Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond

Browsing Posts tagged Newport Music Hall

Mar 8, 2013 – I went to the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio to watch one of my favorite new bands, Tame Impala from Perth, Australia. I had two big fat beers in me, and was sitting up in the balcony with my girlfriend by the time they started the packed sold out show. I was expecting a lot and was not disappointed in the least.

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

The band started back in 2007 and is mainly the brainchild of singer songwriter Kevin Parker. The first thing I noticed about this band, when a friend turned me onto the song “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” a few months back, was just how eerily his vocal style resembled that of John Lennon, my hands down favorite musician and person of all time. Since noticing this, I realize everyone agrees… in many articles, if not all of them, they equate his reedy nasally high pitch to that of the Walrus. It’s as if Lennon decided to come back to us through the vehicle of Parker and start a psychedelic, prog-rock band. At least that’s what I like to believe anyway.

The crowd exploded into a frenzy as the band started into a cutting and perfect version of the loner’s anthem for its generation “Solitude is Bliss” to kick off the show. One of my favorite songs with the lyrics, ‘There’s a party inside my head and no one is invited.’ The chorus is a killer too, ‘You will never compare with how I feel!’ delivered in that cool and chilling doppelganger tone of a bygone time, that is maybe not that far away after all. This song hits you right where you want to be hit… NEED to be hit by a tune. By the time they ended the song I swore the air had left the room, causing the young yet mixed aged crowd to heave a collective gasp.

Kevin Parker wrote and recorded all of the material for both albums, the debut Innerspeaker from 2010, and this year Lonerism. I don’t know much about the people he has playing these songs live but I can tell you the drummer was a wizard. His sticks were flying so fast and precisely that it was hard to believe at times.

Probably my favorite song “Apocalypse Dreams” came next and then they performed “Be Above it.” In between the well-executed and brilliant tunes they would sometimes go into spacey little jams that served to build up your anticipation before another powerhouse tripped out masterpiece was served up to the hungry crowd once more.

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

There was “Elephant” The radio hit… Then probably my second favorite song “Why won’t you make up your mind?” which dishes out this amazing keyboard synth part that massaged the lobes of my drunken brain and lifted me to a higher level then I could explain with words. My girlfriend and I were blown away. This band was somehow perfect. They dolled out a great version of another favorite, “Mind Mischief.”

Honestly I could rave on and on about this band, what this night felt like, the energy and the pleasures. I could pontificate about the magic that brings such young talented people together… How does one cosmic organism become a Nickleback, while another a Tame Impala? The acid soaked mind of an aging hipster reels. But alas, I have things to do… and to hear how GOOD a relationship is… our how much someone loves their favorite TV show… is just kind of… boring.

So do yourself a favor and look up these songs! This band! This was one of the best shows I had ever seen in my 30 odd years. My only sadness is that they didn’t play “Lucidity.” I got to see them cheap this time around, but I feel like next time they are here it won’t be quite as easy to get tickets. These guys are the real deal and need to be seen to believe!

– Oddfellow

Nov 20, 2010 – Let me start this off by saying I am a huge fan of Tim Hiedecker and Eric Warehiem from the show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” that most are familiar with from the internet or on Adult Swim, which completed its last episode recently to many of its avid fans dismay.

Tim and Eric Live Tour Poster

Tim and Eric Live Tour Poster

If you have never seen their sketch comedy show, I can only describe it as a brand of nightmare comedy performance art. They deal with the normal fertile comedy ground of sex, poop jokes, and pure tomfoolery, but they take their special brand of humor to the furthest degree. So much so that it often grows beyond just comedy to the land of the surreal and just plain creepy.

So, suffice it to say, I was more than excited to see their live Chrimbus Show at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio Saturday night. I knew what to expect with the show to some degree, but as I arrived I hadn’t been prepared for the shear number of fellow Awesome Show fans I would be sharing the evening with.  The show was completely sold out.

After fighting my way through the crowd of twenty something college kids, I made my way upstairs while the opening act Neil Hamburger did his usual brand of anti stand-up comedy.  Which for the uninitiated is the equivalent of comedy punk rock. Lewd, crude and full of enough cultural pop references to make a camel puke. Jokes delivered in a garbled old man grunt like, “How do you get Carlos Santana to stop touching your children? Give him a guitar,” were met with the expected mix of applause and just basic confusion. Then again, that’s the point when it comes to Hamburger, a greasy 70’s throw back. The Tim and Eric gang love to leave you wondering just how fucked up and unaware they really are of their own stupidity. But they have also spawned a zillion followers and copycat comedy clowns in Hollywood to make you wonder who the real morons are.

David Liebe Hart on screen

David Liebe Hart on screen at Tim and Eric Awesome Show Crimbus Tour

When the opening by David Liebe Hart, an alien obsessed and deranged puppeteer, introduced our reason for standing in line all night and braving a sardine packed crowd, it is safe to say most in attendance were chomping at the bit. Hiedecker and Warehiem were both dressed in their Chrimbus finest, looking like fat retarded elves and singing us a Chrimbus tune chock full of curse words and sexual innuendos.

What in holy hell is Chrimbus? You may find yourself asking. All I can say is… EXACTLY. Who the hell knows? Other than it being a twisted take on our own silly fascinations with American holiday traditions. This is indicative of their mockery style you will discover again and again in the Awesome Show Universe. To me, this habit of taking our most boring and lifeless cultural obsessions and flipping the mirror back on us by displacing them with absurd new names and ideas, is the very purpose of all great comedy.

It takes the attendant audience up above the beaten archetype of predictable punch line humor and makes them realize the absolute and fundamental beauty of just how dumb this whole existence and its sacred cow worship can really be. Pure Genius. Well, beyond my hyperbole and speculation on the human condition, I will give you a run down of what the meat of the evening was all about.

Tim and Eric in Crimbus Costumes

Tim and Eric in Crimbus Costumes

Their opening Chrimbus musical number ended with them actually saying goodnight and walking off stage, with the houselights turning back on, leaving those of us less familiar with their brand of sham to wonder if we had just been raped of our entertainment this evening by the devilish, childlike duo of dementia. Soon any fears dissipated as the lights went down again and a video came up, this one being a commercial from the Cinco Corporation, an Awesome Show reoccurring mock-up big business. The Cinco Pasta Bear, a teddy bear you can eat pasta out of after heating in the microwave.

Next the audience got to choose their favorite of three classic Awesome Show skits they wanted to watch by applauding to an applause-o-meter. I thought this was a wonderful usage of crowd participation and a worthy tactic of not having to create new material witch they used again later in the performance. Oh well, the crowd loved watching the ever-popular “Spagett” witch to me is the equivalent of yelling for Casey Jones at a Dead concert. Typical, for those in the know, I would have much rather watched the Paul Rudd guest appearance option of Celery man.

If this is starting to sound like I am speaking some foreign language and you are shaking your head at the usage of these inside references and characters. Well its because I am, and I suggest you go and do your own research of this extremely unique comedy act or just quit reading because its going to get worse. As opposed to the singular shtick of Saturday Night Live, It would take a year and a day, plus if you’ve never seen the Awesome Show you really wouldn’t get it anyway. I’m not trying to sound elitist here; it is just the truth, plain and simple. And a classic case of “you had to be there,” I guess.

Then the boys returned to the stage as black turtleneck wearing pompous Carl Sagan type wannabe astronomers, DR Jimes Tooper and Dr. H Donna Gust.  Generally making an ass of themselves and obviously making shit up about the mysteries of the universe. Highlighting the evening, Zach Galfinakis appeared in a video reciting fondly his warm memories of helping Warf  (yes, the friendly Klingon from Star Trek fame) kill his own son and bury him.  This was not your typical fluffy celebrity retrospection piece.

Speaking of celebs Tim and Eric are full of them which is what helped lead to their growing popularity, and lets face it, that is what really helped this crazy shit down the throats of the masses. For instance, watching the every dad Alan Thicke try to sell you the Napple, an apple that helps you fall asleep only to wake you by giving you a whopping case of diarrhea, is half the fun, isn’t it kids?

This evenings live show also featured video taped skits from John C. Reilly, of Walk Hard and Stepbrothers fame doing his wildly popular Dr. Steven Brule character, a semi retarded psychiatrist. Reilly treated us to a wonderful story of Winterman, the Chrimbus legend, whom one can appease by eating a pound of your own body hair every year. Delicious. Reilly’s Character Brule is also the only Awesome show character to spawn a spinoff show on Adult Swim based around this character, called simply “Check It Out!” Brule is a personal favorite.

Tim and Eric touting Blues Brothers 2012

Tim and Eric touting Blues Brothers 2012

The duo came back to the stage in an effort to create buzz about the Tim and Eric movie, which is supposedly coming out next year and will be directed by non-other than the lovely Wil Ferrell. But when they showed up dressed as the Blues Brothers 2012, it was obvious that this was yet another clever put on, claiming they were playing Jake and Elwood Blues in the new film fresh from jail and going into the insect extermination business. They each had Termenex insect repellent canisters strapped on, while behind them on the screen the green and yellow Termenex logo blazed in all its glory.

They went into a song full of Pizza Hutt and Taco Bell references. It was hilarious in its blatant disgust and an obvious joke on all the strait faced corporate whoring that is so rampant this day and age. But like I said earlier, I’m a fan, and it occurred to me that not everyone might have understood what was happening here. It also occurred to me that those savvy bastards on stage were most likely really making money off advertising for these corporate giants. It was brilliant in its mind twisting grotesqueness. By sticking with the shows common theme of being cool by their exploitation of the sincerely un-cool in our countries culture, taking the absolute worst of entertainment in its lowest form, and serving it back to us as the biggest sell out act of all time. I actually loved them more for it. That is the magic of Tim and Eric, pure and simple.

Tim and Eric of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Tim and Eric of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

The show wound down with the pair as themselves, with no costumes or cheesy stage make up to be seen, telling us that the scheduled performance by their alter egos, rock band, PussWhip Gangbang, was not to be this evening, due to a sickness concerning a few of the lesser known band mates. In true Kaufman-esque form, I sincerely didn’t know whether to believe them or not. I decided that for the first time this evening they were actually telling the truth, due to the fact that the stage was and had been barren of any musical instruments all evening. Instead they treated the crowd to a pre glimpse of their scheduled television Chrimbus special, threatening to rip off anyone’s dick or vagina if they taped it from their phones and put it on YouTube. The crowd was delighted.

I must note that at this point I had been watching Tim and Eric for a few hours and after a half an hour of their video special I was growing a little tired of the whole ordeal. As is true with any sort of live performance, comedy included, what started out as refreshing and new to me earlier in the evening began to feel, dare I say, predictable. The wackiness and odd editing style of the videos began to wear on me a tad and I was ready to leave. Everyone’s style can get old if you hang around too long, from Demetri Martin to Chris Rock. Oh Well, Damn the torpedoes and my attention span which is on par with a five year old.

All in All, I enjoyed the shit out of these soon to be comedy icons. I truly believe when watching the Tim and Eric unique brand of dreamlike schizoid comedy gold, you are witnessing the future of what is to come. Gone be the Seinfeld Era, with its one-liners and droll deliveries. And a big sweaty HELLO to Tim and Eric. They will soon claim the comedy heavens. So really, if you are tired of all that is tried and tired in our current entertainment landscape, check these sweethearts out. Merry Chrimbus Everyone! And Great Job!

-Oddfellow