Jarvis Cocker Works His Black Magic

WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

Jarvis Cocker had the Big Apple in the palm of his hand last night (April 23), literally and figuratively. Strutting out on to Webster Hall's stage for his second New York City show, munching on an apple, Cocker crunched loudly, pausing briefly to chew before sending the fruit flying into the packed audience, and opening with the blistering beat of "Fat Children," from his new eponymous solo effort, Jarvis.

Ever the gracious host, the bemused and bespectacled Cocker shared stories in addition to fruit, entertaining the crowd between songs with anecdotes, and riffing on everything from his taping of The David Letterman Show with comedian Andy Dick earlier that night ("Didn't know if they were trying to get a theme, with Cock and Dick") to the mysterious alchemy of eggnog and the perks of buying vintage clothes.

The lanky crooner flapped and flailed in his vintage blazer through "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time," wagging his finger at the front row in mock admonishment, and shook so hard on "A to I" that he nearly came out of his socks (sock garters are not an option, as Jarvis theorized aloud that they must cause varicose veins).

Before leading the audience in his scathing sing-along encore "Running the World," Jarvis warned that the number was a bit negative. "They're ALL negative, these songs, aren't they?" he chuckled, correcting himself. BRIANA MOWREY / PHOTOS BY PAVLA KOPECNA

We asked: Cocker's latest album features a song that chides, "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time." Aside from that wisdom, what's the best advice you've ever gotten from a song?

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