Fun With Yo -Yo's: The New Duncan Imperials

By Dallas Embry

For the uneducated, a Duncan Imperial is a yo yo, whereas the New Duncan Imperials are three yo-yos who go by the nick-names of "Pigtail Dick, lead guitar and vocals; "Goodtime," drums; and "Skipper bass and vocals.

The "New Duncs" are a band from Chicago who play what they term Food fighting / Country Grunge, which is an admixture of Webb Wilder, The Beat Farmers, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Cash and Buck Owens, with a dash of Chinga Chavin and Country Porn thrown in for a little scatological spice.

According to their baseball / business card their favorite sports are "go-karting, bowling and reading," their goal in life is "get a good solid factory job" and their hobbies are "Girls, Girls, Girls!" Their music is Fun, Fun, Fun!

The first time they appeared at Uncle P's, the term Country Grunge really fit because they had just come from making a wild-cave tour of Mammoth Cave and they were as grungy as their music. The last time they were here – January 19 – also at Uncle Pleasant's – they had recently visited Elvis Presley's Tour Bus. But enough about their lives, how about their performance?

There is nothing complicated about the lvrics of their material, ninety-eight percent of which is original. As a matter of fact, their songs are very easy to learn and to sing along with.

They do country-flavored ditties such as "Yearnin', Burnin' Heart," "I Wonder How Many Good Men Are Pukin' Tonight" and "I Don't Wanna Be an Empty Bottle in Your Six-Pack of Love," as well as a manic version of the country standard, "Folsom Prison Blues."

They sing about food in "(I Want Some) Hamhocks" and "Baloney and Potato Chip Sandwich," and drink in "Jagermeister (Blows Your Head Off!)," as well as aberration in "I am Schizophrenic No, I'm Not!"

While they are playing, "Goodtime" will occasionally jump off stage and run around the audience distributing various "goodies," such as incense, marshmallows, ashtrays, the worst-tasting cookies ever made, and anything else they happen to have picked up while on the road.

At the January 19 show they even had a White Castle surprise for their audience during the break. When they returned, they were decked out in old-fashioned nightshirts and tall-crowned "hillbilly" hats and began their set with "Don't Hate Me Just Because I'm Beautiful," "Tie Your Mother Down," "I'm Feelin' Sexy" and the always-popular "Throw-Up Waltz."

As one of the more theatrical groups to play around town, these guys must be seen to be appreciated. If you're into wild and crazy, you'll have a ball when they do the late, late night show after Shaking Family at Uncle Pleasant's on the ninth and tenth of March.