Articles Tagged: The Miss Alans

Certain Songs #1180: The Miss Alans – “State of Grace (Fresno, 12-26-2010)”

Video, 2010

And so after Ledger, nothing.

Well, that’s not entirely true: there were the Super 5 Thor records, full of beauty and atmosphere, cool vocals and trippy guitar. But missing the crack rhythm section that put so many Miss Alans songs over. And after the turn of the century, those dried up, as well, as life took over.

So we all grew older and apart, as was to be expected, wrapped up in our individual lives and jobs and families, and the memories of our crazy past got blurrier and probably a little bit sweeter, and new people we met maybe didn’t quite understand some of the stories from our youth we told them, or if they were young, rolled their eyes, and that was the way it was supposed to be.

And then Facebook happened.

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Certain Songs #1178: The Miss Alans – “Sparkler Queen”

Album: Ledger
Year: 1996

So way back — last week? month? year? — when I was writing about “Crushed Impalas,” I mistakenly said that the song’s appearance in Hal Hartley’s Flirt was the only time the Miss Alans music had been used in a film.

That was an error, and as you can imagine, the discovery of that error caused huge a kerfluffle in the Home Office. The result of that kerfluffle was the entire fact-checking department being sacked after a scathing report from the Medialoper Ombudsman, Bud Mann.

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Certain Songs #1177: The Miss Alans – “Ride on Me”

Album: Ledger
Year: 1996

The breakup of the Miss Alans was like a bomb dropped in their midst, scattering the band to the four corners of the country: Scott to West Virginia, Jay to New York, Ron to the Central Coast and Manny to Los Angeles. Anywhere but a Fresno where they weren’t a band anymore.

I doubt that any of this was conscious: they saw opportunities and took them. It’s just that those opportunities were, you know, somewhere else. Which was how Manny found himself working at World Domination Recordings, the label founded by Dave Allen, former bass player for the legendary Gang of Four.

And so the story goes that Manny was listening to the tapes from their last sessions in the office and Dave Allen liked them so much he offered to put them out on his label, despite the fact that the Miss Alans had been broken up for over a year, and of course wouldn’t be touring the record to try to goose sales.

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Certain Songs #1176: The Miss Alans – “Big Sun”

Album: Ledger
Year: 1995

But here’s the thing: near the end of 1994, the Miss Alans had gone into the studio with Tracy Chisholm once again and recorded (at least) a baker’s dozen worth of songs, relatively quickly, as these songs were maybe their most straightforward batch ever.

Despite still being signed to Zoo Entertainment, they could all see the writing on the wall, and like nearly every other recording session in Miss Alans history — the exception being the post-signing session to capture “Victoria” and also produced “Supercharged” — the agenda, conception and execution of the recordings lay fully with the band and their producer.

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Certain Songs #1174: The Miss Alans – “Supercharged”

Album: Blusher
Year: 1994

The Miss Alans went out on tour around the time that Blusher was released in the spring of 1994, opening for a band called Medicine, a band once called by Pitchfork as America’s answer to My Bloody Valentine, whom I don’t recall as asking any questions of us beyond “are you ears bleeding yet?” And they already knew the answer to that one.

In any event, Medicine was working some of the same territory as The Miss Alans, but with way more noise and way less pop, and I recall thinking that they were OK when I drove up to San Francisco to catch the show at the end of the tour.

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