I’ve walked past this flier quite a few times over the last month, wondering each time who this James Elizaveta fellow is. A European DJ of great renown? The latest KEXP-backed singer-songwriter? With tickets at $25, I figured he must be some big-name artist that’s escaped my attention. It wasn’t until I passed by Neumos this weekend and saw their concert calendar that I realized this is a flier for the British alternative band James, and Elizaveta is the opening act. Maybe there should’ve been a “with special guests” between the two names.
On a personal note, I will always have a soft spot for the headlining ‘90s 120 Minutes staple. When my husband and I first made-out at a college party at his house nearly fourteen years ago, he paused the kissing long enough to ask if I wanted to hear “our song”. This struck me as a bit presumptuous, considering that we’d been friends for a few months but hadn’t kissed until this particular moment. He ran over to his stereo and put on James’ “Say Something”, a song he’d picked based on my shyness around him. And thus the album Laid was thrust upon me as an obligation. But you know what? It’s actually a pretty great record. True, most people probably remember the band for the yodel-tastic title track (ya know, “she only comes when she’s on top…”), but it’s got a lot of strong suits as well—production by Brian Eno, lyrics criticizing organized religion and celebrating sexuality, and the classic line “I’m a member of an ape-like race at the asshole end of the 20th century.” I still listen to it and its predecessor Seven regularly.
Unfortunately, I’ll be in Europe when the show rolls through town, but hopefully other fans of the band are a bit more adept and deciphering fliers than I am.