Links List: Jan 10

And in case you missed it, check out my Best of 2013 playlist, featuring last year’s stand-out tracks from this year’s releases.

Happy Friday (and almost Halloween)!

If you’re a fan of emphatic comedians and pop-culture snark (like I am), check out this video called Billy & Rachel’s Halloween Adventure.

From FunnyOrDie, it stars Billy Eichner and Rachel Dratch. These two funny people challenge themselves to walk through a haunted house. First, they are unfazed by the experience. But things change when they learn what’s REALLY in the haunted house. Lets just say it isn’t for the faint of hearing…or taste.

And check out FunnyOrDie’s Billy on the Street. It will make you want to wander NYC, looking for Billy, just to win a dollar.

Check it out: The Chris Gethard Show, bringing laughs and quirk to public access

A week or so ago, I received a message from a college friend, Kevin Feldman, who now lives in Austin, TX. He said he would be in town and that I should join him for a filming of The Chris Gethard Show. I was a bit familiar with Gethard (a 30-something comedian originally from Jersey) but I was not familiar with his show (which started at UCB and then moved to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network).

I looked through the archived hour-long variety shows, complete with call-ins, characters, and musical guests. I was instantly drawn in to this offbeat sort of humor. I contacted the audience list email and was signed up.  Awesome.

Walking into the MNN (where the show films from 11-12 on Wednesdays) was a bit jarring as it seemed though everyone knew each other and I was just a first timer. But that is just the kind of community that the show (and to my understanding, Gethard) has.
Last night’s show, which was the 100th, was a gratitude-fest from both the perspective of Gethard, his friends, and his fans.  People called into to express their appreciation for the show, what it represents and what Gethard as done. One of the people on stage said it best when she mentioned how the show was a place where people could actually be themselves. This resonated with the entire crowd and those listening, watching, or just thinking about the show.

Of course there was comedy and laughs as well. Each person who spoke on stage was forced to wear headphones attached to the Speech Jammer iPad app.

The thing that stood out to me, as a first timer, was how the show started.  Gethard began with a poignant monologue about how each person needs to find “their own Chris Gethard Show,” meaning that if you have a dream, do it.  Even if it is weird and you don’t think you can, you should.  People may laugh at your idea, whether to be a YouTube show, a comic book, a screenplay, or (in my case) a blog with an eventual podcast. But that is no reason not to try things.

The video for last night’s broadcast isn’t on the site yet. But for a little taste of the action, here is a video of episode 60, “Truth or Dare.” This episode features a viewer submitted game of Truth or Dare and musical guest The Shivering Brigade (which just happens to be the band of my friend, Jonathan Zuckerman – who I saw at the filming yesterday [They currently have a Kickstarter to raise money for their new album. Here is their bandcamp site.]


So seriously. If you like funny, quirky comedy and just generally cool people, check out the show.  Check out Chris and his Weird NJ/ Weird US series and his collection of stories about his life called “A Bad Idea I’m About to Do” (which he was gracious enough to sign for my boyfriend).

Edit:  As promised, here is a link to the “Hundo” episode.

Have You Heard? Julian Casablancas Featured on Lonely Island Comedy Album

While The Strokes are on hiatus (and currently recording their new album!), all five shaggy mop-tops; Albert Hammond Jr., Nick Valensi, Nikolai Fraiture, Fabrizio Moretti, and Julian Casablancas, have been pursuing various musical side projects.

Hammond Jr. released his second album Como Te Llama?, Fraiture his first solo album The Time of Assassins under the name Nickel Eye, Moretti teamed up with Binki Shapiro and Los Hermanos singer/guitarist Rodrigo Amarante to form Little Joy and release a self-titled album, while Casablancas collaborated with Santogold and Pharrell Williams on “My Drive Thru” for a Converse ad campaign. Sadly no tunes from Valensi, who has spent his time off getting hitched and livin’ it large as a new dad.

And now the newest musical foray to come out of that unruly pit of New York garage rockers is somewhat unexpected. Casablancas rich syrupy vocals can be found on Incredibad, the debut album from The Lonely Island. The comedy trio made up by SNL cast member Andy Samberg and his two childhood friends, Akiva Schaffter and Jorma Taccone, just released their first album full of tracks such as “Dick In A Box” and “Jizz In My Pants,” that you’ll recognize if you’re a fan of SNL’s Digital Shorts. Casablancas guest stars on “Boombox,” Samberg’s Flo-Rida-like slow jam about the powerful effects a boom box can have on a bunch of white people. In his liquid-gravel voice Casablancas intones the songs evolving hook, “Everything got out of control. The music was so entrancing. Everyone got out on the floor. It was a bunch of all white people dancin’.”

The song is pretty funny and for some reason Samberg has an obsession with people eating boiled goose, but it’s worth listening to for Casablancas deep, mournful crooning. Especially stick it out to the very end, where he wails an ominous warning like a true 80’s power balladeer, “A boom box is not a toyyy!”

So break yourself off some boiled goose and listen to this:

(Plus) Coming Soon To A Blog Near You: Take It Or Leave It: A Comprehensive Guide to The Strokes Side Projects