Monday, September 17, 2007

Electric Arc Radio Season Premiere Review

The best comedic/dramatic/live radio show not on the radio, Electric Arc Radio season premiere kicked off September 15 at the Women's Club (Loring Park) to a sold-out crowd of hundreds. Detailing the lives of four tormented writers, with Alan Greenspan living in their backyard treehouse, and neighbor, notorious punk poet Paul D. occasionally dropping by to "lay down a few soft words about life, living and the pursuit of whatever."

When I first saw Electric Arc Radio perform at Creative Electric for an audience of several dozen, I laughed till I cried. Even snorted. Meaning its really funny. Bac then, over two or three years ago, I knew it was the most hilarious thing out there, replete with wacky (and wacked) characters, hilariously bad one liners that'll make you bust your gut, hot tub humor, squirrel and pidgeon hunting in the backyard by Greenspan, writers compulsively bursting into sentimental song and Britney and Madonna covers, and telling sad but true tales of life in a little house in a big city.

Electric Arc Radio makes lit hip, not highbrow, and no subject is sacred as the writers candidly reveal their hopes and fears, anger and angst "getting lost in their forest minds, wondering why the world left them behind." The shows are filled with storytelling and songs, including music throughout by local musical guests such as The New Standards, the Owls and Walker Kong.

The Fall 2007 season premiere featured performances by Little Man, whose big dramatic energy was a perfect psychedelic rock-n-roll match for the rock energy of Electric Arc Radio's sold-out show at the Women's Club in Loring Park.

This episode began when a new light rail stop was put in the writers' front yard because a councilmember (who wakes up to German techno) had eyeballs that went bad. Punk poet Paul D. cuts his lawn with scissors, Brady goes on a light-rail adventure to the Mall of America and gets sick on Cinnabons, Sam finds possible love, possibly not a potential killer, on Facebook which is hosting a new meetup campaign: "poke 'em on the lightrail" and Mark Wheat of the Current poses the philosophical question, "If you meet love on myspace, is it a person, or persona you're in love with? And, if girlfriends in the past have threatened to shoot you, can you fall in love again?" The lightrail brings life to the small street, and Steph learns how to make salmon loaf with brandy. Herbach learns from Clerky the liquor store clerk, that rollerskates (two mini-lightrails), are really where its at, he sings a sentimental ode to his shiny new skates as he flies past dumpsters and between cars, and punk poet Paul D., torn up about the lightrail, shares a poem, and decides to tear up the rails for scrap metal, making enough to throw a kegger with a bonfire in the backyard.

Electric Arc Radio is hilariously demented, sending gales of laughter through the audience. One of the best comedic dramas I've ever seen with humor ringing reflectively of the idiosyncracies of life, I addictively look forward to new episodes every couple weeks.

Upcoming shows feature musical guests: Haley Bonar (9/29), Storyhill (10/13), Fran King (10/27), Mary and J.G. Everest (11/10).

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