Monday, February 19, 2007

***Asylum Street Spankers***

Finally! After months of "it's fixin' ta come out soon" updates and myspace soundbite leaks, what may be the album to beat in the kids' "CD of the year" category has finally been released. And believe me, folks, it was well worth the wait! If you're a fan of down-'n'-dirty, sweet-'n'-sassy acoustic ensemble music, yer gonna love the Asylum Street Spankers' first album for kids, Mommy Says No!

Between group releases and solo projects, this band from Austin has released a crapload of awesomely rowdy and raunchy music that, I promise, NEVER fails to get you on your feet a-dancin'. But don't worry, grownups, you can play Mommy Says No! for the tots without losing any of the Spankers' trademark feistiness, intelligence, and inventiveness. Lots of punky roadhouse blues, 20s & 30s jazz, rolling cajun rhythms, and western swing, all totally acoustic, all totally rockin', providing the soundtrack to childhood, you know, songs about the power of an awesome lunchbox, the joy and pride of getting rid of your training wheels, sweet tunes about admiration and friendship, the endless possibilities of the future, fear of the dark, and a frog with super powers named ... Super Frog!

This album of mostly originals also includes a jacked up cover of Nirvana's 1990 single "Sliver", a pretty straight reading of Harry Nilsson's "Think About Your Troubles" from his wonderful kids'/adult album The Point!, and Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams' "Everybody Loves My Baby", first recorded by brother Clarence Williams' Blue Five in 1924, then made popular by Ruth Etting and later by Doris Day, the Spankers' version of which will cause absolute mayhem on the Toddler dance floor.

Their funny songs are dirty, their dirty songs rock, and their rockin' songs are hilariously witty, so make sure to check out their entire catalog. They've recorded whole albums and EPs dedicated to weed and sex, but for Mommy Says No! the Spankers toned down the subject matter and continued full bore with the music. This shows a great faith in kids' music tastes on the part of the band, and the kids will appreciate the gesture. A hugely talented band with a great sense of humor givin' it up fer the kids. Their parents should be proud.