A good record, a so-so record, a few odd-and-sods, an awful side project, a non-sucky side project, and two lukewarm comeback records, Jane's Addiction is no candidate for Greatest Band in the World, but damn if much of Nothing's Shocking isn't feeling strangely relevant right now, in part because Farrell isn't being nearly as OMG-So-Edgy as he was on Ritual. With the general culture war absurdity and tribal posturing on both sides, I think I know what I'll be listening to when I get home tonight.
I got into Jane's Addiction slightly later in life, if only because the rock and roll radio in Clevelandia was dominated by nu-metal and I knew that the gratuitous nudity of the cover art would not pass muster with the folks, not to mention some of the lyrical content. Not a whole lot of redeeming social value to be found here.
My pastor when I lived in Kent was a huge Jane's fan, and we used to jam on these and U2 and Alice in Chains after practicing the music for church, and he dressed up as Perry Farrell for Halloween once when he was in college. The first night I played music with him, I was playing bass at the time and started noodling around with opening lines from this song.
I shouldn't like it as much as I do, because it's bloated and somewhat ridiculous. Perry Farrell's a consummate businessman as it is, with a voice of an exuberant little kid spinning twisted tales of drugs and deviance and general weirdness, and I still ask God why Dave Navarro's still alive and Layne Staley is dead, because dude might be the Vainest Man Alive and is still prettier than me despite doing heroin for awhile.
hum hum along with me, hum along with the TV...
But those jazzy chords at the beginning and the non-stop energy, that guitar solo so over the top yet perfect in context, the way it ends so fast, grabbed me the first time I heard this. It sounded infinitely more vital than anything else pulsating through the airwaves at the time even though this was almost a decade after when it came out. I put this on the jukebox at a somewhat twee-ish indie rock show at the Grog Shop and watched everyone look really confused like what is this guitar playing what the hell?
Hears you tell your friends,
"Hey man, why don't you listen to my great idea!"