Juliana Hatfield tonight. An artist I have always enjoyed, whose music has always been profound and whose shows have always left me feeling “all-is-okay-with-the-world”.
She’s often said that happy lyrics don’t come naturally to her. And my response to that is; big deal. She’s honest, her music comes from the heart – and when you pursue honesty, it ain’t necessarily happy. But then, describe happy. Is happy a perpetual state of giddy? A state of internal peace, an honest set of emotions set to music (or prose, or fiction, or painting)? Well being?
Lots of definitions of happy and not all of them lead to that state of “you-n-me/feelin’-free” grab-bag of emotions purely concocted to sell things. Nope – I prefer honesty and from the heart – it’s a place of many layers in an infinite landscape; it’s a reservoir that never runs dry.
Okay – enough rants.
This session – recorded by BBC Radio 1 on December 4, 1993 comes around the time of the Juliana Hatfield Three and their debut album Become What You Are and was her first big break as an Alternative Artist to know. It was also her first album to get considerable airplay around the U.S. and the single My Sister soared to Number 1 on the Modern Music charts as well as the video getting almost non-stop play via MTV. This BBC appearance coincides with promoting the album in the UK, where it also did extremely well.
Very active, gigging and recording – she released her 24th album (solo albums as well as group and side-projects), Pussycat in July of this year. Like much of her material, it is dense and engaging. As one writer put it; “Juliana Hatfield has often seemed like a difficult artist making very agreeable music. She’s had a complicated history, ups and downs with the media, a flash of stardom followed by something more like cult status. Yet, more often than not, the music itself is a bottle rocket of joy.”
Sounds about right.
Crank it up and enjoy.