One of the first bands I followed with my then-frequent religious fervor when I moved to San Francisco in 1989 were WORLD OF POOH. Their bass & sometime guitar player BARBARA MANNING impressed me from the get-go with her lovely voice, totally off-beat, spiky sense of rhythm & song construction, and general falling-down, about to implode onstage persona (at least in that volatile band). I was an instant fan. I talked to her at one of their shows, probably late â€™89, and she told me about this album sheâ€™d released called â€œLately I Keep Scissorsâ€; of course I went out & bought it, and Iâ€™m pretty sure that since that time Iâ€™ve owned every single piece of vinyl and/or CD with her name on it.
One great place to gain an overview of her oeuvre is the â€œUnder One Roofâ€ 45s collection, thought Iâ€™ll warn you that there are some mid-90s duds present that donâ€™t really stand the test of time. One stunning track that does is one they inexplicably left off that collection. Itâ€™s called â€œ8sâ€, and it came out on a limited 45 on the Majora label in 1992. Majora was an excellent label run out of Seattle, responsible for the bulk of the SUN CITY GIRLSâ€™ 1990s stuff, along with great weirdo/noise/folk records from DADAMAH, EDDY DETROIT and LESLIE Q. The Manning single they put out was actually a team-up with SEYMOUR GLASS, the publisher of Bananafish magazine and a nominal noise musician in his own right, and also Manningâ€™s longtime college buddy (Chico State, baby!). The song is haunting, distant and perfect â€“ far better than the version that turned up the following year on an SF SEALS album. Iâ€™m still pretty bummed that Manning didnâ€™t get her shot to participate in the 1990s female singer/songwriter financial sweepstakes & find a wider audience, but also pleased as punch that one reason she didnâ€™t is she kept recording strange records with people like Seymour Glass, and always kept her songs one quirky step to the left of what was hitting big.
Download BARBARA MANNING & SEYMOUR GLASS â€“ â€œ8sâ€ (from 1992 Majora 45)