Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mike Birbiglia - 'Sleepwalk With Me Live'

Mike Birbiglia is a funny guy. He is currently my favorite comedian. Sleepwalk With Me Live, a spoken word tale about Birbiglia’s REM disorder, is his least funny album. I don’t actually mean that as a dig, though, as Sleepwalk is a live performance of Birgbiglia’s spoken word one-man play of the same name. It’s not funny, but artfully so.

Actually that’s a little harsh. Birbiglia’s self-deprecating style is hilarious as ever. His humor comes from failure on a level that most people can relate to – failed relationships, stupid decisions, bad luck. The dude makes things like bear attacks and cancer somehow palatable. But he tempers the jokes with dark revelations, especially so when he talks about his college girlfriend. Shit gets real.

But the show never dips too far into sad sack territory. Birgbiglia’s stand-up style is anecdotal humor. He tells embarrassing stories about himself and jokes manifest. As of such, his albums feel like a good conversation, and Sleepwalk is no different.

My lone grip with Sleepwalk is that Birgbiglia already released these stories in book form. While the book and album complement each other – the book has more stories, the sad parts hit even harder when Birbiglia talks – ultimately the two come off as a little redundant. The whole time I read Sleepwalk With Me, I imagined Birbiglia’s voice and wished that he had just put out another album. Now I own the stories twice over, so I guess maybe he’s the big winner after all.

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