Jamie de Roy and Friends presnts: Modern Man in The Laurie Beechman Theatre of The West Bank Café July 19, 2001

As said before somewhere or the other, the Cabaret scene is a learning experience - I've learned about the history of musicals, the romantic ideas carried by American standards, and so forth. However, with the educational aspects of cabaret lies three class clowns playing teacher of latter-day music - Modern Man.

Modern Man is a band made up of three guys each representing their expertise in three different genres of music. George Wurzbach studied in the Brooklyn Academy of Music and knows how to work the classical music and ballads (and a good marksman with the rubber band). Rob Carlson does Rock guitar work and does a really keen impression of Bob Dylan, and David Buskin is the nutty man of folk music.

Don't you hate it when they make you sing along?/
Don't you hate it when they make you sing along?/
This guy is such a jerk/
and this is a really stupid song/
Don't you hate it when they make you sing along?

-"Don't You Hate It?" by Rob Carlson

That was quite a first impression from the guys, and they were knocking the audience dead. The show's humor is powered by the idea of guys making fun of their own work. I loved their dialogue about their choice of the group name - they wanted to make band names to fit in with the boy bands out there... The Back Problem Boys, Old Farts On the Block, *N'Continent, and Men II Graves. In the topic of being old, Buskin went on with "I Still Want it All the time," a number about being old and being horny. I knew their humor will hold nothing sacred when David ended the song with the hypothesis that Dick Cheney might have used most of the electricity at his home on vibrators.

Each of the three guys of the the band have the chance to represent their skills separately, and they work pretty good by themselves as much as they are together. Wurzbach did Karen Taylor-Good's "A Much Better View of the Moon," Carlson showed off his impressions of Bob Dylan in "Inappropriate Singing Styles," and Buskin has "Like a River" - a folk song satire of making nature metaphors of ourselves.

Together, Modern Man did lots of really funny songs - Carlson did "Eggs Like These" - a parody of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run about eating eggs cooked in any way against the rejected law from New Jersey's health department. Preach on the gospel of two eggs sunny side up!

One of my most a propos favorite songs was "Life Sucks" - Beavis and Butt-head has said it right, and Modern Man gave a very catchy rhythm to it.

One of the biggest moments of the show was when James Naughton came up onstage. At first, James said the guys wanted him to recite the Jeep slogan - but he stayed on to sing the paean of ESPN. The song was about the well-known cable TV network that was caught in a lawsuit because a wife divorced from a guy who watched TV.

I had a really great time with Modern Man - Rob Carlson talked about the expenses of doing shows in outdoor venues and clubs. George Wurzbach - representing Brooklyn! David Buskin and myself agreed the issue of Intellectual Property is tough to discuss. And yes, the host of the evening, Jamie de Roy, is really cool - a few people who worked with her (John Jerome of Jerome Records and Maryann Lopinto of [Cabaret Hotline Online) said the same.

Things to read for more about Modern Man:

  • http://www.modernman3.com - the Modern Man Home Page - their latest CD is called "The Wide Album," recorded live in The Bottom Line.
  • http://www.jamiederoy.com - Jamie de Roy and Friends is a variety show that occasionally runs in the Laurie Beechman Theatre New York City - I've heard it's a really fun party of a show.
  • http://www.svhamstra.com - Cabaret Hotline Online is the website I read to find shows to watch in the Cabaret scene - yeah, it's a new hobby for me now.

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