Monday, May 09, 2005

One Perfect Green Blanket

Less than a week in and this blog is in serious jeopardy of becoming Amy's Mp3 Blog. Come on teammates!

Anyway, I was browsing Amazon the other day and was disappointed to see Barbara Manning's
One Perfect Green Blanket is now out of print. If you don't know her (and you should), Manning is a San Francisco musician/songwriter who belonged to 28 Days and World of Pooh in the late 80s and in the 90s recorded both under her own name and with a collection of Bay Area musicians as S.F. Seals. I haven't followed her career since about 2000, but apparently she now plays with a pair of German/Italian brothers as the Go-Luckys.

Given her talent, Manning has probably never gotten the attention she deserves. Several S.F. Seals and solo albums were released by Matador--arguably the most prestigious independent label of the 90s--but Manning always got overshadowed by showier female singer/songwriter labelmates, Liz Phair and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

Used copies of One Perfect Green Blanket are worth seeking out. It's up there as one of the best indie pop records of the 90s. Also very good are S.F. Seals'
Truth Walks in Sleepy Shadows and the solo 1212, which includes a creepy four-song cycle about a child arsonist (I'll post something from it around Halloween if I remember).

From One Perfect Green Blanket:

Straw Man (mp3)

Talk All Night (mp3)

Bonus. In 1995, Manning contributed vocals to Stephin Merritt's (Magnetic Fields) The 6ths project. This is by leaps and bounds the best, most buoyant song off Wasps' Nest (and God knows Merritt can write a great tune):

San Diego Zoo (mp3)

Spoon update: Received Gimme Fiction with bonus disc today. Amazing, of course. I'd heard most of it when it leaked several months ago (just so you know I'm not making a snap judgment). But I'm so biased, Spoon could release an album with Britt Daniel humming to elevator music while Jim Eno tapped a pencil against his teeth and I'd buy it. I've posted a review on Amazon if you're interested (5/10/05, alg99, "More brilliance from America's best rock band).


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