April 16, 2021

Peter Stone Brown Archives

Archives of musician and writer

PJ Harvey – Rid of Me

The Welcomat, June 23, 1993

I was trying to dislodge this giant chunk of ice from the top of the freezer of this ancient Frigidaire that’s on the top floor of my house. It was 95 degrees, I was eating an Oreo or two and listening for at least the tenth time to the latest PJ Harvey album Rid Of Me (Island) trying to figure out what the rock critics are raving about.

I kinda liked the first PJ Harvey album, but this one, well, it’s not a bad soundtrack for dislodging ice. The singing’s real emotional and all, the strings are pretty avant-garde on “Mansize Sextet,” and the guitars you wouldn’t want to hear if you had a migraine.

She does a fairly insane but totally humorless version of “Highway 61 Revisited,” but doesn’t exactly invite you to take the time to find out what the other songs are about, which makes me think this is really performance art disguised as rock.

What I couldn’t help thinking — before I decided to let the ice (like PJ) do its thing — is that the Frigidaire was there before performance art and PJ Harvey and unless some renovating type moves in here after I move out and decides to junk the thing, it will be here a long time after.

PJ Harvey with Gallon Drunk and Tsunami: Thurs., June 24th at 8 p.m. at T.L.A., 334 South St., $14.50, 922-1011