Author: Josh Kinal

Round 4: I’m Already Bored

It takes a lot to keep me interested in a tipping competition. Last week my stupid dice only tipped 4 out of a possible 8. That's not the magical results I was hoping for and I'm starting to get bored.

Incidentally, the dice I'm using are in an iPhone app called Diceshaker. Is that more or less nerdy? Am I relying on an unreliable randomiser?

Anyway, I might venture into a store this weekend and get myself a couple of actual d100s to use and see if that makes any difference.

In the meantime, here are my tips for this week:

  • Richmond to beat Collingwood by 37 points
  • Hawthorn to lose to West Coast
  • Carlton to beat Essendon
  • Sydney to beat Geelong
  • Port Adel to beat Adelaide
  • Gold Coast to lose to Melbourne
  • Fremantle to lose to North Melb

Simon Munnery: Self Employed

IMG 29059:30pm 14 April, Bosco Theatre, City Square

There was a time when Simon Munnery was probably in the top 3 comedians in the world. The first half of this show is a reminder of that time.

Each line Munnery utters has multiple levels to it and is probably also interrupted by an aside that adds a couple layers more. It's a pleasure to watch. It's the mastery that we saw in Alan Parker: Urban Warrior and The League Against Tedium, but he stood before us in a two-piece suit doing what was essentially straight stand-up; That's something I haven't seen him do before.

Unfortunately he can't keep that energy up for the whole show and the second half starts to drag. Even when watching a Simon Munnery show drag, it's still better than pretty much anything else you could see.

A note about the venue: The Bosco theatre is just a tent. It's a tent on one of the noisiest corners Melbourne has to offer. It's ridiculously unfair to the performers and the audience. Nobody should ever have to compete with the ridiculousness of a man, dressed as a rabbit, playing the bass guitar. It's possible that the lag in the show was due to the noise or maybe Munnery just doesn't have the stamina he did 8 years ago. A lot has happened to him in that time. His material relies so much on pointing out the absurdity of real life but sometimes reality is too powerful to compete with.

Written using Plain Text, after getting home and while watching Top Chef Masters.

Maria Bamford

IMG 28997:00pm 14 April, Lower Town Hall, Melbourne Town Hall

We are so lucky to have both Tig Notaro and Maria Banford in town in the one festival.

For all those pathetic humans who say women comedians just aren't funny, they can keep their unfounded beliefs. I'm yet to see a man as talented and diverse as those two this year (but I'm seeing Simon Munnery this evening).

Maria Bamford is back with her particular brand of internal monologue said out loud.* She flits from topic to topic and performs little plays using only her hands.

Bamford is a genius who acts like a child while exposing us to her psyche. It's obscure, particular and extraordinary.

She has the ability to bring us emotionally on stage and then slap us back down to our seats. Everyone is mocked or might be. It's a personal show and it should be taken personally. That's how she means it because that's why it matters.

She closes with a stab at a particular kind of female comedian and it really is a stab. Take that. Bam. She knows what's going on. She's smart, she's funny and she's better than pretty much everyone else out there.

Written using Plain Text, mostly outside the venue before heading out to dinner.
* Everything after this point was written after getting home and while watching
Top Chef Masters.

Marc Maron

IMG 28818:15pm 13 April, Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall

I had to forgo a couple of shows last night because of this god awful cold that makes me just want to sleep all the time.

Tonight I forwent seeing Headliners but managed to get my aching bones up four flights of stairs to see a very competent professional American comedian perform some well-crafted material.

There's not much more for me to say, partly because Maron somehow manages to be generically very good and partly because the pseudo-ephedrine is wearing off.

He's good. I'm sick.

The end.

Written in Plain Text while sitting in the passenger seat of the car on the way home, barely able to lift my own head.

Round 3: A Change of Dice

Last week there was a draw. Also, my dice tipped a draw. That was lucky. What was unlucky was that the drawn game and the game I tipped to be a draw were completely different. Not even on the same day. Stupid dice.

I realised that, using 20-sided dice, my chances of tipping a draw were just 1/20. That's just too high to be a proper random model of a non-random event, or something.

So this week I've changed my rules. Now I use 2 x 100-sided dice to determine the winner of home and away matches. I still use the 1 x 100-sided die for the margin.

Last week I only tipped 3 and the winner of the comp yet again tipped 6. These are my tips for this week.

  • Collingwood to beat Carlton by 36 points
  • W. Bulldogs to lose to Gold Coast
  • Adelaide to lose to Fremantle
  • Richmond to beat Hawthorn
  • West Coast to lose to Sydney
  • Melbourne to lose to Brisbane
  • Geelong to beat Port Adel.
  • St. Kilda to beat Essendon
  • North Melb. Bye

Tig Notaro

20110407-213022.jpg8:15pm 7 April, Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall

It feels like I've gone through my life only thinking I knew about comedy. And the.n Tig Notaro came to town and totally schooled me. Actually she schooled us all.

It's been a really long time since I've heard a whole room roar, snort, guffaw, yelp and sigh so much. She's listed as deadpan but that doesn't even begin to describe her. Descriptions will never do this show justice.

That might sound like a cop-out. "Come on, Josh. It's your fucking job to describe things so we know what to expect." The problem is that Notaro knows that the one important part of her job is to subvert our expectations. She is always one step ahead. Every single joke is perfectly crafted to mess with the audience.

There's no messing with themes to combine the show together. She's not a theme-style comedian. She moves too quickly for that and can't be tied down to a single concepts. Even her one liners take small diversions. I know what you're thinking: "But Josh, they're one liners. There's no room for a diversion." Let me tell you, friends. She's found a way.

She is an extraordinary user of her craft and an absolute pleasure to watch. My cheeks still hurt and I left the room 30 minutes ago.

Written using the WordPress iPhone App on the Pakenham train back to the station where I parked my car.

Read some of my other MICF reviews.

Doc Brown: Unfamous

Doc Brown at MICF9:45pm 6 April, Powder Room, Melbourne Town Hall

Doc Brown, not his real name, used to be a rapper in the UK, toured with De La Soul, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, and Mark Ronson. Now he considers himself to be "unfamous" (rhymes with "infamous").

Through a combination of rap and stand-up, Doc Brown tells the story of his life to this point. Here are some answers to some pretty obvious questions:

  • Yes, it only takes an hour to get through some 30 years of life.
  • Yes, there is live and earnest rapping in a very intimate environment.
  • No, it's nowhere near as awkward as one would think.

In fact, it's so different to awkward that it's actually really enjoyable. He comes on stage and starts rapping straight away and it's almost rewarding; He is so good at it that he commands the room from the moment he steps on stage.

He swaps from stadium-style rap performance to intimate story-telling mode so easily and gracefully that watching him is an absolute pleasure. The narrative lacks a certain amount of cohesion and the jokes are not breaking any new ground but Doc Brown's charisma carries the show. If he can get the other elements working he'll blow minds but in the meantime he leaves the audience with smiles on their faces; In that respect his job is done.

Written the next day, using a combination of Mars Edit and Textmate, after some much needed sleep and getting some actual proper work done.