Is Standup Comedy the New Punk Rock?

Portland’s famous underground record label Kill Rock Stars is profiled in a recent article for the Portland Mercury that examines its recent foray into standup specials, and it’s pretty interesting. Known for helping push bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, and Elliott Smith to mainstream fame, Kill Rock Stars has taken more and more interest in recording standup sets since a chance Twitter encounter with Kurt Braunohler in 2012 led to their release of his hour standup special How Do I Land? The label’s most recent additions include Laura Kightlinger, Hari Kondabolu, Ian Karmel, and Cameron Esposito.

Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin even goes so far as to call comedy “the new punk rock” in the article, citing the underground music scene as “super safe” for the past eight years. “I’m not gonna say boring, because there’s still good stuff out there, but what happened to the anger, the passion, the emotion? That’s why I think the idea of working with Kill Rock Stars is resonating so much with a lot of these alternative comics. We want you to be political. We want you be a strong feminist. We want you be out there with something to say.”

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