I love you, Farin Urlaub!

Farin Urlaub – Sumisu

For the Halloween season, enjoy this German pop song by Farin Urlaub about the Smiths, set to a video about Nosferatu. And Morrissey. So, it’s a German song about a British band, and the title is “Smiths” in Japanese. Welcome to the new world order. You know, the British invented Goth, but the Germans have really perfected it.

Gus Van Can’t Stand Open Mike Comedy!

When I got to the Boiler Room for five minutes of open mike time, I sat down at a table with two other gentlemen.  One of them was kind of familiar. I assumed it was someone I had seen do stand-up.   He was drinking a three-olive Martini, which I thought was a little Pearl District for Old Town.   I was sitting with Oscar winner Gus Van Sant, his suitcases, and his PA.  He was talking moviemaking with his compatriot.

I was excited that the man behind a Drugstore Cowboy might see my five minutes of stand-up. Maybe he’d be impressed by a joke I was telling in German.  Maybe he’d write a fantasy biography of my life, casting Nick Cave as my husband, and change my life forever.

When our long-suffering emcee Kevin Michael-Moore launched into a version of The Girl From Ipanema where said girl is legally blind, my new famous friend found his legs and left, his companion carrying his bags.

It was clear after his departure that every other comic had also noticed who it was, and had prepared a joke for him. Instead, we just told them to each other, like usual.

One Down, 999 To Go

One of my favorite people, Eddie Izzard, says that in order to get good at stand-up, you just have to do it a thousand times. I finally put my mike where my mouth was last night at the Boiler Room.

When I walked in, I assumed that roughly every third person was there to do a five minute set.  It was clear by midnight that every single person in attendance wanted mike time. Straw fedoras and “wacky” t-shirts abounded. The night was a sausage party. As new meat, I went after 21 other comics times and went on at a quarter of midnight.

I was pleased that everything got some kind of laugh, and was winding up for my finish when a cute but very inebriated metrosexual (it turned out to be Bobby Hacker) got up and started taking his clothes off, which was okay, but then he started taking my clothes off and putting a flashlight down my shirt. So I took off abruptly, in the midst of another comic yelling “You’re gonna get kicked out again, Bobby!” All in all, I am fairly happy with how it went – I got a good reception from the few remaining patrons and comedians.  A coked out guy in a suit yelled approving things.  I maybe learned something.

Wherefore Art Thou, Famous

  This is a picture of my favorite person in the whole world, the FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS ACTOR.

  For a brief, shining moment that many consider the “golden age” of Comcast Portland public access, his talk show was broadcast on Sunday nights. Now Famous appearances are few and far between, the show at Holocene last Wednesday was ominously plugged as “final”.

  Guests were strictly single-named, and included human beatbox (and so much more) Fogatron, Shoehorn, who tap danced and played saxophone simultaneously and took hits off a glass bottle of Wild Irish Rose in between, and KUFO radio DJ Marconi. However, there is no writing about this show. Impromptu moon-boot sand dance with Pixie sticks and jumping on a desk to do a re-enactment of Famous’ favorite film, Sweet Sal, lays flat on the page. In person, however, it rocks like an avalanche. Or a hurricane. Or some kind of natural disaster that kills people.

    It’s a group effort, and could not soar without the help of German-speaking emcee Cutter, handsome wingman John Schmitt, security chief Denny, Intern Kris, producer J.D. Fischer, and Joanie loves Chachi the Tiger. However, Famous is the star. He lives up to his name and more- this show is much funnier than anything on network television. So I guess this is just a bottled letter cast adrift on the stormy seas of the interweb- I need more !

POSTSCRIPT: Finally, someone has come to my aid on Youtube and posted a scant minute of Famous’ craft, a bit ingeniously entitled Candied Bird Dick.

Battling Robot And Bulldog!

Here is a brief film documenting the challenges our French bulldog had with the floor cleaning robot, Roomba.

Eventually, she killed that Roomba by jumping on it until the wiring broke.  Broken robot was replaced by a functioning robot that Hazel and her brother Chico hammered out an uneasy peace with.

Update: this is STILL my top video on Youtube.  50K people watching an old grainy recording from our first digital camera, which I bought on Overstock.com, of a now-dead dog barking at a now-dead Roomba.  Life is weird.

NYC Visit, 2006

The spouse and I have just returned from a trip to NYC, celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary.

It’s not so impressive that we have been married four years so much that it’s been consecutive. I celebrated a lot of it by following him from record store to record store.

A high point of the trip was seeing Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, and Nellie McKay in the Threepenny Opera.  Alan played Mack the Knife as a bisexual hustler. Nellie was fantastic as Lucy, and Cyndi looked foxy in her Pirate Jenny hooker-wear. Costume design by Isaac Mizrahi. I thought, I could put rubber pants and a priest’s collar on a chorus member as well as he can!

We had a great time attending a party for the Ron and Fez XM radio show. We sat in on the show the following Tuesday. If I had not looked at the message boards afterwards I never would have realized that I am an ‘unfunny hole’.

Our celebrity sighting this trip was Russell Simmons, enjoying a vegan brunch with an attractive lady the day before his break with Kimora broke in the Post.

We saw the Munch exhibit at MOMA, which included a painting that was just discovered in 2004.

We saw The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt at his DJ night at the Beauty Bar, where we were showered with candy and girl-group hits, so it was really a nice time all around.