“Two guys too smart to be considered as funny as they really are and too funny to be considered as seriously as they should be.”
Bart Plantenga, DJ for 99.3 FM’s Wreck This Mess in Amsterdam, NL
Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine CD:
Poor, On Tour, & Over 54 (No Help Here Productions)
…not only does Poor, on Tour & over 54 taste good, it’s good for you, too. Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine are the Hudson Valley’s leading (only?) erudite comedic duo, a literary/beat-informed pair that references history and the classics while taking occasional aim at political and topical ridiculousness. On this, the pair’s second disk, Horowitz (voice, harmonica, kazoo, record) and Malkine (guitar, dumbek, voice) are joined by Charlie Knicely, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Harvey Kaiser, and other top musicians as they tackle such masterful side splitters as “Big Vermonty Mountains” (an ode to the progressive promised land, sung to the tune of “Big Rock Candy Mountain“) and “Hip Hop Hobbit and the Ring Thing” (yes, a rap adaptation of The Hobbit). High jinks and hilarity, but without the guilt.
Peter Aaron, Roll Magazine, 2008
Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine Poor, On Tour & Over 54
2007, (No Help Here Productions)
Stand-up satirist Mikhail Horowitz and deft musician Gilles Malkine in have been cracking up cerebral audiences since the 1980s with their piquant, political meanderings. Their latest recording does not fall far from their previous work; it’s every bit as spry, ingenious, and criminally funny. Employing various musical styles from rap and hip-hop to blues and bop, Horowitz and Malkine continue to regurgitate literature and philosophy with their trademark mercurial mojo. Horowitz takes on harmonica, kazoo, and recorder with Malkine on the guitar and dumbek, and both literary clowns can be blamed for vocals and lyrics. Nine guest artists surrender to the duos irreverence on Poor, On Tour & Over 54 (the obvious sequel to their last disk, Live, Jive & Over 45), and no topic is off-limits, be it Irish Alzheimer’s, same-sex marriage, The Lord of the Rings, beat poets, Zen monks, the Taliban, or Condoleezza Rice. Recorded live at various Hudson Valley locations including the Rosendale Theater and Unison in New Paltz, the sound quality is the only thing that’s lacking, but this does not go unexplained in the liner notes. In fact, an entire page of the accompanying booklet is hilariously dictated to the CDs aural shortcomings, including an invitation to listen hard for “the dull thud of each apple, tomato, and cantaloupe as it splatters upon the stage.”
Sharon Nichols, Chronogram Magazine
Mik and Gilles have been called the “thinking man’s comics.” On April 3, they presented their trademark blend of outrageous but thought-provoking humor and incisive political comedy to Sunday Best Reading Series attendees. They sang of that Brigadoon-like oasis in the political wasteland, the Big Vermont-y Mountains. In their updated version of The Riddle Song, they posed the eternally puzzling question, “How can there be a Congressman with no lyin’?” For their closing number they offered a condensed version f J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy (this version has a brief sequel that takes place on Wall Street—the villains are “Gollum Sachs”).
Poet and performance artist Mikhail Horowitz is the author of three books, two collections of poetry (The Opus of Everything in Nothing Flat and Rafting Into the Afterlife) and a “collage-caption opus” (Big League Poets). The Blues of the Birth, a collection of his jazz fable performances, has been issued on CD. His partner-in-crime, Gilles Malkine, performed as a member of Tim Hardin’s band at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and at Carnegie Hall. Malkine has recorded with Hardin and others, plays the bass and fiddle as well as the guitar, and is a composer in his own right. He also presents a series of “women in history” profiles on the public radio show 51% The Women’s Perspective. Together, Horowitz and Malkine have been serving up their special concoction of literary spoof and folk-song parodies, with a heavy helping of political satire, to audiences in the Catskills and beyond since April 1, 1989.
“Mikhail Horowitz does with the English language what Jim Carrey does with his face . . . the irresponsible relationship between him and his guitar-totin’ accomplice, Gilles Malkine, are a full-fledged delight to experience.”
Peter Schickele (P.D.Q. Bach)
“With nimble tongue and dextrous wit, Horowitz and Malkine offer . . . a scathing multimedia performance that comments on everything from organized religion to corporate fat cats to Beat poets. And somehow, it all makes sense.” Woodstock Times
“The Hudson Valley’s leading (only?) erudite comedy duo, a literary/Beat-informed pair that references history and the classics while taking occasional aim at political and topical ridiculousness. Plus, they write songs, funny ones.”
Hudson Valley Chronogram