Pop Master

Outside looking in
Author in Focus
Garbage Dissect Our Modern Age

Break on through
The elusive Murakami

The Postmodern in Murakamis Novels
Terrorism before WTC
Japanese writer probes souls dark kingdom
Big in Japan
The healer
Murakami shares his thougts with students
A Japanese Novelist in Search of Lost Ideals
Inner space
Haruki Murakami does Seattle
Overview of the hard-boiled fiction of hm
The other Speech
dancing as fast as he can
Tokyo Prose
A Voice from Postmodern Japan
The American Scene
Hi Mr Haruki Murakami
The Return from the Lost world
Presents from the dead

Michael Goldberg
Garbage Dissect Our Modern Age
  October 29, 2001

Tapping into the melancholy of Haruki Murakami's existential anti-heroes
In recent weeks, the writing of the brilliant Japanese author Haruki Murakami and the latest music from Garbage have intersected in my world. For Murakami, things aren't what they seem. A seemingly solid relationship is actually about to combust; an old dry well is a passageway to a world of the psyche; our souls can meet, on occasion, when we dream. For Garbage, pop, rock and electronic sounds, sounds that can seem to simply rock or make us dance, are paired with dark, disturbing lyrics that at times portray hopelessness.

While dropping by the New York offices of my friend's management company earlier this year, I got to hear a few tracks off Garbage's latest album, their third, beautifulgarbage. Before playing "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)," I was told (warned?) that this album's sound was a bit different from that of Garbage's previous releases.
This was a more mainstream album, I was led to believe; Garbage were leaving behind the "Modern Rock" world they grew up in and heading... where? The middle of the road?

Listening in the office that day to "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)" and the ballad "Cup of Coffee," I worried that the album was going to be a big disappointment. After all, it was the offbeat pop sounds producer/musician Butch Vig and his musical collaborators Duke Erickson and Steve Marker created that set up Shirley Manson's lyrics and vocals. Tone down the sound of Garbage, and what would you have? Could Manson maintain the edge?
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