Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yesterday the Stranger Suggested: Defriending Cancer at the Moore

Posted by on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Meet Matthew Cooke, a Stranger reader who has vowed to do everything The Stranger suggests for the entire month of February. Look for his reports daily on Slog and Line Out. —Eds.


I only caught part of last night’s benefit at the Moore. Susan and I had a window of 7:30 — 9pm, because 1) I was completely wiped out after the previous night's awesome—but horribly late—Daedalus show and 2) Susan had an early flight to the east coast and had to leave for the airport at 4:15am this morning.

Still, an hour-and-a-half seemed like plenty of time to take in some comedy, catch some music, and provide enough material for a “Yesterday” assessment.

Last night’s affair had a casual vibe, however, and nobody seemed interested in sticking to my timetable. It was supposed to start at 7:30, but didn’t actually start until after 8pm. I only got to see maybe half of the comedians, and almost none of the music.

The casualness extended to the stage set up. Everything was extremely basic; minimal lighting, and there was absolutely nothing on the stage but a mic stand. No backgrounds, no props, no nothing. Host Todd Barry actually introduced himself from off-stage.

I was expecting Barry to give some background on the event, exactly what the cause was, etc, but no. He just went right into his joke-cracking MC shtick. I would have appreciated some context, but maybe he thought saying the word “cancer” would kill the funny.

Anyway, the comedians I saw mostly hit the mark. I generally prefer meta-comedy over straight jokes. Hence, the Neil Hamburgers of the world generally crack my ass up, and his performance last night was typically (and hysterically) cringe-worthy.

The best act, however (that I saw, at least), was definitely Tim Heidecker’s. I barely follow the comedy scene, so I’d never heard of him, but his “clueless comedian” routine had me weeping openly 30 seconds in. He got a well-deserved standing O from the small but enthusiastic crowd.

In the end, I wasn’t blown out of the water by this recommendation. I know it’s for a good cause and all, but floor tickets were $50 (balcony for $30). A little more professionalism about start times and stagecraft seems like a reasonable thing to expect, no?

Still, I guess The Stranger did its job since the event brought added value you wouldn’t get just sending money to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. More bells and whistles, however—or at least promptness—would have been appreciated.


Comments (16) RSS

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I liked Kyle's reviews because he actually seemed to be happy to go out and try and do new things. This guy doesn't. All of his reviews are just him whining about how tired he is and how disappointed he is with one aspect of the show not being what he wanted it to be. And for someone with literary aspirations, you'd think he'd be happier about going out and experiencing new things than his bedtime.
Posted by I miss Kyle on February 12, 2010 at 12:58 PM · Report this
I know this isn't an easy task but I'm under theimpression that you volunteered for it right? Do you have to start every review with an "I'm exhausted, I'm so tired, I can't belive that I was up so late doing this exhausting thing that I volunteered for." Maybe the Stranger could suggest for you to stay home and take a nap.
Posted by Keep it down, I'm tring to sleep in here. on February 12, 2010 at 1:02 PM · Report this
I agree he seems pretty ragged, though I know I'd be totally wiped out if I had to do that shit. And I'm actually enjoying his more critical approach--sometimes I wonder if the Stranger writers pull those "Recommendations" out of their asses. Nice to have some accountability.
Posted by pseudonym on February 12, 2010 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Also, it IS bullshit when events like this start late. If I'd paid $50, I would have expected them to get thier shit together.
Posted by pseudonym on February 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Mittens Schrodinger 5
It's too bad that we can't get a fresh perspective, say maybe two reviewers at a time, so both get every other night off for each of these rather than running someone ragged through the course of attending daily "suggests". After all, isn't the whole idea that "The Stranger Suggests" is there for folks enthusiatic about going out to something but just unsure of what? The slightly-crotchety and put-upon tone of these reviews is starting to drag the whole thing down.
Posted by Mittens Schrodinger on February 12, 2010 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Showing up late and leaving early for a show you reviewed?

Well, you are Staff material after all!

Now only if you can add in reviewing the opening band as if it were the headliner you'll be promoted!
Posted by Sir Lulzworth on February 12, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Report this
Tracy 7
I can appreciate and am fine with an early morning flight requiring you to leave early for this event. However, you're only 12 days in to your 28 day odyssey (I mean, heck, you got the SHORT month, even). I think many of us did not volunteer for this position because we knew we couldn't handle doing an event every single day for an entire month. But you did CHOOSE this, Matthew. I am liking your reviews, but really wishing that you would consistently fully participate in the recommended events...otherwise it is just a review of the first part of the event, which doesn't really tell us that much. There is a world of difference between Kiley leaving a play at intermission because it is terrible, and between you only attending a portion of each night because you're tired. *stepping off soap box*
Posted by Tracy on February 12, 2010 at 2:07 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 8
The internet is forever, Matt! Sack up and find the energy to attend these things, or be known as a weenie for all eternity.

If your wife needs to go the airport in the morning, stick her in a cab. If you are too tired to enjoy the show, make up some another reason you didn't like it.

This is your reputation at stake, man. You can do this!
Posted by kitschnsync on February 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Drawmark 9
Isaac Brock severely harshed my comedy buzz. And he wore far too many layers. Of tweed.
Posted by Drawmark on February 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Report this
isn't starting half an hour after the posted showtime like standard margin of error for every indie rock show ever?
Posted by Kevin Erickson on February 12, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
@ 7: Oh, please. Kiley WORKS for the Stranger; it's his fucking job to go to events. Matthew's just some poor sap who volunteered (reluctantly, it would seem, if you've read his first post)...maybe he didn't know what he was getting into, but do you honestly get the sense that he's dogging this? I'd say his effort has been heroic, given that he's not being paid or anything.

I mean really. The poor guy can't win. Some of you are bitching about him being too tired, other people are bitching because he isn't attending events all the way through, which, presumably, would only make him MORE tired.

I've got no vested interest in this, but he seems to be doing his level best, which, by the way, is better than any of you could do. So maybe you should shut the hell up.
Posted by Reason is a virtue on February 12, 2010 at 2:43 PM · Report this
schmacky 12
Matthew here.

Probably not a good idea to jump into comments, but I just want to say this: You're all correct. I have been a whiny bitch.

I do want to say one thing in my defense: While I did volunteer for this, it’s not as if I leapt at it like some overeager puppy. I knew it would be hard, and I had misgivings about replacing Kyle…Dan actually had to talk me into it a little. I finally agreed, reluctantly, to do it knowing Susan was leaving town, and I didn't want to be bored. Well, she’s gone now, and so I have more time on my hands.

Hence, no more complaining. I refuse to be tired anymore--I'm actually getting used to it now--and will whenever humanly possible, attend events all the way through. I do love going out, and I am having a ton of fun doing this (OK, not always, but mostly).

Try to have a little mercy, though…I’m not a young man…or single, or jobless, or living downtown, all of which would make this easier. As @11 says (and thanks to you, whoever you are), I am doing my best. Busting my ass, actually.

Thanks for bearing with me.
Posted by schmacky on February 12, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
what I want to know about, is what Issac played. I couldn't make it to the show. Mr Brock's setlist?
Posted by MMFan on February 12, 2010 at 4:22 PM · Report this
what I want to know about, is what Issac played. I couldn't make it to the show. Mr Brock's setlist, please?
Posted by MMFAN on February 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 15
Good response, Matt.
Posted by Partly Cloudy on February 12, 2010 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Jason Baxter 16
@10 yup, duh. Kevin knows.
Posted by Jason Baxter on February 12, 2010 at 5:00 PM · Report this

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