Within Hard Rock's Disneyesque alleys, littered with pricey food and secondhand-smoke-filled slot rooms, the holy temple of comedy this week is over at the Improv Comedy Club, where friends and co-conspirators Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussell are making people laugh all weekend. Both have extensive stage experience, both are wicked smart, and both have incredible, free podcasts that will open your third eye.
Though most YouTubers may recognize Duncan from his Funny or Die, Drunk History video, where he takes a look at Thomas Edison's buddy Nikola Tesla, Duncan Trussell's Family Hour is a transcendental podcast that is humble, insightful, and shares bad-ass songs at the show's end.
And the dude has great taste in music. "In lo-fi, the best artists can be secretive. It's obscured," Duncan says after his set Friday night. "We'll never know who they are 'cause they're not interested in fame. Fame seems like a complicated inconvenience."
"My friend Emil, the lead singer of the Holy Sons, gives me this cassette tape. I had a boombox in my dorm room, and I still remember pressing play and it was that Daniel Johnston song, 'Rock 'n' Roll/EGA,'" Duncan recalls, "When I first heard him, I thought it was Satan; I thought it was the first satanic music I'd ever heard," Trussell reflects.
From there, he moved into Sebadoh and other lo-fi acts, which I'm grateful for also, because as a fellow fan, I was able to listen to the best Lou Barlow interview I've ever heard on Duncan's previous podcast The Lavender Hour, which he regularly hosted with comedian Natasha Leggero. "Cool" music aside, he's not shy to mention his love of a syrupy ballad. "I did buy the Crystal Gale albums! I fucking love that song! That's LSD for ya!" He notes this without the slightest bit of irony.
"You know what, man. I guarantee somewhere, in some country, on some beautiful hill," he says with whimsy as he spaces out in the distance and savors the vision, "there's a shepherd with a little fucking guitar who's probably playing music that would make Elvis seem like a fucking farting gorilla."
With Friday's show a memory and both of the Saturday shows sold out, drag yourself to the Sunday Service.
Now for the Duncan Trussell Family Hour Mixtape.
Johnny Cash "We Must Believe in Magic"
Holy Sons " The Voice"
Holy Sons "Festering Mind Energy"
Antsy Pants "Vampire"
Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston "Happy Talk"
Bob Marley "Positive Vibration"
Daniel Johnston "Devil Town"
Violent Femmes "Jesus Walking on the Water"
The Highwaymen "Highwayman"
Ram Dass and Amazing Grace "Shri Krishna Govinda" (Not actual song)
Bob Marley "Small Axe"
Loudon Wainwright III "Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House"
Tony Bennett "I Wanna Be Around"
Download the free Joe Rogan Experience and Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcasts. Rogan and Trussell perform Saturday (sold out) and Sunday, April 15, at 8 p.m. at the Improv Comedy Club, 5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Call 954-981-5653. Shows are for those 21 and over.
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