Employee Of The Month
Austin Lounge LizardsSHCD-3874
Sugar Hill Records
A review written for the Folk and Music Exchange
|>"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone." |
There is a soundtrack to the fifth dimension that is known only to the Austin Lounge Lizards. It is a dimension as off-center and time-specific as the finite. It is far from the middle ground and lies between laughable nationalistic twaddle (Stupid Texas Song --happy to be part of this great nation right up until the point where they can secede) and country whining (The Dogs, They Really Miss You--say no more); that is, it is a lot closer to the pit of man's fears ("Last Words") than anywhere near the summit of his knowledge (though see later mention of Leonard Cohen). This is the dimension of imagination (that much, one can agree with). It is a CD known as Employee Of The Month for no discernable reason.
As one would expect for music that is perfectly suited to the fifth dimension, the Lizards are superb musicians and can parody any number of styles (approximately 13 on this disc) with effortless facility and humor. Yes, you have faux (okay, faux is a bit redundant here as any parody should be righteously faux) bluegrass (Flatnose, the Tree-Climbing Dog) to country rock (Trailways of Tears, wherein they lament how tough it is to be a music star) to traditional (Momma Don't Allow, which illustrates what you get when you fail to adhere to Momma's requests) and (The Other Shore, which promises that you will be reunited with every possession that you have lost in life--something to look forward to, eh?). They can do the real thing, too, as in their tex-mex treatment of La Cacahuate. All of this is nice, but the highlight, the true fifth-dimension moment, is the pluperfect parody Leonard Cohen's Day Job. The deep Cohen drone, the touching female background vocals, the numerous Cohen catalog references all are found in an ode that finds Leonard working in a service station to dredge up song material. Priceless.
If you have a taste for the fifth dimension (and parody) the Austin Lounge Lizards are your boys. Who knows, in the fifth dimension, maybe you are the Employee Of The Month!
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Edited by David Schultz