I ran across a stack of concert tickets last week while digging for non-music related fall decorations (such a thing should not exist in my humble opinion), and I thought that this would be a nice change of pace from the standard peak, pull, and photograph post. Cleverly dubbed the NINJA Tour (combining NIN and Jane’s Addiction… see what they did there?), 5/20/09 would mark the first time I’d ever see Jane’s Addiction perform, and as I’d been listening to them since early Jr. High, I jumped at the opportunity (by driving to the venue) to see this historically prominent act. I all but completely ignored NIN, but Jane’s were nothing short of astonishing, and with no hint of anticipatory letdown. Jane Says… you listen.
There are certain milestones, chapters in a man’s life (obvious statement), and these chapters can be traced to the discovery and overabundant submersion into specific pop artists… for me, anyway. Phases may be a better term for it. When I was young I went through my Bon Jovi phase (ended), followed by my Def Leppard phase (ended). In Junior High it was the hip-hop (mainly ended) and Jane’s Addiction phases (on-going), before graduating to the punk, industrial, and metal phases (never-ending, never-ending, and mainly ended, respectfully). I’ll spare you the long line of personal music phases (as well as their lengths), and cut directly to the now, decade-long Jim Croce phase. First discovered from classic rock radio as a lad, my Croce chapter started with a 2-disc compilation titled, The 50th Anniversary Collection. Acquired during my brief tenure as a music coordinator, the digital version of this album opened a new and exciting door to some of the most profound, and emotional songwriting I’d ever hear. While some chapters conclude, I pray my Croce chapter has no ending.
In 1990, Jane’s Addiction released their 2nd studio album, Ritual De Lo Habitual. Three Days, Been Caught Stealing, and Classic Girl all debuted with this legendary album which was, for over a decade, their last. She, and her older sister, 1988’s Nothing Shocking each got heavy play throughout my high school years, and with everything ingested during those impressionable years, received its proper graduation to “ownership on vinyl.”
The debut album by Jane’s Addiction didn’t set the streets of Los Angeles on fire quite like 1988’s Nothing Shocking, or 1990’s Ritual de lo habitual. That is certainly not to say this (slightly doctored) live album doesn’t hit the needlepoint highs that the band is globally known and rewound for.
Jane’s Addiction, XXX, or Triple-X (whichever you prefer), is a great start, but barely measures up again the bands (only) first two albums. The rest (2003’s Strays and 2011’s The Great Escape Artist) is financial fodder.
1993 was an interesting year. I was 14, and back then, New Jack Swing was alive and violently flowing from the radio waves like a raging river of hip hop and dance-pop fusion, but you know, with tight-rolled Z Cavaricci’s and LA Gear footwear.
Shifting away from spoon-fed radio, for me, was a slow burn. We only had two radio stations that played anything other than Western or Country, and the closest record store was something like 40 miles away. A bit too far for me and my trusty BMX, as it turned out.
If I Had No Loot was a recent purchase, a $1 thrift store find actually, and serves as one of those “throwback” records that I’ll frequent when the thoughts of my younger years slowly begin to seep through the thin layer of 2013 reality. Other bands that fit this category include Animotion, Tone-Lōc, Paula Abdul, R.E.M., Prince, Jane’s Addiction, Faith No More and Pet Shop Boys (I was a confused kid).
For all its amazing shortcomings, If I Had No Loot still manages to stand its ground, and is as catchy and enjoyable as when I heard it for the first time screaming from Z-104 (104 FM) out of Madison, WI. People say music is timeless. I say, music is a time casket, emerging from yesteryear like a Pepe jean, Hypercolor shirt wearing zombie.
By the time Porno for Pyros hit the streets in 1993, the world was still mourning the loss of Jane’s Addiction. Frontman, Perry Ferrell, assured the masses that his brash-brand of sleazy-slut-rock would continue on unabated, but would henceforth inherit a new title, Porno for Pyros.
Trying to figure out the meaning behind the title, Porno for Pyros, is like trying to tie your shoes with oven mitts on your hands. You can see the end result in your head, but damned if it’s not impossible to get to. People attribute too much meaning to things anyway, so I’m going to skip the meaningless meaning behind PfP, and continue on with my daily ramblings.
The music, not unlike a cloud of sadness, is loud, funky, rhythmically driven, and unmistakably awesome! There is a certain amount of solace that can be found in sadness, and it’s evident that Perry and crew tapped into that power for Porno for Pyros, because quiet frankly, it’s a pretty bleak album. Like a warm pair of socks on a cold, dreary day, or a calming breeze during those hot August nights, Porno for Pyros can abate your less-than-optimal mood, whenever it rears its ugly, yet familiar noggin.
A beautiful tie-dyed vinyl version was released just this past Saturday for Record Store Day. Limited to 1000 copies, this gorgeous record is going for up to $100 over at Discogs, so I hope you were able to brave the goofballs in line for a copy, because, it really is quite something.