Morning Music: Firesign Theatre

How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at AllThis morning, we do something different. Instead of music, I thought we would do a little comedy. But not just any comedy — Firesign Theatre comedy, which is much more than just skits. In general, I find I have to listen to their albums many times to get a majority of what’s going on. My first introduction to the group was finding Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him that someone was throwing away. I was blown away. I had never imagined that such things were possible. The first track of the album is, “Temporarily Humboldt County.” It tells the story of the western invasion of the Americas in a brilliantly incisive way. Listening to it today, it’s a bit ethnocentric. But given it is comedy, it does a better job than most Americans today do. (I found this in the comments to my article, Ayn Rand and Indians.) Unfortunately, I mostly just find the track sad — brilliant, but sad.

Today, I want to highlight their second album, How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All. The second side of the album consists of “The Further Adventures of Nick Danger” — a 28 minute long parody of the hard-boiled detective radio play. It slips back and forth between the story and the telling of the story. And as usual, it is filled with puns. My favorite part is where the character Rocky Rococo — who has the voice of Peter Lorre — says, “I’m dead! This hasn’t happened to me since M!” Brilliant stuff.

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