California is crazy big and insanely spoiled. We used to just have gold, now we have the Internet, which is like printing your own gold. We are smaller than Texas yet we have more sports teams. Our fucking flag has a bear on it. Most importantly, we have at least five distinct comedy scenes, and two (or more?) major alt-comedy festivals (both occurring in the month of January).
I’m currently in between rest stops. Apparently Congress created this Dust Bowl surrounding the car with decay, the perfect backdrop for writing about frivolous abundance. Riot LA is a day away/the second display of emphatic array/with podcasts, talk shows and stand-up galore/legends, upstarts, food trucks and more!
SPOTIFY!: I’m currently using you to listening to Art Tatum gently underneath a podcast — I’m a fan of the product. I’m always late with these things but they’re good at recapping the week that was. SO, here is a write up of all the great comedy on Spotify for the week of (10/11–10/18/2013):
1. "I Want Them All" by Doctor Striker. Storking Comedy is my very own blackbox, cardboard-and-duct-tape, imagination-station club house. It’s loose, frivolous decadence allows me to bring some of my favorite talents into a homey, risk-free space. One such favorite is Doctor Striker, an enigma I met at the Brainwash Cafe in San Francisco. He’s more “cheekily humorous” than outright “comical”, nevertheless, a powerful performer with utmost conviction.
2. "Soda Pop Heartbreak" by Alex Koll. If I can be half as versatile and malleable as Alex Koll, I will be a happy man. Koll is back in town from New York, his new habitat, and I got to see some of his new wares at the San Francisco Punch Line (SO GOOD!). In fact, you can catch him tonight/tomorrow at the San Francisco Punch Line and this weekend at the Sacramento Punch Line (with Moshe Kasher).
3. "Barbara Gray" by Holy Fuck. Live Comedy. Holy Fuck gets alotta love on Courting Comedy as the only available compilation of the maelstrom of new talent in the Los Angeles area. One such talent is perennial favorite, Barbara Gray, who was in town a while back hitting up the various community lynchpins (jokes jokes jokes!). I love her punmanship and sarcastic effervesce.
4. "Bad Boy of Comedy" by Tom Rhodes. Tom is a paramount player. So smooth, so brash, so professional. He’s as impressive on stage for 15 minutes to close out the SF Comedy Showcase as he is for an hour at any club in the country. If you’re not entranced by that lapping, swirling cadence, you might need to see a doctor.
5. "San Francisco, Kids vs. Cats, My Folks" by Janine Brito. Janine Brito, a bright and shining star, has been crushing it on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, be it a “Tracy Morgan off” with Tracy Morgan, dancing her ass off, or reappropriating Columbus Day. I win nothing by saying what many have said before me, but she’s an absolute marvel.
6. "Black Section of San Francisco" by W. Kamau Bell. Speaking of Totally Biased, check out this track by the Jedi master himself. It’s a great relief to hear evidence of a critical and searching talent, find his voice over time. This is during his pre W. Kamau Bell Curve experience, marking a more “clubby”, “mainstream” jokester en route to a unique brand of social commentary.
7. "Moustache" by DJ REAL. Distracted, keeping time for Storking Comedy, I feel a peculiar friction on my shoulder: It’s DJ Real, nuzzling me with his mustache. Real is one of my greatest friends and inspirations, so working with him was an absolute dream. Check out his entire discography on Spotify to hear one of the most underrated musical comedy acts in the country.