Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mysteries of Life "Going Through the Motions" promo 7" (1995, RCA) )

Upon looking up Sardina the other night on the Indiana Music Archive, I was reminded of another band with ties to the Hoosier State, The Mysteries of Life.  Anyone with a keen awareness of them is more likely to conjure up a connection to a seemingly more logical locale, Massachusetts, given that's where drummer/mouthpiece Freda (Boner) Love made a name for herself alongside Juliana Hatfield and John Strohm in the Blake Babies.  Freda and John were actually indiginous to Indiana, and after the Babies fractured in the early '90s, the pair moved back to their homestate and regrouped as Antenna.  Long story short, Freda eventually married Antenna bassist Jake Smith, and so the seeds of MoL were sewn.  Here's a neat and tidy bio blurb presented verbatim:

Led by the husband-and-wife team of singer/guitarist Jake Smith and drummer Freda Love (both formerly of Antenna), the Bloomington, Indiana-based alternative pop band the Mysteries of Life also comprised keyboardist Dale Lawrence, celloist Geraldine Haas, bassist Kenny Childers and drummer LonPaul Ellrich. After debuting with the single "Kira," the group signed to RCA to issue their 1996 LP Keep a Secret; following a pair of indie label EPs, Focus on the Background and Anonymous Tip, the Mysteries of Life resurfaced with the full-length Come Clean in 1998. They later released the superb "Distant Relative" on in-house record label No Nostalgia in 2001. Released "Beginning To Move" in 2006 on Affirmitive/MFT. Currently Jake and Freda live in Nottingham England and continue to play and record. A new album of recordings is expected in 2008.

My familiarity with the band is largely limited to their respectable 1996 bow Keep a Secret.  A friend recently lent me a  pre-album promo 7" containing "Going Through the Motions" (which later appeared on the LP) backed with two exclusive tracks, "Catch My Fall" and "The Only Stars," the latter possibly being a cover as the songwriting credits don't coincide with anyone in the MoL roster.   The single sounds particularly crackly, but I did my best to edit out the more egregious pops and snaps.  "Going Through..." was actually taken from the CD to save me some trouble.  I'm also tacking on their cover of the Volcano Suns chestnut, "White Elephant." Much more Mysteries audio, including live performances can be taken from their IMA page

A. Going Through the Motions
B1. Catch My Fall
B2. The Only Stars
plus: White Elephant


c said...

Thanks for this, and the Blake Babies show in FLAC, and also for reminding me of Sardina -- I always wanted to listen to them! I don't know a whole lot about MOL, but I'm a longtime fan of Juliana Hatfield. A while back, Some Girls (comprised of Juliana, Freda Love, and Heidi Gluck) would do a cover of MOL's "Native Tongue" that I always thought was particularly great, and Juliana would sometimes do a quite beautiful cover of "He's On Drugs Again," which is a Sardina song. I'm assuming LonPaul Ellrich died of drug related cause? I remember the last time I heard Juliana play it... she made a comment about Ellrich (I wish I could recall what she said exactly), and then performed a shorter than usual, very half-hearted version of the song before leaving the stage. It was as though she could only put as much effort into it as he did into life.

spavid said...

Holy cow, I can totally picture Juliana covering "He's on Drugs." Thanks for sharing that C. I have no idea as to the circumstances of Ellrich's death. Heard about it for the first time this week. Very sad.

c said...

I believe this may even be the last time I heard her play it It sounds good, and you'll probably wonder what the hell I'm talking about... but, to me, it was definitely less epic.
Here's a version w/ Some Girls as well

Scott Wy said...

rapidshare is saying that this download is illegal. can you re post? thx.

GardenBoy said...

We were big MoL fans, which started with a NPR piece on them featuring "Kira's Coming Over." We were fortunate to seem them live a few times, in Chicago and Lafayette. Lots of MoL tunes are still in my playlists. The closest recent thing to a MoL show was a Vulgar Boatmen gig in Chicago a few years ago - outstanding!

Casey said...

Could you re-up this? I would like to hear the Kendra Smith cover again.

Koyott said...

reup please this one. Thanks!!