Shelley Berman

A Personal Appearance

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Unlike the previous album, The Edge of Shelley Berman, A Personal Appearance was recorded at a single performance and consequently flows a lot better. It shows Berman in pretty good -- if slightly manic -- form, featuring a conversation between a hotel and the desk clerk about the inadequacies of his room (no windows, no light switch, no bathroom, and no discernible way out of the room), as well as a middle-of-the-night conversation between a drunk man at an auto muffler convention and his wife, about his plans to buy Detroit. Berman also recounts a number of those embarrassing moments that people typically don't like to dwell on, like when your butt falls asleep, what to do when you find a "black spot" in your glass of milk while in a public place, or when you attempt to impress a girl by trying to light two cigarettes simultaneously (how suave!), but then forgot to hand one to her. Unfortunately, some of the other embarrassments Berman describes are visual gags that don't translate too well to vinyl. Thankfully, the album ends on a strong note, with an extended piece about the indignities of going to the dentist.