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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, quirky vocals and arrangements
Like many reviewers here, it took me a few listens to get into the groove of this CD although some hit the spot immediately, like Ghost of Stephen Foster. I think it is fair to say now though, that I am possessed by it--it's my top pick for studio music. And I have to say, the more I listen to it, the more I am absolutely impressed by this band's headstrong...
Published on October 4, 2000 by Melissa Bach

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars fun music but cacophanous and lacking in cohesiveness
Their newest CD does have the same fun and flair that marked their past albums, but this time the music is just inundated with too much muscial digressions from a clear and enduring melody. Some of the songs incorporated ska-like elements. The simpler tunes in Hot and Inevitable are much more enjoyable and not so harsh in integrating the all the instruments they...
Published on August 21, 1998


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, quirky vocals and arrangements, October 4, 2000
By 
Melissa Bach (Rockport, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
Like many reviewers here, it took me a few listens to get into the groove of this CD although some hit the spot immediately, like Ghost of Stephen Foster. I think it is fair to say now though, that I am possessed by it--it's my top pick for studio music. And I have to say, the more I listen to it, the more I am absolutely impressed by this band's headstrong individualistic determination to cut their own path and make it work, damn it, and if you don't get one or two songs then too bad for you--they're there anyway!
It's my understanding that this band is from N.C. and plays around there quite a bit--I sure wish they were a local Boston band because they'd garner themselves a cult following pretty quickly although I'm sure they have a huge one down there. Squirrel Nut Zippers, come up here! I, for one, want to dance to your music in person!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild and Fun, July 31, 2003
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
I didn't really consider myself a fan of swing, but after listening to this swinging beauty, I'm at least a Squirrel Nut Swing afficionado. There really aren't any bands nowadays that come close to the Zippers in originality or heart. These guys pour their heart and soul into their instruments, and the result is a joyous collection of quirky treasures running the gamot from country ballads to showtune classics. The Djangoesque Pallin' With Al, the merry swing of Suits are Picking Up the Bill and the fun Pallin' with Al are my favorites. This album was a really a pleasant surprise to me, and I'm very glad I picked up a copy of it. Give it a try.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars :), December 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
This Cd is the best CD i own! SNZ has its own type of music, a blend of swing, zydeco, jazz, big band and rock. This CD will appeal to almost anyone of any age. All my freinds were skeptical of it at first, but after listening they all want to know where they can get it! A GREAT CD!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antidote to the Same Old Same Old Swing, May 23, 1999
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
This album proved to me that the Squirrel Nut Zippers are the best retro band out there. It's true that there aren't a lot of straight swing tracks on Perennial Favorites aside from Suits are Picking Up the Bill. However, this CD showcases the band's musicianship and sets them completely apart from the other swing clone bands that are out there. It's not an album that you'll like right away as a whole but if you listen to it a few times its genius will become apparent. A truly original album unlike any I've heard in a long time. Put Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, and a little Charleston and tango in the blender and you have Perennial Favorites.
If you like this album and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, you might also check out Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best CDs of the 1990's, November 18, 2003
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
I just just listened to the CD for the first time in quite awhile and I was reminded once again of how extremely fun & brilliant this recording is. (Of course I am biased having followed the group for several years.)
I wanted to point out that in addition to being an audio CD, "Perennial Favorites" is also an interactive CD-ROM playable in both Windows & Apple operating systems. Considered by many critics to be the most elaborate ECD ever created, this ground-breaking interactive extravaganza created over a three year period contains the following:
18 minutes of live performance video consisting of 15 different live clips including 8 songs from the "Perennial" CD, a backstage montage taken from eight shows, a documentary on recording "Perennial Favorites" at Kensway, the MTV banned "Put A Lid On It" video in its entirety and other funny stuff.
Within the interactive presentation are an additional 22 minutes of audio including audio clips and lyrics to all songs from the Zippers' previously released "The Inevitable," "Hot," & "Sold Out" albums. The "Perennial Favorites" interactive section also accesses the audio tracks from the CD directly so the "Perennial Favorites" audio tracks are playable in their entirety in full CD audio quality.
Also within the presentation is a 363 page interactive book of interviews with the band that recounts the history and formation of the Zippers through a series of interviews conducted by me spanning two years with Katharine Whalen, Jimbo Mathus, Chris Phillips, Tom Maxwell, Je Widenhouse, Tom Maxwell, Ken Mosher, Andrew Bird, Mike Napolitano & Don Raleigh. Also discussed is the creation of all the Zipper songs from "Inevitable" to "Perennial" from a variety of bandmember perspectives. There are also very rare personal photos that have never been seen before throughout the book's sections as well.
Please check out this aspect of both of these discs!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS ALBUM, April 10, 2001
By 
Marsha Lyons (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
Was looking for something different, and definitely got it here. Katherine Whalen's voice reminds me of Billie Holliday. There's a wide mix of styles here. Ghost of Stephen Foster sounds kindof klezmerish. Pallin' with Al is a little like jazz guitarist Django Rheinhardt. When I first got it, my first impression, was too weird. Put it away for a month. Got it out again and started playing it in the car. After the second or third listen, it REALLY started growing on me. At first, it was just a couple of songs, like the fun Suits Are Picking Up the Bill and Pallin' With Al. Then, I really started getting into the incredibly strange Ghost of Stephen Foster. Now, I just love all the songs on this album. This CD is going to be in my player for awhile, and I'm back looking for more SNZ. If this one doesn't catch you right away, put it away for awhile, then give it another chance when you're in the mood for something really different. Try it, then try it again. If you're up for something really complex and interesting and totally different from pop and top 40, I'll think you'll grow to love it too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth listening to... Buy this album!, August 5, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
I am new to this retro-neo-swing. I have listened to Cherry Poppin' Daddies and the Brian Setzer Orchestra and both are great fun to listen to. They are different from each other but both keep you listening. What started me on my new kick, however was the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I saw an ad in a store and commented on the name. My friend told me that they were "one of those new swing bands", thus along with the GAP commercial, i decided to give swing a whirl. Having never heard SNZ sing before, I did not know what to expect from "Perennial Favorites." I was not disappointed in the slightest. The music can not be classified in any one way. Sure, it is "swing", but it goes beyond. Some songs sound like Dixieland Jazz, others are soft and Billie Holiday-ish. There is even one track which reminds me of "tango" music. You can learn so much about music and its roots from listening to this album, it is that eclectic. I litera! lly listened to it all day while working and only turned it off when I had to go home. I have seen reviews saying that this may not be as fresh as "Hot"... I cannot vouch for that, but if it is then that probably means that "Hot" is certainly something to ponder. In the meantime, I am very happy I bought this CD, it was well worth it. And to think, I only perked my interest from seeing a silly name for a group. Squirrel Nut Zippers, what does that mean anyway?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot 1920s, 30s, and 40s jazz/swing done RIGHT!, June 21, 2005
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
Dusting off this, my first Squirrel Nut Zippers album, today and blasting it in my car, I was reminded of how brilliant Perennial Favorites actually is. It captures the essence of a time and place, both modern and nostalgic, that is always refreshing to revisit when current 21st century radio, or life for that matter, suddenly becomes dull and commonplace. Perhaps it is singer/banjoist Katharine Whalen's warbled Billie Holiday-esque vocals, or the fierce horn section amidst the thumping drums that dares the listener to sit still. Resisting the urge to dance ultimately becomes a losing battle as Perennial Favorites progresses, probably due in part to the fact that the album sounds like it was recorded in someone's living room or garage. If nothing else, that live, spur of the moment feel is one aspect that makes Perennial Favorites so wonderful.

Many more factors probably play into my immense enjoyment of this album, such as the vivid locales of smoky dance halls it conjures in my imagination and the vintage "seed packet" art direction, but regardless of those, Perennial Favorites simply contains great jazz/swing infused music. While there are no recognizable covers of time worn standards, a few tracks worth noting are: the dreamy "Low Down Man," the romping "Pallin' With Al," the oddly infectious "Trou Macacq," the sultry "My Drag," and the up beat, "Evening at Lafitte's." This album is definitely one of the best offerings from the Squirrel Nut Zippers small discography, and is thankfully still in print. Pick up a copy today and you'll be a fan in no time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Masterpiece from the Squirrel Nut Zippers, August 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
It was on a hot fourth of July that I first heard the Squirrel Nut Zippers. We had packed into Kenan Stadium at the University of North Carolina and the Zippers were to provide the preshow entertainment. From that evening, The Squirrel Nut Zippers had me hooked. I bought their first album and played it over and over, eventually the songs became stuck on an unending track in my mind.
While eating dinner one night at the Flying Burrito, I met Katherine Whalen, our waitress. Yes, the Squirrel Nut Zippers added much to the ambiance of Chapel Hill. Their audience grew locally and nationally.
Christmas came, and I got their new CD, "Hot." Though more commercialized, I found it still exhibited the Zippers' passion for their signature classic sounds. So, naturally, when I found out that "Perenial Favorites" was coming out, I rushed to be one of the first to get it. Let me say that I was not disappointed.
From the bizarre rythms of "The Suits are Picking Up the Bill," to the unique and exotic, "Ghost of Steven Foster," this CD offers an eclectic compilation of wonderful, catchy, and creative tunes. It is a must for any Zippers Fan, someone needing real swing by a pseudo swing band with the word "Daddy" in it, or a person interesting in experiencing modern swing-style music for the first time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Time SNZ listener, January 1, 2000
This review is from: Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] (Audio CD)
I love it. I heard a song or two on the radio and decided to give the CD a try--what a great choice. Quirky music, but right up my alley. I'm heading back for more.
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Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD]
Perennial Favorites [ENHANCED CD] by Squirrel Nut Zippers (Audio CD - 1998)
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