Joe Jackson – “Fast Forward” (Stereogum Premiere)

Joe Jackson – “Fast Forward” (Stereogum Premiere)

Joe Jackson’s forthcoming album Fast Forward marks his first release of original material since 2008’s Rain. The record features four sets of four songs that were recorded in four different cities, among them New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, and New Orleans. The first single, “A Little Smile,” was attributed to Jackson’s Amsterdam sessions, and the today we’re premiering the title track, which is a product of Jackson’s home city of New York and deals with 21st-century anxieties. Read what Jackson had to say about the making of “Fast Forward”:

Fast Forward has more words than anything else I’ve written. It just kept growing and growing. I imagined having a time machine, and hitting ‘fast forward’ until I’m far enough in the future to look back at the present and make sense of it. We’ve got the past all figured out (or think we do) – and we can imagine the future as anything we want. So it’s only the present that’s baffling and maddening. And I think we’re living in a confused and anxious time. The commentary out there is extremely divided, either ‘we’re living in a golden age’ or ‘we’re all screwed’.

I actually started with the chord changes, which constantly cycle through different keys until they end up where they started, only to start again. That triggered thoughts about how things are always changing, yet in some ways stay the same, or go backwards. The lyrics are full of ironies and contradictions. The musicians: Bill Frisell guitar, Brian Blade drums, Graham Maby bass, and the gorgeous violin is Regina Carter. In my mind she represents the Moon looking down on the Earth, both saddened and amused by us humans. And it’s just our attention that fades out at the end; the song goes on forever…

Listen below.


New York
01 “Fast Forward”
02 “If It Wasn’t For You”
03 “See No Evil (Tom Verlaine cover)”
04 “Kings Of The City”
05 “A Little Smile”
06 “Far Away”
07 “So You Say”
08 “Poor Thing”
09 “Junkie Diva”
10 “If I Could See Your Face”
11 “The Blue Time”
12 “Good Bye Jonny (Peter Kreuder and Hans Fritz Beckmann)”
New Orleans
13 “Neon Rain”
14 “Satellite”
15 “Keep On Dreaming”
16 “Ode To Joy”

Jackson’s tour dates:

09/29 Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
10/01 Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
10/04 Los Angeles, CA @ Palace Theatre
10/08 Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
10/10 Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre
10/11 Houston, TX @ Cullen Performance Hall
10/12 Austin, TX @ Paramount Theatre
10/14 New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater
10/15 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
10/17 Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
10/20 & 21 – New York, NY @ Town Hall
10/22 Boston, MA @ The Wilbur Theatre
10/23 Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
10/25 Munhall, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
10/26 Albany, NY @ Hart Theatre The Egg
10/29 Northampton, MA @ Academy of Music Theatre
10/30 Toronto, Ontario @ Danforth Music Hall
11/02 & 03 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
11/04 St. Paul, MN @ Fitzgerald Theater

Fast Forward is out 10/2.

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