Courting Comedy Spotify Playlist: (6/6/2014)

"Power Slide" by Dan Cummins. Dan Cummins, playing this weekend in beautifully estranged Sunnyvale, is a funny guy. Likeability, the vague property of not being a piece of shit, does the man well. He’s great live, riffs well, a showman without folly.

"Relax/Sit" by Rory Scovel. I love Rory Scovel to death. He’s a real, honest to greatness artist and a demoralizingly funny comic. It’s like he’s not trying, which is infuriating in my own times of doubt. Will I ever be as funny as Rory? Probably not. Still, it does well to marvel his magesty, especially on his album Dilation, recorded at SF Punch Line (to which he returns this weekend.)

"The Rooster" by OutKast. I performed at Rooster T Feathers this week. I hope they invite me back. They play Outkast’s "The Rooster" as people file out (erudite pun) and their staff is always nice to me. Also, shout out to Chipotle.

"The Worst Possible Conclusion" by Michael Ian Black. Michael Ian Black works words and wonder this week at the beautiful and coveted Chapel on Valencia St. I’m listening to his album at work. He’s fast becoming my favorite black comedian since BET’s Faceman.

"Do Not Punch My Baby" by Brian Posehn. This weekend, native Brian Posehn shares the stage with T-Pain. No, wait, this is a lie.

Courting Comedy Spotify Playlist: (10/25/2013)

Another week, another digging. Check out this comedy covering the week of 10/19-10/25.

1. Craighlist Rideshare by Brent Weinbach. Cal Grad and early-nought San Francisco urban legend, Brent made his annual return to his home  club—the San Francisco Punch Linelast week. There’s so much to point out as interesting or unique with the Santa Monica playboy, but I’m growing fond of his accurate imitations of the Bay’s many affectations. I ain’t mad at it. 

2. The Crazy by Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits. Last Tuesday I was given access to BJE&CM’s live album recording: a fabulous display performed ever so quaintly for the band’s eccentric and influential cast of collegues. I had never heard “The Crazy” before the intimate soiree but was hooked after 3 minutes of communal, churchy clapping. Live — especially stripped to its bare bones — Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits are encompassingly awesome.

3. Babies by Erik Griffin. YO, Who went to Cobb’s last weekend?! There’s a lot of people in comedy that can rock their vibe all day. Griffin’s one of those guys: immensely aware, assured, and down-to-earth. On this selection he gets a lot of juice out of his post-natal contention, making deft points about cellphones and travel along the way.

4. What I Worship by Maria Bamford. I missed my opportunity to watch Bam Bam at Cobb’s last week, but I would be remiss not to include one of my favorite tracks from her recently released “Ask Me About My New God!”. Bamford is going to go down as one of the most on-point and naturally hilarious comedians to ever do it.

5. Don’t Lose Your Head by Eban Schletter and Vernon Wells. The inclusion of this track is a bit of a stretch. Not particularly humorous, and barely relevant to the “Bay Area” ideal of Courting Comedy (Schletter called SF home bay in the 90s). Nevertheless, the spooktacular Hallow’s Eve is on the horizon and this is the best I could do on such short notice! 

Courting Comedy Spotify Playlist: (10/18/2013)

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

Courting Comedy Spotify Playlist: (10/4/2013)

I’m a little late on this one so here’s some backtracked tracks of Bay Area Comedy Gold available on Spotify:

1. Sean Patton by Holy Fuck Comedy. Sean Patton has a fabulous album — 2012’s Standard Operating Procedures — that’s unfortunately unavailable on Spotify. The only result for Mr. Patton’s persuasion is from the recently released Holy Fuck Comedy compilation and it’s a bona fide doozy. Riffing turns of histrionics with a exuding presence and groove: Patton is on another planet. 

2. Gay Porn by Margaret Cho. Our beloved, native faghag princess has been on the forefront of comedy and culture for as long as I can remember. Her story of her brother’s vengeance-inspired fish bowl defacing still ranks high as a childhood memory. This piece, taken from her SF-housed special “I’m The One That I Want”, offers a great prelude her upcoming shows at the Nob Hill Masonic for her “MOTHER” tour.

3. "Dating Aggressively" by Marc Maron. A modern folk hero, everyman made “made man”, deft self-destructor. However you perceive the Renaissance WTFer, he’s made a prolific niche that includes “This Has To Be Funny” and that’s recently expanded with "Thinky Pain".

4. Chelsea Peretti by Invite Them Up. Chelsea Peretti is another comedian making the Bay Area proud on a consistent basis be it stand-up, writing, sketches, or stealing the show on FOX’s new series, Brooklyn Nine Nine. And I mean STEALING the show. I look forward to her first full-fledge album. 

5. Smile by Rory Scovel. I was in the room at this show’s mirror. In the vault is a version of Dilation, performed at the San Francisco Punch Line in 2011, with a loud comedian/blogger billowing with laughter. Nevertheless, Rory Scovel’s Dilation ranks as one of my favorite albums, period, made even sweeter by its forging close to home. 

Courting Comedy Spotify Playlist: (9/27/2013)

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.

"Adam & Steve / Rapper’s Delight / Stupid Google" by Dave Thomason. Album: 2011 Silver Nails: Best of Underground Comedy. (via Rooftop Comedy). Recorded Live at the Purple Onion.

(Source: Spotify)

"Make My Sandwich" by Bill Burr. Album: Let it Go. Recorded Live at the Fillmore Auditorium. 

(Source: Spotify)

"Freaky Baby" by Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children MacNuggits

(Source: Spotify)

"I’m Filipino, May I Come In" by Kevin Camia. Album: Kindness. Year: 2010. Recorded Live at the San Francisco Punch Line. 

(Source: Spotify)

"My Fantasy" by Kelly McCarron. Album: "I’d Eat Them Both". Year: 2012. Recorded Live at the Purple Onion. 

(Source: Spotify)