The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters


Reviewed by Doug Freeman, August 10, 2007, Music

White Ghost Shivers

2006 Flim Flam Follies: Hallowe'en Ball at the Oaks (API)

The White Ghost Shivers hardly require a holiday to showcase spectacle, but never is the Austin troupe more in its element than at their annual Hallowe'en Ball. The event's third incarnation, held last year at the Oaks in Manor and the first to be filmed, took the Little Rascals as its theme with the band outfitted as Our Gang, a sultry Cella Blue playing the role of Darla to her host of boys. Although the show doesn't particularly deviate from the Shivers' usual set of hot jazz and ribald string-band balladry, the cameras adequately capture the full antics of the band and fans, from the towering Shorty (cowlicked as Alfalfa) dancing through the crowd to the random underwear thrown onstage. Woodwinder Saturn steals the show musically, while Curtains fires his fiddle impressively on songs like "Shiver's Stomp." Smokebreak delivers "My Land" with a gloriously sinister bawdiness, topped only by the ridiculous raunch of the group's encore as Shorty leads the audience in a chorus of "suckin' on my ass, lickin' on my balls." As much fun as the show is to watch, it's worth a second run-through with the band's drunken, belching commentary playing, which compensates for the disappointingly drab individual interviews with the members. Even if the DVD would benefit from chapter breaks between the songs, the night's earlier skits and performances from the Peculiar Pretzelmen and the St. Idiot Collective are worth digging through the disc's bevy of extras.

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