My Secret Public Journal Live

by: Mike Birbiglia

If there's a reason to be cautious about Mike Birbiglia's 2007 effort for the Comedy Central label it's that his other albums are a better introduction to the humble, hilarious, and kind of strange standup comedian. One look at the title My Secret Public Journal Live and a Birbiglia fan might correctly guess that this album is based off his blog of the same name. This means there's a lot of storytelling and wandering topics, all delivered at a much slower pace than his normal set. The transitions aren't that smooth, "Catholic School Sunglasses" isn't very good at all, and the stories are padded by bits of material that have appeared on earlier efforts, but there's a slow charm to hearing the comedian in this looser atmosphere and a couple moments that are prime Birbiglia. "Porno for Parents" is a hilarious story of the older generation and their befuddlement with computers while "Roger Clemens Hates Me" is a great tale of a comedian in an incredibly uncomfortable position. Uncomfortable positions are Birbiglia's bread and butter, as the epic opener "Celebrity Golf" also displays, but some of these uneasy feelings aren't ones a normal person -- as in non-celebrity -- would ever experience and at times this really feels like a journal in every self-indulgent sense of the word. My Secret Public Journal Live is a good album for the serious Birbiglia addict, nothing more, nothing less. ~ David Jeffries

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