Friday, September 24, 2010

"Shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather."

The Song: "Like the Weather," 10,000 Maniacs. Words & music by Natalie Merchant. Track 3 of In My Tribe, 1987.
How/when acquired: Illegally copied cassette tape, 1987
Listen/watch here.

This morning's news reported that the rest of the country expects record temperatures today. Here in Maine, it's rainy and cold.

Almost six years after I moved here, I am still not used to how quickly and abruptly the summer ends. Leaves are turning, and my heat's come on a couple of times already. The days are noticeably shorter.

At this time of year, I can point to Maine's change of seasons as a major advantage of living here. I like the reminder that the earth is traveling around the sun, that we're all getting a little older, that everything sleeps and wakes, lives and dies and lives again. Ask me again in January, and you might get a different point of view.

Having praised my brother Ed in yesterday's post, I'm poking him today with this one. His distaste for Natalie Merchant is violent and vocal, though I'm not clear on exactly what he objects to; maybe he'll leave his views in the comments section. She seems to be a polarizing figure, but I've always liked her. I suspect that you would find a copy of this album in the collection of most white, college-educated American women between the ages of, oh, say 38 and 45.

Do you own it? Admit it in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

While I would stop well short of characterizing my distate for Natlie Merchant as "violent," I do think the world would be better off if she had never recorded anything other than the 10,000 Maniacs' cover of "Because the Night" on MTV Unplugged. In main, I lodge three objections to Ms. Merchant's career:

-- She's a woman. This is a fault of mine, not hers. I simply do not enjoy the overwhelming majority of female singing voices.

-- She is not as attractive as she should be. Again: my bad. Merchant doesn't have to be Britney Spears, but would it kill her to brush her hair, wear something other than sack dresses and put on a little blush and mascara?

-- All her songs are so studiedly and calculatedly dour. I love me a sad song, but all Merchant ever seems to do is lightly rework the Sylvia Plath she half remembers from English 101. Merchant would do well to lighten up once in a while and to show some real emotion instead of stealing from the Depression for Dummies guidebook.

-- Ed

AnswerGirl said...

Wow, and I would say I like her for all those reasons. So there.

Thomas at My Porch said...

Boy I'm with Ed (on some things). I kind of liked the "Shiver in my Bones" song and her version of Peace Train was pretty good but overall I just think she is boring. She is the equivalent of the skinny white boy band. Once you have heard one song you have heard them all. I dislike her in the same way I dislike Huey Lewis. Sooo boring.

(Unlike Ed I do like female singing voices. Much more than males.)