Vinnie and the Stardüsters

Vinnie and the Stardüsters

The Baroque Wind Sessions

A Simple Sense of Superiority

It’s damn hard to be a novelty band. Scratch that — it’s damn hard to be a novelty band that’s any damn good. Even those who seek out those weirdo songs, the unholy marriage between humor and music, will tell that the line between “funny” and “annoying” is frightfully thin and often disappears altogether.

So let’s get to the gimmickry. On The Baroque Wind Sessions, our heroic Stardüsters tackle a musical task that sometimes requires hundreds of men, men who know how to play their instruments. That’s right — classical music. Most of the songs selected are instantly recognizable… the classic rock of classical music if you will. And though V+S are not as musically literate as PDQ Bach, they ooze copious amounts of enthusiasm and always get results. Not every band would stoop to play requests in the middle of a “Canon In D/Chariots Of Fire” medley, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Burning rubber out of the gates with “Barbara Of Seville,” Vinnie and his Stardüsters prove that they can master the subtle nuances of this piece, mostly by bludgeoning it with a polka beat. I could let some other song titles do the talking: “Stars-n-Strippers Forever, ” “Bride of the Valkyries.” “William Tell Overturned” teases with the forgotten prelude for a couple of minutes before ripping out the expected Lone Ranger theme. There is also a “Nutcracker Sweet” and a bit of the old Beethoven. All of this, mind you, with guitar-bass-drums, no trickery, no sleight of hand. Maybe a little tuning.

Is it funny? Annoying? You be the judge. Even a single listen will crack a smile on your face.

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