02 September 2020

2 September 2020 - 10,000 Maniacs - Like The Weather

 We're almost a decade into this blog, and we've NEVER posted about 10,000 Maniacs on this blog.

Let's fix that today.

For me, and a lot of people, this song, from In My Tribe, was my first exposure to this quirky little band from Jamestown, NY.  When I first heard it, I never would have been able to tell you that they would end up being the band I would end up seeing live far more than any other, in several configurations - but that's exactly what happened.  But more on that in a moment.

The song isn't about the weather.  This song has been called "the cheeriest song ever written about depression."  It ended up being their first song to chart in the United States.  They went on to become more and more popular - with Natalie Merchant becoming a larger-than-life figure.  The depth of songs like this one are what make me a big fan.   

I first saw 10,000 Maniacs live in 1990 or 1991, at Jamestown Community College.  This is not that performance.  It was an excellent performance that I saw, but so is this one.  They really were a happy, dynamic, deep band.

I did in the past post about 10,000 Maniacs on Totally Covered, where I talk a bit more about Mary Ramsey, the vocalist who took over for Natalie Merchant in 1994.  Of course, I am going to share with you a Mary Ramsey performance of the song, which is different but still excellent.  However, I am going to tell you about another performance of the song - which I saw with my sister, July 15, 1993, at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.  Three days later, Natalie Merchant would announce her departure from the band - which was news in Western New York.  

The original guitarist for the band, John Lombardo, had started a two-piece in Buffalo called John and Mary - the Mary being Mary Ramsey.  For this show, something that I thought was great - for this song, the last of their set, 10,000 Maniacs brought out John on guitar and Mary on viola.  I thought that was very cool and it made me smile.  (Mary was also featured pretty prominently in their Unplugged performance)

The next time I saw them, Mary was on vocals AND viola.  They did not yet have the rights to this song (or the name) but they eventually got them.  Mary isn't Natalie, but she brings a different and still excellent charm to the band.  

No comments:

Post a Comment