The Ziggens

Live: Tickets Still Available

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While their studio albums have been all quite amusing, like that disposable anecdote you overhear at a cocktail party, none have done justice to the energy, talent, originality, and overall hilarity of the Ziggens. The Ziggens are a band made famous in the bars and bowling alleys around Southern California, so they can't be totally appreciated until their surf rock, punk-pop act of insanity is witnessed live. So, thank the surfing Tiki gods that Dickie Ziggen, Jon Ziggen, Brad Ziggen, and Bert Ziggen have blessed the mainstream public with a live album.

As live albums go, Live: Tickets Still Available is honestly one of the best live albums you will ever hear. It is a gloriously wild document of a band, recreating a night with the Ziggens in perfect detail. It's got the spontaneous cover songs (their "Breaking the Law" kicks Judas Priest's original to the curb); cigarette lighter moments of sweet tenderness ("Call It Quits"); unintelligible crowd cheering and jeering, impromptu yodeling, rapping, and Jim Morrison impersonations ("Waitress/Outside"); raucous jamming and rocking ("Fat Charlie"); and the occasional belch. The Ziggens are known for their sense of humor, often self-deprecating (just look at the album's cover featuring the band in front of a near-empty stadium), and Live: Tickets Still Available delivers like a musical stand-up routine.

The Ziggens are Long Beach, California, through and through. They are a local gem that seems to have little interest in Top 40 fame. But they are a band that should not be missed by any music fan, and Live: Tickets Still Available is an incredible introduction to a live band you may never get a chance to see live. Forget those dance party compilations from late-night television. Live: Tickets Still Available is a ready-made soundtrack for grooving, moving, and margaritas on the beach.

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