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Pissed Jeans @ Underground Arts.

February 16, 2013

PissedJeans08Text by Nikki Volpicelli. Images by G.W. Miller III.

Shows like this one are usually reserved for basements, or first-floor warehouse spaces, or any small, dimly-lit and half-torn apart venue that that can barely accommodate the amount of bodies sweating and throwing themselves in it.

I was nearly the 400th person to enter Underground Arts to see Pissed Jeans, where the doors were manned by two guys and a list of check marks. And it was early.

When Pissed Jeans took the stage, there was a liter of carrot juice on top of an amp. Matt Korvette, Pissed Jeans’ front man, went back and forth, winding up his face into a disgusting looking grimace. It looked like he was going to cry or crap uncontrollably. Instead he ran through songs. Last night’s show was the release party for the group’s fourth full-length album, Honey, which came out February 12 on Sub Pop.

PissedJeans06PissedJeans01PissedJeans04PissedJeans02PissedJeans03PissedJeans09Korvette launched into “Bathroom Laughter,” the first single off the release, and the crowd – largely longtime fans with a few really confused looking people speckled throughout, rose in recognition.

The funny thing was, everyone was pretty polite. There was a mosh pit that held the front lines but people stood safely to the left and right of the stage, holding cameras and solo cups.

I heard a few “excuse me’s” and the most hostile move I was a part of – which was not that at all – was when I edged closer to the front and someone pushed into my ex-spot.

A bouncer in the shadows picked off regular divers who jumped onto the stage in a hurry and soared off the same way.

Meanwhile, Korvette belted out, “You aint nothin’ but a piece of shit, mother fucker. You’re a nice mother fucker, cuz I’m comin’ home and I’m gonna kill you and all of your friends and family. Because I’m the fuckin’ scariest mother fucker who ever crossed your miserable, pathetic life. And that’s why I’m here to tell you that you’re gonna die!”

After that lofty statement – which was timed, grunted and growled, paused at all the right places, and met with a bunch of laughter from the crowd – a good three minutes of ear-pinching feedback was left on the stage. A string of reverb long enough to think the show was over but it wasn’t.

It was just the beginning of “Health Plan,”  which is a little more than two minutes of health and fitness advice that’s barely decipherable, and that was probably good. It’s mostly about drinking soda and avoiding routine check-ups (“You wanna know my secret?/ I stay away from doctors/ Yeah that’s how/ I stay fit/ I stay away from doctors”).

“It sounds like sitting in a plane ready to take off and someone’s dying next to you,” a friend said from the audience, and he was standing far back, close to the door.

Korvette is a showman, which is the reason I went  last night – mostly. I wanted to see him in action. I heard during one show, he baked cookies in an E-Z Bake oven. Sometimes, there are dresses.

Last night, there were no frills.

Just a passionate performance, some weird body wiggles and an awkward moment when he grinded on Brad Fry, who was busy playing guitar.

“Security! You got their money, right?” Korvette screamed as the lights dimmed. “Well then throww themmm the fuckkk outttttttttttttt……..”

That end scene and those last words were met with great ovation before I and more than 400 other bodies shifted toward the doors to go smoke cigarettes on the street (in the rain) or do whatever other people did after an incredibly moving show.PissedJeans05

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