Random Rules: Dave Attell
The shuffler: Dave Attell, comedian and hard-drinking host of Comedy Central's Insomniac With Dave Attell. Since that show more-or-less ended (mostly because it became too popular to be spontaneous), Attell has stayed busy on the stand-up circuit, leading the national Insomniac Tour with fellow comics Greg Giraldo and Sean Rouse in 2005, and appearing in the upcoming documentary Heckler. Attell's latest stand-up special, Captain Miserable, premi?red on HBO and DVD in December.
The White Stripes, "Hypnotise"
Dave Attell: I like The White Stripes, not only because they promote rocking out with their cock out, but also because they promote brother-sister relationships. Although I like Icky Thump better than Elephant.
The A.V. Club: Meg White canceled a bunch of shows this year because of anxiety—
DA: Is that what they call it now?
AVC: What do you think it was?
DA: It seems like everybody's having that kind of "anxiety attack" lately. I would like to think that it's drugs and alcohol. Anxiety attack, isn't that for antique-bookstore owners?
James Newton Howard, "Those We Don't Speak Of"
DA: This is from The Village's soundtrack. I feel like soundtrack music is almost like seeing the movie again, but with my ears.
AVC: Does that movie get any better if you watch it with your ears?
DA: [Laughs.] It does. I have soundtracks for a lot of stuff. I was on iTunes the other night—and you know, alcohol and iTunes don't mix. I have every one of Hitler's speeches now. Halo 3 has a soundtrack, so I had to download it. Can you believe it? I've never played the game, but I love the soundtrack. Here's one you're probably too young for: The Day Of The Dolphin, with George C. Scott.
AVC: The Mike Nichols movie?
DA: Whoa! Hello, University Of Texas grad-school dropout! [Laughs.]
Dolly Parton, "Jolene"
DA: This song is amazing, but I'd have to say my favorite of hers is "Coat Of Many Colors." If that makes me a little fruity, then so be it. "Jolene" is a great tune, though, because as a man, you get to see the woman's perspective on how catty and bitchy they are. But I like "Coat Of Many Colors," because it's just Christian enough without being too preachy.
Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"
DA: I like this song. I'm trying to work out a bit on it, about how if your name doesn't fit into that song, you're involved in global terrorism. Like "Abu Musabi, blah blah blah."
AVC: Have you been working on that bit since the song came out?
DA: [Laughs.] No, I just thought of the bit, so I downloaded it after. I'm gonna give it to the CIA.
Eric Clapton, "Layla"
DA: I have a lot of Clapton and Cream. This is the 20th Century Masters version. [Snoring sound.]
AVC: Was that a fake snore?
DA: No, that's a chain-smoker's breathing noise. [Laughs.] No, I really do like Clapton. If you want to get to my snoring mix, I have some put-me-to-sleep stuff. I like to calm it down That's cool that you knew what Day Of The Dolphin was.
AVC: George C. Scott and a talking dolphin? Everyone should see that.
DA: Nobody knows who that is, though! Young kids don't even know who he is.
AVC: Surely they've heard of Patton.
DA: Why, has Will Smith done a version of that yet?
Jimi Hendrix, "The Star-Spangled Banner"
DA: I don't even know why I have this.
Randy Edelman/Trevor Jones, "Elk Hunt"
DA: I have the Last Of The Mohicans soundtrack for some reason. When I was a kid, I really loved Indians. Native Americans. Pardon. Me. Daniel Day Lewis, of course, he brought tomahawks back to movies. Everybody wanted to be a tomahawk guy at the time.
The Trashmen, "Surfin' Bird"
DA: This is from Full Metal Jacket, and it's a great song.
Butthole Surfers, "Pepper"
DA: I don't know what you think of the Butthole Surfers, but I love that song "Pepper." I'm old and I love that song. I know Beck and him had a little thing about it. I like Beck too. I'm not a Scientologist, but I think he's great.
AVC: "Pepper" was kind of the Buttholes' sellout song.
DA: Was it? There you go, see? I'm not really a music guy.
The Muffs, "Unknown"
DA: Do you remember them? This is some song off Happy Birthday To Me or something. My favorite song of theirs is "Outer Space." I love that girl in The Muffs. I actually met her one time and said hello, but that was it. I wish that was a better story.
PJ Harvey, "C'mon Billy"
DA: I'm really into her. I think she's hot and mysterious, and her shit is pretty good. I like to think of her as Amy Winehouse's mother, like if Amy could only get it together.
David Allan Coe, "Willie, Waylon, And Me"
DA: I like him because the Grand Ole Opry won't play his stuff, because he's too real And then the rest is all Hannah Montana.
DA: It's a joke, man. I'll raise my hand when it's a joke.
Snoop Dogg, "Let's Get Blown"
DA: Remember Snoop Dogg? Remember how before he was an actor, roaster, and pitchman, he was a rapper? Man, I haven't listened to this in years.
AVC: Have you seen his new reality show?
DA: I don't watch reality TV. I'm cool. Slam-a-dang-dang! Who's your favorite Dancing With The Star? Anyone ever ask you that? That's my life. People ask you that shit.
AVC: Is that why you're not on any of those VH1 talking-head shows, like Best Week Ever?
DA: If I'm gonna whore it out, I try and make it stuff that I want to whore out on, not the stuff they hand me.
Ozzy Osbourne, "See You On The Other Side"
DA: Now it's coming up Ozzy. You know, Ozzmosis, the whole album is good. My favorite song is "Old L.A. Tonight," though.
DA: Man, I have a lot of Tool here. Can't say I'm a huge fan. There are no song titles here, either. It just says "Tool Tool Tool." I guess somebody gave it to me. You know, trying new things. I don't know. It's cool. I'm working on it.
Johnny Cash, "Guess Things Happen That Way"
DA: They sure do. J. Cash really nailed the sad side of life, you know? If you find yourself happy after a Cash song, there's something wrong with you.
Jonathan Katz, "New York City"
DA: [Jonathan] has this album out called Caffeinated, and this is on it. The funniest bit, though, is "A Collect Call From The Pope."
AVC: You were on Dr. Katz, right?
DA: I am Dr. Katz? [Laughs.] I am the real Dr. Katz!
Pete Yorn, "Unknown"
AVC: Ah, the poor man's Ryan Adams?
DA: [Laughs.] I usually listen to Pete Yorn after I get dumped by a dude.
Heather Nova, "Unknown"
DA: You remember her?
AVC: Not really.
DA: Forget it. I think I have it on here because she was hot.
The Flaming Lips, "In The Morning Of The Magicians"
DA: Blah diddy blah blah. Pfft. Everybody loves them.
Alexander Courage/Gerald Fried, "Time Reverse/Future Risk"
DA: This is from the Star Trek soundtrack, the original TV series. That's when you know you're a huge nerd. I believe this is from the one where Spock went back in time to tell me I'm a hack.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, "Pride And Joy"
DA: Stevie is fucking amazing. He's to guitar playing what Bill Hicks is to comedy—you know, they're both Texas guys. I always felt like some kind of weird connection between those two. They're both so good and just their own animal, so proficient at what they did.
Molly Hatchet, "Whiskey Man"
DA: And I am. Man, these are good hits for a random search. For me, Molly Hatchet is high school. It makes me feel like I have hair and a future. That's what I work out to, my friend.
DA: Optimism! Positive thinking! Who's that guy? Tony Little?
AVC: You mean Rich Little?
DA: [Laughs.] No. Come on. I'm not 100.
2Pac & Outlawz, "Made Niggaz"
DA: 2Pac is still alive, so he can tell you about this himself. Like any other white person, I got very curious after he was shot. I like his style. He was the first guy that I ever heard say he was "all about the ducats." I like it when people have other terms for money.
Avril Lavigne, "Sk8er Boi"
DA: You know, 'cause when I'm at the mall Yeah. First of all, she's super-hot. She's my favorite one of the whole group. She's like a little ice princess. She doesn't even look like a real woman. She looks like a snowman fucked a glacier and she popped up out. This beautiful fucking Nordic, hot—and she married that guy in what band? Maroon 5? Is that a good band? You would know.
AVC: No, Maroon 5 is not a good band. But you're thinking of Sum 41. Also not very good.
DA: Fucking Sum 41 guy. She's so hot Okay, and the rest are Hitler's speeches. Now laugh!