Dave Landau: Down on Your Lucky Charms
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
By Ryan P. Carey
The title of Dave Landau’s CD, Down On Your Lucky Charms is misleading and makes it seem as though the album is going to be a spoken-word foray into young American dark comedy: a neo-slacker’s travelogue along the French drains of his mother’s basement, but Landau’s style sets a different tone.
Landau’s comedy is not necessarily uplifting. Just like almost any good comic these days, he spends some time tumbling us around in the chaos that is modern life, but his jokes have a more laid-back vibe than a lot of the edgier comics out there today. Unfortunately, the title foreshadows a great punch line: He has a bit about breakfast cereal which in itself, is very funny material. But as soon as we hear the set up, all but the most adult ADHD-addled listeners already know where the punch line is going and that particular joke is spoiled.
I understand why he did that. Comics want to sell CDs at their shows, and one of the most effective ways for up-and-coming acts to sell their CDs is to remind their audience of their most hilarious jokes on the CD title. It’s good marketing in the club world, but unfortunate for the first-time listener.
Landau’s confidence certainly shows through in his style, and he doesn’t assault the audience with his opinions. His observational humor is sharp and carries well throughout the entire disc. I appreciate that a comic can come along and more or less talk about the same stuff we’ve heard and not end up sounding like a recycled Jerry Seinfeld retrofit.
Dave Landau seems to have quickly reached a point where he can really start to take control in shaping his career and likely one of two things will happen: He will either continue his current path to become the consummate Orny Adams and basically become a strong national headliner whom club managers love because he’ll always get big laughs at the end of the night. Or he may eventually graduate into a Jim Gaffigan-archetype and develop a unique stage character and presentation style, becoming something even more exciting. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Dave Landau at a club near you.