Jun 032011

Will Your Mystery Date Be a Dream or a Dud?

So our ’90s-era Mystery Date was California-born and -based singer-guitarist Barbara Manning, who’s released records as a solo artist and a member of various bands, including SF Seals (ie, the “local baseball team” ladymisskirroyale referred to) and the World of Pooh. These songs are from a collaboration called Barbara Manning Sings With the Original Artists she did Stuart Moxham of Young Marble Giants (who accompanies her on the first track, “When I Dream”) and Jon Langford of The Mekons (on the second Mystery Date track, “Gold Brick”), among others. You probably know the varying sounds of The Mekons. Young Marble Giants is one of those bands that you may have heard of but never actually heard. Here’s a Young Marble Giants track that showcases Moxham’s guitar style:

The Barbara Manning music by her I am most familiar with is rooted in a much easier-to-swallow (for me and I would guess members of the Bad Attitude Club) ’60s psych sound. In fact, the first time I ever heard her it was her and SF Seals, I believe, doing a cover of The Pretty Things‘ “SF Sorrow Is Born.” Come on, Bad Attitude Club, give this more representative 1991 track a try!


  5 Responses to “Mystery Date Revealed: A ’90s Artist and Her Collaborators”

  1. Barabara Manning was also in one of my fave 80’s bands 28th Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT-HYqLW6zc

    She’ll be performing a rare east coast solo show June 29 at the M-Room in Philly.

  2. BigSteve

    Ok now I get it. I loved YMG. I love the Mekons too, but I guess I never thought of Langford as having a distinctive style.

  3. pudman13

    Wow. I’ve owned several Barbara Manning albums. I really should have figured this one out: she’s a pretty distinctive vocalist. I’ll be honest; she’s someone I always hoped I would like but never really did too much, though occasionally (more one song at a time than over a whole album) I’d enjoy something by her. “Scissors” is a cool and creative song, to name one.

  4. misterioso

    Definitely one of the top female-fronted early 90s acts that I’ve heard today.

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    I have to admit that “Barbara Manning Sings With the Original Artists” is my favorite of her albums. She has done some nice covers of other peoples’ work. She also sang a track for the Stephen Merrrit side project, The Sixths, called “San Diego Zoo.” Apparently she currently hosts a radio show out of Chico.

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