MALIN MESMERIZES AT BOWERY
By DAN AQUILANTE
Jesse Malin – the former D-Generation punk mastermind – is poetic in the way he makes a few words explode with meaning.
His melodies range from ballads to Bo Diddley beat rockers, but what made him so compelling at his Bowery Ballroom gig Monday was his quintessential New York cool.
Malin is the successor to Lou Reed’s crown as the lord of the City’s underground. In his songs like “Riding on a Subway,” “Brooklyn,” “Hotel Columbia” and material from his latest solo record “Glitter in the Gutter,” Malin captures the vibe of the city with sharp, in-your-face city attitude. He mixes sarcasm, humor and enough innocence to make even his lies sound true.
In his between songs he pokes fun at the Williamsburg hipsters who cross the bridge nightly to invade the Lower East Side, and he likes his obscure film references – quoting “King of Comedy” character Rupert Pupkin, “It’s better to be the king for a night than a schmuck all your life.” Malin even asked the “Marathon Man” question a half a dozen times “Is it safe?”
Without the dental work, the answer was yes.
Malin was in his element, even when he left the stage to sing from the center of the dance floor. Before he started, he convinced everyone to sit on the hardwood strewn with beer cups for what he called the concert’s U2 moment.
If there was a single disappointment at this show, it was that everyone at the Bowery was buzzing about how Bruce Springsteen was going to show up to help Malin reprise their duet of the song “Broken Radio” off of the “Glitter” album. The Boss stayed home, but Malin delivered the song with a vehemence that said the Bruce assist wasn’t essential to the number’s goodness.
Malin is an underrated, old school player who is finally getting recognized as one of New York’s great hometown voices.
Broken Radio – Jesse Malin with Springsteen