David Banks, NPR Online
The Austin Lounge Lizards in NPR's Studio 4A in Washington, D.C. Enlarge photo
Cover for the latest Austin Lounge Lizards' CD, Strange Noises in the Dark (Blue Corn Records 2003)
The Austin Lounge Lizards have gotten a lot of attention lately for their song "Why Couldn't We Blow Up Saddam?" It's just the latest in a long line of quirky lyrics the group has set to a bluegrass/blues/rock soundtrack.
As their name implies, the Lounge Lizards are based in Texas. What started as "summer fling" in college has become almost a profession for the band that's celebrating 23 years of on-and-off performances.
A staple of their repertoire over the past two decades has been political satire — but no topic is off-limits to the group. The Lizards recently spoke with NPR's Bob Edwards and played tunes from their latest CD, Strange Noises In the Dark, with tunes that cover everything from Saddam to sports to exotic food.
"Really, only three of our songs deal with politics," says Lizard member Tom Pittman. Band mate Hank Card, who still manages to practice as an administrative law judge part-time for the state of Texas, adds: "Anything with sincerity we mock — we're uncomfortable with true emotion."
But they seem very comfortable singing about food and beverages. One song even cuts to the chase: "You Can Eat Dog Food." And in the song "Tastes Like Chicken," the band takes a round-the-world tour of some of the globe's more questionable cuisine.