The latest iteration of Modest Mouse rocked the mid-sized (4,000 capacity) Hollywood Palladium last week leaving most fans — young, old, industry, walk-ins — satisfied. But for those waiting to hear the opening notes of the band’s radio (and video game) hits “Float On,” “Ocean Breathes Salty,” and “Dashboard,” it was an incomplete night.
But “fuck ’em,” as frontman Isaac Brock, would say. For those of us who’ve watched the PNW indie rockers grow from a bunch of drunk ne’er-do-wells to Indie 103.1 and MTV darlings, the show was an encouraging glimpse into the future of an ever-evolving band rediscovering itself in the post-radio, post-MTV era.
Back in 1991 I remember asking — begging — my parents to let me go downtown to see Jane’s Addiction at the Metro. I believe Nirvana was opening. Finally, 18 years later, I saw Jane’s at an even smaller venue and the result was well worth the wait. Jane’s Addiction and their small body of work from 1988-1991 more or less was the best music that I had ever heard and to this day the raw power and authenticity of those songs remain vital and fresh to my ears.
So I felt like a 15-year-old last Monday night when I got to see Jane’s Addiction with a few hundred others at the Echoplex, down the street from where I live. And I’m still buzzing about the show nearly a week later.
Feel what I’m feeling by rockin’ to these great multi-camera video clips with soundboard audio that the band posted to Pitchfork.tv this weekend.
Earlier this week, David Berman, primary tentacle of Silver Jews, posted what amounted to a disturbing (if true) revelation to his many fans and admirers: His “…gravest secret. Worse than suicide, worse than crack addiction — his father, Robert Berman, aka Dr. Evil. This followed a post announcing the end of Silver Jews and Berman’s career as a songwriter… moving on to other means, perhaps screenwriting, as he also alluded to in our interview.
“This winter I decided that the SJ’s were too small of a force to ever come close to undoing a millionth of all the harm he [Richard Berman] has caused,” Berman wrote. A Jan. 31 show at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tenn., will be the last of the Joos. Either way, the records left behind are nothing short of legendary and I feel fortunate to have seen the Silver Jews on each of their two tours. Read the thread at Drag City and see some other reactions here and here.
Republished below is an e-mail interview I conducted with David Berman last September, for LAist.