1998, Music

Scraps at Midnight (1998) by Mark Lanegan

I got really annoyed with Lanegan’s Blues Funeral (which came out a while ago now) because of its title. I got annoyed because the title referenced the blues and the record didn’t much, as if I had some kind of deeper knowledge of the blues than Lanegan does. But I read a quote from him during the promotion for Scraps at Midnight that makes me think I should go back and listen to that record. Lanegan said his intention is to bring the vibe, feeling and subject matter of the blues into a newer musical context – I’m really paraphrasing here – and when I read that I realized why he would title a record Blues Funeral without playing 12 bar blues.

Maybe this isn’t the only lens I should view this record from, but I can’t help but think about all of this when I listen to this record, and really anything he’s put out during his solo career.  I don’t know why this lens has suddenly made Lanegan’s music more appealing to me, but it has. I appreciate the intellectual mission and for some reason songs make more sense to me than they used to.

I still don’t always love his songs, sometimes his lyrics are too sparse for me, or they don’t work for me. But I like the aesthetic perhaps even more than I used to. And as sets of songs of his go, this is pretty good.

7/10

  1. “Hospital Roll Call” (Mark Lanegan) – 2:58
  2. “Hotel” (Lanegan) – 3:10
  3. “Stay” (Lanegan, Mike Johnson) – 3:29
  4. “Bell Black Ocean” (Lanegan, Johnson, Keni Richards) – 2:43
  5. “Last One in the World” (Lanegan, Johnson) – 4:24
  6. “Wheels” (Lanegan) – 4:35
  7. “Waiting on a Train” (Lanegan, Johnson) – 4:32
  8. “Day and Night” (Lanegan) – 3:16
  9. “Praying Ground” (Lanegan, Johnson) – 3:07
  10. “Because of This” (Lanegan, Johnson, Richards, Paul Solger Dana) – 8:19
  • Mark Lanegan – vocals, guitar, producer
  • Mike Johnson – guitar, producer
  • Dave Catching
  • Fred Drake
  • Keni Richards
  • Paul Solger Dana

Additional personnel

  • Liz Burns – voice (on 7)
  • Tad Doyle – drums (on 6)
  • J Mascis – piano (on 6)
  • Phil Sparks – upright bass (on 6, 8)
  • Mike Stinette – saxophone (on 6)
  • Terry Yohn – harmonica (on 8)

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