Dispatches from the Head

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.


Boomer lives!



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Frank Winkhorst August 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Sounds like they clipped off the high frequencies.

If you turn up the treble and turn down the bass, it almost sounds normal.

Mookman August 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Yo, Marc,

I have an idea what MAY be causing these freaky things to happen to your podcast recordings. (Note: Notice the MAY) This could be caused by notoriously bad grounds on laptop computers. (If you’re using a desktop computer to do the recordings, disregard anything I say from this point forward.)  I ran into this a LOT with using a laptop for any type of audio recordings. The grounds can just take a great big shit on ya because they’re just not all that robust. If that’s not the case and you’re using a a desktop, I’d look for any outside interference going on. This interference doesn’t necessarily have to even be associated with anything coming from the electronics in your house or garage. It could be from someone on the same transformer as you back-feeding the electronic noise back to you as well. (aka, they’re shitty bench grinder, circa 1974 causing the noises.)

The good news is that there are devices to filter that shit out for you. Obviously, the more expensive ones are LIKELY to work better. (Get with some of your music recording buddies to figure out what they use.) Also, uninterruptable power supplies can help reduce that shit as well.

Or, it could be that GarageBand was having a bad hair day as well. :(

Sorry I couldn’t be definitely helpful but I hope it’ll set you on the right road.

Good luck, man.