I have not decided as I write the fourth installment of this series if I am going to stray from comedy with one, both or either of this week’s choices? There is just so much god damned talent out there in so many different fields that it is mind numbing at times. Mind numbing in a good way. One of my pet peeves is when other artists are so wrapped up in themselves that they forget there is plenty of room for a large number of comics, musicians, etc to be really successful. I understand the cut-throat mentality some performers have, but I think at the end of the day they will realize that they are striving for the kind of success that will not fill the void they have. Fame is fleeting, especially in comedy. Your window of extreme success is so limited and small that if it is your only motivation you are doomed to a miserable existence. There is plenty of room on top of the rock for a bunch of artists and these next two will soon be there, too.
I really appreciate the artist who works their ass off. Why? I think it is obvious. The truly great ones at anything are not only born with the ability, but also work hard to master that ability. And sooner or later the world will be aware of these hard workers. People have said to me that the entertainment industry is not fair and there is no guarantee that the truly talented will ever “make it.” The truly talented who work hard will “make it” I believe. I believe it is inevitably so because the universe does have a sense of justice…even if it takes awhile.
Tom Simmons – Tom is the perfect example of what some people call, “too smart for you own good.” I could not disagree more with those people. His comedy is evidence that you do not have to hit people over the head with your politics to make a good and smart point all the while maintaining the comedic integrity of a joke teller. People always default to Bill Hicks, at least most comics do when talking about relevant and political humor. The reason I think this is true is because he never forgot about the joke. Tom never forgets about the joke. In fact, even if he has to go away from the joke for a little while, he ensures there is a well trained and responsible joke sitter there in his abscense, which he is constantly calling to check the status of the joke while he is gone. I think you get the point. To further clarify the type of comedian he is I will use these quick examples. He has been told by numerous club owners, “You need to dumb it down for the people.” Or, “Why don’t you tell jokes that aren’t so real?” And other variations of those kinds of sentiments. Someday this thought provoking comic will crawl his way to the top of the rock. Here is some more of his stuff, but this bastard is another one of the creatures that needs to step up his online presence game.
Matthew Ryan – Here is a musician that owned my ears for at least a year straight with his album May Day. He was first introduced to me by my good friend Heath Galley. The first time I heard him was on a burned disc as I drove from D.C. to Dayton, OH. It was the only thing I listened to the whole drive. I was convinced this album was a soundtrack to my life at the time and still need to be convinced otherwise. Sometimes an artist can grab you by throat and command you listen to them over and over and over again. Matthew Ryan’s grip still holds strong. He is ahead of the curve by constantly putting his music and other videos online for his fans to check out. He keeps his online world fresh, so as keep people like me appeased with new offerings of his awesomeness on a regular basis. He may not be a household name, but his music is staggering. If your life needs and injection of some fresh, gut-wrenching, edgy, beautiful, honest, and just awesome music, do yourself a favor and check him out.