Wednesday, May 29, 2024 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Natalie Merchant

American singer, song-writer, musician and poet who first gained fame in the group 10,000 Maniacs which she co-founded in 1981.
Natalie Merchant
threats like, "if you don't mind I will beat on your behind"
"slap you, slap you silly" made me say,
"o, what's the matter here?"
Merchant quotes
heaven, is this heaven where we are?
hey Jack
now for the tricky part
when you were the brightest star
who were the shadows?
of the San Francisco beat boys
you were the favorite
now they sit and rattle their bones
and think of their blood stoned days

Merchant Natalie quotes
Itís pretty obvious to everyone that the revolution has happened. The People can now easily cut out a hoard of middlemen (record companies, radio stations, music press and retail shops). With a series of computer strokes they can find the music they want to hear, become informed about the musicians who make it, find other people who share their interest and ultimately either buy, trade or steal that coveted sound.
Merchant Natalie
My drug period was between the age of 17 and 18. That was a time when I was experimenting with a lot of things, I was experimenting with sleep deprivation, fasting. The longest fast I ever did was 12 days. You go that long without food and you hallucinate. I would take this powder made out of guarana seed, my friend Mary would bake it up like cocoa in muffins and leave them on my doorstep. My drinking period was when I was 13, 14. Drugs fascinated me for a short period of time but not any more. A glass of wine puts me in a weird enough state.
Natalie Merchant quotes
For the time being I am enjoying my chance to enjoy civilian life off the road. If I combined all the months that I have lived out of a van or tour bus it would amount to twelve solid years. That would be twelve years of driving or flying an average of 100 to 400 miles per day and sleeping in a different city every night. It was a very unique lifestyle that I adapted to and even enjoyed with itís surreal pace. Itís also a lifestyle that can take a toll on the body and relationships with the people that you are constantly leaving behind.
Natalie Merchant
After spending nearly 20 years contracted to a major label, I have mixed feelings about their demise. These companies have profited immensely from your insatiable desire for listening and helped musicians for several decades to reach you. They grew fat and excessive. They exploited and they monopolized. They edited and censured. Theyíve been rapidly losing their means of production, distribution and promotion to the internet. They have been economizing by dropping artists, cutting staff and folding into one another but they canít keep up with the pace of disintegration. You might not have ever heard my name if Elektra Records hadnít made me one of their artists for hire. Iím both grateful and resentful and you probably are too.
Merchant Natalie quotes
I think many people have been made curious about Henry Darger because of the song on my album Motherland. Henry Darger (1892-1973) was the author and illustrator of what could possibly be the longest unfinished fictional work of all time. His towering hand-bound manuscript of 17,000 pages was found in this obscure retired hospital janitorís apartment after his death. Henry worked in obsessed isolation for six decades on his saga entitled, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.
where is the halo
that should glow 'round your face
and where are the wings that
should grow from your shoulder blades?
Merchant Natalie
who do you believe?
who will you listen to
who will it be?
it's high time that you decide
in your own mind
Natalie Merchant
I donít listen to anything on the radio but NPR and occasional oldies programs. I canít comment on the content or format of most commercial radio but I have read the statistics about the step-by-step deregulation of FCC rules that has allowed monopolies like Clear Channel to buy up massive shares of the airwaves. This has damaged our business (music) and our culture (American). The internet is offering bold alternatives but a transistor radio is only $25.00 and not everyone is hooked up through a computer and high speed connection.

Natalie Merchant quotes
where in hell can you go
far from the things that you know
far from the sprawl of concrete
that keeps crawling its way
about 1,000 miles a day?
Natalie Merchant
what a cold and rainy day
where on earth is the sun hid away?
Merchant quotes
I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses
he's their kid I stay out of it,
but who gave you the right to do this?
Merchant Natalie
Ophelia was a circus queen
the female cannonball
projected through five flaming hoops
to wild and shocked applause...
Merchant Natalie quotes
you've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
for your kindness I'm in debt to you
for your selflessness, my admiration
and for everything you've done
you know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it
Natalie Merchant
who will draw the calvary in
risk his very own precious skin
to make our Angelinia a free and peaceful land again?
who'll love a poor orphan child?
Henry Darger
Natalie Merchant quotes
There is one tradition in America I am proud to inherit. It is our first freedom and the truest expression of our Americanism: the ability to dissent without fear. It is our right to utter the words, "I disagree." We must feel at liberty to speak those words to our neighbors, our clergy, our educators, our news media, our lawmakers and, above all, to the one among us we elect President.
Natalie Merchant
I saw my first Henry Darger collage/paintings in the early 1980ís when the tale of Henryís life was just emerging through rumor and scattered fragments of his book. He lived and died a recluse in Chicago where no one knew of his writings or paintings. There was a folk art gallery in New Orleans that had acquired a small pile of Realms of the Unreal illustrations. I was on tour with REM at the time, Michael Stipe and I visited the gallery where we had a first look at these images of seven little horrified girls pursued by a purple and orange winged cats or evil professors on horseback or resting peacefully under giant sunflowers. I was completely captivated and intrigued.
Merchant Natalie
I donít want to overdo discussing my experience of motherhood, its too private and profound to parade around. I will say that carrying a child, giving birth to a child and raising that child up has made me feel more engaged and connected to others. I have a greater understanding of people (living past & present). We all begin so pure, so innocent and so hungry for physical and emotional comfort. Itís so important that every baby be generously cherished, fed and comforted. I can see now how withholding these essentials can do irreparable damage. Now (post-baby) when I encounter a sad or aggressive character, I wonder what the first three years of his or her life were like. Imaging them alone, crying in their cribs has given me much more compassion.

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