When Music Decides to Be Funny…

Where do comedy and music meet? It has to be more than just Weird Al Yankovic and Adam Sandler, right? Thankfully, the answer is a giant and resounding YES! Put away your lyrics about lunch ladies and forget that song where white boy tries to rap about being white and nerdy. We’re onto BIGGER and BETTER things in this article. Let’s take a closer look at comedy and music—why they work so well together and way funnier examples of tunes and jokes colliding.

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Janet Reno – Miami Bass and African American Advocate

Janet Reno (July 21, 1938-Nov 7, 2016) was the first woman to serve as US Attorney General (AG) under the Clinton administration. Some key events that occurred under her tenure as AG were: 1) authorizing immigration officers to remove 5-year-old Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, by gunpoint, from his Cuban-American family to return him to his biological father in Cuba; 2) the FBI seige and subsequent assault on David Koresh’s Branch Davidian compound, resulting in 76 deaths, 25 of which were children; and 3) the capture and convictions of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, and Oklahoma City terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

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An Eyewitness Account of Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Portland, OR 2018

On November 11th, 2018 Jim and I were present in the audience to witness Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, OR. We approached this with the trepidation of old fans. Neither of us had seen him live. Since the band was playing over their Suspiria score, we figured it would be good. We found parking for the Hawthorne Theater awful, especially when it is cold, windy and rainy. This was my first experience seeing a show there, although Jim had seen Quasi, the Sonics, and the Coathangers.

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Who in the World was Benjamin S?

I discovered Benjamin S from receiving his album Kompor Meluduk for Christmas from my partner a couple of years ago. Upon hearing it, our minds were blown from the juxtaposition of soulful, funky eccentricity with psychedelic fuzz rock, plus some swinging duets with a woman vocalist, Ida Royani. Since there was zero information on the sleeve, I was inspired to ask, “Who in the world is Benjamin S?”

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Record stores we love: Speck’s Records & Tapes, 8216 N Denver

Michael and Maia Gersten opened Speck’s Records and Tapes in March 2017. The family owned shop is inviting, unpretentious, and a cozy place to spend rainy days browsing for hidden treasure. Speck’s offers a little bit of everything, without any focus on a particular genre. You’re sure to find some of the essentials as well as a few rarities in the new wave, electronic, rock, and reggae crates. The “tapes” portion of the namesake includes obscure world recordings and spot-on compilation mixes. Speck’s also carried a curated collection of refurbished audio equipment including record players, amps and speakers. On Sundays, live DJs spin in the shop and often the space hosts release parties and other community music events. Speck’s has quickly become a celebrated gem of the Kenton neighborhood, visit them daily 12-7pm. 

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