Knowing Your Falkner

Jason Falkner at the Triple Door, Seattle | 20 September 2010

Never judge a book by its cover, and in this case never judge a record by its sleeve.  Jason Falkner’s I’m Ok…You’re OK recently came out in the US after being available in Japan since 2007.  For some reason he decided it needed a different cover from the Japanese release.  The Japanese version has a sleek, retro look with Jason sitting in a chair looking all enlightened.  The new American version looks…well, it looks like the cover for soundtrack to the Lion King.  To confuse matters even more he has a new album that was released this year in Japan called All Quiet On the Noise Floor that has yet to see the light of day here in the States.  Musicians aren’t expected to have much business acumen, they’re supposed to write songs that amaze and please the aural sense. Jason Falkner does the latter, so I’ll give him a pass and pay exorbitant amounts for his records as Japanese Imports.

Monday night at the Triple Door and a few hours before at Silver Platters in Queen Anne, Jason Falkner and his band played songs from both of those albums as well as his other two that came out on Elektra in the late 90’s. Every time I’ve seen him in the past it was just Jason and a red guitar, this time was different, he had a full band with him.  I’m sure that it was an adjustment for him, since he plays all the instruments on his records, but I think the songs benefited from being played by someone other than the man himself.  Older ones like Honey,  The Plan took on new lives when played both in the small setting of Silver Platters and the larger Triple Door.  In fact I’d never really even payed much attention to Honey from the Nigel Godrich produced  Can You Still Feel? In its current band incarnation, it had a distinctively warmer more laid back feel.  Falkner himself always comes across as a laid back dude.  He might want to think about becoming a politician, because he definitely seems like someone you could have a beer or two with.

The Triple Door wasn’t packed as it should have been for a guy that is so nimble with formulating pop hooks, but 90 percent of everyone there could be considered a rabid fan. Enforcing the belief that it’s not quantity, but the quality.  The people I sat near all mentioned his Gary Numanesque TV Eyes project that he did with Roger Manning. Falkner was in Jellyfish with Manning for one record, and (of course) the TV Eyes album was only released in Japan.  His set heavily favored his two most recent albums both of which keep the same high quality standards of his earlier ones.  I think Falkner got the fact that Everyone in the audience was a kindred spirit.  As he came back out for his second encore (after doing a solo acoustic one that consisted of the Kink‘s Wicked Annabella, She’s Not The Enemy and She Goes To Bed) people were screaming out songs for him to play. With a big grin he says: You know this is what I dream about, a bunch of cool people yelling out my song titles. I’m not sure how cool we were, since we we’re all geeking out to an all too rare Jason Falkner gig, but it was fun as hell.

Set List:  Honey | This Time | NYC | Komplicated Man | Runaway | Maybe the Universe | The Knew | Emotion Machine | Contact | Doin Me In | Jet silver and the Dolls of Venus | My Home Is Not a House |  Hectified | The Lie In Me | Holiday | Evangeline
Encore 1: [solo] She Goes To Bed | Wicked Annabella | She’s Not the Enemy
Encore 2: I Don’t Mind | The Plan | I Live

mp3: Jason Falkner – Contact (from I’m Ok…You’re Ok)

mp3: Jason Falkner -Maybe the Universe (from All Quiet On the Noise Floor)

mp3: Jason Falkner -She’s Not the Enemy (from the 4-track Years)

mp3: Jason Falkner – Wicked Annabella (from Everyone Says It’s On don’t click on this, that’s a crazy price)

mp3: TV Eyes – Mission: Submission (from TV Eyes)

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