Do you remember when Indians captured the land? Or the mystery of the two legends? Remember when things were done in eights? Well, here at Pizazz Palace these things are still alive and well. It's run by a trio of hucksters known as Pizazz. Four albums deep in the "hag"-mire of their hometown, Pizazz is full of ginseng tea and blueberry donuts and loungin' and 'laxin' even now as Circus magazine is putting their 15-page article to press.

But who is Pizazz? Shame on you. Even though they are shrouded in mystery, dwelling in the basement of Pizazz Palace, making their own food and paper, you just should know. Everyone else does (it's Jim from the Feebs, Mike from The Throats, and another member.) But I guess you don't. Well, there you go.

Originally a duo, they burst onto the "scene" in the brutal winter of '96. Recorded in two ordinary days in January, I Like to See My Friends on the Outside, But I Hate to Leave My Friends on the Inside is a little piece of magic. Declared an instant classic, or Insta-Class'c, their first album still excites its listeners today.

Recorded in the damp windy autumn of 96, Stepper, their third album, but really, their first, reintroduced the former duo as a trio with the addition of the drummer. Stepper, helped along by soft rock's favorite nephew, Jim B., immediately became the band's new watermark, as opposed to the old one, which was usually down the front of Mike's shirt. With this album, they seemed to be announcing to the world, "Step Into This!" But the world stepped elsewhere.

And Pizazz fell silent. And asleep. I can guarantee that.

And then? Yes, what? In early March 1998, the familiar, yet unique, the uniquely original familiar sound of Pizazz drifted up the basement stairs of Little Ease Studios. The chords were typical, C’s and Am’s, but in a different order of expulsion, and the drums were tighter, EVEN MORE HYPNOTIC. Pizazz was discovering “its sound.” Too bad it was a sound whose appeal does not extend beyond a one-block radius. Downstairs, Pizazz was building the body of Francis, their 18-song folkrockindiepop masterpiece. With nods to Brain Wilson, Halo Benders, Carol King and Ass Ponys, you’d think it would‘ve sucked. Au contraire, Martin Guerre, they’d returned.

But where does one go upon reaching the top? Well, if you were a grade school Beatle fan like me you’d know one goes to the very top, or the toppermost of the tippy-top or something, I don’t really remember, it was a long time ago. Wherever it one goes beyond the top, Pizazz went there with their next album. Originally conceived to be a double-album concept album, like Paradise Theatre or Dancing On the Ceiling, St. Donny excluded all the padding and filler that would have placed it in the pantheon of the above-mentioned opuses (opi?). The result? A hauntingly magnetic opera of sorts. Pizazz was maturing, just like those duck eggs (and the baby ducks) Mrs. Lynn had us bring home in the third grade. In fact, it’s a LOT like that.

And Pizazz fell silent. And asleep. I can guarantee that.

But they woke up long enough in one wintry day in 1999 to record the e.p. Snow Day. The whole band, you see, was off from work that day because of snow. Isn’t that great? And aren’t we lucky?

Anything else from Pizazz? There is of course the myth of the Unretrievable Songs, lost, legend has it, in the silvery silent grooves of an unreadable CD-R. No more is known.

All material herein ©1998-2001 Pizazz/Big Casserole Records/Maxrat. All rights reserved.