When I think of music and comedy I think of Adam Sandler and Jack Black, in my opinion two of the funniest men to grace the comedic stage. And when I signed on to see John Roderick and guests at the Showbox I really didn’t know what to expect. I guess it all depends on what kind of humor you enjoy. Personally I have a lewd sense of humor. I enjoy dirty jokes and elementary school tomfoolerly. These guys were dry as dry can be. Which is fine, people like that kind of thing. So much so, as a matter of fact, that the line to get in wrapped all the way around the block.
Seattle has a fascinating dychotomy. There are the tech nerds and the rocks stars, two totally opposite worlds. Which is was what made this show so interesting and perfect for this city. There’s John Roderick, indie rock star extraordinaire, and then there’s John Hodgman, nerd. Not that that’s a bad thing, he happens to be a very talented nerd; a writer, actor, and radio personality who has made guest appearances on shows like Comedy Central’s, The Daily Show. He is funny, smart, and brash. Sounds like the man of my dreams, that is if he knew I existed.
John Roderick on the other hand is just plain cool. He is frontman for The Long Winters, former touring member of Harvey Danger, and collaborator for bands that I happen to worship such as, Death Cab For Cutie and Nada Surf. He is a very talented musician and writer from the Seattle area who is as comfortable on stage as Hodgman is sarcastic.
Roderick along with Hodgman, and the three other guys (what were their names again?) were a real hoot for the nerd herd. I am joking of course. All five men, including Jonathan Coulton, Merlin Mann, and Scott Simpson enjoyed ripping on one another, therefore I feel obliged to throw a few punches for entertainment sake. It is funny to make fun, and in all honesty, I can imagine it being a coping mechanism for those once picked on in high school. Ha!
The music was somewhat lost in the banter, but still very much part of the act. Jonathan Coulton is the man behind the music, alongside Roderick of course. Outside of the comedy tour he sings songs that I can’t even begin to describe. Literally I cannot describe them because they mostly contain lyrics that involve technical jargon and intelligence data, using terms such as “Code Monkey” and “Mandelbrot.” Huh? And I was surprised to see nerds at this show? Well probably because all I read in the headline was, John Roderick and “friends.” Who cares who they are, any friend of John Roderick must be rad. And yes, nerds are rad, especially in Seattle.
All in all the show was quite entertaining. They made smart jokes about vino and i-phones along with naughty jokes about sex toys and peeping toms, it was a perfect combination of wit and crass with a dash of musical panache.