David Cross, ‘Let America Laugh’ (Sub Pop)
As the bald half of late-’90s sketch-comedy duo Mr. Show, David Cross perfected a particular strain of prissy, highly articulate rage. In 2002, Cross took that rage on the road, playing rock venues across the country with Atlanta band Ultrababyfat and videographer Lance Bangs in tow. The resulting DVD, rather perversely, captures almost none of Cross’ live act (for that, check out the two-CD set Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!). Instead, we’re treated to the inanities of the touring life and the insobriety of Cross’ legion of yammering, collegiate fans. As he drifts in an endless sea of hecklers, flatulent old men, and bong-hugging video-store clerks, Cross’ brilliantly indignant shtick is revealed: It’s funny because it’s true.