"This room becomes a shrine thinking of you..." - Jesus & Mary Chain
People with money really do start thinking they can take it with 'em, don't they? Ya see the value they put on Shit, mere stuff, and also on just their own most basic climate control, the channel changer, controlling the room, and even the ideas allowed to ever enter their big ceilinged, oversized, white, spartan, multiple empty spaces. I got a song lyric that says, "now all I do is write obituaries", cause all my ole rocknroll friends keep dropping dead, and man. 'Gets weird.
One of my teenage brothers offed himself a couple years ago, and his family wrote some real blunt obit for the smalltown newspaper to publish, I'll paraphrase, but basically, it was like, "He was drunk and depressed all his life and committed suicide". Yeah, so that was grim. I knew they never liked the kid to start with, but according to his side of the story, they were hiding and covering up abuse.
It's easy to forget just how good the Jesus and Mary Chain actually are; how many drop dead classic songs they have recorded. Then, on a Thursday night at the Sydney Opera House (no less), they ram a shit ton of their greatest hits down our throats and they still leave out a huge chunk of back catalogue just to spite you.
They make it look easy. But being this damn good is not easy.
Jim, William, Douglas and Bobbychanged my life for the better. I owe those guys a profound debt of sincere gratitude. They are the coolest cool, the blackest black, the grooviest of the groovies.
All those bands who imitated the Mary Chain? I never liked any of 'em. That shoegaze shit was not for me. I was not into acid house or even that much Brit-Pop, really. For me, the Mary Chain was the zenith, the high point of standalone excellence. 1995 was the year The Man killed punk dead in my little underground world, when media consolidation under Bill Clinton ate up all the medium-sized labels that actual real garage bands used to have some remote hope of making records for, corporations bought up all the smallish venues, closed most of 'em, jacked up ticket prices with extra added fuck you fees, like hospitals, at all their enormo-dome sports coliseums, moneybags promotors started pushing those big five hundred dollar festivals in daylight with all the sunburnt sports assholes starring some heir and his laptop, ushered all those idiot normies into music scenes with their by numbers "Alternative" hoax bands.
Every big city had the trust fund Clones impersonating all our favorite bands, but with none of the soul or truth, or pathos or originality-just the surface gimmickry and expensive fancy vintage gear, paid for by their Little Lord Fauntleroy family fortunes. I dunno if it was me who coined the phrase, imitation generation, but no one I saw was putting anything much of their own on to the stage, just cheap, tacky impersonations of good bands the mainstream locals had never heard of, so they all seemed way more impressive and innovative, in their grunge era small ponds, than they really were.
The Electric Guitars are fucking extraordinary. I saw this outfit in Geelong and they deliberately mess with your expectations. Partly I spose it's 'cause there are so many fucking rock'n'roll bands. And these days, there's a big swing towards the manner of psychedelia (without the bad trips and foul behaviour) in the US and UK.
Yeah, so the Electric Guitars use wah-wah. But it's hardly a mannered thing - they use a lot of effects, and they ain't shy about it. This outfit don't need drugs to get your attention, instead they have carefully set-up songs and wield them like scalpels, chainsaws and bludgeons, sometimes all at once.
You think you know where you are with a band like this, you'll fall on your face. The second song alone ("Three Body Problem") is a case in point... you're sucked in, frankly, and after a while your sinuses are aching and your inner ear is rattling. If you have fillings, take them out before you listen.
The Jesus and Mary Chain The Gov, Adelaide March 15, 2019 Alison Lea photos
Late the following afternoon I received a message to the effect that I was off to see the Jesus and Mary Chain that night. My photographer, engrossed with preparations for a seven-year-old's birthday, told me where to take myself. I called Peter, I called Bob. Both busy. I called a different photographer and we presented ourselves at the rather wonderful Gov, where I eventually hope to be buried.