“SONG FOR EWE”
with RACHEL HADEN of
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today is the turn of a founding member of the grunge era but reformed wonky pop punkers that dog. (lower case, higher volume full stop). She comes from a rich musical heritage, her grandparents were regular radio stars of the 40s and 50s and her father a legendary jazz player. She has toured the world with artists ranging from Jimmy Eat World to Todd Rundgren.
She has also contributed to records by Weezer and Beck, but not content with that she also formed (and also recently-ish reformed) The Rentals with Matt Sharp in 1995 and plays with sisters Petra & Tanya as The Haden Triplets, whose self titled album was produced by Ry Cooder and released on Jack White’s Third Man Records in 2014. She is a musician of esteemed heritage and upmost talent, and with that dog. is working on a brand new record but gave a grateful Velvet Sheep her time to choose an inspired song for ewe. Ladies & jellyspoons give a warm round of applause to Rachel Haden!
I first got into that dog. when I heard them on a record I reviewed for the original xeroxed 90s incarnation of Velvet Sheep fanzine. It was a compilation for an LA club called Jabberjaw on Mammoth Records plugged by now friend and Lee Hazlewood biographer Wyndham Wallace. Full of some brilliant noise rock by the likes of Girls Vs Boys, Unwound, Helmet, Chokebore and loads of the old AmRep bands, there was also some hopeful, romantic left field pop from the likes of Further, Teenage Fanclub and that dog. The only negative was the paucity of women on the record despite some strong bands around at the time, Hole being the only other on the comp. It did make that dog. stand out though and I remembered them enough to delve further. A bit Pixies, a bit Drop Nineteens and like a much more seasoned Veruca Salt, that dog. rocked with stories of loves unrequited, reciprocated and lost forever in a way that only Superchunk at the time were able to match.
And much as Velvet Sheep fanzine (and my then Gravesend address at the time) had been read out by John Peel several times in one show…
…so that dog. also featured on the legendary broadcaster’s show with a session during their early 90s peak, here below…
that dog. were reunited in 2011 and appeared to be writing again, and as I’d discovered I had mutual friends on FB I thought I’d get in touch. It turns out that Rachel is super warm and charming, and unsurprisingly she has a real thirst for great music. Unsurprising because her grandparents had been recording artists known as The Haden Family group and her dad Charlie Haden was a jazz bassist and band leader of some repute known for a long association with Ornette Coleman (someone who I can’t get enough of lately having used iTunes vouchers given to me at xmas to download “The Shape Of Jazz To Come”).
It turns out that Rachel’s been busy lately. Re-forming The Rentals in 2007 for an EP and tour, she sang with her sisters as The Haden Triplets on Third Man, but also last year put out a debut solo EP called “The Luci Parade” produced by His Name Is Alive’s Warren Defever, plus a limited 7″ called “The Devil’s In Me” on Greenway Records.
And if you follow her on social media (@RachelHadenMuse) you will have seen that a new that dog. album, their fourth is on the cards…I asked her for a quick update…