The Small Stars

A Small Stars show is nothing short of a show. Never breaking character, the musicians best known for their day jobs in Fastball, New Bohemians and assorted Austin bands don costumes, clever aliases and Vegas kitsch. With over-the-top, lounge-inspired romps like "Two Girls Are Better Than One" and the escalating tomfoolery of band manager Vic Odin's theme song, "I Turn Music Into Money," it's easy to write the band off as nothing more than an amusing, well-rehearsed side project. But the jokes stop as soon as the lament of "Don't Keep 'em Waiting" and its tale of a never-has-been peeks through the greasepaint parody to reveal something more: This is a band whose proficiency and dead-on caricatures didn't come easily. Is lead singer Guy Fantasy (aka Fastball front man Miles Zuniga) a tongue-in-cheek character sketch or a sad victim of unintentional irony? Either way, the audience wins.