365 Days, 365 Files: 10,000 Maniacs – Just as the Tide was Flowing

A while back, I floated the idea of writing about only music already in my album collection. I noticed when I post a "Listen" column, I tend to write more personally about music than I would a review or a news item.

I want to do more of that — write personally, that is.

So I brought the two ideas together into a year-long project: "365 Days, 365 Files." My New Year’s Resolution for this site in 2007 is to write about a particular song every day for the whole year.

I think this resolution will be easier to keep than the time I promised to update my now-defunct online journal for a year. I have all but 50 some odd songs already picked out, so I should be fine for at least 10 months. As with the "Listen" columns, files will be available for two weeks.

Just because I’m lazy, I’m going the alphabetical route. My spreadsheet sorts by numbers first, so the first band up is 10,000 Maniacs.

The band’s performance on Saturday Night Live intrigued me only because I couldn’t really understand a word Natalie Merchant was singing. But she was rather mesmerizing to watch. So I picked up In My Tribe and immediately became a fan.

Then I picked up a used copy of The Wishing Chair and discovered it was a better album. It’s slightly less polished, more energetic and better written.

John Lombardo’s imprint on the band was unmistakable, and when he left after The Wishing Chair, the change in tone of the band’s dynamic was apparent. Unsurprisingly, Love Among the Ruins, the first post-Merchant Maniacs album which also included Lombardo, is another favorite of mine.

"Just As the Tide was Flowing" is a traditional song, modernized through a Maniacs filter — much like Fairport Convention, an early influence on the band.

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