On Tour Seattle Sex City
posted by January 31 at 12:07 PMon
Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has announced North American dates (via Pitchfork) and—miraculously!—they include Seattle:
04-23 New York, NY - Webster Hall
04-27 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
04-28 San Francisco, CA - Fillmore
04-30 Seattle, WA - Showbox
05-01 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore
I never got to see Pulp live—my buddy Sam did, and it sounds like it was a near religious experience—and according to everything I’ve found on the internet it looks like they never played Seattle. I remember seeing a poster for some kind of Pulp date here around 1996, but maybe it was just some DJ appearance or something—does anybody know what I’m talking about or is it just my fever acting up?
Despite never seeing the band, I was weirdly, prematurely into them in high school thanks to the mentoring of one Adam P Baldwin (also responsible for my early interest in Jawbreaker). Pulp were a total anomaly in my adolescent CD collection—literate, witty, sexually charged yet filled with ennui and bathos and other words I didn’t understand at the time—surrounded by the latest offerings from Green Day, Rancid, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, etc, etc. And that’s probably as it should be; Pulp were genius for their ability to be totally anomalous and yet still manage some success amongst the more easily digestible brit-pop of the time. I would listen to Different Class while walking home from school, and while I didn’t understand their very specific British class consciousness, I could relate to their righteous outsider posture and imagine myself a “mis-shape” among my athletic suburban peers. Of course, being a chubby, awkward teen I couldn’t infiltrate the privileged class the way Cocker’s seemingly autobiographical characters did—through charm and sex appeal—but I could appreciate his deft skewering of them all the same.
I lost interest in Pulp for a time—Cocker began making much darker work with This is Hardcore, and I couldn’t at all relate to his dismantling of the very characters he’d championed only an album before, the deflating of the sexual provocateur. Years later, I’ve developed a fondness for almost all of Pulp’s enormous catalog and (I think) a better understanding of Cocker’s songwriting. I’ve yet to fully digest his solo debut due to the piling up of too many records over the past year, but the tracks I’ve heard from it are a fine continuation of Cocker’s work with Pulp, thanks in part to the appearance of former bandmates Richard Hawley and Steve Mackey.
I was never much one for pop idols, but Cocker was always an example of how best to avenge oneself against life’s mediocrity—through style, learning, dancing, sexuality, and class war. I expect him to still be phenomenal live, even if “Babies” and “Like a Friend” aren’t on the setlist.