Dispatches from the Head

It’s an American Business.

Greetings, good and bad people!

If you live anywhere near Denver, Colorado I will be at the Comedy Works this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23rd and 24th. It’s one of the great clubs so come down even if you’re not a comedy club person. This place is the real deal.

I’m on a plane coming flying back to LA from Salt Lake City. I did one night at Wiseguys, West Valley. It’s always weird in Utah. I don’t think I am projecting that. There is a very distinct feeling of being someplace remote and odd. I am not trying to be condescending. I may be projecting but one gets the feeling that everyone there has a secret of some kind and the people that aren’t part of it are outsiders.

That secret is to what degree are you Mormon. If you aren’t Mormon you are completely out of the loop, but I talked to different Mormons there. Most of the comics are Mormon. Most of the people are Mormon. For the most part Mormons are all supposed to be on the same page but clearly some are drifting and from what I hear the church isn’t quite sure what to do about that. I really don’t have too much issue with what people believe or how they do it if it is what they want to do. We all have the right to choose how we want our minds fucked and how much that is going to cost us, financially and emotionally and psychologically. Religious affiliation and spiritual community comes with a price. Sometimes it is negotiable, most of the time not so much. There is a literal price with the Mormons. How to keep that money coming in and how to keep track of who owes what is a complicated business that is done through a very organized hierarchy. It’s a big business. It’s an American business. Mormonism: Made in America. I don’t know why they don’t use that slogan.

The reason I love performing in SLC is that there is a real feeling that some people are stranded there. Physically stranded or stranded because they are struggling with the church and trying to figure out how to keep what they like about it in their lives and adjust or defy what they don’t like about it. It’s a deep issue for some people. I think because the religion is so new and so homespun that they haven’t really had to deal with the upheavals that shattered and fragmented the other religions of the world that have been around for centuries into different, more practical branches that are a bit more forgiving. There are also people that are just living there for work.

The fact is that it is a church town through and through. That raises the stakes as a performer in that if you make it real and provocative it means something. There’s an electricity to being on stage in a church town because you feel like you are doing something bad. I love that feeling. I like the people in SLC. I’ve had nothing short of great and truly weird shows there.

This week, on Monday the elusive and mysterious Maynard James Keenan from the bands Tool, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle and others is in the garage. He’s a level-headed dude with a past in pet projects. On Thursday I talk to the hilarious Tom Segura about life and being a comic who is married to comic. Tough stuff. Dig it.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron

WTF - Maynard James Keenan talks wine.

Full episode out 8/19

WTF - Simon Pegg didn’t fly until he was 19.

Full episode out 8/15

I wasn’t tweeting the deer.

Namaste, Brothers and Sisters-


I will be appearing in Salt Lake City, Utah at Wiseguys in West Valley this Saturday, Aug. 17th for two shows. Come out if you are around. The following week I will be at The Comedy Works in Denver.

Well, guess who went to yoga? Yup, me. It’s been a while and I can’t say it was relaxing or meditative but it may have been necessary. I mean, shit. I haven’t exercised in a while. I mean a long while. What the fuck am I thinking? I’m getting old and I used to do it all the time but then a year or two got away from me all of sudden.

I was up in Big Sur. I took a little break before I hunker down to write the new season of the show. I had never really spent any time there. I have driven through it a few times. I always knew it was beautiful but I don’t think I ever realized just how beautiful.

I spent some money so Jessica and I could go a spa thing and relax. I am not a relaxer. I can physically relax but mentally is another story. The gears are always spinning and rarely have enough oil. It’s always a bit squeaky in the box that holds my brain. I had committed in my mind not to fight with Jess. For some reason when we go away, usually the first night, there’s a nasty fight over bullshit. I can’t really figure out why it happens. I guess maybe we're away and more vulnerable or more purely ourselves with fewer distractions. Why that leads to fights as opposed to appreciation I really don’t know. I guess the combination of vulnerability and time to think is a dangerous combo for some folks.

I am happy to report we didn’t fight and I think I relaxed. Its very hard for me to identify relaxation. I did some yoga up there and, yes, some Pilates. It was just me and about 7 women. I woke up every day and took a short hike to the restaurant. On two of the three days I saw deer. They didn’t freak out. I did. Well, they freaked out when I reached for my phone to take a picture and I took that as a sign I should not be looking at my phone. I think I tweeted 3 or 4 times the entire time I was there. That’s pretty good for a guy with a problem. I wasn’t tweeting the deer, fyi.

So, the relaxation thing, yeah. I got in the hot tub and I’m not a hot tub person. I usually just look like an aggravated, uncomfortable Jew in a big pot of self stew. Not this time. This time I was looking up at the sky and out to the sea and I felt my mind go completely quiet. It was the most amazing 3 and half minutes I’ve had in a while.

I was thrilled to have chef Alex Guarnaschelli over to my home to do the podcast. The only thing that upset me was I didn’t have any food to offer her. It felt wrong. Not even a cookie. You can hear us talk today, Monday. I did prepare to have tea on hand for Simon Pegg but he wanted coffee. I definitely had that. You can hear our talk on Thursday.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron

WTF - Alex Guarnaschelli talks “Iron Chef.”

Full episode out 8/12

2

Enough about food.

Enough, Folks-

Seriously. I’m talking to myself, of course. I have to draw a line. As I head into creating the new season of my TV show, if I don’t want the story arc to be about me becoming slightly obese, I better stop eating.

HOW CAN I? I’m writing this from Chicago literally steps away from deep dish pizza. Why can’t I just tell myself that I can get that anywhere and if I were anywhere else I wouldn’t be eating it. Well, the reason I can’t tell myself that is it isn’t true. It’s really only good here. And that’s the rub. Specific food from specific places is best in that place. I can attest to that. Not Chinese food though. I don’t love Chinese food but I did have it in Beijing and quite honestly it was awful. Enough about food.

I love Chicago and I had a great time at Mayne Stage which really is one of the best performance venues I have ever played. I did some weird, raw shows and I am glad that everyone who came out seemed to have a good time. I did some old school drunk heckler obliteration that maybe I will share with you if the sound quality of the recording is good enough. I was at once proud and ashamed at the crazy anger I dumped on a couple of drunk jocks. That’s something I usually reserve for people I love and am close to. They absorbed it and enjoyed it. I think we’re good. I really don’t know if I am experiencing a mild mania or I'm just geared up and excited. Why pathologize? I’ll go with geared up and excited.

I want to say a few things about today's show. It was recorded live in Austin at the Moontower Comedy Fest and it was great. The reason I love this live show is the line up is amazing and it also includes Jim Norton. Let me make this clear. The show had Dom Irrera, Michael Ian Black, Todd Barry, Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo and Jim. Now, most of the audience was not that familiar with Jim and I’m going go out on a limb and say many of them had no idea what kind of comedy he does or what his life is. One of those people was Maria Bamford. I don’t want to spoil anything but when Jim gets into talking about his sexual exploits and a particular fetish, Maria audibly gasped. I felt bad that she was so shocked as was most of the comedy nerd audience but it was a very human moment. Also on this show you can all witness the live dynamic between me and Michael Ian Black. I know some of you are concerned as to whether or not we are real friends or hate each other. Now you can listen and decide for yourself. On Thursday the lovely Bill Hader hangs out in the garage and talks about his recent move to LA and his rocky start in the biz. Good stuff.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
1

Specifically, head cheese.

Bonjour, People-

Let me say this first—I will be at the Mayne Stage in Chicago this week August 1-4. I love the venue. I love the city. I’m excited to be performing there. If you are around you should come out.

I’ve been in Montreal at the Just for Laughs Festival for three days and I can honestly say I think I like the French pronunciation of my name better than the way I pronounce it. Maybe I could convince people to say it like that. There is elegance to it. I have had to deal with people saying: Marin, Moran, Maroon, Moron, etc. I’ve always thought that it was ridiculous. Look at it. In my mind there is is no other way to pronounce it but that’s life. In French there seems to be only one way to say it. Maybe I will move to France. I guess I will have to learn how to say something other than my name. Okay, maybe I won’t move there.

I came up here for as few days as possible primarily because I exhaust my capacity to be charming in 72 hours and it starts to diminish into contempt. I thought that was behind me—apparently I have a 72 hour window, so now I know that.

I would be remiss in not telling you what I ate. Specifically, head cheese. I went to Au Pied de Cochon. It’s an amazing restaurant. It is a restaurant apparently driven to mock the animals we eat in death. You can order a pig’s head for two. Somewhere in my heart I know it’s a little wrong to eat meat. I don’t honor that part of my heart primarily because I choose to not think too hard on it or engage fully in the empathy for animals we eat. There are a few steps and some packaging between me and the murder of the animal in the skillet. When you are sitting next to a couple eating a pigs head on a plate it’s hard not to engage and feel a bit of sadness and horror. I mean, do we have to rub it in that we are the heartless victors of the food chain.

I wouldn’t normally go anywhere near head cheese. It’s something you see in the supermarket and wonder, "Who the fuck eats that?" From what I can tell it’s just the picked head meat of the pig suspended in lard jello. For some reason the waiter recommended the house made head cheese, fried, over potatoes and for some reason I ordered it. After my third or fourth bite of cubes of fat and cheek meat I was overwhelmed with a duality of nausea: "Why am I eating this?" and "I shouldn’t be eating this." I’m forty nine. I have got to stop rationalizing this regional culinary suicide mission AND I have to start thinking about the pigs and stop being one. I’m not saying I’m going to stop eating meat but I am saying I will think about the process.

Exciting shows this week. On Monday, John Cale, one of the original members of the Velvet Underground talks about the slice of music history that he is. On Thursday, Don Barris, the first guy I met when I moved to LA in the 80s talks about his insane journey in show business and our shared chaotic history at The Comedy Store. I love these types of talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer Lives!



Love,
Maron
1

WTF - Judy Gold pitches herself for “Maron.”

Full episode out 7/25

2

It Feels Real.

Hey, Y’all

I have to say I had a great time in Nashville at Zanies. I actually always have a great time in Nashville. It is one of the great American cities. Good food, good music, beautiful country, good and odd people. All in all, I am done with stereotyping the South in any way. Every time I go almost anywhere in that part of the country part of me wants to live there. It feels real, more real than most places.

I visited Third Man Records while I was down there. I didn’t see Jack White but his nephew gave me a tour of the new facilities. It is pretty fucking amazing. You didn’t hear it here but I think Jack is making plans to take over the world. I didn’t see the war room but I have no doubt there is one there.

I ate Prince’s chicken but I pussed out with the medium so no tall tale of GI tract problems and comedy.

I also visited United Record Pressing. I’m no true vinyl nerd but the guy in charge of marketing over there, Jay Millar, reached out to me and asked me if I wanted a tour. Granted I have been doing the vinyl thing lately. I am definitely not down the rabbit hole too far but I was curious. URP makes about thirty percent of the county’s vinyl records and they have been since 1949. They make records for many big labels. They are not music specific. They just manufacture the records. It was fascinating to see the process from raw vinyl beads to machine to labeling to pressing to putting them in sleeves. All of the machinery is run by humans. Because most of the machines are no longer made there is a full time machinist on the premises to fix them and make parts from scratch if necessary. It was a beautiful undigitized American manufacturing experience. They make forty thousand records a day and the machines are cranking all night. I actually held a record still warm from the press. Look, I don’t know if you can read my excitement but it was fucking cool. It made me love records even more. Not because of the tone or the sound but just because they are organic, solid, well-crafted real things that you can hold and spin magic out of. It was truly groovy.

I’ll be in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival this Friday and Saturday. I will be doing a live WTF and a solo show and some random appearances on other shows. You can go to their website to find out the when and wheres.

Big shows this week! On Monday I’ll post a chat I had with Thom Yorke from Radiohead. I talked to him at Rick Rubin’s mansion studio in the Hollywood Hills during an Atoms for Peace session. Rick doesn’t live there. It's an old house that was once owned by Houdini that is only used for recording. It was great talking to Thom because I didn’t know if he talked much. He did. On Thursday, the mighty Judy Gold hangs out and talks about comedy, lesbian stuff, marriage, cock, kids and the obligatory Jew things. Good week ahead.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
4

WTF - Thom Yorke on the Magic Castle

Full episode out 7/22

3

I’m Such a Damn Fanboy.

Hola, People!

First things first. I will be in Nashville this week Thursday through Saturday at Zanies Comedy Club. I’m looking forward to being there and working on some new stuff. I’ll try not to hurt myself too bad with food. I will be up in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival doing shows. I have no idea what my schedule is. Go to their site to find out. I will be in Chicago at the Mayne Stage Theater August 1st through 4th. I love that place. I love that city. Come out if you are in the area.

I’m flying back from Seattle as I write this. I was there for the Subpop Silver Jubilee celebration of the label’s 25th anniversary. I actually had an amazing time. I did a show with Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunholer, Kyle Dunnigan, Jon Benjamin and Jon Glaser. It was amazing. I have to say that few people make me laugh as much as Benjamin and Glaser. There was an Uber car ride we took that may have been the most I’ve laughed in 20 years.

The next day was an all-day music clusterfuck that was phenomenal. I got to see and hang out with Mudhoney, J Mascis, Brett from Built to Spill, King Tuff, Father John Misty and a bunch of other rock folk. I’m still such a damn fanboy when I get around musicians. It’s an effort to act normal. Everyone put on a good show but Mascis went up there with just his acoustic and blew the place up. It was astounding.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Seattle over the years but never went out to visit Hendrix’s grave in Renton. I’m not a big grave visitor but I had a day and some comic put it in my head that I should head out there. So, I tracked my friend Nathan down and we drove out. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I got it in my mind that it would be important and magical. It was something. I’m not sure it was those things. I did leave a gold Boomer button on the grave so there’s that. I will talk about it on the show this week.

On Monday I get a rap education and a great talk with Mike Eagle. Thursday is a live WTF I did in Boston with Sue Costello, Dan Crohn, Rick Jenkins, George McDonald, Teddy Bergeron and DJ Hazard. DJ was one of the first comics I remember seeing live as an adult. George hosted one of the first open mics I ever did. Teddy Bergeron is a legend. There's some amazing stuff in this show.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
2