Mary Mack: Pinch Finger Girl: A Tragedomedy
Go See Her: Mary Mack is performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Hayward’s Park Theater.
Length of the first spin: Well, this is above all else a comedy CD, so it’s not like you can, like, skip around. So I listened to the whole thing, but just once. Seems you can review a comedy CD more easily than, say, rock and roll.
First impressions: Lets harken back to the day I got this CD in the mail and read a description of Mary Mack as a folk humorist, and then never cracked the plastic wrap on the CD. Later, while writing about her show in Hayward for this week’s Best Bets, I watched a YouTube vid powerful enough to knock the plastic wrap right off that CD, and shake my headphones off of my desk and straight onto my head.
Brief bio: Musician-turned-comedian, formerly of Webster, Wis. Mary Mack’s work features plenty of funnies about Superior, which seems to have been a destination city for her family to get clothes and fast food once a year. (She calls herself a rebel because she moved to a city that has tar). She now splits time between LA and the Twin Cities. She’s been on "Last Comic Standing."
Assessment: Mack, like many women who are comedians seem to do, has a stage voice. A little wee voice that sounds like she’s trapped in the teeny side of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." She admits that people are maybe confused at how she has the voice of a 5-year-old, but the body of a fourth-grader. She drops g’s and stumbles over words, and adds toddler breathlessness to her stories. Listen to it long enough, though, and it is exactly like when your Minnesota mom accidentally sits next to a woman from Texas: A totally contageous accent. I caught myself talking like this twice today. What’s worse is that I started thinking in that voice, too.
This is good funny clean funny stuff, with occasional burst of music (You probably won’t recognize "White Christmas" on the musical saw).
My picks: She brings out my favorite bit, the story of the pinch finger girl, who was born with her pointer finger and her thumb fused together "Like everything was okay. ‘Cept it wasn’t." Mack mentions "portable birthing hips," and tells the audience in the live show that she’s "savin’ up for a baby. I was going to have my own, but there are so many in the universe. … Just reach out and grab one." The end of the CD features a bit on how if you drop a piece of food that has a peel, it is still okay to eat. "A peel is nature’s ziplock," she says.
3 Spin Review is a feature where I receive a CD in the mail. Take a quick zip, skipping ahead when a song starts to poke my brain, lingering when it has immediate appeal. Second spin includes listening to it while I’m doing something else. Third spin I actually decide if I like what I’m hearing. These brief reviews will also include my working knowledge of said band, so you know whether my opinion is trustworthy, and then the opinion of someone else who has reviewed the CD. (This plan deviates from its original form when it comes to local bands).