10,000 Maniacs – In My Tribe

Covid Albums Part 2.  I’m unsure if it was just my oedipal response to the crisis or personal fear, but I spent the beginning of covid listening to mostly female fronted groups.  Lucinda Williams, First Aid Kit, LP, Emmylou Harris and most of all 10,000 Maniacs, specifically their MTV Unplugged album, an album that mystifies me that it’s not been pressed yet to vinyl.  It is the best performance of the Unplugged series.  Not up to debate (with me at least.  That wretched grunge again…)  

I started following Covid very early, long before the news cycles inundated us with nothing but.  In the Fall of 2019, when rumblings were coming out of Wuhan, the old investment banking side of me started wondering, “how is this going to affect the stock market?”  There were already 3 or 4 really good stock analysts starting to follow and chart the spread in personal blogs.  It was obvious to them from a nascent period that this virus was bigger than the various empty threats of the past (though I do have a friend who almost died of Bird Flu).  I called our Hogs Insurance guy in November 1999 requesting a quote on Pandemic Insurance and was basically laughed at for thinking that draconian.  Turns out we couldn’t get it due to the virus already being present anywhere in the world.   In January of 2020, we went up to Washington to taste thru some of the newest vintages of Boucaner.  As we flew home, the first Covid case was reported in the States.  The next couple of months and the Hogs part of Covid, I’ve documented previously in Covid Albums Pt. 1.  Now it was lockdown time.

I made the conscious decision to maintain a positive mindset on the whole matter.  In fact, we treated the initial lockdown as a celebration to spend more time together.  The champagne and wine flowed and there were 10,003 Maniacs partying nightly, my tribe. There was something about this album that I kept coming back to beyond it’s speaking to my Anima.  As an adolescent male in the 80’s and 90’s, a 10,000 Maniacs and/or Natalie Merchant fan would be mocked tirelessly.  Growing up in single sex schools and a predominantly male household, machismo was the accepted norm.  The whole Lillith Fair tour movement was scoffed at.  Pretty pathetic given the fantastic musicianship (always the sucker for jangle guitars) and amazing vocals this band and Merchant possess.  Merchant addresses some very personal and serious issues, but this album and especially the Unplugged album make me happy. That says alot.  We need albums that we can go-to at any time to lift our spirits.

Favorite Tracks: “Jack Kerouac” “Like The Weather” “Don’t Talk” “What’s The Matter Here”

Pressing: Elektra – 9 60738-1, Elektra – 60738-1. Original Pressing. 1987