Probable comic genius Harry Shearer (briefly: The Simpsons, This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind and radio show Le Show) can read the newspaper — and sometimes does — to brilliant comic effect. He has a new album of comedic songs, Can't Take a Hint, with such talent as Dr. John, Jane Lynch, Judith Owen, Fountains of Wayne and many more. For “The Drop” at the Grammy Museum, he'll sit down (one would assume) and talk with executive director Bob Santelli, and even play a few of the new songs. And, this just in, he'll be joined by Fountains of Wayne.
L.A. WEEKLY: You have a slew of big names on Can't Take a Hint. Who are some other dream collaborators?
HARRY SHEARER: I'd love to do a tune with Lyle Lovett; he's a monster singer, and a heck of a human. I'd very much like to do something with Andy Partridge of XTC, with whom I'm just starting to be acquainted. There are so many New Orleans musicians whom I know, and with whom I'd be honored to collaborate — just in the sense of being in the studio watching them cook — that it's impossible to name them all, but George Porter Jr. of The Meters would be at the top of the list.
How would you rate yourself as a singer?
I think the most charitable term would be “serviceable.”
If you could write Romney's theme song, how would it go?
I actually did write it. It was called “Mister 13 Percent,” in honor of his reported average annual tax rate. First line of the bridge: “Triskaidekaphobia is no match for pluck.”
Why is satirical humor important today?
Because the world is such a dark scary place. Freud said we laugh at what frightens us. Welcome to the Laugh Palace.
Do you have any favorite comedic-music albums?
Tom Lehrer's records are still classics, musically and lyrically. I loved, and still love, Stan Freberg's United States of America. And Randy Newman's Sail Away is a satirical gem.
You spend a lot of time in New Orleans — what do you miss about L.A.?
I miss Phil Hendrie, who's not as easy to hear outside L.A. as he is in town. I miss the beach, which has gotten ridiculously cleaner in my lifetime — an antidote to environmental depression, in that we can make something better if we try hard enough. I miss our dog and cat, who still live in SoCal. I miss some friends. And I miss the greatest collection of showbiz assholes ever assembled on planet Earth.
OK, one Proust question — pretend this is Vanity Fair. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day of incredibly fulfilling creative work, followed by a sublime meal, followed by great sex, followed by a good night's sleep, followed by a furious one-on-one hoops game the next morning. Rinse and repeat.
Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn.; Mon., Oct. 22, 8 p.m.; $20. (213) 765-6803; grammymuseum.org.
Mon., Oct. 22, 8 p.m., 2012
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