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"Live Noise" (Bottom Line)

By Ted Anthony, AP National Writer

Fans of the delightfully subversive Canadian band Moxy Fruvous know that however compelling their lyrics and music are on disc, they're even more fun in concert. Live shows are where the band from Toronto truly shines, and where music and their anarchic, pun-filled banter and frequent mid-song improvisations come through best.

That's why "Live Noise" works so well. Sure, it features live versions of the requisite slate of Fruvous favorites, including the oddball "King of Spain," the smart "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" and the elegiac "Drinking Song." But it also contains many minutes of band members talking with the audience about anything from Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh-Philadephia rivalry to the Garry Kasparov-Deep Blue chess match and the virtues of computers.

These bits, atypical of most live albums, lend the whole CD the flavor of a true Moxy Fruvous show rather than just a few songs performed as live versions. And look for a rendition of "Psycho Killer" that gives the Talking Heads a run for their money.

The manic good nature of the boys from Ontario that comes through here shows why their fans are, really, a bunch of scaled-down Deadheads who follow Fruvous across the United States and Canada. "Live Noise" gives those nonobsessives among us a chance to enjoy it regularly, too.

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