Monday, October 5, 2009

Road Trip Album Picks: Neil Hamburger's "Hot February Night"

WHAT: Live comedy concert recorded before a Tenacious D show
LABEL: Off-Price Value Center, 2007
GOOD IF YOU LIKE: Neil Hamburger, audience baiting
WHERE TO FIND IT: Heck if we know, it's a rare promotional album
LENGTH: 33 minutes

While we do not advocate media piracy, we are huge advocates of artists making money off of things. And if you can't buy it, well, borrow it or something. Neil Hamburger's Hot February Night is pretty much impossible to get, it's a crying shame that this recording is something of a rarity. Eschewing the usual quasi-sad sack comic motif in favor of full-blown confrontation, we see moments of delighted anger that rarely come across in a comic performer's albums, much less in one of the biggest shows he may ever play.

Tenacious D fans, apparently, to not have a sense of humor. The album kicks off with some of the most vicious jabs at the audience I've ever heard on an album this side of a live show from The Stooges in the 1970s, railing against uninterested observers calling them pigs, cocksuckers, and other terrible things. It's hysterical.

This too-short live recording includes other versions of things like "Cranberry Sauce" and "The Jackson Five," plus some of the best jokes about Santa Claus you will ever hope to hear. Assuming, of course, you enjoy Mr. Hamburger's style, otherwise you'll likely consider this the worst thing you've ever heard. It's just so astoundingly venomous that you can really taste the hatred the audience has for its opener, who may have recorded one of the finest live recordings we're likely to hear. He even tailored some bits to the music audience with knocks against Pink Floyd and the Beatles, which will likely slay you if you aren't a boomer. (And maybe if you're a boomer.)

Clearly, Neil Hamburger knows this is not his audience, and he fires back to chants for "D! D!" with something to the effect of what their grades in school were. Oh, and numerous references to additional opening acts to follow, including the then-timely and much disliked Kevin Federline.

"Hot February Nights" is too good to save for a road trip or journey somewhere. If you can find it, get it, pay whatever you have to pay, borrow whatever you have to borrow. Other albums like "Raw Hamburger" and "America's Funnyman" are funny and enjoyable, but odds are you've never heard anything like "Hot February Nights." Hopefully Neil will perform other shows like this one in the future. We positively do not suggest this album to all of you, but if you already like this amazing artist, this will likely be a holy grail recording that we hope to see released to iTunes some day.

1 comment:

Paul Spelman said...

Just bought a copy from Neil's merch desk in Australia for 10 bucks. Absolutely amazing album.