Album Review
Ziggens, The
Label: Cornerstone R.A.S.
Reviewed by Stephen Rafael
Full of dumb jokes, goofy cover songs, and even some CD-ROM bathroom humor, the Ziggens' Live: Tickets Still Available is the concert album equivalent of a Jim Carrey movie. Strap yourself in, hold on tight, and get ready for a good time.

Recorded over two nights at the Foothill and the Blue Cafe, Live: Tickets Still Available is Long Beach to the bone. And musically, the Ziggens (Bert Susanka - vocals/guitar; Brad Conyers - vocals/drums; Jon Poutney - bass; Dickie Little - guitar) never stray too far from their hometown sound. Neither punk nor ska, the Ziggens play surf music, and lots of it. Dick Dale-inspired songs with titles such as "Sea Kelp" and "Surfungus" make up much of Live: Tickets Still Available. Like a vanilla milkshake or a Mustang convertible, the Ziggens are All-American classics.

The Ziggens are also four smart guys who like to act stupid, and Live: Tickets Still Available combines a "Rock N' Roll Jeopardy" intelligence level with an "Animal House" sense of humor. (Hear the Ziggens hum "I know what Jews like/ bagels and cream cheese" to the tune of the Waitresses'"I Know What Boys Like." See Dickie Little Ziggen puke in the Linda's Doll Hut toilet on the bonus CD-ROM enhancement.) Despite the jokes, there is no denying the group's warm, feel-good intentions.

On Live: Tickets Still Available, the Ziggens reveal a soft side, too. "Big Salty Tears" sounds like vintage Ricky Nelson, and the country ballads "Call It Quits" and "Strange Way To Live" hit very close to home. The Ziggens may never sell-out the Los Angeles Coliseum, but Live: Tickets Still Available has plenty of heart.

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