Monday, December 10, 2012
RNDM AT THE MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG
Actually, I think I only had one single; the album came out that week, but I was preoccupied and was living by flashlight; going to iTunes wasn’t really on my mind. So it was the rare experience of going to see an artist whose music I was almost completely unfamiliar with. Of course that happens at festivals or with opening acts, but I can't think of many times where I went to a show to see a band and really didn't know much of their music.
I should mention that I did buy their album at the show – I’ve listened to it often and I like it a lot. I thought RNDM was really great. They often wear masks in their press shots; I almost wish they kept them on, because people should hear them on their own terms. For better or worse, something that Jeff Ament is involved in will always be filed under “Pearl Jam side project.” There are benefits to that, to be sure, but I think this band can find its own audience, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a subset of the Ten Club (I think Brad has found a following like that as well).
Still, when you see RNDM on stage, in their photos and in their videos, you can see that he enjoys having a visual element that simply wouldn’t be welcome in his other band. He gets his Primus and Beastie Boys on, giving the band a strong visual identity; they even all have the same haircut (watch them sit under the scissors in the video for "Modern Times"). So, anyway, without knowing really much of the music at all (although they did one song that mashed up The Clash’s “The Magnificent Seven” with something else), I though it was great. I know that Pearl Jam are taking about a year off so Matt Cameron can return to Soundgarden (who I also will be writing about soon), I wonder if we’ll see any more RNDM in 2013. Not that Jeff asked what *I* would like to see him do. But I’d love to see a “magnificent four” tour – with Jeff, Richard, Joseph and Dug Pinnick, where they played RNDM and Tres Mtns songs. Hell, bring Joseph’s other bandmates – Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison of Fistful, along with their violinist Jessy Greene – and just call it “Magnificent Seven.” And this time, play the whole song!