Friday, September 11, 2009

Road Trip Album Picks: "Invite Them Up"

WHAT: Collection of material from numerous comedians, curated by Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale
LABEL: Comedy Central Records, 2005
WHERE TO FIND IT: Most better record stores, select big box electronic stores, iTunes

This was basically the New York equivalent of L.A.'s Comedy Death Ray. According to our notes, the show is on some sort of permanent hiatus, which is a fancy way of saying extinct. This 4-disc (3 CD + 1 DVD) set includes a fantastic selection of New York comics performing stand-up, songs, and sketches. At over 3 hours, the plastic artifact has a lot to offer and shows you where a lot of these comics were a few years ago and where they have gone since. And in some cases, still are. But we'll leave that for you to discover.

The sound quality is great, and the references are fresh enough to be funny. Sure, you're going to hear about The Sixth Sense, but it's a solid bit. In this collection, you'll discover Jon Glaser is a genius, Bobby Tisdale is an endless ball of comic energy, and that there need to be a lot more discs just like this one.

A recurring bit-- which is a pretty good idea-- is "30 Seconds of Stand-Up," which was performed at the live event and took more than 30 seconds. Because they had to introduce it and then send it off. It's a brilliant idea to get comics out there, and it's almost a shame that it wasn't adapted into a podcast or, say, a giant collection of a hundred tracks on an audio CD.

The comedy on this album is mostly of the alt comedy variety, which means if you may self-apply the term "comedy nerd" you'll totally love this collection. You get a lot for the asking price, which is typically below $15, and most of it is really funny. And if you don't like it, you can skip to the next one. I suggest you put this one in your collection if you ever do mix tapes for road trips, because you get just so gosh darn much stuff that you will have a whole new selection of stand-ups to go see. Since a lot of these comics have gone on to TV work, and others still tour, this is a great place to go just to get a better idea of who's worth going to see.

The collection comes packaged in a fold-out cardboard case.

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