Satellite of Love

Satellite Party so ethereal the naked eye can barely see them . . . or else they booked our photographer before the show started! (Photos by Timothy Norris)

Perry FArrell’s Satellite Party, Gram Rabbit

Spaceland, January 24

This was one of those “super-secret” unannounced affairs that everyone seemed to know about. The occasion was the forthcoming release of Perry Farrell’s Ultra Payloaded Satellite Party (Columbia), and the launch of the collaborative “brain trust” of artists and environmentalists he’s dubbed The Solutionists — a musical movement dedicated to changing the world, no less.

However the contours of the universe may ultimately be enhanced by The Solutionists’ commendable work is anyone’s guess, but we do know that singer/shaman Farrell’s Satellite Party is capable of putting severe dents in our foreheads. Satellite Party is a very heavily slamming crew who strew a bare-bones, garagey mess as if the future of life on Earth depended on it. Farrell’s new frame of mind is all power-of-positivity, and his ferociously feral band’s party-rocking prowess on Jane’s-esque new songs like “Celebrate,” “Wish Upon a Dog Star” and “Hard Life Easy” set a tone of gladness, possibility and a kind of cosmic sleaze; they even cracked open a bottle of fine champagne to press the point further. Note to Farrell: Please drop the power ballad “Awesome” (“You’re .?.?. so .?.?. Aaaawwwwesommmme”), ’cause it’s truly wretched.

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As he walks through the halls of Karma, shaking hands with both the devil and God, stiff-backed Farrell remains one of our more intriguing rock stars, not least for his gangly un-rock-starish vibe, though tonight he had to patter his usual baloney about feelin’ all right and the divine bliss of getting someone to touch your dick in the morning. But it’s all part of the equation: He’s a spiritualist huckster getting high on the power of his own snake oil.

Gram Rabbit closed with an extraordinarily off-the-wall display of eclectica run amok, haphazardly splicing off-kilter guitar din and prerecorded doomsday decrees with minor-key country strolls, Hawaiian lilts and several smartly sassy KROQ-ish electro-dance tunes.

—John Payne

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