Flaming Fire | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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An astute fan can usually tell by reading between the lines of reviews when a band is really something remarkable--critics drop the usual obvious comparisons to greater bands and fumble for their own inspiration to pay fitting tribute to someone else's. The easy referents for this Brooklyn quintet would be Devo, the Residents, Current 93, and assorted vintage weirdo hippie folk--but note that the only thing those folks all have in common is that above all they did their own thing. Flaming Fire's new Get Old and Die With Flaming Fire is one of the most engaged and alive-sounding records I've heard in a long time, loaded with memorable surrealist songs and writhing with rhythm and guitar licks that seem too high-spirited to stick with their original intent. Like most music that skips along its own road, oblivious to the need to check in at any of the familiar pit stops, this Dionysian blend won't be for everyone, but the people it is for will never forget the moment they first heard it. The band puts on a theatrical show, coming out in red togas and masks like a Greek chorus from Hades and handing out illustrated songbooks to the audience. Couplet of the month, from one joyously hooky number: "In the summertime when everything is holy holy / I go out and rolly rolly rolly." They open for Moldy Peaches and Happy Supply on Saturday, February 2, at 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. Earlier the same day, at 3 PM, band members and published cartoonists Theo Edmands and Lauren Weinstein will sign their works and then perform with the full band at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North; 773-342-0910.

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