With Nick Swardson becoming close to Adam Sandler, it should come to no surprise that there’s a couple of sketches on his first album “Party.” But for those who enjoy Swardson’s relaxed stand-up, a more absurd version of their best bud, will be thrilled to hear that a live performance takes up a bulk of the album.
The first track features Swardson talking about a particularly bad birthday gift and playing a gay character on Reno 911. And the second track contains Swardson’s favorite joke.
“Party” also includes both of Swardson’s Comedy Central Presents specials. It hits stores on October 23.
Every time I’ve seen Bill Burr live, he’s pretty much owned the room. His performance at a “Bubbling Up” show at the Montreal Comedy Festival was so engaging, I just stopped taking notes and listened. So it’s no wonder that What Are Records has picked up Burr’s previous self-released effort, adding new material to the CD to make “Emotionally Unavailable: Expanded Edition”. Best of all, their letting his fans who have already bought the album get the new material for only $5 by trading in their previous copy. Not a bad deal and seem pretty fair to those who supported Burr early on.
Part of the new material added is this track, which was one of my favorite bits from Burr’s HBO One Night Stand. In it Bill Burr describes visiting his black girlfriend in Harlem and how his fear rises as the street numbers go higher.
The expanded version of “Emotionally Unavailable” hits stores on October 16 or is available now through the What Are Records website.
Steven Wright has been performing comedy for more than two decades. So it’s amazing he’s only had one album in that time, 1985’s “I Have A Pony.” Wright’s finally delivered a follow-up and delightfully it’s called “I Still Have a Pony.” Nothing like a twenty-plus-year callback.
This track called “Shopping Carts” is woefully undescriptive, as it only applies to the first joke on the track. But really how can you describe the series of devastating one liners? So think of the track titles of a Steven Wright album as auditory landmarks, as in “You have to hear this joke. It’s so funny. I believe it’s somewhere after ‘Shopping Carts.’”
Even at the relatively early stage of his career, Mike Birbiglia has become a major talent. His work is very human and relatable, with an ability to combine both confusion and insight to stunning effect. The title of his latest album “My Secret Public Journal Live” kind of captures the spirit of the age. What are most blogs but little secret public journals?
The original ideas were performed as stories for radio (and some were collected as such on an earlier Birbiglia album), but here they’ve been converted and performed as stand-up bits. In the following track, “Porno for Parents”, Mike shares with us a particular virulent infection of his parents’ home computer, something anyone’s who come home to visit their folks might be familiar with.
Fans of Michael Ian Black might be a little surprised at his new album entitled “I Am a Wonderful Man.” Based on Black being an early regular at the New York Alternative showcase “Eating It” or his cult sketch-sitcom hybrid “Stella”, one might expect something more obtuse - not necessarily for everyone, but entertaining for those who get it. But the disk is very much traditional stand-up, albeit informed by Black’s own particular surreal bent.
The following is part of the track “Terrorism” which has Black relating his favorite airport game and the unexpected, terrorist-affirming place it ends up.
I don’t live in Los Angeles, so I haven’t had the pleasure of attending one of the Comedy Death Ray shows put on by Mr. Show alums Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter. But the forthcoming Comedy Death Ray CD from Comedy Central Records gives me and other California-challenged brethren a chance to experience what we’ve been missing.
There’s a lot of great stand-ups on this double CD set including Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and David Cross, but a real pleasure is to have tracks from comics who don’t have their own CDs… yet. Both of these tracks from Comedy Death Ray’s 4th Anniversary show. The first features Andy Daly, who does some wonderful non-specific satire of stand-up (the bit has already drawn some raves), and the other is a series of one liners from Nick Thune, some of them devastating.
Comedy Death Ray will be in stores on September 11. Yes, they were quite fine with that release date.
Patton Oswalt’s second album Werewolves and Lollipops, his first on Sub Pop Records, comes out tomorrow. You’ve probably already heard the wonderful track where Patton equates the current administration with the Dukes of Hazzard. Here’s a second track from the album, featuring Oswalt describing America’s depressing eating habits. My favorite part of this track is how he launches right into it, trusting the audience to catch on to the setup. Patton Oswalt is arguably the most vital practitioner of the art of stand-up today, so to me this album is a must have. But judge for yourself: