Goober & the Peas | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Goober & the Peas

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My favorite record at the moment is The Collected Works of Goober & the Peas, a six-track, four-and-a-half-song seven-inch roundup of the latest outrages from this five-man faux country outfit out of Detroit. Joke bands like this generally don't have much of a future, but Goober is something special: he's about 12 inches over six feet tall and has a pained grin that's about half that wide. He sings in a free-ranging voice that speaks volumes about his feelings on the state of country music today. "Dear Grandpa" a fragment that begins and ends the record, is an amusingly mean-spirited swipe at old-timers, complete with indelible (and irritating) scratches on the track. "Funky Cowboy" is as obvious as the title suggests, but the Peas, while steering clear of Chili Peppers territory, handle themselves well. "Druthers" is a standout, a Dr. Seuss meets Long Day's Journey Into Night sing-along. "Consider Me" goes where the Eagles' "Already Gone" already went, but it's fine to hear Goober yodel. And "Hot Women (Cold Beer)" has a serious groove. Live, the band spreads lots of hay around (they send it to critics as well) and lets Goober (this guy is tall) strut his stuff. Tonight, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

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