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The Weisstronauts

To the question "what have you got?" The Weisstronauts are likely to respond "what're you in the market for?" because they've got an awful lot going on, stylistically speaking. The Boston-based quintet of self-professed music geeks play loving, if rather irreverent, homage to all their favorite musical genres; their songs feel like Zappa or The Fugs doing decidedly tongue-in-cheek all-instrumental medleys of songs inspired by Link Wray, cartoon music, Jimi Hendrix, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Pink Floyd, and spaghetti western soundtracks. The surf and country influences rise to the fore in most of The Weisstronauts' instrumental numbers, however; instead of sturm und drang, these cats have got surf and twang, and they've got it bad.

Lead guitarist and head zany Pete Weiss gathered his Weisstronauts around him in 1999, following the demise of his old unit, Pete Weiss & the Rock Band. The band quickly mobilized to record its first full-length, deciding somewhere along the way that they were going to be a wacky instrumental-only group, and wound up with the enjoyably cracked Featuring "Jaunty", a collection of 15 three-minutes-and-under tunes, which does in fact feature a very jaunty track called "Jaunty," as well as the opening country boogie "Morning Ma" and the acid rockbilly blues of "Twistin' in the Living Room." The Weisstronauts have also issued a Christmas EP, I'm Dreaming of the Weisstronauts' Christmas, on which they subject a half-dozen yuletide classics to their uniquely warped musical treatment.