PJ, Janis & Johnette

I was a little disappointed that PJ didn’t play The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore on Leno, but I’m not surprised. The more I think about it, This is Love was more appropriate. She seemed noticeably distracted; I thought it was funny when Leno admitted to being distracted by her outfit, as well. What man wouldn’t be?

I just can’t believe life is so complex
When I just want to sit here and watch you undress

Indeed. For distraction, I downloaded another boot, Janis Joplin at the Texas International Pop Festival 8-30-69. SHN files are a wonderful thing. The quality is only fair, but it reminds me how joyful blues can be sometimes. I am going to Try, just a little bit harder to not sink into the deep pit of blues that seems even closer these days. I’ve been on a Johnette Napolitano kick lately, and Still in Hollywood really showcases all the best and worst sides of her band Concrete Blonde. It’s probably one of the better CDs to get of theirs though, if you aren’t familiar with the band, because in my opinion most of their commercial output was really hit or miss after the first album. But that voice! I just love her voice. Revisiting their first album, I had forgotten just how solid the songwriting really was. It’s just that from the second album forward they layered so many effects on her voice that it was just grating. Many of the versions on Still in Hollywood are more stripped down, and better, but some are even worse in that respect– the remix version of “Bloodletting” for example. So it’s a mixed memory trip for me. Johnette is best when she sounds like Johnette rather than a studio creation. I was pleased to discover some more recent MP3s are available, and that she has gained experience from her time as a popstar:

“There is nothing in the world like rock ‘n’ roll for turning one into a deluded, self-important boor.”

“I’m a Wire” didn’t do much for me, it’s linked from the unofficial page, but it’s just too thick. However, “The Cut” dances on the edge of density and intensity, sort of like Diamond Dogs by Bowie, but not nearly as farcical. The lush multitracking probably means that I won’t listen to that much in the future but it was sort of nice to hear a “rock tune” right now. The real prize, in my opinion was “Fresh Blood.” It is almost a direct rip-off of “Hey Bulldog” by the Beatles, but it lumbers along a dark and ominous track given the state of current events. If you’ve just got the time for one, try it. You’ll get the idea. “Juan Quezada” is a nice experiment, complete with Tom Waits style crowing roosters and whatnot. Oh well, I’m a fan so perhaps I’m cutting these tracks more slack than most would. What do I know?