Holy Hell, A Bird Is Inside by Dan Sheehan

Oh holy hell that’s a bird.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Someone must have left the back door open or something. Oh Jesus this is going to ruin dinner. Who left that goddamn door open?

Are you supposed to touch birds? I read somewhere you’re not supposed to touch birds. I think they have diseases or something? I don’t know. What if it’s endangered, isn’t it illegal to touch the endangered ones? No, Carol, I do not know what an endangered bird looks like.

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Mastering Surf-Engine Optimization by Manny Manningham, with introduction from Nick Martin

"I make a(n) (e)-zine collecting digital garbage culled from the internet called, Mechanical Yammering. Recently, I’ve been soliciting submissions. I received a .txt e-book from a Mr. M. Manningham, at an otherwise anonymous email address (money_man_manningham@sbcglobal.com). He has asked I excerpt his work on a website dedicated to e-commerce, in hopes of finding a suitable illustrator for collaboration.

I’ll let you read the book for yourself, only prefacing that the text has absolutely nothing to do with search engine optimization."

-Nick Martin

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Thinking Too Much About TV Comedy with J. Michael Osborne

It more or less goes without saying that, if you’re into seeing sketch comedy on television, it’s a pretty good time to be alive. There’s Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele and Kroll Show on Comedy Central. IFC is cornering the young, hip, conceptual market with The Birthday Boys, Comedy Bang! Bang! (a sketch show dressed in the clothes of a talk show) and Portlandia. [adult swim] is skewing even younger with Loiter Squad and Robot Chicken. And then, of course, there’s Saturday Night Live usually bowling its demographics straight down the middle.

Despite the limited number of networks involved here, cable-owning Americans (or people with reliable Internet connections and questionable senses of ethics, like me) now have an unprecedented spectrum of options to choose from when it comes to short-form comedy. It’s a more diverse game now than it’s ever been, both in terms of its writers/performers and in terms of comedic sensibilities. Viewing all these shows together, there’s a couple major observations we can take away from this TV-sketch-show zeitgeist: sketches performed in front of a live audience are all but on their way out, and it’s becoming increasingly important that the rest of them have some high-ass production values.

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Goodrich Gevaart and saki Present Fill Up My Bag! featuring Tommy Crowbar

As a big fan of hardcore, it’s an honor that The Steamroller asked me to introduce you all to the legendary Tommy Crowbar.  While bands like Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Cro-Mags take up most of the conversation about hardcore punk history, anyone really into hardcore knows Tommy, his band, and his larger than life reputation.  

Forming the band Street Justice in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1979, Tommy was the face of intense, aggressive music for decades. His on and off stage antics have gotten him banned from literally every venue he has ever played at, be it a Moose Lodge in New Bedford or CBGB in New York. His band is on it’s fourth or fifth reunion tour with Tommy as the only original member still performing. He’s been criticised for being a “cash grabber”, “opportunist”, and “overall piece of shit” by many hardcore luminaries.

Saki records was cool enough to reach out to Tommy to start their new feature, Fill Up My Bag.  Watch the video and respect the history this man represents.

-Goodrich Gevaart

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Letters between Uncle Rob's niece and nephew before Uncle Rob's Big Day

This weekend, our Uncle Rob will be reborn in the image and likeness of our dark lord and savior, Follicanis. It’s a big day for everyone, and we’d love to share the food, the fun, and the ceremony with you.

Uncle Rob's Big Day is an immersive experience. You will meet a variety of characters and be invited to explore the entirety of our homestead. You can follow one character the whole time, or you can follow wherever your interest takes you. You'll often be rewarded with interesting discoveries if you pay close attention. And this is a real BBQ. Uncle Rob's Big Day is completely free, but we would be grateful if you brought along some hot dogs or beer.  

It will be occurring four times: October 4 and 5, at 3:00 pm and 4:15 pm. If interested, please email UncleRobsBigDay@gmail.com with the date and time you’d like to attend. Once you’re confirmed, we’ll send you the address of our homestead and a few preparatory notes.

Ordinarily, the god of luscious full hair, Follicanis, demands a high level of secrecy. But recently, a series of letters between Uncle Rob’s niece and nephew, the twins Gary and Stephanie, was leaked to the press. They can be read in their full, unfiltered form below, offering a rare glimpse inside the lives of this extraordinary family.

-Gary Pascal & Steph Cook

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An Encounter with The People's Temple of Comedy by Randolph LeGrasse

Earlier this week I received an unsolicited email from an anonymous email address with no text in the body, only the subject like "For Steamroller" and a text file attached. I cautiously opened the text file and have copied + pasted its contents below. What follows appears to be an account from an Arkham, MA-based scholar about his experiences with and attempts to understand The People's Temple of Comedy, which begins a residency at the Laugh Factory this Sunday.

Those who are poorly acquainted with reality often believe that everything of interest to history has been documented to build up the knowledge base of future generations. Those unfortunate souls, such as myself, who are offered a terrible glimpse behind the veil, know all too well that sometimes secrets are kept secret for nameless eons, never meant to be peered upon by public awareness.

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Another conversation between Stephanie Hasz and Andy Fleming of #lollaPALooza

Today, for the third time ever, I received in my mailbox an un-postmarked envelope containing a microcassette. I immediately recognized this as the handiwork of Andy Fleming & Stephanie Hasz, who have done this twice before. Frankly, it's a pain in the ass each time. I don't own a microcassette player and always have to borrow one from my wife's brother, Rod. Ugh. Rod. I hate that guy.

Anyway, what follows is a transcription of what I found on the tape: an apparent recording of a lost episode of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, featuring Hasz & Fleming as its guests. Enjoy?

[The WTF theme plays, then fades out as Marc Maron starts speaking.]

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Musings on Being in a Comedy Band for Five Years by Sarah Shockey

After five years in the game, my favorite comedy band in Chicago, Shock T's will be dissolving in October. Sarah Shockey from Shock T's put together these thoughts about the band's time together.

First, I should say that I expected Shock T’s to last forever. There’s not much room inside me for pessimism, so when we agreed to keep doing indefinite shows after our second one, I dove in about as hard and flailing as I dive in real life.

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