In late 1991 Jason was hiking through the Sonoran desert in Arizona. The terrain was varied with flat spots and rocky outcroppings. As he came up over a ridge the land opened up into a small valley. In the middle was a small box, standing upright, about 10 inches high. He hiked down the interior towards the box. As he got closer he recognized the packaging as a box of Triscuits. When he reached the box, he nealed down and picked it up. There was something “solid” inside. He shook the box gently to make sure a snake had not crawled inside. At first he thought it was a rock inside and then opened it up. Inside was a Sony Walkman, headphones included. Jason obviously thought this was a strange situation and began to wonder if he was being watched. He scanned the immediate horizon and saw no one. He pushed play on the Walkman and the batteries worked. He slipped the headphones on and heard the following.
At this moment, you should be with us. Feeling like we do. Like you love to, But never will again.
Like Jason, I stumbled upon Jane’s Addiction (nowhere near a desert), in 1989 and quickly understood that this was something different. Something else. Initially the band was dubbed Art Rock and soon everyone began to identify them as “that band with that dog barking at the beginning of the song” or “the song with steel drums in it” (Jane Says). What Jason heard that day was the song Three Days from Ritual de la Habitual and Jane’s Addiction had won another convert. I have sung the praises of the mighty Jane’s Addiction ever since that first listen. It was powerful, raw and diverse and two years later on the inner-most pages of a Rolling Stone magazine, they showed the poll results of a recent survey of the albums that people had said, changed the way they listened to music. There was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bullocks along with five or six others. Among the list was Jane’s second album, Nothing Shocking. (Their debut album was a live album; how gutsy is that?!?!) Nothing Shocking changed the way I listened to music.
In my opinion Jane’s Addiction has been one of the best kept musical secrets of the last twenty years.
Fast forward to several weeks ago, when I heard via Twitter that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was playing with the original members of Jane’s Addiction. Uh . . . what?!?!
Now if you’ve followed this blog you have seen posts about NIN here, here and here. I’ve followed both bands since I learned of them. Since I saw that first Tweet I’ve also learned that NIN will be touring with the orignial members of Jane’s Add this year and Street Sweeper, Tom Morello’s new band. (They were scheduled to come to Red Rocks on the 31st of May but got bumped by REO Speedwagon, Styx and 38 Special and are now playing the worst venue in Colorado; Fiddler’s Green. Uh . . .) This month I received an invitation from NIN to download an EP commemorating the tour and another email to remix some of Jane’s Addictions music. I have posted about Trent being the master of non-marketing activities and I would equate Jane’s Addiction to an international microbrand. Late last year Josh Freese left NIN (and many others) and has since taken marketing to a new heights. Jane’s Addiction is also coming out with a new box set entitled Cabinet of Curiosities on April 21st. (What do you expect from the man that started Lollapalooza?)
It is an amazing time to be a musician and even more so to be a fan. I strongly encourage you to listen to some of (if not all) the songs below:
Update: Seepod is offline and the songs are not available for now.
For those of you in Denver: I’ll see you on May 26th for the show!