Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Hear This 

Wednesday, Aug 20 1997
Comments
Beth Orton
Perhaps a few words from the liner notes to Beth Orton's beautiful Trailer Park contain the key to understanding the British folkie's work: "One more thing ...," the singer/guitarist writes. "Gender is just an excuse, relationships shouldn't be an excuse, love is often an excuse, although sometimes these excuses are all we have to hold onto." Trailer Park, released last year in Europe and a few months ago in the States, is likewise full of proclamations, tentative observations, and implied sadness. The music of Orton's debut is wonderfully all over the place track by track, but the consistency of her warm, resonant vocals prevents the record from feeling scattered. Like the early 1970s Joni Mitchell, who infused Blue with echoes of the rock sound of that period, Orton, who started out singing tracks for the Chemical Brothers and ambient artist William Orbit, deftly plays with electronic sounds to give her album some contemporary currency. Although nothing on Trailer Park has the emotional complexity of Mitchell's "California," Orton's simpler love songs are touching nonetheless. And moreover, Orton actually swings on the popish "Live as You Dream" and "How Far," and occasionally comes up with an odd optimism. But that optimism confirms what Orton has been talking about all along, because if excuses are all we have to hold onto, well, then at least that's something.

-- Jeff Stark

Beth Orton plays Monday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom). PJ Olsson opens. Tickets are $7-9; call 522-0333.

About The Author

Jeff Stark

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"