Carla Ulbrich’s new album: Live from Outer Space

I’ve been a fan of Carla Ulbrich since I heard her hysterical folk-inspired guitar songs two years ago. There was “I Have To Kill You Now,” where she sings about taking antihistamines and then not remembering anything she said during an interview, and then there was the Dr. Demento favorite “What If Your Girlfriend Was Gone?”

Recently I was thrilled to find her new album, Live from Outer Space. While Ulbrich often focuses on just plain humor rather than geek-specific humor, she does have some truly awesome geek-flavored songs on this album.

The first is, of course, “Duet with a Klingon” (which I played on the weekly podcast a couple of weeks ago) where she parodies “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” I’d quote it, but I don’t have a Klingon dictionary handy to insert the Klingon’s part of the duet, but I recommend a listen. Trust me, it’s hysterical.

But I can quote another geeky song on the album, which is “The Force is the Force,” a parody of “A Horse is a Horse.”

The force is the force, of course, of course
And no one can tell you about the force
Except of course a Jedi Knight
And most of them are dead!

The album is recorded live, so we get to hear Carla’s chatter between songs, some of these tracks are as funny as her songs. She’s a sarcastic woman, and whenever she tries to write a love song it always comes out rather odd. However, a friend still asked her to write a song for his wedding, “even though he’s very familiar with [her] song writing.” So she came up with a parody of “From a Distance:” “From a distance, your breath is not that bad…” but strangely, they didn’t go for that. She talks about a variety of subjects including her home in Clemson, SC and coffee enemas, often breaking into song in the middle of the story: “The colon! Soon will be making another run!” (to the tune of the “Love Boat” theme).

Her comedy is great, but Ulbrich’s real talent is in her music. She proves that sometimes censoring a word is funnier than actually swearing, as she does in, “If I Had the Copyright (on the Word F——)” where she plays a harmonica to bleep the word.

If I had the copyright on the word ——
I’d say —— this job and yourself, you dumb ——
No need for hard work and no need for luck
If I had the copyright on the word ——


It’s filthy! It’s nasty! Unseemly and vile!
That all may be true but it’s so versatile
So often deleted, this fine expletive
Is a verb, a noun, and an adjective!

Carla keeps the humor on a PG level despite the coffee enemas, a joke about overhearing her grandmother discussing her breasts, and the —— song. If you like comedy mixed with your funny music, you definitely need to pick up this album. (A bonus if you’re from the South; her humor is not all southern, but as a North Carolina native, I certainly appreciated the difference between North and South Carolina bit.)


Mur Lafferty is an author and podcaster. She is the host and producer of the Tor.com Story Podcast and I Should Be Writing and the author of Playing For Keeps, among other things. You can find all of her projects at Murverse.com.

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