Any of you people know way too much about Michelle Shocked? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-08-2008, 06:21 AM
I recall her old acoustic ditty Anchorage and have the Short Sharp Shocked album it's on and always enjoyed it. But, I never bothered to keep up with her other releases. Recently though I stumbled across a 2 disc release of hers from 2002 I believe called Deep Natural / Dub Natural and was really intrigued. The first disc is a mix of murky blues and folk melodies with a bit of gospel, ambient and soul tossed in along with the proverbial kitchen sink; the second one is dub only in the broadest sense with little in the way of traditional dub rhythms but plenty in the way of dropping out the vocals and playing with the tapes. Whatever you wanna call it, it comes across as a fairly unique listen.

Anyway, this disc has me curious about what else she has put out there that I have missed. Anyone a fan and have any suggestions of other interesting releases from her?

07-08-2008, 09:01 AM
I have also enjoyed Short, Sharp, Shocked. Another great cd is Arkansas Traveler which is an eclectic mix of roots music, blugrass and some folk. Next is Captain Swing a jazzier album with some very clever writing by Michelle. Mercury Poise 1988-1995 is a collection of songs but it is worth it for the song Stillborn since most of the songs are on the recordings I have mentioned. I also have The Texas Campfire Tapes which is very simply recorded and an early work. Now that I am thinking about her I am trying to remember why I have not listened to this one in a long time. I guess it is what will be spinning next.

07-08-2008, 12:08 PM
...of her since she had her run back in the late 80s and early 90s. I have the aforementioned Short, Sharp, Shocked and Arkansas Traveler, but that's the end of it. I do know that Dub Natural was being sold by itself only at her live shows, but she later added it to the previously released Deep Natural (both in 2001) as a double, which you now have.

I think she made a big mistake with that MTV video "On the Greener Side" from that Captain Swing record. It just wasn't representative of her best work and was rather silly I think. I know a number of people were completely turned off by it, and they had no idea about her other music.


07-09-2008, 03:51 PM
Short, sharp, shocked...dig it?

I had that album, which was ok, but then she followed that with a Texas swing workout that was absolutely devoid of any irony, which is what you'd have been looking for when you knew it was Shocked doing it, but instead it was full-blown western swing revival album with horns and the works (at least the cover of this album isn't as misleading as her Short Sharp Shocked album, which suggested the punk revival of the late '80s, but the content is nothing of the sort). Funny, she never got any credit for ressurecting this style of music, when a real western swing revival was still a few of years away.

Captain Swing is an album you do later in a career when your relevence has waned, not right after your breakthrough album. No telling how many of her new folk revisionist fans jumped off the bandwagon and how many potential fans never jumped on, not to mention those thinking they'd found a less butch version of k.d. lang to which they could hook their retro-kitsch, western swing wagons. But you could never accuse Shocked of being conventional.

Some years later, I find Captain Swing to be a fun listen, and its a good sounding album to boot.

I have the Deep Natural CD, which seems to be an extention of that retro-country sound in places, and in other places it sounds like a paen to the jazzy R&B of the '60s (an album that in reality, should be creditied for bringing back this style of music, and not Amy Whinehouse). If you like the retro-country-kitcsh parts of Deep Natural, you may as well look for the swing album. I should revisit this album, as I haven't listened to it in a few years.