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Arts and Entertainment

Harry Shearer Brings 'Songs Of The Bushmen' to Largo on Monday

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Looking for an appropriately festive way to send off our lame-ass-duck Commander In Chief on Monday night? Harry Shearer's throwing a party for your kind of people at Largo.

Shearer - host of the nationally syndicated radio program Le Show, voice of numerous Simpsons characters, and the one in Spinal Tap with veggie-enhanced trousers - will be presenting songs from his Grammy-nominated Songs For The Bushmen, a thorough and enthusiastic skewering of the entire GW administration, player by player. On the eve of this overwhelmingly joyful occasion. Shearer took a moment to share some insights on the album.

It seems like satirizing Bush would be challenging, because the facts are so over-the-top, it doesn't even seem possible to exaggerate them for comedic effect. How did you deal with this?

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I don't think satire requires exaggeration. It just involves keen observation, and then serious editing. You try to give a savagely accurate picture, without the boring parts.

What do you think might have happened if you'd done an album like this in 2003?

I wouldn't have been competing for the Grammy against a dead legend (ed: he's talking about George Carlin; at his Holiday Singalong, Shearer lameneted "I'm competing against a dead man, and dead is so - hot!"). Also, they might have made me an honorary Dixie Chick.

Where does George W. Bush sit relative to that fine line between clever and stupid?

Well, I think Democrats lost at least one election entertaining themselves with the notion that the guy was too stupid to live, let alone to win. Yet, the problem with the Bush administration wasn't stupidity: the people who pushed for the Iraq war, for rendition and "enhanced interrogation" were all smart, many with PhD's, but they were woefully ignorant of history, the same way the "best and the brightest" were ignorant of recent French history in Indochina when they led us into Vietnam. On the other hand, I don't think the man, judging by the glimpses we've gotten of his sense of humor, can be remotely thought of as clever. So neither of the above. Relentlessly mediocre would be my best guess.

The album was completed before the current economic meltdown hit full swing. Is there a possibility of a bailout-related "bonus track" being performed at the Largo show?

The only economic crisis-related song I've written so far was a tune for the Xmas show, "Why No Bailout for Santa?" That may have drained me on the topic.

Which member of the Bush Admin is most likely to be caught with a zucchini down the trousers by airport security? (I'm guessing it's Rumsfeld.)

I think it's Condi Rice.

Is an Obama presidency going to be funny?

Funny in the way that sky-high hopes colliding with a historic mountain of shit dumped on his desk from day one is funny. Funny in the way that, if he's serious about sending lots of troops to muck about in Afghanistan, ignoring British and Soviet history there the way Bush ignored British history in Iraq is funny. Sad-funny.

Harry Shearer and the High-Level Detainees | Monday, January 19 9:00PM
Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd. 310-855-0350

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