LIVE: The Lawn Sausages / Off the Record @ the Hangar, 11/7/14
Review by Fred Rudofsky
A perfect amalgam of good and bad influences, the Lawn Sausages delivered an “aporkalypse” of music and mayhem to an appreciative Friday night hometown crowd spanning three generations at The Hangar in Troy.
Off the Record, “a ’60s futuristic trio” from Albany, covered all the groovy bases in their impressive 16-song opening set. Sporting a red beehive and Ann-Margret-like figure poured into a black dress, singer Joanna Palladino was easy on the eyes. Backed by Lou Sansiero on Epiphone guitar and vocals and Bob Resnick on various forms of percussion, she was also soothing and rousing to the ears. The classic girl groups (the Crystals, the Dixie Cups, the Ronettes) and iconic female singers (Eydie Gormé, Nico, Nancy Sinatra) were featured, but perhaps most impressive were the forays into soul, garage and pop-rock gems.
Sam Cooke’s “Good Times” was a rousing call to fun, while Little Willie John’s “I’m Shakin'” had Palladino growling and twisting on the stage like Eartha Kitt. Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Kicks” and the Syndicate of Sound’s “Little Boy” had the venue rocking and dancing like it was the Sunset Strip in 1966, and the one-two punch of “I Like It Like That” and “Down in New Orleans” with their indelible sing-along choruses made the windows shake. Palladino kicked off her four-inch heels during a rip-snortin’ “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” singing in a defiant, dark tone that was matched by Sansiero’s gritty rhythm guitar and Resnick’s insurgent drums. “These Boots Were Made for Walkin'” offered a perfect close to a set that won a bunch of new fans to the fold.
Sporting a newly installed bar, The Hangar did swift business in the beverage department during the intermission. The merchandise table did well, too – copies of the Lawn Sausages’ Number 2 and Swine Song (Live at P4th), t-shirts and rare 45s got scarfed up.
Then, it was star time. A roar of approval followed toilet paper-clad Rev. Jimmy Dean Sausage’s “Surf’s up, scumbags!” greeting. Twenty songs of sonic thunder and lyrical deviance ensued, leaving everybody smiling, laughing, disturbed and mesmerized. “Muff Diver” and “Jailbait Babysitter” hit the temple like a pair of beloved MC5 b-sides, with Jimmy Dean and cross-dressing, occasionally crowd-mingling Vienna Sausage trading verses, impromptu asides and raps like demented magicians.
The blues and country got a deep skewering, too. Lumpy Sausage’s Strat filled the room with eerie, buzzing notes and unearthly bends on “Liposuction Mama,” a filthy 12-bar platform for Jones Sausage’s twisted vocals. “White Trash” and “Shitfaced,” fan favorites for singing loudly and drinking proudly, would put Toby Keith and his ilk out of business if either song ever got an airing on WGNA. Songs of decadence and debauchery followed, and the musicianship was rock-solid sleazy. Paddy O’Sausage had his bass humming; Footlong Sausage pounded the drums like Animal from “The Muppet Show.” Meanwhile, the guitars of Lumpy Sausage and Jones Sausage meshed and clashed to grilled perfection.
It was also guest star time. Vocalist Tommy Love and tenor sax player Blue Hand Luke got called up for “Sausage Twist,” a performance so rife with the boogie beat that John Lee Hooker would have how-how-howed to it in his shades and fedora. Emotionally, the night hit a high note with the introduction of Limp Sausage, who sat in on guitar for a hellacious rendition of “White Noise.
Encores of “Twisted Branches,” “Trailer Park Debutante” and a helter skelter take on “666=18” were full throttle rave-ups. The howling feedback rang out, and the band left like conquering heroes, which they have been since their inception two decades ago.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Lawn Sausages left the building, shaken and stirred.
NOTE: The Lawn Sausages have re-issued their holiday single, “Can’t Keep My Paws Off Mrs. Claus” on CD. It’s available at Troy’s River Street Beat Shop, and all proceeds will go directly to assist in the medical bills of Ray Felix, Troy artist and director of Troy’s Fulton Street Gallery, who was brutally attacked on the street on Halloween night.
THE LAWN SAUSAGES SET LIST
Corndogs and Crisco
Whackin’ My Tears Away
She’s Got a Cock
Trailer Park Debutante
OFF THE RECORDS SET LIST
Then He Kissed Me (the Crystals)
Good Times (Sam Cooke)
I’m Shakin’ (Little Willie John)
Iko Iko (the Dixie Cups)
Kicks (Paul Revere & the Raiders)
Blame It on the Bossa Nova (Eydie Gormé)
I Think We’re Alone Now (Tommy James & the Shondells)
I Like It Like That (Chris Kenner & Allen Toussaint)
Down in New Orleans (Gary U.S. Bonds)
Baby I Love You (the Ronettes)
Femme Fatale (Nico & the Velvet Underground)
Do You Wanna Dance? (Bobby Freeman)
Little Boy (Syndicate of Sound)
He’s a Rebel (the Crystals)
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (Paul Revere & the Raiders/the Monkees)
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra)