The Small Stars | Tijuana Dreams

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Pop: Beatles-pop Rock: Glam Moods: Type: Vocal
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Tijuana Dreams

by The Small Stars

Cabaret/Glam/Pop Music
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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1. Let's Hit the Town
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3:19 $0.99
2. Love is Grand
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3:21 $0.99
3. Twenty Four Seven
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3:15 $0.99
4. Day Job
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3:26 $0.99
5. Girl Trouble
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3:54 $0.99
6. Sweet Sweet Sweet
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3:27 $0.99
7. Carnival
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4:07 $0.99
8. That's What God Made Whiskey For
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4:19 $0.99
9. Bombarderos Y Pistoleros
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3:48 $0.99
10. Twenty One
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3:41 $0.99
11. Tijuana Dreams
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3:53 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Brought to life in the minds of Fastball's Miles Zuniga and Jeff Groves, the Small Stars early beginnings go way back to Austin Texas circa 1989. The first performance by Guy Fantasy and Buddy Llamas was at a lesbian coffee house and sadly, before a second show could be arranged, rock bands, record deals, platinum albums and world tours got in their way.
Now, 15 years later with the preliminaries behind them, the duo has reunited and they've brought a few musicians with them.
The bands first (self-titled) release took Texas by storm granering much press and praise. "Otra Vez" became a regional number one song. The band was also chosen as a featured artist on Apple I-tunes Music Store's "Staff Favorites." The Austin Chronicle placed the Small Stars debut on the Best of 2005 list. A naked calendar, a west coast tour and over 200 shows later and the Small Stars are just getting started.
The band recently finished recording their 2nd CD entitled Tijuana Dreams. It was produced by Guy Fantasy and Buddy Llamas and engineered by Michael Crow. Super legend master-mixer Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones "Tattoo You" David Bowie's "Let's Dance", Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA", Roxy Music "Avalon" and so on) mixed the album. The Stars took all their favorite bits from the red light cabarets to the Latin glam-rock discos and super-sized them, streching the bands oeuvre(ouch). The Small Stars also recruited Texas legend Joe Ely to lend his impeccable voice to the country stylings of "That's What God Made Whiskey For."
Miles Zuniga as Guy Fantasy, singer, emcee is from Fastball/Big Car. Jeff Groves as Buddy Llamas as saxophonist/sidekick is also from Fastball/Big Car. John Bush as Brick Masterson on drums is currently in Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Jeff Johnston as Godfrey McCambrige on bass plays in Li'l Cap'n Travis and Landis Armstrong as Richard Steele on guitar is in the El Orbits.


Reviews


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Ita Pekarek

I loved Tijuana Dreams
I loved Tijuana Dreams because the lyrics were humorous, just as I thought they'd be, and the Small Stars incorporated Latin themes into some songs. Day Job, Carnival, and Twenty-One are my favorites.

Eric

Great CD by a talented group of musicians
This is an excellent CD. No two songs sound the same and all of them are really well done.

Dallas Morning News

Tijuana Dreams, the band's second album, further develops a sound that's an impr
Tijuana Dreams
(Self-released)
CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF: Oftentimes side projects simply confirm that the participants' principal project is the one that they are really good at. Not so the Small Stars, helmed by Guy Fantasy and Buddy Llamas (Fastball's Miles Zuniga and Jeff Groves, respectively).
BREAK IT DOWN: Tijuana Dreams, the band's second album, further develops a sound that's an improbable blend of laidback lounge and '70s-vintage British power pop. An insouciant sense of humor (think: Buster Poindexter by way of Matamoros) helps fold together picaresque gambling tales (the Latin-flavored "Twenty-One"), worker's despair (the rocking "Day Job") and countrified heartbreak ("That's What God Made Whiskey For," featuring Joe Ely).
I'M JUST SAYIN': Tijuana Dreams is what you might get from Bertolt Brecht if his day job were as a carny working the State Fair midway: a little weird, but a heckuva lot of fun to listen to.
Matt Weitz

Bradon

So much fun!
I saw these guys live in Dallas last month at the House of Blues. I was there to see the Old 97's and really didn't want to listen to whoever was opening for them. The Small Stars came out and just by looking at them I knew it would be a fun show. They are incredible musicians and their music is so much fun. The CD is great, but you also need a copy of the first, self-titled CD to be complete.

Suzan

A rare find ...
First of all, I\'m a Fastball fan. There are a couple of songs from the Fastball albums that made me wish there was some sort of collaboration between Miles Zuniga and Jeff Groves, and luckily, it exists. Although the musical stylings are quite different, Fastball allowed me to stumble across The Small Stars, albeit a few years too late. But definitely better late than never, as this CD proves. Each song is inherently unique, and as a whole, it provides a refreshing combination of various genres that you wouldn\'t expect to find on a single album. I find myself putting \"Love is Grand\" and \"Day Job\" on repeat, and \"Carnival\" is another favorite. \"Girl Trouble\" works well with its haunting undertones, and people who dislike country music may change their minds with \"That\'s What God Made Whiskey For.\" Overall, the album is creative and impressive, what good music should sound like, and it\'s something you won\'t want to stop listening to. I know I can\'t.

Austin Experience.com


XTC had the Dukes of Stratosphere. Garth Brooks had Chris Gains. And two members of Fastball (with a couple of friends) have their alter-ego as well--The Small Stars, a collection to Reno lounge singers. If Reno lounge singers had the talent of this crew, SXSW would move to Reno. Fortunately, we've got these guys close to home in Austin. The latest release, Tijuana Dreams, is a solid album with many tracks that could have easily been slated for the next Fastball album. But it also includes a few numbers that may have seemed a little out of place. A couple of tracks really play up the lounge singer persona, but even with some cheesiness thrown it, these guys can't escape their talent.

Miles Zuniga (Guy Fantasy) and Jeff Groves (Buddy Llamas), both from Fastball, teamed up with John Bush (Brick Masterson), Jeff Johnston (Godfrey McCambridge), and Landis Armstrong (Richard Steele). Bush from the New Bohemians, Johnston from Li'l Cap'n Travis, and Armstrong from El Orbits provide a solid foundation for Zuniga and Groves to do what they do so well, belt out tunes with just enough pop-jingle in the chorus for it bore inside ones head without a likely chance to escape.

I first heard the Small Stars on a Texas Music magazine CD compilation. "Otra Vez" was one of the highlights of the CD. Of 20 or so artists on the CD, the Small Stars was the first band that motivated me to purchase their CD. The self-titled album was well worth it. Very unique. Humorous at times. I was wondering if I should expect more of the same with Tijuana Dreams. More of the same would have been fine, but I discovered that these guys kicked it up a notch. Tracks like "Love is Grand" and "Sweet Sweet Sweet" present a unique problem for these guys. They will get out and eventually find a large audience. If the point of this alter-ego is to allow the band to perform with any anonymity and throw Fastball fans off their scent, it won't last long. I expect long lines outside any club the Small Stars play.

vicenç n. clar


Es uno de los mejores cd's que he podido escuchar en varios años.
No conocia a estos "genios" y me parece que voy a seguir sus pasos.
Desde España, más concretamente de las Islas Baleares, en Mallorca y desde un pueblo llamado ALARÓ, espero que sigan con esta mágia que llevan dentro.
Como dicen en catalan " NO ATUREU MAI NOIS"

Annie

Fantastic! Great melodies and outstanding lyrics.
This cd has everything you could ask for - fab tunes and lyrics which are both entertaining and thought provoking. Not a single dud on this, but my stand-out track would be Tijuana Dreams. Miles Zuniga is a rare talent and this is a great band.

Bob Ruggiero


The Small Stars' roster includes "Guy Fantasy," "Buddy Llamas" and "Richard Steele" (think about it), the alter egos of Fastball's Miles Zuniga, Jeff Groves and friends, who all remain in costumed character on stage. Surprisingly, their second record, Tijuana Dreams, brings not jokey lounge-lizard shtick but great pop-rock with dashes of Tex-Mex. In the first half, songs like "Let's Hit the Town," "Day Job" and "Girl Trouble" address the sort of post-graduation Austinite ennui all too real to thousands who grab a diploma but never leave town, disappearing into jobs at offices, coffeehouses and used CD stores. It's all covered in a coat of shimmering pop.
The CD's second half takes a turn toward Mexico with tales of drug busts, grain alcohol-soaked nights and rolling dice. Highlights here are "That's What God Made Whiskey For" (with guest vocalist Joe Ely) and "Carnival," in which an illicit affair takes on a fun, magical tone amidst cotton candy and rides, set to a melody straight from the Drifters. "Carnival," in fact, is the finest track on Tijuana Dreams. At this point, the Small Stars' self-described mixture of "Frank Sinatra meets Mott the Hoople" is still a humorous side project, but their recorded effort hints at something that will outlive the ruffled-shirt-and-sunglasses stage look.

frank

miles "macca" zuniga writes great tunes
Miles Zuniga... is he related to Paul McCartney? His son? Sir Miles is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. And the critics don't seem to notice this, yet. But his time of recognition will come. I sent him an e-mail with my compliments and asked if he, maybe, is a bastardson of Sir Paul's ; )

He was so kind to reply: "It be nice if I was a descendant of Sir Paul McCartney but I don't think he ever toured Laredo, Texas." Anyway... Great tunes, with the Small Stars and ofcourse Fastball. Everybody enjoy this great melodic music!
A fan from across the pond.
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