I saw PJ20 on Tuesday night. As far as rock documentaries go, it’s pretty good. There was enough previously unreleased footage and music that it was worth it, even if you’re very familiar with the band. I even learned a thing or two about the band—like how freaking nuts Eddie was during some of his scaffolding climbs. I mean, using the set as a ladder is one thing, but he was swinging like it was the monkey bars, only 50 feet off the ground! I’m guessing he climbed a tree or two as a kid.
The movie spent a good amount of time covering the back story of Mother Love Bone, a band that I never really listened to outside of Pearl Jam’s cover of “Crown of Thorns”, if that counts. From what I heard in the movie, their sound was different than the other Seattle bands of that time. Seeing as their existence and then unfortunate demise allowed Pearl Jam to become what they are, I at least owe them the respect of a listen!
This weekend marks another 20-year anniversary, this one of Nevermind. I’m excited to give it another critical listen, as it has been years since I’ve done that. Expect a review in the near future.
I spent Labor Day Weekend in Montreal, a city that is known for its music scene in the way that New Orleans and Nashville are in the US. While there, I got to spend some time at local restaurants and clubs that featured live music. To me, there is nothing like the experience of a live performance, both from the perspective of the audience and the performer. This is even more pronounced when there is an element of improvisation in the performance.
After dinner on Saturday night, I went to the Jello Martini Lounge. There, a funk band was playing their weekly gig. That they had the coveted 10pm slot meant that they should be pretty good. They had people dancing within the first song and a really good vibe going throughout their set. They played mostly covers, but picked good ones from Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye. They had talent and worked in their own solos to the songs.
The next night, we went for the more personal experience of having jazz during dinner. We were at Modavie in the Old Port area. That night’s performers were a female vocalist and a guitarist, playing a 7-string guitar with nylon strings. The effect reminded me of Charlie Hunter, though this particular guitarist needed loops to play a bass line, unlike CH who plays both parts simultaneously.
The performers from both nights had fun and connected with the crowd, though that was easier for the funk band as they were the focus of the evening. It must be tough to play as background music to someone’s dinner, though I didn’t treat the Sunday performance as such. The live stage is thrilling to me because you never quite know what you’ll get, especially when the performers are no-names. There are plenty of talented people who never “made it big” and are quite okay with that fact. Quite often, they can play with the best of them.