Barbara Manning

One Perfect Green Blanket

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One Perfect Green Blanket represents an ideal introduction to the work of Barbara Manning, long one of the Bay Area's finest singer/songwriters. The set includes eight tracks, three of which were previously released on compilations and flexi-discs ("Smoking Her Wings," "Don't Rewind," and "Someone Wants You Dead"), plus an additional ten from Lately I Keep Scissors (1988). All of the songs were written or co-written by Manning with the exception of "Smoking Her Wings," a sublime, cello-laden version of New Zealand band the Bats' original (from The Law of Things). "Scissors," "Every Pretty Girl," and "Something You've Got (Isn't Good)" -- all from Lately I Keep Scissors -- are some of the finest, most infectious songs Manning has ever written. Another notable track, "Mark E. Smith & Brix," is an ode to the leader of the Fall and his ex-wife/sometimes collaborator. It's performed in the distinctively minimalist style of the Young Marble Giants. The title reflects Manning's love of baseball. One Perfect Green Blanket -- as depicted on the cover -- is a baseball diamond, and the recording includes a broadcast sample from the San Francisco Giants' Western Division win. Manning would explore this enthusiasm further as a member of the S.F. Seals on the 1993 EP The Baseball Trilogy. Other interesting samples include the cawing of crows throughout the rollicking "Strawman" and the sound of scissors opening and closing (in time to the beat) on the bittersweet "Scissors."

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