Sep 26, 2019
Dave Ross has a fantastic new album out now called <em>The Only Man Who Has Ever Had Sex</em>. You can download it, but if you see him at a show, you can buy a download card with a special flipbook he’s made with some beautiful photos and silliness. It’s Ross’s attempt to give you a little something extra for your participation, which is something he does in his comedy, as well. A few years ago, I reviewed the aptly-titled album Holy Fuck for the comedy review site The Spit Take. It was a who’s who of alternative comedy taped at the recurring show of the same name, curated by Ross. But his new album was my first prolonged exposure to him, and I’m glad for that.
The album captures his love for dumb comedy and his compulsion to try to say something meaningful. He talks about getting high and eating the best fried chicken he’d ever tasted at a gas station in Florida, but he also interrogates extreme masculinity, poking fun at the type of guys what might utter phrases like, “I want to marry violence” and “I wish I could be a truck.” It’s an appealing mix, and there are a lot of lines that make me laugh just remembering them. I was happy to find that Ross was coming to Boston shortly after the album’s release, to a Monday-night show called CitySide Comedy. I caught up with him there to talk about dumb and thoughtful comedy, the influence of punk, and, as we started the interview as he was finishing his supper, kale.
I usually make at least some minor edits to a conversation to make it flow a bit better or cut out some pauses and stammers, but since we have near-constant background noise, the edits would have been noticeable and distracting. So this is the full thing, start to finish.
You can find out more about him on his Web site at <a href="http://davetotheross.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">www.davetotheross.com</a>, and also find him on <a href="https://twitter.com/davetotheross" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/davetotheross/?hl=en" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Instagram</a> under @davetotheross. The new album is called <em>The Only Man Who Has Ever Had Sex</em>, and it’s out on aspecialthing records now, and you can find them at <a href="http://astrecords.virb.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">www.astrecords.com</a>. Thanks also to Sam Ike and Anjan Biswas of CitySide Comedy for bringing Ross to town. If you happen to live in the Boston area, you can find out about the show on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CitySideComedy/?epa=SEARCH_BOX" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Facebook by searching CitySide Comedy</a>.
This week's featured track is an early rehearsal version of “California Uber Alles” by <a href="http://deadkennedys.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Dead Kennedys</a>. A couple of years before their debut album, <em>Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables</em>, punk pioneers Dead Kennedys got together and recorded a rehearsal of a lot of the music that would wind up on that album. That’s being released on September 27 under the name <em>Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape – San Francisco 1978</em>. Jello Biafra wrote the song about then California governor Jerry Brown, but has said in interviews he softened on Brown a bit once the Reagan era began, and even changed the lyrics to include the line “We’ve got a bigger problem now.” This version is a bit slower and a bit more sinister. The recording is from 1978 and includes the band’s original line-up of Biafra, East Bay Ray and 6025 on guitar, Klaus Flouride on bass, and Ted on drums. It’s a wonderful lo-fi punk slice of mud. There are a few tour dates planned for the beginning of October, but casual fans, if there is such a thing as a casual Dead Kennedys fan, should note the current line-up does not include Biafra. The album is out September 27 on <a href="http://manifesto.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Manifesto Records</a>.