Rob Cantrell got a break early in his stand-up career when he was picked as one of the finalists on the first season of NBC's Last Comic Standing. Some might argue that getting that much exposure when you're young (in either age and/or as a professional performer) can rush you into situations you're not fully prepared for. For Cantrell, the TV show allowed him to tour with Mitch Hedberg and Stephen Lynch, and also become friends with (and tour with) the comedians of the Marijuana-logues.
But what has Cantrell done for you lately? How does a new stand-up comedy CD sound? Let me take a listen to Keep On The Grass and let you know. He opens by talking about the misguided notions you have about life in your 20s, and yet, now that he's in his 30s, he really wants to tell you more about how he was like before he even hit his teens. He was the kid who took violin lessons, "but was sucking on rosin trying to get high" and never learned a note, tended to be the type of weird kid who stared at the fan and wrote with the big, fat pencils. He argues that those kids are the ones "who become comedians and drug addicts." Hmmm. Not always. Sometimes those kids are just dumb. But let's move on. Because Cantrell did.
Cantrell also thought of himself as a bit of a daredevil on his banana-seat bicycle, with tragically funny results. At least he got lots of milkshakes, right? Cantrell recorded the comedy portion of his set in San Francisco, where he lived for a few years early in his comedy career, and four music tracks from his home in Brooklyn (within blocks of me, I learned recently when we bumped into each other at the grocery store). He's a big fan of coffee and weed — "Yeah, scared and jittery, all day long!" — and naturally has his own argument on the CD for why he believes marijuana should be legalized, and will testify to that with a story about how a joint landed him in the joint. He also shares his theories on the eternal Stones vs. Beatles debate, how life is explained through chess, and why we should all have wings by now. Fly, Cantrell, fly! He'll celebrate the CD release with a free show and party tonight at Coco66 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Here's the music video for one of the songs from Keep On The Grass. It's called "Married n' Sh*t." For reference, the other songs he drops the beatdown on are about "Coffee and Weed" (with a cameo appearance by Arj Barker), "Laundry" and "Rub My Feet." Heavy stuff! OK. Watch and listen: