Monday, January 19, 2009

The Fluid with Jemina Pearl, 1/17/09

I was already eager to see reunited Denver proto-grungies the Fluid at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, then I found out that ex-Be Your Own Pet vocalist Jemina Pearl would be opening up, playing her first post-BYOP show, which made me more excited. (BYOP’s “Becky” is my 2008 song of the year and, at one point, I had a lengthy review of it posted on Paper Thin Walls, but since that site’s since bitten the farm, I’ll re-post it here soon click here.) When Pearl eventually came onstage, I was surprised to see the place was sparsely populated. Pearl’s solo material sounds a lot like (surprise, surprise) Be Your Own Pet. Her band is composed mostly of Nashvillians and a Brooklynite drummer, and they play some pretty gritty ’60s-bubblegum inspired garage punk. In between songs, she spat and blew snot. She apologized a couple of times for not sounding her best since it was her first gig in a while, but her voice was pretty much on point. All in all, it was fun but predictable.

Jemina Pearl

The Fluid, however, came out hungry. Although they were the first non-Northwestern band to sign to Sub Pop (a cred-worth footnote, if ever there was one), they never achieved the success as their labelmates Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. There aren’t even any Fluid records in print right now! (Their merch tonight was shirts that featured a Ford-like logo for their name.) They reunited for Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary fest last year and, from what I heard, came off as surprised at the positive reception they got. Tonight, they played many songs from their classic Roadmouth as well as a favorite of mine, “Cold Outside,” from Clear Black Paper. Frontman John Robinson bounded about the stage, though the band seemed more comfortable sticking to the back. Nonetheless, they lived up to their legacy. Now all they need to do is to get their records back in print.

The Fluid


Anonymous said...

The first non-Northwestern band to be signed to Sub Pop was The Afghan Whigs--as mentioned in their bio on

korok138 said...

That Sub Pop bio was taken from Wikipedia. Afghan Whigs' first Sub Pop album was 1990's Up in It (SP060). The label released the Fluid's Clear Black Paper (SP016) in May 1988.