When I heard I was going to be reviewing Dan Cummins’ Hear This!, my initial reaction was, “I love it when I get Cummins in my ear!” Dan Cummins debuted in 2009 with his album Revenge is Near and followed it up last year with Crazy with a Capital F. In his third album he proves that he is one of the most effectively productive comedians performing stand-up today.
One of the faults of a textual review is that you don’t get the voice and command that Cummins has on stage. It’s very hard to describe other than the fact that I get the sense that he belongs behind a mic. His cadence and pacing is finely tuned so he’s not trying to slow his material down, but neither are you ever too far away from a joke. One good source of material is Cummins’ desire to strike people dead on an angry whim.
Person driving too slow in the left lane? Dead. Smoothie barista won’t get off the phone to take his order? Dead. Guy behind you in line breathing just a little too hard? Dead.
But it’s not just childish anguish he professes. Cummins is an adult. He has adult problems. Case in point: his trip to San Francisco. Dan was unaware, as I’m sure many other out-of-towners are that the Golden Gate Bridge, being a toll road, only takes cash. Dan’s smarmy retort to this fact was, “I didn’t have cash on me. I had a credit card because it was 2011 and I was a grown-up.” He was assessed a ticket and claims that so far he has yet to pay it off.
Another adult problem Cummins has is the fact that there are no receipts for taxes. “7- 11 will give you an itemized receipt for like Pepperoni sticks and sugar-free Red Bull. You give the government money they’re just like ‘Thanks.’ Except minus the ‘Thanks.’ Because they just take it.” Oh Government, you and your conniving spending ways.
Hear This! is Dan Cummins’ longest album to date and it is available for download for $5 on iTunes. A great deal better than most comedy albums that are typically $8 and feature far less genial talent. If you want to save even more money on entertainment take Cummins’ advice: “If you don’t want to go pay for a movie sit on a bench for two hours and harshly judge people.”
For tour scheduling and updates check out Dan’s website
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com