Music City is hosting an event of epic proportions, a PUNK COUNTRY COMEDY NIGHT!
If you’re looking for an event that will lead the revolution while taking you back to your roots while making you laugh well, look no further than the Teal Audio Lab. Rob Stewart, the proprietor of the enigmatic establishment was gracious enough to play host to this delightfully eclectic collection of mirthful miscreants.
Dale J. Gordon, also known as Invisible Library recording artist Dale J, is the man responsible for putting this event together. “And it’s ravaged my nervous system,” he sarcastically quipped, before adding “in a good way I guess.” Dale J will also be playing the show, if he isn’t too busy getting into shenanigans with his gang of squirrels in East Nashville.
This Sunday, October 7, nine different bands of outlaws will converge onto the doorstep of the Teal Audio Lab, ready to fill the night with laughs, riffs, and the high quality twang people have come to expect from Nashville. The doors open at 6pm, the show starts at 7pm and will keep spirits uplifted until 11pm that night, a true Sunday Night testimony to grassroots music and comedy for the soul.
Punk Country Comedy Night is so grassroots, that the address of the venue isn’t even being advertised online. Anyone who wishes to attend will have to email email@example.com for directions, as well as a 50% discount on ticket prices.
The headliner for the event is well known in the entertainment industry, having been hailed as a “f***** genius” by Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and “Sublime” by actor Johnny Depp. Mishka Shubaly is a critically acclaimed award winning author slash musician who has lived the life and lived to tell the tale about it.
And oh, what a compelling tale it is…
Life has a funny way of taking us where we need to go, regardless of whether or not we are in on the decision making progress. I didn’t even apply to the first college I went to, my sister filled out the forms for my Austin Peay admission because it’s the school she almost attended because she got a Creative Writing scholarship there. She ended up at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and I ended up dropping out and working at Wal-Mart.
I guess the joke was on both of us.
One of my best college friends only went to Austin Peay because he was drunk while applying, and he thought the school was in his home city of Memphis. Which, to be fair, isn’t that crazy of an assumption, as there is an Austin Peay Highway in the hometown of rock ’n roll legend Elvis Presley.
When I asked Mishka Shubaly about the MFA in Fiction that he earned at Columbia University, he simply stated “I only applied for an MFA as a means of putting off going to rehab,” before adding “I still can’t believe I got in.”
After Mishka achieved his, er, goal, he decided that he would rather play music in waterholes around the country instead of writing, so he sought refuge in a Toyota minivan, and, unlike the middle aged dads who use them to carry around their family, decided to hit the broken bottle circuit with dreams swirled in notes and narcotics.
Years of life lessons mixed with critical accolades later, the dream is still alive. Mishka has recorded three albums, written six bestselling books on Kindle, earned the respect of countless celebrities and even been a clue on a 2017 episode of Jeopardy!
The minivan is no longer a Toyota, but a “1976 one ton Chevy camper van, and pretty much everything is wrong with it.” Clearly, success hasn’t changed much about Mishka, or made life on the road safer for him and his band members.
The writing bug clearly never left Mishka, for when he isn’t preaching his six string gospel to the Church of the Inebriate, he is busy teaching his scripted craft to aspiring pen slingers all over. His Yale writing workshop has been described as transformative, and his Facebook writing groups are growing in numbers every month he starts them.
I can attest to this, as I recently partook in his #writeSeptember Facebook group, having been invited by Dale J. Gordon to attend. The premise was simple, every day of September you sit down to write something, be it a sentence, a paragraph or novella. Seeing all these truly talented scribes sharing their work in a group was definitely helpful, inspiring me to look deep and write something heartfelt, a personal narrative that I would’ve never thought to express in my usual song lyrics or standup comedy bits.
When I asked him who his favorite writer in the group was, Mishka shook his head and replied, “the point of the challenge is not to write better than everyone else or even to write well but just to commit to putting words on the page without judgment.”
As I massaged my wounded fragile ego, he admitted that “That said, my favorite writer in the group was my mom because reading her writing each night made me see a new side of the first person I ever met.”
When Shubaly isn’t helping others exorcise their demons through creatively aligned sentences in a narrative format, he is writing songs that are equal parts revealing, tragic and humorous and playing them for venues across the country. Mishka delights audiences with his tongue in cheek heart on a sleeve blend of rock, blues and country music.
His latest album, “When We Were Animals,” is no exception, and it also might just be his first classic record to date.
With a voice that recalls a gravelly Jeffrey Dean Morgan at times, Mishka channels the spirit of the traditional bluesman with a sarcastic veneer that suggests that if he wanted to, the artist could moonlight as a Nicolas Cage impersonator.
That description might sound ridiculous, but it’s the only way I can describe him. Mishka’s songs should be sad, but they never seem to bring me down. Tales of excessive drinking, reckless drug use, and train wreck romances have actually never been this vivid or upbeat, because they are told with Mishka’s impressive vocabulary and his deadpan sense of humor.
He looks at his past with a small twinge of regret, but he mainly seems to be tipping his hat to it while wisecracking over days spent towards ill gotten gains. This is most obvious in “Last of My Kind,” the track on the album where Shubaly laments over his aging process. “I remember going to the Turkey’s Nest (a bar in Brooklyn) and mocking folks who were there because they must have been 30 and I found that pathetic.”
“I walk in that same bar now and people think I’m a cop,” he quips, and as a man in his thirties who just recently went back to college I can relate. When you’re on a campus and your fellow students call you “sir” and you and the professors talk about your children, you definitely see that you’re getting old.
“Death in Greenpoint” sees Mishka reminiscing about a neighborhood in Brooklyn that he lived in for nine years. Greenpoint is that small town trap, or as he puts it, “the quicksand city that sucks you in and sucks you down.” You can feel the angst of the typical marooned adolescent as he chants “break, heart break, fail, liver fail but if you can hear me complaining, I’m neither dead or in jail.”
The throwaway line at the end “yeah I know I’m gonna go with a handful of blow, in a Polish disco, in Greenpoint” actually refers to “a place called Europa that would do punk rock shows early on the weekends before these really corny dance parties for the Polish locals.”
“My bands would play and then somehow we’d always end up getting stuck there doing blow with the worst people. Good times.”
Looking back on the past seems to be a theme for the album, as Mishka lays out the good and bad with melancholy glee and a wisp of healthy regret. It feels like he is hollering a farewell toast over a bed of bluesy riffs and old timey religious organ. It is a spiritual ceremony, with open bar communion and humor drier than the wafers Catholics eat to represent the flesh of their Savior.
Simply put, the album is one of the greatest testaments to a life of hard living I have heard in a long time.
“Never Drinking Again” is a song that finds our artist swearing that he is never going to drink again, slowly escalating to swearing off pills like vicodin and “white trash” drugs, whatever those may be. The song is essentially “about lying to the internal probation officer,” admits Mishka, stating that “addicts are tremendously skilled at deluding themselves at justifying each new addiction.”
“World’s Smallest Violin” is definitely a standout track, a song about a one night stand that started in a bar that goes from “I passed for conscious, you passed for female” to “when I pulled down my pants, that look on your face that you lost a bet” is rather humorous for a song dripping with self-deprecating commentary and drunken hormones, climaxing in “so we fell into the only thing we hadn’t tried, the fetal position.”
A self-proclaimed “recovering misogynist working hard to support feminism,” Shubaly muses that “too often, men declaring themselves to be feminists is just a deep cover for creeps. I’ll cop to my shortcomings - I’ve been a misogynist, it’s how I was brought up, and I’m working to get past it.”
He compares chauvinism and misogyny to white people who “copout” when they say “I’m not racist. If you’re a white American, you’ve grown up in a racist system, you have been indoctrinated to a certain extent and, like it or not, you’ve made racist decisions, you’ve supported racist structures.”
“I think if we’re all just honest and upfront about our hangups, it’s easier to move forward.”
What are Mishka’s last words he wants to impart on Nashville before he melts their faces with his unique brand of collegiate dive music? “If you just moved to Nashville, y’all need to knock it off with the cowboy hats and cowboy boots and s***”
Words of slightly ironic wisdom for a Punk Country Comedy Night, indeed.
Also touring with Mishka and joining him at Nashville’s Punk Country Comedy night is Denver, Colorado (pronounced Col-o-ray-do) standup comedian Kyle Pogue. He was a finalist in the Comedy Works New Faces competition, as well as the Best of Fort Collins competition.
Kyle has opened for Doug Stanhope, Adam Clayton-Holland, Kyle Kinane, Rory Scovel, Jackie Kashian, Mark Normand and many others. He also hates talking in the third person, even in text. I do. I hate it. It's been me (Kyle, not Charles, why did I [Charles], let him [Kyle], write this?) the whole time. Kyle Pogue has also performed at Altercation, High Plains and Red River comedy festivals.
Here are a couple of YouTube links to get a taste of Kyle’s comedic stylings before Sunday night:
Chad Riden is not just a seasoned comedian, he is also a politician. Currently running for Governor of Tennessee, he also runs Nashvillestandup.com and is every road comics first phone call to perform in the city. He hosts comedy at his house venue called the Chaderossa and has set the record for hosting the worlds longest annual consecutive comedy show: The Broken Record Comedy Show at Third Coast Comedy Club in Nashville.
Here is a YouTube link to check out a grown man complaining about his grandma:
For more information about his political campaign you can visit his website:
And watch his campaign video:
Aside from sharing a name with an old animated cartoon, Don Coyote is a free-spirited, American band from the foothills of Tennessee. Blurring the line between bar band and cult, these juke joint renegades have made a name for themselves as the true underdogs of country music. Coming on strong like a shot of well whiskey, they warm the saddle with blue-collar ballads as diverse as the west is wide. They are sheriffs in merit, outlaws in attitude, and terrible in the sack; but don’t underestimate their performance.
You can check out their music video, “Give It a Rest Coast,” by clicking on this link:
Anytime a duo names themselves “HEELS,” you know something’s going on and it’s probably going to be funny. HEELS is a two piece out of Memphis, TN. What started as an acoustic folk punk band is now the mightiest “two friends playing whatever they want” band in Memphis. Brennan writes lyrics that will make you want to fall in love or punch the person next to you. Josh’s drums hit hard and frequently. The only thing that equals their harmonies is their banter.
Featured on the latest Altercation Records compilation out of Austin, TX. HEELS is approved and endorsed by the Godfather of Punk Comedy J.T. Habersaat.
Their songs are upbeat, catchy and dynamic.
They are always entertaining live.
They are good boys.
Here is a clip of them playing “Off With Their Heads” LIVE at The Buccaneer:
Local Nashville comedian Micah Dean Johnson runs open mic comedy at Twin Kegs 2 every Tuesday night. Micah also hosts a monthly comedy showcase at his house venue in Nashville dubbed VHS (Very Hilarious Show).
Here's a set where Micah is telling the audience how different he is from teenagers:
Dale J fills two requirements to be in this show, as he is both a comedian and a musician. He Enjoys watching NASCAR races backwards to fantasize about the price of gas dropping but it never happens. A realist first and foremost, will strap dynamite to anything that he holds sacred except his Butthole Surfers records – They must be passed down through the generations. Can quote Nietzsche and cook a mean vegan version of a Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit but will also chop a wasp in half with scissors if it stings him. Musically think: Captain Beef-heart covering John Prine's version of a Tom Waits rendition of a Bill Hicks skit about Richard Pryor with Robert Johnson and Billie Holiday playing in the background simultaneously.
Dale J’s interests go even further, as he is also an accomplished writer and filmmaker, not to mention he is also a show promoter, he has helped organize and put on events like this upcoming Punk Country Comedy night.
Here is a track called “Said Ole Lynn,” fresh off of his latest album “Eye Dropper”:
This is a clip of Dale playing an older song “Wing It,” live in a cemetery:
And finally we have “Uncle Gary’s Road Sodas and My Missing Piece of Meat,” a short story written and narrated by Dale J:
Aaron Lunsford is the former drummer for the band As Cities Burn, and he has recently inked two books about his experiences touring and living the band life and has rapidly developed a renown comedy act centered around being a “Band Dude” and life in general.
The following is a clip called “Mean Comments About As Cities Burn Drummer, Aaron Lunsford":
The following is a clip called “Mean Comments About As Cities Burn Drummer, Aaron Lunsford":
When he isn’t serving up delicious food as the current cook at the Hitone Kitchen, Joshua McLane is busy doing standup comedy and drumming for the punk band known as HEELS. His first special “Don't be Afraid of the Dark” is available on Amazon Prime now. He has a comedy album and podcast by the same name, as well as a new comedy record coming soon.
Below is the trailer for his first special “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”:
Whew, nine groups dedicated to giving Music City a night of unforgettable entertainment. And at the price of $10, that’s only $1.11 per act!
But wait, there’s more.
When you e-mail Artist/Promoter Dale J at firstname.lastname@example.org, not only will you get the super secret location of the mysterious Teal Audio Lab, you also get an instant 50% discount on the ticket price.
That’s $5, which brings it down to only $0.56 per act!!!!!
So, to recap:
TEAL AUDIO LAB and DALE J present:
PUNK COUNTRY COMEDY NIGHT
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7
DOORS OPEN AT 6 PM
SHOW STARTS AT 7PM
Don’t forget to email Dale J at email@example.com for the venue location and ticket discount.
And if you didn't want to read any of that, then check out this Facebook link which will tell you all of the stuff I just typed out on my article. Though it didn't take the time to do the math for you like I did (I'm just cool like that), here it is:
Come out this weekend and be a part of Music City History!