Tyrants In Therapy @ Lumpy Gravy.
Tonight, a review about a duo that call themselves Tyrants In Therapy, an act that was described by a particularly vitriolic person I met recently as “a really cheesy new wave Sonny and Cher who sing to a DAT.”

I think this is a bit harsh. These two late thirty-some-things who call themselves the Tyrants are cabaret to the core. They try to amuse with their comedic shtick just as much as with their music. In this department the Sonny and Cher reference does seem apt. Lots of French language banter in one number, the blond male Tyrant abruptly turns from his Jewish Princess cohort to ask the audience “Why am I speaking FRENCH?”

Herky jerky, they goof off each other during the songs. It’s not exactly live but it’s certainly not karaoke. Our eclectic TITs broaden their already versatile repertoire with some New York reggae rock. (A lot of their stuff has a definite New York pop influence.)

Salty, savvy, but always good natured entertainment like Kid Creole, David Johansen, Debbie Harry and the like. Rendered with heavy irony and a glass of white wine for courage.

Their centerpiece seems to be this morality play set to music called Don’t Say Words Like That, an arrangement so deep and complex that they have to read it from a sheet of paper to prompt them for the overlapping lyrical duel: “Pot smoker… Karaoke Don’t say words like that. Hot pink slurpees… herpes… Don’t say those words Name droppers, Cherry poppers…Don’t say words like that to me Baby boomers… Brain tumors. Withdrawal. Move your bowels”

Greil Marcus gets the careers of Presley, Dylan and Johnny Rotten as his foils I get Tyrants In Therapy. According to Hindu precepts, I must have been reincarnated from someone especially wicked to have been dealt this lot in life maybe next time I’ll come back as someone really lucky JFK, Jr.