Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I've had a busy weekend. I saw Francois Fly open for Neil Hamburger on Friday as part of Wasted Weekend III. I also saw The Boars and Th' Losin' Streaks, both of whom turned in strong sets. Saturday I continued with Wasted Weekend activities, heading out to the Placer Country Fairgrounds for Crasharama where I was thrilled to watch Jumpin' Johnny crash cars into other cars. It was not a great place to be when the temperature was so high, but I had fun. Saw a great band there called Winelord. Four girls and a guy doing some garage/punk. They're from Tuscon and I love to support touring, as touring is the greatest thing in the world, so I bought a CD. Sonic Love Affair did a strong set despite the fact that they were obviously strugglin with the heat, especially front man Dylan. Damn they rock.
Saturday at midnight The Trash Film Orgy presented Frankenhooker and Francois Fly intruded on my weekend again, as he made a guest appearance. He used to host the show back in the days when I co-produced it, and it was nice to see that most of the crowd remembered him well and went pretty nuts at his appearance. Did I mention he was in drag? It was a fun show. I'll get some pics up as soon as I get some. As Neil Hamurger would say "And That's My Life..."
and yes, Francois Fly is wearing a dress and a wig in that picture. If you were there you'd know why.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Neil Hamburger, it would appear, is really suffering for his art. His face bent in an expression of mild annoyance at least but more often he portrays disgust or excruciating pain as he sweats his way through one of his unique comic performances.
I was having a Neil Hamburger day as I struggled to get this interview. The temperature here in Sacramento was in the triple digits, and I’m not sure any of those digits were a zero either. Then Neil phones in an hour and half late. It’s hard to sneak my interview in with out the boss noticing if Neil calls when the damn boss is there. But no problem, I rushed over to my lap top, set it recording, conducted the interview, said goodbye and then discovered I’d recorded exactly five seconds of the interview. I still don’t know what happened. Maybe it was just the Neil Hamburger magic. I’m nervous as I type this. What misfortune is yet ahead.
Luckily I did without a recorder for years, and so I typed while talking with Neil in case of just such and emergency. Here’s the interview as reconstructed from my hastily typed notes. Enjoy.
And for more information on Neal's appearance in town, and on the Wasted Weekend click here.
I answer the phone at work with my professional voice, stating the name of the roofing company that employs me, always a great way to start a professional interview.
NH: This is Neil Hamburger.
KLJ: Neil! Great! Let me just get my recorder started here. It’s gas powered, so I’ll need a minute.
NH: Oh, so you’ll be having to pump your legs while we talk. Sorry to miss the interview. I hope it's not too late. I hope you didn't already go off and do an interview with Carrot Top or anything.
KLJ: No problem.
NH: We've had some technical difficulties here, some car trouble. If anyone there in Sacramento knows how to work on cars, if they can maybe bring some parts to the show, maybe we can get the engine replaced there.
KLJ: Well you’re here as part of Wasted Weekend so there should be plenty of gear heads around.
NH: Yeah, well that would be great if someone knew how to replace an engine.
KLJ: You know they’ll be crashing some cars as part of the crasharama?
NH: Yes, I hear it's going to be quite a violent show which I found a bit unnerving actually.
KLJ: So you won't be crashing any cars on Sunday? (Oops, it's actually Saturday)
NH: No. I've crashed enough cars. It gets very expensive. I drive 700 miles a day.
KLJ: You'll be performing here with bands. I notice you tend to perform with rock bands. How does this work out for you?
NH: Well let's face it most of these kids, after all that blaring guitar noise and what not, their hearing is just shot, and the kids that like this kind of music you know a-lot of them have emotional problems, so there's nothing as soothing as the human voice. And comedy is therapeutic. It does them good to laugh.
KLJ: So you’re like a doctor.
NH: Yes. I'm like a physician only without the great pay, and the beautiful wife, and the short hours and the big house and the free pens and paperweights.
KLJ: These free pens worry me. When I’m at the doctor’s office and he’s prescribing me some anti-depressant, the very medicine named on his pen, I worry that I’m just taking pills to keep this guy stocked in pens.
NH: Well pens are expensive. You know, one thing the American media overlooks, they report on the oil shortage and what have you, but they don't mention there is an ink shortage going on. Ink has gone up tens of cents.
KLJ: Should I bring my doctor some pens?
NH: I think it could help, you bring maybe twenty pens and a couple of paper weights and maybe you'll get out of there without being prescribed anything other than some fruit cocktail.
KLJ: What kind of prescriptions are you on these days?
NH: I can't afford prescriptions, prescriptions are expensive you know. But the 99 cent store has a lot of good stuff, the aspirin and what not, and these products for females to help with the female problems, they actually work on men too, to help with the headaches… and the despair… the depression… and the dizziness… and the muscle degeneration. They give you that nauseous feeling.
KLJ: Well I appreciate the health advice, especially useful for those of us with no healthcare. Do you mix the pills? Any combinations you recommend?
NH: I can't really afford to take more than one or two a day, but they're all the same. They all give you that same nauseous feeling, and that nauseous feeling is better than what I feel most of the time when I'm up on that stage.
KLJ: We appreciate your suffering to bring us the laughs. How did you become “America’s Funnyman?” Did a president bestow this title on you?
NH: We saw that America's Funnyman was available so we grabbed it. Some creep, some sick derelict already took neilhamburger.com and he's not even doing anything with it, just waiting until he can contact me and try to shake some money out of me for it. He’s a lowlife. These lowlifes just grab up these names so they can try to exploit someone later.
KLJ: I know, I wanted to create a site but hotmouths.com is registered, but there’s not even a site there. It’s ridiculous. I notice you’re performing outside the US more and more. Are you trying to become the Coalition Forces’ Funnyman?
NH: (Ignoring my lame joke) I have a new DVD coming out, The World's Funnyman. We taped in Australia and a little bit in Canada, so I’m taking the comedy to the world, and the name was available. I've been performing in Australia and New Zealand and the U.K. and up in Canadia (sic). And there aren't a lot of funny people in these places you know.
KLJ: So you’re going to Canada where the people are obviously a bit more sophisticated than we are down here and then to New Zealand and Australia where they’re complete savages. Do you have to change your material for these different audiences?
NH: My biggest problem is the time change. It’s what, 17 hours difference in Australia and I drive 700 miles a day, so at one in the morning there I’m waking up in bed, grasping for the steering wheel. But comedy is the same, you know, they’ll catch the references. They know gang bang. They know vomit.
KLJ: Thank god for the vomiting gangbang. So you don’t say Kangaroo where you might have said Paris Hilton then?
NH: I do a little of that, a regional reference here and there, maybe adding the names of some of their local celebrities.
KLJ: You’re pretty hard on celebrities.
NH: They ask for it.
KLJ: Have any of them ever responded to your jokes about them?
NH: No, none of them have responded. I was just on tomgreen.com last night with Brook Shields and I got to tell her some of my jokes and she was gracious enough to laugh at them.
KLJ: So the celebrities haven’t been angry, how about regular folks, people with a feminist bent who maybe don’t really get the humor?
NH: Of course there's always the people who'll throw a drink, or throw a shoe, but I don't think it's any kind of activism, it's alcoholism.
KLJ: So no protestors or anything?
NH: No, I haven't had any kind of organized protests, not yet, but if you go and put this on the internet you'll give people ideas. You shouldn't print this or we'll have that happening and I have legal troubles enough.
KLJ: I certainly hope this interview doesn’t cause any harm. If there are protestors at any of your shows I’ll expect to hear from your lawyers.
NH: Well my lawyers may be contacting you anyway.
KLJ: Well then, I’ll just move away from that question. Can you tell me how you got into comedy?
NH: Well there was a need for comedy in the world. The world was getting worse and so I was called on to give people a much needed laugh.
KLJ: Are there other comedians you look up to?
NH: Oh I don't care for any of these other guys out there. You know, they're taking food out of my belly.
The dead guys are okay, because there's no competition, but these live guys, they're making money, and taking food out of my belly and they're sleeping with women that I might have been able to sleep with. And when they're driving 700 miles they're doing it in a private jet, so you know I don't need to give them any more credit they get too much credit as it is, so I'm not going to help them out here.
KLJ: I bought your album Raw Hamburger. I was lucky enough to find it on vinyl. Are they still pressing your stuff on vinyl or is all CD?
NH: There's always new product, but I'm not real involved in that end of it, you know I handle more of the trinkets. I don't see a-lot of money from the records, there's too many other people involved. I have the key chains and the paper weights and the fruit cocktail.
KLJ: Is the fruit cocktail in heavy syrup?
NH: Yes it was. It was a good product. We've had some problems with that, we've had to take it off the market but I still stand behind it. A lot of these kids buy it just to put it on their mantle and they’ll never open it.
KLJ<: You seem to be happy that you’ve attracted a young audience.
NH: Yes, the young of today are the old folks of tomorrow, and they'll keep buying, so you want to get them young. That's why we have bibs now.
KLJ: So, records, bibs, fruit cocktail, will we be seeing the Neil Hamburger sitcom or major motion picture soon?
NH: I'd like to do a major motion picture. We did a short film a ten minute film hoping to get some interest and some money in doing that. You know it takes money to do a film. But I'd love to do a sitcom or a film.
There's not a lot of money in this. Sure I'm famous but I don't' see a lot of money and there's too many people taking it, lawyers, my ex-wife. She gets some money because of some comments I made about her on one of my records. In fact I do extra things to make some money, washing cars. If anyone would like to have their car washed, I keep a little soap in my car, if there's a hose and a bucket I do a really good job. And I’d enjoy that kind of work.
KLJ: Well there should be a lot of dusty cars out at the Crasharama on Sunday if you can stick around. (Again, I got it wrong, Crasharama is on Saturday.)
NH: Well that might work out.
KLJ: Anything else you want to say to Sacramento?
NH: Let's get a good amount of enthusiasm going and make this a great show, let's make it a night to remember.
So, Sacramento, Let’s do it. Wasted Weekend is upon us, and Neil will be part of the fun appearing Friday night at Old Ironsides, (10th and S Street). For more information on Neil's appearance in town, and on the Wasted Weekend click here
Neil Hamburger's site, www.americasfunnyman.com
More Neil Hamburger video clips HERE.
My interview with Bob Newhart HERE.
My interview with Ryan Styles HERE.
My hero Francois Fly interviews my other hero The Unknown Comic HERE.
I should have my camera in a couple of days. I'm now looking into a class at the city college. I did a lot of editing and lighting in my high school media class and as a public access television producer but that was many years ago, so long ago in fact that I've still never done non-linear editing.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I'm not going to ask you to send me a few bucks, or to buy my cd, though both are always appreciated, that is promoting, this is something else.
I'm asking you to please go see An Inconvenient Truth.
No matter how you feel about global warming, you have to see it as an important issue. I mean, even if you think it's a crock, it's a crock that every leader of every industrialized nation on earth save the US and Australia is buying into. That's a hell of a crock. So do yourself a favor and see what the crocks all about.
If, like me, you do believe it's a problem, I am happy to tell you that the film is not as the poster claims, "The most terrifying film you will ever see." It's actually very optimistic.
So, please, make a few hours time to go see this film. I thought I knew this issue, but I learned a-lot from this film. More information at http://www.climatecrisis.net/.
And if you have a website, email list, or friends, please encourage others to see this film. Make an outing of it. Discuss it together afterwards.
When the music started, that special Gene Gene music all of us boys would hop up off the couch. We'd all do the dance. The studio audience was doin' the dance, Chuck was doin' the dance. Damn, that Gene had one happy dance.
My Hero, the unknown comic. I hope to find more clips of this madman at work. I don't know that I would've gone into comedy if I hadn't discovered this guy as a kid. Read Francois Fly (my other hero)'s interview with the Unknown here.
This one just captures the wonderful oddball talent you wouldn't see elsewhere. The zippers were another great one, playing a song on their zippers until, oops, an unfortunate accident gives one of them a falsetto.
I first saw a great band called The Mystic Knights of The Oingo Boingo on the Gong show.
I could go on an on. This show was so much fun. Check out lots more HERE.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Ugly Skull backstage, gettin' ready for the rockin'.
Andy Warhol made a surprise visit from beyond the grave in order to really pound home this years theme of 15 minutes of fame.
India - Pakistan
Isreal- Palistine/Lebanon (Iran? Syria?)
Hearbreaking, frightening, infuriating.
What's wild about these conficts is that smaller groups bring these countries into war. Al Queda, Hezbola, Hamas-maybe a faction even of Hamas that may or may not answer to the elected officials.
And then there's the opposite angle. The governments are held accountable for what these groups within their borders do, but we individuals are held responsible for what our governments do, and we do have responsibilities of course, but I am sad that calling myself an American associates me with the frat boy in charge.
I hope we get a president in the US who is more equipped to deal with these volatile situations as things continue to heat up in the middle east.
Will technology moving away from oil make things better there by giving the outside forces less reasons to stick around or will it get worse as the resources start to dry up and there are less and less scraps to fight for?
Yeah, what an insult right? Always the bridesmaid, never the freakin' Sammies Rocker? I don't thinks so.
We agreed to host, but if they thought that would buy us off, they were mistaken. we still carried on with our protest out front and we were joined by Smooot Valley High, Flipp'n The Bird and Broken Home, other bands that have been dissed. We protested right up until we had to be onstage inside to introduce the first award. Scroll down to see the great literature we were handing out, letting the public know the truth about Sammie.
Broken Home and Flippin' the Bird are flippin' mad that The Sammies does not have a kazoo category. Total crap. And the Smooot boys managed not to spit or curse, but believe you me they were spittin' mad at being disqualified just because their from Fresno. How does the Sac News and Review define Sacramento Area anyway? There are places a-lot further from Sac than Fresno to be sure.
We took our protest all the way inside to the stage. You see, we accepted the hosting gig, but we used the forum to let everyone know how much the Sammies suck for excluding Sacto (and Fresno)'s most rockin'ist bands.
Twice we tried to play some music durring the intermission and after the show, but both times there were technical problems or so we were told. The sound and lights went out each time, and when the sound goes out I guess the house music automatically comes on. Lame.
- The video of Tatiana Latour's daughter reading the acceptance speech for Tatiana's best female vocalist Sammie.
- David from Didley Squat, not even bothering to listen as the best pop category was read as he was already sure it was going to Daisy Spot. I had to shout to him where he stood in the stair well, "Dude, you guys won!" Didley Squat looked awesome, all dressed up in crazy outfits with make up and bear head things and David's white motorcycle helmet. I love Didley Squat.
- I performed all night with a rip in the ass of my pants. No big deal, at first, but the rip kept getting bigger. I kid you not, when I got home and stepped out of the car, my pants hit my shoes. The rip had spread up through the waste and the pant fell of me. It was dangerously close to having happened on stage. Friendship Tailor, be seeing you soon.
Click on these images to enlarge.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I reached an ending point with All My Kisses.
When I did the rewrite of All My Jobs the last quarter of the book got the most rewriting. I think I near the end of my rough draft and I start rushing. So, I imagine I'll work and rework the end, which I'm not real satisfied with, but I've already prepped the whole project for a big old offline rewrite starting from chapter one. Woo hoo.
More illustrations should be up this weekend.
In the meanwhile I'm going to be posting LOTS more fiction. I have some stories, many variations on skit comedy pieces of written, that I'll be working on. I hope you like 'em. And of course I hope people keep sending me ten bucks here and there because I do so enjoy drinking the good coffee. Hell, just send gift certificate's for Petes.
I should be sleeping. I think I'm amped because I'm hosting the Sacramento Area Music Awards (Sammies) tomorrow. I kinda can't wait to have it over and done so I can relax again. Then I have another big comedy gig in August. After that I'm gonna try to avoid performing unless another really great opportunity comes along.
I hope by this time next year to have my book published, even self published and I want to do a small tour with it. That would rule. For real. Okay, good night.
That work tanks is rockin'. I have maybe a dozen little guys, a few of whom are getting really big, meaning they're maybe half an inch front to back. The two biggest are obviously males with big crows on top of their heads. These crowns are used for fighting for sexin'. Yep, they make sex with the top of their heads. Make many jokes now please.
Okay, so back to Sea Monkeys.My favorite thing is when they turn upside down and scoot along the ground to feed on the stuff to be found there. Very cool.
The tank at home is evaporating so I can do the great Sea Monkey ressurection. It'll probably be another couple of months.
Monday, July 10, 2006
I write every day, so I just kept writing while I figured it out, jumping into our road trip. I think the roadtrip and the near break up resulting from it will be a good fast paced climactic way to end this set of stories. Not that I'm blowing the ending for you folks that are reading this one. There are plenty o' surprises ahead. Mutiny on the Greyhound coming up next. Enjoy.
Sunday, July 9, 2006
Saturday, July 8, 2006
“But you eat eggs right?”
“How do you get you’re protein?”
“You know humans are carnivores. We have special teeth for eating meat.”
“Carrots are living creatures too you know?”
“So what do you eat?”
“But you can eat cheese right?”
“Wanna a hamburger? Mmmm, tasty hamburger…”
“You know, a cow would eat you!”
“Well what about butter? Oh, okay, well what about eggs? No? Um, well, what about cheese? No cheese! But you can have Ice Cream right?”
“I tried tofu once. It’s a sorry excuse for a steak.”
“You know, you’re body is digesting itself!”
“But you can eat fish right?”
“I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain so I could chew on a carrot.”
“So, do you eat a lot of salads?”
“I just wish that vegetarians weren’t so preachy.”
“You guys say you eat all natural, but what the hell is tofu? That can’t be natural.”
“I thought about going vegetarian, before I discovered the Atkins diet.”
“The sixties are over, hippie.”
“But you eat can pork right?”
“Okay, if you were on a desert island, with nothing to eat but a cow…”
Friday, July 7, 2006
Rachel LeBrock posted this to the Sacramento Bee's blog. Woo hoo.
Kiss and tell
Sacto blogger Keith Lowell Jensen has added another URL to his Internet oeuvre. Much in the way that Jensen's All My Jobs blog details the comedian/writer/blogger's explorations into gainful employment, All My Kisses journeys into the realm of love and infatuation.
The entries - written in (mostly) work-safe prose - are funny, engaging and more than a little bittersweet. And, who knows, they may sound familiar.
"Look closely, you may be in one of the stories," Jensen wrote in a recent e-mail. "Remember that time you got drunk and kissed the coat-check boy? (I) worked as a coat-check boy!"
For the record, I never kissed a coat-check boy...or if I did, I wouldn't tell...Jensen, however, is thankfully not so discreet.
Thanks Rachel. Read the first story at All My Kisses by clicking HERE.
Monday, July 3, 2006
Any suggestions? Eh?
For you non milk drinkers, I made a batch of Almond Milk and it's great in coffee and smoothies.
1.5 cups crushed raw almonds
3 cups water
Blend for several minutes. For real. That's a long time for a blender, but blend the hell out of it.
Strain it through cheese cloth.
You'll have lots of pulp left, so let's all figure out what the hell to do with that. It's good if you compost. I should but I don't. Someday.
This is pretty expensive if you buy the almonds at Safeway. Try it once and if you like it check the farmers market or wherever else you think you can buy large amounts of almonds on the cheap.
I'm drinking a smoothie right now that's made up of
frozen blackberries, about one cup
one frozen banana
one frozen date (it's like sugar, remember to remove the pit)
and about a cup of almond milk, more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies
Blend and drink. You may have to stop the blender and stir a few times if you don't have a smoothie maker that lets you stir while blending.
Food makes me happy.
I'm on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet right now for my Ulcerative Colitis, and I'm doing a vegan version of it. Some would compare this to trying to do the atkins diet while being vegan, but so far I'm doing alright, getting my protien from nuts, legumes and beans. The no grains (rice, wheat, corn, etc) is rough, but there are lots of people out there who believe that this diet has actually healed their U.C. so wish me luck.
Sunday, July 2, 2006
I realize the result is a VERY rough rough draft but that works. I then put it onto a word document and I rewrite, taking more time, filling in the details that got lost the first time through.
I have thought about the style of my writing. It's intentionaly simple and straight forward. I'm resisting the urge to get too flowery and poetic. I aim to be more storyteller than poet here. I'm comfortable with this style for the most part, but sometimes I worry that my no frills approach is too minimalist.
Well, now I'm off to do some editing. We're still working on the panhandling documentary.