Fun weekend. Did two shows at Comedy Off Broadway in Oakland, which continues to grow and get better and better. Had a really fun set on Thursday that I was tempted to post up (audio only) but after 90 minutes of farting around with audio embedding sites I’ve lost the burning desire to do so.
Kris Tinkle is a blistered-hand coal miner posing for a traveling photographer circa 1885: holding a shovel, head cocked to the side with a smirk on his grimy face. He’s firmly entrenched in his backbreaking, ball busting labor and doesn’t mind that his only reward is eating, drinking, smoking and fucking. He doesn’t want to change minds, he doesn’t want to swing his book-reading dick in your face; he merely wants to tell funny stories by the fire.
This would all describe Kris Tinkle had he been a migrant worker. Tinkle is comic and that’s close enough.
Almost Awesome, Kris Tinkle’s debut, is a largely anecdotal album covering his time as a substitute teacher, being a phone operator for the hearing impaired, former relationships, sex, drugs, and other mishaps. The spirit of the album is best conveyed by Kris’ allegory of the Special Olympics. According to Kris, the first week of training for the Special Olympics involves a rigorous amount of celebrating. After twirling through the air, regardless of the outcome, the special needs athlete (dubbed “Handies” by Tinkle) stand up and raise one fist (“I did it!”) Think Tommie Smith but with a helmet.
This image resonates with Tinkle’s comedy because it represents Tinkle’s proud depreciation. Kris Tinkle calls out every flaw, fluke, and flunk evident or prevalent, jostled in stories that start strong but end “meh” (on the grand scale of goodness). Kris Tinkle operates under the mantra: to name it is to claim it. Kris calling himself a caveman takes away from the power of the insult. Kris informing the audience of a lack of money or waning sexual prowess allows him to become grand. Kris understands that in the end it doesn’t really matter what you have, you will not be denied the human experience.
“See that story and a couple of other ones, I realize that most of my stories are almost awesome. Like they start off good but they end up shitty.”
My Favorite Track: (Dog with a Pierced Tongue)
Kris Tinkle has a number of comedic constructs at his disposal as he talks of body-mod-dogs and porn practices. Aurally, he commands an unique register and cadence: a weird blend of medium rasp and strained accents dictates a rhythm peppered by “like”s, “um”s, and “dude”s. Analogies provide cover fire for granadesque, clever turns of phrase (like “speed trials” and “[assholes] turning pro”). Kris possesses an eye for audience temperament and enlists their natural reaction to continue the joke, tripping their sentimental hair-trigger to play with the strings like an energetic gato. He can also leave a “bookmark” in accordance to uber-depravity or a joke’s conclusion with a cascading laugh or a sidebar. The supreme weapon in Tinkle’s arsenal is his theatrics: accentuating bits with humorous dramatizations in silly voices. Only drawback to this practice is that some reenactments involve a visual element that is lost to the listener. I don’t know what a “Hurricane of Dicks” or Kris Tinkle dancing looks like but I wish I did. It’d aid in the understanding process. Comedy albums should have a Youtube link or a .gif file attached; code it in flash, make it an extra feature… (MARKETING!)
The release of Almost Awesome marks an interesting point in modern comedy. The album, released through a boutique comedy brand, is like an establishing shot on Mr. Stanton (aka Tinkle) and the rest is to be determined. Live stand-up comedy is a niche, specialty release and even more so if the comedian isn’t nationally known. It’s like 7-inch releases from local-unknown punk/hardcore bands because the proliferation of underground comedy albums cater to a small group of chuckle-heads and fellow comedians. That’s not a bad thing; it continues the recent influx of comedic audio that is charging up a movement. Such releases help present fresh and polished comedians to people outside of their region or tour schedule while adding an actual ware for the comedians to sell at shows. Almost Awesome serves that purpose: fun, vibrant, obscure comedy that you should check out.
onion Juice: Countdown to the Purple Onion (The Day: Words)
So today is the day. I perform at the Purple Onion at 8 o’clock. I was there last night, hanging out with friends and watching great comedy. I’ll talk about that later because right now I have to get ready to head over to FCCFreeRadio's studios to be on Travis “Too Much” Curry's inaugural show. The show will be co-hosted by Tony Sparks and will also feature Sylvan brethren, Andrew Moore.
Today started with an egg sandwich, cleaning my room and talking to one of my favorite people about the intricacies of monster sex. Good start. I’ll be tweeting throughout the day anything that comes to mind, like a LiveTweet Onion Juice experience.
I’m weirdly calm about the whole ordeal. People are still buying tickets and I’m running my set internally to gauge for time and whatnot but I don’t feel nervous. Purple Onion is a historic room/stage, but indeed it is a stage. I’m more comfortable on stage than any other time in my life.
I like to thank you readers for supporting me with your eyeballs. This blog is fun and this segment has been fun. Hope to see you at the show. If not, hope to feel you in the zenith.
“i never heard of a relationship between comix ever working out. its too competitive. wanting to be the best is difficult when u gotta care about your gf/bf doing well. its too hard. art is selfish”—Chris Schiappacasse
TWO DAYS until I take the stage at the historic Purple Onion. Two days until I mix new and old material to entertain friends, family and strangers. Two days until I can dance and play and be happy; be my self.
I’ve gone back and forth with my emotions on this one. Some key people in my life aren’t going to be able to make it… but in the same breath I can appreciate the ones who are able to come out to support me.
One of them being my Dad.
My Dad is a hero of mine for various reasons. The major contribution (besides genetics) is his encouragement of my creativity. If my mom taught me about being driven, my father taught me how to dream.
My dad introduced me to comic books, movies, Stephen King novels, music collecting, sports, and a slew of other things that I take very serious that the world may overlook.
The scene that my father played the most from the latter movie was where Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are looking for meager accommodations.
STU, YOUR RENT’S DUE MOTHERFUCKER!
He must have played this scene 30 times in a row once, it’s beats and punchline ingrained into my very existence.
It was moments like this and movies like these that started my obsession with the art form and my Dad was right next to me plugging away information about this Bruce or that Foxx. And this was when I was 7 to about 14, but he did not allow my age to be a factor in me appreciating amazingly funny ideas and ideals.
When I told him I started doing comedy he was a bit surprised. He knew I was funny but he also knew I was shy (he found that out the hard way when he tried to teach how to spit game to women). Also there is a discrepancy between my father and my comic theory. I’m a very dry, he’s very guttural and we bounce opinions in between. Regardless, he’s supported me and my comic endeavors and I’m glad to make him proud as I take center stage at the Purple Onion.
Onion Juice: Countdown to the Purple Onion (The Guys)
I’m performing at the Purple Onion for better or worse it’s happening August 28th. Still a lot to do and a lot to talk about but I’m obliged to tell you why I’m so optimistic about my show. As I’ve written about before I’m featured on a show with two of my favorites on the scene: Jabari Davis and Melanie O’Brien. In addition to those style giants, my show also features three gentlemen whom I personally know and immensely respect.
I saw Joey Bragg at the BrainWash and he immediately bowled me over. A prodigy of sorts, cool, crispy, smooth and delivering gems of a bygone era (my adolescents). I admire the ire he and inspires and the deserved recognition of being talented first and a youngster second.
Eric is cool. He hosts an open mic in North Beach at the Impala Lounge where I’ve been featured a few times. His work ethic is to be respected and his cadence/tone is intriguing to watch. He also references pro-wrestling in his act so I have to give it up to him for that.
Bryan Moore is our “Special Guest”. I just saw him at Pissed of Pete’s and I can personally attest to his goofy charm and grandeur. Plus he’s also a good dude off stage. Bryan and Jabari are going to be a dramatic one-two punch to end my show.
So there you have it folks. I know everybody on the bill. I like everybody on the bill. We all compliment each other and overall create the best card out of the entire weekend.