Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jarvis Cocker @ the Wiltern 7/27/09

As published by LA RECORD:


I have seen the true King of Pop, and he’s not much like Michael Jackson — although they did once cross paths at the 1996 BRIT Awards when Jackson did his best to impersonate Jesus Christ during a performance of his “Earth Song,” and Jarvis Cocker and Pulp mate Peter Mansell stormed the stage. (Jarvis repeatedly shook his bum at Jackson and was later detained by police on suspicion of assault. He was never charged.) In his first proper L.A. concert since playing Coachella two years ago, Jarvis proved his monarchical status at the Wiltern on July 27. With not one Pulp tune for safety, Jarvis culled the set entirely from his own solo library, relying heavily on recently released sophomore album Further Complications—including the Stooges-inspired “Angela,” the purely joyful rocker “Further Complications” and the sax-driven “Homewrecker!” And he reached all the way back to 2007 with songs off his debut Jarvis for the swaggering pop perfection of “Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time,” the deliciously “Crimson and Clover”-like “Black Magic” and the punk-thrasher “Fat Children.” As a dancer, he’s peerless, though he ain’t no moonwalker: Jarvis jerked about his freakishly long limbs with stone-cold geeky conviction. The band sounded so good and brought such a euphoric new dimension to the tracks that I couldn’t even hate Loud Drunk Guy behind me. He drowned out Jarv’s between-song quips with declarative bellowing. (“Stella makes you get in a FIGHT!” “Come ON, Jar-vis!” “Homewrecker!!!”) But anyone who sings along to Jarvis song—every single one, mind you—with such passion has to be a good guy, right? Jarv closed out the show out with “You’re in My Eyes (Discosong),” the final track off the new record, which was augmented by an actual disco ball shooting wondrous flickers of light into the audience. (P.S. I don’t know what the guy from the Weekly is talking about, saying the audience was not familiar with the material. Everyone around me—dead center in the pit—was singing along. If you don’t believe me, just ask L.D.G.)

—Linda Rapka

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