You know how the old saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed at recording your next stand-up album the week before Christmas at Vermont Comedy Club, try and try again at the Bell House in Brooklyn.”
What came of it was his third full hour, Dancing On a Weeknight.
Dropping today (April 19) via Blonde Medicine Records, Gondelman’s newest effort brings listeners into where he is at the moment — both in his career as a comedian, and in his personal life as a now married man. Since his last record, Physical Whisper, the Stoneham native has worked out a lot of material that became this new hour, and with that work came a few new and improved aspects to his presence behind the mic.
“Having the presence to try recording it a second time in order to get what I wanted, I feel like just that level of comfort and confidence [is new], but another new element was just talking about what was new in my life,” Gondelman tells Vanyaland. “Since the last album, I’ve gotten married, and I have a lot of material about having my dog, and I really think that was able to develop because life changes, and stylistically, I was trying to find the most comfortable place that feels the most authentic to me and my perspective.”
Having already done this two times before, Gondelman is no stranger to the recording process. But he still took stock of what he could improve on with this next chapter, and that proved to be a worthwhile endeavor for not only him, but for the folks listening to the album after the fact, as well.
“One thing about recording, rather than just doing a regular set, is that when you’re recording, you want it to sound good for the people outside of the room,” says Gondelman. “When I recorded my first album in 2011, I didn’t have a full mastery over that idea, but with the last two, I told myself ‘I want this to live outside of this room, and if I botch a line, I’ll just do it again, nobody in the room will notice, and it will sound better on the record.’”
Working out his material in clubs all the country has certainly helped him flex his comedy muscles, and improve on what he knew he could. One such upgraded attribute that he’s really seen evolve since he started doing stand-up is his ability to write faster and build up material in a more efficient fashion.
“[The writing process] is a little faster for me than it used to be, because I think I’m better now than I was before at comedy, and that’s exciting for me,” admits Gondelman. “The first album took me seven years to go from starting in stand-up to being comfortable enough to record something, and the second one took about four years after that, and now this one was just over three years. It’s nice to see how I’ve been able to hone in on how to do it.”
Gondelman used a lot of new experiences and lessons to bring us this new hour, and the dedication to growing in his approach shows. The Brandeis alum is proud of his newest batch of jokes, and while he’s relishing in the moment, he knows that the next album will find him in an even more advanced state of comedy.
“I feel more focused on this album, and I’m more of myself than I’ve ever been,” says Gondelman. “There’s just more of who I am and what I’m about. I’m sure, though, that on the next album, I’m going to look back on some of this material and cringe, but right now I’m very proud of this, and it’s the clearest articulation of what I’m about that I’ve ever done.”