Warning: this is the ultimate fanboy post. It has never been and will never get any more fanboy than this.
In the long time I’ve been listening to music phases have come and gone, bands have gotten together and broken up, groups I grew up listening to have had best-of collections and reunion tours, and ‘hot new artists’ have come in to replace ‘older, more mature ones who’ve lost their fire’. However, when all is said and done, there’s always one artist I go back to, someone who’s been there since the beginning of my life as a music lover. My favorite musician of all time, if there ever was one: Juliana Hatfield</o:p></p>
I remember 1993 so vividly, the year a 12-year old me would listen to the radio day in and day out, taping my favorite songs and calling to request for stuff I already had albums of anyway. I remember going to school at 7:30 in the morning and hearing “My Sister” for the first time, arriving home at around 6 and staying in the car just because it was playing again and I wanted to finish it. I remember almost crying to the Blake Babies’ “Out There” just because it was such a good song. I remember driving to confess my love to someone and hearing “Somebody Is Waiting For Me” on the radio, and getting busted and hearing “Don’t Rush Me” on the same station (It’s moments like these where you feel like your life is a badly written script). She isn’t exactly critically-acclaimed, and she’s definitely not a name many people would drop, but she was always there. She never went away, and her songs were always great.
In celebration of the release of her new album, In Exile Deo, I held a Juliana Hatfield listening marathon the past few weeks (if that wasn’t obvious) and I rediscovered why I loved her so much: the mix of guitar noise and very sweet vocals, the way she extends her words staccato-style, the easygoing beats, the rock n’ roll of it all. The marathon was also meant to be a primer because I was supposed to go to
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 21:34:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: "quark henares" <email@example.com>
Subject: let's blow it all
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
hello all! one question; have you ever had someone in the whole wide world you just can't help but idolize? as in, a musician or director or writer or even just some really cute model? and have you spent idle moments just daydreaming of meeting that person: what you'll say to them, how they'll react, etc. etc.? and have you ever just snapped out of that daydream, getting into a short fit of depression because you know there's just no chance in hell that you'll ever meet them?
there are two people like that in my life: David Lynch and Juliana Hatfield.
tonight I just met one of them.
it was at a bar in 13th st. and Ave. of the Americas called Village Underground, which in essence is as small as the performance area of the Edsa Club Dredd. no shit. the place was full enough, and for some weird reason all sorts of fans were there ranging from the teenybopper rebel to the dirty old man. a folk artist named to Brereteau (this isn't his real spelling) was the opening act, and he did a really cool acoustic version of where is my mind. at that point the realization that I was actually going to see my favorite musician of all time in the whole universe and beyond was getting to so bad that there came a point where i felt like vomiting (ganun pala yan). there was a small semi-circle of people sitting formed around the opening act, probably as a sign of respect. when he left i thought to myself fuck all this and went to the frontest front. and then she came out and started fixing her effects.
i wanted to fucking cry.
juliana hatfield was fixing her effects right in front of me! she is my goddess, and she was at arm's length fixing her effects! i just couldn't help but stare at her. it wasn't ogling, it was more like forcing oneself to believe. and then she gets up and starts playing "Hotels" and for the first time I hear my favorite voice in the world sing for real. she then started complaining about her jacket, to which someone shouted "take it all off!" she answered by saying "you're really witty, whoever thought of that." she took her jacket off anyway and dropped her guitar in the process. "i'm just really fucking clumsy. that's because i didn't drink tonight." SHE WAS ADLIBBING! I NEVER HEARD HER ADLIB! (well, yeah i did before but on live cd's and those don't count) then she did "my sister". and all this time i was right in front of her. i was so close if i reached out i would actually have pushed her. there was no one in front of me, and i didn't have to look sideways. it was like she was performing for me.
yes, this is cheesey shit man, but forgive me because the last time i was this cheesey was when ciudad's album came out.
she did a lot more songs, almost one and a half hours worth. but fuck she could just as well have started juggling onstage and it would be all good for me. and then she did her own rendition of the blake babies' "girl in a box" and at that moment that was pretty much the one right thing in this world.
this is what the setlist was like, more or less:
Trying Not To Think About It
Ten Foot Pole
Spin The Bottle
Somebody Is Waiting For Me
I Got No Idols
It Should’ve Been You
Waiting For Heaven
Girl In A Box
Civil War (not Gn’R)
the set ended and all the d.o.m.'s started flocking her. i gave her a ciudad cd and said " juliana, i want to give you something. i'm from manila and i came just for you. you have been a constant driving force in my life and in my band's life and here is the product of that inspiration." "you're from MANILA? SHOE DAD?" "yes. i also host a radio show and can i get a liner from you?" (and yes,i did say it that smoothly because i had REHEARSED IT. i'm such a pathetic shit.)"sure, but let me fix my stuff first."
so she fixed her stuff and a whole lot of fans started flocking her and she looks at me behind all of them and shouts "It's too loud here! Wait for me! I'll get someplace quieter!". and i just sat down and smiled. my god. i have been dreaming of meeting this girl since "Become What You Are" (all of you should have this album! all!) came out in 1993. i've been dreaming it longer that i've been dreaming of directing a movie! and finally i did. it didn't really matter if she'd escape or the conversation would continue. i gave her my band's cd and she smiled at me. life is good.
but she was nice, and she took me upstairs (I WENT UPSTAIRS WITH JULIANA HATFIELD!!!!) and she said " you're from manila?"
"yup. i flew all the way here just to meet you."
"REALLY!?" she looked at me like i was a fucking psycho. oops.
" but 'well when i heard you were coming out with a 'best of' i thought you were calling it quits so i was like 'i have to see her before she goes!'you're my favorite."
"wow. thanks." i had her sign my cd and i had her do the not radio liner. "what's your show about?"
"well, it plays indie stuff and little known bands and--"
"you want me to say that?"
"no! all you have to say is 'you're listening to diego and quark"
"diego and quark."
"ok. diego and quark. diego and quark."
"hi, this is juliana hatfield and you're listening to diego and quark."
"on not radio."
"on not radio."
"on not radio. Hi, this is juliana hatfield and you're listening to diego and quark on not radio."
juliana hatfield said my name . life is good.
"there's nothing to do, it's so hard to talk to you, and people never do what they wanna do.
i don't know what and i don't know where but i know it's out there.
it must be out there somewhere.
gonna leave this place, gonna leave this life of waste.
gonna put on a new face."
-Blake Babies, Out There