Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kurt Braunohler: How Do I Land?

Illustration for article titled Kurt Braunohler: How Do I Land?

About a third of the way into How Do I Land?, the debut album from Los Angeles stand-up Kurt Braunohler, he lays out his reason for being: “I want to insert stupidity or absurdity into strangers’ lives, because I think, for a moment, it can make the world a better place.” Without ruining the joke, he’s found several esoteric, one-to-one ways of doing this that involve pharmacy greeting cards, Barnes & Noble, missed connections, and Wikipedia. But it’s the grander version of this quest that the Brooklyn expat—who’s appeared on Chelsea Lately and Bob’s Burgers—tackles throughout the rest of the album.

Audience members on “Sad Snack” yell “Noooo!” multiple times as Braunohler starts eating the titular food item before reading some of his “tweets that nobody liked.” Elsewhere, on “List Of People I Need to Kill,” a night with a lady goes suddenly awry when she finds his sticky-note joke wall. “Sacha Baron Cohen” is a master class in cringeworthy regret involving the titular actor.

On the title track, Braunohler speaks to his struggle to find a way to bring “stupidity and absurdity” to a larger audience, and how it prompted him to launch a Kickstarter campaign that ultimately led to this album’s title and cover. But more than that admittedly next-level project, the album itself does the big work. Throughout the record—and in particular during highlights like “Dildo Jog,” “Tinkle Digest,” and “Quiet Orgasmer”—Braunohler takes moments from his life—involving public embarrassment, wrong-number adventures, and sexual reprimands, respectively—and brings that absurdity to the listener. While not every joke lands, the result is largely an approachable, delightful package that fully succeeds as an absurdity delivery mechanism.