Cabinet Pitchfork review

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Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Mescal » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:12 am

While reading the other thread about the gift on DVD, I thought it was included in the box set, which it wasn't. (never actually looked at the DVD). Anyway, I came across this. Don't know if this was posted here before, but this review about the cabinet boxset and his view on Jane's addiction is spot on

"Every great rock band has its quiet conscience, the in-house bullshit detector who keeps the band grounded while the egos and bank balances get too inflated, or who knows when to let things be once the thrill is gone. Perhaps not coincidentally, these people are invariably bassists: John Paul Jones in Led Zeppelin, Bill Wyman in the Rolling Stones and, in the case of Jane's Addiction, Eric Avery, who-- not wishing to tarnish the band's trailblazing 1987-1991 legacy-- opted out of lucrative reunion tours in 1997 and 2001. Perry Farrell may have gotten all the "Alternative Nation"–spokesman plaudits, Stephen Perkins may have gotten all the Modern Drummer covers, and Dave Navarro may have gotten all the Carmen Electra, but Avery was the band's pulse. His brooding, PiL-popping basslines provided the ominous undercurrent that gave depth to the band's glam-metal veneeer. Take him out of the equation, and Jane's veer dangerously close to becoming just another flashy L.A. rock band-- a point driven home by 2003's Avery-less reunion album, Strays, which, fittingly, is survived only by its Aerosmithy single "Superhero" becoming the opening theme to flashy L.A. TV show "Entourage".

Avery's surprising re-entry into the Jane's fold last year is therefore significant-- so much so, it warrants a box-set celebration. The 4xCD A Cabinet of Curiosities-- two CDs of demos/rarities from 1986-91, a third featuring a 1990 live-show recording, and a DVD of assorted video ephemera-- could've theoretically been released at any point in the past 18 years, but the bassist's return provides the band with a somewhat justifiable reason to cash in now, honey. And what a lovely piece of furniture it is: A Cabinet of Curiosities arrives in a wooden, latched-door case, which opens up into a shrine-like assemblage of album and poster art, a thick booklet featuring testimonials from fans like Slash, Flea, and Billy Corgan, plus tarot cards and miniature worry dolls for each member. Leave it to Jane's Addiction-- a band who, at the height of 80s hair-metal, revitalized such hoary, unfashionable devices as goth, funk, proggy dinosaur-rock, and drum circles-- to raise the standard for CD box sets just as the medium is about to die.

Unfortunately, all that elaborate packaging can't mask the fact there aren't very many curiosities to uncover here. As previous odds'n'sods collections Live and Rare and Kettle Whistle attested, Jane's didn't leave many leftovers behind; of the 29 outtakes compiled on Cabinet's first two discs, only four are originals that didn't feature on the band's first three albums, and three of those (the psych reverie "Kettle Whistle", the Stonesy folk ditty "City", and Farrell's woefully silly tribute to his cat, "Maceo") were already unveiled on Kettle Whistle, makinging an embryonic version of future Strays track "Suffer Some" (elements of which would be repurposed into "No One's Leaving") the lone revelation.

The real lure, then, should be a handsome batch of previously unreleased demos that would form the foundation for 1987's self-titled live-album debut and 1988's breakthrough Nothing's Shocking. However, for all the tales of druggy decadence that surrounded their early years, Jane's showed up in the studio with their shit pretty much together, which means there's little mercurial mystique to be heard in early rips through "Had a Dad" and "Pigs in Zen". The purpose may be to showcase Jane's in their most primal state; however, unlike most products of the 1980s punk underground, Jane's were never built for lo-fi-- they demanded a wide-screened sound as big as the mountains and oceans Farrell sang about. And hearing Farrell strain his voice on "Jane Says", you realize how much of his androgynous charisma owed to the multi-tracked vocal effects favored by producer Dave Jerden. The most notable thing about the demos aren't the performances so much as the recording dates: Even as far back as 1987, Jane's had already mapped out the multi-sectional intricacies of "Stop!" and "Three Days", three years before they would surface on 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual.

The rest of Cabinet's first two discs is filled out with covers that cheekily acknowledge the band's internal hippie/punk contradictions, particularly on "Bobhaus" (Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" set to Bauhaus' "Burning From the Inside") and "L.A. Medley", a blitzkrieged blast through the Doors' "L.A. Woman", the Germs' "Lexicon Devil", and X's "Nausea" (though, 18 years after the track first appeared on the "Classic Girl" single, its components are still listed in the wrong order). Concert recordings of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and the Stooges' "1970" don't transcend garage-band trashiness; by contrast, Jane's Addiction have never sounded more blissful and beautiful than on their tribute-album transformation of the Grateful Dead's "Ripple", which grafts the original's campfire melody onto a rolling jungle-rumble groove and practically invents Animal Collective 10 years early.

A showdown between Farrell and Ice-T on Sly Stone's "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey" is more leadfooted, but, in retrospect, it serves a prescient soundtrack to an L.A. whose simmering racial tensions were about to explode into riots. The set's third disc-- a complete concert recorded at the Hollywood Palladium in December 1990-- provides an even more vivid sense of time and place. If the preceding demos and cover versions mostly deconstruct the Jane's myth, this live set reasserts their majesty, with thundering versions of "Three Days" and "Ocean Size" that evoke that scary/ecstatic feeling of losing your footing in the mosh pit and getting swept up in the tide.

The Palladium performance of "Ain't No Right"-- the one followed by Farrell's rant about Birkenstocks-- is presented in visual form on Cabinet's fourth disc, which charts Jane's evolution through their videos, short films, and concert footage. While Nirvana's Nevermind is often credited with wiping hair-metal off the charts in one fell swoop, Jane's catalogue of videos shows them mobilizing the masses away from 80s Sunset Strip sleaze to the 90s alt-rock uprising. Like so many California rock bands of its time, Jane's Addiction filled their videos with images of the Hollywood Hills, surfing, pool parties, and (when network censors permitted them) naked chicks. But their aesthetic remove from the L.A. scene is best exemplified by the 1989 hodgepodge short-film Soul Kiss, reproduced here from a VHS copy and comprised of candid shots of Avery discussing his toilet reading while taking a dump; Navarro providing a "Cribs"-like tour of his squalid apartment (anticipating his future as reality-TV show huckster); and everyone in the band making out with each other.

However, Cabinet is lacking one crucial video curio: Gift, Farrell's feature-length, fictionalized account of his heroin-fuelled romance with then-girlfriend Casey Niccoli. History, of course, would show Farrell to be more adept at staging musical festivals than making films; Gift is a mess, its central narrative concerning the Niccoli character's OD routinely upended by tangential Jane's concert footage (including the aforementioned "Ain't No Right" clip) and other episodic silliness. But at the time of its 1993 release, Gift was a suitably absurd epitaph to an absurd band whose excesses initially got the better of them. For a box set that indulges die-hard fandom as eagerly as this one, A Cabinet of Curiosities feels a little barren without it. Or maybe they're just saving the reissue for the next reunion tour."
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Mescal » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:12 am

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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby thoreau » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:55 am

Very good review, I must say.
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby trevor ayer » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:11 pm

considering strays .. this cabinet set was fucking brilliant .. the packaging was fucking amazing .. ALL avery era .. they didnt have to do that but they did it anyway .. i had most of it already but it was all still a treat for the packaging alone .. how they went from that to perry in his underoos for tgea i just cannot understand .. i'm not even under impression that eric had anything to do with the art . decon had no interesting art .. polar bear wasnt anything great either art wise .. how can they get the art sooo right and then go sooo wrong before and after .. the song selection suffered more from people having most of the material than that it was bad, it wasn't .. was there ever a vinyl version .. that would have been pretty epic
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Kajicat » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:35 pm

trevor ayer wrote: .. the packaging was fucking amazing .. ALL avery era ..

Except for those two pics of Perry and Dave from the Relapse tour. But hey, I love how they looked in '97 so I definitely ain't complaining.
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby trevor ayer » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Kajicat wrote:
trevor ayer wrote: .. the packaging was fucking amazing .. ALL avery era ..

Except for those two pics of Perry and Dave from the Relapse tour. But hey, I love how they looked in '97 so I definitely ain't complaining.



yeah i've bitched about that before .. those relapse pics were annoying and the flea credit on kettle whistle was total blasphemy .. but Its still one of the coolest things they have done as far as capturing the essence of janes in packaging .. i just don't get how it can be so bad (strays) good (cabinet) and then sooo bad again (tgea) its like they know what to do but they just don't do it :noclue:
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Matz » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:55 am

Flea played on KW and did a great job, he shouldn't get a credit for that? :crazy:
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Jasper » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:09 am

Matz wrote:Flea played on KW and did a great job, he shouldn't get a credit for that? :crazy:


It's possible that what we're talking about here is a Flea writing credit on a Jane's 1.0 performance of Kettle Whistle.
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby trevor ayer » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:31 am

Jasper wrote:
Matz wrote:Flea played on KW and did a great job, he shouldn't get a credit for that? :crazy:


It's possible that what we're talking about here is a Flea writing credit on a Jane's 1.0 performance of Kettle Whistle.


more than likely, flea did not write or play on the cabinet kettle, yet was credited as songwriter and eric was not
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Hokahey » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:42 am

Perhaps it was a lazy copy and paste from the KW credits.

Not everything has to be some nefarious plot against our beloved Eric.
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby trevor ayer » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:56 am

meh .. i think its more likely that because the flea version was published first officially, they had to use his name in the credits .. i like the flea version .. and the eric version .. i probably would not have minded, had they included some flea jams from the songwriting sessions for so what .. however the cabinet was presented as the pure 1.0 version with those few minor glitches .. the credit and the relapse photos .. thank gawd they did not include strays demos .. what a great box set
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Matz » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:20 pm

Jasper wrote:
Matz wrote:Flea played on KW and did a great job, he shouldn't get a credit for that? :crazy:


It's possible that what we're talking about here is a Flea writing credit on a Jane's 1.0 performance of Kettle Whistle.


ok, that is fucked up if that's the case. Guess I should have kept my mouth shut. I apologize Trevor.
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby trevor ayer » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:35 pm

Matz wrote:
Jasper wrote:
Matz wrote:Flea played on KW and did a great job, he shouldn't get a credit for that? :crazy:


It's possible that what we're talking about here is a Flea writing credit on a Jane's 1.0 performance of Kettle Whistle.


ok, that is fucked up if that's the case. Guess I should have kept my mouth shut. I apologize Trevor.



wait does that mean I am not :crazy: ? ... must be the apocolypse .. after all these years, this is truly a first .. :lol:
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Mescal » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:10 pm

http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Janes-Addic ... Sw4GVYHfxp

Didn't really know where to put this.

But if anybody is still looking to buy the cabinet of curiosities box.

1 € seems a fair price
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Mescal » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:15 pm

Looking at their discogs entries ...

I forgot all about Up from the catacombs. Or never paid attention.

Unbelievable they have a 'best of' really.

They only made 2 albums
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Six7Six7 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:25 pm

Mescal wrote:http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Janes-Addiction-A-Cabinet-of-curiosities-box-3-cd-1-dvd-1-booklet-/162371317188?hash=item25ce15adc4:g:vzgAAOSw4GVYHfxp

Didn't really know where to put this.

But if anybody is still looking to buy the cabinet of curiosities box.

1 € seems a fair price


If the shipping wasn't EUR 65,99 :lol:
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Mescal » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:27 pm

Them Italian shipping rates ...
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby Matz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:56 am

66 to Denmark as well. seller has clearly lost his mind
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Re: Cabinet Pitchfork review

Postby tvrec » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:20 pm

Shipping rates to Europe from US are almost on par with this nonsense. Sent a 2lb package to the UK in the summer and it was $60.
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