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Bucky Sinister - What Happens in Narnia, Stays in Narnia

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Artist: Bucky Sinister

Album: What Happens in Narnia, Stays in Narnia

Label: Talent Moat

Review date: Nov. 7, 2007

What Happens In Narnia, Stays In Narnia is a fitting title for Bucky Sinister's blend of comedy and spoken word. It's funny because it spoofs a popular ad campaign, and because … well, it's Narnia, a parallel fantasy world his audience can identify with. That’s key, as most listeners will find Bucky’s land and language just as foreign. Throughout …Narnia, Sinister recants tales of meth-addicted stalkers, video store shame, and violent AA sponsors. He wears his street punk credibility like a third runner-up ribbon, proud in one sense, self-deprecating in another.

But beyond a litany of pre-hipster cultural references and vignettes of life in the dark corners of life, it's Sinister's delivery that obscures his categorization. His chortling, stuttering, borderline-Tourette's dispatch of self-conscious wit suggests that these are not bits, and that he is not a comedian – his life has actually been this f’d up. As he mimics the accusatory screams of an ex-convict running down the atheist Sinister's unwillingness to accept a higher power ("Are you more powerful than a tidal wave?! Are you stronger than a lion?!!"), Sinister's delivery makes it as frightening as it is funny. He goes on to speak of the problems facing an atheist who can't help but be offended – righteously, indignantly offended – when passersby instinctively respond to his sneezes with "God Bless You.” Sinister treads places that more mainstream (and, thus far, this is the only place you'll see people like Eugene Mirman referred to as "more mainstream") comedians are likely to avoid, because, it would appear, that Sinister is living this shit.

The approximate size and shape of a Confederate Hammerskin, Sinister indeed sounds like a gorilla with a poet trapped inside. His own found poem about Courtney Love, comprised completely of snippets from her interviews, nearly steals the show. Sinister is the conduit for the seedy darkness that surrounds and almost haunts him, his musings no less grave and creaky than a post-Beat, but squeezed through the absurd filter of his frightened-child-in-rusty-armor baritone, it becomes funny. Calling it comedy only works to reassure the listener, perhaps disingenuously, that this isn't really someone's life.

By Andy Freivogel

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