Entries tagged with: Ira Glass
photos by David Andrako
Eugene & Reggie / 'Bob's Burgers' songfest / Stephin Merritt / John Hodgman
The 2015 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival happened over the weekend with events at The Bell House and Union Hall (and then a EMCF edition of StarTalk Live! on Monday at Beacon Theatre). Among this year's festivities: Mirman's 'Pretty Good Friends' show featured the work of Elegant Too, the production team behind the songs on Bob's Burgers. They brought up different performers to sing the songs, including Jon Spencer & Cristina Martinez (Boss Hog, etc) who did "Sex Song" and a couple others, AC Newman and Eleanor Friedberger performed "Fart School for the Gifted" and "Electric Love" and Mirman sang "Gene's Snake Song." They brought out everyone at the end to cover Blondie's "One Way or Another."
On Sunday, since the Emmys were happening in real life at the same time, the EMCF hosted the Fake Emmys. It should be noted that there were a few past EMCF performers up for real awards, including Amy Schumer, Jon Glaser, Jessi Klein, John Oliver, Josh Gondelman, John Mulaney, Louis CK, not to mention Archer and Bob's Burgers
Other fun things at this year's fest: Mirman hired a mariachi band to play the crowd out; there was free ice cream for everyone on Saturday night; and there were curiosities like the "Eye Contact Booth with Eugene" booths where you could "Get Local Real Estate advice" and "Swear at a Local Broker" and outside Bell House was the "Bounce with someone we paid to compliment you in a bouncy castle." Also: Reggie Watts, John Hodgman, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, Jessi Klein, Janeane Garofalo, Ira Glass, Jo Firestone, Scott Adsit, Jon Benjamin and many more.
Check out more pictures from the 2015 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival below...
photo: Ira Glass @ Eurgene Mirman Comedy Fest 2013 (more by David Andrako)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Fishbone @ Brooklyn Bowl (day & night shows)
The long-running genre benders Fishbone blend ska, punk, funk, metal and more into a sound that's entirely their own. They play two shows today, an all ages 2 PM show and then a night show.
Glasser, Monogold, Michael Beharie @ Brooklyn Flea
Fishbone isn't your only all ages daytime option today. You can also see art popster Glasser during the day at the Brooklyn Flea, and this one is free.
Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Having spent many years hosting his own free Sunday night comedy show in Knitting Factory's front room, Hannibal Buress is these days becoming more of a household name (well, some houses at least). Tonight he returns to his old digs for what is a small show for him these days. Sold out, natch.
Martin Rev, One Prayer One Sin, Mystic Ruler, Courtship Ritual @ Saint Vitus
The influence of Suicide, and Martin Rev's innovative use of synthesizers, on the current state of indie/punk/synthpop/alternative/etc can hardly be overstated. Rev plays tonight with some of his sonic progeny.
Cold Beat @ Other Music
With Grass Widow on hold or something, Hannah Lew started Cold Beat, drawing on a variety of early-'80s postpunk influences. With a solid, ripping lineup the band just released their awesome second album, Into the Air. This is a free in-store, 7 PM.
Cold Beat, Heaven's Gate, Honey @ Silent Barn
You can also catch Cold Beat later tonight, the last of their four NYC shows this weekend, along with the hazy rock of Heaven's gate and the MC5-ish Honey. That's a good line-up!
The Feelies, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks @ Storm King Art Center
One of Hoboken's finest, an endlessly influential band whose sound -- stemming from Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers -- is timeless. While their nervy debut album gets the most attention, their gentle second album The Good Earth is not too far off from the good vibe music of Alex Bleeker & the Freaks. This show is free with Storm King park admission. A nice day trip for those inclined.
James Chance & The Contortions, Ex-Models, Dreamcrusher, Dutch E Germ (DJ Set) @ Trans-Pecos
This is part of a series of Sunday afternoon shows at Trans-Pecos (who have a lovely backyard, if you've never been) and today features no-wave legend James Chance & the Controtions as well as some simlarly skronky acts as well. 1 PM start.
Greg Graffin (of Bad Religion) @ Gramercy Theatre
Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin has been going strong for over 30 years, and right now he's focusing on his new book, Population Wars. He accompanied the book's release with a 7" of acoustic songs, and he'll be performing solo tonight.
Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest
Started basically as a dare, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival has grown into a much-anticipated event. It's the final night of EMCF shows the Bell House with "Talent Show Presents: The Fake Emmys!" featuring Elna Baker, Kevin Townley, Starlee Kine, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, Maeve Higgins, Cintra Wilson, Ophira Eisenberg, Jean Grae, and Ira Glass. Tickets are still available.
"Tree of Codes" w/ Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson, Jamie xx @ Park Avenue Armory
Choreographer Wayne McGregor and visual artist Olafur Eliasson have a new ballet called Tree of Codes and the music for it was done by Jamie xx, who's having an incredible year thanks to his very well-received new album In Colour. The ballet runs through September 21.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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photos by Amanda Hatfield
St. Vincent / Nelly Furtado, tUnE-yArDs, Dev Hynes / finale
In "Contemporary Color," a copresentation of Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Byrne has organized collaborations among 10 elite color guard teams and recording artists, including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado and Devonté Hynes. Between acts, the showcase, performed on Saturday at Barclays Center, included video clips making it clear that for many students, color guard is a way to find like-minded souls in what can be the most harrowing of American experiences: high school.After two shows last week in Toronto, David Byrne brought his music-meets-color-guard "Contemporary Color" extravaganza to Barclays Center on Saturday (6/27) and Sunday (6/28), pairing performers such as St. Vincent, How to Dress Well, Dev Hynes, Ad Rock & Money Mark, tUnE-yArDs, Nelly Furtado and Zola Jesus (performing songs written just for this production) with high school color guard teams. Pictures from Saturday's performance, plus video of St. Vincent and David Byrne's performances from Sunday, continue below...
The idea to pair color guard with live music is an intriguing one, but the results don't entirely click. One exception was the pairing of Somerville High School in New Jersey with Money Mark and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys whose music, not unlike that of a marching band, grew in power. But too much of the music was on the slow side, suffocating the routines and making it apparent that the earnestness of the performers clashed with the musicians who had difficulty shedding their personas. They may have been in bands in high school, but it didn't feel as if they had ever been band geeks. - [NY Times]
Serial's Sarah Koenig arm wrestling Ira Glass
It's official: "Serial" is the hottest podcast in the history of the known universe, the most significant moment in audio since the "War of the Worlds" broadcast, and the most innovative development in communication arts since the smoke signal. In fact, it's a breakthrough symbolizing the Great Podcast Renaissance of 2014. [Yahoo]Like composer Nick Diamonds, This American Life's Ira Glass was involved with the most popular podcast of all time, Sarah Koenig's Serial, which aired its final episode about Hae-Min Lee and Adnan Syed today (12/18). What did you think of the ending (which was slightly different than Funny or Die's version)? I thought it ended okay, but will leave it at that. #nospoilers
Ira Glass (first cousin once removed of Philip) is of course the host of public radio's popular This American Life of which Serial is a spinoff. When not speaking on the radio, Ira sometimes relaxes with a documentary. He listed some of his favorites for the Sundance Doc Club, including Stop Making Sense, and crime drama The Thin Blue Line.
Ira Glass also often appears live in front of audiences, and that continues to prove true throughout the next year, as you can see from his busy schedule outlined below. He appears at Town Hall in NYC this Friday (flyer below), and has upcoming talks at Yale, the Association of Performing Arts, Mayo Performing Arts Center, and many more places.
Dates and video instructions on how to listen to a podcast (by Ira Glass), below...
This may be old news to you, especially if you're a Serial podcast-listening, indie rock expert who paid attention to the credits for the past 3+ months and heard Nick Thorburn's name and immediately recognized it as that guy also known as Nick Diamonds from Islands and the recently reunited Unicorns. If not, now you know!
You can listen to the FINAL episode of Serial season one TODAY to find out who did it, and then get nostalgic for all 12 episodes by listening to the entire album's worth of Serial music by Nick, below...
Regina Spektor at Capitol Theatre in 2012 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
As discussed, there's a benefit for Doctors Without Borders (who are on the front lines of dealing with the ebola crisis in Africa) going down at NYC's Irving Plaza on November 19 with an awesome lineup of Fred Armisen, Jim Gaffigan, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Hannibal Buress, and Ted Leo, plus hosts Greg Barris and Jena Friedman. We mentioned that more acts would be added and we now know of two more good ones: Regina Spektor and radio/TV personality Ira Glass. Ira will be performing with dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass, who joined him this past September for the premiere of their show, "Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host." Tickets are still available. Stay tuned for any more updates.
Watch the 'Three Acts' trailer below...
Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett,
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival began last night at the Bell House with a singing competition for comedians dubbed Gowanus Idol judged by festival founder Eugene Mirman along with Amy Schumer, NPR's This American Life host Ira Glass, and comedian Jon Glaser as Derrick Brown's dad. He took over as judge when Amy had to leave.
Tickets are still available to see 5 Comics to Watch Get on Variety's 10 Comics to Watch List featuring Mehran Khaghani, Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, Janelle James, Joe Zimmerman, host Josh Gondelman at Union Hall tonight, and for the Bell House's A Night of Cutie-Pies with Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Karen Kilgariff, and SNL's new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che.
Spoiler: Bridget Everett won the competition. Catch her show at Joe's Pub called ROCK BOTTOM, which we saw last week. It's been extended until October 16th.
Pictures from the Bell House continue below...
The five-day RadioLoveFest is coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June, featuring various live radio shows with a variety of performers including Andrew Bird, Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen, They Might Be Giants, and Jonathan Coulton. On June 7th, Ira Glass will host an episode of This American Life live from BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, and though it is being billed as "one night only", it is now two shows in that one night. This is the updated description:
This American Life uses this evening at BAM as a chance to try something it's never attempted before: true stories staged as radio dramas. One of the stories will be an original mini-musical by Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of In the Heights and Bring It On. In another, The Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company will perform while Glass narrates. Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) is writing and performing a mini-musical of his own, built around a real story from This American Life, and Mike Birbiglia will narrate another true story in his inimitable comedic form.Tickets at BAM's website.
This American Life is a public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to 2.2 million listeners each week. Another million people listen each week by podcast. It's produced by WBEZ Chicago.
Stephin Merritt, who has a book of Scrabble-based poetry coming out in the fall, also has a show coming up in North Carolina as part of Merge Records' continuing 25th anniversary celebration. His Merge25 performance, not part of the actual Merge25 fest, is instead part of a special Merge parternship with the 'Duke Performances Concert Series', as part of Duke's 'Music in the Gardens' series on the Duke University campus. All shows in that series are listed below:
Andrew Bird at RIverside Church in 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Singer/songwriter/violin looper Andrew Bird is going on a tour this summer with his new band The Hands of Glory, "an old timey acoustic configuration featuring Tift Merritt, Alan Hampton, Bowl of Fire alumnus Kevin O'Donnell, and Eric Heywood on pedal steel." That tour hits NYC for a free show at Central Park Summerstage on July 8 with Here We Go Magic singer Luke Temple. That show starts at 7 PM. All dates are listed below.
Andrew Bird will play NYC sooner than that though for RadioLoveFest, "a vibrant cross-section of genres and formats from storytelling, to music, to conversation," which runs from June 4-8 at BAM. Andrew appears on June 6 at the BAM Harvey Theater. Details:
The two-time Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Andersen, novelist, journalist, and co-founder of legendary Spy magazine, gets inside the creative mind, introducing listeners to the people who are creating and shaping our culture on movie sets, in galleries, and on the internet.Other highlights include a screening of Talking Heads film Stop Making Sense on June 5 in the BAM Rose Cinemas with a Q&A with director Jonathan Demme and WNYC's Brian Lehrer; NYC/WNYC's Ask Me Another show on June 6 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House with They Might Be Giants and house musician Jonathan Coulton; and WNYC"s Soundcheck on June 7 at BAM Harvey Theater with The Walkmen frontman (and now solo artist) Hamilton Leithauser.
At BAM, Andersen presents an evening of music and conversation featuring Andrew Bird, one of the most acclaimed and inventive songwriters in indie music, and Jennifer Egan, whose novel A Visit from the Goon Squad won the Pulitzer Prize.
Tickets for all RadioLoveFest shows are on sale now or will be on sale soon.
Full RadioLoveFest schedule, with the list of Andrew Bird tour dates, below...
photos by David Andrako
Mirman & Neko Case / dancing Ira Glass / Michael Ian Black
The 6th annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival just wrapped up last night (9/29), bringing four nights of laughter -- from both big names and rising talent -- to The Bell House and Union Hall. Here's picture highlights from the first two days (September 26 & 27), including: The Urbane Comedy Hour (9/26) which featured a string quartet and dancing (NPR's Ira Glass included), along with comedians Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac and Mike Birbiglia; the always popular Star Talk Live! (9/27) with astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman, Stephen Gorevan, W. Kamau Bell and Jason Sudekis; and Invite Them Up (9/27) which featured Todd Barry, Michael Ian Black, Kurt Braunohler, Neko Case (fresh off her big Radio City show) and more.
More pics below...
by Arielle Gordon
Eugene Mirman has 10 Reasons and... (more by David Andrako)
As we announced recently, the sixth annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival just announced its lineup. With so many comedy options every week in New York, here are ten reasons you should see some shows at EMCF this year:
- The festival started as a joke when Mike Birbiglia and producer Julie Smith suggested that it would be ridiculous to have a festival named after Eugene Mirman. Six years and various tours around the country later, it's still happening, and it's still one of the strongest comedy festivals around. This year's lineup is stronger than ever, featuring everyone from Jim Gaffigan to The Daily Show producer Jena Friedman. Support ironic festival titles. Go see some shows at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival this year.
- NPR diehards will be happy to learn that Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life will be making an appearance in the first show of the festival, the aptly titled "Urbane Comedy Hour." It promises to be a hilarious show that you can brag to your friends about, featuring Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman and more.
- It's the only festival that features accurate show titles, such as the "Comics Marc Maron Will Probably Resent in the Next Couple of Years" Show, featuring up-and-coming comedians such as Adam Newman, Jim Tews, Kate Berlant, and many more who will definitely keep the podcast pundit up at night.
- Eugene brought the festival to Boston this year, with the help of $5,000 in Kickstarter donations. In order to raise that money, Eugene promised (and delivered) some crazy perks, including "an autographed headshot of Eugene that says, 'AMERICA'S LITTLE DARLING' at the bottom," and "your name will be printed in the festival guide, in small print, as Racist." If he's willing to go to those lengths to bring Kristen Schaal to Boston, who knows what insane things he's willing to do to make this year's return to Brooklyn the best festival yet.
- Eugene is bringing back Invite Them Up, a legendary weekly stand up show that has featured everyone from Aziz Ansari to Chelsea Peretti. He and Bobby Tisdale host the show, which so far has Michael Che and Mehran Khaghani billed. More great standups are definitely going to be added, so be sure to get tickets before it sells out.
- Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman both released their first full length Comedy Central specials this year, so this festival is a great time to test if the fame has gone to their heads. Will Kristen wear a diamond-studded dress to Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen? Will Eugene bathe in champagne onstage while Yo La Tengo perform live behind him? Probably not, but who knows?! Only attendees of the festival will find out.
- Pretty Good Friends is a show near and dear to my heart and to the hearts of comedy nerds everywhere (probably). Every Sunday at Union Hall, Eugene and Kristen (until she ceremoniously moved to LA) hosted this awesome standup showcase. Well, it's rearing its glorious head again, closing out the festival with the cast of Bob's Burgers and a premiere of the new season of the show. Get tickets now before you're jealous of everyone who got them before they sold out.
- Last year's festival featured John Oliver, H Jon Benjamin (in a fedora! And in armor!), John Mulaney, Sarah Silverman, Demetri Martin, and so much more. And a naked guy! For sure, the sixth anniversary will bring just as many big-name standups, all while keeping it weird with surprise guests and show titles that plead with its comedians to stay in New York.
- Two years ago, Andrew Bird made a surprise appearance at the EMCF. Who's next? Belle and Sebastian? Stephin Merritt? The Velvet Underground (probably not)?! In any event, this may be the only comedy festival to feature surprise musical acts on a show hosted by Michael Showalter, which should be reason enough to check it out.
- Eugene is one of the hardest working Brooklyn comedians out there. He's constantly working out material at Union Hall, The Bell House, and other local venues, and he's kept his festival there every year. He does great work with 826NYC, and he is very nice in his responses to mail sent to his Dear Eugene email address. He's a good person. Support his festival, won't you?
The 6th annual EUGENE MIRMAN COMEDY FESTIVAL is returning to the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn this September...
Featuring expert curator and comedy host extraordinaire Eugene Mirman and an all-star cast of comedians, actors, musicans and super surprise guests, the EMCF has been called "the best ironic-comedy-festival-but-also-real-comedy-festival known to man" (HuffingtonPost).....EMCF 2013 sees the return of popular shows like StarTalk Live! and the legendary Invite Them Up and Pretty Good Friends. The festival is packed with amazing performers such as Kristen Schaal, Jim Gaffigan, Ira Glass, Wyatt Cenac, Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Che, Kurt Braunohler, Leo Allen and many more!Tickets are on sale now the shows happening September 26-29 at the Bell House and Union Hall. Full lineup with links below...
"Highlights of amazing @tibethouseus concert: Ira Glass dancing, Jim James singing, & Patti Smith & Phillip Glass performing a Ginsberg poem." - Ann Napolitano
Jim James and Ariel Pink (via Force Field)
The 23rd Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert went down at Carnegie Hall last night (2/21) with Jim James, Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs), Ariel Pink, Patti Smith, Rahzel, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Smith, and artistic director Philip Glass, with backing from Scorchio Quartet, dancing from This American Life's Ira Glass, and an opening Monk chant.
As these shows usually go, the participating musicians all collaborated with each other on stage throughout the show. Some highlights include Ariel Pink being joined by Philip Glass at one point and then Merrill Garbus at another, Patti Smith reading Allen Ginsberg's "Wichita Vortex Sutra" as Philip Glass played backing piano, and the concert's final song, which saw everyone but Pink coming on stage for Patti Smith's "People Have the Power."
If you were there, did you see Uma Thurman in the audience? She was there with her father, Robert, a Buddhist writer who is President of TIbet House US, and who, along with Philip Glass, gave an introductory speech at the concert.
The full setlist and a couple shots of Jim James' set below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is currently on tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne, acting as co-musical director as well as one of their many band members. Since last week he's been chronocling that tour right here on BrooklynVegan. Welcome to the second installment, written last night...
End of rehearsals, Minneapolis, Milwaukee.
We finish our rehearsals at the beautiful Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Two full days of running the set as many times as possible takes a toll on the brass players' lips, but tightens up the choreography and transitions between songs considerably. Annie-B Parson is the choreographer for the show with Lizzie Dement assisting. She's worked with David in the past, and her next next project is with Baryshnikov--needless to say, she has some brilliant ideas that really expand the kind of performance we are used to. This is also the first time we have played the show with lighting design, which adds another level of difficulty.
The following morning the band heads to JFK for a flight to Minneapolis where we will have a much-needed day of rest. We travel on Sun Country Air. Ever heard of it? Me neither. The trip gets interesting when Ira Glass takes the seat next to me. He is on the way to Minneapolis to do a Q&A for the premiere of his and Mike Birbiglia's new film "Sleepwalk With Me". Always the workaholic, he interviews the guy sitting next to him who (after some deduction skills and Googling) I determine to be the inventor of the KneeDefender. He invites Jon and me to the premiere of his film that evening. The movie is great and we discover that Ira is as good at talking in person as he is on the air. The theater serves bourbon, a novelty for us (in the theater, not on its own).
The first show of the tour goes better than expected. It may sound obvious, but performing in front of a live audience adds an extra level of energy and intensity. It's like we finally realize the show, in its full potential, for the first time. Afterwards, a few of us go across the street to a bar where we meet some folks from Dero, the company that manufactures the bicycle racks David designs. One of the best aspects of this tour so far has been the focus on cycling. Nearly everyone in the band bought a folding Tern bicycle before we left. There are even a couple extras for the crew. This is the first time that I have toured with a bicycle and I will never leave home without one again. It's so nice to slip away from the tour for an hour or two for a long ride. It has also allowed me to see more of the city than the few blocks near the venue. Both Minneapolis and Milwaukee are great cities for cycling with long bike paths and beautiful views.
Next we go to Chicago for a day off. It's Carter's birthday, so we may have to get him a white wine spritzer or two.
To bed, for we rise at 9:30 for 10(ish),
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Kelly Pratt & band play the Chicago Theater tonight (9/18) before continuing on their tour which includes three NYC shows. Check out some more photos from their rehearsals in NJ, a video from Minneapolis, and all tour dates, below...
Mike Birbiglia's movie Sleepwalk With Me, which he co-wrote with Ira Glass, is opening at NYC's IFC Center in NYC tonight, Thursday, August 23, 2012. Tickets are on sale for tons of shows between now and August 30, but some are more special than others, especially the one at midnight tonight. Not only will Mike and Ira be there, but "wear your pajamas and get free popcorn and soda!" PLUS: "Birbiglia & Glass in person Fri Aug 24 & Sat Aug 25 at ALL SHOWS! Birbiglia in person Sun Aug 26 at 12:15, 2:05 & 4:00!"
More details, including who will be selling the popcorn, and what cities Mike and Ira are travelling with the movie next (hint: LA and Chicago), in the NY Magazine exclusive video below.
alternate headline: GetHard with Tasteful Nudes
by Klaus Kinski
Back in January, I briefly mentioned the profoundly hilarious book A Bad Idea I Am About to Do by one of NYC's most brilliant performers Chris Gethard. I was so focused on all the other bullshit I was writing about in that article that my short, simple, brief mention of this masterpiece of a book was a profane oversight. Gethard is a phenomenal comedian and storyteller who also happens to have his own Manhattan cable access show every Wednesday night at 11:00pm. The show is absolutely crazy, insane, funny, irresistible, addictive and totally viewable LIVE online. Each week the show manages to feel somehow crazier and funnier. Sometimes Chris is in a great mood and the show is brilliant. Sometimes he's in a crummy mood and the show is brilliant. He's got a lot of help, care of his fabulous in-studio audience, but the dude carries that sucker to an unprecedented plateau of brilliance. But, the book... the book is one of the funniest, most well articulated canons of short (true) stories I've ever read. Even if you knew nothing about Chris, what he does, where he's coming from... if you read this book with absolutely no precedent or preconceptions about the author, you'd still laugh your eyebrows off. The stories are funny and even touching, but it's Gethard's agilities as an author that is most remarkable. I've said it before and I will say it again; I am nobody's shill. But when something is this good, this under-appreciated, this remarkably-not-in-the-hands-of-people-who-read-on-the-subway, I feel that it is my duty to make things right. Buy it. Unless you hate laughing. And good writing. Then f-off outta here.
In keeping with the concept of a bad idea someone (Chris) is about to do, Chris recently announced that he would be making his way from Los Angeles, California all the way to the 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on foot. By June 7th. Without any money. Or places to stay. Or a phone. Or anything. This is a fan-propelled mission. It sets out to determine whether a person can get from point A to point B with just the help of his admirers and fans. Murder, starvation, molestation, exploitation, dehydration, masturbation(?) are all perils of a project this stupidly brilliant. The entire journey will be documented for your viewing pleasure. Want to help out? Check out the video below and allow Gethard do the 'splaining for me. There's tweetables and hashtags and cyberwhatnots for you to know about.
Oh, hey! Speaking of comedians I love who are also now published authors and are into Bonnaroo, I am sure you have by now done the right thing and pre-ordered Dave Hill's new tome Tasteful Nudes, right? Another absolutely hilarious and well executed book from another absolutely hilarious and well executed NYC based comedian. At the end of May, Dave will embark on a completely non-pretentious book tour that will make its way to The Bell House on Thursday May 24th (one night after Dave has a public conversation with Ira Glass in SoHo). This no holds barred event will have Mr. Dave Hill pulling out all the stops with appearances by John Hodgman, Janeane Garofalo, David Rakoff and music by Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf) and TAB the Band. There may even be an appearance by Little Michael Jackson, a bunch of lowrider cars, live animals, and maybe even a dunking machine. All tour dates, which were too difficult for me to cut and paste into this article because my hands hurt, can be found here. Tickets for the Brooklyn show, which are a measly $10, are available now. Oh, and buy the book if you haven't already because maybe he'll sign it or throw it out a window at one of his apperances, depending on the vibes. Check Dave's awesome book related rock and roll video, as well as a video featuring him, Dick Cavett, and Malcolm Gladwell, below.
photos by Erik Erikson
How Was Your Week? -- 2/2 @ the Bell House
Now 49 episodes in, each week Julie Klausner posts another free edition of her podcast "How Was Your Week?". Grab them all and subscribe at iTunes, and stay tuned for the edition that was taped at the Bell House back on 2/2 with Tom Scharpling, Sandra Bernhard, Ted Leo, Ira Glass, and Joe Mande. Meanwhile, check out Joe Mande every Thursday night at UCB East (including tonight), and check out more pictures from the 2/2 podcast event, below...
Saturday was the biggest day for the 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival which started with just one show at the Bell House on Thursday, and continued with one show each at the Bell House and Union Hall on Friday. Saturday looked like this:
6 PM @ Bell House: The Archer Variety Hour (and Panel)The first show at Union Hall featured Ron Funches, Tom Allen, Craig Baldo, Jena Friedman, Damien Lemon and Greg Johnson. The next was with Rick Jenkins, Ken Reid, Rick Canavan, Erin Judge, Matt D, Mehran Khaghani, Myq Kaplan, and Lamont Price.
9 PM @ Bell House: The Talent Show Presents: The Drunk Show
6:30 PM @ Union Hall: An Evening Of Very Likable Comedians
8:30 PM @ Union Hall: The Rick Jenkins Comedy Studio Showcase
The first show at the Bell House was moderated by Eugene and had Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, Lucky Yates and executive producer Matt Thompson. That was preceded by a talent show involving the Archer cast. Miss Whitney says, "You guys. The Archer Variety Hour at the Bell House earlier tonight was pretty fucking fantastic... enjoy H. Jon Benjamin's performance of "Non-Dueling Banjos." (video below)" The late show was the 'Drunk Show' hosted by Kevin Townley and Elna Baker featuring John Hodgman, Ira Glass, Rachel Maddow, Eugene Mirman, Jodi Lennon, Leo Allen, Dan St. Germain and Ptolemy Slocum.
The 'Drunk Show' kicked off with Rachel Maddow being interviewed by Hodgman while she made several cocktails from the Savoy Cocktail Book. The show had the participants drinking, arm wrestling "wheelchair style", and ended with a karaoke sing along to "Do They Know Its Christmas."
More pictures from the whole night, both venues, below...
by Klaus Kinski
Kristen Schaal & Eugene Mirman (more by David Andrako)
When the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival reared it's beautiful head for the first time in 2008, the sheer magnitude of the thing was really and truly mind-blowing; 10 epic shows, 4 nights, 2 venues. And for reasons which I can't fully explain because I don't quite understand them myself, I thought the festival would be a one-off thing. The whole thing had a slight whiff of irony, like it was lampooning the very concept of a comedy festival. Then the sucker was back in 2009 with a similar formula; 10 epic shows, 4 nights, 2 venues, and loads of shiver-inducing top-shelf talent. "Huh," I thought, "Maybe this really is something I can look forward to as an annual event." Then, BAM, Fall 2010 comes around and with it The 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. That time around, the festival included The Rock Shop as a third venue (note: did you get your 8/27 Ted Leo tix yet?) and featured yet another magnificent roster of talent.
Well folks, it's nearly Fall 2011 and I have some really bad news for the humorless, hummus-eating commenters out there and really GREAT news for everyone else; The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival is BACK and will take over the Bell House and Union Hall from September 15-18, 2011. And as with previous years, the 2011 Fest is sure to blow the toupee or merkin right off your body. Expect appearances from H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale, Aisha Tyler, Matt Thompson, Adam Reed, Jessica Walters, Jon Hodgman, Ira Glass and way way way way way more. Brace yourself, the whole schedule with ticket info is below. Check out the coverage and news from past fests to get an idea how truly remarkable they have been.
Hey. If you think I'm done talking about Eugene Mirman, you are so fucking wrong bro. Because there is another important aspect of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that I've mentioned before but absolutely bears repeating; The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Kickstarter page. No, Eugene didn't have a DIY venue packed with $40K worth of stuff that he forgot to insure that was subsequently robbed. The Festival costs a lot of money to produce, and the talent and people behind the scenes bust their asses to make it work for little or no money. The purpose of the Kickstarter is to amass a solid kitty (a pool of money, especially one to which a number of people have contributed for a designated purpose) that Festival organizers can use to produce a series of shows that will knock your socks off. Ticket costs can only cover so much. I donated because I am not an idiot who thinks this money is going to line some doofus' pockets; I donated because I know everyone who sees these shows will end up reaping the rewards of our collective generosity. Currently at 81%, The Kickstarter Campaign ends on AUGUST 17th, which is like so soon, so please donate and make this an amazing festival for EVERYONE.
In other Mirman-related news, be advised that there is a Pretty Good Friends 5 Year Anniversary Show happening at The Bell House on Sunday, August 21 at 7:30pm featuring the great David Cross, AD Miles, and more. Tickets are $15 and are currently on sale. Get em while they last. And if you find yourself in riot stricken London at some point between October 5th and October 15th, catch one of many Pretty Good Friends shows happening at the Soho Theater. Tickets are on sale. Don't be a pratt, wanker. Shag baby! Oh, behave! Don't give me that codswallop!
Mirman Fest schedule below...
Walter Schreifels with Rival Schools at Irving Plaza (more by Tim Griffin)
Walter Schreifels in concert doesn't just mean it will be the hardcore veteran playing his Martin acoustic. For a few dates (so far), Walter Schriefels (the band) will play shows in the northeast, including one on June 17th in NYC at The Studio @ Webster Hall. Ticket info is forthcoming. Expect a mix of "everything" (Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, covers...), except Rival Schools since they are currently active. The band is:
vocals & guitar: Walter SchreifelsIf you've ever seen comedian Dave Hill play guitar, you know he can shred (usually) in addition to telling jokes. He knows his shredders too. Catch his band Valley Lodge as "the house band for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Presents Bonnapoo 2009" in the Bonnaroo comedy tent. Catch Dave's hilarious live comedy show, The Dave Hill Explosion, next at UCB in NYC on May 21st with special guests Takka Takka and Ira Glass.
bass: Arthur Smilios (GB, CIV)
drums: Andy Action (2 Skinnee J's)
guitar: Dave Hill (Valley Lodge, Children of the Unicorn, Cobra Verde)
Walter Schreifels' other venture, Rival Schools, are scheduled to play a few dates with Eagles of Death Metal, including NYC on August 6th at Webster Hall. Tickets are still on sale. Rival Schools is working on their new album, the follow-up to United By Fate and first album since reuniting.
All dates below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Master storyteller Ira Glass took to the stage with illustrious composer Philip Glass at St. Ann's Warehouse on Tuesday [April 18th] for an intimate evening of music and conversation. In a time when little is for certain at most not-for-profit institutions, the success of the "Glass on Glass" benefit has ensured the theater's next season.Philip Glass will be speaking again, this Saturday, May 9th at Cooper Union. The event is titled "Art, Creativity and Tibetan Buddhism," and Glass will be joined by Gelek Rimpoche, Francesco Clemente, and Michael Imperioli. It's a benefit for Jewel Heart, a non-profit that "supports the preservation of Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism." Tickets are on sale now.
Ira Glass, host and producer of public radio show "This American Life," asked questions of Philip Glass, who alternately riffed on a gleaming Yamaha and answered Ira's questions about the method and processes that lead to his great musical successes.
To hear him explain it, though, Philip's work is not particularly innovative, nor necessarily 'new.' His compositions flow from natural, simple chord experimentation, he said, as he challenges himself to answer questions such as 'How do you achieve coherency without formality?' or 'How do you make it sound as if you have three hands?'
Ira asked if Philip might play one of his shorter pieces -- a prelude, for example. After illustrating the chord structure he said lightly, "I assure you, there is nothing else in the piece. But it'll take me six minutes to convince you of that." [Brooklyn Eagle]
On top of his speaking events, there are also a number of upcoming chances to catch Philip Glass' music. One of the best is Signal's performance of Glass' Symphony No. 3 and Suite from The Hours, with pianist Michael Riesman and conductor Brad Lubman, at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, May 17th. Tickets are still on sale.
New work by Glass will be showcased at the opening celebration/benefit for the 2009 World Science Festival at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 10th.
The evening's festivities will include the New York premiere of "LIFE: A Journey Through Time"--a moving and majestic concert piece, specially adapted for the World Science Festival, setting the lyrical imagery of National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting to an original score by the renowned composer Philip Glass, and performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's under the baton of acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop.Tickets to that run between $100 and $1,000.
At the same venue, on Saturday, July 25th, pianists Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa will perform the US and North American premiere of Glass' Four Movements for Two Pianos, as part of this year's Lincoln Center Festival. Also on the program for that is "the New York premiere of Chen Yi's China West Suite, as well as four hand piano versions of contemporary works by Stravinsky and Steve Reich." Tickets are on sale.
Finally, if "free" is more your price range, the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park is presenting The Bacchae by Euripides, featuring a score by Philip Glass, from August 11th - 30th.
This visionary interpretation, featuring a lush choral score by Philip Glass, re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire.Reserved seats are available for those who'd like to become "summer supporters" of the free performances. Info on how to get free tickets below. The shows will be held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
More information on Shakespeare in the park and the Jewel Heart benefit, plus videos of Glass' Symphony No.3 and The Hours and a clips of the other Glass on The Colbert Report, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
St. Ann's Warehouse is hosting its spring benefit, "A Gala Evening with Philip Glass + Ira Glass," on Tuesday, April 28th. The pair will engage in the "World Premiere Performance of Glass on Glass, a one-time-only evening with cousins, composer Philip Glass and master storyteller, Ira Glass, host of public radio's This American Life."
Tickets for the event, which run in $150, $350, and $1,000 packages, are on sale now.
Another upcoming benefit, for the Children's Health Fund, features a performance by Willie Nelson (with CHF co-founder Paul Simon) on Wednesday, May 27th at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Tower. Hillary Rodham Clinton and other notables will be in attendance as well.
To reserve a spot for that event, contribute between $1000 and $100,000 to the CHF (thx rajohn for the tip).
Willie recently played at the Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis in February, and has a US tour coming up. The closest stop to NYC on that is a show at New Brunswick, NJ's State Theatre on Saturday, April 18th. Tickets are on sale. All dates below..
Philip Glass tracks "Prophecies" and "Pruitt Igoe" from Koyaanisqatsi were recently featured in The Watchmen, and PBS is in the middle of screening GLASS: A Portrait of Philip Glass in Twelve Parts, a 12-part doc on the composer as part of its American Masters series.
The night after the St. Ann's benefit, Wednesday, April 29th, Glass' work will be performed by Michael Riesman, director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, at new downtown venue The Greene Space. The music will be integrated into a radio theatre performance of The Invisible Man.
On May 17th, "Signal performs Philip Glass' Symphony No. 3 and Suite from The Hours with pianist Michael Riesman, conducted by Brad Lubman at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City." (Tickets are on sale.)
Part of Glass' Koyaanisqatsi, Willie Nelson's best-of compilation infomercial video, and tour dates, below...
Mike Birbiglia's new show Sleepwalk With Me "just started this new post-show talk-back segment called 'An Awkward Ten Minutes With Mike' where Mike brings on a friend of his after the show to share a previously untold uncomfortable story (going along with the whole telling uncomfortable stories theme of SWM). The first Awkward Ten Minutes guest was Nathan Lane and it was a total hit. And this Thursday (12/11), we've got Zach Galifianakis coming!"
You can get tickets at Telecharge.com, or call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. Tickets are kind of pricey at $49.50, BUT "a limited number of tickets are also available 1 hour before the show (in this case, 7 pm) at the box office. Line forms outside the theater's main door (the one with the huge Mike Birbiglia face on it) - $25 (50% off!). Cash only - Bring valid student ID and/or proof of broke-ness (we're serious!)"
Ira Glass is the special guest on December 17th.
Photos by Ryan Muir
While millions were home watching the town hall debate betwen Barack Obama and John McCain, I was at Town Hall the venue
missing it watching a variety of entertainers help raise money for 826NYC, an organization that helps educate children (Oct 7, 2008). The night went like this: Ira Glass came out and told a story. Then Thao Nguyen played two songs by herself. Zach from Rogue Wave was supposed to be with her, but he had to cancel. The Daily Show's John Oliver was the host and he was my favorite performer of the evening which was an extra bonus because he performed comedy between almost every other act.
Department of Eagles then played three songs - two of them as the core duo of Daniel and Fred and one just as Daniel. It was, as they pointed out, only their second show ever. Their first was the night before at the Bell House and was much longer, and I guess they weren't counting Conan where they only played two less songs than they did at Town Hall. Their album is out now (as they also pointed out).
Then 826NYC board president (and driver license-less) Sara Vowell pretended to be Sarah Palin unintelligently explaining what 826NYC is as 826NYC founder Dave Eggers told us what it was in an intelligent fashion. TV on the Radio's members did not perform music. Kyp Malone came out next and read a funny little story written by a kid at 826NYC and then (not counting John Oliver again) Paul Simon played four songs - three classics including "Mrs. Robinson", and one brand new song that he recently wrote and never played before. The new song felt the most special, but the old songs were definitely very great to hear from the legend in the somewhat intimate atmohsphere that is Town Hall. Paul was accompanied by one guy on guitar who also sang backup and played other instruments. You would think Paul would have played last, but I guess he wanted to get home early. After Paul came a surprise two song set by Angelique Kidjo who got the whole crowd to sing along with her and her guitar player.
And last but not least (well, maybe least), a whole group of people including TV on the Radio's Tunde Adibempe (showing off his acting side) and Parker Posey read a story about NY that was also a sorta-funny chapter from a book that was available for sale in the lobby. More pictures from the night below...
826NYC is hosting another "Revenge of the BookEaters" benefit show at Town Hall in NYC on October 7th. The headliner is none other than Paul Simon. Also on the bill: Ira Glass ("a story by"), Johnathan Franzen ("a play by"), Eric Bogosian ("read by"), a duet with Thao Nguyen & Zach Rogue, jokes by John Oliver, AND music by Department of Eagles. Expect each musical performer to play only a few songs, but for an overall special night. Maybe Paul Simon and Dan from DoE (and Grizzly Bear) will perform together (again). Department of Eagles play their first-ever (full) show only one day earlier at the Bell House.
Tickets for Revenge of the Bookeaters are ON SALE AT NOON.