But fear not, because 2002 was still a good year for the Spankers. The vaudevillian charm and iconoclastic humor that has endeared the band to its fans could be found on "Dirty Ditties," a four-song disc and worthy successor to its "Nasty Novelties" EP of a few years back. And frontman Spanker Wammo issued a solo CD called Songs at the Speed of Suck, with titles like "Charles Whitman Sampler," "Nero Fiddles While Tom Waits," and "Yahweh or the Highway." They even released a Christmas album last year.
Live is how the Spankers work best, though. Their mix of old-time jazz, blues, hillbilly fiddle tunes, and offbeat humor -- plus a Helen Kane (Betty Boop) impression by lead singer Christina Marrs -- is always stage-ready. "Unique" is a word batted about a lot by music journalists. This is one band that deserves that adjective.