Monday, March 4, 2013

Nate Craig's "Infinity"



Which is worse, turning your colon into a parking ramp or turning your toilet into a wishing well? That’s the sort of query Nate Craig wrestles with on his new CD, “Infinity,” and it’s random questions like this that made me laugh throughout the entire hour. As he ponders the nutritional value of a 99-cent quarter pounder, Craig finally decided that it’s probably healthier to just eat the 99 cents. Problem solved, let’s move on.

Craig isn’t a comedian who just stands on stage and asks rhetorical questions. He is a rarity in that he also provides answers. Finally. He freely admits he’s not the first comic to wonder how socks disappear in the dryer, but he just may be the first to give us the solution (and it’s not a magical portal like we’re often led to believe. The answer is much simpler than that, dummies)

It’s plain from the very beginning that things here are going to be a bit different than usual. When Craig is met with a lackluster response after being brought onstage, he gives the audience a pep talk worthy of The Gipper himself. He leaves the stage and has himself re-introduced and wouldn’t you know it, it works.  When he proudly declares that kids on leashes “seems right” and admits he really could care less about the recession (because being broke means you’re basically recession-proof), I knew we were going to get along just fine.

Not only does Craig have a real knack for touching on childhood memories I had nearly forgotten about (the kid who, after the baseball game during the “hand-shake ritual,” doesn’t say “good game, good game”) but he also has a nicely skewed view of the idiosyncrasies of being an adult such as the person who stretches the truth about where they’re from, the reason investing in gold makes no sense (and the commodity that actually needs picked up), and the high-speed scrap metal game of Jenga the Mexicans have so ingeniously mastered.

There are a lot of big laughs packed into each of the 19 tracks on the CD. In fact, there isn’t a skippable cut to be found on the project and for one that almost touches the 60-minute mark that’s really saying a lot. Craig has unique insight on food poisoning (basically what happens when your body fires you) and he’s onto something when, despite the musings of his feminist mother, he lists the only two things a man can do better than a woman. One of my favorite moments comes when Craig takes Benjamin Franklin to task (of all  people, but trust me on this, you won't want to miss it). Yes, Franklin had clever rhyming quips that would help make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, but Craig is more interested in whiskey, sex, and brunch.

Infinity is a wonderful album and there’s something here for everyone, regardless of your personal comedic tastes. Despite the fact Craig supplies us with a lot of answers to life’s mysteries, he doesn’t claim to have all the answers, and that’s OK. In fact, his biggest enemy is his own mind, which often proves to be a worthy foil because although we only use 10% of our brains, our brains use 100%. Never fear, however, as Craig has found a way to confound the seemingly unconfoundable. I just hope you like the taste of boogers.



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