The Stagedoor Johnnies 

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Only once in a generation do two guys making Muppet noises over button-box music make it from open-mic night to the airwaves. And They Might Be Giants are still pretty big. Cleveland's Stagedoor Johnnies are making some inroads, though.

The Johnnies -- guitarist Jef Etters and drummer Aaron McBride -- write and perform with comedy troupe Last Call Cleveland. This side project opened for Jim Breuer's comedy/rock set at the Phantasy Theatre in time to announce this debut album. It sounds as if it were recorded on a boombox, but it's good for a few gits and shiggles. Lines like "Dead/Dead/Dead/ I'm glad I'm alive" (from "I'm Glad I'm Alive") are clever enough that their warbly delivery undercuts their wit. As skilled comedic performers, the Johnnies should know not to tell the joke twice. But they're still pretty funny.

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