Thursday, December 15, 2011

Laugh Attack

My record store is cooler than your record store.

Tonight Steady Sounds played host to comedy in the upstairs loft and while I'd seen bands before in the store, it was a first going for laughs.

It was also my first time at Midnight Suggestion's monthly comedy series and the loft was packed.

First we saw locals Manly Man (two girls and a ukulele) doing their musical comedy

A routine/song about buying a boyfriend of six months a Siamese Snuggie was called "You're In Me" and was double-entendre-hysterical.

Stand-up comic James Paulk was actually a sit-down comic, making his observations laconically and comfortably.

I saw several members of Richmond's Comedy Coalition in the audience, no doubt doing a field trip.

Midnight Suggestion had brought down NYC's James Adomian for the main event and he captured the audience's attention immediately.

His spot-on imitations of Gary Busey, Sam Elliott and Danny DeVito, among others, appeared effortless.

He mentioned that he was gay and made all kinds of witty observations about old gay bars, the Sheriff of Nottingham, gay villains and playing center on his football team.

The couple in front of me were clearly fans and recorded his set while I had never heard of him (what's "Last Comic Standing"?) and just laughed.

All I've got is my memory but it's a good one. A lot of it was laugh-out-loud funny.

Somehow I was fortunate enough to have dinner made for me for the second night in a row before heading off to Balliceaux for music.

Nashville honky-tonk band J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices were already playing to a dancing crowd when we arrived.

You know it's a good sign when people are dancing.

The band said in the two years they've been together, they've traveled 110,000 miles and played 175 dates. They're soon to release their first CD.

It was pretty obvious from how tight they were and how engaged the crowd was that they've mastered the live thing.

I had my best view ever of a guy in a big hat playing lap steel. And the drummer had the best mustache/hat combination ever.

Running into a teacher friend who'd been busy dancing a minute before, I praised her for being out on a school night.

"Honky-tonk here on a Wednesday night! I had to," she exclaimed.

I saw another friend who was there on a first date and he introduced me to her.

"I'm very uncultured," she said sweetly. "Is this hipster country music?"

Not surprisingly, Americana songbird Allison Self was there, appropriately dressed in a red shirt, boots and jeans, looking adorable and two-stepping around the dance floor all night.

You know this was her kind of music.

Aside from wishing the vocals had been higher in the mix, the band played two strong sets and most of the crowd stayed till the end.

Everyone was having too much fun to go anywhere.

The lead singer spoke to us before we left, thanking us for coming. He told a story about doing a public radio interview and being labeled "Americana" by the DJ.

He corrected her that the band was really country, only to render her speechless.

And for the umpteenth time tonight, I had to laugh. Oh, sure, their music is country, no question.

But a DJ rendered speechless?

Some people crack me up. I love it.


  1. thanks for the shout out darlin! sorry I didn't chat with you, but as you saw I couldn't stop my feet from movin! -A.Self

  2. It was a night for dancing and listening, not talking! What a fun show!