5 Live: YOO-HOO!!! (Pretentious Dinosaur Records)

By Robert Gruber

Longtime local faves French TV explore a different part of the galaxy with their latest, YOO-HOO!!!. Recorded live to ADAT, YOO-HOO!!! showcases the TV's tightness as a unit, as well as their playfulness and their ability to spark creatively off of one another. Keyboardist John Robinson utilizes many different sounds and styles, as adept at riffing a classical theme on piano as he is playing what sounds like kids' TV themes on Casiotune. Guitarist Dean Zigoris swings between funky chops and jazzy chords, always tasteful and precise. The rhythm section of Mike Sary and Bob Douglas work almost like a trapeze act, flying high, doing insane aerial flips, catching each other right when it seems like one or the other might be plunging toward the net. A bizarre, perhaps even annoying sense of humor drives this combo--consider song titles like 'Friendly Enzymes' or 'And the Dead Dog Lept Up and Flew Around the Room!' This reminds me of stuff my cool friends (who would alternate between Zappa and the Firesign Theatre) were listening to in high school. Indeed, had this album been released in 1977, French TV would doubtless have been worshipped as gods, courted by every musician magazine, festooned with all the finest instruments that endorsements could provide. Who knows--as we enter the new millenium, French TV's time may finally be at hand. Prog-rock may reign once more!!! (....or maybe not).