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Strange Noises in the Dark

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
The Austin Lounge Lizards have their shtick, and what they do, they do very well. Literate, funny country songs that tread a line between country and bluegrass, well played, and tightly written. There's plenty of social commentary, such as "You Can Eat Dog Food," about the plight of the elderly, and "Jesse + Phil," where Jesse Helms and Phil Gramm come out as a gay couple. But there are also some just-plain-funny songs, like the couple-drinking-and-fighting parody of "We Always Fight When We Drink Gin," where guest singer Kelly Willis does a near-perfect Loretta Lynn. Some are plain daft, such as "The Lonely Yodeler," while the a cappella "Why Couldn't We Blow Up Saddam?"...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
The Austin Lounge Lizards have their shtick, and what they do, they do very well. Literate, funny country songs that tread a line between country and bluegrass, well played, and tightly written. There's plenty of social commentary, such as "You Can Eat Dog Food," about the plight of the elderly, and "Jesse + Phil," where Jesse Helms and Phil Gramm come out as a gay couple. But there are also some just-plain-funny songs, like the couple-drinking-and-fighting parody of "We Always Fight When We Drink Gin," where guest singer Kelly Willis does a near-perfect Loretta Lynn. Some are plain daft, such as "The Lonely Yodeler," while the a cappella "Why Couldn't We Blow Up Saddam?" is a unalloyed joy. "When I'm Cleanin' Windows," an old George Formby music hall song, gets revived as down-home bluegrass -- but with an English accent. Whatever way you look at it even if you include the ridiculous "Banana Slugs!", the Austin Lounge Lizards bring a smile.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/21/2003
  • Label: Blue Corn Music
  • UPC: 677967030328
  • Catalog Number: 70303
  • Sales rank: 143,104

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Austin Lounge Lizards Primary Artist
Kelly Willis Vocals
Hank Card Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Conrad Deisler Mandolin, Glockenspiel, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Lloyd Maines Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, Choir, Chorus, Hand Clapping
Paul Pearcy Percussion, Drums
Tom Pittman Banjo, Dobro, Vocals
Mark Rubin Tuba
Glover Gill Accordion
Boo Resnick Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Oboe, Tambourine, Vocals
John Silva Choir, Chorus
John J. Moore Choir, Chorus
Eamon McLoughlin Mandolin, Violin, Viola, Vocals
Technical Credits
Tom Paxton Composer
Mike Craver Composer
Emily Kaitz Composer
Hank Card Composer
Conrad Deisler Composer
Mark Graham Composer
Lloyd Maines Producer
Tom Pittman Composer
Boo Resnick Composer
Dave Biller Composer
Adam Odor Engineer
Eamon McLoughlin Composer
Harry Gifford Composer
Gail Fisher Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A guaranteed mirthquake!

    Arf Arf! The Lizards have really outdone themselves. The fourteen tracks on their well-produced “Strange Noises in the Dark” show their influences (and ability to proficiently play) in the stylistic genres of Latin, western swing, Klezmer, bluegrass, folk, classic country, Gypsy jazz, rock, and even Bavarian yodel music. Bob Wills meet Frank Zappa! The ninth album from “the most laughable band in show business” is a guaranteed mirthquake. For a little historical perspective, Hank Card and Conrad Deisler began writing songs together in 1976 when both were students at Princeton. The Austin Lounge Lizards originally formed in 1980 after the pair moved to Austin (to attend Univ. of Texas law school) and hooked up with banjo and dobro-player Tom Pittman. They began playing small clubs, and then won the 1983 Kerrville Bluegrass Festival band contest. They began touring nationally in 1987. Over the years of recording and touring, they’ve built a slew of fans who enjoy their wacky weirdness built largely upon satire and parody. Dr. Demento meets Bill Monroe. On “Strangers in the Night,” one can find songs about singing bedsprings, fighting, drinking gin, getting a nose job, eating dog food, blossoming love between former Senators Jesse Helms and Phil Gramm, and blowing up Saddam. The band is still in fine form, and this disc will keep you in stitches. With their off-beat humor and first-rate musicianship, the Lizards dish up the laughs. Besides their own original material, they draw repertoire from the pens of likes of Emily Kaitz, Tom Paxton, Mike Craver, Mark Graham and others. A favorite is the full band’s collaborative effort, “Tastes Like Chicken,” with its mouthful of food items. A bluegrassy instrumental, “Snopes’ Glory,” breaks up the set. The theme of “The Miracle Baby,” written by Dreisler and Card, reminded me of a favorite song of mine, “Bennie’s From Heaven.” Tom, Hank and Conrad are joined by Boo Resnick (bass, oboe, tambourine) and Eamon McLoughlin (violin, viola, mandolin). The eight guest artists who appear on “Strange Noises in the Dark” add accordion, pedal steel, percussion, tuba, vocals, and even an “Oy Vey” chorus on “Susie Rosen’s Nose.” Vocalist Kelly Willis does a particularly fine job in the country duet, “We Always Fight When We Drink Gin.” It’s nice to hear them cover the Red Clay Ramblers’ classic “Merchant’s Lunch,” that was a hit for them about three decades ago. I also enjoyed Eamon’s British brogue on the George Formby classic, “When I’m Cleanin’ Windows.” It’s incredible that the University of California Banana Slugs had no fight song….but that’s all changed now, thanks to the Austin Lounge Lizards. In the mood to cop a few laughs? Throw “Strange Noises” onto your disc player and crack your pan. It’s sure to tickle your crazy bone. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)

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