Thursday, January 27, 2011


New Jersey's Carla Ulbrich had embarked on a career as a satirical singer-songwriter (or, as she puts it, a "professional smart aleck"), when illness struck. And struck, and struck again. It took years to even get a correct diagnosis before she could start proper treatments. It all resulted in endless hours in hospitals. Not very funny? Actually, it resulted in so much material that she got a whole album out it.

Like a scatological Weird Al, many of these tunes are parodies of everyone from Gershwin to The Pretenders, and sometimes quite scathing ones at that, e.g.: Tommy Tutone's "867-5309" becomes "Patient 294606," a cutting look at how patients can feel like they're on an impersonal assembly line, treated like just another number. Very funny, but the cumulative effect of listening to the entire album is that's it's all really quite awful. What an ordeal. I am genuinely relieved that she recovered.

Two songs are just her and her guitar, recorded live, but most of the songs are full band productions. It's all well played and sung, upbeat and fun...but as great as it is to hear a detailed description of a malfunctioning colon cheerfully sung to that disco lounge classic, "The Love Boat" theme, you might not want to listen while eating lunch. I won't be making that mistake again.

Carla Ulbrich "Sick Humor"

1-Sittin In the Waiting Room
2-On The Commode Again (short clip)
3-Patient 294606
5-Little Brown Jug
6-I'm a Specialist
7-The Colon
9-What If Your Butt Was Gone?
9-Happy To Be Stuck By You
10-I Got Tremors

She generously has put the whole thing up for free download on her site. I took all the individual tracks and threw 'em into a zip file for y'all. They're in the m3u format, not mp3 (tho my iTunes converted 'em to mp3), and you only get a short clip of one of the songs, but hey, if you don't like it, get the album.

Ulbrich has a new book hitting the shelves in days entitled
"How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity, and Grit."

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