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REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens presents the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 12/6/12)

7th Dec 12 (Fri) 5 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Sufjan's 2012 hristmas Sing-a-long Tour

I hate Christmas music.  There are a few rare instances where it doesn’t make me cringe.  Over the Rhine’s Darkest Night of the Year and Monk’s How Like A Winter are rare exceptions.  One of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens, has put out Christmas EPs each year for his closest group of friends, and then they eventually make their way out to the public via now two EP boxsets (Songs For Christmas & Silver and Gold).  While some of the more standard Christmasy songs from Sufjan make me cringe (it’s not his fault), he finds a way to have some experimentation and wild unique new songs that makes the boxsets fully enjoyable… even for a bah-humbug like me.  And the boxsets also include cool arts and crafts…

Sheila Saputo (aka Rosie Thomas)

Despite my dislike of Chrtistmas songs, when I found out that Sufjan was bringing his 2012 Christmas Sing-a-Long tour (the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice) through Portland’s Aladdin Theater, I knew I needed to go.

His opener / tour co-hort is Sheila Saputo… the quirky comedic alter ego of singer-songwriter Rosie Thomassee her trailer here.

Sheila put on a 20 minute set of fairly ridiculous, self-depricating humor.. partially eating a carrot throughout the set, making balloon “animals” (term used very loosely), and spelling out the important aspects of the acronym CAROLS: Carnal Treasures, Armageddon, etc (see photos at the bottom).

At 8:45pm, Sufjan and his band hit the stage (including the de-frocked Sheila Saputo/Rosie Thomas in a snowman suit).  They started things off in front of the stage curtain with a gentle acappella version of “Christmas Time Is Here,” then… curtains up and behold the majesty of the Wheel of Christmas!!!

The set was obviously going to be full of Christmas songs.  Some on their setlist and some chosen “randomly.”  For many of the Wheel of Christmas Sing-a-Long tunes, they brought up members of the audience to spin for the selection.  Near the end, some rigging of the wheel had to be done to fit in some we hadn’t done yet.  I think we hit everything on the Wheel except for “Silent Night.”

They also threw in a few non-Christmas tunes throughout the set and at the encore…

Setlist: 2 hrs 10 mins

  • Christmas Time Is Here (acappella) [Vince Guaraldi]
  • Christmas Woman
  • Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Justice Delivers Its Death*
  • Joy to the World (Wheel of Christmas Sing-A-Long)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas (Wheel)
  • Jingle Bells (Wheel)
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Wheel)
  • Vito’s Ordination Song*
  • Put the Lights on the Tree
  • How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee?
  • I Am Santa’s Helper
  • “Frosty” (improv rock, chant, Rosie cutting santa up with plastic chainsaw)
  • Sister Winter*
  • Ah Holy Jesus
  • The Child with the Star on His Head*
  • Sleigh Ride (Wheel, noted as “Slay Ride”)
  • O Holy Night (Wheel)
  • We Need a Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • Auld Lang Syne* (Wheel)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Wheel)
  • For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti*
  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!*
  • Christmas Unicorn*
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois*
  • Futile Devices*
  • Chicago*
  • Come On! Feel the Illinoise!*
    *
    personal favorites from the night

I truly hate most Christmas music, but this was a FUUUUUUUUUUUUUN show!  Sufjan and his band make the music fun, the original tunes (even if Christmasy) are spectacles of greatness or touching, gentler tunes, and the overall party factor of this tour is truly astounding.  I’d hate to have been on the clean-up crew… confetti, streamers, popped balloons, and random blow-up animals and santas…

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Charlie Hunter @ Mississippi Studios (12/7) and Antibalas @ Hawthorne (12/8).

~Dan – np: John ZornRimbaud
John Zorn - Rimbaud

SUFJAN STEVENS CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Sufjan Stevens Fall 2012 Tour Dates

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
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Mitch Hedberg.net remodeled

16th May 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

MitchHedberg.net got a facelift from Lynn (no “e”).  Mitch died more than six years ago (3/30/2005).  His jokes will live on.  Go ahead and take a stroll down memory lane with the new content on the page…

http://mitchhedberg.net/

Also, check out some of the funny new Mitch merch…

Sorry for the convenience.

~Dan – np: The Lonely IslandTurtleneck & Chain

REVIEW: Bill Maher @ the Hult (Eugene, OR – 11/13/09)

14th Nov 09 (Sat) Leave a comment

I don’t have HBO, but my love for Bill Maher has grown exponentially in the past 2+ years with the advent of podcasts.  His HBO show, New Rules, gets released for free in audio version about a few days after it airs (iTunes link).  He’s right alongside Keith Olbermann & Rachel Maddow (both from MSNBC), George Hrab’s Geologic Podcast (not about geology), and Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier’s SModcast in mymust listen once they get downloaded” queue.

OK, enough podcast talk… I also love what Bill Maher did last year with his comedy / documentary Religulous.  It was more comedy than an actual documentary for me, and it was quite entertaining from a non-believers point of view.  While I don’t think it’ll change (m)any minds, I still enjoyed it quite well.

When Bill gets time off from his show, sometimes he hits the road.  When I found out about his Eugene date, I already had tickets to go see Cincinnati band Over the Rhine up at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge.  I was torn.  I mean, I’ve seen Over the Rhine fifty times (no lie), but I really love them.  Well, my wife had a Eugene art community show conflict the same night as OTR; so I sold our tickets and opted for Maher instead (sorry, Karin & Linford, we’ll catch you next year).

There was no opener, and Bill Maher hit the stage right around 8:15 and did a solid hour and a half of his crude but poignant comedy.  He touched on many topics and comedic bits from New Rules… the economy, politics, religion, and food culture in America.

Some of my favorite bits were on religion, specifically the Mormontology bit, the Muslim Dior fashion show, and the Pope’s Facebook relationship status (“it’s complicated”).

Some of my favorite lines:

“Crocs – for people who find flip flops a little too dressy.”

“Those liberals, always wanting to get across the river in one piece.” (sarcastic re: the politics of spend, i.e.- wanting to build crazy things like infrastructure)

“The Republicans have looked to the future for their political leadership and found… radio.”

“Ronald McDonald has killed a lot more people than Osama Bin Laden.”

I don’t agree with all of Bill’s stances, specifically some of his thoughts on medicine.  I don’t think he’s being all too scientific in his vocal stance against vaccines, for example.  However, he really didn’t bring those topics up last night.

Overall, I think Bill Maher’s stand-up is a lot like George Carlin – many of the same topics – crude, cutting, and powerful humor.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: A Perfect CircleMer De Noms

REVIEW: David Cross @ Newmark Theatre (Portland, OR – 9/25/09)

26th Sep 09 (Sat) 5 comments

David Cross is on a little fall tour to promote his new book, I Drink For a Reason.  You may know him from Mr Show with Bob & David, or as Tobias Fünke on Arrested Development (i.e.- the best television show of all-time), or his stand-up specials, or a glut of parts in television and movies.

(David Cross as Tobias Fünke was one of the best character pieces with laugh-out-loud antics in about every moment he was on screen).

I was just at the Newmark for another comedian, Patton Oswalt.  Unlike the Patton show, though, this show wasn’t general admission.  Yay!  We got to our seats ( fairly close up).  The show began not too long after.

The opener was Todd Glass.  He only did about 15 minutes, but was pretty damn funny.  He jumped around a lot in material, but I guess with only 15 minutes, you have to get as much in as possible.

David came out around 8:45pm and started off with a song about tearing Portland a new asshole that morphed into the jokes he was going to tell us, which wouldn’t involve any cosmonaut jokes… which, of course, ended with a cosmonaut joke.

David, of course, touched on religion, politics, and drugs.  My favorite bits were scattered all about.  His mom making yogurt… from yogurt was pretty funny.  The bit on the horror porn was hilarious.  He did make a good point – what’s the reason for horror porn?  To scare the cum out of you?

One of the better parts of the night was when he called out a sign language guy for signing words that didn’t exist.  The “deaf guy interloper” was part of the show, a friend of David’s; however at first, the audience didn’t know.  When David said “Gallileo,” the guy signed the motions for looking through a looking glass.  It looked so odd that David said it again about 3 times… then David started saying words like “ridonkulous” to see what the sign language would be.  It all ended with David calling him out and telling him to leave (“deaf guy” showed up later as a “live blogger interloper” during the set).

The bit about Scientology and Mormonism was also pretty funny.  We’ll see how that goes next week in Salt Lake City. :)  Some of his other humor was a little bit over the line (re: hassidic jews, etc), but that’s what you get with David Cross.  He ended with a joke on crazy things to buy (i.e.- SkyMall crap).  The  focus on the “time mug” was pretty hilarious.

After 90 quality minutes David left the stage… but then came back out shortly for a quick movie encore… he played 3 and a half minutes (all that was legally allowed) of his upcoming UK television series directed by Spike Jonze, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.  It looks pretty damn brilliant.  Anytime you have Spike Jonze involved, it’s got good potential.  Arrested Development alum Will Arnett was also in it.  We’ll likely not get it on this sided of the pond, until it hits DVD.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Faith No More The Real Thing

David Cross’s Tour Dates

September 2009
24 & 25
– Portland, Ore. @ The Newmark Theatre
27
– Vancouver, B.C. @ Vancouver Comedy Festival
28
– Salt Lake City, Utah @ In The Venue
29
– Denver, Colo. @ Paramount Theatre
30
– Kansas City, Mo. @ Midland Theatre

October 2009
2 – Toronto, Ontario @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
3 – Milwaukee, Wisc. @ Riverside Theatre
4 – Chicago, Ill. @ Congress Theatre
5 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ State Theatre
7 – Durham, N.C. @ Carolina Theatre of Durham
9 – Munhall, Pa. @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
10 – Morgantown, W.V. @ University of West Virginia
11 – Columbus, Ohio @ Capitol Theatre
13 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ Michigan Theatre
14 – Austin, Texas @ Paramount Theater
16 – Dallas, Texas @ Lakewood Theater
17 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Tabernacle
19 – Boston, Mass. @ Wilbur Theater
20 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Merriam Theater
21 – Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theater

REVIEW: Patton Oswalt @ Newmark Theatre (Portland, OR – 9/13/09)

14th Sep 09 (Mon) 2 comments

OK, so you may have heard of Patton Oswalt from Pixar’s Ratatouille.  He was the leading… um… rat.  You may also know him from the newly hitting the cinemas flick called Big Fan, and well… tons of other stuff.  He just released a new CD/DVD of his Comedy Central special, My Weakness is Strong.

(available on the Amazons)

This was my second time in the Newmark Theatre.  It suits a comedian as well as a 9-piece jazz band.  The show started right on time (7:30pm), and it was general admission, and I showed up at about 7:29pm… but I lucked out with a decent spot in the 2nd balcony.  The opener was really funny… a guy formerly from Portland, but who now lives in Seattle and writes trivia questions for an XBox game company or something.  I didn’t catch his name… Andy something (any help to fellow comedy-goers?).  Anyway, he was good, did 15 solid minutes and handed the mic directly to Patton…

Patton was really funny.  He has some bits canned, but he seems to wing it more than other comedians that I’ve seen (i.e.- Seinfeld & Carlin don’t tend to stray from their “script”).  Based on looking at the track titles from My Weakness is Strong, he did Sky Cake, The Oswalt Family Crest, Rats, Orgy, Treadmill, Obama…And Time Travel…And Coolness…And The Last Racist, and The Magician.  He also did the KFC Famous Bowl bit with a newly added bit about an upcoming “Double Down” sandwich that sounded dreadful to eat.  We got to witness a spontaneous song written for the Double Down when an audience member asked if there’d be a song…

♪♫ fuck you heart, fuck you liver, I’m gonna double down ♪♫

He ended the 90 minute set with the Christmas Song (Newsong) bit and a bit about Stella Dora breakfast treats.

Favorite bits from Patton…  hmm… Sky Cake (YouTube below) is a great bit and right up my alley.  Obama/Time Travel was great.  The Magician who was pissed about $5 was great.  KFC Famous Bowl / Double Down was classic, especially as we got to witness a new song formulated on-stage.  And Patton’s random interaction with a kid in a band from Eugene called Busket for about 5 minutes was pretty hilarious, too.  Good ol’ Motorized Vinyl Rhino!

Sky Cake is a Lie!

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Porcupine TreeThe Incident

Mitch Hedberg – Do You Believe in Gosh?

1st Sep 08 (Mon) Leave a comment

I feel fortunate enough to have seen Mitch Hedberg several times in SW Ohio & N.Kentucky before his untimely death (and even have the original/indie/cartoon drawing cover Strategic Grill Locations CD).

While his death came young [age 37], it wasn’t all that surprising.  Drugs took their toll on his life, but it might be said that drugs gave him the courage to even get up on stage.  Regardless of the ills or benefits drugs had on Mitch, his comedy is missed.  He was called the surfer/stoner Steven Wright.  I think that short-changed his uniqueness.

Apparently, two months prior to his death he recorded material that would become his last album.  Do You Believe in Gosh? comes out September 9th:

His other CDs:

Oh, and remember… if you have dentures, don’t eat artificial sweeteners, because then you’ll get a fake cavity!

Lots of new stuff in this clip:

~Dan – np: SModcast #63

mongolian clusterfu*k

23rd Jun 08 (Mon) 7 comments

PARENTAL ADVISORY – EXPLICIT BLOG
George Carlin - Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics

George Carlin: Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits got him into trouble in the 70s (view the police report).

On June 22, 2008, the great free-thinker, comedian, and all-around entertainer George Carlin has passed on at 71 years young old.

George Carlin [1937 – 2008]

I got a chance to see him a few times in Ohio (and even once in Vegas). His potty mouth wasn’t just for potty mouth’s sake. It really got me to think about words. I may not always use them correctly, but at least I know they’re just words.

“I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where
the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

“Think of how stupid the average person is,
and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

“You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci. Two reasons; first of all, I think he’s a good actor. Okay. To me, that counts. Second; he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn’t fuck around. Doesn’t fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with. For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog. Joe Pesci straightened that cock-sucker out with one visit.”

(Some of) my fav CDs of his:


His books are good, too.

“Gee, he was just here a minute ago.”
– George Carlin writes his own obituary (1997)

~Dan – np: Bobby Previte & New BumpSet the Alarm for Monday

PS– in true early-morning fashion, I still feel bad, but I misspelled his first name in this blog’s URL… sigh…

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