>Album Review: "The Village Green Preservation Society" by the Kinks

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Okay I can’t say I love the cover art. It looks like Porky Pig’s about to pop out of it.

Since I began updating this blog regularly just about a year ago, I have been afraid to write about my all-time favorite albums. For one, I don’t like getting gushy; I know firsthand that when I really, really like something I will praise it so completely and so stubbornly that I will come off as a hyperbole-spewing sycophant. Secondly, most of my so-called “favorite” albums are pretty predictable, boring choices, and if I want to keep this blog good and fresh there’s no use in touting the greatness of Revolver when everybody else in the world already has. And as someone who values what little cool music cred he has, I have no intention of offending the fraction of hipsters that read this blog to keep up with the “hip times” (as I call them). What use do they have for another review of Murmur? None, my friends.

But to be honest, the main reason I don’t usually bring up my absolute favorite albums in this blog is, well… writing about them is hard. I have to, like, sit and listen to the album, and think about why the album means so much to me. I have to get emotional, you see, and I don’t have the time to do that every week of my life! I’ve got episodes of Heroes to watch! Not to mention that said “emotional” writing would take, like, hours and hours to write, resulting in a long sprawling post expressing every possible feeling I have about said album and why. Then I’ve gotta talk about my history with the album, the first time I listened to it, what it meant to me then, what it means to me now, hyadda hyadda yadda bullshit. Like some kind of overcooked Livejournal entry.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am no living musical tome to be consulted whenever you people deem it so. I cannot pour forth such emotions with such ease. I live ninety percent of my life with cautious non-emotion. I intend to keep things this way.

Now, Village Green Preservation Society is an album that will make me gush, fawn, cry, etc. etc. because I love it just so so much. So for the sake of everyone’s – and my own – tight schedule, I’ll try to keep this review as concise and logical as I possibly can.

So this is how it goes: the Kinks were one of the finest British rock bands of the 1960s. In the wake of the Beatles and the Stones and the Who and yadda yadda, they were overshadowed, and after “All the Day and All the Night” nobody really cared much for them anymore – especially in America, where they were banned from performing for some unspecified reason. Village Green, released in 1968, was their absolute nadir commercially, flopping both in the US and the UK. In retrospect, this makes no sense because it is a lush, beautiful album that is recognized by most people nowadays as one of their best. But alas, the Kinks were ignored until “Lola” became an international hit in 1970. “Lola” is a great song, but lots of songs on Village Green are just as good if not better. That gives you an idea of what we’re dealing with here.

Village Green is the only album I have ever heard that sounds both fully produced and rough-hewn at the same time. Nothing is immaculately orchestrated; Ray Davies’s voice doesn’t always hit the notes, instruments are buried in the mix at times, not everything sounds quite right. Then the instrumentation swells, a violin finds its way into the mess, everything becomes beautiful in its cobbled-together sort of way. The songs are quite British, more British than any other British band in existence ever. But it’s never condescending, obnoxious, gimmicky British – it’s sweet, reflective, charming British.

Ray Davies writes a lot of songs about nostalgia, which is probably why this album wasn’t exactly lauded in 1968. The title track namedrops Donald Duck, for Christ’s sake! Same year Blue Cheer did Vincebus Eruptum! Imagine that. But like its unabashed Britishness, its nostalgia is no gimmick because Ray Davies understands the folly of nostalgia – namely, that people who wallow in nostalgia aren’t necessarily happy people. As such, Village Green is filled with happy, jaunty British tunes about sad, lonely people who just want things to be like they used to be. “Do You Remember Walter?” wallows in a dead friendship. “Picture Book” describes an album full of pictures of “those days when you were happy / a long time ago.” “Big Sky” expresses wonderment at the uncaring nature of the universe – the Big Sky’s “too big to cry.” “Animal Farm” advocates running away to a farm to escape a world that’s gone “half-insane”. Despite what the uppity title track might have you believe, Ray Davies doesn’t seem proud to be living in a fantasy world. Life isn’t that easy.

So while these songs brim with sadness, they are all wonderfully written and performed pop tunes, 15 right in a row. No bum tracks. Every time “Big Sky” pops into my iPod shuffle, I’m awestruck and I have to listen to about five or six more songs at least because they make me feel so happy. Even songs I don’t like as much as others surprise me – the loopy bridge in “Monica” and the wonderful chorus of “All Of My Friends Were There” being only two examples. And these aren’t a bunch of samey-sounding songs either. You’ve got variation up the ying yang: “Picture Book” is perfect ramshackle pop; “Animal Farm” is an impossibly beautiful number with tasteful orchestration; “Wicked Annabella” is a fuzz-rock number that sounds like it was written to scare children on Halloween; “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains” is unusual blues-rock. These are not the kind of songs you would find on other immaculate British pop albums of the period, like the Hollies or Herman’s Hermits (both bands I like, but y’know what I mean). The Kinks were the real deal.

Confession time: every time I hear The Zombies’ Odyssey and Oracle I have to put this album on. It’s a nasty habit; I play four songs of Odyssey and Oracle, remember how great Village Green is, and then play Village Green in its entirety. Maybe twice. Considering that I like the Zombies quite a bit, this is saying something.

There are many other Kinks albums I could have written about here – they were on a serious roll from ’66 to ’71, releasing wonderful album after wonderful album. Arthur, released a year after Village Green, is a serious contender for the Best Kinks Album championship belt. Something Else, released before Green, had “Waterloo Sunset” on it, plus a bunch of other songs that were practically just as transcendent. In context, Village Green could be viewed as just another great Kinks album, but I find that it hits a nerve no other Kinks album could. It’s sad, reflective, beautiful, easy to listen to but hard to let sink in once you realize it’s about friends leaving you and you childhood fading away and your hometown becoming unrecognizable. Bottom line: at 15 songs and 39 minutes, no other Kinks album could accomplish so much with such wit and economy. That’s why it’s so special.

And eventually everybody realized they fucked up. “Whoops! We ignored one of the finest pop albums of all time! Jimi Hendrix is dead! What the hell are we gonna do now??”

So don’t fuck up! Go buy a copy of The Village Green Preservation Society for each of your children, right now! It’s not an album that’s going to expand your mind like other more prominent rock releases in 1968. No, Village Green is the aural equivalent of a big bear hug.

I mean, come on. This album just wants to give you a hug. Let it.

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>Comics Update: "Tom Petty Comics #3"

>What? Oh? I’m sorry, I almost forgot! It’s time for another fantastic TOM PETTY COMICCCC.

Good message for the all your young-adult fans out there, Tommy. But when will you finally finish your classic track “Free Fallin'”? Mr. Lynne can’t wait all day!! Guess we’ll all have to find out next Sunday!

Oh, and to tide you over on the Great Sean Rose Comixxx front, here’s another stupid little doodle I did, “4Chan Time Traveler”:

>Boy Band Song Analysis: "Liquid Dreams" by O-Town

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Typing in “otown liquid dreams” in Google Image Search was not one of my finer moments.

Poor O-Town. Poor young, impressionable O-Town. How were these five young, naive winners of MTV’s Making The Band to know that their first single, “Liquid Dreams,” would be the song to ensure the end of the Boy Band Era? I mean, it’s not their fault. They didn’t write it, and they had like three other songs after it that were pretty generic boy band fluff. So what marketing genius thought it would be a great idea to introduce this hot new boy band with one of the most awkward songs ever written? Seriously, I would wager that if any licensed Boy Band Historian were asked to point to one song that signaled the boy band era’s death knell, he would point his wrinkled finger straight at “Liquid Dreams” and say “There! Right there! That’s the motherfucker!” Poor O-Town. Poor poor O-Town.

Although, to be fair, boy bands – like any fad – were already on the way out when “Liquid Dreams” hit the shelves. And they never were very well respected critically or publicly, so not many people were exactly falling to their knees in tears when countless boy bands started disappearing around 2002 (excluding 13-year-old girls, of course). But “Liquid Dreams,” probably the grossest boy band song ever recorded, certainly didn’t help.

Why is it so gross? Well, the title is a pretty decent indication of what you’re getting into here. I am no prude, but “Liquid Dreams” is one of the few song titles out there that will make me physically gag every time I type it, say it, or even look at it. For those of you under the age of twelve – nahh, times are changing, let’s say eight – “Liquid Dreams” (ugh) is a not-too-veiled alteration of the term “wet dream.” A wet dream is when you have a sexual fantasy in bed and wake up with cum in your pajamas. And no, kids, cum is not pee. It’s stickier. Ask your parents.

So “Liquid Dreams” (ughh), as most would guess, is a slick boy-band pop song about waking up with cum in your jeans. Well, ok, it’s not that explicit – I’m sure it wouldn’t make it onto the airwaves if it were, god forbid – but the lyrics are suggestive enough that you know exactly what these sensual boytoys are singing about. This is notable for several reasons. First off, to my knowledge, not many boy bands at the time sang flat-out sex songs, as they usually came off as awkward and weird (not to mention they were marketed to young girls, and singing to young girls about sex comes off as just a bit pedo-y). The only real boy band sex song I remember (not counting Color Me Badd, of course) was N*Sync’s “Digital Get Down,” a song about “getting together” over the internet that sounded like it was written by someone’s grandmother. The fact that a song called “Digital Get Down” was nowhere near as creepy as “Liquid Dreams” (yech) is pretty telling.

Secondly, if you actually bother to look up the lyrics, it’s clear that “Liquid Dreams” (guhh) is actually written from the perspective of a 13-year-old chronic masturbator. The first line – “Posters of love surrounding me, I’m lost in a world of fantasy” – conjures up the uncomfortable image of a sad, bored kid lying in bed staring at a bunch of Jennifer Lopez posters in a vain attempt to stem his crippling loneliness. Thanks, O-Town. But it only gets worse. After listing off the many ladies that make up our protagonist’s dream girl (who he calls a “morpharotic,” a word that does not exist), he goes on to claim “My mama thinks I’m lazy, my friends all think I’m crazy / But in my mind, I leave the world behind.” Are we seriously being forced to believe that the swarthy, 20-something manhunks of O-Town are actually a bunch of hairy-palmed orgasm addicts, living in their mother’s basements pleasuring themselves ’till they burn their skin off? Too lethargic and sad to leave their rooms? I… don’t think so.

But if you think there couldn’t possibly be anything more awkward than a song called “Liquid Dreams” (ughhhh), you would be wrong. There’s a music video.

See? They’re dancing in liquid! You know, the song’s called “Liquid Dreams” so they dance around in liquid, which fits the-

…oh god. Oh no. NO.

UGHHHHH.

THERE’S A WHOLE WATERFALL OF IT.

P.S.: RECENTLY DISCOVERED BONUS VIDEO!

Here’s O-Town attempting to perform “Liquid Dreams” at Miss America 2000. The fact that they all sound like caterwauling pre-teens is just too fitting.

>Comics Update: "Tom Petty Comics #2" plus an Extra Bonus Sean Rose Comic

>Well folks, I screwed up. In my last comics update I kinda-sorta jumped the gun on Stephen Winchell’s intentions for the Tom Petty comic, claiming – in a moment of cursed hubris – that he intended his comics to be a precursor to a planned Traveling Wilburys strip. Oh, what a fool I am. Here’s his clarification:

“Anyway, I figured I’d clarify this because Sean in his not-so-subtle way maybe missed the point a little bit (and ruined a bit of the motive by making it so fucking clear)

My logic is this:
-I like Sean’s blog
-Only his friends seem to read it despite its frequent and insightful updates
-People like comics

So I figured I’d draw a comic for his blog, and hopefully that would get people that don’t know him from Milford/UConn to come and read the other stuff. Which is why I said I’d do a limited engagement (10 Tom Petty Comics)to see if it actually worked.

So that’s what I’m all about”

Asshole.

Anyway. Here’s Tom Petty Comic #2. Don’t get any ideas. It’s just a silly little comic.

Of course you might ask me – “Hey Sean, aren’t you a great comics creator as well?” Well, yes. I am. And since I’m a little bit tired of Mr. Winchell stealing the spotlight from me – in my own blog – I figured it was time to bring out the big guns and show off some of my own treasured works.

So here’s one of mine, selected with special care from the Sean Rose Archives. A classic for the ages. Big ‘Ol Dick.

Yeah, had to censor it. It’s just too edgy. If you wanna see the real thing, here ya go. It’s not work safe, so as hard as it may be, you will have to resist putting it up next to Dilbert in your office cubicle. I’m so sorry.

Have a good night, folks.

>Album Review: "49:00" by Paul Westerberg

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Cover art by famed conceptual artist Paul Westerberg.

Up until about a week ago, I had no clue former Replacements singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg had a new solo album out. I mean, admittedly I don’t check up on the guy too often, but when I caught sight of the album on Pitchfork I was a bit surprised. I knew that he hadn’t released an album in at least four years, so the question was raised – why had I not heard about this? Where was the buildup? The anticipation? The press release? Why wasn’t Mr. Westerberg’s new sure-to-be-a-masterwork being touted as the Next Big Thing??

Well, the answer to that is simple. Mr. Westerberg’s 49:00 was released to the American public in mid-July, and was recorded just a week before release. Not only that, but it was released only on the internet, exclusively available for download in Amazon.com’s MP3 Music Store. The album itself was promoted with silly variations on the number 49, including its release date (July 19th, marketed as “June 49th”) and could be bought off of Amazon for just 49 cents (inexplicably, the album is only 44 minutes long – more on that later). To top it all off, the album isn’t even divided up into tracks – it’s one big chunk of audio, with no breaks between songs. On the surface, the whole thing sounds pretty slapdash, and even with his weird means of distributing it, 49:00‘s internet-only status makes it seem like Westerberg wanted to keep this release out of the public eye, for whatever reason. As such, I expected a string of rough demos at best.

But 49:00 has been a very pleasant surprise. Again, I’m really only familiar with Paul’s work with the Replacements, and the most I’ve heard of his solo work has been All Shook Down, which is technically the last Replacements LP. So despite having little to no knowledge of Paul’s musical career for the past two decades, if 49:00 is any indication he’s still keepin’ on keepin’ on, writing some wonderful wonderful melodies. And it’s made all the more alluring with its formatting gimmick, giving the songs no titles and allowing the album to be considered as one consolidated work rather than just a bunch of songs.

Now, when I say “gimmick,” I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. Let me explain said “gimmick” to you – 49:00 is one big audio file, but it isn’t just a bunch of songs stapled next to each other. Rather, the songs here bleed right into each other, with random song snippets jumping into the mix for sometimes as little as seconds at a time before moving on to another song. And they don’t just cancel each other out – sometimes they even play over each other, epitomized by the album’s halfway point during which two different songs are actually playing at the exact same time, each out of a different speaker. This makes for a mix of fully-realized Westerberg tunes and a bunch of silly throwaways, yet in the context of this giant musical clusterfuck they all kinda sound the same. In a good way.

Here’s the best analogy I can use to describe 49:00‘s sound: it’s as if someone decided to record a bunch of songs off of an all-Westerberg radio station, but mistakenly kept recording new songs over the old ones over and over again. What 49:00 amounts to is a sloppily-ripped Paul Westerberg mixtape. (I wish I could take credit for that analogy, but I’m pretty sure Pitchfork’s used it. And Westerberg himself, for that matter. Just look at that album art!)

So while the format of this album is weirdly experimental, the music is much less of a stretch; it’s pretty much standard Paul Westerberg. But that’s hardly a bad thing. The whole album has a very laid-back, silly feel to it, which I’m sure was intentional (Westerberg plays all of the instruments himself, so that’s no surprise). While it’s kind of hard for me to refer to specific songs on the album, since none of them have actual names and Paul’s lyrics are often very hard to discern, many of them have a similar country-rockish feel, with occasional lapses into hard-rockin’ Tom Pettyisms and unusual balladry. Song titles do pop out at me, since many of the song’s choruses have constantly repeated lines, so I’ll give this a try – the lovely opener “Terry Who You Gonna Marry,” the reflective “Something In My Life Is Missing,” and the hilariously crass “Everyone’s Stupid” are probably the easiest to label. 49:00 doesn’t vary all that much musically, but when it does branch out a little it’s very enjoyable, like the country shuffle of “New Year’s Day” or the out-and-out hard rock of “Devil Raised a Good Boy” that doesn’t sound nearly as forced as the rockers on All Shook Down. Other personal favorites are the the snarky “Gotta Get It Out Of My System” and “Goodnight Sweet Prince,” a surprisingly devastating song about what I assume to be the death of Westerberg’s father, judging from the lyrics.

“Goodnight Sweet Prince,” actually, becomes the album’s most memorable moment. As I mentioned before, halfway through 49:00 two songs start playing at once. It starts off with “Sweet Prince,” which as I said is a surprising – if not slightly unusual – moment of tender emotion on an album filled with happy, silly melodies. But while Westerberg is pouring his heart out, another song starts cutting in and out of the listener’s left speaker, continuing until both songs are actually playing at the same time. And it’s not like both songs have similar tempos or chords or anything – they both sound totally out-of-sync playing next to each other. It’s completely disorienting, it makes half of “Goodnight Sweet Prince” inaudible, and it almost makes me wonder if “Sweet Prince” was actually a sincere song about death or just a twisted joke. Either way, it’s probably the most entertaining part of the album.

Actually, I take that back – the most entertaining part of the album is a bunch of random 60’s/70’s pop covers near the end of the song cycle, including (but not limited to) the Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye,” the Stones’ “Stupid Girl,” the Kinks’ “Dandy” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” among others. It’s fun while it lasts, but unfortunately it’s probably the reason that 49:00 was eventually pulled off of Amazon after a short run due to copyright issues. As such, by the time I finally heard about this album, I was forced to Torrent it. I couldn’t even throw Mr. Westerberg, one of my personal favorite songwriters, and extra half a buck. How sad.

As for the confusion about the 43:55 running time? Well, in response to 49:00 being pulled, Westerberg put up a new song on Tunecore called – you guessed it – 5:05. How droll.

And why is Mr. Westerberg obsessed with that goddamned number 49?! Well, he’s turning 49 at the end of this year. Criminy. What’s with all of these alt-rock icons jumping into their forties and fifties like this?? Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Wayne Coyne, Eddie Vedder – hell, even good ‘ol Steve Malkmus is like 42. Barely any of my favorite rock musicians are younger than 40. Those self-absorbed assholes, aging naturally and all that.

Oh yeah, the album. Find it! Hear it! The whole one-big-audio-file thing is a gimmick, but it’s an awesome gimmick. It’s the best goddamned audio-format gimmick I’ve seen since the Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka, only the music is nothing shocking. But that’s okay! The music’s still lovely as all fuck! Paul Westerberg is almost five decades old and he’s still writing fantastic music! Cherish him, people. And even if you don’t dig the music, I guarantee that you won’t hear another album released in 2008 quite like this one.

P.S.: I’ve actually found an unofficial tracklisting for 49:00, created by PaulWesterberg.net. Seems like I’ve gotten several of the song titles / lyrics completely wrong! “New Year’s Day” is actually “Visitor’s Day?” “Heat Risin'” is actually “Kentucky Risin'”? Am I deaf or something?

>Comic Update: "Tom Petty Comics #1" by Stephen Winchell

>My fellow Wilhelm Sketch Comedy founder Steve Winchell has been pestering me to post up some comics of his. He and I have been playing around with the idea of a “Traveling Wilburys Comic” for some time now, since both of us have an unhealthy love of said late-80’s supergroup, but before we ever do embark on such a project Steve has decided to write what could be considered a precursor to the Traveling Wilburys – “Tom Petty Comics.”

What’s it about? Well, it’s about Tom Petty. Kicking some ass.

…well, ok, that’s just an assumption. Mr. Winchell has only made one page of this soon-to-be-acclaimed comic series, which I am posting here. Unfortunately, he tells me he will only update this epic comic saga if this humble blog of mine sees a significant spike in readers. But since I don’t know how to track site hits on Blogger, I’ll use the comments this post receives as an indication of increased readership.

But nobody’s commented in this thing in a while, so guess what that means! If one – yes, one – person comments on this post, Mr. Winchell will be forced to continue these wonderful Tom Petty comixxx! HUZZAH!

So please comment and enjoy, people, or this will be the last you will see of Mr. Winchell’s amazing folk-rock saga. (And comment in Blogger, please. Facebook doesn’t count.)

Enjoy!

>A Few Words on Neil Hamburger

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There’s been a lot of so-called “anti-comedians” out there since Andy Kaufman defined the archetype – people who use comedy as a tool to disrupt, confuse, and anger rather than entertain. Andy Kaufman did it best, to be certain, inspiring a slew of Kaufman devotees determined to view any form of “comedy” as one big existential joke. While the whole “anti-comedy” attitude has meshed pretty well with the sensibilities of modern stand-up comedians (read: Zach Galifianakis), there is a danger of using that “comedy is stupid” belief as an excuse to, y’know, not be funny at all. How hard is it to get onstage and say “Why did the chicken cross the road? WHO THE FUCK CARES!” just to get the audience to turn on you? Not very. Anti-comedy, as it were, is in danger of becoming cliche.

When it comes to America’s Funnyman Neil Hamburger, however, the “anti-comedian” tag isn’t quite apt – mostly because, like Kaufman before him, he’s actually genuinely funny. Sure, his whole “schtick” (as it were) is that he’s a really lousy comedian, a concept that naysayers still claim to be a poor man’s Tony Clifton. But Neil Hamburger takes the concept of Tony Clifton and powers it through the Earth’s atmosphere, burning it to a crisp until its remains emerge into space fouler and cruder than ever before. Where Tony Clifton was a hammy, obnoxious, over-the-top lounge act, Neil Hamburger is a mean, spiteful, and unbelievably foul-mouthed stand up comic. And where Clifton was nasty and energetic, Hamburger thrives on sad, slow-moving failure, characterized by his defeatist look on life and his narcissistic, painfully ridiculous jokes.

Hamburger, portrayed by music critic Gregg Turkington, is a hilarious creation on many levels. For one, his physical appearance is phenomenally scummy: oversized glasses, exceptionally greasy hair, and a tacky tuxedo perfect his “failed comedian” image, not to mention a glass of scotch he constantly sips onstage. He’s also got a great scowl, or pout if you will, giving Hamburger a look of constant sadness and dejection – he’s one of the few comedians that can make you laugh just by looking at him. There’s also his bizarre vocal delivery, which ranges from a corny, over-the-top old-timey comedian’s voice to a disgruntled, loud, angry voice of a man who hates everybody. But of course, none of this would matter if the material wasn’t rock-solid – and I assure you, readers, that you will never hear a “blue” comedian better than Mr. Hamburger.

Neil Hamburger, quite frankly, is the best sculptor of out-and-out disgusting hilarity to come along in a long time. While some of Hamburger’s jokes are just silly takes on “Why did the chicken cross the road?,” my personal favorites of his are his celebrity riffs. Hamburger is particularly adept at taking common lousy celebrity cliches that worse comedians revel in – y’know, Michael Jackson’s a pedo, Paris Hilton’s a whore, etc. etc. – and delivering them in the most gut-wrenchingly ridiculous fashion that they somehow turn from standard “anti-jokes” into true works of comedic beauty. Any comedian can set up a joke with “Why did Michael Jackson dangle his infant son from the window of his hotel room?”; only Neil Hamburger can follow it up with “He was punishing him for refusing to eat his plate of sperm.” Hell, sometimes the punchline isn’t even the funniest part of his jokes – set-ups like “Why did Mick Jagger urinate on his own daughter?” or “Why did God send Terri Schiavo to Hell?” barely even need a punchline, and when he attacks less obvious targets like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Gerald Ford, it only makes things better. But what pushes these jokes over the edge is Neil’s delivery – rather than reveling in the sheer grossness of these jokes, as a lesser comedian might do, Neil delivers each punchline with a profound sadness, as if dog food coming out of Madonna’s breasts were some kind of crushing truth.

Of course, audience reactions to Mr. Hamburger are mixed. Now, admittedly I haven’t been a Neil Hamburger fan long enough to be considered an expert – I saw him in his brief cameo appearance on Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! last year and I’ve been hooked ever since – but from all the fantastic Youtube videos I have drudged up of him over the past year, he seems to have two different modes. In one, he’s delivering his jokes in a corny croon to a bunch of people that don’t get it and barely laugh; in the other, he’s venomously screeching out his jokes in his full glory while an audience of loyal fans laugh and yell with joy. While the former is funny in a kind of fish-out-of-water way, the latter finds Mr. Hamburger at his crude best.

Recently, Mr. Hamburger has released a musical country album, Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners. From what I’ve heard of it, it is fantastic – Neil’s grumpy voice fits inexplicably well with old-fashioned country. But I could sit around and yakk about Mr. Hamburger’s prowess all day and we wouldn’t get anywhere. If you don’t know Neil Hamburger, the only method of conversion is for you to hear the man’s silky smooth voice for yourself.

Here’s a semi-recent appearance by Neil on Jimmy Kimmel Live, a perfect example of a crowd that doesn’t quite “get” it: