The Comedy Store. Potluck pictures.

The Comedy Store. Potluck pictures.

PART ONE

Louie talked about it, and rightfully so. It’s the greatest comedy club on the planet. As far as I know, it’s the only place a comic can tell jokes in the same room a wise guy snitch ass bitch got whacked. I took my camera down there on a random Monday to try to capture the vibe of the notorious Potluck while simultaneously trying to spend all my money on black and white film processing. Let’s see how I did. thestore 14

thestore-FRONTthestore_sunray

Every year, comedians travel from all over the world, migrating to this very patio. This is Kenny Lion. He’s come half way around the globe to be the DJ for the Go Up Show Up open mic. What a hero. Kenny_good

Jared Levin is what some people would call an alt comic and what other people would call an extremely bad speller. I like to call him a good friend, mainly because I’m afraid of what he might do if I insult him. Jared’s brand of comedy is so far ahead of it’s time it won’t be popular for literally an eternity.

JERRED

This is the very back corner of The World Famous Comedy Store. This is where paid regulars park. It’s also where management dumps the unfulfilled dreams of loser comics who come to LA to make it big and think they have a shot at getting their name on the wall of The World Famous Comedy Store, only to find out that their A game material isn’t even worth a dumpster. Those dreams? Just dump them in the corner of the back lot. It smells like shitty premises back here.

thestore-BACKLOT

This is Boon Shakalaka. Boon is an art collector and resident librarian at The Comedy Store. He’s been hanging out at The Comedy Store since the beginning of time, because I believe he’s not even a human, but a figment of my acid flashback having self. He’s also really funny at the Roast Battle when they can afford to hire him for it.

thestore-BOOM

It’s not just the Potluck that will destroy your dreams. If you really wanna crash and burn, Kill Tony is on Monday nights, as well. Get your name pulled out of a bucket, do one minute of your brilliant comedy, and then get humiliated by Tony Hinchcliffe, Brian Redban and two more comics who are way ahead of you in the comedy game. It’s truly awesome.

thestore-KILLTONY

In all seriousness. Look at this guy. Does he look like the kind of guy who could say anything mean about you or your brilliant comedy or your Isis beard, or your chain wallet? Seriously. Tony’s a real hugger. Here he is hugging an arab guy, proving there is a chance for world peace.

thestore-TONY1

I spend most of my time at The World Famous Comedy Store taking arty photos for my soon to be black and white photo tutorials on Youtube. Please kill me.

thestore-DOOR

With all this excitement, I’m having a hard time keeping my focus. It’s either that or Dan Madonia has the mental abilities to fuck up any photo he believes might end up on a shitty website.

thestoreDAN

Well guys. That’s it for me. See you next Monday and be sure to mention me on Yelp.

thestore_sun2

The Top 5 Podcasting Microphones on the Market

The Top 5 Podcasting Microphones on the Market

ME

Microphones are always a hotly debated topic in the Podcasting world. Pretty much every other minute I bump into some drunk podcasters screaming at each other about which mic is the best for the buck. These debates often can turn violent, and many a knife has been thrust into the neck of another human being over this subject, so bear in mind, the opinions expressed in this piece are my very own, which means they are the truth and the light and if you disagree it’s because you’re an idiot.

Some people might think, “who cares about a microphone?” And to those people, I say, go back to your life of following, you zombie bitches. This is an article for the creators of a dream. The leaders of the new school. The voice of a degenerate, horrible grammar having gerneration.

If you ain’t some pussy bitch, working at a bank, playing racquet ball on the weekends, you need to check this list out because you know that podcasting is the zine making of 2015.

LET’S GO!   

Here’s the official, top 5 best podcasting mics for podcasting mother fuckers.

Budget microphones

The ATZ12   

Dildo mic

This beauty right here is the industry standard and also the microphone that I most often recommend people start off with. Anyone who knows anything about mics has had one of these practically touching their lips. This is a really versatile little beast, with a classic plug in and a standing base that will support pretty much any recording format.

You can plug in directly, and get busy right out of the box. You’d have to be a complete moron not to know what to do with this mic.

The ATZ12 is made of high quality rubber and can handle even the roughest of recording formats.

High Quality Podcasting Microphones

When I say high quality, I’m talking high for your average recording studio. Of course, a guy like Marc Maron is able to afford whatever mic he wants to put his lips on, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Marc spent a lot of his days in his garage starring directly at this next mic, which is an industry favorite.

The Black Yeti

Black mic

This is a USB condenser microphone that has been used by Podcasters and general audio producers the world over. It is, of course, the Black Yeti which obviously is black as the new moon night sky and powerful, let me tell you. The Black Yeti, or as I like to call it, Jamal, comes in at around $45 (note: currently discounted to under 20, used on craigslist last time I looked, and who knows, it might even come with a new co host for your podcast…).

The Black Yeti offers excellent quality audio thanks to it’s condenser capsules and is amazingly easy to use with a plug and play connection. What I mean by that is, you can literally just plug it in, and it starts working right away. This by-passes a lot of mumbo jumbo on your computer, making sure that you get the best quality recording, no matter what equipment your computer sports.

Lastly, the Black Yeti comes with it’s own stand, so it’s a good first step if you want to jump in at the high-end and not have to worry about accessories like stands, because without a stand this massive black mofo will fall like Jenga.

The RBT990

Rabbit mic

At this level you can also get some really good quality condenser microphones. I personally use the RBT990 Condenser for all my recording. I mount it on my stand, turn it on, and to be honest it almost feels like the mic does all the work for me. I’m not sure what the RBT is, but I found it for $28 and it’s been worth every penny. The mic sits on it’s stand next to my desk and I pull it up onto the desk every time I need to do a recording, which these days is about every three hours or so.

Bear in mind that this is an battery operated microphone so now you’re moving into the realms of vibration recorders, but this is something many podcasters get to eventually.

I recently heard Moshe Kasher from The Champs Podcast enthuse about the RBT990 so I’m glad I’m in good company in liking this podcasting microphone.

The Double Prodcaster

Double mic

Now we’re getting serious.

You not only gotta be a pretty hardcore podcaster to use this microphone, but you kind of need a friend/co host to make this mic really worth the extra money you pay for it.

The Double Prodcaster is an absolutely excellent dynamic podcast microphone, but the price is creeping up a little now when you include stands and shockmount. This is an XLR microphone and the only thing that makes it worth the money is that two people can podcast with this mic at the very same time. It’s a dynamic microphone! That means you can plug it into a 1/4″ jack just as easily as XLR with the right cable, so you have a little more flexibility in how it can be used, plus, like I said, if I’m podcasting, you can be right next to me, podcasting with me at the exact same time, right on the other side of the mic! It even has a built in pop filter so you have a little help with your plosives.

If you plan on podcasting with anyone else at anytime, then this is certainly the microphone for you!

And last but not least.

Shure VG58

fleshlight mic

If you want that extra level of depth to your Podcast, it might be worth going for this condenser microphone. Condenser microphones work in an entirely different, un-fathomable way, but suffice to say, they introduce a higher level of deepness to your recordings. However, and this is key, that only applies in the right context, and that context is not suitable always for female podcasters.   

The problem is, because of their sensitivity, condenser microphones tend to pick up a lot of background noise. This means you need a nice quiet recording environment, and other tools to really take advantage of the quality this mic offers. They also tend to be a lot more fragile, so they’re no good for carrying around in your bag and often, my female podcasting friends don’t seem to like this mic so much.

Essentially, if you want the best quality, you need the microphone that works best for you.

These are just my top five podcasting mics, for serious podcasting.

Of course, the alternative is to experiment with different microphones yourself and develop your own taste for the perfect podcast mic.

There really is no right answer.

Conclusion – How to Choose your Mic

The important factors that determine what microphone you should go for are:

  1. Shape
  2. Size
  3. Color
  4. Your Budget

A Question For You on Podcast Microphones

What podcast microphones do you use and like? I’d love to hear your feedback – please do let me know in the comments below if you have any of the mics listed above, or whether there are any you think I’ve missed.

HAPPY PODCASTING!

An ode to my grandmother, Sue Deery.

An ode to my grandmother, Sue Deery.

 

Let’s pour a little caffeine-free diet Coke on the ground for the last of my grandparents to enter the halls of the eternal.

Fly on, Sue Deery. We shall celebrate you

.Granny

There’s certainly more than a few nice things I could say about my grandmother, who I called Me-Mom, but for starters, she always had candy for a youngster.

Always.

And not just those old school mints that would clump together into one mass of sugary nastiness, either.

Yes, she had those, and I did love how they would melt in your mouth, no matter how big the clump was, but she also had M&M’s. And that bomb Italian stuff. Hard candy and boxes of chocolate.

She fed our addictions like a good grandmother does.

The only soda I had a kid was at Me-Mom’s house.

Sure, it was caffeine-free diet Coke, but I was 10, I didn’t give a shit that it tasted like stale Coke rotting in a tin crapper for a week, all I knew was that Me-Mom would let me have up to 7 in one night if I played my cards right, and she would never even try to catch me nabbing a few extras here and there, and drinking them in the basement.

Sue knew.

She knew how to handle the kids. Every Christmas she would hand me the Sears catalog and say,

“Pick out anything you want, David.”

And I would spend hours freaking out, pointing at different race tracks and robots and Transformers and bikes, and in a wave of excitement I would settle on the most expensive thing I could find, like the truest scam artist I thought I was. But no one could out hustle Me-Mom, because every year it was exactly the same thing. A card, with 20 dollars in it. Love, Me-Mom. What a genius.

She never once yelled at me. Not once. And as Me-Mom got older, I could kind of understand why she never yelled or got upset with me. Once her memory started playing tricks on her, I could really get a view on how this women operated.

A few years ago, when it was unclear if she even remembered who I was, we all with her in her nursing home and I was asking her questions about what she was up to. She couldn’t remember anything in the past. Not even what she had for breakfast. This moment kind of scared me, because that’s kind of scary. But not Sue. Nope. She laughed and smiled and couldn’t give a shit about what she had for breakfast.

“Do you still dance Me-Mom?” I asked her.

“Well shoot. PROBABLY. Why wouldn’t I dance?”

She literally laughed that stuff off in the most sane way. Not even kidding. No fear. Just in that moment, and happy to live that moment. She taught me how to enjoy life right now, as it’s happening. My Me-Mom would have been amazing on mushrooms. When everyone would be freaking out and crying in fear, scared of death, Me-Mom would have laughed and just smiled and trusted that everything was groovy.

I’ll remember my Me-Mom as happy. I’ll remember the dumplings. I’ll remember the reunions and I’ll remember her laugh. She had a great laugh.

And I’m sure she laughed in the face of death when he walked into her room.

“OOOOOOOOOH. HI. Want some candy young man?”

Rest in peace, Sue Deery, Me-Mom. You will be missed.

Breaking up with Kreuzberg.

Breaking up with Kreuzberg.

Dear Kreuzberg.

No need to beat around the trashed-by-weed-dealers bush.

It’s been real, but I’m out. You party too much for me. You don’t even wait for the weekends anymore, you just show up on my doorstep on a Tuesday, beer in hand and scream, “Let us make party, JA?”

“No, thank you.” I whisper softly, afraid that you’ll get upset if I show any signs of “negativity,” like, not wanting to drink, or not wanting to scream on the streets, or not wanting to smash glass all over the streets, or not wanting to play shitty music three meters away from the next guy playing shitty music on the streets.

When did street musicians all get full PA systems and amps? Jesus, does the music need to be that loud for anyone with any musical taste to realize your music sucks?

Honestly.

There’s nothing more depressing than seeing some shitty street musician, jamming away with that old, “whether there’s 2 or 200 people, I’m gonna jam my ass off” attitude, for a bunch of people hustling past him with their heads down pretending they don’t notice there’s a guy with an electric guitar blasting crappy music into their ears.

I hate how optimistic some artists are about their own art.

“JUST SHOVE IT IN THEIR FACES AND THEY’LL LOVE IT!”

The only thing worse than that is to see some shit-bag emo street singer, sounding like the worst possible variation of Coldplay mixed with horse shit, mixed with cow shit, mixed with dog shit, with a full crowd of people standing there, ACTUALLY listening to his horrendous music.

What the hell? Are you people hearing what I’m hearing? No wonder the guy’s all kinds of emo, listen to his music. Look at his haircut. Just thinking about this whole scene is making me suicidal.

But I digress. This is a break-up letter. It’s not about the music, Kreuzberg, it’s about you hanging out with these musicians, and jugglers and alternative tour guides, and capitalistic bar owners and so on….

You’ve lost your personality.

Speaking of no personality. Congratulations to that hipster bar on Wrangler Str for celebrating one year of making the neighborhood even shittier and louder and drunker! The balloons were a nice touch, but the mass of drunken fucktards breaking shit and screaming were exactly what that neighborhood needed.

Keep pumping that shit music, and why just have Dj’s on the weekend?

No Kreuzberg, I’m not happy with you. Long gone are the days of sitting on the stairs in the park with Anne, Paula, Vince, Matze, Daniel, Jule, and other reasonable people you chased away.

And now, I’m gone too.

No more broken glass. No more three-hour lines for ice cream. No more, “Oh, cool, how long have you been in Berlin.” No more beer bikes, Segway tours, Que Pasa. No racist German’s from Schoeneweide looking for Chalet, and so on and so forth.

I wish we could stay friends, but honestly, I’m worried about you. I feel like you’re not the neighborhood I fell in love with and you don’t even care. You’re in love with money, and young woman, and real estate.

Oh well, who am I to judge. Be you, Kreuzberg. I’ll never forget that first time I set eyes on you in 2003.

I’ll remember you like that, forever.

Tchüss.

 

 

PROOF there is no such thing as karma!

PROOF there is no such thing as karma!

 

Let the party begin. KARMA IS BULLSHIT!

And here’s how I know.

I RECENTLY GOT MARRIED AND…….

Marissa

.days before the wedding, no one showed up at my house demanding I have a bachelor party, before renting out the top of a bar and forcing me to booze my face off and let a random stripper grind on my lap even though I don’t have an interest in any of those things, which is exactly what I did to a guy name Eric *Rusher in 2000.

.No one cuffed a cup to my hand, demanding I drink anything they put in it, until I was so drunk I could hardly remember whether they also made me do drugs, or made me lie down while gross strippers rubbed up on my chest and got their gross private parts WAAAAAAAAAAAY to close to my face, like I made my best friend *Nohan go through in 2006.

..No one got so drunk at my wedding they fell off a roof while playing with kids, like I did in 1999.

..No one ran around my wedding party with devil ears on, groping every woman in sight and drinking so much booze they succeeded in sleeping with someone who just so happened to be engaged, like I did in 2003.

..No one got so drunk they puked outside, like I did at my mom’s best friend’s wedding when I was 12.

.No one got in a drunkin fight like I think me and a bunch of my cousins did at my drunkin cousins wedding.

.No one was so drunk they started calling me by my hippie name while the entire wedding party was like, who the fuck is this best man, and why doesn’t he know Sean’s real name, like I did at my boy Merton’s wedding in front of like 70 people.

..No ex boyfriends of my wife to be showed up.

..No ex girlfriends of mine.

..No pissed off friends.

.No drama.

And on top of that, after all the horrible ways I’ve acted to women, I happened to meet a really beautiful, mellow, cool, accepting woman.

NO FUCKIN WAY KARMA IS REAL.