Thursday, February 24, 2011

San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault (from the album Tigerlily)

Go west
paradise is there
you'll have all that you can eat
of milk & honey over there

You'll be the brightest star
the world has ever seen
sun-baked slender heroine
of film & magazine

Go west
paradise is there
you'll have all that you can eat
of milk & honey over there

You'll be the brightest light
the world has ever seen
the dizzy height of a jet-set life
you could never dream

Your pale blue eyes
strawberry hair
lips so sweet
skin so fair

Your future bright
beyond compare
it's rags to riches
over there

San Andreas Fault
moved its fingers
through the ground
earth divided
plates collided
such an awful sound

San Andreas Fault
moved its fingers
through the ground
terra cotta shattered
and the walls came
tumbling down

O, promised land
O, wicked ground
build a dream
tear it down

O, promised land
what a wicked ground
build a dream
watch it all fall down



Well before I was old enough to be legally employable, I dreamed of having a job. The reason was simple - I wanted money. But not just money for stuff in general. I wanted money so that I could buy a car. As far as I could see, a car was my ticket to freedom, an essential component on my quest for independence.

So when I was 16 I got a job and I hoarded away all of my minimum wage payments, combined them with a small loan from my sister and pretty soon I had bankrolled a whopping $2,200. Obviously, I wasn't in the market for anything flashy. But one sunny Saturday I test drove some grandma's 1985 Toyota Corolla and talked the owner into taking my money. Since there was a bank holiday that weekend I had to wait three more days until I could get the cash to the seller and let me tell you, those three days were the longest of my life.

But then it happened. I gave away all the money I had and in return I got a car that would go 0-60 in roughly fifteen minutes. It would be easy for you to think that the childish fantasies that caused me to put so much weight on having my own ride would soon leave me disappointed. But you'd be wrong. I got exactly what I wanted. I got freedom. At least it was the most freedom I had ever had up to that point. I will never forget what it felt like to drive in that car for the first time, to feel so sure that I would never be trapped again.

I wonder what it felt like for Natalie Merchant to start writing and recording Tigerlily, her first solo album. Did she feel scared? Did she feel exhilarated? Probably both. But undoubtedly she had to have felt an overwhelming sense of freedom. No one to convince, no one to appease, no need for compromising. This is something all of us dream of having in our professional lives, regardless of what we do, but this desire must be especially intense when you are an artist. Trying to get a group of people to agree on something so completely subjective must be incredibly difficult. It would be so much easier to satisfy a committee of one.

There are no songs on Tigerlily that are an extreme departure from the general musical style of 10,000 Maniacs, which may have been a coincidence or may have been by design. San Andreas Fault was the first track on the album, so in a sense it was the world's first introduction to the Maniac-less Natalie. I think it was a great choice. It's a beautiful song, one that fans recognize instantly when Natalie performs it live, right from the very first beats of the drum. While the lyrics are filled with incredulity about both the literal and figurative shaky ground that those with golden dreams of California have chosen to build their lives on, the song never feels preachy or caustic, a criticism that was sometimes put forth about Natalie's earlier lyric-writing. (Personally, I love when she's preachy and caustic, but I'm a glutton for punishment.) Here's a quote from Natalie about the song:

"My visions of Los Angeles really haunt me. It's really seductive, but at the same time, once you touch the thing that felt so seductive, you turn it over and you realize it's just made of fiberglass or tin or cardboard. The substance is lacking. It's a strange place. There's the cult of the beautiful body and the cult of ostentatious wealth, what kind of car do you drive, what kind of house do you live in, is your body buff or not, are you blonde, are you beautiful enough to survive."*

In the liner notes to Natalie's Retrospective release, she talks about experiencing her first earthquake in California and the puzzling response of people around her once it was over:

"I remember how bizarre it seemed to me that when the aftershocks were over, life seemed to go on without interruption. People were acting as if we were all just on the same plane after a spell of turbulence."

I would contend that there are two sides to this story. Yes, there are many Californians who have grown accustomed to earthquakes and seem to hardly notice them. (As a child, I quite looked forward to them, as it guaranteed at least one day out of school, sometimes more. Closest thing a California kid gets to Snow Days.) But my mother, who had lived in California all her life, was terrified of earthquakes. Once, during a nasty aftershock, as my sister and I headed for a safe place in our home, we were hit by a blinding force - it was my mother, pushing her two youngest children out of her path and running down the stairs with a speed I had previously imagined her incapable of. AND...she had scissors in her hand. It's a miracle we survived to adulthood. But I guess part of the point of San Andreas Fault is well-illustrated in her case because she never did get herself out of dodge. Those quakes didn't scare her enough, I guess.

I don't think Tigerlily is Natalie's best album. I think every album she produces manages to improve on the last. But Tigerlily and San Andreas Fault in particular is a beautiful introduction to the second half of Natalie's musical career. Everything about the album seems to testify to the freedom she was feeling when she made it and when she said the words of our last quote for today:

"I can do exactly what I want now, which is an amazing freedom. I've never felt that before."*

Freedom suits her, don't you think?

Thanks for reading this week's post. Please feel free to send me your thoughts on this song via e-mail or the comments section. See you next week!

Click here to see a video of Natalie performing San Andreas Fault live

Download the live version of San Andreas Fault featured in the above-referenced video at Itunes - San Andreas Fault (Live) - Live In Concert

*Time Out - June 1995

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Mother the War / Grey Victory / Tension

My Mother the War (from the 10,000 Maniacs album The Wishing Chair)

She borders the pavement
flanks avenues
parades pass
white glove attended by

My mother the war

She'll raise a shaft
lift a banner
toss a rose

My mother the war

She knows every neighbor
chats at their doors
compare
econo-size electric appliances
come share tea
and a seat by my
cradle with

My mother the war

Forsaken vigil
three years each tour
hands of God enfold him
prayed mother of war
haunt a doorway
beg a postman
is there word
for mother the war
5 black stars

In bitter defiance
she's spiting the corps
wet a brood
short league for combat

My mother the war

Well acquainted
with sorrow
with grief

My mother the war

Folded lace
carrion
blood soaked robes
folded lace
carrion
blood soaked
shroud

Mother the war

_______________________________________________

Grey Victory (from the 10,000 Maniacs album The Wishing Chair)

There was light and atomic fission
Swelling wind
Rising ash
Tide of black rain
Cement seared shadow traces
Reminiscent of their last commands

Instantly one thousand flames arising
Ill scent the burning hides surrounding
A settlement debased entirely
Enola Gay had made a casual delivery

Please build a future, darling
With our bomb
Cherish and love it
For the sake of
Earth bound kingdom come

The undersides of fallen metal trusses
Evil debris of human bodies
Each window's glass shards pelted
Secure confines
Brittle collapse

Neighbors lay beside
Each other unknowing
Faces scorched of all familiar bearing
Too few hands
Many wounds for closing
Marred by
Thirsting
Anguish
Fear lamenting

Here we stand
At the door to gold atomic age
Don't spoil your face with worry
Trust in
Earth bound kingdom come

______________________________________________

Tension (from the 10,000 Maniacs album The Wishing Chair)

Frail hinges pivot
On a case's door
Commemorative
Souvenirs from places
Containers change
With each occasion

Cellophane encased
Displaying paper
Certificate
Credit years of service
A tool of
Central enterprises

The early hope
For permanence the
Words the rings
Consistency
And social security the
Miracles high tragedy

A thought mistaken
For a memory
Clear the dust from
Smiles in boxes
Cross a patterned floor
Recall the voices

Local posts they
List your friends
In order of
Disappearance
Lawn scattered tins
Feed birds the
Portion baked for
Absent guests

Mass edition icon
God sent comfort is
Your salvation
But who grants
Absolution for sins
That never were committed

Tension
Makes a tangle
Of each thought becomes
Inconvenience
Sound never penetrate
As servile edges
Break and faint

Dress lenghts
Assassinations
Fractured family ties
Christenings



Last summer, a few days after I saw Natalie in concert on the Leave Your Sleep tour, I was in a bit of a post-concert funk. It's a common occurence for me. When I'm looking forward to something, I feel like I'm walking on air, but once that something has come and gone, getting back to mundane reality feels particularly harsh.

So one day in the midst of this funk I decided to leave work and go to the hole-in-the-wall record store around the corner. I came across the 10,000 Maniacs album Hope Chest, a collection of pre-Elektra Maniacs material. That album, along with The Wishing Chair, were the only Maniacs' albums I did not yet possess. I didn't recognize any of the songs on Hope Chest and intuition told me there might be a very good reason for that. I only had a few minutes before I had to get back to work, so with no time to dilly-dally I just figured, why not? How bad could it be? It was still Natalie, right? So I grabbed it and went to the checkout counter.

Here is where I would like to describe to you the reason why I love independent record stores. When I walked to the counter, the man sitting behind it, a man I assume is the one and only person who has ever worked there, was staring at an extremely small television, his face merely inches away from the screen, and eating kimchi straight from the jar. It took him a few moments to notice me standing quietly in front of him, but when he did, without any hesitation he said, "Would you like some kimchi?" and held it out before me. "Sure," I said and he lovingly placed a forkful of kimchi into my waiting mouth, then dabbed gently at the corners of my lips with his used napkin to mop up the juices. Five weeks later we were married.

Nah, just kidding. He did offer the kimchi, but I passed and told him I'd just stick with the CD instead. He asked if I was a Natalie Merchant fan. I told him I was. He asked if I had purchased Leave Your Sleep yet. I told him I had. He asked if I bought the two-disc version or the abridged version. I told him two-disc. He asked me if I knew Natalie had a daughter. I said I'd heard that. He then listed off a lot of Natalie-related facts and I pretended I didn't know them because I thought it would be the polite course. He summarized by telling me something about Kate Bush and giving me a hand-written receipt. This is the type of thing that just doesn't happen when you buy your music at Borders, folks. (It just dawned on me that given his seeming fandom, someday Kimchi Man might read this blog and if so I just want to say - I'm sorry things didn't work out for us Kimchi Man, but I know you will find your soulmate someday.)

When I got back to work, I popped in the CD and took my first listen to pre-In My Tribe Maniacs. Less than an hour later, I had finished listening. I took the CD out, placed it back in its case and thought, "Well, it was worth a shot." I found quite a few of the songs painful to listen to and figured I would never listen again...but eventually I did and my thoughts toward it softened a bit.

Time for a quick disclaimer: I said in the very first post of this blog that I would not be covering pre-Wishing Chair Maniacs material and I am sticking with that plan. The three songs I've chosen to talk about this week were featured in some variation on Hope Chest, but they also can all be found on The Wishing Chair.

So let's start with My Mother the War. This song garnered the most attention of any songs from the early days of 10,000 Maniacs and for good reason. It's a fun song to listen to, perhaps more than it should be. It's also one of the only Maniacs songs I can think of that actually sounds like an 80s song. Even though the bulk of their music was released in that decade, their music really has a timeless quality and most of it sounds like it could be released right now. My Mother the War has a little bit of The Cure or Joy Division lingering in it and definitely seems like the experimenting of a group trying to find their own distinctive sound.

As far as the lyrics go, here's what Natalie has said:

"I've always been intrigued by propaganda songs from the '40s . . . things like He's 1-A in the Army and He's A-1 in My Heart. That was the picture I had in mind for the song. It starts off glorifying war in a way - or at least glorifying going off to war, and then it turns around and shows the brutality."*

There are two things I would like to say about this statement. First, that kind of lyrical content might give the song a darker dimension...if you could actually understand anything Natalie is saying. But with the exception of the part where she says, "My Mother the War" and one other single word - "pavement" - I would have to follow the lyric sheet to have any clue what words were being sung to me.

Second, although I can see the themes of glorification and brutality of war from reading the lyrics, a general theme to this song can be seen only very vaguely. No knock on Natalie, though. She was a teenager when she wrote the lyrics to this song and even though they are pretty amateur, they are also a whole lot better than anything most people could write at that age (and probably better than anything I could write now.)

More direct lyrics can be found in Grey Victory, a song about the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. This song is also very pleasant musically and is a great example of the style that was the Maniacs' trademark - upbeat melodies with dark lyrics. Here is what Natalie has said about the song:

"The way we just serenely abandon ourselves to the fact that there are billions of dollars worth of nuclear weapons on both fronts is insane. There's no way my writing a song is gonna change it, but that's what I think about all day long sometimes and I want other people to know it."**

That quote is from 1984, when Natalie was barely out of her teens. In last week's post, I talked about the way these little snippets from Natalie have revealed certain ways in which she has changed over the years. This last quote reveals a way in which she seems to have stayed the same. She's never been afraid to tackle subjects in her writing that others would find too daunting. Just one more reason I appreciate her so much.

Last but not least is Tension (sometimes called Tension Makes a Tangle.) Of all the songs on The Wishing Chair, this song in particular seems to be a pretty accurate preview of the lyricist Natalie would develop into as time went by. Not so much in the structure of the lyrics, but in the content. It's a song of observation, the kind of song Natalie does best. She described what inspired the song this way:

"The song Tension just began as a poem I wrote sitting in my grandparents' house. I think a lot of elderly people are neglected by their families and even though I spend a lot of time with my grandparents, there was this period last winter when they couldn't shovel their sidewalks and I was just too selfish to walk six blocks and do it for them. That's a small thing really, but it's better than singing a song about going out to a club and getting it on or getting it up."**

Indeed. I wonder if the grandparents described above were the same grandparents she wrote about in Beloved Wife. I'd like to think so. My paternal grandparents died before I was born and I spent very little time with my maternal grandparents before they died. Truthfully, I found them quite terrifying and not at all a comforting presence, so I find these little love songs from Natalie about her grandparents to be a way to live those emotions vicariously.

I have more thoughts to share about The Wishing Chair, but they will have to wait until another day. But before I leave you this week, I would like to once again express my appreciation for the kind (and thought-provoking) words you all have shared with me through your e-mails and comments. Whenever I start to feel lazy about writing, your thoughtful expressions give me a needed kick in the pants. When I started this blog I did not anticipate that I would eventually be writing posts with sentences like, "He lovingly placed a forkful of kimchi into my waiting mouth" but I've come to count on your patience with my particular brand of tomfoolery. Thanks for reading.

Click here to see a live performance of My Mother the War. It makes me feel really old to say this, but when I watch this video I can't stop thinking, "I hope she has a good chiropractor."

Download My Mother the War from Itunes - My Mother the War - The Wishing Chair

Download Grey Victory from Itunes - Grey Victory - The Wishing Chair

Download Tension from Itunes - Tension Makes a Tangle - The Wishing Chair

*LA Times - October 1985
**New Musical Express - September 1984

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm Not Gonna Beg / Put the Law On You

I'm Not Gonna Beg (from the album Motherland)

I'm not gonna beg you for nothing
I'm not gonna beg you for your love

Straight talk, give me the straight talk
tell me what's on your mind if it ain't love
I'm not gonna beg you for nothing
I'm not gonna beg you for your love

Scared now, what are you scared of?
afraid I might fall on my knees and break down?
I'm not gonna beg you for nothing
I'm not gonna beg you for your love

Don't you think you can take me for a pretty little ride
I know "once upon a time" and "ever after" is a lie
I'm not gonna beg
I'm not gonna beg
I'm not gonna beg you for nothing at all

There's nothing I want from you
nothing you can say or do
there is nothing I want for you to say anyway

I'm not gonna beg you for nothing
I'm not gonna beg you for your love

________________________________________

Put the Law On You (from the album Motherland)

Do I have to put the law on you baby
for all the wicked things you do?
am I gonna have to put the law on you baby?
that was not what I wanted to do

Do I have to put the law on you baby
to try and make you come out clean for every evil deed?
you're just about the lowest and the dirtiest thing
I've ever seen

Did you really think you could pull it off
the perfect crime, crime of the heart?
do you really think that you'll get away
do the crime and never ever pay?

Do I have to put the law out on you baby
lock you up and throw away the key
for the countless counts of low down double-cross
you've been about have you no decency?

Did you really think that you could pull it off
the perfect crime, crime of the heart?
did you really think that you'll get away
escape my justice until your dying day?

Though you made it clear from the very start
there was no trusting you with my foolish heart
though you maybe made it clear that didn't make it right

Do you really think you'll get away?
you can't escape my justice 'til my dying day



Part of my preparation for writing this blog involved spending time scouring archives of interviews with Natalie Merchant and selecting quotes that I thought were enlightening or entertaining. It sometimes made me feel like a miner panning for gold. I tended to skim these articles, fixing my eyes on quotation marks only. If the quote shed light on Natalie's music in some way, either specifically or generally, I extracted it from the rest and tucked it away until it was the right time to share it.

I am in no way naive enough to think that just because I know Natalie Merchant's music intimately and have read some interviews with her over the years that I know her as a person. I know only the parts of her that she chooses to share with the world at large and I get the feeling she holds back plenty of herself. I respect that. I think being guarded in this way has probably preserved her sanity and humanness in a way that many celebrity burnouts could have benefited from.

But that being said, it is impossible to read these articles and not start to see certain patterns emerging. It's a little like reading someone's life story as it is being written. I love reading statements that Natalie made when she was 25 years old that sound so true to the artist she developed into, even decades later. Sometimes they can almost seem prophetic. But what's equally intriguing to me is the ways in which her (ever decisively-stated) stance on certain things changed dramatically as she aged. Things like, say, music. Here are a pair of quotes I particularly delighted in:

"I don't listen to music with insipid lyrics, apart from R&B. If I could sing like Aretha Franklin, I wouldn't have to worry about my lyrics."*

"I love Etta James, but I could never write a song like the songs Etta James used to sing. They may have been pretty valid to her, but I don't have no man who treats me bad, and I don't go rock n' rolling all night long. I'd have a hard time singing those songs."**

Ha! If only she knew what her future had in store. If the time machine I mentioned a few weeks ago could be used to send back a copy of either of the two songs from this week's post to the Natalie who said the words above, I wonder what her reaction would've been.

The first thing I notice on these two songs is her voice. Her voice changed from album to album during the course of her time with 10,000 Maniacs and into her solo career, but never is the change more noticeable than on Motherland. Her voice is deeper and broader then ever before and perhaps this helped her feel courageous enough to sing songs like Aretha Franklin would sing.

The second thing I notice is, of course, that now she is singing songs that are very similar to the kind that she once claimed she would "have a hard time" singing. I don't know if she ever ended up with a man who treated her bad or if she ever got around to rock 'n rolling all night, but if she didn't, she sure figured out how to evoke the feeling...with her own twist on the theme, which I will get to momentarily.

I'm Not Gonna Beg is pretty darn close to a perfect song. It's in my top ten Natalie tunes for sure. Here's what Natalie has said about the song:

"I wanted to write a song that anyone could understand. Everyone's been rejected and struggled to seem proud. I'd love to hear Aretha Franklin cover this song, just once."***

I second that wholeheartedly. How about it, Aretha? It's not too late...

Regarding Put the Law On You:

"I've never done anything camp before on an album. Put the Law On You is a song that breaks a piece of new ground."***

If you caught Natalie on the Motherland tour, you might recall that she performed this song with a pink feather boa wrapped around her neck. Camp, indeed. She pulled it off quite well, I think, further disproving her youthful assertions.

The thing that I love about the words to both of these songs is that, unlike some of the R&B songs of yesteryear that depicted women as weak and desperate for male attention at any cost, these two songs are full of defiance in the face of betrayal. In fact, one cannot help but wonder what exactly "putting the law" on someone entails. One would hope for the sake of the offending male that putting the law on him does not imply a certain Thin Line Between Love and Hate kind of beat down. She sure does sound threatening, though.

While both of these songs are pretty clearly talking about hurt at the hands of a romantic partner, the song I'm Not Gonna Beg in particular became a song that had a different meaning for me. I was only 20 years old when I first heard this song and still coming to grips with the fact that there were certain people in my life that just didn't care, no matter how much logic and reason kept telling me that they should. I'm Not Gonna Beg became an anthem for me, it helped steel me in the face of disappointment. I suppose it's not at all the kind of song that the twenty-something Natalie would've, or even could've written. But I'm sure glad she eventually got around to it.

Thanks for reading, folks. As always, please feel free to comment below or send me e-mail with your own thoughts. I do enjoy hearing from you.

Proof of the feather boa can be found by watching this live performance of Put the Law On You.

Download I'm Not Gonna Beg on Itunes - I'm Not Gonna Beg - Motherland

Download Put the Law On You on Itunes -
Put the Law On You - Motherland

*Select - February 1991
**Request - July 1989
***Elektra Website

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Land of Nod / Circle Dream

The Land of Nod (from the album Leave Your Sleep; words by Robert Louis Stevenson)

From breakfast on all through the day
At home among my friends I stay;
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do—
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.


____________________________________________________

Circle Dream (from the 10,000 Maniacs album Our Time In Eden)

I dreamed of a circle
I dreamed of a circle round
and in that circle I had made
were all the worlds unformed and unborn yet
a volume, a sphere
that was the earth
that was the moon
that did revolve around my room

I dreamed of a circle
I dreamed of a circle round
and in that circle was a maze
a terrible spiral to be lost in
blind in my fear
I was escaping just by feel
but at every turn
my way was sealed

I dreamed of a circle
I dreamed of a circle round
and in that circle was a face
her eyes looked upon me with fondness
her warmth coming near
calling me "sweetness"
calling me "dear"
but I whispered, "no, I can't rest here"

I dreamed of a circle
I dreamed of a circle round



When I was a child, I only remember having one recurring dream. It went like this: I am playing by myself in the backyard when a 50 foot high cartoon giant arrives from parts unknown and threatens me in a vague but menacing way. I cower in fear until my older sister charges out from the house, wags a defiant finger at the giant and somehow calls upon an equally giant-sized anvil to drop from the sky and land on his head, putting him permanently out of commission.

I'm not prone to thinking that every single thing in our dreams represents something else. I think a lot of what we dream is entirely random. But the terror and triumph that made up the framework of that childhood dream makes me think that maybe my little brain was trying to work out some big issues. Back then I think I wished that it was one of my parents who saved me in my dream, not a sibling to whom, in truth, I was not particularly close. Now that I'm older, I wish the dream would've had me saving myself. I wish I could've wagged my own finger and dropped my own anvil out of the sky.

As an adult, I have also had only one recurring dream. In this one, my normally mild-mannered and gentle spouse becomes a seething mass of rage who tries to psychologically destroy me. And there are no anvils or big sisters available.

I'd greatly prefer the cartoon giant.

The Land of Nod, in its few verses, expresses so beautifully the horrors and delights to be found in the worlds we conjure up in our sleep. When I saw Natalie perform this song in concert she prefaced it with a tale about Robert Louis Stevenson's life at the time this poem was written. He was apparently extremely ill and convinced that his death was not far off. Natalie surmised that the poem was not just about a longing for sleep and dreams, but also for a return to childhood itself. Here is a brief snippet from Natalie's Leave Your Sleep liner notes:

"Both dreams and childhood are elusive and fleeting; Stevenson understood how impossible it is to return to either once we have awakened or grown up."

Although the orchestrated version of this song that is found on Leave Your Sleep is lovely, I didn't appreciate this song fully until I heard it performed live, in a scaled-down, acoustic setting. It's a testament to Natalie's abilities as a composer (often overshadowed by the praise heaped on her lyricism) that songs like this one and so many others from Leave Your Sleep work equally beautifully in a variety of musical settings.

Including Circle Dream with The Land of Nod in this post may be a bit of a stretch, as the two songs' musical styles are miles apart. But the dream theme is carried through both and I figured you all would let me get away with it. Circle Dream was a very different style of song for the Maniacs, something that would've sounded absurd on their preceding album, Blind Man's Zoo. As much as Natalie's fans in general might associate her songs with very specific messages and ideas, she has at times written lyrics that are a little more enigmatic. Here's an interesting quote from Natalie on this subject:

"Lyrically I've always wanted to write in a more impressionistic style and not be so concerned with the meaning of the songs. Not as literal. Some lyric writing is beautiful for its intrinsic value: The words sound interesting together. I've been keeping track of my dreams since I was a teenager. I have notebooks full of dream imagery, and I feel like I'm so much freer in my unconscious mind."*

Regular readers of this blog might at this point expect me to say something like, "I like when Natalie writes songs that have deeper meaning and value than this song" or some other such form of snobbery that you've come to expect (and love...right?) from me, but actually I quite enjoy Circle Dream. It fits well on Our Time In Eden and its gently buoyant sound and soothing lyrics are something I find quite enjoyable. See? I'm not entirely a stick in the mud after all.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check in next week when we plunge headlong into the world of nasty breakup music, Natalie-style.

Download The Land of Nod from Itunes - The Land of Nod - Leave Your Sleep

Download Circle Dream from Itunes - Circle Dream - Our Time In Eden

*US Magazine, February 1996