Layers: Load up on JIM TEWS’ New Stand Up Album “Oatmeal” for Those Renewable Comedy Carbs
So why exactly is a gal who has trouble spelling “broccoli” reviewing JIM TEWS‘ new comedy album when stand up heavy hitters like Maria Bamford, David Hill, Todd Barry and Ted Alexandro have already heaped praise upon the New York based comedian’s work? Well, because EVERYONE has the right to spout an opinion on this platform we call the internet! Also, I was highly curious to see where the Felines of New York author ventured when unconstrained by the kitty joke comfort zone. The disclaimer is, of course, that your reviewer has the bias of being viciously thwarted from navigating stairs by sister demon cats on a daily basis. Let us press onward now that bit of business is out of the way.
Jim Tews’ new album is called Oatmeal and it’s currently out on Blonde Medicine. In the album the self-described “37-year-old millennial” gives us greater insight into how he’s grown as an individual, no longer being able to rely on age as excuse for personal shortcomings and errors in judgement. To paraphrase Tews on the first track on the album “Typical Millennial,” he can “no longer just listen to NPR now, he has to donate, and better yet, get a tote bag.” Through the power of the comedian’s strong storytelling abilities, we get a healthy serving of the events that have helped inform Tews’ current place in life and his fun outlook on it, despite sometimes keeping all those “feelings” internalized too long (see track “I Didn’t Cry For 4 Years One Time”).
To understand where Tews is at now, we need to look to where his comedy career began. The comedian was born in Allentown, PA. where he watched stand up shows and specials on TV whenever he got the chance. It wasn’t until the end of his enlistment in the Coast Guard that he discovered the open mic. From there he honed his stand up skills on the Cleveland comedy scene and grew his following in New York where he flourishes today. After that real world military experience, Tews got a taste of the college experience where he was able to party “with women who’d been through some stuff.” Tews graduated community college and finished at a four year with a degree in Film. It soon became QUITE apparent why a story involving “Budtenders” was an essential addition to this album. Oatmeal incorporate some of this history weaving in stories like Tews’ Old Navy level running ability, the time he got hit by a car (but was really more interested in sharing that nonexistent video of it), why you shouldn’t trust comics to fit a marriage proposal into a comedy show, reasons why escape rooms are not an ideal use of space, the inevitable perversion of the VR experience, the quintessential “Cat Waiter” tale, what happens when you indulge your girlfriend’s doll fascination, and, of course, that “Oatmeal” track. Let’s just say love and hydration are essential to that lovely album title story.
I hope you give Oatmeal a listen because not only will it thoroughly distract you from life’s small and major annoyances, but it could be a good source of life-affirming fiber. Enjoy! (Seriously though, consume responsibly).