Spotify is a thing. I use it a lot and it’s getting popular (as evident of the consistent notifications of late-adopting friends joining). Also, there’s a lot of great comedy on the service (still no AST releases though). So with that in mind, here is a highlight of my week in Bay Area Comedy, through the Spotify catalogue.
1. "The 99 Cent Pregnancy Test" by Moshe Kasher. Kash Money is playing Sunnyvale’s Rooster T. Feathers this weekend. While his career has taken him to the highest and farthest reaches of comedy, it’s really fun to hear him figuring it out on his debut album: Everyone You Know Will DIe and Then You Are! Here’s a stand out track from that material, and for entertaining contrast, listen to its contextual sequel.
2. "The Pocket Crisis" by Marga Gomez. Gomez is San Francisco royalty. She recently closed shop at Comedy Bodega (exceptional comedy in the middle of the Mission), but long before that (1997) she released an album! Her trademark affability is brilliantly on display.
3. "Men and Women" by Sammy Obeid. You don’t have to read Courting Comedy to know about the exploits of Sammy Obeid. He’s literally taken the comedy world by storm, and in doing so, gave context to his success with the release of “Get Funny or Die Tryin’.” Here’s one of its many highlights.
4. "Gay on Accident, Oops!" by Keith Lowell Jensen. Last week, I saw Keith at the Sacramento Comedy Festival. I’ve been a fan of Keith’s talent and gusto from the giddy up but we live so far away from each other! Check out KLJ’s latest album - Elf Orgy- in addition to his two previous (also available on Spotify).
5. "Emily Heller" by Laugh Skull Comedy Festival. I miss Emily Heller. I just do.
6. "Penises and Lollipops" by Baron Vaughn. Baron is at the SF Punch this weekend, and, sadly, I will not be able to see one of my favorite comedians ever. Nonetheless, his rhythmic imagination crystallizes an earworm of comedic prowess. Listen to this and you’ll never get the song out of your head. (Also, “Cat People” is equally inescapable)
7. "I Don’t Feel Good / Vegetarian Option" by Tom Papa. It seems juvenile to love Tom Papa as much as I do. Not to discredit his comedy, — currently playing at Pleasanton’s Tommy T’s Steakhouse — but my reverence stems entirely from seeing him as a child, do an excellent 30-minutes of stand-up on Comedy Central. His talent lays wasted in my ignorance, but the vapors of “Tommy Salami” always makes me smile.
It’s t-minus fifteen minutes. The audience remains translucent. 49-seats of emptiness connects two pools of light. In the lobby Wigglesworth, nicest cyberpirate, watches the door with French bulldog, Wellington, lazily laying nearby. Across the moody, barren strait, a smattering of chattery, the loudest voice belonging to Bucky Sinister.
Bucky has probably heard some offensive assumptions: stocky, tattooed, downplayed dapper with freshly cut, slick hair. In the avocado-green room, with suspended livery and hoarded horrors, the sensitive badass is a kingly raconteur, bouncing lively in badinage with two of the night’s guests, neighborhood chocolatiers.
The Daily Show, local anti-political performance art, pranks. A rich colloquial confluence of rolling anecdotes from legitimately interesting San Franciscans with one exception. Nato Green, native through in through, slinks into a sleeve of his own design, iPhoning with a casual aloofness. “Do we have two mic[rophones] ready?” Nato leaks. Bucky exits to check, leaving Green to pre-interview with ebbing/flowing soccerdadcoach excitability.
Sean Keane arrives ‘round eight, complimented on his “Let It Be” McCartney-ness before being whisked away by the natural chaos of live production. Comedy isn’t glitz, it is gridiron exhibitions containing a lot of audibles. Caitlin Gill arrives. It’s t-plus eighteen minutes. In a matter of thirty minutes the once husky belly of the Dark Room Theater is now paunchy and groaning. Baron Vaughn — “Way less famous than he should be,” spouts Nato — is running late, and everyone seems even keel about it. Hasn’t anybody told the showrunners that it’s their fourth anniversary, an occasion worthy of silk, flowers or at least punctuality? Why does everything seem like business as unusual?