Beating the Organ in Ballard

MIROTEA.jpg
Miro Tea seasonal crepe with almonds, honey and melted brie!
Sometimes I feel the only consistency in comedy is laughter, or the hope of it. No venue or gig is ever the same. Last week was a prime example, as I found myself hosting a music festival in a fine Italian restaurant, then performing at an old movie house the next day. Nothing is ever standard.

Last weekend was Seattle Weekly's local music festival, Reverb (in case you blacked out from all the excitement and needed reminding). I helped book the emcees for each of the stages. I found a misfit crew of comedians and rockers who were eager to be a part of the annual Ballard takeover, and had the honor of hosting the very jazzy Volterra stage.

My favorite band of the night, perhaps due to their comedic timing and kooky antics, was Combo Craig. Given that, on average, most bands will give you quick notes about themselves and perhaps some credits associated with the group, Combo Craig went a step further by giving me the line: "Please don't tell their parents they do this for a living... they think they're porn stars."

COMBOCRAIG.jpg
Reverb's Combo Craig at Volterra

That's when I knew I was in for a treat. The band consists of the very quirky Craig Flory on tenor sax, the versatile Mike Stone on the drums and the nutty Ron Weinstein on the Hammond B-3 organ. During their set I was afraid that the B-3 was going to collapse from Weinstein's wailings. He's a mad man on the organ (no pun intended).

JAKEMERRIMAN.jpg
MC comedian Jake Merriman bites into a complimentary Blazing Bagel in Reverb's VIP area.
Last year I hosted with Keg, "The Lone Ranger of Rock," at the Tractor Tavern. This year I decided to venture out solo to experience a different style of music outside of the rock scene. The audience was receptive to comedy but as a host, it's important to limit yourself to quick one-liners. It's your job to keep the show rolling and to move the spotlight onto the next act, not to become the next act.

While at Reverb, I enjoyed a scrumptious seasonal crepe at Miro Tea. The dish included melted brie, almonds and honey. I found myself playing with my food, attempting to get a small bit of every component in each forkful. Brie is always a hard cheese to eat, as it doesn't string out like most cheeses when melted. The sweet crepe was light with a hint of citrus. It was perfect fare for someone who had been on their feet all day.

Sunday I had the fortune of performing with my good friend, New York-based comedienne Jaqi Furback, who started her comedy career in Seattle. Furback had an intimate show entitled, "The Opposite of Serious," at the Rendezvous in Belltown, the former MGM screening room. She brought to the stage with her; an electric ukulele, which she played while singing such classic songs as Nirvana's "Rape Me." The show also included an introductory course from a self-help guru for ladies, portrayed by comedian Geoff Lott, who reminded women about the power of Kegels.

My set went over very well. The joke that hit: "Cracker Jacks and I have differing definitions on what a prize is and what disappointment is."

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow