comedy Archive

Boxed Set Review: Mojo Nixon — The Mojo Manifesto

Years ago while watching some or other “madcap” comedy film, I came to a realization: drama is comparatively easy, but comedy is difficult. It’s a fairly straightforward affair to tug at a viewer’s heartstrings; it’s quite another matter entirely to make them laugh. The same is true in music; writing a weepy ballad –not to

Bartender-Author Sandlin Gaither on Tequila, Dog Hair and Chainsaw Fights

Note: This story first appeared in Mountain Xpress ahead of the live performance referenced herein. Sandlin Gaither has been listening to you and your friends. From his position behind the bar at popular local music venues in Asheville, N.C., he’s been witness to some memorable conversations. Without causing a delay in the serving of beer,

A Guilty-pleasure Look Back at The Jerky Boys

Americans of a certain age will remember the phenomenon of the prank phone call. In the pre-cell phone era, everyone had either a landline or no phone at all, and unless one paid extra to the phone company (and in those days there was only one phone company), your number was published in a thick

Rhapsodizing with Rick Wakeman

Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman is perhaps best known for his work with Yes, a group he has joined and quit at least five times since the early ’90s. But the classically-trained musician also has a staggeringly large catalog of solo albums. Beginning with his debut release (1973’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and continuing

Asheville Improv Comedy Fest: Planning to Improvise

Improvisation is performance without a net: there’s no script and no direction. The actors onstage succeed or fail on the strength of their quick wit and ability to work together. And when improvisation works, it showcases creativity in its rawest, most spontaneous form. With a goal of getting Asheville on the map as a destination

Welcome to Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge: The Bea & Baby Boxed Set

From the perspective of crate-diggers – amateur and professional music archivists alike – one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the rescuing of obscure recordings. Against the backdrop of the recently revealed 2008 Universal fire in which countless audio masters were lost, it’s some comfort to discover that the catalog of

Televisionary: Josh Mills discusses TV Comedy Pioneer Ernie Kovacs (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … My first exposure to Kovacs was the PBS retrospective series, which I guess was in the late ’70s. Yeah. This record came out in ’76. It was nominated for a Grammy in ‘77 for Comedy Album of the Year. And then, the same year, ‘77, PBS showed The Best of

Televisionary: Josh Mills discusses TV Comedy Pioneer Ernie Kovacs (Part One)

There was no precedent for the comedy of Ernie Kovacs. A pioneering figure in the early days of television, Kovacs brought a bizarre kind of comedy – mostly verbal, but with a visual component as well – to the black-and-white screens of the 1950s. A half century-plus later, his material is still bizarre. Recently, Omnivore

Comics Drawn to the Magnetic

Comedy is serious business. Developing a stand-up routine that feels spontaneous takes a great deal of effort, and when a performer is onstage with little more than a microphone and a spotlight, there’s nowhere to hide. Four accomplished comics – two from Western North Carolina and two based in Colorado – bravely brought their humorous

Video Roundup 2018

Covering DVDs and Blu-Rays takes more time than reviewing albums; I have to set up in my living room, with a recliner, a couple of cats and (generally) a good Scotch In order to do so. So with a general yet heartfelt apology for the delayed nature thereof, here’s my take on five titles released