The Small Stars

8 Stereo 8 (n / a)

Texas Platters

The Small Stars

8 Stereo 8

Anyone who saw Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star knows showbiz is a soul-draining succubus that'll seduce you one day and knock your dick in the dirt the next. But never discount the value of adoration and occasional sexual favors from people who otherwise wouldn't piss on you to put out a fire. Six Austin ringers masquerading as washed-up Reno lounge act the Small Stars have enough ironic self-loathing on debut 8 Stereo 8 to allow that they've all felt that sting, and enough skill to betray they'll forever be slaves to the bright lights. "We Love You" is an object lesson by itself, singer Guy Fantasy channeling Neil Diamond and Tony Clifton while detailing the low standards the Stars set for fanhood ("We love you because you're here") as the band works in abject tones of velvet squalor. The peppy "Everything's Keen-O in Reno," music-hall manager's tale "I Turn Music Into Money," and the rest may be self-parodic, but never at the expense of plausibility. You can probably walk into a Reno Holiday Inn and see a band exactly like this. Showbiz may be a vicious, fickle, whorish mistress, but she sure is sexy. (Ego's, Saturday, May 13)

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