commented on Condolences to All Who Enjoy Hearing Counting Crows and Shawn Colvin on the Radio
When I moved to Seattle in '92, the first radio station I heard (while still coming through the Cascades) was The Mountain--I thought it was amazing that there was a radio station JUST for people driving through the mountain! (D'oh!)
While I was familiar "adult album alternative" with The Cities 97 in the Twin Cities, The Mountain was better. When I grew out of being a listener of The End (and when KEXP could get a little too free-form for someone who grew up on K-Tel records)...I found The Mountain was a good (if granola) alternative for the car. You got some good songs that you knew...and you still got a well-selected group of Americana-y new acts to make you feel like you and your Dockers were still viable. It wasn't my favorite radio station...but it was worthy of giving a pre-set button to...
The change of format to classic rock was a mistake. Pushing Marty Riemer out (the first time) was a mistake.
I'll miss The Mountain. But I've been missing The Mountain for awhile now, really.
commented on What Do You Think About Dave Chappelle?
I had the chance to see Dave Chappelle at Benaroya Hall back in August 2002, before The Chappelle Show made him a household name.
Truth be told, Benaroya is not the best place for a comedy show...the sound was AWFUL (metallic and prone to feedback). Host Joe Torry was ok. Opening act was Lewis Black...and he crushed it. They took an intermission and came back for Dave's set...
...and for someone I loved as a smart, inventive stand-up...he was bewildered, distracted and...not funny. I paid big $ to see Dave Chappelle bomb.
And I don't think it was Dave's fault as much as it was the audience's. Similar to this crowd, they seemed more intent on yelling things out to Dave (since this was before Chappelle Show, what they'd yell were lines from "Half Baked") than enjoying his comedy.
So, Dave would get into a flow...start getting into a story-based joke that would pay off with a little bit of patience and then, from the balcony, someone would yell "WHAT DO YOU LIKE MORE? PUSSY OR WEED?" and Dave would stop, look up to where the shout had come from...repeat what the idiot had yelled...and then stumble into a new story--leaving whatever he had been talking about behind.
I was so pissed--but even other people in the audience yelling at the people yelling from the audience became more of a distractive element, rather than self-policing crowd control.
The truth was...with the ticket prices what they were and the venue that was chosen...the room was filled with Microsofty stoners who only knew that this was the guy from Half Baked. They weren't comedy fans...and they certainly weren't Dave Chappelle fans.
It was sobering to sit through such a wasted opportunity (and it definitely influenced how I thought about comedy when I would begin my own stand-up comedy pursuits the next year.)
And, for the record, I didn't get the sense that Dave was blunted (if anything, he seemed more drunk than he might have been stoned.) It just seemed like he wasn't capable or willing to play "shut down the hecklers".
AND WHY SHOULD HE? Why is stand-up comedy the only kind of performance art it is culturally acceptable (seemingly) to ruin, just on a whim? When is the "expectation that heckling is not only acceptable but a desired part of the comedy experience" ever going to be replaced by something closer to the reality--which is that 99% of heckling is just real life trolling.
I still love Dave Chappelle's stand-up, from back in the day. I'm glad I have "For What It's Worth" on DVD. I would NEVER go to see Dave Chappelle perform stand-up again...not because of Dave--I'd love to see what his mind makes of the world today. No, I'd never go to see him ever again because of some people who claim to be fans of his who can't possibly be...
commented on A Mad Lib-Type Situation
...getting cotton picked by Paula Deen.
...getting foie gras forcibly shoved down your throat.
...getting impregnated by your abortionist.