Jane Is Definitely Raining

March 13, 2007 at 10:21 am (Music)

Last night, Elyse and I caught Raining Jane at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, and I would like to start off this post by declaring, in no uncertain terms, that they rocked the house, which is not a phrase that I use lightly. Elyse and I have followed Raining Jane for a while; I first saw them play a show here at UCLA (was it in 2003?) during lunch outside of the bookstore, and I dragged her and Gerrald (my former roommate) to their next concert at a Borders in Santa Monica, and we’ve been hooked pretty much ever since. I’ve always had trouble describing current music in terms of genres, perhaps because one of the features in a lot of current music that I like is that it actively blends styles, thereby defying categorization. Ergo, I will resort to a comparison, which I strongly advise you to take with a grain of salt if it doesn’t sound appealling to you: Raining Jane is, to my mind, like a mashup of the Indigo Girls (for their stunning lyrical and instrumental harmonies, and the thoughtfulness of their songs) and the Bangles (for their incredible girl-rock-energy, which will knock you off your feet). And last night’s show, as I may have intimated above, was no exception.

My only complaint was that it was too darn short. Not only did they play one of my old favorites, “Window Song.” Not only did the play one of their heart-wrenchingly beautiful new songs, that I desperately need on CD or MP3, “Desperate Sails.” Not only did Mona (who, I’d like to point out, has absolutely awesome hair) remember who I was before the show and think that Assyriology was way cool. Not only did Jason Mraz jump up halfway through the set to perform two songs, one of which he’d written completely, and the other of which was more of a collaborative piece (or so he told me after the show when I asked him about it), both of which were inspired and inspiring, and both of which, also according to him, ought to be on the so-called Inter-Web sometime soon (I’ll link to them as soon as I find them). Not only did they blow me away with an awesome cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” one of my favorite 80’s songs ever, as the closing piece. But then, Mai had the nerve, indeed, the gall to announce that they would be playing a special, unpublished, previously unannounced show at UCLA this Wednesday night, 6-7PM, at De Neve Plaza. Which had better not be a lie, since I’m coming, and I’m bringing friends.

So, consider yourself warned. Check the sample tracks and the list of upcoming shows on their website, and if you like what you hear and they are anywhere within, say, 100 miles of your town, then by all means get out and see them. You won’t regret it. After all, if nothing else, did I mention that Mona has awesome hair? That’s worth the price of admission by itself.

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