Thursday, October 26, 2006

Don't Rewind

Song: Don't Rewind
Artist: Barbara Manning
Album: One Perfect Green Blanket

Barbara Manning is a sort of indie-er Liz Phair. She’s a woman comfortable enough to follow her own muse and jump from band to band (More than eight in total.) Born in San Diego and raise in Northern California, Manning is most notable for her work with the SF Seals and solo albums. Her most well known work is her “debut” solo record “Lately I Keep Scissors,” a lo-fi indie-pop masterpiece that bristled with equal parts feminine charm and creepy personal psychological analysis. It’s a trip, and one of my favorite records.

“Don’t Rewind” is taken from the long-for-an-EP, EP “One Perfect Green Blanket” which was released on Heyday partnered with “Scissors.” It’s a great double bill that works together, which couldn’t be said of some of her subsequent releases. Like Phair, Manning’s personal confessional lyrics invite the listener to places that some of our best friends wouldn’t ask us to go, questioning life, herself, and the world around. “Brave” hardly describes her songwriting.

I am also a fan of her 1997 Matador release “1212” which stands for her birthday (Dec. 12th) and also the police code for fire. The album has references (and sound effects) of burning, metaphorically of course. The production is way more polished than on “Blanket/Scissors.” It’s one of the strangest records I own, the type that isn’t strange just to be strange, you realize Manning is quite serious, which makes it all the more interesting and frankly, scary.

I recommend her highly, hadn’t listened in quite some time but was happy to pull the album from the cabinet and take a long lost listen. After some research I realize she’s released some more records since those that I have, I might just have to check them out.


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