bootleg city: jellyfish, “socrates, pathos, and plato”

Today’s detour into Bootleg City takes us to One Jellyfish Lane, the deserted doorstep of a band I dearly miss. The shifting crew of Bay Area pop fiends who called themselves Jellyfish weren’t active for long — they released only two albums, 1990′s Bellybutton and 1993′s Spilt Milk, before calling it quits — but their exuberantly catchy brand of heart-on-sleeve pop music helped pave the way for a host of other bands.

Some fans prefer the mild psychedelia and simpler, sunnier ethos of Bellybutton; for others (like yours truly), the glorious Supertramp-meets Queen-meets Bee Gees bouillabaisse of Spilt Milk is really where it’s at. Thankfully, on this live recording, captured during the band’s 1993 tour opening for Tears for Fears, you don’t have to choose. Okay, so that isn’t entirely true — the set leans pretty heavily on Milk — but close enough.

It’s a soundboard recording, which is an added bonus, although there are some nasty clips during one or two songs. You get what you pay for, I guess.

Anyway, one of these days, perhaps I’ll do a Jellyfish/Grays/Falkner/Imperial Drag Idiot’s Guide:but for now, Jellyfish fans, content yourselves with this live set. Studio obsessiveness — something of which the band was certainly guilty — sometimes signals stage ineptitude, but as you’ll hear, Jellyfish sounded great live (even if it does sound like they leaned on the occasional backing track). Enjoy!

All Is Forgiven
Sabrina, Paste, and Plato
That Is Why
Joining A Fan Club
I Wanna Stay Home
The Man I Used To Be
Baby’s Coming Back
The King Is Half Undressed
All I Want Is Everything
Glutton Of Sympathy
The Ghost At Number One
New Mistake