining that his love for the Bourne Trilogy began when he watched the first film and showed a short film that he created in tribute to the trilogy. Kumail Nanjiani, fresh off a quick set at The Rock Shop, was the first comic of the evening and admitted that his set was "based on someone who watched the Bourne Trilogy yesterday". His set, which ended with a story about being subjected to racist taunts in Los Angeles, was rewarded by the loudest applause of the festival (so far).
Jon Glaser returned to the stage, not as Dr. Attitude (his character from Thursday night's show) but as The Man In The Green Mask - a CIA spy sent to educate the audience on what it takes to be a spy. He was unwilling to answer most questions during a brief Q&A but did admit to melting a gun into the shape of a banana. Friend of Eugene, John Wesley Harding (who also plays the fest Sunday night), performed a song written especially for the evening, "A Ballad Of The Bourne Trilogy". Sarah Vowell made several appearances between acts to read Bourne-themed poetry that was penned by Eugene.
Leo Allen and Eric Slovin (Allen and Slovin) performed in complete homemade, glue filled costumes as Spy vs. Spy and spent most of their set lamenting having booked a comedy show on Yom Kippur and talking about their day spent at Temple Beth Chuckles. Marc Maron, after performing at Union Hall, closed the show with a thoroughly researched set that featured his thoughts on spys, espionage, proper mic stands and the existence (or not) of his FBI file.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
words & photos by David Andrako
Daniel Kitson / Jim Gaffigan
The first show of the evening was held at Union Hall and was billed as "Montreal Callbacks" - a reference to the Montreal Comedy Festival. Kurt Braunohler began the show with a brief set before he assumed the role of host for the evening. The night featured young stand-ups many of whom can be found performing weekly at clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Mike Lawrence, Greg Johnson, Max Silvestri, Andrea Rosen, Ken Reid, Dan St. Germain and Hannibal Buress.
Highlights of the show included Ken Reid's set, which featured stories of his "white trash" childhood growing up in Massachusetts, Dan St. Germain's self depreciating tales of living in Brooklyn and Andrea Rosen recounting awkward encounters with celebrities and long lost friends. I caught the first few minutes of always great Hannibal Buress's set before heading off to The Bell House for the second show of the night.
Invite Them Up, the much beloved weekly comedy show that Eugene was involved with from 2005-2008 returned for a sold out performance at The Bell House. The show was again hosted by Bobby Tisdale, and featured performances by ITU co-host (and the host of the night) Eugene Mirman, A.D. Miles, , Maeve Higgins, Morgan Murphy, Reggie Watts, Daniel Kitson and special guest, Jim Gaffigan.
Jim Gaffigan, who headlines SIX shows at the Best Buy (formerly Nokia) Theater in December, was greeted with some of the loudest cheers of the evening and the fact that the comics from the earlier show had made their way down to The Bell House to watch his set from the back of the room speaks to his status as a massively respected comedian. His unannounced appearance strengthened an already packed show.
Daniel Kitson, the British stand-up and storyteller, ended the show with an hour long set that featured some impressive crowd work and allowed him to display his razor sharp commentary and lightning fast wit. After admitting that he "didn't have the professionalism to be a middle act," Kitson launched into quizzing audience members on their names and occupations only to later weave them all together in a freestyle rant comparing audience members to each other. In addition to his biting commentary, he wasn't afraid to display his vulnerability explaining that, "I'm quite lonely and I live alone. This is my chance to chat." He also addressed his stutter, which was apparent during his performance. At the age of 33, his stand-up act is impressive and made even more impressive by the fact that Kitson has turned down most television work in the US and Britain. He has performed both story shows and stand-up at the past eleven Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.
words & photos by David Andrako
"I will erase all of the fun that you've had tonight. You didn't pay to see me. I should do 40 minutes of broken jokes." Surprise headliner Louis CK
The first night of the 3rd Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival was billed as "An Evening of Comedy from 1986" and featured sets from Emo Phillips, Tony V, Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser. As mentioned above, Louis CK was the unannounced headliner and he worked out some new material in a 45 minute plus set. Eugene Mirman acted as emcee, dj and Teddy Ruxpin operator.
During the 10 minute walk from my apartment to The Bell House I surveyed the damage caused by the fast moving storms that tore through Brooklyn and Queens several hours before the show began. Downed trees, crushed cars and closed streets were rampant as residents were returning home to a neighborhood that was affected by one of the most powerful storms in recent history.
Eugene Mirman kicked off the evening with a 3D film that he made, offered the audience duck (which he'd ordered from a local Chinese restaurant) and directed everyone towards the merch tables which featured everything from festival posters to personal items that Eugene brought from his apartment and had priced "a little high, so that no one would buy them." Tony V, a Boston comedian whom Eugene admired as a young comedian, followed with a tight set that set the mood for the evening. Larry Murphy, another Boston comedian best know for his work on Adult Swim's "Delocated" and "Assy Mcgee", performed as "Sandy Gorbin" the world's greatest impressionist.
Ron Lynch, yet another Boston comic and one who was a working comedian in 1986 turned in a varied set that featured jokes from his 1986 set, slight of hand magic and the playing of Louis CK's 1986 audition tape that Louie recorded in an attempt to be booked at Ron's comedy club. Louie interrupted Ron's set and chastised him for playing the tape and retreated backstage. Dr. Attitude aka Jon Glaser (aka the creator of Delocated) appeared on stage in doctor's scrubs with FUCK YOU spelled out in electrical tape and Van Halen's "Panama" as his intro song. Glaser's attitude heavy set ended with him mocking the audience and interrupting Eugene as he introduced Emo Phillips, the much beloved comedian. Emo, making his first appearance at the festival, was a ball of manic energy that worked his way through topics including religion, greeting cards and marriage. His 20-minute set was punctuated by biting social commentary mixed in with clever wordplay and a stage presence that could best be described as elastic.
Louis CK, one of the most respected working stand-ups today, closed the show with a set of new material that was both familiar and fresh. Unafraid to attack the audience Louie pointed out that "You all hate everything real. You're a bunch of meta motherfuckers" as he worked through material as varied as the origins of the Roman calendar and back to school clothes shopping with his daughters.
More pictures from last night, below...
by Klaus Kinski
There are some big time comedy events upon us that require your immediate attention. First off, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival kicks off TONIGHT (9/16) at The Bell House with An Evening of Comedy From 1986 featuring Emo Philips, Tony V., Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser, and Eugene Mirman. I am baffled that tickets are still on sale, but they are, so GET EM! The Fest continues through Sunday with some of the best line-ups this city has seen in ages. Participating venues include The Bell House, Union Hall, and The Rock Shop. See the full schedule below.
If you're a Manhattanite, just plain too lazy to make the trek out to Gowanus, or both, Tenacious D's less annoying half Kyle Gass will be tearing The Mercury Lounge a new one tonight with his band Trainwreck. This late show has doors at 9:30pm and tickets are still up for grabs. If you're a Brooklynite, just plain too lazy to make the trek out to Manhattan, or busy tonight, or all three, Trainwreck's tour also takes them to Brooklyn Bowl on September 21st. Tickets available for that too. All dates below.
Wait, are you telling me that neither of these shows are floating your boat? WTF? Well, howsabout a very titillating plan C? Longtime friend of BV Aziz Ansari headlines the massive Town Hall tonight. Looks like tickets for the show are gonzo, but check in with the box office later (or Craigslist) (or outside the venue) as they may have a few kicking around. You can alternatively go see him at the Beacon Theatre in November. Tickets are still available to that show that is part of this year's New York Comedy Festival.
And while we're on the subject of comedy happening at Town Hall, Demetri Martin has a whopping TWO SHOWS happening there on Friday September 24th and Saturday September 25th. Tickets to both shows are currently still on sale. I realize that in these tough times, it might be difficult to buy tickets for such a show. Luckily for you I have a pair of FRONT ROW TICKETS to give away to one, super lucky winner (for the Saturday show). Follow the procedure below and maybe, just maybe, you'll get all Charlie Bucket and whatnot. All dates and stuff down there too....