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Sound Advice

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

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The Asylum Street Spankers
Bend over and grab your ankles, kids, because that divine musical train wreck, The Asylum Street Spankers, is on its way to the Hi-Tone Café Thursday, November 22nd, to play music the way God intended it -- without the aid of "demon electricity." At least that's the way Mysterious John, the group's longtime master of ceremonies, used to describe the Spankers' completely unamplified set. But Mysterious John is no longer counted among the Spankers. In fact, other than smoky-voiced chanteuse (just sing me the phonebook) Christina Marrs and a questionable (albeit very funny) poet-turned-washboard-wizard named Whammo, it's hard to guess what the Asylum Street Spankers' lineup looks like these days. Their roster has changed regularly since the vaudeville-style performers first assembled in the early '90s. In recent years, a number of the Austin-based group's regulars have moved on to pursue other projects. In spite of the cast changes, however, the Spankers have stuck to their guns and continue to perform and promote the swinging blues and proto-country of the '20s and '30s while assaulting their audiences with a barrage of bawdy humor and complimentary spankings to those who ask real nice. From the classic audio-porn of "Sugar in My Bowl" to any one of their original drug-inspired tunes from the album Spanker Madness, the spankers from Asylum Street have, it seems, always specialized in midnight rambles, and the subliminal effect this group can have on audiences is positively awe-inspiring. If you can actually make it out of one of their shows and pass a Breathalyzer test, consider yourself blessed. -- Chris Davis

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