🎶 My One Band is the One True Band | “Austin Lounge Lizards” @ Boulevard Music

Austin Lounge Lizards (Boulevard Music)My dear departed friend Stuart Schaeffer did two outstanding things for me, musically: he introduced me to the music of Big Daddy, and he introduced me to the Austin Lounge Lizards. The Lizards are a satirical bluegrass band out of Texas, and their music is just great. Although described as “bluegrass”, they run the range from acapella choral singing to rock and roll, from the aforementioned bluegrass to country, and pretty much everything in between. Their lyrics skewer people and topics, and are cleverly written. Whenever we learn they are coming to town, we do our best to see them (but, alas, they often conflict with prescheduled theatre).

Luckily, although there was a conflict, it was with a subscription show, and we were able to change our tickets to Sunday. So last night we got together with some friends and went down to Boulevard Music in Culver City to see the current incarnation of the Lizards do their show. The Lizards are down to two of the three founding members (Tom Pittmann having retired, but Hank Card and Conrad Diesler are  still there), and have been joined by two original Lizards, Kirk WIlliams and Tim Wilson. For two songs, Corey Simone, who was also a former Lizard and now has a band in the area, joined the group.

To make my life easy, I copied their set list before the show. This show was a little different in that there were a number of non-Lizard rock numbers worked in between the traditional Lizards fare. Here is the set  list, with a few comments. I’ve done my best to get the full names of songs (non-Lizard songs in italics):

  1. Highway Cafe of the Damned
  2. Ashokan Farewell / War Between the States / War
  3. We’ve Been Through Some Crappy Times Before
  4. That God Forsaken Hell-Hole I Call Home
  5. Grunge Song
  6. The Dogs, They Really Miss You / Walking the DogIggy
  7. Boudreaux Was a Nutcase
  8. Black Helicopters
  9. Buenos Dios, Budweiser
  10. Gospel Medley: One True God / Three Sinners / Zen Gospel Singing
  11. (Intermission)
  12. Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs
  13. Carazon de Goma (new song)
  14. Creep / Shallow End of the Gene Pool / People are Strange
  15. Another Stupid Texas Song
  16. Strange Noises in the Dark
  17. Have You Ever Seen the RainIrma / Acid Rain Keeps Falling / Beatle
  18. Jesus Loves Me (But He Doesn’t Like You)
  19. The Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden
  20. The Zombie Song Monster’s Holiday
  21. Hillbillies in an Haunted House
  22. (curtain call)
  23. Old Blevens
  24. Stop in the Name of Love Can’t Do / Cornhusker Refugee / My Boyfriend’s Back

I still  think they need to combine “Stupid Texas Song” with “I’m Leaving Texas” from Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public.

Alas, they didn’t do a number of my favorites, but that’s the nature of any show. What’d I miss? Saguaro, The Drugs I Need, Rasputin’s HMO, Go Ahead and Die (a great medley trio there), Industrial Strength Tranquilizers, Bust the High School Students, Big Rio Grande River, Half a Man, and Big Tex’s Girl… for a start.

But still, it was a great show, and you can never get all the songs you want.

***

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre (or music) critic; I am, however, a regular theatre and music audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre and concerts in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I currently subscribe at 5 Star Theatricals (FB), the Hollywood Pantages (FB), Actors Co-op (FB), and the Ahmanson Theatre (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals). I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows:

Today brings She Loves Me at Actors Co-op (FB) a visit to Stitches So Cal.  The second weekend of November is very busy: Dear Even Hansen at the Ahmanson Theatre (FB) and A Bronx Tale at the Hollywood Pantages (FB), as well as A Day Out With Thomas at Orange Empire Railway Museum (OERM) (FB). The third weekend of November brings Beyond Jacobs Ladder from Jewish Woman’s Theatre (FB) at our synagogue on Saturday, and Finks at Rogue Machine Theatre (FB) on Sunday. Thanksgiving weekend has Steambath at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble (FB) on Saturday and Remembering Boyle Heights at Casa 0101 (FB) in Boyle Heights on Sunday. December starts with the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), followed by a hold for the Canadian Brass at the Saroya [the venue formerly known as the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC)] (FB). Then we may travel up to the Bay Area for Tuck Everlasting at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (FB) (although that is starting to look less likely).

January is much more open, especially after the postponement of Bat Out of Hell at the Ahmanson Theatre (FB). Right now, all there is is a Nefesh Mountain concert at Temple Judea and a hold for the Colburn Orchestra at the Saroya [nee the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC)] (FB) but the rest of the month is currently open (as few shows run in January due to complicated rehearsals over the holidays). We’ll keep our eyes open. February starts with the Cantor’s Concert at Temple Ahavat Shalom (FB), Hello Dolly at the Hollywood Pantages (FB), and Anna Karenena at Actors Co-op (FB).  There’s also a HOLD for 1776 at the Saroya [nee the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC)] (FB), and Lizzie at the Chance Theatre, but much of February is also open.

As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Better-LemonsMusicals in LA@ This StageFootlights, as well as productions I see on GoldstarLA Stage TixPlays411 or that are sent to me by publicists or the venues themselves. Note: Lastly, want to know how to attend lots of live stuff affordably? Take a look at my post on How to attend Live Theatre on a Budget.

Share

When Restraining Orders Expire

Austin Lounge Lizards (Boulevard Music)userpic=folk-artistsAs I said in my last post, yesterday was a day of running. She Loves Me ended right around 5:45 PM (it started at 3:00 PM), and we had tickets for an 8:00 PM concert in Culver City. So rush off we did, grabbing dinner at Togos and flying the 51 miles between Chance Theatre (FB) in Anaheim and Boulevard Music (FB) in Culver City. Yes, Boulevard Music — there are now two small folk music venues on the westside of Los Angeles: the venerable McCabes and Boulevard, right near Culver and Sepulveda. We were running to Boulevard Music to see the Austin Lounge Lizards (FB), who were doing their first show in Southern California since 2001 in Encino. As they noted, they were able to come back because the restraining order ended. Note: We made it there in just about an hour, thanks to Google’s alternate routing.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Austin Lounge Lizards — shame on you. They are one of the best satirical bluegrass bands around (although right now, they are down a banjo player — which, depending on your view of the banjo, might be an improvement). If you like Weird Al; if you like the Arrogant Worms; if you like Tom Paxton’s short shelf life songs — you’ll like the Lizards. They combine humor with great musicality to create a very entertaining show.

A word on the venue, as it was new to us. Boulevard Music is much smaller than McCabes — they set up the folding chairs in the main showroom (instead of the room in back) and they can’t handle online ticket sales. But they are super friendly, and seem to be well connected folk-wise, given some of the other folks there for the show. Further, the parking is much much easier. I recommend you check out their concert list and sign up for their mailing list — you might learn about some interesting concerts.

As for the show itself — the show featured two original Lizards (Hank Card, Conrad Diesler) and two newer members (Darcie Deaville, and Bruce Jones). Former lizard Korey Simeone (FB), who was local, joined the group on quite a few songs. The show playlist was as follows (♦=New Song):

Act I

  1. The Highway Café Of The Damned
  2. I Lied
  3. If I Saw You All The Time
  4. Buenos Dias, Budweiser
  5. La Cacahuate
  6. One True God
  7. We’ve Been Through Some Crappy Times Before
  8. Thank You For Touching Me There
  9. The Drugs I Need
  10. Strange Noises In The Dark
  11. The Car Hank Died In
  12. Stupid Texas Song
  13. Xmas Time for VISA
  14. Would You Like To Start A Band

Act II

  1. The Golden Triangle
  2. That Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home
  3. ♦ I Confess To You
  4. Jesus Loves Me (But He Can’t Stand You)
  5. Paint Me on Velvet
  6. The Dogs, They Really Miss You
  7. My Bonnie Johnson
  8. Old Blevins
  9. Wer Ist Da
  10. Who Needs You
  11. Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs
  12. Pflugerville

In short, the show was a mix of songs from throughout the Lizard’s performing career, with one new songs. A number of songs just can’t be done well without a banjo (how many times do you hear that!), and some really require Tom Pittman to work.

All in all, a good show…. and hopefully it won’t be 13 years before the Lizards are back in Southern California.

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience. I’ve been attending live theatre in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows: There is one more show in December for me: A Christmas Carol, as interpreted by Zombie Joe’s Underground (FB) on December 28  (my wife is seeing The Klezmatics at Disney Hall on December 22). January is slowly filling up:  “An Evening with Groucho” at AJU with Frank Ferrente at American Jewish University on Sun January 11; “Avenue Q” at REP East (FB) on Sat Sanuary 17; and possibly the Cantors Concert on Sat January 31 at Temple Ahavat Shalom. February and March pick up even more, with “The Threepenny Opera” at A Noise Within (FB) on February 15, a hold for “Loch Ness” at the Chance Theatre (FB)  on February 21, “The Road to Appomattox” at The Colony Theatre (FB) on February 28, the MRJ Man of the Year dinner on March 7, “Carrie: The Musical” at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (FB) on March 14, a hold for “Drowsy Chaperone” at CSUN on Friday March 20, “Doubt” at REP East (FB) on Saturday March 21, “Newsies” at the Pantages (FB) on March 28, followed by Pesach and the Renaissance Faire on April 11. As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, and Musicals in LA, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411.

Share