Music

Mix Tape

Michael Showalter Plays Music Critic

John Foster

Ever wanted to make funnyman Michael Showalter a mix tape? Okay, that's gross and overly familiar of you. Look, Mike Show is not your friend—in fact, don't call him "Show." He's not my friend either, but I made him a mix tape anyway, and here's what he thought of it.

Beck: "MTV Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack"

I never smoked crack. I've smoked a few hams in my day. Other drugs I've never done include PCP, GHB, and Special K. Before we did our own show, the State was on this show called You Wrote It, You Watch It. It was hosted by Jon Stewart. Every night after work we went to this bar on the Upper East Side, drank beer, ate wings, and played video Jeopardy. It was disgusting. I did irreparable damage to my digestive track.

Art Brut: "Formed A Band"

It's funny. It's not as funny as Ricky Gervais, but it's funny. I like the name Art Brut. It combines two things that I love. Art and Brut, the men's cologne.

Have you ever formed a band?

I was never in a real band. Michael Black, David Wain, and I tried to be a band, I think we were called Mac Truck. I was in a hiphop trio in high school called the Disposable Rappers. We were like the Beastie Boys but untalented. My tag name was "Mykool." My big line was, "Fresh, swell, I'm kickin', loud, and hard/I got an offer to rap at Juilliard/But I turned it down/I went to P-town/I got a letter from the Senate for my funky sound." Pretty dope. P-town refers to Princeton. That's where I grew up.

The Shins: "New Slang"

Great band. Nice harmonies. Good music to write to. I can't say they've changed my life; Weezer's changed my life more than the Shins.

Simon and Garfunkel: "America"

An all-time classic. "Pass me a cigarette I think there's one in my raincoat." The specificity of raincoat, I love that. "Bridge over Troubled Water" is another great song. Other than those two songs I could take or leave Simon and Garfunkel. They bum me out.

Pavement: "Range Life"

I love Pavement. The highest compliment I ever got was that I was the Stephen Malkmus of comedy.

Nation of Ulysses: "The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm"

There's a sample of this song that was part of The State's theme song. This is actually the first time I've heard it. Nathan Larson was in this band and also in Craig Wedren's band Shudder to Think, and Craig wrote The State's theme song.

Les Savy Fav: "Who Rocks the Party"

I know these guys! Fantastic band. Amazing live.

Do you rock the party?

I hate to party. My downstairs neighbors have big parties a few times a year and I make sure to be out of town those nights. I don't like loud noise. That's why I moved to Brooklyn. Next stop is somewhere out in the woods. Give me trees, Bob Seger, a sandwich, and a football game—I'll be happy.

Clipse: "Mr. Me Too"

One of the first lyrics in this song is "niggers is haters." It made me think of the whole Michael Richards debacle. Let's just admit that we're all filled with hate and rage. Let's get it out there and talk it out. I'm filled with hate. I'll be walking down the street and some guy is walking past me—he could be any color, race, creed—and my first thought is, "I fucking hate this guy." My second thought is, "No I don't. Let's talk about it." And fuck Jerry Seinfeld for bringing [Richards] on Letterman and then shushing the audience. They were there to see a comedy show! How ridiculous that Seinfeld thought they had an inappropriate response to Kramer's apology for his inappropriate remark. Society bums me out.

LCD Soundsystem: "Losing My Edge"

I asked a friend of mine who's a writer at Pitchfork to make me a mix tape with dance songs on it. She put LCD Soundsystem on it. I don't know how to dance to this. I must be losing my edge.

The Smiths: "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"

Whenever I think of Morrissey I think of Mexican-American goths. Morrissey has a huge fan base of Mexican-American goths. From what I can tell, so does Stella. Go figure.

egrandy@thestranger.com

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