I have been performing a lot lately and am loving it. I did a show at Buttermilk this past Wednesday and did another in Williamsburg this past Saturday. Both experiences were awesome. My talented friend Jonathan Vergara booked Thursday night at Buttermilk and Ross Moreno painstakingly built chuckles plus from the ground up in the studio of artist Mike Delucia.
Anyway, both experiences were awesome. When Jonathan invited me to do comedy in a night of bands I expected anything. Truth be told, I have been to a great many music nights that have been awful. Once I judged one with Spinderella from Salt n Peppa and it was a mix of talent and anti-talent. Someone needed to import Simon Cowell to tell the jiglette that despite her wiggling she could not sing on key. To top it off, we had an A and R guy judging who wanted to award her the prize just to get a blow job. Yes, she might have a hit record sir, but how long will a team of people stand behind someone who can’t even hum on tune? On second thought maybe those titties can.
When I got to Buttermilk I expected anything. My mind was open. Jonathan informed me I would be going up first. To my surprise the Park Slopers liked April and May. They were very supportive and cool in a way Manhattanites aren’t. I felt out of place having no tattoos. Still, the music had not started. The night might or might not go downhill.
Well it only got better. That Moon impressed on guitar with original vocal selections, and did a Bare Naked Ladies cover that was actually better than the original in some ways. I was impressed by both the skill and originality behind the musicianship. Following him was another female comedian, who while green was quite confident in her stride which is always good. A hot looking woman, she admitted to being forty, and surprised us all. The recent divorcee then met up with some greaser at the bar and went on a journey to possibly destroy her life. Actually she is just letting off some steam. I remember doing that at the end of my engagement. The decisions are never the best but they are the most fun. Made me laugh a little because I have been there, done that.
Following them was a duo that reminded me of Mystic Spiral, Trent’s band from Daria. The vocalist was definitely Trent with blonde hair, while there was a cello player which made the sound more experimental in a good way. Both the vocalist/guitarist and the cello player were also impressive with their talent and originality. After them was an acoustic cover band who did Sublime songs. While their material was not original, their musicianship was quite good. They were fun and tolerable unlike most cover bands which make me cringe. I associate coverband with wedding band, and these guys were too talented to be booked to sing some horrid song for the first dance.
Headlining the night was my friend Jonathan’s band. Despite the fact he is doing my track and it sounds quite good, I had never seen him play. Much like my cousin Bobby Kircher who tours the world as a trumpet player, Jonathan is the type who masters an instrument right away. Jonathan’s band had no name and I was eager to see them play. While the evening had been good this could go either way.
Sure enough, they were awesome. With a sound like the Pixies, they had a male guitar player and a female bass player that were both active on the vocals. The other guitar player was impressive and Jonathan just blew me away on the drums. Jonathan swears he has no luck with women and does not have girlfriends everywhere. In between the dark and mysterious appearance which makes his ethnicity ambiguous and the midnight black eyes that can not be read, he plays drums like he’s with Kiss in an arena and his fingers grace the guitar strings with no effort. My humble opinion is that Jonathan is lying to me. Then again, it is his right to lie. Superstars are like superheros, they have to pose in a humble disguise or else Lex Luther might steal their ability. Or maybe not.
Jonathan is a rockstar. I am almost a rockstar.
Saturday brought me to Bushwick/Williamsburg to perform for Ross Moreno’s Chuckles Plus 3.0. Ross had invited me the week before to see the space. The event took place in the studio of one Mike Delucia. Dusty and musty, the ideal playground for mice, I wondered how they would make this artist’s warehouse into a place fit for a comedy/variety show. Ross had the idea of splitting the show into two parts, part A and part B. He explained that the place would look different. Space conversion excites me. While I frequent basements, crack dirty jokes, and float around in my panties in my videos I am still an NYU grad and therefore somewhat of an art snob. Ross’s mission excited me.
The whole thing was reminiscent of a happening. The only way one could get the address of the venue was to RSVP and the location was a secret. With the enthusiasm surrounding the event, I wished more comedy producers were like Ross Moreno. Rather, many are entitled who rarely appreciate the pains of finding stage time. Ross on the other hand, he creates the stage and defies boundaries which is not only artistically brave but refreshing.
Saturday came and off I went to Brooklyn. Stepping off the L train I swear to God Father Time must have turned Mother Nature out before breaking her little heart because the weather did not know which season was which. I felt the sneeze coming on as a result of her wrathful heartbreak, always the fault of a man in my experience. Men are to be blamed for most disasters. They make women crazy the way they are, but that is the topic of every April Brucker blog; tired and contrite. Enough of that.
I went to get something to make me stop sneezing because I had no interest in shrinking to dwarf size. To kill some time I explored the streets, and that’s when I ran into Justin who was hosting the event. Off to the space we went and I was not so surprised but impressed to see that Ross had converted the warehouse into a spectacular looking venue. There was a traditional looking stage, a large stage for the headliner, a side table for another act to perform, and a DJ table for the sound guy. There were sparkly streamers and colors all around. The evening had not started and already I gave Ross and A plus.
Joey B on the turntables was also refreshing. For my intro Joey told me ahead of time he engineered “Puppet Master” by Metallica for my introduction. Everyone was getting the kinks worked out beforehand, and then a light fell and broke. While there was some panic we all breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t happen when the event was taking place. People began to shuffle in as if we were throwing the party of the century. Most people were between the ages of twenty five and thirty five, and probably childless. We were married to the Peter Pan syndrome and the life of the artist.
The show began and there were some technical difficulties with the sound. However, they worked so seamlessly that no one could tell whether it was a glitch or if it was part of a revival of a happening in the spirit of the days of The Living Theatre with Beck and Molina. Either way, whatever this was it was original, it was classic, and people loved it.
Shane Webb took the stage first. While I have only met Shane a few times, I had no idea she did magic. It was a pleasant surprise to find out someone I occasionally share a stage with has a bonus talent. I also didn’t know she had opened for Marc Marron. Go girl. I also saw some uke action from Sweet Sourbette. Her instrumental skill as far as the technical aspect went was on the mark, and her voice was sweet in that jazz sort of style. The songs she sang were funny, quippy, and catchy. Ross Moreno, however, was the one who I have to give the award for awesomeness to. Ross not only engineered the event, but he dawned a spandex blue body suit and clown wig to do an impromptu mime act with the host. Brave, funny, and original I gave him a ten for both humor and vision. However, Ross topped his performance second half of the show by not only performing magic but also by stripping to thong underwear.
Go Ross, you are a rockstar.
I had fun performing. The crowd was awesome, young, and wanted to laugh. So often I am faced with crowds who I have to “work” to get to like me. Sometimes it’s because of my age, my gender, and what I do. Not these people. They were awesome. Of course the cherry on top of the cake was Joey B on the turn tables helping me out with sound effects. We played off each other well. Joey B was the unsung star of the evening. His sound effects were on the mark and he played off each performer well. May asked Joey B which one of us he would sleep with and he did this sound effect of a grumble which got a huge house laugh. Joey B equals awesome. The second half of the show he was one of two human puppets I had, and then broke character to rant about how twenty twelve was the end of the world which was awesome.
Joey B is a rockstar.
The next day the long week and Mother’s Nature’s heartbreak caught up to me. I was grounded and in bed with chicken soup. I had to cancel my photo shoot, but delivered a telegram where I got an unexpected tip. Sure I may have been a rockstar, but I had no voice.
No Madison Square Garden for me.
I was supposed to do a photo shoot in a Civil War Era Cemetery as well. While I was too sick to be photographed, my father enjoyed his Father’s Day presents. One was a book about Lincoln’s Assassination. The other was Darth Vader’s Father’s Day. My dad also suggested taking a project I am doing to a new level. Like Napoleon, he is revving up the battle plans. I just want him to keep my book into the present. Let’s publish before we turn it into a great musical. But that’s my dad’s way of saying that he’s proud. By being the idea man behind the curtain. Second of seven, first in his family to get a bachelors, masters, and law degree. Not to mention he and his choir made a record where he had a solo back in the day.
My Pops is a rockstar.
I also called my grandfather who’s ninety three and who’s hearing is going because sometimes he doesn’t turn on. When he does sometimes it buzzes. But until recently he was swimming and playing tennis several times a week. He defeated cancer five times, survived a blood clot, and served in the army during World War II. He also served as an official and championed my mother during swim meets. When I started performing comedy here in NYC, he sent me an envelope with his favorite Henny Youngman jokes.
My Pop Pop is a rockstar.
Yesterday I finally did my interview with Tasteless T on FJS Radio. It was awesome to know that “Stay” has stayed on the countdown longer than any other indie song and that I have been number one for three weeks. Despite my voice feeling scratchy and like it was going to give out at any moment, I did the interview. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards probably do interviews constantly even though they died long ago and the coke keeps them alive. Nonetheless, it was nice to be able to reach my fans on the Indie Session and know that my accidental folly into recorded music has been worth it.
Tasteless T and I aren’t just rockstars, we are headed to the hall of fame.
Before that I settled on a publisher who is penning my contract. I felt productive. Then I got three fan letters and a hater who couldn’t spell suck. Actually, his version was sukk. I thanked him for listening.
I am a rockstar. I am a rockstar.
In a few minutes I will purchase my bus ticket to see my family for the Fourth of July. I will come home. My mother will make me do housework. That’s when I will turn back into a petulant child and tell her about how I absolutely rule and how my fans love me and how everything in my life is so awesome. That’s when my mom will say, “Yeah, and it’s because you listen to me. It’s because we have always done everything so well together as a family. It’s because I fought like hell with your father so you could come to NYC to pursue your dream. Now your father will be home in five minutes and all you have done is whine. Dinner isn’t done and the vacuum still needs to be run. You have too much leisure time. Now get to work.”
My Mama is the ultimate rockstar.