Sunday, December 30, 2007


Live review, LA Weekly, November 2007

Sorry to all the Jon Spencer fans out there. Jail Weddings, though, has a glowing review.

There was some pretty juicy banter left in the comments section for this review. This was my favorite one:

For the record, rock journalism died with Peter Laughner. Laughner's review of Jonathan Richman's self-titled record has been aped by many aspiring rock journalists; none have touched it (it's the Creem issue where Bangs rips Wings to shreds -- '76, dude)....Just look at the track record: Tosches: quit; Greil Marcus: loves situationists (kudos to him!); Barry Kramer: was so fucked by Creem he died in some freaky ass Sal Mineo sex act gone wrong. Lester was even losing his mind at the end, trying to pull a Burroughs and fuck off to Mexico. ANYWAY, rock journalism is as difficult as creating a great record. Just as there are only a handful of great bands, there are only a handful of seminal journalists, most of whom are dead. I mean, have you read Lou Reed's interview with Vaclav Havel? Terrible. Have you listened to Lester Bang's record? Horrible. They're different disciplines, both equally hard to master. So this idea that critics are just frustrated musicians is stupid. I mean, look what Lester did for the Velvets. What Henry Geldzahler did for Warhol. And on and on...
Also, my theory is that after Bretton Woods was dissolved, making a profitable yet vibrant rock rag became impossible. Only non-profits carry anything valuable these days (think "Monthly Review" or "Z Magazine"). It's all run by four corporations. All are banal and useless.
In regard to this review, it's pretty sound. I never liked Jon Spencer. Most people I know aren't interested in him anymore. Don't know, don't care. At least this reviewer has the balls to call it as she saw it. Jail Weddings, though, is great. Where most bands in Los Angeles are happy to suck up to journalists or court major labels, Gabe's still the amiable, incorrigible friend I made three or four years ago. His music is always top-notch (probably the only LA band I wholeheartedly endorse). And any of this riff-raff about his band trying to steal the floor is bullshit. Dude is a total saint, even to motherfuckers like me.
Get into Guy Debord. All answers can be found there.
-Ryan Leach

Jon Spencer/Jail Weddings at the Echo, review in LA Weekly

Photos from the show



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