Songwriting comedian Henry Phillips recorded his previous two albums at Acme Comedy Co. This week he's coming back. His first visit was as Doug Stanhope's opener in 1999, and he continues to find Minneapolis a convivial home for his off-kilter combo of music and standup. Phillips, who has lived in Los Angeles since his early teens, began his comedy career as a fun hobby. After several years, he realized that he was developing a fan base. So, determined to carve out a living doing what he loved, he took his act on the road. His earlier work tended toward the observational but, after earning a degree in political science from UCLA, he found that writing satirical tunes about issues like economics and global warming came naturally. His topical subject matter has given way to a more personal approach in recent years. This trend is particularly evident in The Loner, a series of short films written and produced by Phillips and director Gregory Viens. In it, they gleefully (and painfully) send up Phillips's social imbecility. The team's first feature film, Punching the Clown, was released in 2010 and has garnered critical acclaim and a slew of awards on the festival circuit. Phillips is currently hard at work on the final episode of his hilarious web series, Henry's Kitchen, in which he promises an "extravaganza" of weirdness, because "it's not as if somebody's going to fire me." Fans of smart, self-referential comedy delivered with wry artistry should take note. 18+.
Oct. 18-22, 8 p.m.; Oct. 21-22, 10:30 p.m., 2011