Friday, January 14, 2011

Brian Scolaro's "Sneezes, Farts and Orgasms"


The new release from Brian Scolaro, Sneezes, Farts And Orgasms, is a sort-of re-release of his Disaster that came out in 2010. I enjoyed Disaster as it was, but Scolaro took it and spiced it up a bit. He's like a master chef who took a dish from TGI Friday's and punched it up to Gordon Ramsay-esque approval.

Some of the tracks on SF&O are lifted directly from Disaster. Some are alternate - and I think better - versions of the same bits, and some are brand-new bits, sketches, and interviews.

Scolaro's laid-back approach is less like listening to a yuk-yuk stand up comic and more like hanging out with a buddy on a Saturday afternoon - a buddy who has some pretty hilarious stories to share.

It's easy to relate to Scolaro's humor because he talks about real life. We've all heard noises coming from our body we're not used to, we struggle with self-image, and we've all had sneezing fits. I just never realized how funny some of those things can be until I heard them from Scolaro's point of view.

Whether he's plotting revenge on early-bird tree trimmers or doing his impression of a motorcycle idling outside your window, Scolaro has figured out the best laughs are sometimes found by using noises rather than words.

Thrown in here and there are a handful of sketches and voice mail "complaints" that break up the material and serve as palette-cleansing ginger. Almost like a radio DJ doing a segue from one song to the next, these bits help the album flow from one premise to another. They don't all reach the comedic hilarity of the final sketch on the CD "Flu Shots" - Scolaro smartly saved the best one for last - but they are a nice way to let Scolaro stretch a bit and take on other personas. Sometimes he plays the straight man and sometimes he takes the role of, oh, the Pope's Brother for instance.

One of the tracks I was most-excited to see included is an excerpt from Marc Maron's amazing WTF podcast. Scolaro's appearance on one of the live episodes shows that he is equally hilarious in an interview setting and I loved hearing Maron laughing to the point of breathlessness.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard this new project was basically a re-make of his last project, but I'm glad he did. This isn't a George Lucas "you've destroyed what didn't need fixed" kind of update. Scolaro knew what he was doing here, and just like a comic on the road who tests and tweaks his material as necessary, it's nice to see how his comedy is evolving.

If you missed Disaster when it came out, then never fear... Sneezes Farts and Orgasms is here.

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