3 Things: Nick Cave, Gabe Gundacker, and Max Liboiron / by Chris Duffy

Happy Saturday!

Every week, I send out an email with my show dates and recommendations of things I think you might enjoy. This week, I spent the Fourth of July in Olympic National Park. While we were there, we hiked to the world's largest Sitka spruce tree. I'm always a fan of world's largest roadside attractions, but unlike a giant fiberglass lobster or a forty-foot tall filing cabinet, this is a living organism that's been growing in that spot for a thousand years. That spruce tree was already more than seven hundred years old when the U.S. declared independence. It kinda puts things in perspective. 

Speaking of perspective, I've been thinking about who we allow to experience freedom in"the land of the free." I'm inspired by the folks volunteering to visit immigrants held in detention and the organizations raising money for bail so poverty doesn't mean imprisonment. As we get deeper into the election cycle, I hope we'll ask for accountability from the politicians allowing this to happen, but I'm reminding myself to do more as an individual too. If you have more ideas for how to do something productive, I'd love to hear them. (I'll also accept tips about oversized objects located near major highways.)

Upcoming Shows

Both full seasons of Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas are streaming online and on HBO Go. Link

You can listen to all the episodes of my podcast You're the Expert on any podcast app. Three comedians interview a scientist about her work and why it matters. Link

Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Theater. I'll be performing at this Pop-Up Magazine show. SOLD OUT

Friday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Littlefield. I'll be performing at Bit Tank, a show where comedians pitch jokes to sharks for real money. Link

Saturday, July 27 at 10:00 p.m. at Union Hall. Dillon Stevenson and Mike Brown host Super Video Bros, where comedians (including me) break down classic music videos. Link

July 29-31 at The Wild Project. Tickets are almost sold out for this year's Cherry Picking festival, which celebrates "new work, creative risk, and prosecco." I'll be performing in a staged reading on Monday and a short play I wrote is performed on Wednesday. Link

You can find ticket links for all upcoming shows as soon as they are announced online at my website here.

This week’s list

Nick Cave has been a rock star since the seventies. His songs have been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Metallica. But after years of cultivating theatrical distance from his audience, he's experimenting with bringing them in. When his teenage son died in an accident in 2015, Cave's work and his relationship with his fans kept him alive. So his new tour "features spontaneous exchanges between the artist and his audience" and he's been responding publicly to letters asking him about everything from God's voice to tragedy to writer's block. His responses, The Red Hand Files, are beautiful and fascinating. How is Susie Doing? (h/t Myq Kaplan, who recommends "What made you become a vegetarian?")

Gabe Gundacker first got famous for his Vines and Instagram posts. Now, he writes and performs on Showtime's Our Cartoon President. He's genuinely talented as a musician and also genuinely hilarious. I will never stop loving his Zendaya is Meechee song, but this week I rediscovered Guy Who Likes Music. (h/t Jeff Manian)

"Every time you decide what question to ask or not ask others, what counting style you use, which statistics you use, how you frame things, where you publish them, who you work with, where you get funding from... all of that is political." Max Liboiron is an environmental scientist who's not just trying to change the way we pollute, she's trying to change the way science is conducted. In this short doc for The Atlantic, filmmakers Noah Hutton and Taylor Hess look at The Feminist, Anti-Colonial Scientific Approach to Micro-Plastics.

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Have a great day,