Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 2009 Baker's Dozen

It’s that time of year again, the annual Baker’s Dozen Best Albums of 2009. The 13 best albums of the year-with an extra 13 Honorable Mentions that I couldn’t let go unnoticed.
The idea being that you should at least get hip to a new album every month and then try to nab another one from your friend’s cassette carrying case in his 1982 Subaru Brat.
Yeah, the entire notion of a year end list is laughable provided that 1.) people don’t actually buy records any more and 2.) the art form that is a long-player is quickly becoming obsolete.
But I’m taking a staunch view of the album in the sense that I will continue to support it as a necessary art form for music, if only for the fact that it is all I know. I’ve never lived during a time when albums didn’t exist. Maybe my folks can relate to an era of “singles only,” but a huge chunk of my life has been broken out in 30-45 minute intervals and I kind of like the notion of a band scrapping together ten or twelve songs in a package that says “Here’s a few tunes we’ve been working on this year!’
The collected tunes below are really good and deserve your attention. Find a way to check them out and consider them. There’s a brief blurb about the release and a link to a review if applicable. Observant readers may even notice that the list changes over the years in a futile attempt to look halfway relevant.
Seriously. Check out my list from 1989 and notice how the number one album went from White Lion Pride to Sonic Youth Daydream Nation.
For now, the following pleasured my earhole in 2009:

1.) Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion
Gingerly accessible while exposing an incredible array of complexities that only seem to reveal themselves after each subsequent listen. There’s a feeling that this album holds something very special and the joy is how it doesn’t present itself as such on first spin.

2.) The Flaming LipsEmbryonic
The Lips finally return to organic territory and make the album that longtime fans have been patiently waiting for. It’s a record that steers them away from their recent notoriety as festival closers and it brings them back towards the darker side of recreational drugs and humanity itself.

3.) Sonic YouthThe Eternal
S.Y. have released a lot of good albums since Daydream Nation but the argument can be made that they haven’t release and great albums since that landmark some twenty years ago. Until now; The Eternal is efficient, smart, and uniquely melodic. Jams run free, but here they’re branded with the band’s growth as musicians and reflect a maturation that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to change from ‘Sonic Youth’ to ‘Sonic Dad.’

4.) BaronessThe Blue Album
I have no idea what’s in the water around the Atlanta area, but its fueling one of the best metal scenes in some time. Baroness obviously are taking Mastodon’s lead and have managed to release their first great album in about the same amount of time as their homies. By incorporating metal with psychedelia and a hint of southern rock, Baroness is already on their way in mirroring their older brother’s creative statements and establishing their city as the new capitol of metal.

5.) PolvoIn Prism
It’s not just the fact that the band sounds like they haven’t missed a beat since their last album some 12 years ago, it’s the fact that it’s better than their last album some 12 years ago. In Prism is a big sounding record by Polvo’s standard and that newfound fidelity allows listeners to fully hear what they’ve been missing since these math rock pioneers carried Sonic Youth’s alternate tuning crown for the better part of the 90’s.

6.) Fever RayFever Ray
Recorded while Karin Andersson was gestating her own little one, all of those hormones helped create an album that’s quirky, lightly arranged, and strangely infectious. A near-perfect Nordic electronic album that reflects the tundra it was created on. I once drove in a snowstorm with this playing and had to shut it off because I kept thinking shit was jumping in front of the road.

7.) Blue RosesBlue Roses
Blue Roses’ debut is so eloquently arranged and surprisingly mature that it’s hard to believe that Laura Groves hasn’t been doing this for longer than what she has. The comparison to early Kate Bush isn’t a burden, it’s a responsibility. Laura Groves sounds up to the challenge and she’s come out of the gate with a debut that rivals The Kick Inside.

8.) JapandroidsPost Nothing
Look, there’s little that’s really new in Japandroids’ sound-how much can you do with a drum and a guitar-but what’s awesome is how that doesn’t seem to bother them as they belt out songs about girls. How much can you do with a drum and a guitar? Quite a bit if the mood fits and the motivation is real.

9.) MastodonCrack The Skye
We’re right around …And Justice For All era Mastodon and they’re still releasing more consistent albums with more complex performances and better arrangements. Mastodon is at a point where the only way down is if they record a blatantly commercial record geared for people with more accessible tastes. Crack The Skye doesn’t sound like they’re ready to do that.

10.) The XXXX
Mega infectious primitive electronic pop that sounds like it clandestinely recorded the thoughts of a young couple on the verge of parting. With everything slowed down and to a whisper, this band manages a rapt audience for a half and hour with almost an immediate need to hit repeat after the first play.

11.) SlayerWorld Painted Blood
The fact is, Slayer could have stopped caring about their releases and they’d still be a revered as ever. World Painted Blood sounds like they give a shit and it also points out how great they are when they really try. This is dryly recorded and drummer Dave Lambardo is back and way up front in the mix. Awesome stuff.

12.) The ChurchUntitled #23
The idea that The Church could produce an album this focused and well-executed at this stage in their career says a lot for the spirit of the band and for the power of what rock music can do to a few high school friends. They’re still at it, still better than most bands half their age, and still releasing albums that rank with their finest.

13.) The CleanMister Pop
Albums from The Clean don’t come around that often so when they do-even when the material seems a bit wary compared to other releases-it’s a celebrated thing. Why? Because they’re a band that’s influenced countless others, some of which may not even be aware of it. Mister Pop may be down a ways on the catalog relevance, but it sounds better than the imitators and has enough charm to warrant repeated listens.

Honorable Mentions (the other 13):

Them Crooked VulturesThem Crooked Vultures
WoodsSongs Of Shame
Tune YardsBird Brains
Black Moth Super RainbowEating Us
Allen ToussaintThe Bright Mississippi
William Elliot WhitmoreAnimals In The Dark
Golden SilversTrue Romance
Spiral StairsThe Real Feel
Richard HawleyTruelove’s Gutter
The Dead Weather - Horehound
Hope Sandoval & the Warm InventionsThrough The Devil Softly
Robyn HitchcockGoodnight Oslo
Heaven & HellThe Devil You Know

Quit rolling your eyes and talk back with your own list.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas From Glam-Racket!

We've been bringing you random Trapped In The Closet videos for Christmas on Glam-Racket since 2006 because nothing says the holidays like R. Kelly's modern-day opera.
This is Episode 9, the one with "I'm gonna heat this chicken." in it.
And chicken is close to the turkey which is what a lot of people eat for Christmas.
Surprisingly, pears aren't usually part of the menu.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Residents - Santa Dog '84

I think this is the 1984 version.
I only had the 1978 version.
Apparently, there's a 1972 version.
All behold the greatest Christmas song of all time.

"Ding ding ding
Dong dong dong
Effervescent eels"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I, Ed Kowalczyk, Alone

Did you know there is trouble in the Live camp?
Did you even know the band Live is still around?
Me either, but I find the latest drama fascinating. Evidently, the band is still pretty big in a few places (other than America) and most recently they took their show over to Europe and even captured one of the more memorable shows on DVD.
Some other opportunities arose in Early 2009 and the band considered a few extra dates. Lead vocalist Ed Kowalczyk demanded an additional $100,000 before agreeing to the performance. In case you’re wondering if he was asking for the extra money on behalf of the band, the answer is “No.” This money was for “I Alone” apparently-a “lead vocalist fee” as it were.
And the rest of the band got pissed.
I vaguely remember that these guys had been performing together since high-school, so it must have been doublely shitty to learn that you’re “bro” and lead singer for the past couple of decades was, in fact, a douchebag.
I’m being a dick and have no reason to really do so. We played their songs at the radio station I was working at and I remember being surprised that there was a song in our playlist that contained the lyrics “Her placenta falls to the floor.” It’s not everyday where you get a little bit of afterbirth on radio.
In case you forgot, here’s a glimpse. Selling the drama, indeed.

John Frusciante Leaves Red Hot Chili Peppers To Give Fans More Drug-Addled Solo Albums

OMG! There are reports that Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante has left the band while Frusciante himself is stating that he left the band over a year ago, but the story is just now coming to light as the band has initiated the recording of their 10th album sans Frusciante.
We here at Glam-Racket are setting the record straight by reminding everyone that Frusciante left the Chili Peppers after Bloodsugarsexmagic in ’92, around the last time we even gave a shit about the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
What this all means is that we’ll have to endure another 18 months of the band trying out an endless parade of replacement guitarists before finally settling in on the guitarist for Jane’s Addicition once again or DJ Ashba.
Make up you mind dude, are you in or out? It’s not like you’re not going to get back together with them again and reminisce about all the good times you had walking around with a sock on your dick. And then you’ll remember all the money you made and the suddenly, that reunion tour doesn’t sound like a bad idea after all.
Do you get the sense that the rest of the dudes were waiting for over a year, anticipating Frusciante would come around again and change his mind? I also think that a band who stifles one another to not bring up “the John question” during interviews has lost sight of who their beholden to and put up a fucking statement on their website.
Frusciante’s already beaten them to the punch.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tears Are Falling: Cat Power-"Colors And The Kids"

Hey, whaddya know. Chan Marshall hints that the new Cat Power album will be more of a solo affair instead of a band effort. Either way, Chan, you could shit on some magnetic tape and I would buy the cd and DVD of the results.
As a matter of fact, I did; it was called Speaking With Trees.
But let’s go back to the amazing Moon Pix and a little ditty called “The Color & The Kids” that gets the tear glands agitated.
No seriously, there’s something in my eye.
It sounds like the two things in life that keeps Chan from staying in the garage with the car running are 1.) Colors, those visual hues that we see unless we’re unfortunately colorblind and 2.) little munchkins between the ages of 2 and 12 that test our patience, dirty our carpet, and require you to wipe their ass for a couple of years.
As a parent, I understand the appeal, but this record was released before I began spraying semen everywhere, with the hopes of impregnating a willing partner.
Wait, bad analogy.
But I think you get the idea, there’s something about those little shits that get your heartstrings chiming.
“Colors And The Kids” is a heart-wrenching tale about someone with “slender arms” and “slender fingers,” the kind of person that you want to be with because they make you a fucking better person.
“I could stay here,” she says, but her voice breaks during the next line “Become someone different/I could stay here/Become someone better.”
How many times have you been in a relationship where you promise yourself that you’ll be able to change only to find out that all of your faults and idiosyncrasies are fucking permanent.
Like your hair color, the records in your collection, the way in which you eat M&Ms, they’re part of your fucking dna.
And it breaks my heart when I hear Chan plead in desperation. Because when the love that you want to keep doesn’t feel the same way, it’s hard to see the full list of your reasons for living.
But colors and kids is a start.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cursive Live In Des Moines

The fag-rock band Cursive played in Des Moines a few days ago. A few folks showed up and felt the show was very enjoyable. A few others stayed home, certain that the band hadn’t released anything good since The Ugly Organ.
Besides, it was cold out and we were out of condoms.
For those of you not in the know, Cursive is a band from Omaha, Nebraska, but no one busts their chops for being in such a shitty state because they're on Saddle Creek.
Some of the members used to be in a band called Slowdown Virginia who were marginally better than Cursive.
The lead vocalist for Cursive got divorced and wrote the lyrics for the album Domestica.
When I got divorced, I moved to Iowa City.
The band did the album The Ugly Organ, released a couple of indulgent turds after that, and showed up in Des Moines this week, trying to hit on our women.

Mothership, Mothership, Do You Read Me?
Dorothy At 40
From The Hips
Radiator Hums
Let Me Up
Gentleman Caller
A Red So Deep
Mama, I'm Swollen
Art Is Hard
What Have I Done?


Big Bang
Couldn't Love You
The Casualty
A Red Handed Sleight Of Hand

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul

My wife and I went to my company’s Christmas party last weekend where the theme was “rock and roll.” For dinner, they had food named after famous rock songs. For entertainment, they had a karaoke dj and in the main ballroom a cover band called Crazy Delicious. For table settings, they had real 45s and vinyl lps along with their corresponding album jackets.
The table my wife and I sat at for dinner had a real Beatles 45 with the swirly yellow and orange Capitol records label. When we went to the main ballroom of the Marriot, there was a copy of Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul album on the neighboring table.
It looked lightly scuffed, but surprisingly playable for an album nearly forty years old.
I took it home, having remembered that Hank Rollins thought the world of this album and having enjoyed what little I heard of the record beforehand.
Side one is totally awesome, with two songs including a twelve minute version of “Walk On By.” There’s the uber-funky “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” which closes out the first half with complete perfection.
The ballad “One Woman” which begins side two isn’t necessarily bad-it just doesn’t fit well with the rest of Hot Buttered Soul’s easy and rhythmic flow that organically weaves in and out of the record at the most perfect spots. The ballad slows down the record’s momentum and, ultimately, becomes the one stumbling block that keeps the album from truly being an essential piece of vinyl.
Essential or not, it’s the album’s epic track-the 18 minute closer “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” which makes Hot Buttered Soul a very worthy record. Hayes gives a love monologue for the first third of the song-turning it from Campbell’s simple tale of broken love into a novel of heartbreak.
The strings and wide arrangements found throughout the album are a unique touch, but what’s even better is how Hayes just lets the band The Bar-Kays just have their way with his record, sometimes allowing them to go off of extended jams and just work a groove to dead on other occasions.
Look, I caught a break with my copy of Hot Buttered Soul, but rest assured if the grooves wear out, I’d have no quarrels at digging in my pocket to fund a replacement copy.

The Broken West Perform With Jason Segel Tonight

Hey listen, normally I wouldn't ask you to watch that piece of shit Craig Ferguson but tonight is different. You see, Jason Segel will be a guest tonight on the Late Late Show and he'll be doing a live rendition of "Dracula's Lament" from the movie Forgetting Sara Marshall.
I believe you can also catch a glimpse of his penis in that movie.
Anyway, it's a funny bit at evidenced below but the real charmer is that our boys in The Broken West will be his backing band.
Since they're cool dudes and since the scene is a hoot, you may wish to consider catching the broadcast or setting your Betamax to capture the proceedings.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AC/DC 1974

I always thought that AC/DC circa 1974 sounded like, well, sounded like 74 Jailbreak, but evidently they sounded a lot like Sweet. Thanks to Cousin J for sending me a link to this crazy-ass AC/DC promo clip prior to Bon Scott, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams from even joining up.
Malcolm looks like he's about seventeen and Angus looks like he doesn't even hold a license yet. You'll notice that, even though this doesn't come close to the power that the Scott-era band unleashed, Angus still shuffles back and forth, keeping perfect time while playing.
That's Dave Evans on lead vocals, sporting a very glam look. But it's the music that really gets your attention. The band is past thirty-five years old now and they're know for exactly one style of rock and roll. For real, this band has deviated maybe a few inches throughout their entire career, and come to find out that in their earliest incarnations they did manage to examine another facet of the rock sound.
The song was originally written when Malcolm Young was in his band prior to AC/DC. The band was called The Velvet Underground, seemingly unaware that in America had pretty much sealed the deal on anyone ever being able to stake claim to the moniker.
It's kind of catchy, but they certainly wouldn't get thirty-five plus years of mileage out of it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rites Of Spring Live Performance

I befriended a young guy at work who has remarkably sharp music tastes for someone his age. He’s infatuated with much of SST’s catalog and has a penchant for the Minutemen.
The other day he asked what cd he should buy and-knowing he had Raw Power and The Stooges the logical next step was Fun House.
Fun House qualified as one of the ten best rock albums ever in my book, and sure enough, the recommendation was a success.
He mentioned that he had found Rites of Spring and ordered their album.
Again, another winner.
Evidently, he noticed that there were a few posts of Rites of Spring up on You Tube. I distintly remember hearing about how great their shows were, but have not seen any real live footage.
Until now.
God bless You Tube.
Here’s the last song at a Rites of Spring gig at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. from 1985. Guy destroys his guitar and starts climbing the walls of the stage.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More Tower, More Power

Well look who's a new Arbitron diary carrier!
At one point in time, this would have been big news to me, but now all I could think was "Damn, I really don't listen to radio that much."
Actually, that's not entirely true-I do catch a bit of NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition, but there are days that go by where I will not even listen to radio at all.
But now that I've been named as someone to keep track of my time with local radio stations, I think about all of the things that I'd like to comment on and give diary support to some of the more obscure stations. I'd like to tell KKRQ that it sucks how they let Brad Company go and how I don't listen to that station at all as a result. I'd like to let people know how annoying the afternoon guy "Shark" is on another rock radio station. I'd like to tell them how much I miss satellite radio every time I have to endure listening to a terrestrial station.
But why punch a bunch of dumbasses when they're down?
And more importantly, what good would it really do?
It's not like radio will ever get over the hump and return to profitability again. That media may not be dead, but it sure is becoming less and less relevant while old-school program directors scratch their balls as listeners figure out they don't have to deal with all of the static (ads, retarded DJs, limited playlists) when they listen to their iPod instead.
Remember when people paid radio stations to play records? Christ, you don't even bother nowadays because I don't think that anything's getting bought when radio says it's good.
Radio will more than likely continue to be a part of the telecommunications piece, but it certainly has fallen out of flavor which may explain why the sweet revenge with my Arbitron diary doesn't taste as good these days as it did before.

Blogstalking: David Wm. Sims

One more post on the Jesus Lizard.
After the show, I learned that bassist David Wm. Sims is a fairly consistent blogger. Most recently, the blogs have involved Lizard news and tour date information. There’s a bunch of cool posters for various shows and if you’re looking for Christmas ideas for me, nothing “I love you Todd” like a framed copy of the 11/28 poster from the Metro gig.
Actually, I like the 11/27 gig poster better and it sounds like I would have preferred the show too.
I also found a recent review of the Lizard’s reissue treatments on Paste Magazine’s website and another reference to the Jesus Lizard vs. Steve Albini falling out. Paste printed their take on the argument, Sims attempted to clarify and insulted Albini in the process. Albini replied to the comment and Sims replied to Albini.
Here’s some tidbits from their tit-for-tat:

Thanks for the kind review, Austin. You've got a few facts wrong here, though:
1. Duane, David, and I started the band in Austin before the three any of us
moved to Chicago.
2. "Pure" is combined with "Head" on the remastered CDs,
but is released as a separate EP on vinyl, as was the case with the original
3. There was a rift that developed between the band and Albini
around the time we signed to a major label, but it wasn't because we signed to a
major label. Think about it for a second: he's recorded albums for Bush,
Nirvana, and Helmet, and others, for major labels. The major label explanation
doesn't hold water. For a variety of reasons, we decided while recording "Down"
that we were going to use another producer on the next record. This was before
we had decided to leave Touch & Go. Some of the reasons had to do with the
way the last couple of records sounded, others were more personal. Albini,
master of self-promotion that he is, spun getting fired into the Brave Stand for
the Indie Kids. Gotta hand it to him, it was genius.
Again, thanks for the
Best regards,
David Wm. Sims
Then Albini responds:

Not to get all tit-for-tatty, but I haven't ever said to anyone, public or
private, that I stopped working with the Jesus Lizard because they left T&G.
David remembers the end of our working relationship accurately, though the bit
about me promoting myself can blow me. I basically didn't utter a word
pertaining to the Jesus Lizard for the next few years after they made the
corporate leap, which was just the consummation of a swing toward
"professionalism" or something like it the band had undertaken.
It was
evident from their dealings and the people they chose to work with that they
were changing teams. Though they might pretend they were never part of a
unified, cooperative underground culture, they certainly behaved like everyone
who was, and benefited from the structures and people who identified with it. It
isn't overstating it to say that when they turned that corner I was in a kind of
For the record, the resuscitated Jesus Lizard is just as good as
the regular old everyday one from the early 90s, and pretty much destroys any
other band working right now. They have been playing brilliantly and blowing
minds anew, and I hope they wring the sponge and get everything they can out of
this revival.

And a final reply from Sims:

There is no need for tit-for-for tat. Honestly, I meant the self-promotion crack
as a compliment. I didn't mean to give offense, and apologize for any taken.
As I'm sure you're aware, the assertion that you stopped working with the
Jesus Lizard because we signed to Capitol is one of the most repeated items
about the band out there. I haven't tried it, but I'd wager if you Google "jesus
lizard" and "steve albini" together, it will appear somewhere on almost all the
results. It has become the conventional wisdom, and I'm gratified that you've
set the record straight.
"Professionalism" made me laugh. Thanks!
haven't ever pretended that we weren't a part of the underground rock scene,
although the scene I remember was anything but unified. People helped us and we
helped people, and it was an amazing place and time to be. I feel sorry for kids
starting band today. We made our decisions for what we believed were the right
reasons, sometimes knowing the decisions were going to disappoint some people.
Life can be like that.
Thanks for all that about the resuscitated Jesus
Lizard. The shows have been a stone-cold gas. And thanks for your and Bob's
great work on the remasters.

So there it is, the real reason why Albini severed his relationship with the Jesus Lizard after the Down album.
Personally, I thought it was mainly because Down sucked and the band (rightly) needed to get someone else’s hand on their album sound, simply because Albini records and doesn’t produce.
The band needed a producer at this point in their career.
The general consensus was that Albini got pissed that the band signed with a major label to release Show. It was a one-off record, but it did pave the way for them to sign with Capitol. Albini did have a point: how many more records could a band like the Jesus Lizard really sell on a major and would they really be better off under Capitol’s umbrella.
The answer was obviously “No,” but it turns out that this was only part of the argument between the two.
What's cool about this is how Albini, even in the comment above, has nothing but good things to say about the band's musicianship. Even back in the day he would refer to his work with the band as one of his best works and praised their performances.

One of these days, I’ll get around to reviewing some of those old Jesus Lizard albums, but for now I’m spent.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Jesus Lizard Live

I think it’s safe to say that in all of the live rock shows that I’ve seen, at least two of the top ten of “best shows” would be reserved for the Jesus Lizard.
Prior to the penultimate performance that I saw on Saturday night, I’d seen them a total of three times, one for each of their best Touch & Go studio albums: Goat, Liar, and Down.
On the first show, I was close to the stage and suddenly found myself holding up David Yow over my head. By the end of the show, I’d gotten intimately close to his genitalia and found an efficient way to pass a small, sweaty man overhead. During the times he was on stage, I had time to breathe and watch three incredible musicians pounding out a menacing arrangement for their most recent album.
David called some dude “Shitmouth”
The second show was in the same venue. On the way up, a loud metallic jackhammer sound came from the engine compartment over the blaring of Goat on my factory cassette player. It was a hideous sound, and I understood the engine of my Ford Ranger pick-up truck was in grave danger.
I continued driving.
As long as I maintained a steady speed, the truck was tolerable. But the moment I accelerated-particularly when going up a hill-the sound returned.
The good news was that the truck was under three years old and still had time on its factory warranty. If I ruined the engine, I was damn sure going to make the Ford Motor Company paid for the repairs.
When I got to the club, I snuck it a small airline bottle of vodka. I made my way towards the front of the stage and stuck through the endless ebb and flow of bodies, capturing the smell of beer, cigarettes, and sweat in the process. I handed Yow the small bottle. He looked at it and considered it for a few verses. He then opened the bottle with his free hand and sprayed it over a few lucky souls being smushed in the front row.
I guess he didn’t like Absolut.
David yelled “Hey shitmout!” at someone during the set.
The third show was at First Avenue in Minneapolis after the release of Down. The main room is a great venue; it’s still a trip to consider how Purple Rain was filmed there. Anyway, that particular night was all about the Lizard. My girlfriend and I circled around the back of the club looking for a place to sit-there weren’t any.
Right as we’re walking downstairs from the balcony, the band begins playing. The first few bars of the song are dished out and within the first twenty seconds of the song, Yow had run full speed from the back of the stage and clears about half a dozen rows when he jumps into the crowd.
At one point, David responds to an overzealous fan “Shitmouth, I love you.”
And then there’s the fourth show, the reunion gig that was originally going to be the last show, but then they added a New Years Eve show and….you know the rest.
A full accounting of the show is over at Glorious Noise, but there’s always room for additional bitching.
Firstly, a kind “fuck you” to The Metro for a shitty “pre-party” that served no purpose and fucked me from getting a good view.
They gave away shit-like a reserved table upstairs-but you had to have a ticket to participate. Even though my wife and I were literally the fourth and fifth persons in the door, we got no ticket for showing up, on time, like the venue’s email monkey suggested.
More critically, the email hinted that you’d be able to get into the venue without having to wait outside in the cold, but no one seemed too concerned to actually tell us that THEY BEGAN LETTING PEOPLE INSIDE WHILE WE CONTINUED TO BUY DRINKS TO PASS THE TIME IN THE SHITTY SMARTBAR. By the time I’d hear T-Rex’s “Jeepster” for the second time (seriously, they put in a mix cd when we walked in, pressed play and pushed the repeat button). Ironically, “Jeepster” had already played on my IPod during the trip over to Chicago as we played all of the sequential song titles beginning with the J section.
It was hell when we went through a bunch of reggae songs that all began with the word “Jah.”
When we finally went upstairs and noticed people walking up to the main room, we found the only visual spot we could. We were slightly behind a fairly clean grad student couple and in between a couple of silly longhairs in their early 30’s. I reminded myself of the time I approached thirty with long hair and recognized the moment when I finally cut if off. Some people may think that it had something to do with my advancing age or desire to better mesh with the corporate culture. The reality is that it was my Grandma fault. She noticed the top of my hair thinning once as she walked downstairs and felt the need to mention my growing bald spot out loud.
She should have the same talk with the dude next to me at the JL show.
My wife hated it (more so because of the longhaired dude and the fact that she had to stand the entire time) and I was a tad disappointed.
The opening band Triclops had a few flashes of cleverness, but the lead singer used a dorky pitch shifter on his mic and would jump down into the security row in front of the stage for dramatic effect.
Then Yow was in a chair for the entire night and drank bottled water.
At one point, Yow screamed, “Shitmouth, I love you. Will you marry me?”
It's great that the band is back together, albeit for a short while, but there is no doubt that the prime era to see the Jesus Lizard was back when they were a hungry, working unit. Today, they're merely a glimpse into the kind of danger that occurred each night when they took the stage.
Today, I would have definitely stopped the truck and called AAA.

Poster by Diana Sudyka