|Natalie Merchant||Butterfly (2017)|
Natalie Merchant — Butterfly (August 18, 2017) Ξ “I love outdoor shows,” said Natalie Merchant, warmly but also sarcastically. “Can you tell?” On Monday night at the Minnesota Zoo’s Weesner Family Amphitheater, the singer~songwriter battled bugs, birds, airplanes, and imaginary tigers, but emerged triumphant.
Ξ Merchant’s always been a compelling live performer, in part because she’s not afraid to let her occasional onstage discomfort show. She can then turn around, though, and create such a genuinely enthusiastic moment that you’re left convinced there’s nowhere on Earth she’d rather be. Birth name: Natalie Anne Merchant
Born: October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, NY
Location: New York City, NY, U.S.
Album release: August 18, 2017
Record Label: MC
01 BUTTERFLY 5:44
02 SHE DEVIL 6:22
03 BABY MINE 4:11
04 FROZEN CHARLOTTE 6:03
05 OPHELIA 5:36
06 THE WORST THING 5:15
07 THE MAN IN THE WILDERNESS 4:01
08 MY SKIN 5:01
09 VAIN & CARELESS 4:27
10 ANDALUCIA 5:45 Ξ Natalie has progressively featured more and more strings arrangements in both the studio and in her live performances, but Butterfly is an album devoted entirely to string quartet. The material is divided between newly recorded (“Andalucía,” “Butterfly,” “Baby Mine,” etc.) and previously recorded songs (“My Skin,” “Frozen Charlotte,” “The Worst Thing,” etc.) enhanced by collaborations with composers Stephen Barber, Tony Finno, Karl Berger, Uri Sharlin and Megan Gould. Butterfly has been released in conjunction with The Natalie Merchant Collection, a deluxe 10~CD retrospective of her solo career. Produced by Natalie Merchant, recorded by Eli Walker and George Cowan at The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, NY. © Photo credit: Jun Tsuboike, NPR- Natalie Merchant performs a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, Thursday, Nov. 19. 2015 in Washington, D.C.
From the album Butterfly
Ξ I saw a butterfly lift in the wind, drift for a while and come back again. Sweet, aching labor, hour after hour, tasting the nectar of every flower. Over and over, she plays the game, so many times but it’s always the same. Poor Butterfly.
Ξ I saw a web in the limbs of a tree, the whole deadly trap covered in leaves. Pale, bloodless mourning cloak waits for the kill, cold, empty spindle, patient and still.
Ξ Over and over, she plays the game so many times but it’s always the same. Over and over, they do the dance. They move at the whim of fate, of chance.
Ξ But if only some long lost God at last could come along and erase all the past!
Ξ Over and over, she plays the game. Over and over, they do the dance. Over and over, the wind beating wild and the sweet scented breeze blows on and on.
Natalie Merchant / Indian Love Bride © 2017 © Photo credit: Nathalia Crane from Smithsonian Archive
From the album Ophelia
Ophelia was a bride of God, a novice Carmelite. In sister cells the cloister bells tolled on her wedding night. Ophelia was a rebel girl, a bluestocking suffragette who remedied society between her cigarettes. Ophelia was a sweetheart to the nation overnight. Curvaceous thighs, vivacious eyes, love was at first sight. Love was at first sight. Ophelia was a demigoddess in prewar Babylon, so statuesque a silhouette in black satin evening gowns. Ophelia was the mistress to a Vegas gambling man, Signora Ophelia Maraschina, mafia courtesan. Ophelia was a circus queen, the female cannonball projected through five flaming hoops to wild and shocked applause.
Ophelia was a cyclone, tempest, a goddamned hurricane. Your common sense, your best defense lay wasted and in vain. Ophelia’d know your every woe and pain you’d ever had, she’d sympathize and dry your eyes and help you to forget. She’d help you to forget. Ophelia’s mind went wandering; you’d wonder where she’d gone. Through secret doors, down corridors she’d wander them alone, wander all alone.
Natalie Merchant / Indian Love Bride © 1998Natalie Merchant on …
Her voice: “I like that it’s deeper, and I’m more comfortable and relaxed and my phrasing reflects that. I haven’t lost my higher range, but I can sing in a lower register, which I enjoy.”
Her set list: “I don’t include songs because it’s expected, I play songs that are really enjoyable to play and it just turns into a big party. I always tend to do ‘Kind and Generous,’ ‘Carnival,’ ‘Wonder’ and ‘Life is Sweet.’ There are about a dozen essential songs that we do every show. Because I play excessively long concerts, people get a chance to hear everything they want to hear and things they might not yet know.”
“Kind and Generous”: “It’s a song about gratitude and the most requested song for licensing that I have ever written. It’s been used over and over by nonprofit organizations. It was played at the Women’s Soccer Championship, the World Series, and the NFL wanted to use it as a commercial just to thank their supporters. It was also played at the Stanley Cup. The thing is, I don’t watch any sports whatsoever. But I love the fact that when played live, thousands of people were standing up singing ‘thank you.’ It’s a good energy to put out to the world.”
Ξ 1995: Tigerlily
Ξ 1998: Ophelia
Ξ 2001: Motherland
Ξ 2003: The House Carpenter’s Daughter
Ξ 2010: Leave Your Sleep
Ξ 2014: Natalie Merchant
Ξ 2015: Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
Ξ 2017: Butterfly
With 10,000 Maniacs:
Ξ Human Conflict Number Five (EP) (1982)
Ξ Secrets of the I Ching (1983)
Ξ The Wishing Chair (1985)
Ξ In My Tribe (1987)
Ξ Blind Man’s Zoo (1989)
Ξ Hope Chest: The Fredonia Recordings 1982~1983 (1990)
Ξ Our Time in Eden (1992)
Ξ MTV Unplugged (1993)
Ξ Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings (2004)
San Diego Union Tribune: Marcia Manna, Contact Reporter / July 11, 2017
Review and photos: Natalie Merchant makes a fine and fancy ramble to the Minnesota Zoo
by Jay Gabler · July 11, 2017
Ξ Lulu (Natalie Merchant, 2014)
Ξ Ophelia (Ophelia, 1998)
Ξ Frozen Charlotte (Ophelia)
Ξ Gold Rush Brides (Our Time in Eden, 10,000 Maniacs, 1992)
Ξ Verdi Cries (In My Tribe, 10,000 Maniacs, 1987)
Ξ Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience (Leave Your Supper, 2010)
Ξ My Skin (Ophelia)
Ξ The Man in the Wilderness (Leave Your Sleep, 2010)
Ξ Break Your Heart (Ophelia)
Ξ The Worst Thing (Motherland, 2001)
Ξ Life is Sweet (Ophelia)
Ξ Carnival (Tigerlily, 1995)
Ξ Wonder (Tigerlily)
Ξ San Andreas Fault (Tigerlily)
Ξ Hey Jack Kerouac (In My Tribe)
Ξ Motherland (Motherland)
Ξ The Boys in the Back Room (Marlene Dietrich cover)
Ξ Don’t Talk (In My Tribe)
Ξ Saint Judas (Motherland)
Ξ Butterfly (Butterfly in The Natalie Merchant Collection, 2017)
Ξ Giving Up Everything (Natalie Merchant)
Ξ Seven Years (Tigerlily)
Ξ Ladybird (Natalie Merchant)
Ξ Kind & Generous (Ophelia)
Glorious vocals and gorgeous arrangements but not enough hits from Natalie Merchant
• The second half picked up steam with a rhythmically re~imagined “Carnival” (enhanced by Merchant’s charming dance steps and twirls), alongside the enormous “Wonder,” yet those were two of just four cuts from 1995’s five~times platinum “Tigerlily” debut (which was also re~recorded with fresh arrangements in 2015). And it wound up being “Hey Jack Kerouac,” one of just five Maniacs moments in the more than two~dozen song set, that coaxed everyone to their feet and truly tore the house down, though it would take nearly an hour for that jubilant mood to return.
• Instead, Merchant turned back to the mellow, evoking beauty and tenderness throughout “Motherland,” the brand new “Butterfly” and many others, while also inviting a few female fans on stage to clumsily accompany her on a botched rendition of “Ladybird.” Yet as attendees shouted requests such as “Candy Everybody Wants,” the star quipped “we learned 40 songs for this tour and you might just have to be satisfied.”
• She may not have given everyone exactly what they desired (including the sizeable individual selection “Jealousy,” 10,000 Maniacs’ “Trouble Me” or the smash Patti Smith cover “Because The Night”), but at least her previous band’s “These Are Days” did spark another blissful reaction. It’s just too bad the mood was temporarily halted by Merchant’s scolding an audience member that their videotaping was inhibiting her freedom to simply be herself, although to her defense, repeated warnings were posted and announced prior to the performance. (excerpt)
→ Posted on July 9, 2017 by Andy Argyrakis (http://chicagoconcertreviews.com/reviews/2017-07-09-natalie-merchant/)
→ June 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
BLADE: You wouldn’t be happy doing something on a smaller scale? I saw Sheryl Crow last night and she has this great new album out that she made in her home studio while her kids were at school and it’s this really fun little album. You wouldn’t want to do something like that?
MERCHANT: I have two projects I’d like to do. One is to make an online database of folk music for children, performed by children. The other is a children’s theater company. I feel compulsive about creativity and there are so many different aspects to it. I’d love to do costume design, I would love to hire a choreographer and do some dance, or maybe research folk tales from other lands and other music. There are so many other things I want to do with music that don’t involve going into a studio, recording a pop record and going on tour. It used to be that years ago you’d get to a certain point in your career and then you’d start producing other artists. I think I would have done that more if the industry hadn’t collapsed.
BLADE: Did you have a lot of stuff to pull from for the rarities disc? Did you ever toy with the idea of doing a two~ or three~disc set of all rarities?
MERCHANT: Well, for the rarities I wanted to put out music of high quality. I didn’t want it to just be all home demos and bad outtakes. It really is a combination of little~known tracks, like the collaboration I did with David Byrne for “Here Lies Love” or the track I did with the Chieftains, which I really loved going to Ireland and recording with them, that were really special moments in my career. And there was other unknown stuff that I’d been holding on to like “The Village Green” and “Too Long at the Fair” that were all recorded by great musicians in world~class studios under different circumstances. I did a session back in 2008 when I was looking for a label to put out “Leave Your Sleep” and I recorded a group of demos and we recorded some covers that were lovely covers, they just never belonged on a record. I wanted to put out only rare tracks that were of great quality.
• http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/06/28/natalie-merchant-goes-deep/ © Photo Credit: Mark Seliger λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“★λ★”“
|Natalie Merchant||Butterfly (2017)|