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The Magic Band - 21st Century Mirror Men CD (album) cover


The Magic Band



3.00 | 1 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

The backing band of Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band reprise their best moments without Don Van Vliet. In the absence of Beefheart, as you'd guess, The Magic Band covers their own material in an instrumental fashion, which is rather very interesting (since the emphasis is on the backing band's music rather than on Don's growling and sometimes overpowering presence. This two disc affair is composed of a live CD recorded in 3 and 04 throughout the US and mostly the UK and a DVD recorded one night on that same tour. While both are relatively equivalent in quality, clearly the DVD resituates the wild and crazy feeling of one of their concert. I always found that Don & His Boys' music was best understood live, and this second disc is yet another proof even without the master's presence. While not quite revolutionary or even wildly adventurous after over three decades of this type of music, the group manages to give the audience a fully applied musical hoof in your butt, something that they've done so well over the years.

While quite enjoyable, I can imagine that only Capt Beefheart unconditional fans would really be all that interested in such an album. Even if it is easy to see that this is also a perfect introduction to Beefheart's universe: although it might just be a bit of a shame to discover this rather special oeuvre with a record that is precisely without the master's presence, it actually is also evident that Don Van Vliet's absence makes the penetration of his works all that much easier, more accessible for the novice to start understanding it.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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