Nathan Brannon: Because CD


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Nathan Brannon pisses me right off. He makes stand-up look so effortless. Great stand-up is a real manipulation - not the negative kind that gets you to stay with a boyfriend who won't stop borrowing money from you. Great stand-up is a manipulation more akin to your grandmother gently placing a hand on your shoulder and talking you into that second piece of pie you already wanted. Except in this case, the pie is laughter.

The first time I "figured out" stand-up, I was furious. I felt tricked. In the early 2000s, having not been a huge comedy fan, and no idea I would ever stand in front of people at all, I went to see Patton Oswalt in two different towns in the same year. And at the second show, he told some of the SAME stories. I remember feeling so confused, thinking, "I thought that story was just for US. On OUR night." I was so naive at the time I really thought comics were telling different stories each night. I'd been duped. Ever since then, I've known that this effortless way in which a comic can pass off a story as fresh and honest each time is a quality belonging to only the greatest among us.

Nathan Brannon has this quality, and it really makes me mad. Envious mad. His storytelling is so breezy, the punchlines take you by surprise. Once he reels you in, the laughter isn't a choice. He's like snuggling up by a fire and listening to your favorite non-creepy uncle. We all have a creepy one, right?

Nathan's stories, while delivered with all the comfort of a cup of hot cocoa, are anything but frivolous. Having lost his own father and become a father to another person in the same year, Nathan's observations have grown even more meaningful, personal, and meatier. The ease of delivery is the same, the punchlines are all there, but the shit got real.

When I asked who the audience was for this album, Nathan said, "The first half is for white America and the second half is for people of color." The mark of a great comic is delivering your experience in a way that people who are nothing like you can digest. And not just digest, but take home and keep close, in that place inside of us we all visit when we need compassion, and community. Listen to both halves, and then listen again. You probably missed something important the first time while you were busy laughing.

Nathan's wish for this album is that his son, now just under a year old, will listen in twenty years and feel proud. He will, Nathan. We all do.

- Amy Miller

Amps For Christ
Amy Miller
Anna Oxygen
BARR
Bangs
Bitch
Blood on the Saddle
Boats
Born Against
Bratmobile
Breakdowns
C Average
Cadallaca
Cameron Esposito
Cold Cold Hearts
Colin Meloy
Comet Gain
Corin Tucker Band
Danielle Howle
Danielson
Deep Lust
Deerhoof
Delta 5
Delta 72'
Die Monitr Batsss
Dos
Edwin Torres
Elliott Smith
Emily Heller
Emily XYZ
Emily's Sassy Lime
Erase Errata
Essential Logic
Excepter
Excuse 17
Fitz Of Depression
Forbidden Friends
Free Kitten
Get Hustle
GodHeadSilo
Godzik Pink
Gold Chains & Sue Cie
Gospel Music
Gossip
Grass Widow
Gravy Train!!!!
Hands
Hangovers
Har Mar Superstar
Hari Kondabolu
Harvey Danger
Heavens To Betsy
Hella
Holly Golightly
Horse Feathers
Ian Karmel
Imaad Wasif
Inca Ore with Lemon Bear's Orchestra
Jad and David Fair
Jean Smith
Jeff Hanson
Jim Carroll
John Wilkes Booze
Juliana Luecking
Kill Rock Stars
Kinski
Kleenix/LiLiPUT
Kurt Braunohler
Li'l Pit
Linda Perry
Lois Maffeo and Brendan Canty
Long Hind Legs
Lung Leg
Macromantics
Marnie Stern
Mary Lou Lord
Matrimony
Mecca Normal
Men's Recovery Project
Metalux
Mika Miko
Milagres
Miranda July
Mocket
Nathan Brannon
Nedelle
Nedelle & Thom
Need New Body
Nervous Cop
New Bloods
Nicole Panter
Nnck
Numbers
OOIOO
Outhud
Owl & The Pussycat
Panther
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Peter Plate
Phranc
Portland Cello Project
Pussycat Trash
Quasi
Refect Refect
Rhea Butcher
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STLS
Schema
Semiautomatic
Shoplifting
Shy Child
Slim Moon
Slumber Party
Star Pimp
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Starter Set
Stero Total
Sue P. Fox
Summer Cannibals
Survival Knife
Taiwan Housing Project
Tarkio
Thao
Thao & Mirah
The Advantage
The Decemberists
The Everyothers
The Great Unraveling
The John Doe Thing
The Lies
The Mae Shi
The Makers
The Mary Timony Band
The No-Neck Blues Band
The Old Haunts
The Planet The
The Punks
The Raincoats
The Robot Ate Me
The Seconds
The Shaky Hands
The Thermals
The pAper chAse
They Shoot Horses Don't They
Tight Bros From Way Back When
Two Ton Boa
Universal Order Of Armagedon
Various Artists
Wimps
Witchypoo
Wnico
Wooden Wand
Wooden Wand and the Sky High Band
Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice
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Xiu Xiu
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Zach HIll And Mick Barr
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