The Austin Lounge LizardsLizards Times Twenty: Live at Antone's (Blue Corn)
The Austin Lounge Lizards, those venerable purveyors of social wit and urban bluegrass, chose another venerable institution, Antone's, to record their first DVD. Playing to a full house of reptilians, the fivepiece band performs with the droll, dry humor that's made Richard Bowden, Conrad Deisler, Hank Card, Boo Resnick, and Tom Pittman longtime Austin favorites. A very
long time, in fact 24 years "before cell phones, CDs, and personal computers," notes KUT's David Oberman as he introduces the show recorded in 2000. And certainly before DVDs. Yet DVD is a format that suits the Lizards well, and director Steve Mims (Webb Wilder's Horror Hayride
, Aunt Hallie
) shot it in widescreen for effect. No one will mistake these seasoned hippie throwbacks as an MTV boy band, but as a Texas man band, they hold their own with practiced musicianship and well-worked harmonies. The Lizards happily skewer any topic with a bluegrass flair, and few subjects escape unscathed grunge ("The Grunge Song"), Texas ("Stupid Texas Song"), and unlikely Texas towns ("Pflugerville" and "Anahuac") all delight the audience. Admittedly, there's not a lot in the way of extras a video of "He's Just a Friend" and the trailer for the DVD's entry in SXSW Film last year but offstage interviews and DJ booth scenes flesh out the live performances nicely. As a record of a band with one foot in the past and tongue firmly in cheek, songs like "Put the Oakridge Boys in the Slammer," "Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden," and "Jesus Loves Me but He Can't Stand You" say it all in their titles. Sometimes, they dare you to use the n-word novelty act. Austin's Lounge Lizards aren't novel, they're musical satire: wicked, effective, and most welcome on the scene.