Asylum Street Spankers My Favorite Record

Okay, class, can we say the word "in-sane?" Now, how about "ver-sa-til-ity?" One more, "no-stal-gia." Great! Your gold star reward is the sixth Asylum Street Spankers album, My Favorite Record, which will soon be, um, your favourite record. This troupe of crazy cats from Austin (founded by Christina Marrs, Wammo and Guy Forsyth) pay loving homage to everything from smoky jazz scats to stand-up bass-propelled swing, from grimy blues to Black Sabbath riffs. And they do it all with such veteran skill, confidence, and an almost Zen-like contentment that allows their wicked sense of humour to ooze out and infect you with a smile-inducing reminder of what fun music can be. No doubt they've listened to a lot of dusty records from the '20s and '30s, but to label the Spankers as "retro" or "revival" would do their originality a disservice. Sure, the 'rents will be impressed with your finally "matured" musical selection, tapping their toes to the "real" sounds of the good ol' days, just don't tell them that the band's last outing was, gasp, a concept album devoted to their love of the reefer. (Bloodshot)