February 2, 2010
Viper Room, LA
Prior to kicking off their U.S. tour Jack’s Mannequin decided to do a warm-up set at The Viper Room. The impromptu show was booked Monday night, announced just before noon on Tuesday, and sold out shortly thereafter.
I like Jack’s Mannequin. Andrew McMahon, Jonathan Sullivan, Jay McMillan, and Bobby Anderson all played and sounded great, despite numerous technical difficulties. “Good thing we got this shit out of the way,” McMahon exclaimed while Anderson fumbled with a faulty guitar cable.
They played a long set consisting of songs that most everyone knew the words to. The crowd sang along at the top of their lungs to tunes including “Crashin’,” “Resolution,” “Bruised,” and “Spinning.”
I found myself getting lost in the music and the band’s animated performance. The mix was right, the sound was great. . . Things were almost too perfect. “I hope they’re not a Christian band,” I thought to myself. Seconds later, as Jack’s Mannequin transitioned from “Spinning” to “The Lights and The Buzz,” McMahon remarked, “This is a Christmas song, but it’s about some fucked up shit!” Phew.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with Christian bands. . .)
February 2, 2010
The Viper Room, Hollywood
Don’t ever let me miss a Terra Naomi show again! A lot of people were excited about the last-minute Jack’s Mannequin show at The Viper Room last night. I was equally excited about Terra Naomi’s opening set.
I’ve been following Naomi’s career and watching her perform since 2006, but I’ve missed a few shows recently and I won’t do that again. During last night’s performance at The Viper Room, Naomi performed some of my old favorites including “Say It’s Possible” and “Vicodin Song,” along with several new songs which have already become favorites.
“You For Me” and “Nobody Knows You Anymore” are songs about love, loneliness, and being okay with it all. Naomi’s voice is beautiful as ever, but what I love most about Naomi and her music is that she’s real. Yes, she’ll sing about pills, strippers, and infidelity; and she’ll sing about them with a smile (likely because they’re in the past).
I often see (and choose not to write about) some pretty, off-the-shelf, perfect-package bands – the ones record labels love. They look the part, they have catchy tunes, they sing about things they’ve seen on the news but haven’t experienced, and their lyrics are accessible enough that they don’t require any thought or reflection on the part of the listener.
Terra Naomi: okay with it all
Terra Naomi is the complete opposite of this and therefore represents everything I love. She’s honest and real, never compromising her integrity or music for the sake of a cute pop song. Her songs are fantastic, but you’ll likely not hear them on The Hills, so be sure to see Terra Naomi when you have the opportunity.
If you missed last night’s show at The Viper Room, you can catch Terra at Hotel Cafe tonight at 8:00 pm.