New releases in New Zealand, 12 March 1989
Melissa Etheridge – Like The Way I Do
I had forgotten about Melissa Etheridge. I am deeply ambivalent about Country or Country adjacent music. She’s flirting with it. On the other hand, Like The Way I Do is a very good song and she sings the crap out of it. I like her voice. And her intent. She sounds like she gives a shit. In fact a lot of the lyrics on that first album reminded me of the kind of jealous bitterness that Alanis Morrisette channeled later on. Also, she plays guitar and stuff. I feel like this kind of musician has disappeared from the charts at the moment. I realise Country-adjacent lesbian guitar-based singer-songwriter is a narrow category but, whatever.
A Melissa / Man of Errors comparison (1988). I think that she has had quite a lot of professional attention paid to her hair and even though this is my fifteenth birthday I feel confident I have made absolutely no effort with my hair. Now that I think about it my hairdresser once gave me a special comb for my mop but I never used it. I may have made the effort to go to an actual hairdresser but I would definitely not have been interested in long term maintenance strategies. Later in life Melissa has gone for a lot less volume with her hair and mine has fallen out.
I wore this shirt a lot in 1988 and 1989. It was my go to “I-am-dressing-up-for-a-special-occasion” shirt. Always untucked. Alway, it seems, with my white basketball boots and stonewashed black jeans.
The picture on the left was taken after I went to the Nureyev concert with my mother, and the picture on the right is with my Gran at the back of her house in Mosgiel.
I was very fond of those white basketball boots. They were very white and very padded. Later I would develop a taste for leather cowboy boots. I find it hard to write that sentence now because it sounds so ridiculous. It was ridiculous; let’s be honest. Also, totally impractical. Cowboy boots are expensive, hard to get under jeans when the trend is skinny leg, and the soles wear out super fast. I feel like I had an obsession with wearing things that were originally intended for another purpose. I coveted and then owned basketball boots. I have never in my life played basketball. I feel it goes without saying that I have never been a cowboy but it’s worth saying just to see it on the page: I have never been a cowboy. Later I would get a pirate shirt (never been a pirate), gypsy waistcoat (never been a gypsy) and a biker jacket (you get the idea).
Mind you, now I look like a National voter in finance.
It’s quite a look overall that basketball boots, jeans, dress shirt, and bushy hair. I’m not sure why I thought I looked smart in this gear. I went to see Nureyev dressed like this. Seeing Nureyev was a big deal. I suppose I thought I dressed accordingly. I mean: I was wearing a shirt and my best jeans, what the hell else do you want? Maybe I even used the stupid comb the hairdresser gave me. Who knows. Like my hair the comb is long gone.
Into Temptation is one of my favourite Crowded House songs; especially the ending, “the guilty get no sleep…”, “…break this spell….”. Uneasy and beautiful.
- New Order – Fine Time (5/10)
- Melissa Etheridge – Like the Way I Do (9/10)
- Simply Red – It’s Only Love (6/10)
- Crowded House – Into Temptation (8/10)
- Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (4/10)