There is nothing funny about poverty — unless you count ‘2776’
2776 is a concept album. The concept is simple — talented people raising money for the less fortunate.
From the minds of Rob Kutner, of CONAN and The Daily Show fame, and the Levinson Brothers and an absurd number of comedic and musical stars like Patton Oswalt, Aimee Mann, Yo La Tengo, Reggie Watts, Will Forte, Ira Glass, Andrew WK, Ed Helms, Margaret Cho, Paul F. Tompkins, The Rebirth Brass Band, Eugene Mirman, and more, 2776 is the ultimate comedy-musical trip through America’s past, present and future.
All sales of 2776 will go directly to OneKid OneWorld in their efforts to promote education in Kenya and El Salvador.
Stephen Levinson, the more handsome of the Levinson Brothers (according to his mom), took a few minutes to talk to us about the significance of 2776, dead rock stars, Paul F. Tompkins pipes and going broke doing an album.
What does 2776 stand for? Is it the number of people appearing on the album? It seems close.
As your question implies, we’re all huuuuuge numerology geeks, so we wanted every number in our title to have significance.
The 2 is, of course, a tribute to Big Star’s #1 Record. Originally this was going to be a 1, but we thought that would be a little TOO derivative. Then a 7, which was my jersey number on the Hillel Academy Hawks, where my position was bench warmer (I was replaced mid-season by a heating pad).
Okay, this is embarrassing – the next number was supposed to be a 3 for obvious reasons, but came back from the printers as a 7. Whoops!
Finally, we have a 6. We like this number because it sounds like “sex,” and we’re also huuuuuge sex nerds.
Was there a specific number of people you wanted on this album?
To my knowledge, nobody has ever counted the total number of people on 2776. It might not be possible.
Was there a celeb that you wanted but he or she turned down the offer to appear on the album?
Yeah, we really wanted Lou Reed on the album. I know he’s a big shot now, but he never even returned our calls. What a jerk, right? I mean, this is a charity album, for Christ’s sake! (Just learned that Lou Reed died in 2013. Please don’t print this.)
Which non-music celebrity surprised you with their musical talent?
Paul F. Tompkins really hit it out of the ballpark. The man has pipes.
Proceeds of the album are going to charity. How much has been raised so far? If you don’t have the numbers yet, feel free to say “billions.”
I can tell you that if you buy a copy, that number will be higher than it would have otherwise. And yes, all of our profits – all of them – are going to OneKid OneWorld which does totally amazing stuff, and you should check out their website if you want to be inspired.
If you had to choose one song to be the “summer anthem 2014”, which would it be?
US v. Rock n Roll, because the idea of anyone speeding around in their convertible and blasting Nina Totenberg’s acapella guitar solos is just too amusing NOT to happen.
Is a sequel in the works? Can I be on the sequel? I’m moderately funny and play a mean growler jug.
Sequel? Did you get the part about 100% of our profit going to charity? Big mistake – we’re all broke now. But please send us your growler jug demo tape anyway.