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Music / The Austin Lounge Lizards

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The most laughable band in show business
The Austin Lounge Lizards are a satirical folk/country/bluegrass band based out of Austin, Texas. The band consists of founding members Hank Card, Tom Pittman, and Conrad Deisler, along with Darcie Deaville (2008) and Bruce Jones (2010). The band is best known for highly literate, sharply pointed lyrics that poke fun at politics, love, religion and the culture in general. The name comes from a story told by Deisler, "I think it was a slang term I'd heard my grandmother use to describe gentlemen of easy virtue who hung around in bars. When we started out, that's just what we were doing—hanging out and playing for beer and tips and stuff like that."

Their politically-themed songs tend to have a liberal leaning, which poke fun at conservative politicians (The Ballad of Ronald Reagan, Gingrich the Newt) or satirize current political issues (Go Ahead and Die). All the group’s members contribute to songwriting, but the two principal songwriters have been Card and Deisler. Card’s lyrics often rely on clever word plays, double entendres, and off-beat but sometimes poignant narratives about ordinary life. His most frequent subject matter is love, especially comically forlorn yearning. (The Dogs, they Really Miss You). Deisler’s lyrics, in contrast, focus on the existentially absurd, often combining absurdly unexpected pairings (such as making Richard Petty the subject of a surreal Luis Buñuel film) as well as pitiable, sometimes lovable characters bewilderingly unaware of their own absurdity and oddness (Wendell the Uncola Man). The band often pokes fun at country music clichés, for example the "we were happier when we were poor" trope exaggerated into absurdity in "Love in a Refrigerator Box". Deisler's lyrics also marry comedy with a remarkably dark vision of humanity and its future (Bonfire of the Inanities).

Several of their songs have been made into music videos, including Too Big To Fail, Go Ahead And Die, and The Drugs I Need. Their cover of C-U-B-A was also featured in Michael Moore's film Sicko.


  • Creatures From The Black Saloon (1984)
  • The Highway Cafe of the Damned (1988)
  • Lizard Vision (1991)
  • Paint Me On Velvet (1993)
  • Small Minds (1995)
  • Live Bait (1996)
  • Employee Of The Month (1998)
  • Never an Adult Moment (2000)
  • Strange Noises In The Dark (2004)
  • The Drugs I Need (2006)
  • Home And Deranged (2013)

This band may exhibit the following tropes:
  • Affectionate Parody: Mostly of country music cliches, but they also poke fun at The Beach Boys in "Hey Little Minivan," mariachi music in "Buenos Dias, Budweiser," among others.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Knowing Spanish makes "Buenos Dias, Budweiser" much more funny.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: "Old Blevins", in which the song's narrator meets the eponymous individual in a bar, who seems to have some deep and abiding wisdom he's desperate to share:
    "And this is what Old Blevins said to me:
    He said "Blah blah bla-blah blah blah blah blah
    In Tijuana, blah blah blah, back in 1963..."
  • Cardboard Box Home: This is parodied in the song "Love In a Refrigerator Box".
  • The Catfish: "Boudreaux Was a Nutcase." This one's a large-mouthed bass, named Moby Jack.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A number of the songs center around rather odd and offbeat people.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In "'Go Ahead And Die," a health insurance CEO is portrayed as a stereotypical pirate.
  • Cover Version: They started out doing mostly these, but moved on to original work later. Notable examples include Brain Damage and C-U-B-A.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The theme of "Just a Friend".
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: "Another Stupid Texas Song" mocks this mercilessly.
  • Evil, Inc.: A common theme, examples include Visa, Mastercard, and Exxon-Mobil.
  • Grief Song: Parodied in "The Dogs, They Really Miss You."
  • Holier Than Thou: Parodied in "Jesus Loves Me, But He Can't Stand You."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Hey, little minivan, we're going to the grocery store!
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Buenos Dias, Budweiser" and "A Case of Coors Beer." "When Drunks Go Bad" as well, after a fashion (though its really more an anti-Ode to Sobriety).
  • Old Windbag: "Old Blevins"
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: "Old Blevins"
  • Rock and Roll Lawyer
  • Side Effects Include...: "The Drugs I Need". The music video provides the picture for the trope page.
  • Strawman Political: Frequently done for laughs, particularly in "The Ballad of Ronald Reagan" and "Gingrich the Newt."
  • Stepford Consumer: Parodied in the music video for "The Drugs I Need".
  • Take That!: Though they've been doing these since the beginning, it's been turned up in "The Drugs I Need."
  • Title Drop: "Strange Noises In The Dark" and "The Drugs I Need".