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Waco waco waco!

| April 24, 2012

Fozzy Bear’s favorite band, the Waco Brothers, have produced their long-awaited collaboration with Paul Burch this week and, as luck would have it, have a party for it this weekend. Also hovering: Diana Ross and Electric Guest.

Admittedly, the fact that Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot) does not surround a narrative for local history takes the Waco/Burch combo down a notch. The album’s much better for putting out fires, those that are temporarily subdued by 12 ounces of suds. Not sounding like they labored too much over any particular track, Fire sounds like a live album in search of an audience: ducking its head in and out of doors with rough melodies and enough chords to separate verse from chorus but not too many to keep it from moving quickly. “Monterey” gets borderized and immediately brings out everyone’s debts to country & western, though don’t go thinking “Flight To Spain” has anything to do with Daniel; “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” is exactly what you think, and how it should sound. (Thursday@FitzGerald’s.)

Diana Ross‘ second self-titled album (her 1970 solo debut was later renamed for “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”; this 1976 LP has just been reissued) may not have been the peak of her powers, but it was the last time she’d be so current and complete. Though she had firmly entrenched herself in the raging new waters of adult-contemporary (evidenced by the tacked-on single/theme to Berry Gordy‘s Mahogany film, in which she starred), Diana Ross would open her doors to disco (“Love Hangover”), sported some burlesque-worthy pop (“Kiss Me Now”), an Ashford & Simpson track Carole King would be proud of (“You’re My Good Child”), and Jackson 5 funk (“One Love In My Lifetime”). (Friday@The Venue in Hammond, IN.)

When Danger Mouse works as a producer, you can hear his presence. Take the last two Black Keys albums, or Norah Jones’ new one: the benefitting artist is working with a whole new pallette. So the issue with DM giving a hand to Electric Guest‘s debut, Mondo (Downtown), is parsing who’s responsible for what. “This Head I Hold” and “Waves” could have come from the sessions for either Gnarls Barkley album, though there’s no confusing Asa Taccone for Cee-Lo. In the grand scheme, it shouldn’t matter: this is a team working on these songs, and if they’re good they’re good. Half of them are. The nine-minute “Troubleman,” which sounds like the longest Josh Rouse track in the world, underscores a strummy blah that consumes the bad half, where no one put in enough work. (Friday@Schubas with Brother George.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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