One of the most beloved rockers of the '90s, Juliana Hatfield, turns 44 today. Damn, girl -- you don't look a day over 26; for real. Her work with the Lemonheads, Blake Babies, the Juliana Hatfield 3, and on her own raised the bar for women in rock 'n' roll. She'd rock with the guys and the girls, and even if she sung better, played faster, and looked cuter than the rest of them, she always carried herself with subtle humble grace.
She's never stopped working. When MTV shut down its Buzz Bin in the late '90s, she kept making beautiful music. She's lived the majority of her professional career out of the spotlight, and that's a shame. We'd like to imagine that in an alternate universe, she is gracing the cover of every magazine. But we are happy that she exists in our universe -- and we hope she is having the happiest birthday.
This song was number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1993. In this performance from Conan, she's decked out in a white-on-white ill-fitting combo. She looks kind of like a red-haired Barbie doll dressed in Ken's clothes. The Juliana Hatfield 3 gives a hell of a performance; she exhibits way too much enthusiasm and passion for a lady lumped into the '90s slacker pile.
It is no coincidence that the best Lemonheads' album, It's a Shame About Ray, is also the only album Hatfield played on. Her bass playing and voice simultaneously anchored the music and rocketed Evan Dando's already glorious harmonies into the fourth dimension. Enjoy Dando and Hatfield reunited 19 years later at Maxwell's in Hoboken to perform this laid-back version of the manic rocker "Bit Part."
"Spin the Bottle"
This performance of the second Top 40 single from Become What You Are on the Daily Show With Jon Stewart really shows how much time has passed since 1994. Stewart looks like an extra on Friends, Linda Hamilton from T2 is hanging out on the couch, looking surprisingly womanly. The part that really stands out is Hatfield's odd count-off: "1... 2... 1,2,3,4... 5!"
"Everybody Loves Me but You"
This is the lead single/video from her first album, Hey Babe. This video has it all: coffeecake, creepy older man, countryside, and damaged-looking film. The song really has it all: a few chords, clever lyrics, and a sugary hook like no other.
"Say It Ain't So"
Her version of Weezer's classic just may be the definitive version. She outdoes Rivers Cuomo's despair, and this one lady rocks it just as hard as the four young men of Weezer once did.
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