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Humour - Released October 2, 2012 | Comedy Central

Demetri Martin named his album Standup Comedian because he's the kind of guy who tells jokes while standing up, and while dry titles (his 2006 effort was These Are Jokes) still apply here, his stories are pleasingly looser on this 2012 release, making him all the more connectable. Don't get that twisted because he's still the oddly soft, somewhat distant, twee dude in a Beatles haircut who seems to prefer hugs over drugs and medium cool over totally cool, but that "acquired taste" tag is fading on cuts like "Senses, Halloween," a great track that's a simple series of jokes about everyday things: long-term relationships, pet costumes, and other topics Jim Gaffigan might tackle. There's even an "oh no he didn't" moment when Martin calls out all view-blocking "assholes" who whip out phones at concerts, and when he drops "I like people watching" -- perfectly timed pause -- "mostly this one woman," those Steven Wright-styled zingers have a more dangerous edge than before, like a wolf in sheepish clothing. "When someone describes themselves as a taxpayer, they're about to be an asshole" is about as political as it gets, and the strange journey that "Silent Letters" takes while making up words is a quaint and wonderfully weird reminder of why the man's Comedy Central show, Important Thing with Demetri Martin, felt so sharp and new. Bringing up the rear is the fun and very ferry "Guitar, Jokes" (strum, strum, strum "OK, I think that's in tune enough for comedy"), which is an "American Pie"-sized suite with acoustic tones, mournful harmonica, and absurd thoughts ("I lost my fog machine because I left it running"). Same cute, same high quality, and same quirky means the fans get their fill, and with a little more everyman and a little less awkward, Standup Comedian makes for an entry point into his "Yep"-flavored and "OK"-tastic body of work. ~ David Jeffries

Humour - Released August 31, 2018 | 800 Pound Gorilla Records

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Humour - Released September 26, 2006 | Comedy Central

Taking Steven Wright's style of letting the absurdist one-liners fly, standup whiz kid Demetri Martin puts an indie spin on Wright's shtick and then breaks the act up with some weird, delicate songs featuring Glockenspiel, guitar, and synth. Mostly straight live standup with a couple studio concoctions tacked on the end, the audio portion of These Are Jokes is hilarious with Martin effortlessly delivering endless streams of strangeness and irreverence while occasionally referencing the recording of his debut CD to the audience with such giddy pride you just want to pinch his cheek. The way Martin sees it, life vests protect you from drowning, bulletproof vests protect you from getting shot, and sweater vests protect you from pretty girls. Swimming is interesting because "sometimes you do it for fun, while other times you do it to not die." The great song "Sames and Opposites" offers "A squirrel is the same as a can/When there's a B.B. gun in my hand" while Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte shows up for some crazy scatting and ridiculous vocal vamping on "Personal Information Waltz." The studio tracks at the end are bizarre -- more Residents than They Might Be Giants bizarre -- and the bonus DVD features some freaky animation, along with a less satisfying set of standup from a less comfortable sounding Martin. Still, it's a bonus; and a bonus to a fantastic debut CD from the quirkier, smarter side of standup. ~ David Jeffries
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Humour - Released August 31, 2018 | 800 Pound Gorilla Records

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