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Jim's Big Ego at Jammin Java - Washington Post Review

Washington Post Article

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

With a band name like Jim's Big Ego, you have to be careful. Friday night at Jammin' Java in Vienna it seemed at first to be an all-too-accurate tag, as Jim Infantino droned a sledgehammer-cynical introductory number about the band's quest for chicks and cash.
A couple more songs, though, and the Boston trio's possible self-importance was trumped by its pop range and charisma. Infantino, on vocals and acoustic guitar, led an ebullient "Miss Communication" and "She's Dead," marrying nimble wordplay to high-energy rhythms and mock-bombastic choruses. Welcome examples of the dork-gets-girl genre, they evoked affection for Infantino's underdog charms.
Musically, Jim's Big Ego is retro, working smart-pop variations on the energy of '90s party bands like Barenaked Ladies and Green Day and offering a droll new song about that so-last-decade artifact, the mix tape.
The Karl Straub Combo, which opened, is as wedded to the '60s as Jim's Big Ego is to the '90s: "Whistlin' Past the Graveyard" paid tribute to a time when a dime would get you a jukebox track.
The group specializes in honky-tonk and jazz settings of Straub's odd little songs about love, mermaids and home decoration. And, of course, plenty of twang: Straub and guest guitarist Jim Stephanson tested  their Fender amp's sonic range by coaxing different but equally evocative voices from their twin Telecasters.
        -- Pamela Murray Winters    

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