With Music for Assholes, Vinnie and the Stardüsters’ third sophomoric release, the Minneapolis parody trio has sunk to new highs. Like many low-budget indie albums, Assholes opens with some random, idle studio chatter, in this case a short dialogue between producer (and sometimes band member) Mike Wisti and Stardüster vocalist, John Perkins.
Wisti: “Do you like the echo John?”
Perkins: “Yes I do, I love the echo. It makes me feel…cool.”
Wisti: “Good. I’ll turn it off.”
Perkins: “Bastard. Fat bastard!”
This inane, juvenile interplay sets the tone for the 55 minutes of inane, juvenile music which follows. At least five of the songs on Music for Assholes concern themselves with the portion of anatomy referred to in the title. “Kissin’ my Fat Ass,” “My Ass is On Fire,” and “Take Me to the (Gay Part of the) River” all deal with actual, physical assholes. The last on the list spoofs the city of St. Paul’s effort to “clean up” this part of the Mississippi river. The fourth track, “Pol Pot Ate the Rice,” focuses on one of history’s biggest assholes and all the fucked up shit that asshole did in Cambodia in the ‘80s. “I Get Knocked Up (But I Get Out Of It)” is about women. The rest of the tunes address a variety of subjects, ranging from the health care industry (“[Don’t Know Much About a] Hysterectomy”) to theology (“You & Me & the Bible Makes Three”) to killing and burying your wife (“Get in the Box [Isn’t That Funny?]”). The music consists mostly of song parodies in the vein of Weird Al. However, unlike Mr. Yankovic, who always employed seasoned, professional musicians to record his material, Vinnie and the Stardüsters have trouble executing the songs well enough for them to be discernable as parodies. Many listen to “Kissin’ My Fat Ass” three times before realizing it is a re-write of “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors.
In summary, you will not be in any way edified by Music for Assholes. Likewise, you will not likely be moved emotionally by any song on this CD. And the Stardüsters will not wow you with their musical “chops.” However, if what you crave is a cheap laugh accompanied by some amateur, mistake-ridden punk rock, then this CD may very well be your Sgt. Peppers (or at least a Monkees’ greatest hits collection picked up at Savers).