Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Steve Poltz; June 20, 2012; Kiki’s House of Righteous Music

It’s hard to describe Steve Poltz to someone who hasn’t seen him, but when you do finally come up with the words they usually aren’t about the songs. His songs are good, smart, well-written and melodious, but what you really remember is that the guy is hilarious, and that you laughed so hard you cried. His is a stream of consciousness hilarity, there isn’t anything he thinks that he doesn’t say, no matter how ridiculous or insane it may sound. He’s been this way for as long as I’ve known him, but tonight he had a revelation. “Kiki,” he said to me, “I’ve just realized something tonight… I’m not right in the head.” He looked completely serious about it, like maybe he was concerned. “I know,” I told him, “that’s what so great about you.”

He is touring behind the new Noineen Noiny Noin, which may sound like gibberish, but was actually the answer when Poltz asked an Australian how long he had been coming to their country. If you say it with your best Crocodile Dundee accent it translates to 1999. And Poltz loves to say it. He played most of the songs from the record, as well as several from the accompanying bonus EP titled Noineen Noiny Noin and a Haff, each time announcing the record title with obvious glee. In fact, the only thing he liked saying as much as Noineen Noiny Noin was “Kiki’s House of Righteous Music.” And he said it a lot. When he wasn’t doing his best Aussie accent, he was doing his French. One of the laugh till you cry moments came when he was telling the story of how he would get his sister in trouble in church by making her laugh. In this story it was reciting the “Our Father” in an outrageous French accent. I would have been in trouble too.

However the real make your stomach hurt moment had to do with a bag of porn and a Kermit the Frog voice. You’ll have to see the video because there is no way to describe the story of how he was in the hospital croaking “bag of porn” as he was about to be put under anesthesia. I cried. While the record may have an Australian inspired title, the songs come from all over. Wait… did I just miss a chance to say Noineen Noiny Noin again? Sorry about that. Anyway, his musical travels also take him to “Croatia” and feel the “Serbian Breeze,” while “Ordinary Dude” is obviously Irish inspired. The most unexpected track is “Check Your Head,” which owes more to Beck’s Midnight Vultures than the Beastie Boys record of the same name. I completely disagree with his assertion “Some Things about Me You Should Know,” but I adore “Killing Myself to Be with You” which is vintage Poltz.

He may not be right in the head, but that is exactly what makes him so entertaining.

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