Cobo FooFaroo play the Parlour: 2005

There is wacky, there is dork-o-tronic, there is zolo, and then there is Cobo FooFaroo, who played a charming and impressive show at the Parlour on North Loop a few weeks back.  Cobo FooFaroo are prog, but of the oddball variety, closer to the avant-weird of Frank Zappa or Henry Cow in sensibility  than to the dignified high-art seriousness of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. They chugged through complex, odd-metered riffs that were strangely almost danceable-that is if you like dancing with household appliances that have sprung to life and your food sings cryptic poems to you while you nap. Their instrumentation is rock-standard, but their beats chug and churn in satisfyingly uncommon times.  The lyrics are obtuse, obscure, possibly optional, and an Oblong Boy was noted in the audience, fixated, possibly envious at the strange syncopations and vibrations emanating. Singer Sam lives in a musical mutation zone where mallards and lasers cavort, but his band have their feet solidly on the ground.  A burly middle-aged man, at once obviously mysterious and utterly ordinary, probably a spy or conspiracy theorist, exited the locked locksmith shop at twelve of the clock, considered his options, trundled across the Loop, and entered the Cobo Foofaroo zone for a dose of mental gamma-rays. You should be so lucky.

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