- Caroline Smith
- Shut UP, Brendon Small! You're making the rest of us look awful.
I've long ago accepted that I'm not terribly talented. I can string a few sentences together and call myself a writer, sure, and I can keep a decent beat on a drum kit. But there's little chance of me reaching the levels of, say, Greil Marcus or Rashied Ali. So, when I see people who are incredibly gifted at more than one skill, especially a creative one, I find myself split between awe and white-hot jealousy.
That's what makes these hybrid music/comedy shows that I went to at this year's Bridgetown so wonderful and so goddamn frustrating. Oh, so you're going to rip off some jaw-dropping metal guitar solos and then be one of the funniest people in the room? Fuck you, Brendon Small! [Ed. note: I know, right?!]
It was even worse spending last night watching Dave Hill command the room at the Doug Fir Lounge as part of his variety show Meet Me In The Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets. Let's run down the checklist:
1. Capable of playing Prince-like funk jams and knocking out a version of Eddie Van Halen's finger-tapping solo "Eruption"? Check. Willing and able to do so while also telling jokes? Check.
2. Sexy enough to craft masterful erotic fiction such as: "Every day the farm boy admired the fair maiden across the river. One day he just swam over and boned her. It ruled."? Check.
3. Sharp enough to adapt his outlandish jokes about his sex life, his rescue dog, and his overall awesomeness to fit the mood of the room? Check.
4. Daring enough to pull off a glam rock outfit complete with a loud yellow ascot and some snazzy black-and-white slacks? Check.
What a jerk.
And I wasn't the only one who felt the sting of envy while watching Hill shred and slink his way around the stage. Jonah Ray popped on stage, left his prepared material behind, and decided to try playing drums and telling jokes at the same time. 'Twas hubris, however, as he stumbled and paradiddled his way through a bunch of silly one liners and sloppy fills. Ray blamed the food and drink he had been imbibing all day. I say we give him the benefit of the doubt on this.
The rest of the comics on the bill didn't dare try to fly so close to Hill's sun. DJ REAL spun out a fast-paced, sound effects-heavy set that poked fun at Seinfeld, Spotify, and shitty magicians. Baron Vaughn kept a similar pace as he slung barbs at unwittingly racist Swedes and the residents of former slave trading hub Wilmington, North Carolina. Janeane Garofalo went on freeform tirades about Hoarders, Febreze, and the class politics of foodie culture. And dear, sweet Neil Hamburger hacked up phlegm, spilled his many drinks, and growled out some more acidic jokes about famous actors and musicians ("How do you stop Carlos Santana from molesting your children? Put a guitar in his hands.").
And through it all, Hill just kept on smiling, joking, and shredding away like the annoyingly talented creep that he is. How dare he?!?