Collisions at the Corner of Art and Commerce

Tim Minchin

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tim Minchin

I had the great pleasure to catch a sold out Tim Minchin show recently at the Aladdin Theater here in Portland OR.    To me, he’s about as complete an artist and performer as you can be.  He’s tremendously talented as a pianist. He can sing well and really knows how to make the most of his voice.  His stage performance is so well written and timed - he’s got great comedic performing chops and a fast wit and strong rapport with the crowd.  He’s a gifted, thoughtful, funny as hell writer. He constructs songs, which, if a bit didactic at times, have been thoroughly written to stand tall in the midst of waves of criticism that are often directed at them.  Such waves happen regularly since he’s a noted skeptic and writes about things like religion and the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.   That particular song is indeed shocking if one is easily offended by coarse language - and yet that’s the song’s central point - if one is more offended by words used in a song than offended by the clear evidence of Church’s malfeasance at the highest levels about sex abuse well, that’s even more offensive than any word could ever be.

His work is often shocking, but in a good way.  His humor is, for the most part, not about tearing others down, though he did have a song called Fat Kids that he’s since retired, feeling that he can’t defend it - a stance for which I have great admiration.  I don’t expect artists to be perfect, but I do expect them to grow and evolve, and this is an example of that in my opinion.

Here’s a piece from this past weekend’s NPR Weekend Edition

Or if you prefer to read the interview, here's a transcription

A song to check out:

updated: 7 years ago