Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Now If Only Randy Newman Will Write a Song About Her, Then Maybe We've Got Something!

From 2023, and her soon-to-be released Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO album, please enjoy the aforementioned former Blake Babies and Lemonheads chanteuse/alt-rock cover girl and her delightful version of Jeff Lynne's classic "Can't Get It Out of My Head."

That's from the third album of covers Hatfield has done in recent years. I wasn't nuts about the one devoted to The Police (2019), which has the single least attractive version of "Every Breath You Take" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears (don't worry. I won't inflict it on you, but if you insist, you can find it at YOUTUBE). Still, the Olvia Neutron Bomb Newton-John installment (2018) was a lot of fun, and on the basis of the above, which puts a nice contemporary minimalist spin on the arrangement excesses of the original while still retaining its melodic charm, I suspect the new one is going to be equally entertaining.

The album drops, as the kids say, on November 17; in the meantime, you can pre-order it and hear more over at Hatfield's official website HERE.


mistah charley, sb, ma, phd, jsps said...

Beautifully done and a pleasure to listen to - interesting video too.

Alzo said...

Jeff Lynne's loveliest song. Eldorado is one record I wore out back in the day. Very nice version.

Anonymous said...

Great rework, and that’s something !

John Werner said...

Often stripped down covers are a mixed bag. Some reinvent a song on a high level while some seem embarrassing. I think this cover is a great compromise. It distills some of the greatness while being brilliantly simple.

Anonymous said...

Liked it better the second time through. Thought it was too robotic on first listen. The voice treatments are a bit much. The song (no matter who's doing it) is an earworm to the max. It lives up to its title.

I kinda lost track of Juliana Hatfield a while back. So I don't know her more recent stuff that well. I caught a few of her shows in the 1990's in different configurations and solo. I wanted to, but I never got fully behind her. So maybe I didn't want to that much in the first place. But it didn't stop me from rolling tape on her several times. My creed was "It ain't a concert if it ain't a tape." You know, the "if a tree falls in a forest" bit.

Anyway, the first time I taped her was with the trio and it was a bad night at the Roxy. Just fuckin' awful. I figured they'd get it together after a few songs. But no. It had nothing to do with the sound system or the guy running the board. It was just not happening on stage. At all. I felt sorry for them. They were really blowing it. People were still charitably applauding after numbers for some reason. Sympathy and pity, most likely.

I'm not saying this to bag on Juliana. I wanted them to be good. I was trying to document the event for Jesus’ sake. Amen. With a black Sharpie Sandy wrote "STOP SUCKING" on a napkin and held it up so Juliana could read it. After five songs I figured they needed some inspiration, tough love, coaching, words of encouragement or sarcasm. I didn't know what to say. So I feigned being delighted and exclaimed, "Does it get any better than this?!" There were a few chuckles.

Juliana cracked up and asked Sandy to hand her the napkin. She showed "STOP SUCKING" to the crowd and apologized for the problems they were having. The show picked up a little after that but it was still an unmitigated disaster.

A couple of months later they opened for Paul Westerberg at the Hollywood Palladium and were fine. They did sporadic gigs in L.A. clubs and at the Palace later, all of which I attended and taped.

Eventually she returned to the Roxy and it turned out to be the best show I had at the time. I was gonna spin one off the board that night but Hoover wasn't working it. About two thirds of the way through the show she told the crowd that the last time they played the Roxy they really sucked. They had no idea.

She played McCabe's Guitar Shop billed as solo acoustic for two shows on a Friday Night. On that occasion Sandy, me and our husband booked a room at the Best Western, which is directly across the street of the venue. And I mean directly. A hop, skip and a jump in bed. The reason we did so was that the following night we were going to both shows by John Stewart at the guitar shop. Not the self-important talk show shrimp, Jon Stewart, but the California Bloodlines, Daydream Believer, July You're a Woman, Gold dude. Of course Buffy would be there too.

Actually, the three of us had been on a concert binge that entire week in 1997. We saw at least one show every night from Tuesday through Sunday. I'm looking at my ticket stub album and waxing nostalgic. It heartens me to know there is a tape for each show.

Anyway, Juliana was solo but she played some electric guitar as well as acoustic. They were good shows but not really that remarkable. I saw her into the early 2000's but then lost what little interest I had.

The following night at the John Stewart shows, I sat next to RFK Jr. both shows. On the second show Stewart informed the audience who was there and had Jr. stand up and make himself known. We talked a little bit but strictly about music. He didn't seem like a dick.

I hope Juliana continues to do whatever the fuck she wants. That's a great way to be. Free.