A Native Trifecta!

We here at Native Central are quite excited about an announcement we’ll be making later this month – we won’t spoil it with any clues or hints as to the whys and wherefores at this time, but if you are a Native fan — be excited. Be very excited!

The immediate upshot of the portentous occasion, though, is that the current weekly blog, examining the newly-remastered tracks from our self-titled first album, must be compressed like an accordion. Instead of the usual format we have followed, focusing on one track for each post, we’ll trot through a few of them in one happy bunch!

Previously, we examined Carried Away, and Go — tracks one and two respectively.

Now, we’re ready to tackle track three — this sprightly little number was completely written by John Epstein and it showcases his versatility.

It also departed greatly from Native’s M.O. in the way we developed our songs. Normally, we’d collaborate as a band with the main songwriter, oftentimes coming up with new material, such as lyrics, bridges, musical themes, etc. But, in this singular instance that process was bypassed, as the song was deemed studio-ready after minimal rehearsal, although John’s lyrics underwent a complete rewrite when, upon reflection, they were found to be a bit too dark.

Nice song. Not much else to say about it, since it was rarely performed by us (for reasons lost in the hoary mists of unreliable memory).

On to track four – a real beauty, and one of Mat Hutt‘s all-time best renditions. A true hippie anthem, with its heart on its sleeve and irony-free. It’s a song we would return to for solace during the dark eras that lay ahead. Like Tolkien’s ring — it would bind us, and remind us of our brotherhood and the bond we shared.

Finally, track five is one of my top personal favorites. We knew nothing of bipolar (or any other mental conditions other than being stoned, or not stoned). I guess we were channeling when we wrote it, and who would have thought this short, quirky ditty would blossom into a long, fiery Mike Jaimes-led exploration at our gigs?

I also really like the production on this one. It’s really one of Lou Giminez‘ best efforts as our producer. The reverse-reverb was a nice touch!

And with that we have nearly reached the end of side one, if we were listening to the cassette version. The final song on that side deserves it’s own story, which we’ll endeavor to tell over a heaping pile of cornbread next Wednesday.

Until then, here’s a trio of table-grade Native goodness, a winning trifecta if ever there was one!



Taking Out The Trash

Leave it to Mat Hutt to pen an ode to housework, albeit it’s been said the song also works as a metaphor on the subject of ridding oneself of unnecessary, destructive, hurtful alliances.

Recorded as part of Native‘s winter songwriting sessions in early 1995, today’s featured song became a staple of our set lists for a year or two and then disappeared, perhaps in part due to a misperception that it was about judging people negatively — the metaphor was taken too far!!! And being negative about things that are negative, can lead one down a virtual rabbit-hole of unabashed negativity. Perish the thought!

But, since it’s been taken too far, let’s explore this particular metaphor further, shall we? Grab a flashlight! Into the rabbit-hole!!!!

Let’s have a show of hands. Who amongst us does not have an acquaintance that drags down the quality of their life?

Ah, no hands raised. No surprises there, really.

We tend to let these relationships go, being nice people that we are, but they rarely turn into shining beacons of positivity do they?

No, sourpuss people tend to remain sourpusses and we don’t need them at all, nor do they serve much purpose except perhaps as examples on how not to live. And yet, we allow them to fester in the hope that we are not being diabolically judgmental.

Horses for courses, we say with an air of pompous humility.

Equally though, we all have the capacity to be that person. I know I have skirted the periphery of being a useless, needy Wormtongue of a friend on past occasions. I’ll leave out the fact that I have changed, because that would undermine my pompous humility.

But, this song is not about me, anyway! No, no, no! Perish the thought! Nor, is it about anyone else specifically — Mat was not big on metaphors, you see.

Very literal, that chap.

So, when I listen to this one — I just like to simply dwell on housework — cleaning carpets, dusting the dishware, shaving the cat, and how nice it would be if some needy, moany person would pop around and take over, instead of me having to soil my hands with it.

So, the moral of today’s lesson is — negative people have their place, and at times are quite useful, but this song is not about them.


Cornbread Wednesday