Sunday, August 02, 2009

make no bones about it

Jarvis Cocker is back for a show at the Fillmore in San Francisco in the same decade?! Sometimes I love to be proven wrong.

Jarvis Cocker, the Fillmore, 07-28-09Jarvis Cocker, the Fillmore, July 28, 2009: As you may have guessed, I'm a repeat customer. When I find a band or a musician I really like, I'll come back as often as possible. Jarvis Cocker definitely qualifies for that list, and I intend to attend his concerts--as sporadic as they may be--for some time to come.

Alas, it appears that others may not share this opinion. Whereas his 2007 gig at the same spot quickly sold out, there were still plenty of tickets available for this appearance. The fools!

What they missed was Jarvis in vintage, inimitable form backed by the same band as before, including Steve Mackey and Simon Stafford as previously mentioned in this blog. Granted, his new album doesn't sound a lot like his older stuff, and it rocks a lot more than you'd expect. But the self-aware, slightly camp tone remains intact, as do the herky-jerky dance moves, the rambling monologues, and the adoring followers.

Jarvis Cocker, the Fillmore, 07-28-09

Before the show even began, we overheard a conversation about "Jarvis' throbbing pelvis" and our proximity to it. And by the time the gig drew to an end, we'd witness Jarvis himself engaging genially with the audience: guessing our names (badly), handing out chocolate (to keep our blood sugar up) and wine, accepting a drink, reading a wedding invitation. That last event inspired an impromptu performance of "I Can't Take My Eyes Off You," even as his bandmates gamely vamped at filling out the chords.

In between, of course, was the music, kicking off with "Angela" and making his way through selected tracks from both solo albums; there were no Pulp tracks, however. Jarvis would also ask us to contribute a hum to one track, hold forth on Bach's contributions to modern music, and strike up conversation about the sax. In addition to his singing and frontman duties, Jarvis played guitar, keyboards, cymbals, and a percussive gourd (a guiro, according to Google search results). Don't worry--Jarvis hasn't gone world music, but I'd venture to say his artistic evolution continues.

Jarvis Cocker, the Fillmore, 07-28-09

Some time after the gig, I realized that we were in the presence of a showman, a rarity among the earnest singer/songwriters I favor. He doesn't shy away from the attention, and he doesn't deny his leadership role. I'd probably dismiss those same moves on anyone else, but somehow, Jarvis carries it off--and puts other supposed rock stars to shame.

See also:
» let him read your palm and guess your sign

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