Dispatches from the Head

WTF - Kathryn Hahn needs therapy.

Full episode out 9/5

I am writing this in a panic.

Short and sweet, folks-

It’s late and I spaced out. I am writing this in a panic. I want to stay in touch but the three day weekend screwed me up. So, now I am sitting in a hotel room writing to you, quickly.

I’m in Seattle. I just got finished doing shows at the Bumbershoot Festival and they were awesome as they always are. This is by far the best festival to do comedy at. All the venues are indoors in theaters and the crowds are spectacular. I have to say that I don’t like festivals. I’d like to believe its because I’m getting old but I don’t think I have ever liked them. They are very exhausting. There’s too much humanity all at once. I get emotionally drained. I love seeing bands I like but sometimes it’s hard to focus because there are just too many people doing weird shit everywhere. I zoned in on these 70 year old hippy guys doing the trippy dance nonstop. I was actually concerned for them. I thought if they kept molding the music into trails and orbs only they could see and bouncing around like children that their organs might start falling out of them. Then I thought that they might be the source of the energy of the entire festival. They were the arcane battery of groovy freedom that keeps it all alive. Then I questioned who was being trippy. Jesus, I was getting a contact psychic high from their frenzy. Then I realized that’s a good thing. Why fight it. It wasn’t even a jam band. We were listening to Bob Mould just beat the shit out of his guitar in the most beautiful way possible. That was all I could take. An hour of Bob Mould and I was content.

On Monday I will share one of the best conversations I have had on my show. I interview Ben Sidran. I know. I didn’t know who he was either. His son kept emailing me and telling me I had to talk to his dad because we were a lot alike and we would have a great talk. I googled him and it turns out he is a real deal veteran jazz man with a ton of records and a few books under his belt. I was embarrassed I didn’t know him. I filled my mind up with his stuff and we had an amazing talk about creativity, improvisation and spirituality. Really dug it. On Thursday I talk to Kathryn Hahn about her career and her role in the new Jill Soloway film, Afternoon Delight. Jill is going to join us as well. I went to the premier of the film and it blew me away. It was raw, real, surprising and it addressed women, sexuality and relationship in a way I had not seen. It was a risky balance of emotion, humor and sex that was engaging and moving.

Dig it.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
2

It wasn’t horrible but it was close.

Hey, Folks-

I will be at Bumbershoot in Seattle this weekend doing a bit of standup and a live WTF if you are in the Seattle area or if you are already planning on being at the festival I just wanted to let you know I will be there.

Denver, oh Denver, you drunky city. I want to thank everyone who came out the shows at Comedy Works in Denver. It really is one of the best clubs in the world to see and do comedy in. I don’t know if I am getting old or I just never really went out much but Denver is by far the drunkest city I have ever been in. The downtown area specifically is bordering on inebriated on a weekend night, rivaled only by Glasgow in my experience. On both nights I saw drunken couples arguing about nothing on street corners, shirtless men yelling at no one in particular and women hopelessly hobbled by high heels and wasted. That being said I was surprised that I only had one show that was derailed by drunks and it turned out okay. It was a bachelor party. Which is weird because they rarely go to comedy shows because comedians don’t do lap dances and there really is no VIP treatment other than abuse if you’re being idiots, which they were. They weren’t completely out of hand, just a little. In a room as intimate as the Works their stupid drunken neediness for attention, as subtle as it was, was completely distracting and had to be dealt with. Man-babysitting is part of the job of a club comic but it is a skill you hope to not have to use because it can get ugly. It wasn’t horrible but it was close. I did end up showing them my tits and doing a quick pole dance on the mic stand but that only placated them for a few minutes so then I moved into abuse mode and that was draining. I think it was all entertaining but it does make me want to close the doors to all who have no idea who I am and are just there to serve their own dumb drunk needs. But dumb drunk needs are what keep the night clubs in business.

I ate Tres Leches Pancakes at Jelly. I bought a few records at a place called Wax Trax next door. Then I wandered and realized that someone had told me there was a Rothko exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. It was his early stuff showing the transition from form to formless. There were a couple of great pieces in there. I also saw the work of a sculptor named Nick Cave (not that one) and it was astounding and wild. I love when I make myself go see art. I always get something out of it. I was actually moved to sit down at the museum and compulsively write this on my record bag: ‘The courage it takes to commit to a unique vision that requires follow-through, exploration and construction is profound in and of itself. The fact that it can be condescended to quickly and dismissed by minds that demand context is sad. It is sad to be dragged down to their context which is rarely theirs. It is culturally assumed. Lazy.’ I guess I’m working on an ongoing term paper in my mind.

This is a big week for the show as far as I’m concerned. I talked to two of the greatest comedy actors and improvisers ever. On Monday Michael McKean joins me and on Thursday Catherine O’Hara talks to me. It was a true honor to chat with both. I love them. There was a bit of panic around the O’Hara episode. I had been trying to talk to her for years. We had a great conversation. After she left I listened to a bit of the file and there was an annoying static in the recording. It hadn’t come through the headphones which mean it was some kind of computer glitch. It happened once before during Lucinda Williams's songs and I almost lost my mind which I did again with the O’Hara file. Is there some kind of electricity that comes off of me when I talk to women I respect profoundly that fucks up the file? Who knows? The talk sounded fine there was just some annoying intermittent noise. I figured we live in a world where technology can fix everything. I didn’t know what to do so I reached out on Twitter for help and several people volunteered to clean it up and we got a usable file out of it. Declan Quinn, who is a sound engineer for the Smodcast network gave us a fixed file as did Brock McFarlane from CPS Mastering. I appreciate the effort of everyone involved. We saved Catherine O’Hara.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
2

WTF - Michael McKean is not a fighter.

Full episode out 8/26

2

WTF - Tom Segura & Marc Maron talk Fasttrak

Full episode out 8/22

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