The Hometown Sweetheart's exuberant live performances of memorable hits, cheesy novelty tunes, punk staples and other hooky chestnuts will brighten the darkest of days. Front man Waylan Nate Paylan, bass player Chris Boeger and drummer Scott Beardsley don't exactly subvert the whole hoary notion of a covers act, but when they caper through Duran Duran's "Rio" or Prince's "1999" or Tom Waits' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," they certainly tug it deep into the fun zone.
All those songs get zesty treatments on the A Shower of Golden Hits!, but the real surprise is the threesome's carefree reading of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," a sumptuous bit of 1930s naughtiness played in waltz time that served as a signature for the incomparable Groucho Marx.
As Waylan offers up the tune's wry descriptions of the historical scenes inked on Lydia's flexible body, he conjures a bygone era when sideshow barkers, circus ringmasters and burlesque touts brought wonder and mystery to a grimy workaday world. Groucho would have approved.
The MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right, with the entire album available at the Hometown Sweethearts next show, tonight, Feb. 22 at the downtown Great Dane, or on Tuesdays at the Crystal Corner Bar.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.