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The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers

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Album Review

The members of the band mostly just call it jazz, or "hot music," or, when they're feeling naughty, "race music" — a term that dates back to the1920s and '30s, when major record labels released jump blues and hot jazz singles under special subsidiary imprints with names like Okeh and Sepiatone. It's music that doesn't really have a name anymore, yet everyone recognizes it and loves it. This wasn't the album that made the Squirrel Nut Zippers a household name (that honor goes to Hot, the follow-up), but it sure could have if given the chance. An instrumental with the pitch-perfect title of "Lugubrious Whing Whang," cover versions of "You're Drivin' Me Crazy" and "I've Found a New Baby," originals like "Lover's Lane," and the absolutely hair-raising "La Grippe" — these are not just labors of love by dewy-eyed nostalgists. The SNZs have taken this music and appropriated it entirely, without a trace of irony or condescension. The result is magnificent.

Customer Reviews

Key phrase here is "Partial Album" which means "No Hits"

Yes babies, the Squirrel Nut Zippers had great songs like "Got my own thing now," "Hell," and "Bad Businessman" plus some minor hits like "At twilight." But you will not find them in this album. No sir. nowhere in iTunes-land will u find any of these songs. Why? I used to blame iTunes and iPod (those imperialist pigs!) for the commonplace omission of big songs by popular bands in the only place where you can purchase iPod ready songs. But to blame iTunes for not carrying songs is like blaming a coma patient for urinating in bed, or George W. Bush for having a head full of hot air. It is the record companies who want to maintain a presence in cyberspace and yet force the poor unsuspecting buyer to purchase the full album nonetheless who withhold the major songs and only give us the sh!tty ones. Song teasers they are and they deserve eternity in Hell, no pun intended. True, iTunes and iPod have been responsible for a decline in full album sales, but then again if the record companies didn't fill up the in-between-the-hits tracks of most albums with sh!t, then they wouldn't have to pull cr@p like this on us, would they? I recommend to anyone who wants to listen to the Squirrels to go buy their seminal album "Hot" and enjoy all the good stuff they got and leave iTunes to rot in Hell (again, pun is not intended) with the rest of the record companies.


This album, although it gets four stars from me, is not their best. WHERE ARE ALL THE OTHER ALBUMS??? They used to be on here! I think that either HOT or Perennial Favorites are their best albums- BUT NEITHER ONE IS ON HERE ANYMORE! From this album: go for Wash Jones or Lugubrious Whing Whang.

Party Like Its 1929

This album would've really stood out in 1929 for being thoroughly progressive jazz muisic you could dance to. Instead, it was released in 1999 and was embraced by the antiquarian retro swing-jazz scene. This album reminds me of the last shot in THE SHINING -- the photograph where Jack Nicholson, inexplicably, was just in present time and then simultaneously we see him in a photograph from the past. This album and seeing them live was like entering a time portal filtered through the present. This is their best album. This was an homage to white jazz players, there was really nothing tongue-in-cheek about their efforts, again having seen them live they just wanted to rock out, um...excuse me, wail.


Formed: 1993

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The commercialization of alternative music in the '90s resulted in many strange one-hit wonders, but few were quite as unpredictable as Squirrel Nut Zippers. During a time when hipsters were obsessed with swing music in its relation to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's Rat Pack, the Zippers were fascinated with big-band swing and Harlem, creating a tongue-in-cheek salute to '20s and '30s jazz. For younger listeners familiar with the style but not the content of classic hot jazz, the band was good fun,...
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