Anonymous said: Hey Dan, how many bands have you see live?
Steely Dan was my first concert and they rocked. I saw the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day, Blink and Saves the Day, Ben Folds maybe 14 times and Ben Folds Five twice, Guster (AWESOME), Barenaked Ladies, The Raconteurs (AWESOME), Very Old Bob Dylan (terrible!), Dream Theater a bunch of times, Fiona Apple, Weezer, Cake, The Hold Steady, The Format, MC Frontalot, Dave Matthews Band, Macy Gray by accident, Steel Train, The Format, Piebald, Gogol Bordello, Tegan and Sara, Childish Gambino, Victor Wooten… there are others I’m sure but that’s all I can think of right now.
EDIT: OH MY GOD and Janelle Monae who is the best thing ever.
Anonymous said: How do you overcome your shyness in order to do awesome things? I'm a tiny, quiet, white girl but I can rap the entirety of The Pharcyde's song "Oh Shit". In fact, most of the music I know by heart is early 90's hip hop and I dream of performing it in public some day but I'm scared I'll get laughed off the stage. Any advice?
At 67 years old, Thomas Edison was building a giant laboratory/research center. It was his life’s work and all of the money he had was invested in the building and the things contained therein. One night, a friend ran to his house to say (paraphrasing) “Edison, come quick, your fucking lab is on fucking fire!” Edison and his son ran out immediately, as the lab-in-progress was nearby.
Because of the various chemicals and other science bullshit kept in the lab, the fire was insane; blue, red, and green flames overtook everything and lit up the sky. This was Edison’s future, exploding in front of him in some weird multi-colored nightmare. He turned to his son.
"Get your mother. Get the neighbors. They’ll never see another fire like this in their lives."
I think about that all the time. “Your life’s work is on fire!” “Shut up, that fire is BEAUTIFUL, have you ever seen anything like that?” That’s a level of peace and acceptance to which anyone should aspire.
The epilogue to that story of course is that Edison later took a one million dollar loan from Henry Ford and ended up making more in the next year than he would have made had his lab NOT exploded, but obviously Edison didn’t know that at the time. He didn’t know that the literal fire would light a figurative fire to inspire him to build and create more, at the time. Because at the time he was facing financial and professional ruin. He didn’t know how to proceed with his career or even if he COULD, at his age and at this loss. He wasn’t even thinking about it. He just knew that this fire was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and why not share that with people? What else are you going to do? Complain at the fire? Curse at it? Mope around the house about how mean that fire was? That’s boring, and there’s a sick-ass fire going on.
My advice is that you have no control over whether or not people laugh when you’re on stage. And you have no control over whether or not the boy you like at the coffee shop will reject your advances. And you have no control over whether or not you’ll get a raise or get fired or have your office burned to the ground. But you can control how you react to all of those things.
The most freeing thing in the world is acknowledging the things over which you have no control. Acknowledging that you have no agency over whether or not people will decide to laugh at you. They’re the ones who have decided that they’re the kind of people who laugh at the fly white girl who memorized the entirety of A Tribe Called Quest’s discography, and they’ve already MADE that decision a long time ago. It’s out of your hands. All YOU can control is how hot the fire you spit is and how you handle whatever comes after. Isn’t that cool?
Dear Dan, this woman really wants you to respond to her. She even messaged me today to tell me I’m alright but I’m no Daniel O’Brien. Thanks for that, by the way, lady.
Dear Soren, thank you for bringing this to my attention, it’s always great to hear from a fan, I will respond to you, Soren, as soon as I find the time in the meantime please buy my book. Reach for the stars!
madamehanni said: I quit bartending to nanny twin four-year-old girls. Today, we were playing outside when the sun went behind the clouds. They love pretending to do karate, so I said, "You know what clouds hate? Karate." They immediately start kicking and punching, and in unison, they go, "KARATE! KARATE! COMIN' OUT MY BODY!" I got two little girls in Disney princess shoes quoting you from Welcome Back, Potter in a matter of days. I'm worried that this means I'm ready to be a mom, but I'm only 25. Thoughts?
No one ever really THINKS they’re ready to be a Mom, but yes, this means that you technically should raise children.
montrealaesthetics said: Dear Daniel, will you be in Canada for any event this year? I lived in Montreal for seven years and tragically missed you at Just for Laughs, and was hoping to catch your show if ever you came back. I hope you do, Canada loves you. You're pretty rad, as is your dog.
Cracked might have a presence at Just for Laughs, but I certainly will not be there, unfortunately (Montreal is one of my favorite places in the world). I might try to take a personal trip to Montreal later this year and will try to book some stand up gigs or a signing if that ever happens.
Anonymous said: Okay, so my sister found a puppy in the woods and he is so tiny and hungry and lovey and was absolutely covered in ticks and we named him Sarge. Okay, important part, in the pic of your dog you put up today it looks like they have similar face, so I was wondering what kind of dog you have? We're pretty sure Sarge is like a mutty hound maybe.
Half Jack Russell, half dachshund and half best dog in the world. He is cheerful and stupid, like me, with lots of energy. He likes being scratched on his neck and hates the ocean.
Anonymous said: I've been in L.A. for a few months and don't have many friends here. I'm pretty nervous in social situations, but I am still pretty good at meeting new people, but am not sure how to go from meeting a new person to actually establishing friendships. Any suggestions?
Making friends as an adult is very difficult (I’m currently in the slow process of converting a dog park acquaintance into a full-on friend). You can’t really fall back on the forced, automatic friendships that are born out of middle and high school (where you become friends with the people because you see each other every day and various social circles inevitably emerge) and it’s not like college, where there are so many clubs and activities specifically designed to connect people with similar passions, all roughly around the same age. You’re just out in the world.
I would say don’t overthink it. Everyone knows that making friends as an adult is already weird and hard; don’t make it weirder by putting too much thought into it. Don’t treat friendship like it’s some weird cult, like “Hey, work associate, you are pleasant company. We are now friends, here is your list of new responsibilities.” If you want to be friends with someone because you get along really well, chances are they ALSO wouldn’t mind hanging around you. So for starters breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re all in the same boat.
Also, have something to do. I hosted a bunch of stuff when I first moved here. I had a monthly board game night with some people at work and some other people. I’d cook snacks and mix drinks and slowly but surely worm my way into everyone’s lives (“Oh, yeah, I remember Daniel; he makes really good nachos and always seems to have alcohol. Let’s invite him over.”). You don’t need to host a board game night or anything, it could be as simple as saying “Hey (potential new friend), I’m volunteering (or going for a hike or going to happy hour or catching this cool band) this weekend- do you want to join?”
Friendship is a gradual thing, no one goes from friendly acquaintance to trusted confidant overnight.
EXCEPTION: I had no friends when I first moved here for about two months. Then Soren emailed me and said “Do you have any friends yet,” and I said no and he said “Okay we’ll be friends. There’s a party Friday, come, there will be girls there.”