New York City Indie Rock Duo Supersmall Release New LP, Silent Moon, and It’s Brilliant

Silent Moon by Supersmall

A week ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, I happened to randomly click on the link of a tweet by @colindempsey and listened to his storytelling/stand-up comedy performance on YouTube. The first thing I noticed was his Irish accent which always makes me perk up, and the second was that he was genuinely funny. So I tweeted to him to tell him how much I enjoyed the video and we started chatting and he told me that he’s a singer-songwriter and one-half of the New York City based indie rock duo, Supersmall. As I’m a big fan of Irish musicians, I immediately went to their Bandcamp profile and listened to a couple of tracks from their latest album, Silent Moon. I was not only immediately captivated, but I love their sound so much that I purchased the album. I haven’t been this delighted by a new music discovery since I met Melbourne based, Irish singer-songwriter Andy White five years ago. For those of you who know me, you know what that means. True love for an artist of whom I will forever be a fan, and the same goes for Colin Dempsey and Supersmall. So, please read further and better yet, listen to Supersmall on Bandcamp or their website (links below) and see if you don’t feel the same way.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(New York, NY) New York City-based, indie rock duo, Supersmall, announce their new LP, Silent Moon.  The LP was produced, recorded and mixed by Tom Beaujour at Nuthouse Recording, who’s worked with Roadrunner Records, Prosthetic Records and Barsuk Records.

A little older, a little bit more experimental, the album takes you through a daydream-like stretch of jazzy melodies, retro-rock and songs sung out to sea. A truly original sound inspired by artists such as Neil Finn and Pink Floyd, there is a sophisticated balance of poetic lyrics that span religion to untraditional love songs, honest vocals and intricate guitar—all amidst an ethereal atmosphere of keyboards, strings and trumpet.

Supersmall is composed of singer-songwriter, Colin Dempsey, and drummer, Daniela Schiller. Supersmall drummer Daniela Schiller and guitarist / lead vocalist Colin DempseyDempsey is an Irish writer and storyteller based in New York. He has performed his unique blend of indie-rock music in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and most recently, the US. Schiller is a musician, storyteller and Neuroscientist, who leads the Schiller Lab of Affective Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In 2013, the duo released their debut EP, This Other World. The Indie Blender says, “Dempsey’s and Schiller’s experience as musicians is evident in this pristinely produced collection of dreamy folk songs.”

Indie-Music.com says the two “make a compelling duo; a very organic and natural partnership of storytellers whose lyrical content shine among these seven well-crafted songs.” They also featured This Other World on their 13 Editor Picks of 2013 list. Silent Moon is the band’s sophomore project, released February 2016.

Colin and Daniela met on the New York storytelling scene – both are also writers and big fans of good whiskey. Most importantly, they are close friends and all of this shines through on the record.

The next time you’re in New York, look them up and try to catch a live show, they’ll have whiskey.

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Craig Ferguson, I Love You But This Needs To Be Said!

Craig Ferguson Does This Need To Be Said

DVD REVIEW

Title: Craig Ferguson: Does This Need To Be Said?
Studio/Distributor: Comedy Central
Director: Keith Truesdell
Principle Cast: Craig Ferguson, Jeff Arnold, Chris Saladin
Length: 65 minutes
Released: 2010
Stars: 3.0

Well Craig, as a fan of over ten years, and someone who has watched The Late Late Show regularly for seven seasons since you’ve been the host, I’d say that most of what you deliver in Does This Need To Be Said?, (Comedy Central’s stand-up special featuring you) has already been said by you before.  I’ve seen your stand-up show twice and the material on this DVD is nothing new.  However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t funny and entertaining.  Fresh, it isn’t.  Charming, you definitely are!

Being able to play your dancing & lip-synching performance of Oops! I Did It Again by Britney Spears over and over again at the end of your routine is worth the price of the DVD alone.  In fact, I wish you’d release a DVD collection of all your dancing & lip-synching performances with the puppets and staff that you’ve showcased on The Late Late Show because they’re awesome!  They make us grin from ear to ear, laugh out loud, and want to sing along all at the same time.  And while I have this opportunity, it’s time to get rid of that freakin’ robot already!!

Okay, now where was I?

Does This Need To Be Said? opens with Craig receiving a standing ovation from a packed Nashville theatre, while he prances around the stage to the song I’ve Got The Strangest Feeling and Chris Saladin (a.k.a. “Gunther”), in a white pseudo-bondage ensemble, fingers a flute as the classy Jeff Arnold swings his saxophone.  Ferguson’s first words to the audience are his signature, “It’s a great day for America everybody!”  After which he makes up for not being able to say f**k on his show by cussing incessantly in his charismatic way.  Sadly, it’s true that Ferguson is losing the edges of his celebrated burr and now sounds more American than Scottish, but that doesn’t detract from his delivery.  It’s just that if he’s not the Scottish comedian we’ve all come to know and love, who is he (an actor, a writer, a minion of CBS)?

Craig tells the audience that he’s there to tell them a dirty joke and he does, but not before taking 60 minutes to review his wayward youth, in which he was a member of a heavy metal band called Stag.  He riffs about the Pope; talks about talking to his 9½ year old son about sex (who carries a swear jar around after his father, in which he’s raising his college tuition); comments on Charlie Sheen; and describes how two toads taught him everything he knows about sex education.  He also offers a series of comedic vignettes on famous celebrity sex scandals including Tiger Woods, Kevin Costner and his boss, David Letterman.  Craig revisits the best day he ever had at work: when he heard that Dick Cheney had shot his lawyer in the face; the reason why Kate Winslet will never be on his show; the tale of Fabio getting hit in the head by a goose; proof of the existence of God (Siegfried & Roy – say no more!), why he loves Larry King; the horror of realizing that his balls are leaving him; the complexities of the Internet; what it’s like to be married to a woman from a posh Yankee family; and recounting his life as an alcoholic.  Did I laugh?  Hell, yeah!

The extras on this DVD – a short film of Craig arriving in Nashville and an unknown fan’s rap session about him – are boring and didn’t need to be included, but that’s not why you’d buy Does It Need To Be Said? The Full Concert Experience anyway.

As other people have said before, Craig is a positive comedian who doesn’t hurt or offend people with his humour (at least most of the time, but then there was that incident with Kevin Costner!) and yet still manages to come off as a boisterous, swearing, somewhat perverted middle-aged man.  But he pokes fun at himself more than anyone else and we can definitely see the humour in that.

What I know to be true about Craig Ferguson is that he is a wonderful, highly intelligent, multi-talented man who has the ability to move people in many different ways but for some reason he’s choosing to lean on what’s worked for laughs in the past and hasn’t created anything new and exciting in a while.  And I think it’s time for him to do that.  This man has so much heart, soul and brain power that he should have won every performance award out there by now.  Even with the same old lame gags on The Late Late Show, he’s still one of the most interesting people on television.  If you saw him interview Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Dr. Cornell West, you’ll know what I mean.  So imagine what he could do if he sat down and wrote some new material!

I’d like to see Craig take a risk and push the envelope more with his comedy.  I know he’s as much of a fan of Billy Connolly as I am, and I’d like to see him be as daring with his presentation.  His swearing doesn’t bother me, because as he said, he’s a friendly cusser and swears in good humour, but it’s the resting on his laurels that does bother me.  Craig, don’t be afraid to attract a wider audience.  While I love a double entendre as much as anyone, you’re not just a foul-mouthed Scotsman and I don’t want you to dumb down your act for the masses.  Be true to yourself and let your intellect shine!

Maybe you just need to have some new experiences to share…

One Funny Lady: Deborah Kimmett At The Octave Theatre On Thursday, September 29th!

Coming this week!!

Deb Kimmett is One Funny Lady

 

Thursday, September 29th
7:30 pm
Octave Theatre, 711 Dalton Ave., Kingston

$25 plus HST available at The Grand Theatre Box Office 613-530-2050  http://www.kingstongrand.ca

Get out the waterproof mascara because ONE FUNNY LADY Deborah Kimmett is coming to town with her one-woman show.

For ninety minutes Kimmett will regale the audience with hilarious stories, quirky characters and her fast paced jaw-aching humour. From her bang on story of cheating on her hairdresser, her addiction to fossil fuel and her hilarious views about divorce, aging and online dating, she will have the audience laughing from start to finish.

An accomplished author and story-teller, Deborah is heard regularly sparring on the CBC Radio and television show, The Debaters.  She performs often at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and has had two comedy specials on CBC’s Laugh out Loud.  A twenty-year veteran of the Second City Theatre,  the Governor General Award nominated playwright  also writes for magazines such as More and is a regular columnist in Kingston Life for which she has been nominated two years in a row for National Magazine Awards for Humour.

She is the writer and co-creator of the CTV’S new show Going Home, the author of two books Reality is Over Rated, and That which Doesn’t Kill you Makes you Funnier.  Her new novel, Out Running Crazy, is about to be published.

Don’t miss this fabulous show!

Find Deborah Kimmett on Facebook.
Watch Deb Kimmett on YouTube.
Connect with Deborah on LinkedIn.

Derek Edwards’ Blunderful Life is Freakin’ Hilarious and Entirely Relatable!

Stand-up Comedian Derek Edwards

Last night, I had the profound pleasure of attending a fabulous comedic event at the recently refurbished Grand Theatre in Kingston. Canadian stand-up comic Derek Edwards is certainly at the peak of his career and while I had seen him before in a brief set at the 1st Annual Toronto Just For Laughs in July 2007, where he had to share the stage with five other comedians plus gala host Craig Ferguson, all I could I remember thinking about him was that he was pretty good but sounded like he had post nasal drip!

As it says on his website (www.derekedwards.ca), Derek’s current tour, “It’s a Blunderful Life” encompasses “common sense and an inspired sense of the ridiculous – a potent combination for a night of great laughs.”

“A 14-year vet of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and the only Canadian to win the prestigious Vail, Colorado, Invitational Comedy Competition, Edwards is universally considered to be among the top comics in the country. Certainly his peers think so, as evidenced by the fact that he’s a four-time nominee, and winner of Best Standup Comic – Canadian Comedy Awards, and by his Gemini nominations for Best Performance in a Comedy.” ~ Shantero Productions Inc. Media Release

The award-winning Derek Edwards took the stage promptly at 8:00 pm and for the next 90 minutes riffed effortlessly on everything that’s funny and relatable about being a Canadian, and in particular, an Ontarian. His accent is authentic, although I think he laid it on thick to pretend he’s less intelligent than he really is (Edwards is undoubtedly an extremely bright, Roadrunner-quick-witted man) and his pleasant face is capable of conveying every emotion imaginable. Originally from Timmins, Ontario, which he talked about in some detail, including his experience of being on “Pogie” (unemployment insurance) while living there; Derek is warm, personable, and seems thoroughly comfortable on stage.

He opened the show with a discussion about a recent news article that proclaims that British Columbia residents drink more alcohol (by 11 beers per year) on an annual basis than other Canadians and he thinks THAT’S JUST WRONG! He challenged Ontarians to step up to the plate and consume one more alcoholic beverage than normal so that we can lead this race!

He was very topical about current events, and covered everything from eating buffalo chicken fingers (“Chickalos”) for breakfast while being on tour and not really having any concept of what time it is; to travelling on the 401 and stopping in to the exquisite and legendary theme park that is The Big Apple; to the numerous disappointing betrayals of life which include being tricked into paying for things that he doesn’t really need, such as having to pay ridiculous vet bills for getting his dog neutered and then having the veterinary assistant suggest that he might want to buy fake, plastic testicles for the dog so it wouldn’t suffer from a lack of self-esteem after its traumatic experience at the animal hospital!

He takes every day things and occurrences that we are all familiar with such as the seasonal, greedy consumerism of chain stores and the fact that Shoppers Drug Mart asks its customers to do its Christmas shopping in a pharmacy; to how President Obama is doing during his first year in office; to the fact that Norwegians have 100 words for reindeer; to having his wife count the number of beers he drinks at a party; and connects with everyone on an emotional level that leaves them in stitches.

Kingston’s audience was so quick to get his jokes that on a couple of occasions he didn’t even have to finish them and exclaimed, “You are the best audience EVER!” He kept the entire crowd laughing non-stop and by the time I left, my face ached. In fact, I was the person to start the well-deserved standing ovation that proceeded.

I cannot recommend Derek Edwards highly enough for a night out that will guarantee you the best medicine that life has to offer: belly laughs a plenty!

Derek is at the Brockville Arts Centre tonight (Dec. 13, 2009) and at the Ottawa Centrepointe Theatre on Monday night (Dec. 14, 2009) and is on tour in Ontario until the 21st of December. If you have a chance to see this brilliant comic’s uproarious show, do NOT miss him!