By Laura Hartnell
When’s the last time you listened to an album the whole way through? Conk has. And he’s here to tell you how to create the perfect music album, in an unhinged and wholesome comedy lecture that makes you happy to be alive.
Genuinely as educational as it is entertaining, Long Play is a celebration of music, artists, and albums in a world of playlists, shuffle, and Spotify Wrapped. It feels like being at an extended Pecha Kucha slideshow night with your friends, and the joy of watching someone talk (however manically) about the things they love is infectious.
Connor Conk Dariol, dressed in a Talking Heads-style oversized beige suit, has taken slideshow dramaturgy to a new level. With expert timing and clicker-usage, the slideshow acts as a sort of partner in crime, peppered with set-ups, punch lines, and call backs. It’s a treat to watch a performer treat technology as their comedy partner; the presentation augments Conk’s absurdism and provides a foil for his earnest, slightly mad, love of music and albums.
You’ll walk away with plenty of tips and tricks for your burgeoning music career, including how to craft the perfect 5 second opening of your album (think The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds), or the advice that the best way to boost album sales is to die (think John and Yoko). Long Play is masterful in its self-aware derivation, teaching the audience about music conventions only to lovingly undermine them later as the punchline to a joke. Props also to the photographer who expertly replicated famous album covers with Conk pictured in place of the artists.
The show could be a bit tighter, but the audience laughed from beginning to end, and Conk’s clownish, earnest performance is surprising, charismatic, and often hilarious. Long Play is a celebration of music as a soundtrack to our feelings, relationships, and lives. You’ll go home flooded with endorphins and ready to lie on your bed and listen to an album all the way through.