In the early to mid-1990s there were few cultural experiences comparable to a Jesus Lizard show. David Yow’s famous snarl and equally famous willingness to subject his body to abuse as well as the band’s enervating music made all of their shows required viewing for quite a while there.
In October 1994 the Jesus Lizard played the Venus De Milo Club across the street from Fenway Park, and the show was captured on mutli-cam video. In 2007 the footage would be released on DVD as Jesus Lizard Live 1994; that product also included five tracks from JL’s August 29, 1992, show from CBGBs (not to be confused with the 1993 CBGBs gig that was immortalized on the 1994 live album Show).
Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life, is blurbed on the back of the DVD as follows:
When the Jesus Lizard played one of their mighty shows, it was a carthartic rite. And on October 4, 1994, their temple was the Venus De Milo Club in Boston, the show captured in living color and thoroughly crankable high-fidelity audio. ...
Here is the Jesus Lizard in all their glory—frontman David Yow unleashes bloodcurdling howls while heaving himself into the audience, guitarist Duane Denison chops out riffs like a kung fu master on a chainsaw massacre, and drummer Mac McNeilly and bassist David Wm. Sims groove with the ruthlessness of an automated slaughterhouse.
My favorite bit comes right after “One Evening,” when Yow witheringly abuses anyone who will admit to wearing earplugs. In his best “pathetic wimp” voice, he cries, “It’s too loud, it hurts my ears!”
On the 1994 tour Jesus Lizard was supporting Down, which was their last album on Touch and Go and also (not coincidentally) their last album produced by Steve Albini. In the interview portion that was conducted backstage and is here eccentrically inserted between the main set and the encore, David Yow is quite critical of Albini’s production of the previous two albums, Goat and Liar.
Yow also is quite forthcoming about how much he hates MTV and only grudgingly agreed to submit the group’s video to them, and he also discusses some early negotiations with Atlantic.
Destroy Before Reading
Mailman (Soundgarden cover)
Fly On The Wall
Interview w/ David Yow
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Take guitar lessons from the Jesus Lizard’s Duane Denison
Cat Scratch Jesus Lizard: David Yow channels his inner B. Kliban