The year 2004 provided plenty of reasons for nearly any thinking person to go off on an angry rant, which is good news if you happen to be a fan of comedian Lewis Black, who has raised the venomous screed to the level of high art. Recorded in the summer of 2004, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues documents Black hilariously going off on such phenomena as Janet Jackson's infamous appearance at the Super Bowl, the controversy over gay marriage, Arnold Schwarzenegger's ascent to the California governor's mansion, and the ongoing disaster of America's presence in Iraq. If you're at all familiar with Black's glowering, eruptive style (which suggests he could go into cardiac arrest at any moment), you probably know what to expect from this stuff, but that's no criticism of the material here -- Black has a distinctive style that he's honed to a fine point, and on this set that point draws blood just as often as it prompts laughter (which is often). Black is one of the best working comedians in America, not to mention one of the least compromised, and Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues shows that his material and delivery remain remarkably strong -- this is darkly funny stuff that's smart and fearless, and a superb antidote to the insanity of our new millennium.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming