Vinnie & the Stardusters
Novelty Music for Casual Sex (Gourmandizer)
by Scott Hefflon
These guys are a lot of fun, even though they’re really not very good. If you’re into goofy, gimmick rock, not to mention twisted covers, this is your thing. And while, like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and A.C., the joke gets kinda old sometimes, other times you’ll drop what you’re doing, crack up, rewind, and crack up all over again. Kinda like “Weird Al” or Dr. Demento, Vinnie & the Stardusters hit moments of clarity amidst floundering in in-jokes or stuff that just isn’t funny. Here’s a track listing, make yer own call: “Sesame Street/An LA Woman,” “The Girl from Ipanema Wants to Kill Me,” “Blame it on the Botswansons,” “Stalkin’ After Midnight” (a schizophrenic hoedown based on “Walking after Midnight,” not Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight”), “Quesadilla: A Tortilla with Cheez/Walk Around Naked,” “I’m Committin’ Suicide,” “I’m All a-Walkin’ on the Sunshine” (the first of the two “Walkin’ on Sunshine” parodies a “straight” parody, the second being really white reggae), “Bake My Pie” (not “Come on, honey, bake my pie” but a step-by-step recipe based on The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry”), “Rub the Ducky/Exorcist IV or What?,” “Houses,” “The Polka Toboggan” (based on Barry Manilow’s “Copacabaña” – who knew?), “‘I’ve Got Lots of Friends’ – The Drinking Song,” “Pandemonium: Climb Ev’ry Mt., Eine Kinda Not Musak, Mores Eat Oats, Bela Lugosi’s Shoes,” “Phone Messages” (tracks 14-29), “Ode to a Pig” (the cranberries’ “Ode to the Family”), and XXXmas Song” (“I saw Mommy Fisting Santa Claus” – oh yeah, this is getting sent out to friends on “hey, check out all the cool bands I know that you don’t!” tapes).Various songs overlap, there are themes (a polite way of saying they make a few of the same jokes in a couple different songs), and many a song is not what you initially expect, not to mention lyrics and musical twists no sane mind could ever anticipate. So even when you expect the unexpected, you don’t get it. And, um, while many of the songs are longer than needed (many, many parody artists make this mistake, yours truly included), there’s something in each of them that redeems the whole.
(3010 Hennipin Ave. S. #154 Minneapolis, MN 55408)