Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Firesign Theatre: Boom Dot Bust [Rhino, 1999]
"Everybody has one or two great thoughts and mine was simple--we're all doomed," reveals Nixon soundalike Dr. Guillermo Infermo, who adds a second: "Just because you're surrounded by evil doesn't mean you can't make some money from it." On their dead-in-the-concept Y2K comeback, the grand masters of pothead sound-effect comedy flirted with both canards; here they make fun of them, which doesn't mean they're bullish on America or donating royalties to Earth First! Their signature studio-layered cross-referentiality evokes a time-warped Middle American town on the edge of a tornado preserve where Dumber eventually prevails over Dumb. Before that happy ending they address such excellent paranoid themes as online investment, superglue, and that old reliable, the weather. A-