2010 FYF Fest: comedy

After a number of years in Echo Park, F’ck Yeah Festival (also known as FYF Fest) moved to the LA State Historic Park near the Chinatown station. There didn’t really seem too much that was historic in this gravel pad with patches of browning grass. With the new location, came a new name for those attending: Clusterf’ck Fest.

Lines were long (1-hour was a short wait) and the basic human needs were pretty much ignored (shade, bathrooms, food and water were all in shortage). The photo below was taken on our way out of the venue (aside: we had a hard time finding an exit too). The end of the line is indicted by the arrow circled in red. Poor kids, whose parents wanted to catch up on the newest bands on the scene ,were melting in the sun; heartbreaking. We were only able to stay a few hours, so we made the best of our free tickets (thanks, Kevin!) and enjoyed the little bit of festival that we could.

After our short hour wait to get our tickets and pass through security, we snuggled down in the “comfortable” rocky ground in the cool shade of the comedy tent as we hydrated ourselves with four-dollar waters and a dose of hilarity. As much as this festival was about the hottest new indie bands, the selection provided in the comedy tent

Erik Charles Nielsen, who has made his mark as Garret on NBC’s Community,  rambled through his set, shouting with comedy-filled rage at his audience. The disjointed jokes made his set hard to follow and the anger only made the crowd uncomfortable. A few laughs parted my mouth, but over all I wasn’t impressed. I understand where he is trying to go with his comedy, but I also know that most people will not follow along on his rampant path. Oh, and check out the Christmas wrapping paper stage skirt!

Good female comedians are hard to come by and I’m not quite sure why… lack of self-esteem really seems to only help. Joselyn Hughes does not lack self-esteem in any way, but still lacks hilarity. Harsh, I know. I don’t care much for blue comedy (vulgar, potty humor for those who are unfamiliar with comedic terms). Joselyn goes there nearly every time. I again understand this is a personal preference, but based on the audiences reactions, they would have rather had more thought-provoking humor. She is the one in the shorts and cowboy boots above if you want a visual for judgement.

The best laughs of the day came in the form of Matt Braunger. Good clean fun, akin to a monkey with an organ grinder. Seems like a bad comparison, but it really is true. Matt’s expressions and antics made it hard to tear your eyes away from. His poetic style is less intelligent and more along the lines of “I only wish it were real.” Topics of tigers, ninjas, unicorns and drunks are cornerstones to his set. Love. Love. I may have to take a trip to the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre to see him perform. 

The intensity of Matt Dwyer shines through in his set. An average intellectual Matt delves into the humor in everyday life. The crowd can relate to his awkward moments of reality and stories of his life. Apparently, Matt Braunger and Matt Dwyer have a sort of podcast/internet radio show called Matts Radio. Highly entertaining combination of interviews, comedy and music. Take a listen sometime.

The Sklar Brothers, the only comedians I had seen previously, banter like no other performers I know. Finishing each other’s thoughts and rhetoric questions with straight-faced hilarity and quick-witted timing. The dual vocal delivery style give particular emphasis to key points of a joke’s set up and punchline forcing you to laugh twice as hard. I believe my math is correct. You can always check my work by checking them out.  

This was just one set of three hosted at the FYF Fest. Later acts included Brent Weinbauch, David Koechner and Janeane Garofalo.

Some literature deserves porno status…

My love for music, comedy and Ray Bradbury finally are all rolled into one for this awesomely awkward song. Thank you Laughing Squid and Funny or Die for sharing this Rachel Bloom video with the world.

I can’t resist reposting my favorite tweet regarding this video: @neilhimself As Kurt Vonnegut said “What Science Fiction & Pornography had in common was their vision of an impossibly hospitable world.”

Sidenote: I apologize for any youngsters that may view this (that is your fault… get more of a handle on your youngsters) and for anyone who is offended by this (sorry, but this is funny).

Funny Animal Joke

I’m now back in the US from a two-week stint in the UK. While I get my blog posts in order, I thought I should share this little piece of hilarity with you. The bit comes from Jackie Kashian’s recent album, It Is Never Going To Be Bread. If you like this bit, head over to her website to buy the album or even take a listen to her podcast, The Dork Forest.

Awesome animation provided by Greg Franklin.

Conan O’Brien, Civic Theatre: 4/29/2010

As soon as the show was announced, I found myself needing to buy a ticket for the historic Conan O’Brien tour, officially known as “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.” Roger and I haven’t owned a television in 5 years, but I knew at once I needed tickets to watch this legend on stage. I also knew that we were on a budget, so orchestra, mezzanine and loge seats were out of the question, so the nose bleeds was our destination.

History in the making. Everyone who made it in those doors knew they were about to experience something epic. It wasn’t just Conan’s intro over-exaggerating the fact that this show in San Diego was going to be his best yet; it was the once in a lifetime opportunity to see him perform live and uninhibited.

His background, unlike many late night hosts, did not include stand up comedy. He dabbled in improv in college, but mainly he was a writer… a hilariously funny writer, but a writer nonetheless. My love for comedy and subsequent involuntary analysis of crowds and comedy performances reeled me in.

The opening act, Reggie Watts blew everyone’s minds with his looping. After the crowd got over their amazement of this late 1960’s technology, they were drawn into his barrage of vocal accents. Taking it to the max, Watts performed “Fuck Shit Stack” busting our guts to pieces. I was nearly hyperventilating by the end of his 40 minute performance.

Conan started off by opening up to the audience, sharing his personal struggles coping with his loss of his job. Personable and honest just as everyone expected and hoped. Oh and yes, comedy. He formatted his live performance much like his television show, but without interviews and the addition of lots of music.

I had read that he enjoys playing guitar. Since this was his show and he could do it his way, he ended up performing 3-4 songs (covers with some rewritten lyrics). It was cool to see him happy, doing what he enjoys, but only mildly entertaining.

Comedian, Deon Cole, told a few funnys while Andy Ritcher hung out like old times with Conan adding his two cents every now and then. The surprise guest for San Diego was none other than Jason Mraz. Me, not so excited to see the guy. We got Jason (who I could have seen for earlier that evening free at Java Joes), while LA got Jim Carrey, Seattle got Eddie Vedder and Eugene, Oregon got Spoon. Sorry, I have to say that I think we lost out. I just might need to continue my thoughts on this topic in a later post (i.e. Jason Mraz and San Diego fans) because I realize i might be coming off as a hater.

However, it was great to see Conan recycle and reuse old bits from the show, sharing he needed to reinvent them as they were most likely the intellectual property of NBC.  The Masturbating Bear returned as the Self Pleasuring Panda which I personally feel has a better ring to it. And the Walker Texas Ranger lever now is a Chuck Norris handle of some sort? I never watched this show and after seeing a few clips I wonder how this show was ever taken seriously?

This had to be my favorite moment of the night. Oh, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s prerecorded praise/slam of _____ city and _____ gay neighborhood and _____ restaurant. Classic Triumph form.

Although the show was not at all what I expected, I still had a great time and grateful for being a part of this historic moment in time. Yeah, I realize that it isn’t like being there for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but pretty cool in my books.

Dorkdom

Straight from the Urban Dictionary:

Dorkdom (Not to be confused with geekdom, or nerdocracy)comes from achieving a mere fraction of the coolness that one believes they are emmulating.*

I believe that everyone has a bit of dorkdom — i.e. Knows way too much about something in particular, be it a movie, TV series, author, game, toy, location, time period, etc.

Lately I have been pondering my own geekiness while listening to The Dork Forest with comedienne, Jackie Kashian. This show focuses on the dorkdoms of various guests on her program. Most are comedians but some come from the comic and gaming industry while others have science and engineering backgrounds. The past few shows have included a cat dork and a food dork.

Here are a few of my dorkdoms, the proud and the lame:

Music: specifically local San Diego music. I have been known to be the wiz kid in answering music trivia on our local music artists. My husband and I own about 200 albums of local music. (Note: I don’t count my CD’s so I really have no idea how many we actually have. 200 sounded reasonably correct). Compared to the likes of Rosey of SD Dialed In, Tim Pyles from the Local 94.9 and Bart Mendoza, I can’t compare. But it is a subject and an art that I love and know a little too much about. And I don’t mind sharing.

Local San Diego History: One of my collections (of which I have very few), is a library of books focused on the history of San Diego. I love the city I live in and it’s history, although short is very rich of interesting tales. From the Spanish to the Mormons to the Navy, cultures shaped the ideals. From Wyatt Earp to Ulysses S. Grant to Dr. Seuss, individuals shaped the landscape and identity. My favorite of all of my collection is San Diego Legends: Events, People, and Places That Made History by Jack Scheffler Innis. Although, not a comprehensive history, it is a good read.

Disney: I worked for Walt Disney World for a month at the end of 2000. I was already a bit of a Disney dork before working there, but they really do brainwash you. I was always interested in the behind the scenes stories, but never a collector of Disney stuff. I feel anyone who likes Disney is a bit of a Disney dork. Walt hides so much in the magic that people are compelled to know what is behind the curtain.

Ray Bradbury: This man is my hero and really should be at the top of my list for dorkdoms. I have read nearly all of his works (except for the newest stuff). Last September, I shared about my inspiration from his writing genius. He is connected to San Diego through his design of Horton Plaza and connected to Disney through his animatronics creations. He is the reason that I am a dork.

Semi-Dorkness: Muppets, Roller Derby, Beer


I am aware that I am not an extremist or an expert on any of the above. There are many more individuals in this world that take dorkdom to new heights including the collection of random crap, interrupting conversations with random facts, and sometimes stalking others to “understand them more”.

I am one of those people that retain various little factoids about a variety of topics so as to remain somewhat aware and knowledgeable in various discussions. This sometimes gets me in trouble with true dorks, where they truly believe I care about their collection of comic book action figurines. Sorry, really, no offense.

*Note: Emulating is spelled incorrectly. What does that say about me?