Monday, May 14, 2012

Andy Woodhull's "Lucy"

With the release of his new CD Lucy, Andy Woodhull makes a strong first impression. This isn't his first album but it was my first introduction to the Hoosier native (bonus points for that) and already I can't wait to hear even more. This project is an enjoyable journey through a land where frosting is served in shot glasses and one's favorite drink is a nice swig of hose water (mostly because of the warm, stagnant, rubbery taste you get before the cold water kicks in).

The laid-back cadence of Woodhull reminds me of Mike Birbiglia if Birbiglia had a bit more bite, talked more about sex, and had the brash confidence of Anthony Jeselnik. The crowd warms up to Woodhull quickly and rightfully so; he is likable and very funny (sorry, TBS, if I'm stepping on your slogan).

This CD is 18 tracks in length and Woodhull makes the most of his time, covering an impressive amount of territory. Woodhull has a unique perspective and it's a lot of fun seeing the world through his eyes. Whether it's something simple like his affinity for airports ("I hate to wait in lines but I love to slowly go through easy mazes.") or as mundane as why snow globes make horrible gifts (and the groan-inducing reason behind his suggestion of replacing the snow inside with red pepper flakes), nothing escapes Woodhull's watchful eye.

Woodhull does spend time making observations (my favorite being his amazing critique of the Twilight love story: "I get why the vampire wants to date the girl whose mind he cannot read because I could barely stand to listen to everything she decided to say out loud), but it would be hasty to label him as only an Observational Comic. The majority of his material consists of the re-telling of past experiences. I'm a sucker for a good story -- and storyteller -- and Woodhull has more than earned that descriptor. As a result, there are more laugh-inducing tales on the project than I will be able to touch on here, but that's a good thing. My personal favorites include his struggle to change a tire in the winter while wearing mittens (pronounced mitt-tens), his surprised/disappointed reaction to finding out the guy in the salon who's been cutting his hair for the last three months isn't gay, and the time at a party he teased a girl for being a brown belt in karate and ended up finding out what it means to get "choked out." The hard way.

Although his delivery is generally relaxed and easy-going, that doesn't mean he doesn't get excited. In fact, when he loses his cool it brings a nice intensity to his humor that amplifies the funny. Watching (or rather, hearing) him get bent out of shape because no one believes he saw a wolf makes for some solid laughs, and when he begins his tirade on cake balls, where they come from, and the bastard muffin offspring they produce (and the rug-ruining cranberry poop they leave behind), well...just get ready. There are big laughs waiting.

But that's not all. I haven't even touched on the time he forced his college roommate into a 60% rape of his senses (it's not as bad as it sounds. Or maybe it is) or how the grease-only dumpster behind his apartment inspired the creation of BBBBBLT sandwiches or the harrowing day he came home to find his dog Lucy had unwrapped -- and eaten -- 100 condoms (Woodhull perfectly captures the moment by describing it as looking like the football team broke into his apartment and had an incredibly responsible orgy)

I said all that to say that Woodhull has a lot of stories to share and I think it's safe to say you're gonna like 'em. I admit I may have a tinge of bias (us Hoosier transplants have to stick together) but then again, funny is funny no matter where you're from. And when Woodhull describes what a guy from Indiana might do when face-to-face with a wild mountain lion for the first's pretty freakin' funny.  

To sum up my thoughts for this album, I have to quote the King of Babalu himself, Ricky Ricardo. I love Lucy.


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