ritual de lo habitual
jane’s addiction: ritual de lo habitual
where do i begin with this album and this band. without exaggeration this is both my favorite band and my favorite album and i intend to try to show some restraint in this text because i can go on indefinately about them. jane’s addiction was a band i was introduced to when i was about 14 or so years old, and their music and everything has effected every single aspect of my personal aesthetics, visual as well as musical. more than any other band i’ve ever encountered there was something magical and larger than life about them, and sometimes overwhelming. this sounds so immature but to be honest i think janes addiction it the embodiment of everything in the world i think is cool….this is embarassing… i’m 30 years old and i sound like a teenager’s fan letter.. if fact (and i know this will sound a bit crazy), sometimes i can’t even listen to the album it’s too good, too overwhelming. it’s not an album i can put on and clean my house, or run errands when i listen to it i feel i have to just have that on by itself, preferably in a dark room, preferably while burning insense, a glass of wine is recommended but not vital (as odd as it sounds i find a pinot noir goes well with the album or a sparkling wine–i know they are two rather different wines, and i also appreciate the mild lunacy of pairing a wine with an album, but i’m sure you’ve come to expect that sort of thing from me by now…laugh) . so now as the album itself begins. “ladies & gentlemen, senors & senoras, juanes addiction…”
Track 1 STOP: this was the first jane’s addiction song i ever heard, i was 14 it was on mtv at 2 in the morning, and it completely re plowed the folds in my brain. it was hard and edgy, yet funky. i had never heard anything like that in my life and then it went into that fantastically dramatic bridge… that is what is so great about them everything was so dramatic and magnificent. perry’ farrel (the singer) has a voice like no one in the world,
Track 2 NOBODY’S LEAVING; funky and aggressive, this song makes me feel like i hear the streets of los angeles (where they are from) the danger, the mix of cultures…in a weird way i feel the sort of dirt and insanity of the streets and being among the dissident and on the wrong side of the law. it feels like so much of what i’ve seen living and growing up in the neighborhood that i live in lauderhill. the song is specifically abotu the conflict what happened when his real life sister married a black guy against the wishes of her mother and had a shild, that
Track 3 AIN’T NO RIGHT the intro is a truncated version of an ian drury song arena rock meets jungle like drumming with the big beautiful driving majestic bass line. dave navarro’s guitar like a buzz saw and the crash of waves. probably because they all are also surfers (i really need to start surfing again) it makes sense why surfers love jane’s addiction this is like being in the water with waves crashing all over you and you are in such awe and you feel so small in the massive grandeur of the ocean. also you will notice that none of the lyrics rhyme at all…few people can pull that off and hell that’s just really damn cool…laugh… no really i just think that there is something really badass (for want of any other -more delicate-word that would have made my point…laugh) about doing that to me i don’t know why. the bass player is eric avery and the drummer is stephen perkins by the way.
Track 4 DIGGING SOMETHING UP, you got to love the violin and trumpet on that track it’s a song that wakes you feel ready to take on the world or at least tackle a big wave. it’s mildly beatlesesque yet over the top and dramatic and fun. a great singing badly while driving down the highway on a hot day really fast and you are on your way to somewhere you’re really looking forward to being song.
Track 5 BEEN CAUGHT STEALING this was their biggest hit and their worst song. now don’t get me wrong i love this song to death it makes me smile and want to dance around. it makes me think of parties at friends houses at night during winter when its cool wandering around outside with a very cold (probably at the time a red dog brand) beer feeling very good indeed…. i think that this was about the time i started playing gigs and really being a musician and feeling privledged to have the experiences that lots of people only dream about. it make me want to go out and make music and have some fun.great song
Track 6 3DAYS i also love how the spoken words in the beginning set the stage for the song, i want a room decorated lie the song describes this is my favorite song, in all seriousness i want to be hearing this song when i’m on my deathbed. this is my favorite song… it also established christmas lights as relentlessly cool… i need to buy some that would make me feel very happy…laugh… also if you listen closely you can hear that weird spoken word part through out the song. i am blasting this on my headphones right now which is something i only do with this band. this is the most fantastic dramatic wonderful song ever. it’s like the crash of the waves, it;s the beach, the ocean, the streets, drugs, life, anguish pain, loss, joy, sex, really good chocolate.. it’s like it was the embodiment of the members entire life leading up to that moment. also to add to the mythic status of this song it was recorded live in one take at the studio… no joke it was also the first time they ever played the song and it was more or less spontanious…these guys are good. to me this song is godlike it;s big as an orchestra and there are only 4 guys playing. it also made me decide you could never have too much reverb on vocals. laugh. the big drum build up always runs shivers down my spine. when i heard this at clubs )which was rare) everybody always went absolutely insane throughout this song. it also makes me thing of going out and parting during the early 90s ft lauderdale club scene. it was great i miss it i had a great time and i’m still good friends with people i hung out withe there, like mike biggins from HA and terry is my buddy in datona, and almost every band i’ve been in actually… god i love this song. also a rare movie called the gift also has this legendary recording on film a hard movie to find though. the line “all of us with wings” is also so uplifting and the guitar solo just continues the idea. and also how they build up these great dramatic moments from the simplest of components. this is the song i often bribe DJs at clubs to play as well as play on any jukebox that has it in it’s library.
Track 7 THEN SHE DIED such a sad name for such a pretty song. one of those beautiful songs i feel like i could never write. it defies classification, it’s jazzy, it’s a torch song, it’s abstract it’s dramatic, yet composed of such simple elements. well crafted in every way. the bridge sends shivers down my spine. it also showcases the the band at some it’s most hypnotic. lots of these songs almost seem like little operas in my mind. has the great line it’s partialy about his friend xiola who was a woman he loved who died of cancer around the age of 20. she was an artist who always wished she could be famous so he works her into songs. again the lyrics are so visual like much of their music it is almost like cinema that is why i like to hear it in the dark so i can really relish and enjoying the visual images you can’t help but to imagine of you listen closely. the dynamics are phenominal as well i feel compelled to tie Sha , ester and the rest of the band down and make them listen to this about a dozen times in a row. in fact i’ve already made sha a copy that i’ll be giving him tomorrow.again i love the lyrics so much they are so cryptic and often sound like they are in a different language, has that great line “we go dancing in the garbage” that makes you think and the line “she was an epic just like you were”
Track 8 OF COURSE oh wow, this song uses perry’s jewish upbringing in the use of the violin but it is converted into something totally different in it’s approbation. the trance like quality of the music is wonderful as well… gregg agrees with me on this, and there is something about this music that makes you feel a little little high, even when you’re dead sober. this makes me also think of staying over at gregg & his brother’s house at night sitting on the floor in scott’s room, burning insence, smoking marlboro reds, in a room lit by candles through the big old cheap speakers. one my favorite memories growing up. it a;so makes me think of listening to it in the dark with a tape walkman… i’ve probably spent a third of my life going to sleep to this album. every time you hear this song you notice something completely new and completely different. was an epic just like you were”
Track 9 CLASSIC GIRL if (or when) i ever decide to get married i know how i will propose. at the stroke of midnight i’d put this song on the stereo or better yet arrange it with a place so it plays wherever we are that night and i’d get down on one knee and pop the question. that is how much i love this song. i think that this is the most beautiful compelling and moving love song in the world, even now i am feeling tears welling up a bit in the corners of my eyes and i have butterflies in my stomach, for real and i’m sober. it is a song that also makes me sad because i feel that i’ll never be able to write anything that comes anywhere near it in my life, and of course it makes me think of loves had and loves lost. it also makes me think of the kendall area of miami, i used to live there on an orchid farm, and it makes me think of how the place looked at night. i had just turned 25 back then and was in my first semester at art institute. that year was a roller coaster, but the memory was a good one. i believe that the spoken “good night” was at the end of the first side of the tape (yes tape, i’ve probably listened to this more times on tape than any other media–i still have over 300 audio tapes in storage… i was part of the last tape generation…laugh…)
it’s 3:46 am on 3-24-06 i’ve been writing this and listening to this album for over two hours, and i realize that reading this i sound like an absolute madman but i’m just really free associating what each song makes me think of as i write about it, so you could get as close to the experience i have when listening to it. i’m just presenting the my appreciation of this album in as embarassingly honest a way as possible. it is the album i can say that has most changed my life, it just means that much to me. it is fresh and new to me each time i hear it. this is the album i love to make people listen to. i was without this album for close to a year and i missed it terribly so i am really enjoying having it blasting in my ears right now as well. and such is my love of this album, thank you for letting me share my enthusiasm and this music with you.