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KID: AUTO PILOT

Take a jigger of ‘20s jazz, add a dash of salsa, a splash of reggae and a chunk of funk, toss in a double shot of dry humor--and don’t forget the plastic mermaids--and you have the makings of the topical/tropical cock-tale that’s been Kid Creole & the Coconuts’ motion-potion since the combination big band/cootch show blew in from New York seven years ago. And for 90-plus minutes Friday night, that’s what the capacity crowd at the Palace got.

Unfortunately, that’s all they got. You could do worse--a lot worse--but with sporadic exceptions, notably rubber-faced vibes man-vocalist Coati Mundi’s first solo spot, the 14-piece outfit sounded as if it were cooking on auto pilot light, an impression that’s reinforced upon listening to the sounds found on the group’s latest LP (“I, Too, Have Seen the Woods). What once was droll has now become merely dispassionate. Show me to the pain or show me to the party, Kid (and don’t forget my blue drink).


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