Black wave comes to take me away. Ride it almost to the grave. Landing on a crowded shore. High-fivin'.

I've been thinking about Juliana Hatfield. I feel like she has this bad rap, in the way that women artists often do. Namely that she's "crazy" or whatever. To be fair she apparently has had a nervous breakdown. But if she were a guy she would be, y'know, Evan Dando or something. Just emotional, not crazy. I'm really excited for her memoir, When I Grow Up, to come out next month. She put out a record yesterday. Someone has apparently been sending racist and anti-semitic e-mails, singing them Juliana Hatfield. I just read the most recent entry in her blog, in which she describes in excruciating detail watching a baby rabbit die in her hands. Sort of pretty, but awful if you think about it. Tough stuff. I just feel a bit weepy lately, I don't know why. My friend Joanna once went to a party in Boston where Juliana apparently was. If I remember correctly she was at a part for her boyfriend? Maybe not boyfriend but some male friends of hers, apparently significantly younger than she, and in a band. In any case, Joanna had only two tidbits on Juliana, when I pressed her to tell me everything. Joanna relayed that a) she looked great (I say: she always does and always has and probably always will. The curse of good genes, I guess), and b) something happened at the party to really upset Juliana, and she apparently locked herself in the bathroom, while friends pleaded with her to come out.

So obviously Juliana Hatfield is my hero. Or one of them. I'm kind of actually really into her blog. Even if you're not a huge Juliana Hatfield / Blake Babies fan, I think it's worth checking out. Her work gets such a weird critical response, like the one consistently negative thing people say about it is that it's too personal or something. And "crazy". I don't know. It's a lot like the way people talk about early Throwing Muses and Kristen Hersh, who had the guts to admit that she was manic-depressive. Juliana writes about the influence of Throwing Muses on her blog. Also: she has this really intense and articulate way of writing about herself, her songs, and her feelings:

So I have established that I feel very Other and yet I’m trying to live in the world. Because I have to. And I really do want to make the best of my time in the world. I may be a downer, but I’m not a nihilist. I don’t not care. I worry about what people think of me and how I come across and whether or not I am doing the right thing. I really want to communicate, to connect, to understand and be understood, but I don’t know how so I often walk away because it all just seems too impossible.

This is the video for "Universal Heartbeat", another of my Favorite Songs OF All Time That Inexplicably And Always Cheer Me Up No Matter what. The lyrics are about being in tremendous pain, which is always nice to hear affirmed. Apparently the tour to promote this album, Only Everything, was canceled because of Juliana's nervous breakdown. I want to find out more from her book. The video is this cutesy funny thing, where Juliana is a grungy-goth aerobics instructor (I think she needs to be smoking a cigarette, but, you know, the 1990s and all). On television monitors above the gym is Juliana glammed out like a diva. The joke, of course, is that the caricature mean girl is the "real" Juliana and the television screen one is the fake. Hilarious.

1 comment:

Sam McKinniss said...

The first boy I ever made out with put that Juliana Hatfield song on a mixtape he made for me. I never met her at a party, but I did meet Santi once at a party in Connecticut. She doesn't drink, so we didn't have too much to talk about.