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Azita 

With Wisconsin and Good Morning Valentine. Thursday, January 20, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Azita's latest, Life on the Fly, is an eccentric pop-jazz hybrid that owes little to any specific forebears, but can probably best be described as a post-punk answer to Blue-era Joni Mitchell -- or perhaps a cockeyed midpoint between Steely Dan and the Fall.

On playful, toe-tapping numbers like "Just Joker Blues" and "Miss Tony," Azita and her band, featuring Tortoise's John McEntire on drums, give us jazzy rhythms bouncing against pointedly impressionistic lyrics ("Move your head out that back pocket/Into the thick of it") that suggest 1968-era Paul McCartney at his goofiest. Oddly, at least in today's world of tortured-and-torturing modern rock, the bottom line on Life on the Fly seems to be enjoyment. And while we have a feeling that Azita's arching, enunciated vocal lines will be an acquired taste for some, we'd argue that it's worth acquiring.

Speaking of Previews

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