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reviewed by Cat Simril

Within Fireworld, it is different to talk about. The more you see of the process, the less relevance your opinion has to the audience, the ville in villain, the known gnome.

Words escape quanta of indifference and proliferate.The kudzu is loose. Lois Lane tries on capes. Boom Dot Bust is as mythic as hubris and as topical as the latest dot com billionairesse. The lads started out as the Oz Firesign Theatre on the radio in 1966. They're back in Oz now with the tornado bearing down on them. They're still audio wizards, but is this Kansas? Sing, Satchmo, sing, and that Baron Ellington boy, let him play along.

They've long talked about making albums that were like music, that you'd listen to over and over: The Beatles of comedy, et al. This album may well be their Sgt. Pepper. Phrases dance into your brain bringing you sudden insight, like putting on a pair of glasses and seeing clearly for the first time in your life: Oh, that's where we are - that's how bizarre this is - the vast world of weirdness suddenly clear to you. Instead of telling you what's wrong with the USA today, they grind glasses for you to discover for yourself.

As with all their work, they make you glad you have a brain, and don't have to ask a wizard for one. I found Boom Dot Bust their most musically coherent album to date. Bergman recently mentioned their plays as symphonies and this is a tuneful treat - can't wait to hear it in DVD. I particularly liked the Steely Dan-like Billville theme and Johnny Vacation's jazz.

"Isn't stupidity hilarious?" is the theme of most comedy, looking down at all the poor folks who just don't get it. The Firesigns build stairs to bring you up to their level and then sell you some real estate on their comedic peak.

In Seattle, Proctor had spoken about creating a new language for Billville (as if he doesn't know enough languages already); B.B has a virtual Malmberg in Plano of neologisms. A knowledge of Citizen Kane may do the listener some good but as always, their work goes in so many different directions, there's a gourmet feast for all possible pallets. Hunter Thompson used to talk about doing "Edgework" and that's what the 4/5 are up to here, on the edge in many ways. Some characters are tricksters and some thin parodies of real people (Marsha Glue-it reminds me of Joe Swine and all those car dealers who now dwell in the dustbins of historic trivia - you're better off not knowing who they were) but like all their best work, the greatest character is the 5th fireguy, the sum of all known parts and some that have yet to be invented. I listened to Boom Dot Bust while driving across Saskatchewan a few weeks ago. A place to make you intensely aware of the fragility of civilization. When nature remembers to hate. A place of such beauty to alter the brain. Dwarf was on the radio when I left in '71 and now it's Boom Dot Bust and wow, things have changed! And the Tao. And the Fire. Thirty three and a third years since they first started doing comedy together, the Firesign Theatre still define the medium. And seek to move it higher.