Tara Jane O’Neill – In the Sun Lines

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So there’s a war on; people reporting about the feelings of overwhelming immensity of widescale actions often conclude that they’re retreating into a world where ‘small things’ ‘matter’. The weight, and the gravity, and all the things that are pulling at them: they release these tethers and channel the feelings of helplessness into the small, the particular, crossed t’s on a shopping list, the controllable. And though, I’m in this place where the war doesn’t exist, where there’s no Dialektiks im Stillstand, where there is no wait for the messianic ‘moment of war’, I can’t help but feeling that its with inexorable momentum my world is changing itself, so I choose the small, the things I can ‘deal’ with, the static. And Tara Jane O’Neill comes out.

Tara’s music is really subtle. When she’s boring you it’s normally with cyclical patterns of guitar, played once, repeated on warm analogue delay: vanilla notes swirling forever. With those scuzzy sawing wheezeboxes choking their last breaths over the patterns, wheezewheezewheeze. These aren’t vicious circles, circles for the sake of circles, ‘cos every time she goes round the loop she gets closer to the center of the thing. Spiralling in towards the moment she’ll never reach, the asymptotal centre of meaning in the world, which she can’t ever break through, which if she could, she still probably wouldn’t, because then she’d have no journey left to carry through. I don’t know why I’m saying this. Neither do you. The immensity of something that big? Coming at the centre of something so small. (“The situation of the post-Communist state seems ideal for literature.”)

So. Yeah, take a little time to talk about Tara Jane O’Neill and the things that you’re doing to make your life seem a little more stable.

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 20:52 (sixteen years ago) link

RODAN rules...tara is real nice...her solo stuff is ok, a little boring, but yes subtitles come through with repeated listens...did i mention she is REALLY nice.

ddb, Friday, 21 March 2003 21:17 (sixteen years ago) link

oops
thats subtleties...not SUBTITLES...

ddb, Friday, 21 March 2003 21:21 (sixteen years ago) link

Amused at this thread, since I just posted something somewhere else about how nobody listens to Tara Jane O'Neil.

Anyway, I love the TJO. Her first album is easily the best. But I do like a lot of In the Sun Lines. (I'm pretending the third one didn't happen.)

What I really like about her music is that it doesn't always go in a straight line; it's structurally unexpected -- and yet it also has this homemade intimacy to it. And actually, maybe the unconventional song forms even contribute to that sense of intimacy: she wants to go off into this out-of-nowhere bridge, so she does. It's an intuitive approach to songwriting. And it's all so achingly beautiful.

I met her once. I couldn't tell if she was nice -- she seemed drunk and nervous.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Amused at this thread, since I just posted something somewhere else about how nobody listens to Tara Jane O'Neil.

Anyway, I love the TJO. Her first album is easily the best. But I do like a lot of In the Sun Lines. (I'm pretending the third one didn't happen.)

What I really like about her music is that it doesn't always go in a straight line; it's structurally unexpected -- and yet it also has this homemade intimacy to it. Actually, maybe the unconventional song forms even contribute to that sense of intimacy: she wants to go off into this out-of-nowhere bridge, so she does. It's an intuitive approach to songwriting. And it's all so achingly beautiful.

I met her once. I couldn't tell if she was nice -- she seemed drunk and nervous.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:14 (sixteen years ago) link

(Where'd you post that jaymc?)

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 22:17 (sixteen years ago) link

Oops. Sorry for the double-post.

I posted my previous TJO comments here:

"their level of popularity enhances/detracts from their greatness..."

(Sorry, don't know how to turn that into a link that doesn't display the URL.)

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh wait, it did it for me!

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Cozen, you inspired me to put on In the Sun Lines. It's overcast in Chicago, and it sounds great.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:28 (sixteen years ago) link

It's second in my line after Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks", then it's Edith Frost's second, ending with Interpol's "Bright Lights". Her music is really beautiful, slow rinse cycle guitars, that are just... beach blond, or something. I saw her here in Glasgow when she toured, hiding behind her hat, with a pall of smoke permanently obscuring us from her. She seemed really coy. The room was skin-loosingly hot and I regret not enjoying it as much as I should have. It's not really music for a live setting. It's music to be listened to alone, when you feel a little crushed, I think.

Really, really beautiful. Her cover of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" is the greatest song ever. That weird, familiar cooing at the end. The circular guitar motif. The tongue click, steady drum. Really, really beautiful.

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 22:50 (sixteen years ago) link

(Second in my music-to-listen-to queue that is.)

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 22:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Her cover of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" is the greatest song ever

WTF?? Where is this??

(Also, I agree with your listening-to-her-alone point.)

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 22:58 (sixteen years ago) link

It's on, err, wait I'll check, *gets back to screen and realises it isn't in real time*, TJO - "The joy of..."

This little EP which has four songs on: 'If Your Youth is Green', 'Ahn Fair' (the renamed version of the cover), 'High Wire' acoustic, and 'All Jewels Redux'.

It really is special.

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 23:04 (sixteen years ago) link

Ohhh... I must've missed that one. Okay: I really need to hear that. Because I don't usually like Springsteen, but there's something really pretty about that song, and I've even wondered what it would sound like without Bruce's distinctive voice.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 23:08 (sixteen years ago) link

"The joy of..."

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 23:10 (sixteen years ago) link

(I really want to marry TJO.)

Her or Daniel Bedingfield.

Pop star crushes - C or D? Alright, alright, so TJO is hardly a pop star but she's gorgeous, and really sweet. Google yourself in a fit of weary vanity Tara!

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 23:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Pop-star crushes are so very classic...

Are you M or F, Cozen? Because TJO is a lesbian. But maybe you knew that.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 23:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Ah. Jeez. (Err, it's not like I had any chance anyway. What with these 2000 odd miles atween us, and her being insatiably beautiful).

Cozen (Cozen), Friday, 21 March 2003 23:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Ha, I know. There's a brick wall outside my kitchen window, on which someone has painted TJO in blocky letters. I really want to know what it means, because I always just think of Tara Jane.

jaymc., Friday, 21 March 2003 23:32 (sixteen years ago) link

In the Sun Lines is really really good, and we played together in Baltimore & she was nice & friendly & really swell to listen to!

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Saturday, 22 March 2003 00:33 (sixteen years ago) link

YES! (John, make a boy's night!)

Cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 22 March 2003 00:41 (sixteen years ago) link

six months pass...
David -- did you get my e-mail about TJO?

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 04:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, I want to add that I've warmed up to TJO TKO quite a bit since this thread. I actually really, really like it now.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 05:06 (fifteen years ago) link

(I did, yeah jaymc, sorry school is kicking in right now so I've been a bit busy recently, I'll reply in length possibly later on tonight. I will say that I haven't written about TJO anywhere but here though. I intend to.)

David. (Cozen), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 12:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Hey, no hurry. I just wasn't sure if that was the right e-mail address or not.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 13:50 (fifteen years ago) link

Love, love this record. I couldn't listen to it for a while though (along with shannonwright's dyed in the wool) because it reminded me of day-long crying jags and sleeping pills. Fittingly enough, perhaps.

Star crushes = totally classic and not just because I always have them in spades, and embarrassingly so. (I also like that TJO is gay because there are not enough rockstars in my category; it's somewhat comforting.)

Blood and sparkles (bloodandsparkles), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
The new one is not that good. But then I said that about TJO TKO, too, and I came around to really like it. So I will get back to you lot later then.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 27 September 2004 03:17 (fourteen years ago) link

four years pass...

new record is real nice. kind of washed over me at first but it's very nuanced and balanced on further listens. it's a weird mix of older things, instrumental/guitar tracks and new song-type-songs, but it fits together tidily.

corps of discovery (schlump), Saturday, 9 May 2009 22:49 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

spinning off from the rodan thread:
kickstarting her next record, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tarajaneoneil/a-new-offering-by-tara-jane-oneil

her recent 7" is v pretty, also. i am a real sucker for her escalating vocal harmonies.

blossom smulch (schlump), Friday, 13 July 2012 00:58 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

there is a new song. I'll link it in a sec, & her record is out in January on kranky! &! the song cuts off abruptly enough that maybe the record smearily blurs into itself, like tracer does. swoon.

schlump, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:20 (five years ago) link

https://soundcloud.com/kranky/tara-jane-oneil-wordless-in

schlump, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:21 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

i am so excited for this

mustread guy (schlump), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 21:17 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

i haven't really spent a lot of time with this yet but she makes such mature records, i think; they're always so sensitively recorded, sound immaculate, digress away from her songs very directionally. i listen to her & remember that i like a bunch of people she's probably played on bills with, i like grouper + jana hunter + charalambides, that in some ways she probably fits an aesthetic profile of Stuff I Like, vocals not upfront, guitars strung out like somehow the wind was involved. but i think she's so singular; the attention to percussion is like fully half of what's going on, the noise pieces have this classical edge, there's a real mood to her guitar that's almost more like an eastern gabor szabo thing than it is a haunting-spooky-reverb vibe. i am not super bitter to be the only one bumping this thread liveblogging her in-between-record silences, but they're such great, timely, sleeper records, i think, the last - & maybe this!, idk yet - as just ... good + nice to have on hand as most anything

mustread guy (schlump), Sunday, 9 February 2014 02:58 (five years ago) link

man i hate to use the term underrated cuz overrated/underrated is usually such a boring conversation but man tara jane o'neill is so ridiculously underrated

balls, Sunday, 9 February 2014 03:51 (five years ago) link

I also think her cover of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" is the greatest song ever

JacobSanders, Sunday, 9 February 2014 06:48 (five years ago) link

^^funny how in 2003 i was like "i need to hear this!" and had no way of doing so.

jaymc, Sunday, 9 February 2014 07:44 (five years ago) link

ten months pass...

man i hate to use the term underrated cuz overrated/underrated is usually such a boring conversation but man tara jane o'neill is so ridiculously underrated

― balls, Saturday, February 8, 2014 11:51 PM (10 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

^^^

in one of my few-times-a-year T J O Moments; all of these songs are such gifts, she's really as good as anybody

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Wednesday, 17 December 2014 05:07 (four years ago) link

Her album from this year was terrific.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 17 December 2014 05:26 (four years ago) link

Waaaaait, I didn't even know she had a new album! That's amazing news.

Yes, massively underrated. Aside from Rodan (which I still can't really get into), I love everything she's touched. Definitely one of my most frequently listened to artists.

My Name Is You (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:32 (four years ago) link

"Where Shine New Lights" - came out back in March or April.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 17 December 2014 19:32 (four years ago) link

Yeah, it's really wonderful in an understated way.

one way street, Wednesday, 17 December 2014 20:28 (four years ago) link

The openness of her song structures on it and her sensitivity to silence and negative space remind me a little of the last Grouper album (as per schlump's comparison upthread), but of course she's been exploring this sound for considerably longer.

one way street, Wednesday, 17 December 2014 20:36 (four years ago) link

I saw her perform earlier this year. She played four or five songs relatively straight, by herself. Then she invited a guy up who played keyboards and they basically just droned for 30 minutes and it was phenomenal.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 17 December 2014 23:55 (four years ago) link

yeah i saw the same kinda show, once, w/pajo on drums; she'd throw old film canisters turned into rattles out into the crowd, so there was this real chain-clanging panoramic percussion thing on top of everything

& i don't think there's really a stylistic overlap sufficient enough to make her senior to grouper's junior. they used to share a studio in oregon i think.

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Thursday, 18 December 2014 07:49 (four years ago) link

five months pass...

listenin to tara jane o'neil

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Tuesday, 16 June 2015 02:47 (four years ago) link

#

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Tuesday, 16 June 2015 02:48 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

And she apparently has a new solo album out! She seems to fly so completely under the radar. Which is a shame, because she might be among like my top five currently performing musicians.

Download this Man With Hamburder And Mug (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 May 2017 13:43 (two years ago) link

New album is nice though I need to spend some more time with it.

Earlier this month I went back and listened to all of her solo albums. I realize why I stopped paying attention to her early on - her first couple records just sort of sound like a softer, unplugged version of that mathy/noodly Louisville sound she helped usher in with her previous bands. But around her third or fourth album she moved into something a lot more interesting and relaxed.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 12 May 2017 21:15 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

New album, “Yoake” - on first listen but so far very good ambient guitar stuff.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 10 February 2019 01:10 (six months ago) link


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