David Cross is both beloved and despised. His career has had brilliant moments, like Arrested Development and Mr. Show, and not-so-brilliant ones, like Alvin and the Chipmunks and the bizarre blog tiff with Patton Oswalt spawned by Chipmunks. But one thing is certain: he is one hell of a stand-up comedian. He can make anything funny—from the absurdity of rollerblading in post-9/11 NYC and artistic censorship to "squagels" and Jewish identity—as long as critical, sardonic humor is your thing. But that's what comedians are really for, aren't they?
Welcome to the temple of these familiars: PJ Harvey and old friend and collaborator John Parish might be issuing a warning shot with the first impressionistic lines of “Black Hearted Love,” the opening track of A Woman, a Man Walked By (Island).
Floating above sultry, grinding guitar lines, Harvey sighs, “I / Think I saw you in the shadows / I / Move in closer beneath your windows / Who / Would suspect me of this rapture.” The word “rapture” arcs off her lower register like a big cat in mid-stretch, mentally prepping itself to pounce. “And who but my black-hearted love?” Theirs is a dark-souled affinity, as Harvey reels out her charred noir.
At Tom Jones’ packed show at the Warfield on Saturday night, it took all of three songs for the first pair of women’s underwear to be thrown on stage, proving once again that the 68 year-old Welshman was still irresistible to the ladies.