Album Review

Japonize Elephants From… – “40 Years of Our Family ” – [Tzme Productions]

Max Level   1/7/2006   A Library, CD

The strangeness continues. Everybody’s favorite hillbilly klezmer vaudeville gypsy circus orchestra is back with another load of their cheerfully disturbing (disturbingly cheerful?) song stylings. The players wear makeup and costumes and have names like Schmeeglewop and Zozzy. Do you like sax, flute, accordion, guitar, banjo, xylophone, tin whistle, trumpet? A percussionist who plays nothing but Junk? You’ll love this stuff. They have a full-time glockenspiel player, for heaven’s sake. The music doesn’t sit still; it twists and turns and blasts and bounces from style to style. It’s a surprise a minute, and an exhilarating ride. Excellent musicianship, cartoon-ish vocals, bizarre lyrics: bacon, whiskey, personal hygiene, some low-budget Francais, etc.

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