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Archive for the ‘Jane’s Addiction’ Category

[ATTENDED: November 26, 2016] Dinosaur Jr.

2016-11-26-22-33-27I saw Dinosaur Jr. open up for Jane’s Addiction this summer.  I enjoyed their set (in fact, I was really going mostly to see them although I did like Jane’s as well).  But after it was over, I realized that I didn’t want to see them as an opening act. I needed a full show.

So even though it had been just a few months, when I saw that they were doing a headlining tour, I decided to check them out again.  And I’m really glad I did.  They played twice as many songs and were on more than twice as long.

The guys were able to stretch their songs out more and to pick from a really diverse set of songs.  2016-11-26-23-15-04Of course, being the headliners didn’t mean anything fancy–their stage set up (amps and more amps) was exactly the same as this summer.  And it’s possible that J. Mascis talked even less.  They were there simply to rock.

2016-11-26-22-59-14The only time that bassist Lou Barlow spoke was to berate people for complaining that they couldn’t hear the vocals.  The same thing happened at the summer show as well.  Barlow seemed pretty angry as he told us that we were standing in front of the guitar amps and that the vocals were coming through the house speakers.  So if we wanted to hear the vocals we needed to move to the back of the club.  “It’s Fucking Physics!”  I didn’t move back (the show was pretty crowded and I had a good spot), but I was able to hear the vocals much better than at the Summer Stage show.  I had planned that I would stand nearer the back to see if it was true, but I had a hard time passing up the chance to be so close. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 27, 2016] Garbage

2016-07-27 21.26.35Back in the late 1990s, I loved Garbage.  Their debut and 2.0 were two  of my favorite albums of the era.  I had the chance to meet and greet when I was living in Boston, but when I got to the store, the line was huge and they cut it short about ten people in front of me.  But I did get to see them live.  And I saw them live later in the year when they played in New York.

They took a few years off and I didn’t love their next album.  Or the one after that.  I liked them, but I wasn’t as blown away (which I suppose is natural).  They released a new album last year and I liked it–it was a little less slick than those middle ones. And in the meantime, I’ve grown to appreciate those middle albums more–sure they are slicker, but there’s some good stuff on them.

So when I saw they were touring in the area, I thought it would be fun to see them again nearly twenty years later.

And man, was it ever.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 16, 2016] Jane’s Addiction

2016-07-16 21.49.18When Jane’s Addiction came out back in the late 1980s, I loved them.  Nothing’s Shocking was my favorite album for a few years and Ritual de lo Habitual was a close second.  There was something about their sense of sleazy and weirdly catchy songs that I totally gravitated towards. I probably should have gone to Lollapalloza that year, but I didn’t.

But then I moved past them.  When they released Strays back in 2003, I didn’t even give it a listen.  Same with The Great Escape Artist in 2011.  I just didn’t care all that much.  I’d also gotten a little overexposed to Dave Navarro and his exploits over the next decade.

And while I was interested in seeing them–especially since they were doing Ritual in its entirety, I was much more excited to see Dinosaur Jr.

But wow, was I impressed by their show.  The most impressive thing for me was the sound quality.  Whether that is chalked up to the venue (I doubt it–outdoor venues aren’t usually that good) or the way they mixed it (more likely), I couldn’t get over how great the band fit together–it sounded like the album (not like it was prerecorded or anything, just really full).  And most of the applause goes to Navarro. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 16, 2016] Dinosaur Jr.

2016-07-16 19.49.10I have wanted to see Dinosaur Jr for many years.  I intended to see them last year when they toured with Primus, but I couldn’t get to the show.  So I was pretty excited that they were touring again, this time with Jane’s Addiction.

I had never been to a Stone Pony Summer Stage (never been to The Stone Pony either) and I didn’t really know what to expect (reviews on Yelp are pretty harsh).  Things got even more questionable when the weather turned nasty.  The show was supposed to start at 6, but as of 4:30 there was a huge thunderstorm in Absury Park, so they delayed the opening of the show.  And since there were more storms threatening for later, it was possible that it might get cancelled.

Just to make things a little more unsatisfying, Living Colour was supposed to be the first band on the bill.  I’ve never seen them and while I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them, I thought they’d be a lot of fun live.  I found out yesterday (although this was probably decided much earlier) that they weren’t playing in this show (they are in Germany), and that Minus the Bear would be opening instead.

I don’t know Minus the Bear (a lot of bands with names like “noun the noun” lately, and I don’t really know any of them).  I listened to a few songs before the show and thought they might be fun.  But the gates didn’t wind up opening until 8PM, so Minus the Bear didn’t even play. (more…)

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fiddleblack-issue-8SOUNDTRACK: DEFTONES-Adrenaline (1995).

adrenalineMy friend Cindy recently told me that the Deftones were playing nearby. I hadn’t realized that they were still together–there was some personnel issues a few years back.  But indeed they are and even released a new album last year.  So I got their latest album and really liked it.  This made me go back and listen to their earlier stuff too.

I came to Deftones with Around the Fur, so this debut album is less well known to me.  And yet, there are two songs that I absolutely love on this disc and which easily put Deftones above so many other heavy bands of the era (I’m not willing to say nu-metal because it’s stupid and Deftones transcended the genre from their first album).  “Bored” and “7 Words” are masterpieces of controlled rage and tension.  “Bored” opens the album with this aggressive guitar noise, letting you know what you’re in for, but the chorus shows how Chino Moreno is a master of his diverse use of vocal styles.  Especially after a few soaring choruses (he has a great singing voice) when he whispers the final verse.

The way “7 Words” open is practically like Jane’s Addiction–an noisy aggressive guitar with a big bouncy bassline and some intricate drumming.  Chino’s voice comes in like an impatient whisper.  It’s a great start.  Then when the chorus comes in (basically just the word Suck repeated over and over), the guitars bring in a Soundgarden vibe.  It’s really a great track, wonderful to crank loud.  And there’s no long ending.  It’s just done.

The rest of the album plays some interesting textures and sounds.  They are a very riff heavy band with a lot of screaming (that would change over the years), but they are never ordinary.  Some of the tracks aren’t as memorable, but it’s a consistently interesting album.  And, for the time, it was quite original.  The way the riff plays against the vocals on “Minus Blindfold” is very challenging.  The opening guitar riff of “Root” is very punk but the discordant guitars are really very metal.  There’s some great moshing riffs on the album (“Nosebleed”) along with some really interesting guitar sounds (see “Engine No. 9”).  And the drums really stand out for all of their intricacy.  Not all of the songs pack the same punch, and, after knowing their later stuff, the album is a little samey, but it’s a good start and a great opening salvo.

[READ: February 20, 2013] “Hideous Interview with Brief Man” 

My friend Andrew sent me this and described it as a mash up and David Foster Wallace and H.P. Lovecraft.  And indeed it is.  Although I admit my Lovecraftian knowledge is there, it’s not very deep, so I’m not exactly sure how Lovecraftian this is, but it is definitely Wallaceian, as you can tell by the title.

And indeed, the story is constructed like a story from DFW’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: there’s a series of answers and a series of questions posed just as the letter Q.

It took me a couple of questions to realize that the Brief Man being questioned is Wallace himself and as the story comes to an end, it becomes apparent that this is an interview with Death.  It’s a fascinating idea, one that will likely ruffle the feathers of Wallace fans.  And yet Mamatas has done some of his homework about Wallace.

There’s some obvious parts, like titles from his books being used in the answers, although they do work very well in context and flow naturally.  The less obvious sections seem very true to the spirit of Wallace.  The writing style doesn’t really ape Wallace or his interviewing style which I think is addressed by the comment: “there could be no worse fate than being known for exactly the sort of person you actually are.” (more…)

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