Friday, April 20, 2012


I can't pretend to know what your weekend plans entail, but if you're in Redmond (or the greater Seattle area) I will simply assume you're headed down to the Big Picture Theater tomorrow for the 2nd annual BoneBat Comedy of Horrors Film Fest.

Features films include zombie road movie Dead Heads and Robert Englund vehicle The Moleman of Belmont Avenue, not to mention tons of shorts and live music from prog metal act Burning of I and local nerdcore legends Death*Star. Organizers Steve and Gord will, of course, be on hand to officiate all this madness, and tickets are still available for $30.

This is a 21+ event, as alcohol will be in no short supply. And with films like Monster Brawl on the menu, I imagine drinking is actively encouraged.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 131: Musical Comedy Is Not Pretty

It takes a special kind of bravery to be funny. I'm serious, so stay with me here.

Comedians, in whatever form, encourage others to laugh at them, which flies in the face of the innate human fear of seeming foolish in the eyes of one's peers. Moreover, these jokesters actively encourage audiences not to take them seriously, which is itself rather counterintuitive to the nature of the artist.

This is especially true for those who play music for laughs. They are often viewed as creatively compromised, accused of hiding behind humor to mask some manner of creative deficiency. They are labeled mere "novelty acts."

But being funny, much like being a superb songwriter or an adept guitarist, takes work. It takes both practice and skill. It takes dedication. And to do all three? Why that takes a very special kind of artist indeed.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 131: Musical Comedy Is Not Pretty [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 61.9 MB Running Time: 47:36 Subscribe to RFH

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah - "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
Though humor is not their primary mechanism, both Beef and Spellah manage to creatively employ comedy in their music.

Track 1: Prairiebagel - "Ragnarok Blues"
I know this track is really played for laughs, but it's impossible to deny that it's skillfully written and expertly performed.

Z's 1st interlude: "The power of comedy in music."
And also the Power of Grayskull, but that's its own episode.

Track 2: "Weird Al" Yankovic - "Skipper Dan"
I heard some fans say this was their least favorite track on the album. Personally, I thought it was one of the best.

Track 3: Double Down - "This Is the Life"
I'll not lie, I sometimes say Jesse Dangerously when I mean Johnny Dangerously.

Track 4: Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer - "Let Me Smoke My Pipe"
Chap-hop at its finest.

Track 5: Adventure Time dialog / Insane Ian - "My Name is Neville"
Ian is a second generation nerd musician. I find that fact endlessly fascinating.

Track 6: Adventure Time dialog / Sci-Fried - "TNG 2.0"
Crusher truly is dynamite.

Track 7: Tom Lehrer - "We Will All Go Together When We Go"
I often wrestle with including classic songs like this, stuff that I assume everyone already knows, but I have to remind myself that someone out there's always hearing things for the first time.

Z's 2nd interlude: "A fuckin' horrible segue way."
Yeah, not my best work.

Track 8: Illbotz - "The Power Glove (Lucas' Theme)"
Only Stevie D could retell the story of The Wizard from Lucas's perspective.

Track 9: Torrentz - "French Toast Tango (feat. Milk-Plus, MC Wreckshin, and Rappy McRapperson)"
Probably my favorite Rappy guest verse ever.

Track 10: Helen Arney - "Statistically I Love You"
Maths are sexy.

Track 11: Donald Glover and Danny Pudi - "101 Rap"
Oh, Community, how I missed you!

Track 12: Steve Martin - "The All Being" / MC Hawking - "Entropy"
A throwback track to episode 18.

Z's final interlude: "Sort of inclined to give them an additional tip of the hat."
Note to self: buy new hat.

Track 13: mc chris - "Discord"/ Betty White, Donald Glover and Danny Pudi - "Anthropology Rap"
I missed it myself, but apparently mc's site was totally ponied up for April Fools'.

I play a lot of funny music on this 'cast, but I rarely spotlight it as such. With the sort of stigma that sometimes gets attached to comedy music, maybe I oughta.

I really have a lot of respect for people who are genuinely funny. It's not an easy thing to do, and I should know; I likely try and fail more often than most.

But that's the strength of humor. When it hits, it hits hard. And there's always a payoff. Then it somehow has the power to make everything, even the pains of daily life, seem just a little less dire. A little more fun.