Sunday, April 18, 2010

Never Be The Same Again


jj Live at The Echoplex

So of course I had high hopes and wild expectations for the jj show last night. They really are my favorite band and are basically just perfect in every way possible. It was incredible, I couldn't have imagined anything better. Elin started with a few solo acoustic songs, the first one was something I had never heard before, but was definitely my favorite of the whole show. Her voice sounds even more staggering live, and the lyrics were really really good. I love the way that she can sing lines in a hip-hop sort of way, with a real street toughness, but sound so sweet and sincere at the same time. The lyrics were about teenage dreams, broken hearts, crossing the seas, and seeing the whole world, eyes wide open.
Joakim joined her after a few songs with an outrageous stage presence and an inaudible acoustic guitar.

Bands often use visuals during their shows, but I feel like with jj it is not an afterthought or something to make the music more interesting.. it is part of their whole deal. Truly, their songs could be played in a dark room with nothing else and still be captivating. But the visuals, when matched perfectly with the music, were stunning. Images of vast deserts, elephants arising from water, leopards and lions close-up and running through African plains, camels in slow-motion, and giant whale tales splashing out of the ocean.

Those images are part of jj's distinct influences that attract me to them so much. They somehow manage to combine French New Wave (
Jules Et Jim, you smoke like a young Belmondo...), Africa, hip-hop (especially Lil Wayne), dreams of eternity, and the tropics all into one. I don't think even Malcolm McLaren could have designed something this good.

They ended the show with two acoustic songs- Lithium by Nirvana and My Way. Another day, life goes on.. but my heart is still there, on a beach somewhere in the South of France, with jj.



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