Entries tagged with: Jon Benjamin
Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.
The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.
Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.
Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.
Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.
After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.
Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."
Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.
Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.
The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...
by Arielle Gordon
Neko Case surrounded by comedy admirers at '13 Mirman fest (more by David Andrako)
What do Ira Glass, Michael Ian Black, Mike Birbiglia, and Neko Case have in common? They all made an appearance at last year's spectacular Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Brooklyn's most well-curated, arbitrarily created comedy festival.
Well, the festival is back for its seventh year from September 18 - 22 at The Bell House and Union Hall, this year with an extra night of festivities added onto the standard four-day lineup. As usual, its an eclectic mix of comedians, entertainers, musicians, and scientists, including H Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Che, Dave Hill, Elna Baker, Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Bridget Everett, Michelle Wolf, Jessi Klein, Wyatt Cenac, Robyn Hitchcock and Derrick Brown among those announced so far. There's also two nights of Startalk Live! this year, one hosted by Bill Nye and one with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Like every EMCF, the best shows are always rife with special guests and secret additions. 2014 schedule, as it stands, is below and tickets go on sale Friday (8/8) at 1 PM. You can also buy, for the first time, a ($500) Eug Express Lane VIP Pass that gets you into all the shows and allows you to skip the line.
2014 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival lineup is listed below...
Jon Benjamin / Michael Che / Jon Glaser @ The Bell House 6/13/2014
On Friday (6/13), The Bell House played host to the release party show for A Night at Whiplash, a live movie documenting a single night of NYC's most legendary weekly comedy show Whiplash, which takes place Monday nights at the UCB Theater in Chelsea.
It wouldn't be a Klaus Kinski outing if mother nature didn't deliver a horrendous onslaught of earth shatteringly shitty weather, and boy did she deliver the night of Friday the 13th. Black-green skies, crazy bolts of lightning, long, rolling peals of thunder... the works. Luckily I managed to get to the venue during breaks in the storm, but the rain was so horrendous that the Bell House flooded and needed to be quickly wrung out prior to the show. Hats off to whoever sopped up all that rain water because aside from a few minute wet spots (including the one on the front of my pants lol jk) you never would have known that they had a defcon 5 water situation on their hands just prior to the show.
But enough about wet spots. I got to the show a minute or two into the great Leo Allen's awesome lead-off set. I think I've seen Leo more times than any other comic, and the dude consistently delivers. Leo is the weekly host of Whiplash, so you can, literally, once a week, see this man dominate live. And I'm not even talking about the many bills he pops up on otherwise. He is the man. Leo was followed by Jared Logan who is easily one of the best comics in the biz nowadays. Super high energy, sharp as a tack, and flippin' loud, the dude's a machine of awesomeness. Jared literally performs at least once a night somewhere in NYC when he's not on the road, so I highly suggest you click on his hyperlinked name a sentence or two back and check out his calendar and make it to one of his shows. That dude's going places. Trust me.
Jared was followed by dance duo Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass who did a really well-executed, high energy, and, at times, extremely funny dance number to a James Brown song. I was sort of vexed as to how something like this would fit into the evening's line-up, especially since dance really is not my wheelhouse at all. But I loved it! They were great! And they really kept the momentum going.
H. John Benjamin was next and, as usual, his set was odd but extremely funny. He kicked things off by doing a dance number of his own to the same song Monica and Anna did, only he dragged some poor girl onto the stage to continue the dance while he took her seat. After upbraiding her for not performing as well as he expected, he riffed for a while before finally reading text exchanges between his 11-year old son and his friend. Truly awkward and hilarious, though, man, that poor kid.
The next act up was Aparna Nancherla who I had never seen before but have been hearing volumes of good stuff about lo these past few months. All the positive things I've been hearing and reading about her are beyond well-founded; she's the best. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a comic do "self-deprecating" so well. Her unassuming appearance hides an unbelievable level of snark and biting wit and as her set progressed, the mask of delicacy started to slip. It was awesome. Her CV is already pretty stacked but this kid is going places. Do go to her website and check out one of her many upcoming NY C area shows. Trust me.
Comedy veteran Jon Glaser was next and he definitely proceeded with a very Jon Glaser signature set about soccer and, well, stories about people with papercuts on their penises and how they got them. Glaser is another comic I have seen more than just about anyone else and, as usual, the material seemed totally off-the-cuff and unrehearsed, but completely hilarious nonetheless. The final act was Michael Che, a comedian who, right now, is so on top of his game it's ridiculous. Through relentless gigging and rock solid material, Che is basically world renowned at this point. As a new recurring correspondent, Che made his Daily Show debut earlier this month and was a fantastic headliner and a world class wrap up to a phenomenal show.
Adam Scott will talk "Greatest Event in Television History" on Saturday
New York Magazine's pop culture website Vulture is throwing a two-day festival this weekend (May 10 & 11), titled simply Vulture Festival, featuring a bric-a-brac of panels and events based around movies, TV, music and comedy.
Saturday (5/10) events include: a talk with Deadwood creator David Milch (noon @ Milk Studios); "The Greatest Panel in Television History" (5/10, 3 PM @ Milk Studios) with Adam Scott (Parks & Rec, Party Down) will discuss '80s TV title sequences (the basis of his Adult Swim series); a sold-out MIA/Solange show on Saturday at Webster Hall (5/10) happening after her Knockdown Center shows this week.
Sunday (5/11) events include: "Brunch with Rufus Wainwright" and Julie Klausner (5/11, 11 AM @ Milk Studios); a pop culture trivia night with the cast of Orange is the New Black (5/11, 5 PM @ Milk Studios); and a sold-out comedy night on Sunday @ The Bell House with Billy "On the Street" Eichner, Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine Nine), Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (Broad City) and more.
Tickets to most of the panels are still available and include drink tickets. Full Vulture Festival schedule and details, below...
by Klaus Kinski
Comedy-wise, if there was one night where I wish I could be in two places at once, tonight (Thursday, December 5) is it for there are two spectacular shows happening this evening that unfairly pit Gowanus versus Williamsburg. Geographically and line-up wise, Williamsburg has a slight edge for me as Over The Eight (594 Union Ave) will play host to The Bobby Tisdale Show. As part of a recurring series of shows called The Talk Show Series, these shows are set up more like casual conversation panel talk shows with incredible guests. Tonight's line-up is particularly stacked and features Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing, author), Tim Harrington (Singer of Les Savy Fav, beard owner), Kevin Corrigan (famous actor), Andy Blitz (comedian, amazing man and one of my personal favorites), Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers, Home Movies, Archer) and, if you can handle it, more. And it's hosted by the affable, hilarious, Bobby Tisdale (Bobs Burgers, Invite Them Up, Wards of Merkin). The show starts at 8:00pm and is ABSOLUTELY FREE. I haven't been this erect about a line-up since the old days of Rififi. Gonna be a scorcher! Flyer below...
Several subway lines, bus routes, or one expensive cab ride away in Gowanus, prolific performer and mind warrior Greg Barris brings his long-running comedy-life experience Heart of Darkness to the confines of The Bell House. Tonight's installment, entitled HEART OF DARKNESS: IN SPACE! features Gold Pass Klaus Kinski Favorite Todd Barry, mind warrior Elizabeth Gallager Kennick (NASA, Space Frontier, Teachers in Space), comedian Jena Friedman, house band The Forgiveness, musical guests Rich Stein and Matt Kilmer, guest band The Mast PLUS a special guest. A smattering of tickets are still available, so if you find yourself in that neighborhood this evening and have a hankering for a life changing life experience, do venture inside The Bell House and absorb. Doors are at 8pm, show is at 8:30pm. It is going to be a doozie!
When Superchunk were in NYC for a couple Bowery Ballroom shows and a Fallon performance earlier this year, they headed to Brooklyn DIY spot Shea Stadium to film the video for I Hate Music track "Void." In addition to the band themselves, the video features comedian/actors Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin, plus members of multiple local bands including Ava Luna, Heliotropes, Aye Nako, Lost Boy?, Weird Womb, and others. Were you in it? Check out the new video below.
Superchunk also have a number of dates coming up, including SPIN's Year In Music Event which happens in NYC on December 10 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Danny Brown and Charli XCX. It's a semi-private show, but we're giving away a few pairs of tickets via Twitter. Details on how to enter the contest along with all tour dates and the video, below...
photos by David Andrako
Bridgett Everett & Nick Kroll / Kurt & Kristen / Stephin Merritt
There was much laughter to be had at the 2013 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival last weekend at The Bell House and Union Hall. We already posted pictures from the first two nights and here's a set from Saturday (9/28) and Sunday (9/29). Saturday at The Bell House brought "Hot Tub with Kurt And Kristen" back to New York (both Braunohler and Schaal live in LA now) with appearances by Nick Turner, Nick Kroll, Leo Allen, and Bridgett Everett (whose new show is debuting at Joe's Pub soon); and over at Union Hall it was "Comics We Hope Don't Move To LA (Though We Understand There Is Much More Work There)."
Then on Sunday, the EMCF celebrated the Season 4 premiere of Bob's Burgers with cast members Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Jon Benjamin, Larry Murphy, Hannibal Buress, and Jon Glaser. Stephin Merrit -- who didn't even appear at The Bell House when Future Bible Heroes (a band he actually is in) played -- also came out with Kenny Mellman to sing one of the show's songs, "Electric Love." Over at Union Hall on Sunday it was "Creaghead & Company EMCF Edition: Thoughtfully Included Since It Was Scheduled Here Anyway."
Pics from nights 1 & 2 are here. More pics from nights 3 & 4 of EMCF 2013 below...
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...
photos by PSquared Photography
YLT w/ Andrew Bird / the Jons / Titus @ Maxwell's, 12/14/2012
Titus Andronicus opened the night with a roar -- I always read about them as being a punk-rock group, and maybe they are in the old-fashioned (and my favorite) definition of that term as "indescribable." Patrick made the only mention from the stage of the night about Connecticut, which makes him stronger than me. A great set, closing with the breathtaking one-two of "Titus Andronicus Forever" and the seasonal favorite "Roadrunner"...On the penultimate night of Hanukkah (and a bad vibe day to put it mildly), Yo La Tengo did their best to keep spirits high, with special guest Andrew Bird (as speculated) sitting in on violin for the entirety of their set, and guest vocalist Devendra Banhart (who narrates the Tim Maia short film which screens for free in Brooklyn Sunday) singing for the encore. (Setlist is below.)
...If you spend any time around the three of us, sooner or later you'll hear one or everybody burst into "Acappella Ghostbusters," as made famous by Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin's Soundtrackappella (or is it Soundtracappella -- I forgot to ask, but that's ok, they'd have given me two different answers). Ten years after Hanukkah 2002, we asked them if they agreed with us it was time for a return engagement. - [YLT]
As speculated and then expected, fellow New Jersyians Titus Andronicus made for one of the highest profile openers of the week, and Jons Benjamin and Glaser brought the funny.
The night's Charity was Waves for Water's Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative and Ira Kaplan made the mix CD. Tonight's the last night of their Hanukkah run -- who will be the openers? UPDATE: Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Gaylord Fields open the final night.
More pictures from Night 7 are below, along with YLT's setlist.
Ted Leo at MHOW earlier this month (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
There are a lot of benefits happening to aid Hurricane Sandy relief, and all are very much needed. Many of them are happening at The Bell House as you may have read, such as " The Musical Extravaganza to Restore Red Hook!" which happens on Wednesday (11/21). WFMU's Tom Scharpling, friend to comedians and indie rock royalty both, has gone through his rolodex to put together a pretty killer benefit that will go down at The Bell House on December 7 and features Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Chris Elliott, John Hodgman, Jon Benjamin, Julie Klausner, Andrew W.K. and "Surprise Guests!" Sometimes when people say "surprise guests" it means "we're still trying to book more acts" but in Scharpling's case it is likely to be the kind to get excited about. Tickets are on sale now and 100% of proceeds go to Occupy Sandy and Staten Island's Stephen Siller Foundation.
In related news, the night before the Bell House benefit (12/6) Chris Elliot will be performing with his comedian daughters Abby and Bridey at The Pit as part of Running Late with Marty Rogowsky. Tickets are on sale for that too. Additionally, fans of Mr. Elliot may already know that a DVD box set of his '90s cult TV show Get A Life came out back in September.
Ted Leo and Andrew W.K have a few other 2012 dates coming up (not together) and those are listed below.
photos by David Andrako
Larry Murphy, Jon Benjamin and a naked centurion @ The Bell House 9/16/2012
The final day of Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (9/16) was split into two events, one at Union Hall and then one that started later at The Bell House. First was the "The Eugene Mirman International Film Hour" at Union Hall which featured short films and odd videos produced by comedians. The festival closed with "Invite Them Up" at The Bell House. Hosted by Bobby Tisdale & Eugene Mirman, the show featured appearances from John Oliver, Demetri Martin, Jena Friedman, Daniel Kitson, David O' Doherty, Larry Murphy & Jon Benjamin. Pictures from both events are in this post, but beware, some are NSFW.
After teasing folks with a few names here and there -- like Run DMC most recently -- Austin's annual Fun Fun Fun Fest (Nov 2 - 4) has revealed it's full line-up, including Public Image Ltd, De La Soul, Superchunk, Santigold, Refused, X peforming Los Angeles, and lots, lots more. 3-day passes go on sale at 10AM CST.
Full FFF Fest lineup is below.
by Klaus Kinski
For those of us prone to agoraphobia, Comedy Central really brought the stank on Saturday April 21st when they premiered not one but TWO epic specials. First up at 10pm was Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour followed by Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions at 11pm. Patton's Finest came out as an audio cd back in September 2011, so to many of us the material has already been heard, only this time we can see the munchkin himself in action. Both specials were phenomenal and if you missed them because you have a life, don't worry. Patton's special has been available for ages on CD and download and is now available, uncensored and extended, for download on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video and available in HD exclusively on Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network. I am sure it'll be on reruns too. PFT's special is also available, uncensored and extended, for download on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Samsung Media Hub and in HD exclusively on Xbox LIVE and Sony PlayStation Network. Cripes, Comedy Central really made sure you nerds were covered on the download front.
Speaking of Comedy Central, one of the most egregious errors they ever made was cancelling the great Jon Benjamin Has a Van. CC has canceled many, many, many shows over the years and most of the time it was the right move because a lot of their original programming is/was horse shit. However, the loss of JBHAV really stuck in my craw. Jon Benjamin starred as a man on the street reporter, with a van, who always became a part of the stories he was reporting. The show was so goddamned funny I curse the day it was ever canceled. However, GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! Jon left this note on my pillow this morning (he calls me America) (You had to be there) (be glad you weren't):
HI AMERICA, it's me again, Jon Benjamin. I know we haven't spoken since my bar mitvah speech (sorry about my controversial opposition to the IDF's 1978 attack on Lebanon) Anyway, I made a show in 2010 called Jon Benjamin Has a Van and after a full season, myself, Leo Allen and Nathan Fielder decided to celebrate our middling ratings by launching a tour. Soon thereafter, Comedy Central cancelled our show, but the tour will still go on. So, without further adieu, I formally announce our Cancellation Tour. We will be in 7 cities over the course of ten days (a national record) and we'll perform comedy, magic and show uncensored footage and deleted scenes from American Reunion. It will be cheap, fast and easy. Thanks and hope to see you there. Love, Jon.The Jon Benjamin Has a Tour tour will hit The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Thursday May 3rd. Tickets are on sale so get them while you can, because this will sell out and you. will. be. bumming. Full tour dates below.
Check out JB's tour dates and a video below...
by Klaus Kinski
Pete & Pete reunion @ Bowery Ballroom, 2/24/2012 (photo by jenipherlyn)
Hey guys. So, lookit, you're about to ingest a lot of comedy data in a moment. But it's just the tip of the NYC comedy iceberg. No, it's less than the tip. It's a piece of dandruff that sailed from an Arctic explorer's head and settled on the tip of the iceberg. I don't have the time and you don't have the attention span to handle an entire survey of the NYC scene right now. What follows is a brief glimpse into some cool goings on in the coming weeks. Take it with a grain of dandruff.
First thing's first. Rob Delaney added a fourth NYC show, but you knew that. Moving on...
Did you miss the two Adventures of Pete & Pete reunion shows that happened at the Bowery Ballroom on February 24th? Bummer, right? Well, unfortunately the show I'm about to tell you about is already sold out, but where there's a will, there's a way (and that way could possibly include standby tix). Get a load of this. The great Kurt Braunohler has a late night talk show at The Pit called Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler. The next installment of this show happens on Friday March 9th and features guest Mike Maronna (Pete) and Danny Tamberelli (Pete)! It's a fun sized, mini-reunion just for you! Also, Wyatt Cenac (Daily Show) will be there and a surprise musical guest who I am unable to mention, but whom we love and idolize here at BV headquarters (an internet cafe)! Hint, it is a man whose name may or may not rhyme with 'bread'.
Thursday March 8th marks the return of Tom Shillue's story-telling-centric show Funny Story to the hallowed halls of UCB East. This time he will have guests Amine Zaitzeff (owner of Zaitzeff Burger), Mike Albo, the great Margot Leitman, and Stephen Gevedon. A super-diverse and well curated line-up. Show is at 7:30pm, tix are on sale.
Speaking of burgers, Bob's Burgers is my favorite animated series on the TV and I was thrilled when it was (rightfully) renewed for another season (which premiers THIS Sunday March 11th on Fox). The casting a so fucking impeccable; H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Andy Kindler as well as guests like Jon Glaser. Holy! Well get a load of THIS shit. On Friday March 9th you can see the CAST OF BOB's BURGERS LIVE AT THE BELL HOUSE!! And IT'S FREE. I am not an all-caps kind of guy, but that pronouncement certainly merited such action. OK, full disclosure, the Bell House show doesn't feature the entire cast I listed above. The show will feature Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and Larry Murphy doing funnies and also previewing clips from the next season. You can only get in with a wristband, and those will be distributed starting at 5:00pm. So, wristbands at 5pm, doors at 8pm, show sometime after that. 21+. Sorry, junior.
While I'm on the subject of TV-related comedy, NYU's Skirball Center will play host to John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show from March 10th through March 12th. The show, being taped for Comedy Central, will include sets by David O'Doherty, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac, Dana Gould, Michael Ian Black, Marc Maron, and a shit-ton of rising stars from with the stand-up world. You can totally get in to these things for free, but you gotta head on over to The Blacklist NYC and get yourself situated. And for the record... as far as people who put together audiences for tapings, The Blacklist is pretty tops. Very well managed, never confusing, very organized. Totally rad. Just saying.
Next Thursday, March 12th, Symphony Space will play host to an incredible comedy event called Uptown Showdown: Comedy Debate Series. This is not the first time Symphony Space has hosted this show, and I am wicked pissed at myself for not mentioning it to you people prior to earlier installments.
Uptown ShowDown is a comedy debate series that tackles some of the most important issues of our time, such as which decade was the coolest-the eighties or the nineties, is cake really better than pie and who would win in a showdown pirates or ninjas? Forget about school reform and health care, these issues, heatedly argued by some of the funniest, smartest, intensely wacky creative thinkers around, are the topics that keep us awake at night....in a good way. Past Performers include Michael Showalter, Leo Allen, Dave Hill, Jessi Klein, Julie Klausner, Andrea Rosen, A.D. Miles and more.Next week's show will have Michael Ian Black and friends facing off with The talent Show's Elna Baker and Kevin Townley on the subject of Fashion vs. Comfort. Tom Shillue will host the festivities. Following the event, Mr. Ian Black will read from his new memoir You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations. He'll also sign your copy. I wish I could tell you how funny or awful this book is but I never got a galley copy because I am chopped liver or something. Tickets are on sale now, and I am also giving away a pair AND a copy of Michael Ian Black's book! Instructions below.
The next installment of the mind-blowing experience known as Heart of Darkness will take place on Saturday March 17th at Union Hall. This time around, host Greg Barris will be joined by Joe Mande, Dave Hill, and more special guests that I shan't announce but are no doubt worthy of your attention. My thoughts? Get your tickets in advance, you.
Speaking of Dave Hill, did you know that motherfucker wrote a book and that it comes out on May 22nd? If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then you're thinking "Wait, Dave Hill is a flawless comedian. Dave Hill is a master guitar player, maybe the best in the world. Dave Hill is easy on the eyes. And Dave Hill can also write a freaking book? What can't that guy accomplish?" I know, right? The book is entitled Tasteful Nudes. If you like stories...
...about stolen meat, animal attacks, young love, death, naked people, clergymen, rock 'n' roll, irritable Canadians, and prison, you have just hit a street called Easy because my book talks about all that stuff and a bunch of other stuff, too.I am nobody's shill and I wouldn't be saying this if it wasn't the Cod's honest truth; this book is absolutely impossible to put down. It is so funny and well written that I simply could not put it down. Pre-order it now, then forget you pre-ordered it, so then one day it shows up in your mailbox and you're all "Ha. Dave Hill's done it again."
And speaking of Joe Mande, he has a ton of upcoming dates all over the Northeast. Check out his tour schedule below.
And now, before I hang it up for the day, I am happy to report that The PIT is going to unleash its first ever NYC Improv Festival! The NYC Improv Festival will take place from March 21st to March 24th at Peoples Improv Theater and feature OVER 40 improv troupes as well as workshops. A TON of the shows are free, and some require tickets. You can also buy a festival pass for next to nothing that will get you into all the shows. I also have two UNLIMITED festival passes to give away. Instructions on how to win them are down there.
Joe dates and contests below...
photos by Bryan Bruchman
As previously mentioned, The Sea & Cake, Mac McCaughan, Jon Benjamin & Jon Glaser stopped by at Maxwell's last night for Yo La Tengo's first of eight Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's. Who will be there tonight? UPDATE: It was Spent
Here are some pictures from the first show. They continue below...
Tom Morello @ Newport Folk Fest 2009 (more by Jim Brueckner)
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello has announced plans to perform at the Occupy Wall Street protest at noon [today] in Manhattan. Morello, who has previously performed at the Occupy Los Angeles rally, will play a solo set as the Nightwatchman.Today (10/13) is also the first day of NY Comic Con & Anime Fest over at the Javits Center. Tom Morello performs in the convention center tonight with Z-Trip as part of the con's kickoff concert.
"The Nightwatchman will Occupy Wall Street [today] at noon, adding one more voice to the growing chorus of millions demanding economic justice at home and around the globe," Morello tells Rolling Stone. "And I'll be playing some songs. Likely in the rain."
Morello will be the third major act to perform at the protest. Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum and rapper Talib Kweli have recently played impromptu sets at the protest site. Earlier this week, Kanye West visited the scene, but did not perform. [Rolling Stone]
We get why the Rage Against the Machine guitarist would show up at Occupy Wall St, but why Comic Con? Well, Comixcorner.com says:
Tom Morello's graphic novel Orchid, which tells the tale of a 16-year-old street prostitute in a dystopian future, will be released in twelve issues through Dark Horse Comics will be on sale October 12th. Orchid features a variant cover by the well-known and influential street artist Shepard Fairey, with interior art by Scott Hepburn (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic).Other guests at Comic Con include Jon Glaser, David Cross, Chris Elliot, Carrie Brownstein (who is in tour with Wild Flag), Jon Benjamin, Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Kevin Smith, Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen, Mark Hamill, and many more. (Fred and Carrie will be promoting Portlandia)
"Orchid is part Suicide Girl, part Joan of Arc, who becomes the Spartacus of Whores in a story that merges the epic scope of Lord of the Rings with the politics of street terrorism." - Tom Morello
Headlined by DJ Z-Trip, the concert is free to all VIP's and 4-Day ticket holders BUT seating is first come, first served and will be extremely limited due to size of the auditorium and popularity of the event. Ultimate Access, Special Access and Anime Access VIP ticket holders will be guaranteed to get into the show first; then, 4-Day ticket holders will be let in until the auditorium is full. The concert is open to all 4-Day ticket holders on a first come, first served basis and we cannot guarantee that all 4-Day ticket holders that want to attend the show will be able to get in.
"I'm stoked and honored to be playing alongside Tom Morello at the New York Comic Con. He's one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and I've always admired the level of consciousness he brings to the table. This show is gonna be great. Can't wait to read his new comic too." - DJ Z-Trip
Tom Morello is appearing courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, New York Comic Con and Midtown Comics - who will be selling Orchid #1 exclusively at the Kick-Off Concert.
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...
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 by Black Bubblegum, photos by Ryan Muir
Friday, September 11th - Stage 1:The floors have been waxed. The bathroom tile is dry and shiny. Couches are not draped with bodies. Kutsher's and it's distinct 1960s time capsule "charm" is still in full force, though the place seems oddly tidied. Doorways that last year lead to muddy, mold infested corridors have been nailed shut. Random holes punched into the drywall have been patched. The musty smell that permeates the building is "covered" by an equally foul carpet deodorizer. I arrived a shade past 3PM on Friday (9/11) and it was obvious the ATP crowds hadn't sunk their fangs into the Country Club yet. Everything was still nice and clean.
3.15pm-4.15pm : The Drones performing Wait Long By The River...
4.45pm-5.30pm : The Feelies performing Crazy Rhythms
6.00pm-7.00pm : Dirty Three performing Ocean Songs
7.30pm-8.30pm : Suicide performing Suicide (First LP)
9.00pm-9.45pm : Panda Bear
10.15pm-11.15pm : Iron & Wine
11.45pm-1.00am : The Jesus Lizard
Friday, September 11th - Stage 2:
9.00pm-9.30pm : Jon Glaser & Jon Benjamin
9.45pm-10.15pm : Derrick Brown & The Navy Gravy
10.30pm-11.00pm : Eugene Mirman
11.15pm-11.45pm : David Cross
As a veteran of multiple music festivals, I think that most feel very familiar... borderline generic even. ATP is an animal all its own. There is an energy that is positive, creative and palpable. Musicians wander about the grounds, checking out the bands. The sound system is killer. It's like an indie summer camp complete with a poorly functioning shower.
We arrived early enough to catch the first part of The Drones whose current tour also had them at The Bell House in Brooklyn two days earlier.
"I hope you like bronchitis, 'cause that's what all you're getting" the guitarist said while pointing toward the front row of the audience.
Bronchitis or no, the band's angular and sometimes atonal pop was immediate and fun despite anyone's poor health.
The Feelies followed with Crazy Rhythms indeed, alternating between jingle bells, timbale, shaker, maracas, hanging lead pipe as well as a satellite floor tom and snare drum. It was great to see those songs come alive. See them in Brooklyn on Sunday night.
Dirty Three was four, as Nick Cave sat in the tickle the ivories. Nick played a backseat role, no singing, none of his songs... For all intensive purposes he was John Q. Pianoplayer. Ocean Songs is a very affecting record, and their engaging post-rock-y compositions swelled and collapsed with emotion. Just don't call them emo.
"I'd like to set the record straight for Pitchfork and those guys... we did not invent emo. Blame it on some other cunts," Warren Ellis quipped between songs.
During songs, Ellis hopped around on one leg while playing his violin, sashaying to melodies and punctuating key moments with jump-kicks. Dude has ups, especially in a suit. Those in NYC have another chance to catch the band Sunday at Bowery Ballroom.
Suicide followed, and I am definitely a fan of their first LP. In the Stardust Ballroom, a ski-goggled Martin Rev banged away at his Triton producing compelling keyboard squelches and 200 BPM kick drum assaults, while Alan Vega barked lyrics from his music stand like an ornery old man. It was very loud. Fun for a while, but I couldn't watch the entire set.
Panda Bear's loopy harmonious bliss is something that I enjoyed on the Person Pitch LP, but was not looking forward to in a live setting. Nevertheless, I checked out Noah Lennox's knob-twisting live set which contained backlit projections. It's hard to pull off a one man show effectively, especially if there is limited crowd interaction. Noah's other band headlines Saturday night (tonight) of the festival.
Iron & Wine was solo acoustic, and Sam Beam engaged the crowd fully. I caught a few songs until leaving catch some of David Cross's set before The Jesus Lizard.
Kicking off with "Puss" and heading into "Gladiator" and "Seasick", The Jesus Lizard attacked the stage with their trademark screechy guitar lines and high frequency bass lines. Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims, and Mac McNeilly were tight as hell and the band roared through their classics to an extremely enthusiastic crowd all while David Yow acted like a buffoon.
Either I'm showing my age, or he his, but I used to find David Yow and his antics menacing. That's not to say he was anything less than riveting. He performed 1/3 of the show from the crowd (surfing or otherwise). When on stage, Yow mock-jerked himself off, hula-danced, slap-boxed the microphone stand, pointed at women while crotch-thrusting, and wished the audience a.... "Happy 9/11".
By the way, if you're wondering who IS responsible for emo. David Yow has the answer.
"That's Slint's fault"
by Klaus Kinski
Secret Wars @ All Points West 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
So we've got the Del Close Marathon happening this weekend (8/14-8/16) and we've got the New York Comedy Festival happening in November. And now it is with unbridled enthusiasm that I can achieve a comedy-festival-posting-hat-trick by announcing the EUGENE MIRMAN COMEDY FESTIVAL which is set to take over Brooklyn venues Union Hall and the Bell House from September 17 - September 20. OK, so we briefly mentioned the festival before, but with line-ups, showtimes, as well as venue and ticket info just released, it's time to spread the word.
Curated by the great Eugene Mirman, this year's festival has a gasp worthy line-up that is truly beyond belief and will feature stand-up, panels, videos, special guests, 'theme' shows, the occasional free drink, after-parties, and much more. The highlight of the festival for me are two Daniel Kitson headlining gigs at Union Hall. Daniel is a British Stand-up comedian who I've only had the opportunity to see once, but that one experience was epic. More monologuist than stand-up comedian, he is one of the smartest, funniest, most energetic and eloquent performers I have ever seen. We are blessed to have two chances to see him headline such an intimate room. Besides that, the festival boasts appearances by Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, John Hodgman, Bobby Tisdale, AD Miles, Kristen Schaal, Michael Showalter, Marc Maron, John Mulaney, Jon Benjamin, and many many more. And, of course, Eugene.
The schedule so far is below. According to the folks in charge, even more excitement will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!! Tickets for all shows go on sale
Sunday August 16 Saturday, August 15 at noon via Ticketweb (Bell House, Union Hall).
Full lineup and more below...
All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP) is happy to announce its return to Kutsher's Country Club in Monticello, New York for the 2nd annual ATP New York festival. The event will be held Sept 11-13, 2009. Last year's festival, co-curated by My Bloody Valentine, was a critical and cultural success with rave reviews from media and fans. This year's Fest will be co-curated by The Flaming Lips.ATP has announced the final lineup additions to this year's festival. That includes the comedians who will be joining David Cross on Friday night, and official confirmation that it will in fact be Bob Mould who will be playing Husker Du songs (a whole LP to be exact) with No Age (who also just announced some NYC shows). Every act who plays Sunday will be playing some kind of special set...
Recently added were Crystal Castles, Super Furry Animals, Boris performing Feedbacker, Low Lows and "Oneida presents the Ocropolis" - where Oneida will transport the impetus, spirit and community of their multidisciplinary studio/performance space, The Ocropolis, to ATP for a full day of improvisation, collaboration, and recording, combined with the astounding Mighty Robot Visuals light crew. Other announced acts include Boredoms continuing their BOADRUM series, performing with 9 drummers on stage. Deerhoof will perform with special visuals by Martha Colburn. Caribou will perform as Caribou Vibration Ensemble, with a 4 piece horn section, 4 drummers and a choir and guests that include Kieran Hebden (Four Tet/Fridge/Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid), Koushik (Stones Throw Records), John Schmersal (Enon, Brainiac), Kathryn Bint (One Little Plane), Ahmed Gallab (Sinkane), Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra) and more.Other brand new additions to Sunday are Menomena, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Birds Of Avalon, and Hopewell.
Circulatory System, was added in the last announcement, and have since revealed an entire tour. Dead Meadow play ATP on Saturday and will perform on a boat in NYC that same week. The Feelies have a Brooklyn show scheduled. Super Furry Animals play NYC and NJ in addition to ATP. The list of related shows goes on...
Unfortunately missing from the ATP NY schedule is Nick Cave - not that he was ever supposed to be there, but in addition to being very involved with ATP in general, he was recently confirmed to be only a short car ride away just one day after the festival ends. Full 2009 lineup below...
Jane's Addiction - @ Echoplex, Los Angeles - Feb 16, 2009 (revolute)
Live Nation and Adam Zacks are pleased to announce this year's line up for the Sasquatch! Music Festival at the legendary Gorge in Eastern Washington. The festival, now in its eighth and most ambitious year yet, has evolved from a unique, homegrown & low key fest into a full blown three day extravaganza. A festival-goer's dream, it comes complete with camp-outs, canyons, sunsets, three stages and new this year, an expanded comedy and dance music tent. The tent will feature performances from comedians throughout the day, and then come dusk, will spotlight electronic and dance music artists.Jane's Addiction, reunited once again, played a show at the Echoplex in LA last night. They announced it last week via their website and mailing list.
Already the official opener to summer for music fans, the Sasquatch! Music Festival is becoming a certified monster of a musical event: this year features another exciting and diverse line-up for the musically adventurous, and ups the ante on an event already hailed for its independent spirit. Tickets go on sale Saturday February 28th at 10AM
Today it was announced that Jane's (feat. all four original members), NIN, Kings of Leon, Ben Harper & Relentless7, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Erykah Badu, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, TV On The Radio, Animal Collective, Silversun Pickups, Bon Iver, Santigold, and many others are playing this year's Sasquatch Festival (May 23, 24, 25, 2009 @ The Gorge in Quincy, WA). Full lineup and ticket info below...
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
As previously noted, Jennifer O'Connor and comedian Jon Benjamin were the openers for Yo La Tengo Hanukkah night four. Jon went by the name Mark Levinsky. According to the show poster, "Jon Glassner" (not to be confused with Jon Glaser) was also supposed to be on the comedy part of the bill, but according to "Mark", Jon had to call out sick. "Mark" then "read out a VERY funny letter from Glassner accompanied by numerous props including a foot long subway hero, a photo of Jon on a jet ski, and randomly distributed free samples of a well known pharmaceutical product." Mixtapes for the evening were provided by Russell Mael of the band Sparks. In honor of the mixtape Yo La Tengo played a Sparks cover. The whole setlist and more pictures below...
by Klaus Kinski
Good ole Brooklyn is going to be the epicenter of some of the world's best comedy from September 25th - September 28th when the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival rolls into Park Slope. The 4-day festival boasts 10 MASSIVE shows that will take place at Union Hall and the soon-to-be-open Bell House. The exact line-ups and guests have yet to be set in stone, but prepare yourself for a sweet opening night awards ceremony, an Invite Them Up reunion, an Apartment 2F renuion, an installment of Variety Shac, some fresh faces of comedy, a Tearing The Veil of Maya closing night blow-out, and, of course, appearances by the best of the best (think Galifianakis, Birbiglia, Schaal, Oliver, Showalter, The Sklar Brothers, and many many many more....). Here's how the schedule looks thus far: