So I lit a firecracker, went off in my eye
June 22, 2015 1:08 PM   Subscribe

She's such a bitch. The Oral History of Juliana Hatfield Three’s ‘My Sister’

Meg Rafferty: She was so pretty, so creative, kind of introverted but confident. I remember shortly after that, when her song was a hit, Dean Fisher would tell me, “She talks about you all the time in interviews. She talks about your leather coat. She talks about your records.” I never realized how much she ate it up.
posted by easter queen (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Hey everybody in publishing: "Quit doing oral histories that are on topics so interesting to me that I must read them"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:18 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love JH. Last year I was obsessed with her Minor Alps album, "Get There".
posted by mondo dentro at 1:43 PM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's OK music I guess but hardly worthy of an oral history.

We have twenty years to look forward to of this stuff, i.e. GenX following in the footsteps of the boomers looking to canonize their own musical euphemia.
posted by dydecker at 1:47 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Wow, it is legit impossible to find that Melissa Ferrick song about her, "The Juliana Hatfield Song (Girls with Guitars)." The lyrics are at a bunch of sites, and a bunch of Ferrick's other music is out there and easily available, but that particular song is just flat-out not on the internet.
posted by koeselitz at 1:52 PM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't know what it is, because she seems really cool and smart and interesting and stuff, but I find her music just insufferable.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2015

Your favorite euphemia sucks.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2015 [8 favorites]

I loved this song and I liked the article a lot.

(And despite my earlier comment, I will continue to like having every detail of 1993 documented in oral history until the one day I open a publication to find "What a Shit Time: The Highs and Mostly Lows of MCMikeNamara's Senior Year of High School" at which point I will be horribly embarrassed and the barrel will have completely scraped.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:09 PM on June 22, 2015 [8 favorites]

I grew up in the Boston area during the Hatfield era - the singer's mom was the fashion reporter for the Boston Globe in the 90's and it seemed like a very cool family to be a part of, sister or no.
posted by borborygmi at 2:10 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

This song was a favorite of mine, and was on one of the free tapes I got using the Columbia House Scam, so Metafilter is all lining up for me this week. Now someone do a post on playing too much DOOM and watching Steven Seagal movies.
posted by rikschell at 2:29 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

The 'Share' bar on this site makes reading the article miserable.
posted by maryr at 2:40 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really liked her music and saw her live in 1994 or 1995. It was a great show. It's not music I listen to often at this point, but it's instantly recognizable, unlike probably 99 percent of the bands that were around then. In the piece she sounds interesting and thoughtful, too.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:45 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh man, Julia Hatfield meant so much to me as a teenager. I grew up in Boston and all those bands at the time - the Lemonheads, Belly, etc. - seemed so accessible but also so cool. But Juliana had a special sort of meaning - she got a lot of flack for lyrics that seemed like they came from a teenager, but that's exactly what made them so resonant for someone who actually was a teenager. I still love her music from that era, but it's almost painful to listen to now because of the way it slams me right back into that 15-year-old girl emotional landscape.

It's OK music I guess but hardly worthy of an oral history.

I think Juliana Hatfield was actually very influential. She made it cool to be a girl with a girly voice and a guitar singing songs about complex emotions. She took the female singer-songwriter thing beyond folk or adult-contemporary and made it this really badass, almost punk-rock thing to do.
posted by lunasol at 8:33 PM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I did sound for her at a little live show she in in the now gone Virgin Megastore in San Francisco back when the "My Sister" song came out, I was pretty much alone with her for 1/2 an hr doing sound check and I could not think of a single thing to ask her.
I suppose I could have asked her more about her sister, but I figured that that was what everyone else asked her.
It was not till years later when I had a firecracker literally go of in my eye, then I would have had something to say.
posted by boilermonster at 12:11 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

In college, I played Hey Babe and Become What You Are so often that the cassettes wore out. : )

My sister wrote her a fan letter around this time and Juliana sent her a sweet handwritten postcard back. She still has it hanging up in her old bedroom at my parents' house.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:18 AM on June 23, 2015

Juliana Hatfield Three performing "My Sister" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien

(shared mostly because Conan does a little head dance thing that reminds me of when Bart Simpson got famous and was a guest of Conan's and Conan also danced.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:45 AM on June 23, 2015

I mostly wanted to post this because 1) it's cute-funny how there was this real life sister figure that she really idolized (and she wasn't shy about it), which is something I can totally identify with, and 2) as someone who is a bit too young to have listened to her in my teens, even now in my mid-20s the music is really striking in how straightfoward and honest it is about awkward emotions. A lot of popular lyricists write around these kinds of emotions, but she is totally earnest about being e.g. shy yet genuinely in love with rock music, not being coy like a pop star, just being serious.

It's kind of anathema but I never really identified with the riot grrl music or aesthetic-- it's cool and I can see how it empowers people, but to me it lacks the flavor of artistry that draws me to music in the first place. I'm not about music-as-subculture as much, and this music is more powerful to me in how unabashedly female it is while still being good and having an edge. You can tell she really cares about the music, like, a LOT (see: "Nirvana"). I like the honesty and irony that never really cancel each other out.
posted by easter queen at 8:32 AM on June 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

« Older 1 in 25 female inmates is pregnant when the...   |   this is literally the most srs bsns question ever. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments