10 000 Maniacs Play “These Are Days”

Here’s a clip featuring college rock jangle-merchants 10,000 Maniacs. It’s “These Are Days”, a defiantly anthemic, dancing-on-a-gargoyle optimistic tune, the studio version of which to be found on the band’s 1992 disc Our Time in Eden,. That record would be the last one of which to feature founding singer, now solo-artist, Natalie Merchant.

Another version of the song would appear on their  MTV Unplugged live album the following year just before Merchant struck out on her own.  As such, it’s really the perfect end-of-an-era tune for a band who began in 1981, fronted by a seventeen-year-old Merchant, who eventually became a full blown songwriter in her own right, and a very deft one even with this tune alone. She co-wrote this with guitarist Robert Buck, hitting #1 on Billboard’s “Modern Rock” chart.

The band became known for a jangly, Smiths-style guitar sound by the end of the ’80s, when they were beginning to get out of their college rock musical neighbourhood to explore the outer reaches of the mainstream. But, along the way they revealed their subtleties, too. Read more