Entries tagged with: Leo Allen

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by Klaus Kinski

Whiplash!

One of the greatest recurring comedy showcases in this cesspool of a city gone soft has got to be Whiplash which takes place every Monday at 11pm at the UCB Theater in Chelsea. Sadly, the late hour of the show and the day of the week it falls on makes it difficult for your man Klaus to attend in person because he, me, has a big boy job with lots of big boy responsibilities and I gotta hot the rack at a reasonable time during the week or else things could fall apart at the office and my life and livelihood could be ruined. Which is a shame. Because Whiplash, which is hosted by the great and prolific Leo Allen, doesn't just get the occasional huge mega-star guest every now and then; their weekly line-ups are chock full of them. Always. I mean, just go to the With Reservation Whiplash photo page and you'll see that people like Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Louis CK, Chris Rock, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Todd Barry and so many other big dogs have graced its stage. It's insane! And it's always free!

As per usual, you can catch Whiplash on Monday night (9/9). However, this night will be a little different, for the fine folks at Whiplash will be undertaking the production of a live Whiplash concert movie! It's being billed as a Whiplash Concert Film, but if you want to get technical I can guarantee this sucker will NOT be shot on film. In this economy? Shyuh! Right! If it is, I'll get a tattoo across my face of something terrible. Anyhow, this Monday, Whiplash will take place TWICE; there will be a 9:30pm taping and an 11:00pm taping. Get your tickets now because in about 5 minutes both shows will be solidly sold out (there will be stand-by lines for each show, though).

In other comedy news...

* Dave Hill's book is now out in paperback. Celebrate with him TONIGHT (9/6) at 7pm at Book Court in Cobble Hill. He'll be reading, rocking and giving out free drinks!

* The New Yorker Festival lineup is announced.

* Pete Holmes announced a big NYC show, and a TV show.

* Greg Proops is touring.

* Todd Barry is taping a podcast live in Brooklyn & touring.

* Comedy Bang Bang is touring too.

Mac DeMarco @ Pitchfork 2013 (more by Cory Dewald)
Mac Demarco

Priests @ DBA (more by Ivey Haber)
Priests

Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...

The Defibulators, Future Folk, Tall Tall Trees, Dubl Handi, Bennett Sullivan, DJ Becky Birmingham @ Brooklyn Bowl
If you like traditional bluegrass with a bit of a punk edge, head to Brooklyn Bowl tonight to catch Brooklyn's The Defibulators playing a release show for their new album, Debt'll Get'em. Should be a grand ol' time.

Sarah Neufeld @ Rockwood Music Hall
Arcade Fire violinist just released her first solo album, Hero Brother. Tonight she plays with Bell Orchestre's Stef Schneider on percussion. Tickets are still available.

Pure Bathing Culture, Mary Alouette, Jimmy Whispers, Tiger Dare @ Glasslands
Pure Bathing Culture put the pop in "dream pop" (in a good way) and their recently released debut album, Moon Tides, is a great example of that. Swoon along at Glasslands tonight.

Priests, Neonates, Downtown Boys, Household @ Death By Audio
DC band Priests released their second tape EP earlier this summer, full of spiky, shouty, catchy, dancey tunes. You can stream it below. Actually the whole show is like that with LA's Neonates, Providence's Downtown Boys and local post-punks Household. Good show!

Mac DeMarco @ East River Amphitheater (FREE)
While he's become somewhat known for his on-and-off-stage antics (dude is funny), let's not forget last year's Mac DeMarco II is very a solid record and his band is just tight enough to keep things from delving into chaos.

Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Son of Dad, Shorts, Regal Degal @ Cake Shop
When he's not playing in Real Estate, Alex Bleeker makes drastically different music with his band The Freaks, who favor bluesy psychedelia over his other band's breezy jangle pop. Tonight he shares a bill with his Real Estate bandmate Jackson Pollis' other project, Son of Dad. And Regal Degal's weird art pop is worth showing up early for too.

Emeli Sande, Rudimental @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield
Emeli Sande headlines Central Park tonight, and if you're going, we especially think it's worth catching Rudimental, the four-piece house/drum & bass group, who do pop crossover a bit like Disclosure does. And Emeli sings on their album, so maybe there will be some on-stage collaboration?

Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, Bear's Den @ Forest Hills Stadium
Queens' Tennis stadium Forest Hills, which used to host live music decades ago, is starting to do so again, and tonight it gets its first show in ages from three British indie bands, Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, and Bear's Den.

VietNam, Prince Rupert's Drops, Jonathan Toubin (DJ Set) @ Union Pool
Longrunning band Vietnam returned after a five-year abscence to deliver A.merican D.ream, their first album in five years. It's a quality bill tonight, with an opening set from the psychy Prince Rupert's Drops and Jonathan Toubin on the turntables between sets.

Buster Poindexter @ Highline Ballroom
David Johansen has been back with the New York Dolls and doing some solo shows lately too, but for whatever reason tonight he's playing under his '80s/'90s pseudonym Buster Poindexter, best known for his version of "Hot Hot Hot."

Eve @ Gramercy Theatre
Eve returned this year with her first album in over a decade, and she actually sounded pretty hungry on a good deal of it. Not sure what she's like live these days, but you can find out for yourself at Gramercy Theatre (moved from Irving Plaza).

Matthew Sweet @ City Winery
Matthew Sweet went from being a college-radio cult favorite in the '80s to being a genuine alt-rock hitmaker in the '90s and gun-for-hire songwriter and guitarist in the '00s. His melodic skills and and catalog of great songs will be on display tonight.

Larry Graham @ B.B. King Blues Club
Grand Central Station funk conductor Larry Graham recently played Prince's post-VMAs show at City Winery. Prince has showed up at Graham's BB King's shows before. We're not saying he will tonight, but...just saying.

Roy Ayers @ Blue Note Jazz Club
Speaking of legendary funk, vibraphone master Roy Ayers is at Blue Note tonight. Let's hope her pulls out tracks from his much-lauded score to blaxploitation flick, Coffy (amongst his other great work). There are early and late shows, and it's his first of four nights at the venue.

The Rides @ The Iridium
Buffalo Springfield/CSNY's Stephen Stills heads up this blues rock supergroup that also features Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg. Sold out.

Big Terrific Comedy Show @ Cameo Gallery
Max Silvestri hosts this popular weekly free comedy show that tonight welcomes Leo Allen, Guy Branum, Jessi Klein, and Jim Tews.

Radness @ Union Hall
Hot 97's DJ Cipha Sounds & Lukas Kaiser are hosting this night of comedy featuring Hannibal Buress, Mark Normand, Giulia Rozzi, Lance Weiss, and Jason Burke.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
dfd

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday? (Mac Demarco, Emeli Sande, Sarah Neufeld, Pure Bathing Culture, Priests & more)"

Mirman Festival

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...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival returns for the 6th time! (lineup & tickets)"

Baroness at Terminal 5 in May (more by Joe McCabe)
Baroness

Earlier this week, we posted an update from Baroness showing that things were looking upwards for the band. Unfortunately though, with two members having broken vertebrae and frontman John Baizely having a broken arm and leg, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Baroness have in fact cancelled some of their upcoming North American tour dates, including their NYC show at House of Vans and LA's FYF Fest. They will not be replaced on the House of Vans lineup, which happens on August 29 and now just includes Turbonegro, Doomriders, and Nightbirds. This is a bummer but it makes sense that the band takes the time they need to recover, and we wish them a speedy and successful recovery!

Meanwhile, FYF Fest, which Wild Flag also dropped off of, recently expanded its lineup. It now features The Faint (who just announced they'll be reissuing Danse Macabre and touring the album), Glass Candy, King Tuff, and newcomers The Orwells. Tickets for FYF Fest are still available. The updated lineup and flier are below.

Continue reading "Baroness dropped off House of Vans and FYF Fest, who added bands (updated lineup)"

Public Enemy at ATP NJ 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Public Enemy

today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Chica Libre @ Barbes
* Brain Cloud @ Barbes
* Jon Bibbs @ Joe's Pub
* Daniel Higgs @ Zebulon
* DJ Muro @ Bowery Electric
* Tony Scherr @ Living Room
* Urban Tango Trio @ Joe's Pub
* NYC Broken Comedy @ Bar Matchless
* The Campilongo Quartet @ Living Room
* The Gowanus All-Stars @ The Rock Shop
* Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ City Winery
* Public Enemy, Salt-N-Pepa @ Wingate Park
* The Mystery Lights, Brontide @ Mercury Lounge
* Dirt Done Cheap, Snakes and Arrows @ BB King's
* Kristen Schaal's last-ever Hot Tub @ Littlefield
* Blizzardo, No Glow, Motion Studies @ Cameo Gallery
* Kool A.D., Fat Tony, Lakutis, Tecla @ Mercury Lounge
* Reverend Vince Anderson & His Love Choir @ Union Pool
* Bombay Bicycle Club, Plants and Animals @ Webster Hall
* A Silent Film, Anchor & Braille, Carousel @ Bowery Ballroom
* Gary War, White Out, Hahn Rowe, No Fun Acid @ Le Poisson Rouge
* This Is Cinema, North America, Dutch E Germ, Wet Hop @ Cake Shop
* Team Spirit, The Static Jacks, Beast Make Bomb, Our Mountain @ The Studio at Webster Hall

BrooklynVegan is presenting a free screening of "Celeste and Jesse Forever" tonight at 7 PM at Landmark Sunshine Cinema.

Tonight is Kristen Schaal's last-ever Hot Tub before she moves to LA. Tonight's sold out show is with Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen, and a "secret surprise guest."

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Liars have a new video for "Brats." Check it out below.

Alaric have a new video for "Weep." Check it out below.

Frankie Rose has a new video for "Know Me." Check it out below.

Witchcraft has a new song called "It's Not Because of You," which you can stream below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Monday?"

Ira

It's got to be kind of hard to find someone to open for you on Christmas. Maybe that's what led to Dump, the other project of Yo La Tengo's James McNew, opening for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on Sunday, December 25th (Hanukkah, night 6). Maybe Dump's recent show at Spike Hill was scheduled as a warm-up.

Yo La Tengo is keeping a diary. Their friend Kelly Reichardt writes:

Dump is on the stage. I know, I know, this reporter is asking herself the same question. How in the world did Yo La Tengo get Dump to play their Christmas night show? I guess everybody in this business has connections. In any case, it's our good fortune and listening from my perch I forget all about my duties and just let myself get lost in the music (not in any kind of freaky arm-waving way, but just in a quiet-inside way). I'm in my zone. Enjoying myself along with everyone else in the room. It's somewhere in the middle of the Prince cover tune, "Another Lonely Christmas" that the older, more disgruntled looking red-shirt-wearing door guy makes a beeline over to me. He's shouting something I can't make out, but I can clearly read his lips as he keeps repeating YOU SURE LOOK GOOD TONIGHT KELLY! I finally lean closer and take out the earplugs and it turns out what he is actually yelling in my face is YOU CAN'T STAND ON THAT STOOL!
Comedian Kurt Braunhohler, who will return to the Hoboken venue to open for Ted Leo, also opened the Christmas show. Tara Key and Rachel Blumberg were the other special guests that night. Full setlist HERE.

Last night, night 7, Kurt Vile & the Violators and Leo Allen opened. Dave Schramm played guitar with Yo La Tengo, and Peter Stampfel also joined the band. Full setlist HERE.

Tonight, 12/27, is the final night of Hanukkah 2011. Who do you think the openers will be? I bet James McNew (not to mention the rest of Yo La Tengo) would be excited if it were the Feelies.

Browse the Yo La Tengo tag for more.

Mike BirbigliaMike Birbiglia

Though it doesn't say it on their website, Mike Birbiglia promises that he's performing "Sleepwalk With Me" at Comic Strip Live tonight (12/12).

UPDATE: Mike's show starts at 8:30 and tickets go on sale at noon.

I don't know what time it starts and ends, but if it's done early enough you can then head to UCB West for this week's edition of Whiplash with Leo Allen and guests.

Alternatively, you can spend your Monday night with Kurt and Kristen in Brooklyn at Littlefield. Their guests at Hot Tub this week include Michael Showalter.

Head back to UCB West on Wednesday after work for a live WFMU broadcast of "7 Second Delay" with guests Lou Reed and Suzanne Vega.

UPDATE: Lou Reed is also making an appearance at Book Court tonight.

In other "live" comedy news, tickets are on sale for Star Talk Live at The Bell House on Sunday, December 18th. The lineup includdes Neil de Grasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman, and John Hodgman.

One night after that is the Hot Tub Holiday edition at Littlefield with Kurt, Kristen, Jon Glaser, Hannibal Buress, Adam the Real Man, and musical guest River City Extension.

Speaking of Hannibal Buress, he opened two shows for Aziz Ansari at the Bell House on Saturday night. We posted pictures.

Speaking of the Bell House, Rocket from the Tombs plays there tonight!

photos by David Andrako

Andrew Bird
Eugene Mirman

The 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival concluded on Sunday night (9/18) with two shows at the Bell House. "A Special Food-Themed Comedy Show For You" was hosted by Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen, with Ron Funches, Sarah Vowell, Larry Murphy, Raquel Pelzel and David Rees. "Pretty Good Friends", hosted by Michael Showalter, was with Eugene Mirman, Marc Maron (who plays the same Brooklyn venue again tonight/Monday), Hannibal Buress, Jared Logan and surprise musical guest Andrew Bird.

Andrew played four songs: Goin Home (Charlie Patton), So Much Wine (Handsome Family), Bein' Green (Joe Raposo), and Give It Away (new song).

Congrats to Mirman & co for another great year! Looking forward to 2012. Pictures from 2011 are HERE, HERE, HERE, and below...

Continue reading "Andrew Bird played! -- Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest Day 4 pics (Marc Maron, Sarah Vowell, Michael Showalter & more)"

BH photos by David Andrako, UH photos by Ryan Muir

The Drunk Show
Cast of Archer

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)

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 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.

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...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Fest 2011 --- Day 3 in pics (Rachel Maddow, John Hodgman, Jon Benjamin, Ira Glass & many more)"

photos by David Andrako

Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale
Bobby Tisdale aka Jon Glaser

After kicking off on Thursday, the Eugene Mirman Festival (which ends tonight/Sunday) continued on Friday with two shows, "A Night Of Very Likeable Comedians" at Union Hall and "Invite Them Up" at The Bell House. The Union Hall show featured standup from Tom Allen, Tom Shillue, Kurt Braunohler, Seth Herzog, John Mulaney and Jane Borden. Kurt and John also headed over to The Bell House to perform alongside Eugene Mirman, Slovin and Allen, Janeane Garofalo and Jon Glaser, who filled in as/for Invite Them Up host Bobby Tisdale. A set of pictures from the show at The Bell House continues below...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Fest 2011 --- Day 2 @ The Bell House in pics (Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale, Janeane Garofalo, more)"

by Klaus Kinski

TYF

It goes without saying that New York Fucking City is the best fucking city in the fucking galaxy. Name some attributes of another city (and I am sure people *cough*commenters*cough* will) and any New Yorker worth his or her salt will gladly, after they're done laughing hysterically, verbally pants your claims and make you realize how much time you just wasted with your nonsense. Everything here is better, and we have more of it. End. Of. Fucking. Story. Among our better-than-everywhere-else attributes is our Comedy scene. And one way we articulate and reinforce this attribute is by having several comedy shows happening across this city every night of the week.

One of NYC's biggest stand-out weekly shows is Tell Your Friends! which happens in the basement of a place called Lolita Bar (almost) every goddamned Tuesday. Tell Your Friends! is the brainchild of the talented Liam McEneaney and it has been bringing some of the most incredible line-ups to its basement audiences for over 6 years. Conceived as a showcase that danced somewhere between open mic territory and some of NYCs other smaller, more intimate alt rooms, Tell Your Friends! was devised as sort of a "comedy workout room;" a place where comedians could workshop new material without all the hassles and limitations of standard open mics. No, Tell Your Friends! wasn't the first place to do this type of thing; 15 years ago NYC had Eating It at Luna Lounge, Klaus favorite Patrick Borelli set up shop at the Gershwin Hotel, and, of course, there was Invite Them Up at Rififi where Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale basically wrote the book on how smaller, independent comedy showcases should be run until its demise in 2008. Invite Them Up took their backroom comedy debauchery to the next level when they did three nights of recording at Pianos for a 3 CD/1 DVD set that was released by Comedy Central Records. Incidentally, now that Invite Them Up is long gone (unless you count the upcoming Invite Them Up night at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival), that CD/DVD set serves as an extremely important document of just how bonkers and diverse that era in comedy really was.

Like Invite Them Up, Tell Your Friends! has brought their presence in the comedy world to the next level with the release of Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!. Shot at the Bell House, Liam McEneaney says

I had this idea that since I wanted to do a movie with standup comedians, comedians who had gotten their start outside the traditional comedy club scene, it shouldn't be shot as a typical comedy special. I sent Victor (Varnado) clips from concert films I felt should serve as the template, Woodstock, The Last Waltz, Stop Making Sense, The Beatles First Visit To America... Films that didn't just point a camera at a performance, but got you onstage with the acts themselves. And that didn't just record a concert, but really encapsulated a moment in history. Ultimately, we narrowed our influence down to Woodstock, and The Last Waltz, and used those more as our guides.
This epic piece of greatness features Reggie Watts, Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, Christian Finnegan, Leo Allen, Rob Paravonian, Nick Nace, Ann Enzminger, Marc Maron, and more. WANNA SEE IT!? Well SketchFest NYC is proud to present the New York City Premiere of Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film! at the Paley Center for Media on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011; at 7:30pm. After the movie there will be a panel moderated by Liam and feature Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, Christian Finnegan, Leo Allen, Neal Brennan, Jon Glaser, and Victor Varnado. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for the general public UPDATE: and $8.00 to BV readers!

In unrelated comedy news, don't forget that FYF Fest is Saturday September 3rd in Los Angeles and features a pretty toupee-spinning bunch of comedy check out the full comedy line-up below.

Continue reading "Tell Your Friends! the movie! (is screening in NYC), comedians (are playing FYF Fest in LA Saturday)"

book

Last week Littlefield wasn't listing any more editions of "Hot Tub" on their schedule, but it is in fact back tonight (2/7). Corn Mo, Brent Sullivan, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Free Love Forum will all join Kurt Braunohler (but maybe not Kristen) at the Brooklyn venue this evening. There's also a lineup listed for 2/14 - "Found Footage Festival, Sandra Bauleo, Surprise Guests, + more!" (and Kristen's name is on that bill).

Tonight is also another edition of Kevin Allison's Risk! Storyslam at the Pit, and of course Whiplash at UCB (with Jay Pharoah, Adam Cayton-Holland, Brooke Van Poppelen & Roger Hailes).

Speaking of UCB, the Chris Gethard Show returns to the venue on February 19th. Chris recently returned from a tour that kicked off with some help from Diddy.

Speaking of Diddy (not actually), the great Reggie Watts has announced another big headlining show. Having already sold out Manhattan's Highline Ballroom, his next big NYC conquest will be Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 30th. Tickets for the "partially seated show" go on sale Friday at noon.

Reggie will also join Eugene Mirman (and Kumail Nanjiani) for a special Boston edition of "Pretty Good Friends" on March 1st. Meanwhile catch the next edition of Mirman's "Pretty Good Friends" at its usual home of Union Hall in Park Slope this Sunday (2/13), and don't miss the extra-large Brooklyn edition coming to the Bell House on 2/27 in honor of Michael Showalter's new book.

And speaking of The Bell House and new books...

TUE 2/8: 8pm / FREE
JON GLASER BOOK RELEASE PARTY
Please join us for an evening of readings and music from Jon Glaser's new book "My Dead Dad Was In ZZ Top" (Harper Perennial), followed by general hanging out good times. Paul Rudd, Scott Adsit, John Hodgman, Zoe Lister-Jones, Ira Kaplan, Jon Hamm, and other special guests are scheduled to appear. Books will be on sale, plus the first 25 people to purchase books receive a special free un-named gift!
That's like half the cast of the new New Pornographers video all in one place and it's free!

Last but not least, Tuesday night live comedy series "Tell Your Friends" (who are advertisng a secret musical guest for this Tuesday's show) are releasing a movie! Trailer (starring Reggie Watts, Kurt Braunohler, Kristen Schaal and many others) and more details below...

Continue reading "Hot Tub, Reggie Watts, Whiplash, Jon Glaser's book, Tell Your Friends the movie, Chris Gethard & more shiat"

words & photos by David Andrako

"It looks like America might have fallen in love with a Pakistani!" Eugene Mirman after Kumail Nanjiani's well received set at The Bell House.

Eugene Mirman

The third day of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (Saturday) saw four shows performed at three different venues around Park Slope and Gowanus along with performances from over 20 comedians, a song by John Wesley Harding and a heavy dose of Bourne Trilogy references.

The early show, "Mike Birbiglia Interviews A Bunch Of Sort Of Authors and Sarah Vowell", was hosted by the aforementioned Birbiglia and saw him interviewing Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman, Patrick Borelli and Sarah Vowell about their most recent books. Birbiglia based the order of the interviews on his anxiety about the interviews from highest to lowest. Sarah Vowell went first and Eugene Mirman closed. Sarah, the most accomplished author on the panel, admitted being jealous of Chuck Klosterman "because he would get mentioned on The O.C." She also spoke of her next project, a historical book on the American annexation of Hawaii.

Michael Showalter's book "Mr. Funny Pants" will be released early next year and was described as "a book about how to write a book." He and Birbiglia read a chapter from the book that recapped a fictional interview with Charlie Rose. Patrick Borelli gave a surprisingly heartfelt slideshow of headshots from his book, "Holy Headshots." Birgibilia reminded Borelli about their short-lived two man improv team "Michael O' Patrick" from earlier in their careers. Eugene Mirman joined Birbiglia to chat about his book "Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life" that was released in February of 2009. The two also recounted the origin of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that was hatched during a night of heavy drinking and may or may not have been the result of a dare that Eugene accepted. The early show ended with all of the authors having a Q&A with the audience.

The two middle shows of the evening ran simultaneously at Union Hall and The Rock Shop. Eugene headed over to Union Hall to host "Eugene's World Class Masters of Comedy" which featured sets from Daniel Kitson (who also performed the night before), Ron Lynch, Marc Maron and Todd Barry. Being that I'd seen or would be seeing all of the comedians at Union Hall (except Todd Barry) at other shows during the festival I opted to head over to The Rock Shop for "A Night of Gay or Foreign Comedy." The show was hosted by Gabe Liedman and featured Maeve Higgins (who also performed the night before), Glenn Wool, Brent Sulivan, Kumail Nanjiani and Mehran Khaghani. Standouts of the show were Higgins, Boston based comic Mehran Khagani and Brent Sullivan (I agree with Eugene's description in the Festival guide that one of his jokes is a Top 5 joke of 2010).

The final show of the evening was held back at The Bell House and was billed as (deep breath) "Why Do I Know Everything about Everyone At The French Dinner? An Evening of Espionage Themed Comedy Celebrating Our Love of the Bourne Trilogy and All Things Spy." Eugene opened the show by explaining that his love for the Bourne Trilogy began when he watched the first film and showed a short film that he created in tribute to the trilogy. Kumail Nanjiani, fresh off a quick set at The Rock Shop, was the first comic of the evening and admitted that his set was "based on someone who watched the Bourne Trilogy yesterday". His set, which ended with a story about being subjected to racist taunts in Los Angeles, was rewarded by the loudest applause of the festival (so far).

Jon Glaser

Jon Glaser returned to the stage, not as Dr. Attitude (his character from Thursday night's show) but as The Man In The Green Mask - a CIA spy sent to educate the audience on what it takes to be a spy. He was unwilling to answer most questions during a brief Q&A but did admit to melting a gun into the shape of a banana. Friend of Eugene, John Wesley Harding (who also plays the fest Sunday night), performed a song written especially for the evening, "A Ballad Of The Bourne Trilogy". Sarah Vowell made several appearances between acts to read Bourne-themed poetry that was penned by Eugene.

Leo Allen and Eric Slovin (Allen and Slovin) performed in complete homemade, glue filled costumes as Spy vs. Spy and spent most of their set lamenting having booked a comedy show on Yom Kippur and talking about their day spent at Temple Beth Chuckles. Marc Maron, after performing at Union Hall, closed the show with a thoroughly researched set that featured his thoughts on spys, espionage, proper mic stands and the existence (or not) of his FBI file.

More pictures from the whole day, below...

Continue reading "Mike Birbiglia did interviews, Spy vs Spy & more on Day 3 of the 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Fetival (review & pics) "

A Night of Too Many Stars

Laugh with the stars at Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education on Saturday, October 2 at the Beacon Theatre.

Hosted by Jon Stewart, the evening will feature Lewis Black, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Joel McHale, John Oliver, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and too many more scheduled to appear!

Proceeds benefit autism education and family service programs across the country in support of the overabundance of autistic individuals that so desperately need quality services.

American Express® cardmembers can purchase advance tickets, Thursday, July 29 from 10AM - Sunday, August 1 at 10PM before they go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 2 at 9AM.

A great lineup for a great cause.

Much sooner: Tearing The Veil of Maya, the sometimes-weekly show that mostly happens at Union Hall is turning four and celebrating at Union Hall's sister venue The Bell House. The Four Year Anniversary Show will feature Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen, AD Miles, Wyatt Cenac "and friends!" Maybe Michael Showalter will be there too? That's at the Bell House on August 1st and tickets are on sale (note: "This show will be mixed seated/standing - please come early for the best seats.")

And speaking of weekly comedy shows happening in bigger, near-by venues, The Cameo's "Big Terrific" is happening at Music Hall of Williamsburg on August 27th. Hosts Gabe Liedman, Jenny Slate (SNL) and Max Silvestri promise "Many Special Guests". Tickets are on sale.

Continue reading "comedians fighting autism @ Beacon Theatre, Tearing the Veil of Maya turning four, Big Terrific getting bigger"

DOWNLOAD: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Even Heroes Have to Die (MP3)

Ted Leo @ Bell House Haiti Benefit in January (more by Jonny Leather)
Ted Leo

Screaming Females are currently on tour with JEFF the Brotherhood - that trip kicked off in NYC and will be back for a show at Brooklyn's Death By Audio on February 23rd. Come March, Screaming Females will be joining Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (who played Bowery Ballroom with JEFF in December) for shows across the US. Those includes his previously mentioned April 9th show at Irving Plaza. Tickets are still on sale.

Ted's new album, The Brutalist Bricks, is due March 9th on Matador. His shows in support of that start in early March (some of which are opened by Title Tracks). A track from the album is above; full tour dates are below. Before then, he'll be appearing (for "songs and a chat") at "Get Off Your Knees" a comedy show hosted by Sara Schaefer and Kim Armstrong at the Bell House front lounge on Tuesday, February 16th (tonight). Other guests include Leo Allen and Jamie Kilstein. Ted Leo appeared at the venue last month for its Haiti benefit. His songs from that night and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Ted Leo touring w/ Screaming Females, @ Bell House tonight"

Leo Allen benefiting Haiti @ MHOW on 1/23 (by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Leo Allen

Aziz Ansari added an extra two shows to his previously-announced run of CD Release shows at Comix. The new total is eight shows over four days (2/3-2/6) and they all appear to be sold out. "Friends scheduled to appear throughout the weekend:" Todd Barry, Moshe Kasher, John Mulaney, Max Silvestri, Joe Mande, Kristen Schaal, Hannibal Buress, Leo Allen, Kumail Nanjiani, and Anthony Jeselnik. A fine set of openers indeed.

Don't have a ticket, but still want to see Aziz during his now-rare trip back to NYC? You can also catch him tonight (2/2) for free at the Apple Store in SOHO. Sarah Silverman will appear in the same venue one night later.

Speaking of Max Silvestri, don't forget to catch his Big Teriffic show every Wednesday night at The Cameo (free!).

Speaking of Kristen Schaal, you can catch her tonight (2/2) as part of Sara Schaefer & Kim Armstrong's new free weekly Tuesday night comedy show in the front lounge of The Bell House (which is also hosting a "TOTALLY SOLD OUT" Lost premiere party this evening as well).

Speaking of Kristen Schaal performing comedy at The Bell House, tickets are on sale for a February 27th show described as "Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn present Winter Warm-Up featuring Comedy with Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends, Special guests include Kristin Schaal & Michael Showalter".

Speaking of Hannibal Buress, he hosts a comedy show every Sunday night at Knitting Factory (free!).

Todd Barry, John Mulaney and Hannibal Buress all return to Comix on the same (February 18th) night (code TBAF saves $5).

Leo Allen hosts Whiplash every Monday night at UCB

A few shows other shows coming up at UCB and other surprises below...

Continue reading "Aziz Ansari at Comix & The Apple Store, Sarah Silverman, Hannibal Buress & other upcoming comedy shows"

photos by Paul Birman

"Thanks to everyone who came to the BV Haiti benefit last night. You made it really special." - St. Vincent

"St. Vincent and Justin Vernon performing together was easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen/heard." - Steph Lo

Brooklyn Vegan and Bowery Presents Haiti Benefit

Wyatt Cenac was funny. Then came Britt Daniel (of Spoon) with White Rabbits frontman Stephen Patterson. They had such a good time on stage together, you can tell they were buds. Janeane Garofalo came next - she has the smartest humor and is a strong rooted New Yorker. Made a ton of jokes about the L train and hipsters which the crowd took very warmly to. Gosh she's tiny. St Vincent went on and sounded like the lovely thing she is. Someone yelled while she was setting up 'show us your bush'????', In which she replied, 'that is the strangest thing someone has ever said to me...on or off stage'. Adorable. Following her was Zach Galifianakis who everyone was undeniably waiting for. It really looked like he just rolled out of bed, picked up some papers from a table and walked on stage totally winging his whole act...hilarious. Alas came Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver). His voice sounded just as amazing it does on record. The room was at its most quiet during "Flume". Unreal. He was the last act but did say something about a special guest - I heard it was Megafaun/My Brightest Diamond (had to leave early), which I imagine rounded out the benefit nicely. Really awesome that these guys all came together"...
[Stadiums & Shrines]
Thanks for that partial recap S&S. You should have gotten there earlier and stayed later though!

The night opened with a great debut set by singer-songwriter John Shade (previously Dave Godowsky) who brought out Justin Vernon on drums for two songs. Before and after John, and between every set of the night, came comedy by our two able hosts: Bobby Tisdale and Leo Allen. St Vincent's set included a National and a Nico cover. Justin covered John Prine. Britt Daniel did three songs, which was one less than he played at Sound Fix a few hours earlier.

And yep, the special guest after/during Justin's set was in fact Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) who (after headlining Bowery Ballroom one night earlier) played two jaw dropping numbers - one with Colin Stetson on his most-insane giant saxophone, and a cover of Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore".

But it didn't end there. A supergroup called Songer Singwriter featuring Annie, Justin, drummer, and Brad from Megafaun came back to close the night off right with a set of four more covers. Neil Young's "Harvest Moon", Tom Petty's "Face in the Crowd" (with Brad on lead), Dolly Parton's "Jolene", and Annie Lennox's "Why". Each of those final covers was better than the next. To quote one of my tweets, "To quote my friend, 'Sounds like sonic youth playing a dolly parton song. Sick!' and now Annie Lennox Why! Full room Bon Iver singalong".

We ran almost non-stop for 3.5 hours straight (8-11:30), and raised over $20,000. I'm still waiting for an exact number. More pictures (one of two sets we have) and some videos from the show, below....

Continue reading "Britt Daniel, Justin Vernon, St Vincent, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo & others raised money for Haiti @ MHOW - pics & video "

Leo Allen opening for the Walkmen @ the Guggenheim (more by Kurt Christensen)
Leo Allen

Daniel Kitson tickets and other Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival tickets are on sale.

Tickets are also on sale for the New York Comedy Festival shows.

Leo Allen opened for The Walkmen at the Guggenheim Museum on Friday night. Leo Allen hosts Whiplash every Monday night at the UCB Theatre in NYC. David Cross, Ted Alexandro & Aparna Nancherla are among those performing there tonight (8/17).

Also tonight, but in Brooklyn: Falling Down, a new monthly comedy series at Bruar Falls hosted by Ali Wong, features Todd Barry, Dave Hill and more.

photos by Kurt Christensen

Guggenheim

"[Friday] night, The Walkmen headlined It Came from Brooklyn, [The Guggenheim's first] concert series [which highlights artists from Brooklyn and happens to coincide with the museum's] 50th Anniversary. The band were sleek in dress and voracious in music. As they rattled off numerous tracks off their 2008 release, "You & Me", they also were accompanied by a section of trumpets and trombones. The Walkmen's songs, some straightforward and mellow and some more palpitating and post-punk, filled the rotunda beautifully without so much as a word or a chord being lost. In fact the venue of the night seemed to enhance the whole performance; the grandiosity of the Guggenheim could pose an air of overwhelmingness, but instead the performance felt wholly intimate..." [Gothamist]
High Places, the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, novelist Colson Whitehead, and comedian Leo Allen were also on the museum bill. For the Walkmen it was the first of two NYC shows this weekend; the second was on Sunday in Central Park (pics coming soon). For the Guggenheim it was the first of this new series. The next will feature a performance by Interpol front-man Paul Banks aka Julian Plenti. More pictures from Friday below...

Continue reading "The Walkmen, High Places, Leo Allen, Colson Whitehead & a marching band @ The Guggenheim Museum in NYC - pics "

by Klaus Kinski

Secret Wars @ All Points West 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Eugene Mirman

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...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2009 lineup (Daniel Kitson & more), an 826NYC benefit (tickets), a new Sub Pop album"

It Came From Brooklyn

Tickets for the first show of the Guggenheim's It Came From Brooklyn series on Friday, August 14th are on sale now. They cost a whopping $45 for non-members, and museum members don't do much better with a reduced cost of $40. The night will feature sets from The Walkmen and High Places, and an opening performance by Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band. Hosting will be comedian Leo Allen; novelist Colson Whitehead "reads selections from Walt Whitman between performances." The next edition of the series is scheduled for September 25th. None of the acts have been confirmed.

Two days after on Sunday, August 16th, the Walkmen will playing a free Central Park Summerstage show with Dinosaur Jr.

More info on the It Came From Brooklyn series, below...

Continue reading "It Came From Brooklyn w/ The Walkmen, High Places, Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band - tickets on sale"

Eugene Mirman @ Le Poisson Rouge (more by Tim Griffin)
Eugene Mirman

Dates have been announced dates for this year's Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which will take place September 17th - 20th at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Lineup and ticket info to come.

Last year's fest happened September 15th-18th, with events at the Bell House and Union Hall. Featured acts included Janeane Garofalo, John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, Aziz Ansari, Michael Showalter, Mike Birbiglia, Fred Armisen and many others.

Aziz Ansari, now an even huger celebrity thanks to a co-starring role in the new NBC TV series Parks and Recreation, will be back in NYC soon and will be making at least two appearances while he's here. The first is at Eugene Mirman's weekly Tearing the Veil of Maya show at Union Hall on Sunday, May 3rd @ 7:30 pm (tickets at the door) (Eugene won't actually be there though). The next is one night later at UCB as part of Leo Allen's weekly, late-night Whiplash show. Tickets to the latter are free, and you probably want to make a reservation.

Aziz's other upcoming appearances include the Sasquatch Festival, Bonnaroo, and a TBA DVD taping in NYC in "early June".

Mirman is currently on tour with Flight of the Conchords (which is why he won't be at Union Hall on Sunday), though he didn't jump on till after the group's two NYC shows.

Mirman also recently toured with John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders. That show visited NYC three times: February 11th, March 11th, and April 15th (all three links have pics, one of which is reposted above). There remains a May 21st show hosted by Philly radio show World Cafe Live. Tickets for that show are on sale.

Speaking of John Wesley Harding (aka Wesley Stace), on Thursday, April 30th, he'll be performing at CUNY's Proshansky Auditorium on a bill titled "Collaborations/Elaborations: The Music of Daniel Felsenfeld." The event is part of the PEN World Voices Festival, and will feature Harding, Mark Z. Danielewski, Daniel Felsenfeld, Rick Moody, and others. Details on that below.

In addition to that show, Harding has his own UK tour coming up. He just did a reading/performance at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on April 27th.

Details on the PEN Festival show, with all upcoming Eugene Mirman dates and a video roundup of the comedian's recent activities, below...

Continue reading "2009 Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest dates announced ++ upcoming Aziz Ansari appearances in NYC"

James Murphy & Pat Mahoney dressed for the prom (more by Ryan Muir)
Pat Mahoney

After years of raised expectations and inevitable disappointment, after Pretty in Pink and Saved By The Bell season 4 (we remember it, too), 826NYC and Bowery Presents are happy to finally bring you THE PROM YOU WERE PROMISED, a night of formal wear, butt-kicking dance music, and actual spiked punch, featuring rare DJ sets by VAMPIRE WEEKEND, PAT MAHONEY (of LCD Soundsystem), and HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR, along with jokes from host LEO ALLEN.

The evening will benefit 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

PROM BASICS:
Who: You, and a date. (Date not required)
Dress code: Prom attire (Your old gown/tux/suit, or the jeans and sneakers you wished you'd worn.)
What: The prom night you've been waiting for.
When: Thursday, May 21, 2009, at 9 p.m.
Where: Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
Why:
1) For the kids-all proceeds benefit 826NYC
2) For the music-three killer DJ sets, each of them worth the price of admission
3) For the replacement memories, made to last a lifetime

$25 tickets are on sale at noon.

A video about 826NYC below...

Continue reading "826NYC having a prom at MHOW (w/ DJ Vampire Weekend)"

Morgan Murphy the pregnant Hanukkah fairy (more by Tim Griffin)
Morgan Murphy

The lineup for tonight's Whiplash show at the NYC UCB Theatre is great as usual. Leo Allen hosts Paul F. Tompkins, John Mulaney, Andrea Rosen, Jesse Popp, and LA's Morgan Murphy. If anyone knows of any other shows Morgan is playing while she's in town, please leave details in the comments.

Also coming up at UCB: The Benson Interruption on Wednesday 2/18, and A-Side / B-Side with Kurt and Kristin on Thursday.

Patton Oswalt plays six shows at Caroline's this month. Tickets are on sale at Ticketweb.

Zach Galifianakis has a few shows coming up of note. On February 19th he'll join Bobby Tisdale, Pete Holmes, Shane Mauss and Andrea Rosen for a short set at 92YTribeca. Then on March 5th he's doing a full, $40, show at NYU. On May 24th he's playing the new comedy/dance tent at the Sasquatch Music Festval in Gorge, Washington.

The venue attached to Sound Fix Records in Williamsburg is closing soon. Upcoming comedy shows there include Entertaining the Bartender w/ Jena Friedman on Tuesday 2/17, Totally J/K w/ Joe and Noah (Paul F. Tompkins, Michelle Collins, Ted Alexandro, and Paul Oddo) on Wednesday 2/18, and Big Terriffic w/ Max, Gabe and Jenny on Thursday 2/19.

Eugene Mirman recently celebrated the release of his book at the Bell House in Brooklyn. His upcoming shows include two dates with John Wesley Harding at Le Poisson Rouge.

Dave Hill appears at Village Underground on February 24th.

Commercials have started to air for Parks and Recreations, by the people who brought you the Office, coming Thursdays to NBC and starring Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, and Aziz Ansari. That commercial, and more videos, below...

Continue reading "Morgan Murphy @ Whiplash tonight, Parks and Recreation, Patton, Zach Galifianakis dates & other comedy news"

Dave Hill, A.C. Newman, Carl Arnheiter (elf) & Brett Gelman @ UCBNY (via)
Newman

"Exciting news for the East Village -- we've discovered that the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has designs on the former Two Boots Pioneer Theater space at 155 East 3rd Street. Alex Sidtis, directing manager of the UCB's current location in Chelsea, revealed to [NY Magazine] that the troupe is hoping to open an East Village outpost, depending on whether it can secure a tavern wine license (the theater will plead its case at a January 12 meeting of Community Board 3's licensing committee). The location will mean more stage time for its performers...

Sidtis loves the fact that the 99-seat theater has a lobby, and says of the layout, "It's a little different [than that of the Chelsea location]. The shows will be more presentational and less theatrical in nature." Phil Hartman, who built the theater a decade ago and still owns the adjacent Two Boots pizza parlor and video store, tells us "I love the theater and I'm pleased to think that it would stay alive as a theater and not get gutted and turned into something else."..."
[NY Magazine]

The current NYC UCB Theatre is located at 307 W. 26th St. It's there that you can catch Leo Allen's weekly Whiplash show on Monday nights at 11pm...for free. This week (tonight) (11/5), Reggie Watts and Marc Maron will be two of his guests.

Leo Allen's Monday night spot used to be held by Aziz Ansari and the Human Giant crew doing a similar type of comedy show with the same types of guests. Don't miss Aziz when he does a much bigger type of show January 9th and 10th at Comix. All dates HERE.

The above photo was taken at the UCB Theatre in NYC, on December 18th.

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