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Great Big Show! Deets Below…

February 13th, 2014 by D.Billy

We’re putting on a Very Special Valentine’s Day version of the And I Am Not Lying variety show at UCB East at midnight (11:59 PM on 2/14) on Valentine’s day, featuring the all-female mariachi band Flor De Toloache, an aerial Lucha Libre burlesque act, and standup by NPR’s Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg.

Poster designed by D.Billy and Jeff Simmermon

The show is at UCB East, 153 East 3rd St. @ Ave. A, Friday, February 14th at midnight (11:59 PM) – $5.
Here’s a link for tickets/reservations: http://east.ucbtheatre.com/performances/view/30973

And a 40-second teaser trailer:

This month’s show features:

Hosting/Storytelling by Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth podcast)

Aerial Luchador Burlesque by Lucy Licious and Airlingus

Live Mariachi Music by Flor De Toloache (with burlesque accompaniment)

Storytelling by Peter Aguero (The Moth, Daddy Issues)

Stand-up by Ophira Eisenberg (host of NPR’s Ask Me Another) and Abigoliah Schamaun — who will also chew and swallow an entire light bulb during her set.

More NYC Dong Drawing

October 26th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I’ve referenced NYC’s classic folk-art subgenre before – the subway dong drawing. I found this marvelous specimen on the LIRR from Atlantic Terminal to Jamaica yesterday morning:

2013-10-25 09.59.31

She looks so pleasantly surprised, as if to say “I was expecting a breakfast treat, but this is really something special!”

Filed under Art & Design, Beauty, Comedy, Found, New York City having Comments Off

‘And I Am Not Lying’ at UCB East Thursday, Sept. 12, 11PM

September 9th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

You don’t pay thousands of dollars a month in rent and breathe poisoned air all day in New York just so you can stay home and watch TV at 11PM on a Thursday like some kind of a chump in Indianapolis or something. Going to bed at a reasonable hour is something that other people do, people who live in boring cities.

This Thursday at UCB East at 11pm, it’s time for another installment of ‘And I Am Not Lying,’ featuring brand new monthly cast member Corvette LeFace!

You can get tickets right here, details below this flyer:

The show features storytelling by:

Jeff Simmermon (The Moth, This American Life)
David Crabb (The Moth, Bad Kid)

Standup comedy by:

Brooke Van Poppelen (MTV’s Girl Code, John Oliver’s Stand-Up New York)
Brian Jian

Burlesque by

Matt Knife

and featuring Corvette LeFace with a burlesque tribute to ‘The Big Lebowski.”

I’m really excited to have Corvette as a regular cast member with ‘And I Am Not Lying.’ I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, and I’m really excited to see what she’ll bring month after month. She burns up the burlesque scene here in town, and every show she’s in is better for it. And she rocks a fake beard like NOBODY else.

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New Folk Art Genre: Dick Drawing on the NYC Subway

August 1st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

The graffiti sub-genre that is dick drawing on NYC subway ads is really a folk art unto its own. It’s a very specific, but broadly interpreted genre, not unlike screen-door painting in Baltimore or low-rider culture in the American Southwest. I captured this gem at the Lafayette stop on the C train in Brooklyn:

NYC's unique folk art

I was really struck by the intensity of this one, particularly the profound use of negative space/cutout technique married with the brutal facial expression and aggressive take-no-prisoners type: “In your living room, in your face,” INDEED.

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Clear the Cache and Defrag the Hard Drive – Have a Good Cry

July 31st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

Everyone knows that straight men are emotionally repressed. If we weren’t, ‘Mad Men’ would be a two hour miniseries on Lifetime that nobody watched and ‘The Sopranos’ would be a Ken Burns documentary about the excellent and communicative management style of the New Jersey underworld.

Nobody ever talks about this, but all that emotional repression is a net positive for our species. Or, it can be, for a while.

Here’s why:

Testosterone is a hell of a drug, man.

Starting one morning when I was twelve or thirteen years old, and continuing for the rest of my life, my brain’s most immediate response to any stimulus is:

1) kill it
2) fuck it
3) eat it with your hands

Thirteen and fourteen are pretty tough years for guys because we are learning not to trust the constant swarm of chemicals in our bodies that is gearing us up to lead a Viking raid from horseback.

You learn to curb that shit pretty quickly that if you want to continue to earn your mother’s love and be allowed inside the house. Otherwise your family would just keep you in a shed in the backyard and throw chickens in there sometimes, like that one family in every zombie movie that’s in horrible denial about what’s really happened to their boy.

You know what they call guys who are fully in touch with their feelings and express them in real time the moment that they have them?

Convicts.

What’s initially a pretty solid social survival skill just kind of calcifies and turns into a habit after a while. A good habit in one context is a terrible habit when the context changes.

I’m starting to notice that the same impulse control mechanism that kept me and most of my friends out of jail in high school is now working against me.

Yesterday was a brutal day at work, just a beige blizzard of corporate stupid, and I had to come straight home and lie on the couch in my drawers and watch Superman cartoons.

My wife, my brand new wife of exactly two months, came home from the gym, glowing with exercise and beaming to see that for once I came home early instead of spending an evening trying to impress a bunch of schlubby misogynists at a dingy basement comedy show. She leans over and gives me a sweet kiss, then starts telling me about her day while she stretches on the floor, and a few minutes in says “you’re awful quiet. Is there something wrong?”

And this seriously came out of my mouth:
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Cameras Can’t Catch the Magic

July 30th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

Recording everything that happens in your life is for assholes, the NSA and Robocop. Mostly.

Louis CK covered this ground on his last tour, and I’ll let him do the talking here.

There can be exceptions, sure. My nephew is possibly one of the best-documented babies on earth, and I like seeing videos of him learning to crawl, to talk, or wearing the Wu-Tang onesie that I got him for Christmas.

My wife’s dad is both a shy man and an incredibly passionate amateur photographer, and he shows his enjoyment by pulling his camera out. Not at like, movies and plays, though, he’s not some kind of animal. He’s the family documentarian, and he pretty much knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

I did say wife, up there. For the very, very few of you that still read this thing and aren’t connected to me any other way, I got married in June. I’m pretty sure that she bet on the right horse, but who knows. I’ve only been married two months, so I really don’t know much about being married.

But having a wedding is incredible.

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Filed under Beauty, Family & Friends, Jeff Simmermon, Writing having Comments Off

This Excerpt From A Dave Eggers Interview Makes the Heart Sing

July 24th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

Humpback Whale Underwater

My friend and occasional blog-partner D.Billy sent me this excerpt from a Dave Eggers interview the other day and my God, it made my heart sing a massive oceans-wide whale song of recognition. I’ve been feeling ground down by a heavily “no”-intensive environment, the sort of thing where a cautious, smart “no” is always better than a “hey-let’s-give-it-a-shot yes.”

The cautious, smart “no” is usually pretty satisfying. You feel safe, secure. Then a few years go by and the view out the window never changes, and you start to think “wait, I feel kinda stagnant.” If you’re lucky you might notice that all that caution kept you in the driveway instead of out on the open road.

The whole interview is worth a read, but it all boils down to this at the end. Read it, and let your heart’s whale-song harmonize with the entire universe:

The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it’s corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.

No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.

There is a point in one’s life when one cares about selling out and not selling out. One worries whether or not wearing a certain shirt means that they are behind the curve or ahead of it, or that having certain music in one’s collection means that they are impressive, or unimpressive.

Thankfully, for some, this all passes. I am here to tell you that I have, a few years ago, found my way out of that thicket of comparison and relentless suspicion and judgment. And it is a nice feeling.

Because, in the end, no one will ever give a shit who has kept shit ‘real’ except the two or three people, sitting in their apartments, bitter and self-devouring, who take it upon themselves to wonder about such things. The keeping real of shit matters to some people, but it does not matter to me.

It’s fashion, and I don’t like fashion, because fashion does not matter.

What matters is that you do good work. What matters is that you produce things that are true and will stand.

What matters is not the perception, nor the fashion, not who’s up and who’s down, but what someone has done and if they meant it. What matters is that you want to see and make and do, on as grand a scale as you want, regardless of what the tiny voices of tiny people say.

Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.

I say yes, and Wayne Coyne says yes, and if that makes us the enemy, then good, good, good. We are evil people because we want to live and do things. We are on the wrong side because we should be home, calculating which move would be the least damaging to our downtown reputations.

But I say yes because I am curious. I want to see things. I say yes when my high school friend tells me to come out because he’s hanging with Puffy. A real story, that. I say yes when Hollywood says they’ll give me enough money to publish a hundred different books, or send twenty kids through college. Saying no is so fucking boring.

And if anyone wants to hurt me for that, or dismiss me for that, for saying yes, I say Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers, finally, finally, finally.

‘And I Am Not Lying’ Returns to the Black Cat in Washington DC, July 12th

July 5th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

**UPDATE – Dave Hill had to cancel because of some unforeseen circumstances. He is being replaced by the incomparable Paul Oddo.**

‘And I Am Not Lying’ is roaring back into town and cock-rocking the NPR crowd at The Black Cat on Friday, July 12th, at 9PM.

This show is going to leave a smoldering crater on 14th St NW, featuring a Game of Thrones-themed burlesque act from Corvette LeFace, Afro-Brazilian percussion from the 20-woman band Batala, comedy from Dave Hill, more burlesque from Cherry Pitz, and of course, storytelling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Jeff Simmermon (me.)

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door – available here. Seating will be limited, so you’ll want to get a ticket in advance and get there early if you want to sit down.

Here’s a poster I made for the thing, performer videos after the jump:

AndIAmNotLyingBlackCat_July12

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And I Am Not Lying! At Under St Marks, June 5th & UCB East, June 6th

June 2nd, 2013 by Cyndi Freeman

We got two amazing shows this week! And Jeff is getting married so if you are like “Where is Jeff?!”
- Well he is off getting hitched and we wish him well!

In the meantime the show must go on…or shows as it is. We got two of em!
Two separate line ups!
Two different days!
Two different times!

And I Am Not Lying – Deluxe Version
Under St Marks Theatre
94 St. Marks Place, New York, New York
9pm – Wed. June 5th
$10 – for tickets go to http://smarttix.com

Two hours of the mightiest variety show in New York City. This is the epic power ballad of Burlesque, Storytelling, Stand-Up and Sideshow held every month at Under Saint Marks.
This month’s line up features:
Story telling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman and Kevin Allison
Burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Bunny Buxomm
Comedy by Matt Koff

And you are not seeing double!

And I Am Not Lying – The Quick Jab To The Solar Plexus
UCB East 153 East 3rd Street
11pm -Thur. June 6th
$5 – for tickets go to http://east.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3447

The fast jab, one-hour Ramones set of the powerhouse variety show, featuring storytelling, burlesque, comedy, and sideshow that you recently saw listed in the New York Times. Live at UCBeast

This show features:
Story telling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman and Diana Spechler
Burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Melody Jane
Comedy by Matt Koff

Two Shows in May: 5.1 at Under Saint Marks, 5.9 at UCB East

April 29th, 2013 by Cyndi Freeman

Man, the month slipped past FAST. We’ve got two big shows in New York this May, and I’m here to tell you about them:

NotLying_USM_5.1.2013

First, we’ve got the monthly installment of our residency at Under Saint Marks Theater on Wednesday, May 1st, 9PM. The theater is at 94 Saint Marks’ Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.

Featuring:

Storytelling by: Cyndi Freeman (The Moth, NY Fringe Award Winner), Brad Lawrence (The Moth, BTK), Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth)

Standup comedy by: Guilia Rozzi (Stripped Stories)

Sideshow by: Abigoliah Schamaun (Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bizaar)

Burlesque by: Brief Sweat, Cherry Pitz

You can get tickets here.

Then on May 9th, 11PM, we’re bringing the show to UCB East in a one-hour bouillon-cube of thrills, featuring

Storytelling by: Shannon Cason, Jeff Simmermon

Comedy by: Paul Oddo

Burlesque by: Nastie Canasta

… More special guests to be announced.

UCB East is located at 153 East 3rd Street at Avenue A. Tickets are only five tiny dollars, and you can click here for reservations.

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