Mrs. Fun The Best of Mrs. Fun

Mrs. Fun is the Milwaukee duo of Connie Grauer (keyboards, keyboard bass and vocals) and Kim Zick (drums), who are often augmented by a series of various horn players. Half of the dozen tracks have vocals and are very Laurie Anderson-ish in both the skewed, arty perspective of the post-modernist poetry lyrics and the sometimes arch, half-spoken delivery. They've worked with kd lang, Jane Siberry and the Indigo Girls (who assist on "Gossip" here) in the past. The vocal portions are interesting in a detached, intellectual way, but things really kick-off when they just shut up and play, concentrating on the instrumental side. They take great pains to point out that they use no overdubs or sequencing, which just makes the tight, funky racket they churn out all the more impressive. Their art funk is deliciously off-kilter and has a pronounced jazzy edge to it, thanks in part to those horns. They call it hardcore electra-acid jazz, but somebody else's comparison to Anderson, Thelonious Monk and Nina Hagen seems more accurate. Grauer is an amazing keyboard player - how anyone can play those funky bass lines while simultaneously playing the lead keyboard solos is mind boggling. This compilation is drawn nearly equally from their four previous LPs, covering 1987 to 1999. And nobody can accuse them of false advertising, 'cause this is indeed a lot of fun. (Daemon)