First Unitarian Church of Des Moines Des Moines, IA
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Roy Zimmerman in Concert
Roy Zimmerman sings satirical songs - original songs about topics like class warfare, creationism, same-sex marriage, guns, marijuana, abstinence, ignorance, war and greed. Steeped in musical theatre, Roy was fascinated at an early age with the ingenious economy of Irving Berlin, the witty innuendo of Cole Porter and the high-wire rhyme and reason of Stephen Sondheim. You can hear The Beatles and The Beach Boys in his songs, but folk influences loom large as well: Phil Ochs' unapologetic blend of humor and politics, Pete Seeger's unflagging commitment to social justice, The Roches' eccentric soulfulness. In twelve albums over twenty years and on stages, screens and airwaves across America, Roy has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for peace and social justice.
Zimmerman's stage show, "Live From the Starving Ear," is ninety minutes of original satirical songs, many of them co-written with his wife, Melanie Harby. The Starving Ear is Zimmerman's homage to San Francisco's legendary nightclub, the hungry i. In the late 50's and early 60's the hungry i was a flashpoint for such talents as Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Phyllis Diller, Maya Angelou, the Kingston Trio, and a melting pot of music, comedy and social message.
Zimmerman has shared stages with George Carlin, Bill Maher, Kate Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Oliver, Dennis Miller, Sandra Tsing Loh, kd lang, Andy Borowitz and Paul Krassner. He's done several shows with The Pixies' Frank Black, swapping songs in a solo acoustic setting. Roy's songs are often played on progressive radio by Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Bill Press and others. His up-to-the-moment topical songs are spun regularly by folk music DJ's across the country, and he's a frequent guest on Sirius Radio's syndicated show "West Coast Live." His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. He's also a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
************** Press Quotes
"Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society's foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer." --The Los Angeles Times
"I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just 'rhyne.'" -- Tom Lehrer
"Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection." --Joni Mitchell
"Roy Zimmerman lifted the evening with his song 'Chickenhawk' ridiculing the military policies of Bush administration officials who didn't serve in the armed forces. Zimmerman's squawking and clucking conveyed his scorn with contagious irreverence." -- The New York Times
"Zimmerman is a guy on the left skewering folks on the right with rapier-sharp lyrics ... underneath the caustic satire is a man who is surprisingly optimistic." -- Sing Out!
"It was great to hear all those old Foremen songs again, and to be reminded of your lyrical brilliance. Just excellent." -- "Weird Al" Yankovic
"...this was no ordinary man. This was Roy Zimmerman, a unique type of superhero who possesses the power to nearly coax urine from the unwilling bladders of his audience members (via laughter). He delivered some of the smartest satirical songs that I'd ever heard." -- Jeff Penalty, lead singer of The Dead Kennedys
"Roy Zimmerman has a rare gift for songwriting -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Bobby Kennedy meets Bobby Dylan" -- The Marin Independent Journal
"You're brilliant. Just brilliant!" -- Terry Jones, Monty Python
First Unitarian Church of Des Moines (View)
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315