Layers: AUSTIN MILLER’S “29 Forever” featuring Margo Bateman Is The Musical Live Comedy Album of Our Quarantine Dreams
Some people drink box wine, stream Mormon forgery plots, and horde coffee during a pandemic. Others buckle down and produce comedy content worthy of withstanding the ravages of time. LA’s Austin Miller (Dabs Den Prod) and Margo Bateman (Red Carpet Comedy) are in the latter camp, as they collaborated to bring you a live comedy album (without audience) during the COVID December of 2020. The album is called 29 Forever and features 10ish songs, written & performed by Miller, with some backup drumming, hosting (and cool artwork) by Margo. Austin’s comedy delivery is dry, sarcastic, silly and irony laden, while the comedian/singer’s lyrics delve into subject matter that you would rarely find in polite conversation. You know you are destined for a special time when the “Thank You for Coming” intro starts off with the dark premise of jokingly threatening blackmail to an invisible audience, and then eases into the philosophical territory of the sheer futility of life (passed on by a purple flying lion head imagined by creator on a DMT trip), “nothing matters so just have fun and follow your dream.”
A litany of songs in this live comedy gem are sure to tickle your fancy. “Christian Rock Song” is about Austin’s sister’s fiancé and his Christian rock passion. The line “these songs are easy, you just make lists” may cut deep, but it’s these album truths which make you double over with laughter. “Abu Dhabi Robbed Me,” the tale of falling for “the oldest trick in the book,” just about convinces the listener to pity the protagonist, wrapped up in a duplicitous scheme to launder drug money, but it’s words like “money flows thru me I always spend it, right when I make it, so they cant take it from me” that seal the deal. “Song for You (About Me)” veers into the love territory when a narcissist (who is NOT an incel) questions how he could possibly fall for another. We are always a sucker for songs about affairs of the heart, so this one was already a winner from the get-go; but, with the addition of online subculture references, it becomes a creature of comedic beauty.
We get a perfect transition into the tune “Saturn Returns” with Margo’s interstitial about astrological transit known as “Saturn’s Return.” After a lovely animation, Margo describes the state as “a Bar mitzvah for the stars.” The song ties directly into the album’s title “29 Forever” as it addresses the fears that come along with reaching full adulthood. Surely, living through a pandemic only exacerbates the realization that adult responsibilities can no longer be attributed to the folly of youth? Austin addresses the return to that place in the sky that was once occupied at a human’s birth with his own Peter Pan complex, “can you imagine is astrology is wild and it turns out I’m not grown until I work through my return.” Getting old sucks.
And, of course, I couldn’t resist pointing out another relationship tune, trying it’s best not to be one,”She’s Moving In.” Austin admits he’s “too lazy for relationship,” but attests “long distance sucks” and “she makes me wanna do stuff.” Awwww, looks like (paraphrasing here) ‘that girlfriend that’s know’s he’s a psycho’ has a keeper on her hands. There’s so much to be thankful for in this album, and to think it was created in one of the most trying times this generation has faced, is a credit to the resiliency and imagination of the artist, whether his muse be human, celestial or of the chemical substance variety. Watch and listen below:
Mentions: 29 Forever” is currently available on the DabsDen YouTube channel and Instagram. Follow Austin on Instagram. Follow Margot THERE. Kudos to end credits star Tony. This album was directed by Griffin Pocock, with other behind the scenes staff including Director of Photography Tyler Bradberry and Camera Operator Samuel Miron. More staff info HERE.