Critic's Choice

You think you're hot snot because you've been listening to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, right? You figure you can boast your infinite knowledge of authentic vintage music now, huh? Well, brother, you ain't heard ol'-timey music until you've heard the Asylum Street Spankers, who perform Friday, September 28, at the Gold Hill Inn in Boulder, and Saturday, September 29, at the Lion's Lair in Denver. The Austin ensemble, which features a rotating personnel roster, specializes in vaudeville music that's raunchy, brave and totally unplugged. Led by slam poet and all-around bigmouth Wammo and the deceptively demure-looking Christina Marrs, the Spankers have devoted their latest record, Spanker Madness, to the virtues of getting high. A lot. No, really a lot. Wammo sings the praises of Amsterdam while beating the soup out of "various pieces of metal" in the back of a pickup, backed by eerie saw accompaniment. Marrs duets with Martin Blacker on "Wake and Bake." To paraphrase Wammo, praise the Lord, pass the water pipe (ahem) and prepare to wage war on drugs.


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