Spanks for the Memories

The Asylum Street Spankers

Don't confuse Austin's Asylum Street Spankers with that into-the-dustbin-of-history, neo-/retro-swing/lounge trend that thrived in hep urban environs in the 1990s. A great deal of that stuff was shallow and ain't-we-hip jizz by people who'd never even seen a Count Basie album. These Asylum Streeters are just plain folks -- bastard children of Spike Jones (not Jonze), the Fugs, Frank Zappa, Betty Boop, and Roger Miller -- who let their rough-hewn amalgam of 1920s and '30s blues, pop, jug band, swing, New Orleans jazz, and country music do the squawkin'. And get this: Not only do they do it acoustically, the ASS do it without microphones. They perform a mix of ancient tunes and originals in the style of the aforementioned genres, performed with deceptive élan and ribald hepcat zing. Unbeknownst to many, the ASS were the first band on our continent to fuse country and rap with "hick-hop" -- further, they got social conscience, addressing the widespread problem of romantic estrangement in our society with "Everybody's F***ing But Me." To put the icing on the gravy, they're fun to look at too.

The Asylum Street Spankers play at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, at the Bamboo Room, 25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth. Tickets cost $20. Call 561-585-2583.

 
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