Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Garbage - Beautiful Garbage


I'm not playing Garbage enough.  This was made abundantly clear when I started playing this album and bounced around to it non-stop for ages.  Now I want more, more, more and I'll be rectifying that ASAP.

What's not to love?  Breathtaking production from drummer Butch Vig (of impeccable lineage) and those scorching sounds from Shirley Manson, this and the other albums are a great asset to any music-lover's collection.

I've seen them, um, three times?  The first as a support(!) to Alanis Morissette.  I was working with a couple of young dudes in a small office at the time, and they said they were going, so I asked if I could tag along with them.  They bought the tickets, I supplied the cash.  Young dudes, remember?  So when we get to the gig, I'm dismayed to find we are not on the floor part of the venue to jump up and down, no, we are in seats, nosebleed high above the stage, with other people sitting behind us who complained when I wanted to bop about a bit. Sigh.  And then there was Alanis.  Reader, I left only two songs into the whiny Canadian's set, thankful I wouldn't be streaming out of the arena with the rest of the plebs.

I've also seen them at a festival where I didn't get close enough to the front, but then later at a solo show where I was right THERE, close enough to get a great eyeful of Shirley.  That woman can move and sing at the same time like just about nobody else I've seen.  Oh wait, I'm not including Iggy Pop, but then I have suspicions he's an alien.  And in a weird kind of segue, I need to watch the Terminator TV series where she plays a Terminator android.

There are rumours they'll do another album and tour it... Butch, the world is waiting! 

PS I have When I Grow Up as my ringtone....



As Mine said, what's not to like about Garbage.  Mine didn't introduce me to this band but she certainly increased my appreciation of them.  Their songs are superbly crafted pop heavily disguised as big, brash rock songs and the production is so damned polished, you'd swear you're listening to Britney or Christina or one of those pop divas.  The musicianship, the arrangements and sounds exude confidence and quality.  And then there's Shirley; the bad, bodacious babe who is everything those little try hard divas wanna be.  Her voice moves effortlessly between prissy princess and rock bitch.  Oh, and she looks so good she would make a marshmallow hard. 

This album, like all Garbage albums, has a few power ballads but is mostly comprised of up-tempo tracks perfect for turning up loud and disturbing the neighbours.  I've only seen them live once, at a festival, but clearly remember the massive crowd eating up everything the band threw at them.  I also remember the crowd bouncing up and down like a single organism.  There's not too many bands who can do this to a festival audience. 

Favourite tracks on Beautiful Garbage are probably the obvious ones.  I love the electrobeat start to Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go) and the intro to Androgyny is simply awesome.  The soft/loud template has never sounded better or more polished.  And the barking guitar sound and scratches on Untouchable is something else.  I don't know whether it's their best album but if this one's any indication, I'll be listening to the others soon.


For more information: http://www.garbage.com/

In our collection, we also have Garbage, Version 2.0 and Bleed Like Me


  1. Now you're talking! One of my favourite bands whose configuration fits firmly into the 'we're a load of old blokes - let's put a woman up front' category. Shirley is one of the best looking and best sounding singers ever. Her pitch control in a live environment is quite staggering.

    Personally, I'd go for one of the first two albums but frankly any of them would do. Co-incidentally, my own personal 'song for me' is Only Happy When it Rains - see http://mwarminger.blogspot.com/2009/11/song-for-me.html

    Great choice.

  2. Yeah, I think I'm more fond of Version 2.0 personally - but I stand in awe of Shirley.

    Given we live in one of the sunniest countries in the world - I don't think YourZ or Mine(self) would be Only Happy When It Rains. We like ourselves a Sunburnt Country. On Australia Day!!! But me personal "song for me" is my ringtone - I'm always wondering what I'll do When I Grow Up....