Thursday, January 12, 2012

Doug Stanhope, Alex Jones & The Austin Incident

Doug Stanhope

Last week while doing a search for some comedy on You Tube, I stumbled across a video from a show that Doug Stanhope performed in Austin, Texas in 2004. Anyone who has paid attention to my blog over the past year or so knows that I really dig the type of stand up that Stanhope, Joe Rogan, Bill Burr, and Louis C.K. perform. They seem to be the offspring of the brilliant, but now deceased Bill Hicks, who was every bit as much a social commentator as he was a comic. I love to watch a good hour of stand up, but what made this one appealing, just from the title alone, was the word "incident" and the name "Alex Jones". At that point, I'm all in. Keep in mind that this show was performed just after we had invaded Iraq and there was quite a bit of uncertainty, fear, and tension about the war.

Alex Jones

I assume from the video that Stanhope was just going to give his performance. Nothing that merited any special attention, just doing what he does best....making people think and laugh. Alex Jones is asked to introduce Stanhope on to the stage and does so, after about 8 or 9 minutes of New World Order ranting. Jones, for those who are not familiar with him, is a conspiracy theory guy. He is involved in making some really good documentary films (The Obama Deception) and  hosts a radio show. He's out there, and tends to go way over the top, but he does provoke thought and discussion. On this night, I'm not sure if it was booze or what, but he just took over the stage. He went on a long rant about how the government sets up dictators so we can have enemies to fight and how asleep the American public is about it. Honestly, there isn't much of a way for me to describe it that is going to be as interesting as seeing it. So, I'll post his opening rant, without the entire show behind it. Here is the first ten minutes, eight of which is Alex Jones going absolutely ape shit. By the end of this, he's arguing with the crowd, and when Stanhope finally takes over, he has to deal with some hostility and high emotions from the audience for the rest of the show.  

Stanhope never really gets back on track as far as his act goes, but he starts interacting with the audience, which leads to truly organic and great moments. Yes, this act goes totally off the rails, but there are some great laughs. I'm not sure how many comics would want to push through a show like this, but it's really great to see something so real. 99.9% of the time, any show you pay to watch, is so pre-arranged and set up that you don't get an ounce of spontaneity from the performer. Watching Jones and then seeing Stanhope's face a couple of times when he comes on stage, it's hard not to get the feeling that he was enjoying the chaos that Jones was creating between himself and the audience. If you love stand up that makes you think about our culture, this one is for you. Interesting, annoying and entertaining all at the same time. I tip my cap to Doug Stanhope. He keeps it real!  

If you are interested in seeing the show in its entirety, here you go!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hello 2012, Sorry I'm Late To The Party!

Alright then....I know....I know....I'm late. It's nine days into 2012 and I've yet to make a post. But, let's be fair to me, I have picked up a lot of writing to do for work, so my personal stuff has taken a big hit. But you don't care about that, do you? You and the legions of fans are clamoring to know what's going on upstairs, are you not?

I kicked off 2012 the same way I ended 2011. Listening to one of the best little rock n roll bands I've ever known, rocking the stage one final time (or so they say). The V-roys have been a favorite of mine ever since a friend (Brian) took me to a show they were playing with The Los Lonely Boys on the Louisville riverfront. I was really taken with them (Goodnight Loser sucked me in) and never missed a show when they came to Louisville or Newport. They disbanded back in .....uhhh....1999 I think it was. Never thought I'd see them again. But, they released a "Best Of" collection and decided to play together one more time, which turned into two more times when they added a date at the Southgate House in Newport, Ky. The Southgate House will be closing and after many a rockin' show there, the boys felt the obligation to let loose one more time on the banks of the Ohio River. I attended the New Years show in Knoxville, Tennessee with a few really good friends (Chris, Brian, William) and had a helluva time. One of the best days I've had in quite awhile. The show was top notch and I didn't feel like I was watching a nostalgic reunion. The guys sounded like they never never split up. I tip my cap and thank Paxton Sellers, Mic Harrison, Jeff Bills, and Scott Miller for giving the fans one more show. The pictures I'm including from the show are used without any permission whatsoever from Lynn Point, who I stole them from via Facebook. Lynn, if you don't like 'em being up, let me know and I'll take them down.  

I also took the year 2012 to mean that it was time to get rid of my computer. I have been using the same machine to blog, steal music, read message boards, download porn, photoshop, and email on since 2002. I was due. The old boy lived a pretty good life, but the new Lenovo model is a real gift. I spend a lot of time on the 'net (work and play) and I was growing tired of not being able to open up more than 2 or 3 web pages at a time. The final straw for the old machine was when I was writing an article for work and had it 2/3 complete when the computer crashed. I planted my right fist deeply into the keyboard. I know....just KNOW that I heard it whine. Served you right, bastard. 

I'm gonna end this by doing what everyone does this time of year.....announce the resolutions they'll never keep. I had one last year, and just like the rest of you, I didn't keep it. I vowed to do stand up at an open mic. I never got to it. Wrote some stuff....just never found the time to develop a five minute set and prepare myself. So sue me. With that, let me tell you about some more shit I ain't gonna do;

1) Lose 25 lbs. I COULD do this. Done it before. Several times. At 43 I'm just not likely to knuckle down and do it. I like to eat. Again, lawyer up and serve me with some papers. I'll probably die of a heart attack before we go before a judge.

2) Do a 5 minute stand up set at an open mic. See, I didn't break my resolution....I just put it off. 

3) Stop putting shit off.

4) Smoke less marijuana. I think of brilliant jokes (or what SEEM to be brilliant jokes) when I get high. But usually it's late when I partake and I'm too lazy to get up and write anything down.  

5) Maintain a more even and positive attitude.

6) Smile and laugh when I think about how stressed I used to get at my old job. Now I smile and laugh, for the most part, while I do my new job. My what a change of scenery can do for the soul. If I had a soul, that is. 

7) "Tebow" at a local church. Will anyone notice?

8) Break number 4. (as a matter of fact, I've already done here is ONE resolution I'm gonna keep)

I hope everyone has a great year....the best of your life. Talk to you soon. If I can think of anything to tell you.