Friday, August 11, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 24: Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking

Album - Nothing's Shocking
Artist - Janes Addiction
Key Players - Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitars), Eric Avery (bass), Stephen Perkins (drums, percussion)
Produced By - Dave Jerden and Perry Farrell

Released - August 23, 1988 (cd version in october of 1990)

Overview: Janes Addiction was formed in the summer of 1985. Perry Farrell had a band that was in need of a bassplayer and he was introduced to Eric Avery. That band never played a single live gig but in the mean time Avery's sister introduced the band to drummer Stephen Perkins. Perkins in turn suggested his fellow bandmate Dave Navarro join this "new band". Dubbed Jane's Addiction for a junkie roommate of Farrells the band would go on to release only two studio albums and forever change "alternative" music. Farrell would become a household name when he created the popular Lollapalooza festival. The inaugural jaunt of this festival would be the bands "farewell tour" in this incarnation. Internal strife as well as drug abuse led to the bands break up. In 1997 the band reformed for the "Relapse" tour but Avery chose to not join the band. A few years later the band re-formed, again, without Avery to record "Strays". The band would spend 2003 on tour to promote the record and headline the resurrected Lollapalooza festival. Following this tour the band broke up again. Navarro claimed for the same reasons as back in 1991.

FDF Comments (aka the songs): "Up the Beach" starts off the record with Eric A giving a simple yet melodic bassline. After a few bars the band drops in hard. The song, having little lyrics at all, is pretty close to the feeling you'd get when you hear the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. "Ocean Size" may fool you with some acoustic guitars in the intro and Farrell cooing, until he counts off "THEE FIIIIIIIVE" again the band hammers down hard. "Had a Dad",
"Ted, Just Admit it" once again is a song that features a strong, swooping bassline from Avery. The song is about serial killer Ted Bundy. The final chorus of the song bemoans "Sex is violence". This is also the song from which the album title is derived. "Standing in the Shower..thinking" follows and seems to be a little more of a light hearted affair. The line "standing in the shower thinking about what makes a man" let you in to the sometimes over analyzing Perry Farrell. A strong point to this record on a big level is they were not afraid to put bass high up in the mix, and out front. "Summertime Rolls" is yet another song that gets its start from Eric A. The song grows and grows all the while you can hear the punchy bottom bass by Eric. After reaching a musical peak the band mellows it back out and the song ends the same way it started. As you are lulled to rest the chugging intro to "Mountain Song" kicks it in to high gear once again. Navarro uses buzz saw like guitar riffs and we "jump out of our flesh" and we also "Cash in now baybeee". "Idiots Rule" is a very strong song on the record. The band uses the a horn section that features Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on trumpet and Angelo Moore from Fishbone on Saxophone. Navarro shines on this song with a solo that seems to last the whole song but not over take the overall vibe of the song. Avery slaps the bass with a signature sound from bassist at this time. The next two tracks "Jane Says" and "Pigs in Zen" had appeared on the bands previous live album. "Jane Says" probably the most well known of Jane's Addictions song and the steel drums were really a unique twist at the time. The almost silly filler "Thank you boys" is a jazzy swing song that you can tap your toes and snap your fingers to but it really is here to just fill out space. Feel free to hit the next track button. "Pigs in Zen" which was a "cd only bonus track" at the time of the initial release (remember those perks?). Perry was quoted (from Dave Thomspons book):
"I read the Gita, I read Black Magic Crowley, the Bible, anything I could get my hands on. If you want to talk about reaching nirvana, reaching Zen, well, the pig is closer than we are because the pig doesn't have material possessions. He fucks when he wants to, he eats when he's hungry, and he sleeps when he's tired. That's the whole point of Zen. That's exactly what pigs do... so, 'Pigs in Zen.'" one only needs to see the lyrics to see what he was getting at:

pigs in the mud/when he tires/pigs in zen/pigs in zen
pig is nude/unashamed/pig's in zen/pig's in zen
talkin' bout the pig /the pig
the pig - uh /pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
goddamn pig!
pig mounts sow /when he's wound
pig's in zen /pig's in zen
pig eats shit /but only when he hungers
pig's in zen /pig's in zen
talkin' bout the pig
the pig/the pig - uh
goddamn pig
it looks silly in print but this song is a perfect closer to this record. After a spoken word interlude the bands storms back in to close it out on a high note.

Where are they now? After Jane' Addiction broke up the first time all the members kept busy. Farrell and Perkins formed Porno For Pyros. Navarro and Avery formed Deconstruction.

Perry Farrell has done some DJ work, worked to get the credibility of the Lollapalooza name back. He is also working with a new project called "The Satellite Party" with former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and the bass player from No Doubt, Tony Kanal.

Eric Avery has enjoyed not being in Jane's Addiction. He did audition to be the bassplayer for Metallica, dated Alanis Morissette and has started a new side project called Polar Bear. Rumors have it, he may be the new bass player for the Smashing Pumpkins.

Stephen Perkins has worked with a band "Banyan" which has released 3 albums to date.

Dave Navarro played and toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the One Hot Minute album. He released a solo album. He had a reality TV show on MTV with his (now ex wife) Carmen Electra as well as other stints on TV for "Rock Star INXS". He is rarely seen with a shirt on. He as a project in the works now called "The Panic Channel". The project is streaming (at least as of aug 2006)

FDF Comments (aka the live experience): This reviewer saw the band live on two occasions, both Lollapalooza sets. The first was August 9, 1991. This was the first year of the tour and it was an incredible day. I recall the go-go dancers, the wild stage antics and some girl at the conclusion of the show busting up on stage and flat out mauling Navarro. They made out for what seemed like ages and he took her off stage with him. The second time was on the second wave of the touring version of Lollapalooza July 25, 2003. The band was headlining once more and the set was so in your face if memory serves me correct it was Stop!->Mtn Song->been Caught stealing->Ain't No Right was just one hammer after another.

FDF Overall Take: This album always makes 2 important lists. Best albums of all time, and best album art. The band defined a new sound and a vision for the bands from L.A. at the time (if it was not this it was metal). Jane's Addiction added something new to a listless and roaming music scene. The early 90's owes so very much to this band.


At 9:07 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

I know I might be alone in this, but I hate Jane's Addiction. I don't know if it's Perry's voice or the memories that are stirred up by some of the songs, but I can't stand them.

I do agree that they are an important band in the 90's.

Okay, that'a all I'm saying.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger pog mo thoin said...

I know where Fresh is coming from but I am on the other end - I love Jane's Addiction for the memories and the sound of Perry's voice in those memories. There is something mournful in it, even when they are grooving.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Hotwire said...

i will have to side with fresh on this one.

in the 90s i was still istening to stuff from the 60s and 70s.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Sharon S said...

nice March.
Banyan is playing at the moe.down this year, Labor Day weekend in Turin, NY.....

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Annoyed said...


Jane's Addiction was one of the greatest fucking bands EVER!

"Three Days" off their second album is the "Stairway to heaven" for our generation.

This album my be the greatest major label debut for all those 90's bands!

I reach for this one a hundred more times than "Nevermind" or "Ten"

If anyone want to know the "big deal" about this band just throw on "Three Days".... Crank the radio up to 8.... shut all the lights....light one candle....make sure you have some really good speakers.... get really high or drunk.... and sit back and absorb that song!

Genius, sheer genius!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Code Name: Ryan said...

Man... You don't have to love a sound to appreciate talent. I said that the other day (wrote it in my blog actually) in regards to Jack White. I think the same holds true for P.F. and Jane's Addiction. Probably the same could be true of Nirvana and the Pixies.

Importance to a music type, a genre, a label or a generation of music fans doesn't constitute a popularity contest.

Janes was important. Perry created Lollapalooza and the festival did more to impact two generations of fans than a guitar riff or a vocal.

Nice choice.


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