Natalie Merchant:WHat Happened?

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Well, Mark, there's a related theory on that one. The recent Maniacs stuff, with John back, has been quite limp as well -- not as limp as Natalie by any stretch, but still pretty awful. My excuse for this is that Natalie and Rob (but surely mostly Natalie) wound up dragging the band into adult-contemporary territory, pretty much forever cementing their audience there and ruining any chance for a return to anywhere near the fringe. So I'd argue that (a) they've gotten old and lame, as so many artists do, and (b) they weren't offered much choice other than running with the old and lame fan base they'd accumulated after "Because the Night."

Seriously: give me a problem with the world, and I'll figure out a way to blame it on Natalie. Although I must admit, I was watching a documentary last week on the Billy Bragg / Wilco / Guthrie project, in which she appeared, and I got to remembering why I liked her so much to begin with. So well-meaning . . . but I liked it better back when she was awkward and spinning in circles while Buck beat "My Mother the War" out of his guitar.

Nitsuh, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"My Mother the War" was by 10,000 Maniacs? I always thought it was by upstate NY soundalike chancers Mambo X. Yikes, I guess I'm wrong, and there is a 10,000 Maniacs song that I actually like.

Kate the Saint, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

God, I hated 10,000 Maniacs from my first exposure to them and haven't looked back -- however, as Nitsuh notes, there's an early part of the band's days I don't know at all, and were in not for the fact that Natalie Merchant *BUGS THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF ME* I might be tempted to give that a listen. But I won't.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
Nitsuh, still not clear if you've ever heard John & Mary.

Mark (MarkR), Sunday, 21 December 2003 04:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was really into Tigerlily in grade school.

Ian Johnson (orion), Sunday, 21 December 2003 07:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

They're the most PC band in the history of music.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Sunday, 21 December 2003 07:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

No wonder Michael Stipe tapped that.

may pang (maypang), Sunday, 21 December 2003 07:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Sean (Sean), Sunday, 21 December 2003 10:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Have nothing to add to what Nitsuh said, exactly my experience with 'em.

H (Heruy), Sunday, 21 December 2003 10:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hope Chest is one of my all time favorite records; the live album is great. After that ("carnival" aside) all bets are off.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 21 December 2003 16:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think that what's happened to Natalie Merchant now can best be described as "karma".

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 22 December 2003 02:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

While I feel the need to agree, I need more specifics in terms of recent activity.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 December 2003 06:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yusif Islam declared a fatwa (sic) on her.

jack cole (jackcole), Monday, 22 December 2003 06:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

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