Release Date: May 20, 2016
Record label: Jagjaguwar
To accurately write about Los Angeles, one must acknowledge its morbidity as well as its tranquility. The city’s like Miami in that way. It’s a place blessed by sunshine for much of the year, but could also be partially underwater in the next century. It’s a land that brims with opportunity, but also puts artists through a meat grinder shortly after they arrive.
As one half of Heidecker & Wood -- arguably the first post-Yacht Rock soft rock parody project -- Tim Heidecker blended humor with genuine affection for the music of the '70s and '80s. There's a similar warmth to In Glendale, though this time he follows in the singer/songwriter footsteps of Bruce Hornsby, Jackson Browne, and Billy Joel. Once again, Heidecker wouldn't be able to pull this album off if he didn't really love this kind of music.
Tim Heidecker has built a thriving career in comedy, delighting a wide swath of teens, stoners, and other assorted weirdos with sketches that lean heavily on surreal absurdity. The comedian has dabbled in music already with his Tim & Eric co-conspirators Eric Wareheim and Davin Wood, but the new In Glendale is only his second under his own name (the other is 2011’s Cainthology: Songs in the Key of Cain, ten songs about former presidential candidate Herman Cain). The ten-track LP arrives via Rado Records, a new Jagjaguwar imprint from Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado.
Tim Heidecker has been many things in his life, but "serious" has not often been one of them. So when one dives into In Glendale, the first album attributed exclusively to the comedian of "Tim and Eric" fame, you can be forgiven for searching for "the joke." Even with Heidecker's previous foray into music--the '70s rock-styled Heidecker & Wood--the fun was laughing at the inane lyricism of the era that was being parodied. Heidecker's absurdist comedic nature puts those who know his material constantly on the prowl for the joke.
Part of Tim Heidecker's brand of humor is rooted in uncertainty. You could call it a kind of anti-comedy, but it goes a little further than that. Heidecker has spent the better part of the last 10 years establishing a brand that is aloof and confident despite his lackluster output, which is why it is kind of hard to determine the level of sincerity of his first non-comedy solo album In Glendale.
Tim Heidecker’s comedy duo Tim & Eric primarily traffics in absurdist, surreal anti-comedy, and while his debut solo record In Glendale might be nothing like what you’d imagine the creator of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! would write, the two projects are united by Heidecker’s offbeat charm and ability to craft an immersive, fully realized world. In Glendale borrows a bit from the likes of Bob Dylan, but is also firmly steeped in the kind of Americana tradition that is associated with acts such as Randy Newman and recently popularized by singer-songwriters like Tobias Jesso, Jr. or Matthew E.