Normally, Jam Bands make us cringe here at the SoHo Journal. The length of the songs, the bad dancing, the patchouli. No thanks. Therefore, jam bands comprised of young white dudes earnestly trying to play traditional African music should make us cringe really, reallyhard. Like, “Ow, the muscles in my neck are starting to hurt” hard.
Elysian Fields is one of those bands that got snapped up in the mid 90’s major label feeding frenzy, then quickly got dropped once their record failed to sell millions. They’ve been doing just fine on independent labels since then, their smoky, moody blend of alt-rock maturing at it’s own pace and discretion all the while. Fans of Lori Carson, Cowboy Junkies, and Jeff Buckley should take note, especially since it looks like this night at The Stone will be the only local show this NYC band will play all winter. It’s sensuous stuff, so bring your sweetie.
When I first saw the Smashing Pumpkins at the Roseland in the fall of 1991, they were second on the bill—before the Red Hot Chili Peppers but after this obscure Northwestern band called Pearl Jam. They were doing their version of the loud/quiet rock thing—as powerful as Nirvana but with a more sinuous, feline grace. Billy goaded the largely frat-boy audience by telling them that the crowd in Philly rocked way harder than they did.