Do This Today: Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die

31211D11-E3F3-CC44-6440E38DDB0E2315

Tonight Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die  is performing at Largo! This comedy band is made up of Paul Rust, Harris Wittels and Michael Cassady. Check out a full write up about them HERE.  Tonight’s tickets are two for one with the code “dontstop”. Other performers include Doug Benson, Chelsea Peretti, the band FMLY, and I think Nick from Islands.

Event: Don’t Stop Or We’l Die at Largo (event link)
Location: The Largo, 366 North La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Time: Tuesday March 14, 7:30pm doors, 9pm show
Cost: $25 (but 2 for 1 tickets with code “dontstop”)

Bootleg Theater

Did my expose on raccoon stare-downs blow your mind yesterday? I know- only hard hitting stories here at Life Absorbed!

Well on Monday night I hit-up the Bootleg Theater in Echo Park (on Beverly near Alvarado) to see Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die. If you’re a fan of the blog, you know of my love for this band (specifically the drummer) as I’ve writen about them here and of course here. Also, what better way to celebrate my first weekday of funemployment, then to stay out late and go see my favorite local band?

I didn’t bring my camera, for obvious drawing-attention-to-myself reasons, so I only got in a couple bad cell phone pics. I went with two of my friends and I totally screwed up the times. I thought DSoWD (terrible abbreviation that I must apologize for) went on at 8pm, so we arrived casually late at 8:10p. We walk in to a basically empty room, accept Harris Wittels (said drummer and full-time dream boat) was walking around with his backpack on. Considering I thought we were ten minutes late.. I was a bit confused. We got a table and chairs (the perk of screwing up and being crazy early) and chatted. We kept seeing people in costumes running in and out of the room. There was a lady in a white unitard, an old man with a backpack, a guy dressed as a clown, a super short young girl… and more. They kept running excitedly from one door to the next. Then they brought out trays full of chinese take-out boxes. They ran into one door and came back with empty trays. Who ate all that Chinese food??? SO MANY QUESTIONS! We were intrigued to say the least. Eventually, one of the doors was propped open and we could hear tons of clapping. We had no clue there was a back room, which turned out to be a filled theater. We must have seen the actors running in and out. I don’t know what play this was, but check that place out.

Finally around 8:45(?) The Californian came on stage to perform. I had also thought that DSoWD was up first, so this was very confusing too. Since I had seen HArris, and then later saw Paul Rust (bass) and Michael Cassady (piano) running around I knew the band would go on eventually. The Californian was a new band to me and my friends and we enjoyed listening to them. Here’s my crappy cell photo:

Then Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die came on and they were great. I love watching them perform live and I know they have another cd in the works which I am very excited about. They played some of their classics, I Got A Perm For Our Camping Trip, Austin and Ace, The Ballad of Bird and Fox (Which they opened with), and Central PArk (my second favorite of all their songs). They played some new ones which I’m sure will be on the upcoming album. They didn’t play my favorite song, Once In Awhile, but they played a great set and I was glad I got to see them. They’ve been doing more shows lately so Ill let you know when they have another one. Here’s a crappy cell photo I took and then tried to adjust so you can actually make their bodies out.

We ended up staying for one song of the following band, Harriet. This band is doing their residency at Bootleg and will be there every Monday. Before they performed, they brought a lot of ferns on stage. Like a lot. Like too many ferns. Also they had their own canvas backing and brought in up lighting. It was quite a presentation. The thing that put it over the top for us, was the lead singer in camo-fatigues and a shirt tied around his head in a half-turban style. It looked like a bad Nam flashback. Their music was good, but we were tired and to watch this lead singer (who also repeatedly asked the house to change the sound for them) was too much of a diva for a free show. This guy clearly thought he deserved a grammy for having his shirt wrapped around his head. It’s too bad, because the music was pretty good but we as a group agreed that it was time to go.

Largo: March 9, 2012

Did everyone have a fabulous weekend? I had to get outside of LA to enjoy the last remnants of winter, although our cross country skiing weekend turned into a snowless hiking weekend. It was still so much fun to go up into the mountains, breathe fresh air and see stars. It’s hard to believe you’re and hour and a half away from 80 degree heat and you’re looking down on the clouds from so high. More on that coming throughout the week, but I want to catch you up on my Friday night.

I didn’t head into the mountains until early Saturday morning, which means Friday night needed to be mostly about packing and getting to bed early. Oh yeah, and comedy.

I went to Largo (the photo-phobic theatre) to see Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die headline their own show. It’s about time. Although I was disappointed in the low crowd turn out. The theater was probably half-full (not half-empty like some Negative Nancy’s would say). Come on DSOWD fans! It was a great show, and if you missed it, well boy did you miss it.

Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die performed a ton of songs. They even brought out Sarah Silverman who sang a beautiful (serious) song with the band. She has a lovely singing voice and even played gutar to the song “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. She sang this song at her friend Rob Schrab‘s wedding. Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die was the band for Rob’s wedding. I’ve searched on youtube but can’t find a version of her singing it. Here’s a video of the real version. It’s a beautiful song.

Gabe Lieman and Jenny Slate (SNL) had a funny comedy set, which was a little different from the music and was a nice way to breakup the night. Since they don’t allow recording/photos in Largo, I found this video (not taken by me) online of a bit similar to what they did on Friday. It’s a really funny schtick they have. It’s rare to see 2 comedians working together on an act and I enjoyed the combo as they compliment each other well. Check out the video:

Next up was Emerson Alum, Jim Hanft who performed two songs with his real-life girlfriend and singing partner Samantha Yonack. They have such beautiful gentle soulful voices. Here is a video I found online of them singing “Lazy Love”, which is one song they performed on Friday. Buy their music!

Here is another video of them singing I found on youtube:

After this music set, Kyle Dunnigan came out and performed comedy. You probably know him best as serial killer Craig Pullin in Reno 911. I’ve seen him do whole sets in the Craig character and it was great to see him mix in some of himself into this set. I’d never heard his real voice before Friday. He was hilarious and did off-the-cuff musical jokes as he sat at a piano and played really well. It was so great to see the real Kyle.

After Kyle Dunningan, Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die was back on stage for a few more songs. They added in a one song encore, and then Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die night came to a close. It was a fun night, and I even grabbed a drink (alone) at the Roger Bar before the show. Does that make me sad? Or awesome? I’m going to go with awesome. If you’re waiting for a Largo show to start, check out the Roger Room next door.

Recap: Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Pageant 2011

The Comedy Bang Bang Christmas Show 2011, was amazing per usual. It was in a larger venue this year, the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Hollywood. Thankfully the theater was pretty intimate dispite being 20 time the size of UCB. I purchased a $30 General admission ticket, and got a pretty good seat with my group of 5 friends along the left side of the theater. Scott Aukerman hosted the show, of course, and began by encouraging people to move around during the show and take advantage of the giveaways in the lobby and the food trucks outside. This part was a great improvement from UCB, because at UCB there was never a food option and only 2 bathrooms. Inevdiably, patrons would need to sneak out at the start of a comedians set and be called out for “leaving”. Thankfully, at this large venue with people going in and out you felt less self conscious about that.

I need to apologize to you and to myself, because my camera is in the shop and I was forced to take cell phone pictures of the event. Lately my cell phone has been acting funny, and nearly half the photos I took (aka, the in-focus pics) didn’t save to the camera for some reason. So you are about to see the best of the worst. Good luck.

Scott Aukerman

Here is Scott Aukerman introducing the show. How hot did he look last night!? He was so handsome in his suit and his hair so perfectly quaffed. Serious stud-muffin… that Kulap is one lucky lady. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Scott started out writing for The Mr. Show and is who I would call, the George Washington of Comedy. He’s not old, and this is purely meant as a compliment. Scott has done so much for the comedy community. He and BJ Porter started Comedy Death Ray, which is now Comedy Bang Bang back in 2002 and it’s been such a great way to expose great stand up comedians to and audience that can’t afford to go to large expensive venues every week. Scott and Jeff Ulrich started Earwolf, which is a comedy podcasting channel. Through this channel many indie comedians can post podcasts every week from LA, that people all over the world can listen to. Throughout his career he’s been trying to make indie comedians more accessible to the public and he’s taken a leadership role in trying to organize the comedy community. The most impressive part is that he’s done a lot of these things without a lot of recognition, he does it because he cares about indie comedy. Thank you Scott Aukerman.

Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins (as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber) sang their own version of Father Christmas Is Coming To Town. Sir Webber is a frequent visitor on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast.

Nick Kroll started off the night as the first stand up comic to take the mic. You might know him from The League or as one of his many characters (my favorite is Fabrice, Fabrice).

Jen Kirkman was up next.

Scott lowered the mic for the next comedian, Jimmy Pardo. Jimmy killed it as usual. Jimmy has the podcast “Never Not Funny” which sponsored the event. He works on the Conan O’brian Show as the crowd emcee. On tv shows made in front of a live audience (specifically where they record the laugh track) they need a live emcee to keep the crowd pumped up and energized between takes. This is the PERFECT job for Jimmy Pardo because he is great with an audience. He doesn’t even need to prepare bits because all he has to do is talk with an audience member and it’s always hilarious.

Adam Scott (Party Down, Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers) came on stage where he pretended to be a presenter at the SAG Awards. Scott and Adam are good friends and podcast together often, so I’m not surprised he attended. Considering Adam Scott is not a stand-up, this was the perfect skit for him to be apart of on stage.

Marc Maron came up next, where he did what he does best and “got real”. Marc is great storyteller and has a way about talking to the audience as if you’re a small group of friends at a party. He even took out an email and read it, very much like he does on his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron.

Bob Odenkirk was a great follow up to Marc Maron, because they couldn’t be further apart on the comedy scale. Bob was very funny with light puns and more “jokie” jokes. Much lighter than Marc’s story telling. Both so funny and yet so different. By the way, Bob is from the Mr. Show with Bob (Odenkirk) and David (Cross).

Next up, Kumail Nanjiani.

Scott broke up the stand-up comedy routine by having his friend Weird Al perform. Weird Al literally made love to the audience and it was fantastic.

Sarah Silverman did her set next.

After Sarah, Todd Glass took the stage which was followed by…

JON HAMM! YUM!

Andy Daly came out as one of his characters who is a children’s theater director (think creepy old guy with authority around kids).

Brian Posehn came out next. He’s the first of three members of the Comedians of Comedy that came out that night. I apologize for this terrible photo.

Andy Kinder was up next.

Anthony Jeselnik was the only comedian of the night I’d never seen perform live before, and he was really funny too.

Neil Hamburger even came out for the night.

TIG! She’s always great. I’m going to see her on Friday night at Largo as part of Sarah Silverman’s Show.

Patton Oswalt! He’s one of my favorite comedians. He was clearly exhausted but did a solid set.

David Kochner (The Office, Anchorman) came out as a character making topical jokes.

Garfunkle and Oates sand their gocart song and then rapped about handjobs. They do regular performances at UCB, where they perform a bunch of songs and it’s an awesome show to see. They are a little timid on stage when they speak and it’s fun to see them be so lively when they sing.

Next up, Matt Braunger.

Maria Bamford hit the stage after Matt, and it’s unfortunately at this point that I had to leave (12:15?). I get up so early for work and when I left the theater I still had to walk back to my car. My goal was to stay and see Maria (because she’s awesome) and the last 4 performers I’d seen perform a bunch of times at UCB.

So alas, my CBB Christmas event is over until 2012. Thankfully I have Largo on friday (Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die is performing! Paul Rust, Harris Wittels, Michael Cassady). 3 giant comedy events in one week, isn’t life great?

LA Walk #6 UCLA

As a reward for your patience with my lack of posts this week, I put up info about an awesome event at the bottom of this post. NO SKIPPING AHEAD (Okay, you can skip ahead if you want).

As I am narrowing in on victory (1 more walk left!), I must recap my goal: to complete all 38 LA Walks from THIS book, in 2011. Michelle joined me for my UCLA walk which took place on Saturday around 3:30pm. Keep in mind, it’s their finals time and it is a commuter school, because the place was a ghost town. We began by parking in a lot on campus near the start of the walk. It cost us $6 for two hours, and be sure to pay for parking because even though it was crazy quiet on campus the UCLA police are always looking for a chance to ticket (plus all the hoity-toity neighborhoods nearby require permits to park).

Michelle and I started our walk in the sculpture garden which is more than 5 acres and filled with sculptures by Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Jacques Lipchitz, and Auguste Rodin. It’s such a tranquil place to come relax and read on the grass in the garden surrounded by art. We did this walk in the late afternoon, which made for great lighting and also a totally different experience from all the walks we’ve done so far (which took place at noon).

We got a little off course while in the sculpture garden because we saw so many buildings worth investigating that weren’t on the path outlined in the book, but I guess that’s the fun of it. We took a look at their art building and some well designed residence halls.

I must give credit where it is due, UCLA is kept extraordinarily clean and pristine. The lawns are all well manicured, there was no trash, and all of the buildings are either old and well kept or modern and state-of-the-art. Honestly walking that campus made me think about going back to school again. Spending 3 years on that campus wouldn’t be so bad.

I mean, don’t these buildings make studying seem glamourous instead of exhausting?

We walked through Bruin Plaza and got to take pictures with their bruin mascot (a statue). The only thing we arrived too late for was a walk through their botanical gardens. We just missed our chance to walk the gardens, but we were able to see in past the gates. The garden is 7 acres and sinks below the street level, which acts as a dividing line showcasing the contrast between the modern School of Denistry building and the lush wildlife of the gardens. Someday Ill be back there and I will bring a book, as it seems like a great haven to sit and relax after a long day in the science labs.

As the photos got darker and darker, we completed our walk and headed back to the car (so as not to go over our 2 hour parking limit). UCLA, you were a marvelous, photogenic walk and I would happily go back to see more.

P.S. Get tickets to Sarah Silverman @ Largo on Dec. 15th HERE, and you’ll get to see Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die (they are good musicians and hilarious). Follow the guys on twitter: twittels, paulrust, michaelcassady

To Get You Over The Hump

I’ve been in exercise mode to get ready for Denver’s 2012 Turkey Trot, where I will be running on Thanksgiving morning. Unfortunately, this means I am extremely sore and I haven’t gotten to go on any adventures beyond the edge of the treadmill. Hopefully this translates into a kickass running time. While I am on my running kick, that doesn’t mean you should be indoors on these lovely fall nights.

Now I know it’s not the weekend yet (so close!), but I thought I would tell you about some events happening this week. TONIGHT, Wednesday at 7pm, the Moca is doing a cocktail reception for the opening of their Shadow Pool exhibit at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge on Santa Monica Blvd. The exhibit Shadow Pool: A Natural History of the San San International is a mix of a fashion show, sculpture display, live music and more showcasing Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe‘s work. It’s worth checking out! If art isn’t your scene, check out Bigfoot Lodge‘s Trivia Night tonight at 9pm. If a 9pm starting time is too late for you, The Fox and the Hound bar in Studio City (on Ventura) has an 8pm Trivia Night tonight.

TOMORROW, Thursday at 7pm Michael Gross is doing a reading and signing of his new book Unreal Eestate: Money Ambition and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles at Book Soup. I have not read any of his books, but as a real estate enthusiast I hear about his work all the time. One of my favorite blogs on this topic is “The Real Estalker” and the writer of that site wrote a great description of the book HERE. If you are interested in high-end real estate and the behind the scenes info, read this book! I’m dropping it onto my amazon wish-list as we speak, and if you can’t make the signing order the book HERE.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA is offering two shows at 8pm on Thursday for only $5: This Sh*ts for Real and Scott Rodgers: Care Bear Stare. So if you want a cheap night filled with intimate comedy, get tickets to this show (HERE) and see Paul Scheer, Rob Delaney, Jackie Clark, Danielle Schneider, Scott Rogers, and the musical stylings of Michael Cassady (Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die). All of those awesome well known comedians or $5! Such a good deal.

Reminder: The AFI Film Festival is still going on, so if you have a free night, you should check the schedule HERE and enjoy! And get ready for Friday 11-11-11!