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Sarah McLachlan is a singer and songwriter from Canada's East Coast. She has released several albums, numerous live recordings and singles. She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada where Nettwerk Productions, her record label, is located.
Sarah was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 28 January 1968.
Sarah started singing at the age of four. The first musical instrument she learned to play was the ukelele as she was too small to play a full-sized guitar.
Yes. Sarah had extensive training in classical music at Halifax's Nova Scotia Royal Conservatory of Music, including classical guitar, piano and voice.
Yes. She spent one year at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
During a 26 May 1996 chat hosted by Sprint, Sarah said that Gustav Klimt and Egan Schiele are inspirations for her because of their beautiful decorative styles and lots of eye-candy to look at.
Joan Baez, Peter Gabriel, Simon and Garfunkel, Kate Bush, Cat Stevens & Joni Mitchell, among others.
Sarah's comments on this subject are few and far between. They tend toward "not really".
Sarah was seventeen when she was discovered by Nettwerk Productions at her first performance with her first band, a new wave group called October Game. She was offered a contract then and there, but her parents wouldn't let her sign and encouraged her to attend art school instead. Two years later Sarah was once again approached by Nettwerk and she signed with them on 2 October 1987.
From the December 1994 / January 1995 issue of Premier:
"Fateful" is how Sarah McLachlan describes the night of her first performance as a member of a high school rock band. On that night, she fell in love with the joy of making music for a happy, appreciative audience, and Mark Jowatt, soon to be head of Artists and Recruitment for Nettwerk Records, fell in love with young Sarah's voice. She declined his offer to travel to Vancouver to record a demo, deciding (at her mum's insistence) to complete high school and pursue her dreams of attending art school; but Sarah's unforgettable voice had made a lasting impression.
Two years later, Nettwerk offered Sarah a five-record contract...
She signed with Arista on 1 December 1988.
Yes. She married her long time drummer, Ashwin Sood, on 7 February 1997 on a beach in Jamaica. See http://members.xoom.com/sarahring/faq/wedding.html for some articles on the wedding. To find out more about Sarah's husband, have a look at : http://home.earthlink.net/~elsewhere28/ashsoodmain.htm.
Not really. Let's just leave it at that.
Yes. Her dog, Rex, a female black labrador Retriever, has been seen by many fans being walked by her husband, Ash, when Sarah is on tour.
Aparently Sarah used to own a dog named Holly and a cat named Lou.
Yes, and although she has spoken with her biological mother, Judy James, she remains closer to her adoptive parents, Jack and Dorice McLachlan.
No. When asked this question by Brantly Bardin in the January 1998 issue of Details magazine she was quite candid:
Details: Okay, so were you a lesbian?
Sarah: I wasn't really, but I've always been open to the falling in love with a woman. I've had crushes on them and I've kissed my fair share, lemme tell ya, but that's as far as I've gone.
And from an online chat hosted by Nettwerk in 1994:
I find people in general sexually attractive. But then, I find trees sexually attractive too.
From an online chat hosted by Sprint on 26 May 1996:
I don't follow any organized religion, but i do believe in the idea of God as a verb--being love and light. And that we are part of everything as everything is part of us.
from an AOL online chat:
Sarah: Easy one. First. I grew up near the ocean, and thus feel a great connection to it. Which segues into nature, which segues into God, who I don't believe is some dude up there in the sky watching over us, keeping a tally of all the good and the bad things that we do. I believe God, in whatever form you make of him/her/it is energy. It is in all of us, in all of nature, which we are all a part of, and which is a part of us. It is the force that connects us to ourselves and to nature.
From a 6 June 1997 USA Today interview:
The word god describes many things... we are part of God, plants are a part of God...we are equal.
Also, from the 14 August 1997 Montreal Gazette:
"I don't consider myself religious in any typical fashion. I'm not Catholic, I'm not Protestant. My notion of God is energy that we all possess. " A humanist? "First and foremost. "
Writer's Block Loaf- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 2 eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup mashed ripe banana 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup mini semisweet choc.chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Light ly grease one 9-inch or two 8-inch loaf pans. Using electric mixer, blend together sugar and butter. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream. Mix well. Add banana, blend well. Sift in dry ingredients, mix well. Fold in choc.chips. Be careful not to over-mix. Pour into pan(s) and bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan, then allow to cool completely before slicing or wrapping. This loaf is best when stored in refrigerator. Serves 6.
Thanks to Beth Steinberg for posting this recipe.
In 1999, Sarah, in collaboration with Jaime Laurita, the chef who prepared many meals for Sarah, her band and many of those traveling with the Lilith Fair, had a cookbook published containing a nice collection of recipes. The book is called Plenty.
Billy Joel, Glass Houses.
Vij's, an Indian restaurant in Vancouver.
From 20 Questions with Sarah McLachlan:
Oh, God, yes I do. What is it? I've forgotten my pet peeve! (To husband): Honey, what's my pet peeve? What p*ss*s me off? ("Bad drivers") No, that's your pet peeve. That's not mine. I can't drive. Not having a horn on my side is my pet peeve. Oh, God, I don't know: Stupid people. Ignorance.
From a 2 May 1994 interview with KWUR in St. Louis:
Sarah: it's basically, you get to look at buildings really quick in a taxicab going from one interview to another, and you see the street the venue's on and that's it.
sample: but you see people?
Sarah: yep, you see faces.
sample: then you move on.
Sarah: and you meet about a hundred people after the show where it's like, you basically shake a hundred people's hands and say hi to a hundred people, or two hundred or whatever it is, and, you know, there's no time for any intimacy...none...the only intimacy is shared during the show...it's completely and utterly draining...it's a hold thing that takes absolutely everything out of you so that you know...it's a real drag really, because the job, and the business end, and the dealing with all the people end is so all-consuming that by the time I'm at the end of the day I have absolutely nothing left for the people that I love, you know for my best friends and for the people who are on the road with me, which is kind of a drag...but hey, you don't want to hear that because that's not the glamorous side, and everybody only wants to hear the glamorous side so I'll shut up now and stop talking about that.
sample: but you like the glamorous side, don't you?
Sarah: i couldn't give a sh*t about the glamorous side.
sample: what do you think of being a pop star?
Sarah: i hate it. I don't want to be put up on a pedestal. I never asked for that, that's just part of the gig.
sample: what did you ask for, just to be a musician?
Sarah: mm-hmm. I mean, I didn't ask for anything when I was getting into it, I didn't know what it all involved. you know, I don't necessarily enjoy celebrity status, that kind of thing, because as far as I'm concerned I'm as worthy as you two, or anybody else on the street to be as...I believe people are really equal, and for me to be put up on a pedestal because I'm in the newspaper, or in magazines or on the television and people treat you differently, and I think that's kinda...t's just it's weird, I'm not, it's not something I've totally gotten a grip on. I've seen so many people on the media especially celebrities who'll say something, then if they change their minds the media will just slag them, because they expect them to be more than human, they expect them to be godlike and not make mistakes, and that's bullsh*t, I mean we're just people. but that's another thing that you guys don't want to hear about, because it's just me ranting and raving...
sample: but you can still be a musician, and the price you pay is you have to be put on a pedestal.
Sarah: yeah, that's my argument, why?why do people put musicians on pedestals...or actors or actresses, why do they get put up there. that's my frustration with society...but that runs very deep, so.
sample: that must have been really bizarre at first, to be treated absolutely differently than before.
Sarah: people I care about, people really close to me don't treat me any diffferently. if anything else they give me more trouble than, you know, if they even see a glimpse of my head getting big they'll whap me and say "hey hey, don't forget who you are," yeah, for the most part, yeah, I've surrounded myself with a lot of really good people, and it's hard sometimes, if you're not...I can't be strong all the time and being strong for me is having total control over my identity and who I am and where I'm going and when you have so many people every day telling you who you are and where you're going and what you should be doing, all that stuff sort of starts to wear down on your own identity, and if you're not really strong in that then you're just gonna go "wow oh wait a minute, what do I think in all this" and you start to lose that.that's probably my biggest fear of the celebrity kind of thing, of being a famous person, because I love my privacy, I love my control over myself which ebbs away the more people I deal with, within the industry.
By her own admission, no.
From 20 questions with Sarah McLachlan:
Getting up late, having a swim, walking the dog, having friends over, never getting out of my pyjamas.
In the Indianapolis Star:
[Sarah] favors candy bars from Nelson, a little town in British Columbia. "They have hazelnuts and almonds. It's dark, rich, bittersweet chocolate. It's absolutely amazing." And she also likes the chocolate bars at a place called Dean and Deluca in New York City.
Her cuticle scissors.
From 20 Questions with Sarah McLachlan:
Most of my habits are pretty boring and normal, like gardening and potting plants. (Sigh) That's not going to surprise anyone.
From 20 Questions with Sarah McLachlan:
My cargo pants. I live in them.
From 20 Questions with Sarah McLachlan:
Well, you don't really get a choice there, do you? I think I would be my dog, Rex. Boy, does she have a good life.
Yes. Sophie B. Hawkins.
"Carpe diem" (seize the day).
She's an academic, having a Master's degree in English literature.
Yes, a lot. It has been reported that she regularly wins belching contests with the people who tour with her.
Smelly Spice. She, by her own admission in the January 1998 issue of Details, farts a great deal.
In her own words:
I can't be with people who are drinking unless I'm drinking too. I hardly drink anyway.
Yes. She's nude and covered in mud in the video for Into The Fire. Occasionally, one will find that some pornographic sites claim to have nude pictures of Sarah (usually with her last name misspelled), but such pictures to date have been either non-existent (the site was using Sarah's name to attract visitors), rather obvious fakes, or still images from the afore mentioned video.
Squid6, in April of 1995 wrote:
Where to begin? Uwe Vandrei was (and is) the textbook obsessed fan. From 1992 to 1994, he sent Sarah hundreds of flowers and letters, containing remarkable poetry professing his love for her. He was a loner, who "had little faith in humanity". (What does that make Sarah? A Vorlon?) Well, Uwe's infamy began in the fall of 1994. He posted a message to [the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list], claiming that he was the one and only inspiration for the song Possession, which Sarah has repeatedly said is about an obsessed fan. In this message, Uwe gave very detailed and paranoid-sounding evidence that the song was about him. He stated that he was going to file a lawsuit against Sarah, for breach of confidence in writing a song about him. He did state, however, that the lawsuit need not go to court, that it could be settled in a one to one conversation with Sarah personally. Uwe Vandrei was found dead in late December of 1994, in his truck parked in the woods not far from his house: a suicide. He never posted again to the list, the lawsuit never went to court.... The ambiguity of Sarah's music, that unique quality that allows each of us to find our own meanings (or our own life stories) in her songs, unfortunately makes her a rather ripe target for obsessive fans. I speak from experience here; I was once a bit on the obsessed side myself. We find so much of ourselves in her music we think she must be more like us than she is; we fall in love with what we think is her, and pursue her, thinking that this construct in our minds would have to love us in return. I eventually figured out otherwise, but unfortunately Uwe Vandrei never did.
Many long-time fans feel that there is a quite noticeable change in Sarah's music, and not a change for the better, after the material which appeared first on the album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Hanson Ho answers the question as follows:
Don't you know?She's in India with the real Ash having her 3rd kid! After the Fumbling tour, Sarah got too tired and left civilization altogether. Netwerk then built a Sarah android and started pumping out good-but-not-Fumbling quality songs. Then, in a conversation with the real Sarah, Terry McBride got the idea of an all-women music festival, and began his plan to lift the fake Sarah into the stratasphere of pop stardomhood.
The REAL Sarah will have a couple more kids with Ash, and then come back in the year 2004 to play an intimate show in an yet-to-be-determined location in Vancouver.
If you want the official listing of Sarah's recordings, including full-length albums, singles, bootlegs and other related materials, you should write to Cathy Barrett and ask her for a copy of the Sarah McLachlan Discography. There are separately maintained discographies at the following locations:
Sarah's major albums include:
There was also a limited edition live EP released in 1992 in support of the Solace album, but as of 1997, all of the 25,000 copies had been sold, according to Nettwerk.
All of the above can be found on various releases put out by Nettwerk.
She has performed other songs live, too:
Lots and lots. In addition to numerous performances on the Lilith Fair with other artists, Sarah appears on many albums with other bands. Here is a partial listing:
Days In July
Foggy Dew is a Chieftains song. Sarah helped them with this song during their House of Blues performance in 1992. Ask around the 'net for a copy.
Many people have created derivative compositions based on Sarah's songs. These works are called remixes. They vary from being slightly different from the original song-perhaps containing slight changes in instrumentation-to being radically different in style-perhaps even being in an entirely different genre of music. The remixes are usually named for the artist or group who created them orafter some feature unique to the remix.
Use the form on http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/ or look for a link on http://www.ualberta.ca/~lg4/sarah/index2.html.
Nettwerk, Sarah's record label, sells a number of singles which have some harder to find songs on them. Besides them, you can keep your eyes open in your local used music stores. At times you will come across people in various Internet fora who are willing to sell or trade their rare Sarah recordings. As with anything on the Internet, exercise caution when actually sending money to someone whom you do not know. Additionally, you can sometimes find copies of old Sarah music at Internet-based auction sites. Be warned that such auctions often go to people who are willing to pay excessively high prices for recordings.
The television show Due South has featured a number of Sarah's songs during various episodes:
There is indeed a line in Sarah's song Ice Cream which is "your love is better than chocolate", and which inspired the title to that particular movie. While the song is heard in the movie, it is not on the soundtrack to the film.
The movie does have a web site, which you'll find at: http://www.betterthanchocolate.com/
In a 16 September 1994 interview in The Washington Post, Sarah was quoted as saying:
I used to struggle with misrepresentation [of my songs] and think that people don't understand where my songs are coming from....Now I think it's great if you have a different twist on it because it means you've taken it into your own life and made it important. It may not be where the song is coming from for me, but that's not the point anymore.
In a World Cafe Radio interview in March 1994, Sarah said of her writing style:
Well, I write that way for a reason, too, because I want people to relate it to their own lives, and as much as I do write from a very personal and emotional point of view, I also need to save a bit of it for myself, for my privacy. I can only give out so much, thus the ambiguity.
Sarah said, in an article in the Indianapolis Star :
People seem to get their own ideas about the songs--and strong ideas, which I really enjoy. It is fairly abstract in a lot of ways....It's not my way of trying to be clever; it's just the way the song comes out.
If I like it and it feels good that way, I leave it, which puts everybody in a tizzy, because they go, `What do you mean?' And I say, `I don't know. Whatever you think I mean. '
On the Mirrorball video, Sarah says:
Oh, so, moving on. Moving on to love. It's something that I'm very obsessed with...I think about it all the time...I write about it a lot...I've certainly searched for it all my life, and I've found it, it's a wonderful thing. (looks at Ash and giggles) But this song is about the fear of love, the fear of committment, but at the same time not wanting to look back on your life with a lot of regrets and think `wow, I really screwed things up'. Live now...
On the Mirrorball video, Sarah says:
Well, this next one is about another kind of love. We can call it puppy love or obsession. But the only unfortunate thing is that it's quite one sided. The other person doesn't have a clue you exist, so it can get quite frustrating. (Girl in audience yells "I love you!") Oh, thank you (giggles)! So you know, you stand in front of the mirror and you work up all these elegant and poetic things you're going to say when you finally `bump' into them...and then, all of a sudden, there they are, right in front of you, and you can't say a thing. (audience laughs) And then the light changes and they're gone (more audiance laughter). And you never got to say what you so badly wanted to say.
On the Mirrorball video, Sarah says:
Well, so, like I said, you get pretty frustrated when nothing happens for so long--you start to create little fantasies to keep yourself entertained in the down times. (lots of audience laughs)...Oh, I can see ya'll have been there before...I bet you're thinking of a few right now! (laughs) I've been there too! The only dangerous thing is when, uh, those fantasies really take over. And because they're so much more entertaining than reality, you kinda get lost in them...that's when things get dangerous. So that's what this one's about.
In a 30 March 1989 interview with KCRW Santa Monica, Sarah said:
When I was in Halifax, for the last year that I was there, I met this boy named Ben. He was 10 years old. I met him right before Christmas time. And he had a stroke and half his side was paralyzed. And no one could figure out why he had had this stroke. He did a whole bunch of tests and no one really knew what was wrong with him. And he slowly regressed. I can't say I babysat him because he wasn't a baby. I stayed with him everyday because he needed someone to take care of him. I stayed with him and got very close to him and he got worse and worse. About three months later, they did another CAT scan on him and they found a big brain tumor and that was the cause of the whole thing in the beginning even though they hadn't found anything in the first place. So I stayed with him up to when I got a record contract and I moved out to Vancouver in September of '87. And I saw him. he had moved to Toronto by that time and was in the Mayo Clinic for cancer and I went to visit him there for his birthday before I moved out to Vancouver. And then I came back and was going to Halifax for Christmas and I went to spend a day in Toronto to see him and I got there at 7 in the morning and I called his father and he had died the week before. So it was kind of sad. And I wrote the lyrics the same night that he died. Yeah, and I didn't even know about it. It was really sad. He was just a wonderful kid, really smart. It was a big shame.
At the Kiss 108 benefit concert in boston in 1998, Sarah said:
Well, this next song is sort of a sisterhood song...It's all about the beautiful love and friendship between women...A beautiful thing... something to be cherished...and held onto...
In a World Cafe Radio interview in March 1994, Sarah said:
Good Enough is one of those songs that came out in almost a day, and I don't really know where it came from. I know now, but when it happened, it just sort of came out. It was a song about my mother, in one sense. It was also inspired by another singer/songwriter in Canada called Jane Siberry. She is going around, doing these "this is not a concert" concert kind of thing, where she shows her videos and she does spoken story and stuff. One of her stories was aimed at her mother and their relationship.
I don't know quite what grasp I had on it, except that it affected me tremendously, of the relationship that she had with her mother and the women of my mother's and her mother's generation who were so completely out of touch with their bodies and who did not really have any friends to talk to about anything. I have amazing female friends and this is another thing about where the song came from. I can say anything to them and I trust them to be able to say these things to and to talk about it and work things out. My mother's generation is of, "Oh, let's just not talk about it. " So I wrote that song for her, on the perspective of, "I'm not just the daughter anymore. I want to be your friend now. "
On the FTE Live video, Sarah introduced Good Enough by saying:
but this song is for my mother... and all the women who have sent out their voices... without receiving an answer.
(Note that the video shows Sarah speaking this in French and so the above is a translation of Sarah's remarks. )
From the December 1993 issue of Impact magazine:
"Pierre wrote most of that song,"Sarah explains. "He was going through a really intense, traumatic, emotional upheaval of wanting to be in love with somebody but just fearing it so much. It was really intense. I was falling in love with somebody else, but it was at a time in my life when I felt really strong--I'd been myself for a while. And I kind of liked where I was and didn't know if I wanted to get involved because whenever I've liked someone before, it's always been a kind of downward thing. But this one is good. It's where [the song] Ice Cream came from, too:If we f*ck this up, there's so much at stake. "
From the December 1993 issue of Impact magazine:
Wait is another song describing love's contradictions: "There is a love that's inherently given/The kind of love offered to deceive. "
"It's about how love is set up to be this high-falutin' unconditional love, and that just doesn't really exist," Sarah says. "But it's offered up as this ideal that you can have. There's no perfect love. You can get damn close, but there's going to be something..."
In a World Cafe Radio interview in March 1994, Sarah had the following to say:
It's sort of about loss of innocence and the feeling that for every generation, with every generation, there is a group of individuals who will go outside of the norm and outside of society. We'll be the outcasts, and we'll try to make a difference. But it seems, eventually, they all get sucked back in, or they lose their minds completely, so it was kind of a sad thing for me. But I still have that idealism.
From an online chat hosted by AOL on 25 June 1997:
The fear of commitment inspired the song.
Sarah, in the Indianapolis Star, said:
"I was comparing it to the best, of course," McLachlan says with a chuckle. "Dark Belgian chocolates."
"I was making comparisons to something that's incredibly fantastic," McLachlan says. "Chocolate was up there. Ice Cream is more the idea of ice cubes from (the movie) 9 1/2 Weeks. But `ice cube' doesn't sound as nice as `ice cream', so I took a little poetic license."
From the August 1997 issue of CMJ:
"I hate to pinpoint it like that," Sarah McLachlan descents, " But the inspiration did stem from reading a series of Rolling Stone articles over the past year and a half, typically about heroin in the music industry...."
From Rocket No. 256, July 1997:
the song is merely about people trying to create really interesting facades for themselves. It's about that on a deep level, but also on a light level it's a playful song -- beautiful, fucked-up people. It's about me! About all my friends!
Sarah has said in numerous interviews that she won't reveal the identity of Adia. On her episode of VH1's Storytellers, she explained Adia this way:
I'm not quite sure how to explain this one, but uh...I guess more than anything it's about my problems in dealing with feeling responsible for everybody else.
At many of the stops on the 1999 Lilith Fair tour, Sarah introduced Adia with the following Leonard Cohen poem:
For Anne With Annie gone Whose eyes to compare With the morning sun? Not that I did compare, But I do compare Now that she's gone.T-Boy in reference to the Toronto stop on the 1999 Lilith Fair, writes:
According to my sources, Sarah prefaced this on Saturday by saying something about sure feeling good to be back in Canada, and that when she thinks of this next song (Adia), it always reminds her of this really beautiful and simple Leonard Cohen poem who she's sure a lot of us are familiar with...she also quoted "But I do" instead of "But I do compare".
On the 13 September 1999 Rosie O'Donnel show, Sarah discussed Adia:
Rosie: Who is Adia? Can you tell me? Is it a person?
Sarah: It's kinda embarrassing. I was scrolling through the credits on a TV show, a sitcom and I needed a 3 syllable name that didn't sound like Emily because you know. It started out being "Emily" but that's so obvious and its a famous Simon & Garfunkle song, For Emily. And certainly there's a person behind it...
Rosie: But the persons name is not Adia.
Sarah: Its not Adia, no. Its a few people...(Rosiee interrupts)
Rosie: Here I am, I described the whole to it, like her friend that she met in college who suffered a severe amount of depression was thinking of ending her life and you pulled her out of the depths. But thats not really what happened.
Sarah: Its sorta more like... You know that song (sings) You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille by Kenny Rogers?
Rosie and Sarah: (singing together) "Four hungrychildren and a crop in the field"
Rosie: yeah that one.
Sarah: For some reason that song inspired this one.
Sarah: Even though it has nothing to do with it. Whenever I hear that song, It always reminds me of it. So if that gives you any insight...
On VH1's Storytellers, Sarah said:
Sweet Surrender took a very long time to write. The initial inspiration came actually after seeing Leaving Los Vegas, which I found to be this beautiful tragic love story. These two people who were rather pathetic in both their own rights, and yet they completely accepted each other for who they were...all the beautiful things and all the ugly things. That's a lot to do with what this is about, accepting ugly things and being able to appreciate the fact that someone can love you for all those nasty things, when you think you are completely unloveable...there's some great comfort in that.
Possession was inspired by fan letters from overly demanding male admirers. From the Detroit News, 13 June 1996:
"Some of the letters were really over the top, in terms of what they expected and demanded from me,"[Sarah] McLachlan says cautiously. "The song is written from the point of someone who's so obsessed with another person that they might become violent in order to obtain that person. "
The song Dear God was written and performed by the British group XTC, available on the albums Skylarking and Upsy Daisy Assortment. Sarah performed the song in 1995 for an XTC tribute compilation called Testimonial Dinner. Dear God can also be found on Sarah's album B-Sides, Rarities and Other Stuff.
Jen Kremer, of the newsgroup alt.music.s-mclachlan offered the following thoughts on this song in a post on 30 November 1998:
As for the meaning...I get a little different interpretation every time I listen to the song. But generally, it's written from the point of view of a person who wants to believe in God, but is disillusioned with things like the hypocrisy of organized religion and trying to understand why bad things happen to good people. To me, it sounds like the emotions many people go through as they get older and start to question their religious beliefs. It's really a song about the struggle to understand.
From WDRE radio in NY, during an interview in Vancouver, B. C. :
It's sort of about metamorphosis, going through changes...Understanding things you can't understand and getting over them and going on.
Also, from The Vancouver Sun, 19 August 1991, Sarah had this to say:
It's back to the womb, back to simplicity, yearning for what we can't have, what we've lost, trying to find that spark that'll keep us happy and complete.
From The Vancouver Sun 19 August 1991:
[Shelter] is sort of about animal torture. It's about creatures who are forced out of their natural environment, forced into a situation that they have no control of, basically due to somebody else's vanity and greed. On Shelter I'm singing from the animal's point of view but, it's left open--it can be animals, it could be homeless people, it could be the outcasts of society that nobody wants to deal with, nobody wants to look at. It's something that a lot of people want to pretend doesn't exist, animal torture or whatever, and it does.
From WDRE radio in NY, during an interview in Vancouver, B. C. :
It's about greed on many different levels. I wrote it after the Exxon oil spill.
During a concert given at Hamilton Place, Hamilton Ontario 18 November 1993, Sarah said:
I was very sick and I tend to get strep throat and laryngitis a lot when I have important shows to go to so...(interrupted) drugs, right, drugs. I took a Contact C. I usually just take natural types of things, but I really felt I needed a good nights sleep so I took a Contact C. That didn't do it, so I took a Codeine as well. Now don't try this at home. I tried to go to sleep and I found myself sort of floating and hovering over my bunk. I got kindda freaked and then I started to enjoy it. I thought "oh I gotta write this down" and it was the first time I felt I had any privacy over the past year. We had been on the road for over 14 months, and I loved everybody but you know you don't wanna see all these faces so often. It was nice to have that space and sort of realize that I was there. So I wrote this one first. Then I spent the next 6 months trying to figure out what it meant. It was this beautiful little moment in time that I captured and I had to try to figure out a different angle to put to the song. I sort of just put some teen angst in there and some lack of privacy, lack of space, trying to be your own person. Not really knowing who you are, but trying to figure it out.
Hold On was inspired by the AIDS documentary A Promise Kept.
The Earth, as in Mother Earth.
From the Under a Blackened Sky bootleg:
Well, this next song is sort of a jilted love song and uh...well, uh, the manner to which I was incredibly deceived was amazing, and...I was the one who did--I was the one who did the deceiving. I built this picture up of this perfect man and I projected the image, and I said "You are it. ", to this particular low-life hu-- Oh no, no, no!--that is so unfair of me to say, let me retract that. He's...bless his soul, he's...lost fellow. Anyway, it's a jilted love song, but with a positive message at the end. I came out the other side and I felt much stronger for it.
From Mondo2000, Winter 96/Spring 97:
That's one of the most depressing songs I've written to date. I had just been through a really hard time with the person I was with, sort of coming to an end and neither of us really wanted to admit it--it was really hell on both of us. That song came out of a feeling of sinking. You know: I don't know how to get out of this and neither does the other person, but it's just horrible--it's swallowing us both up whole.
See Is it Fall From Grace or Full of Grace?, for further details about the history of this song.
From a review published in the Dallas Morning News of a concert Sarah gave in Dallas:
To introduce Ice, she recounted her trip to southeast Asia, where she witnessed people trapped in a poverty from which they could not escape.
"I don't know whether it's right to try to put myself in their place, coming from a conservative, middle-class Canadian upbringing" she said. "Call it an observational song. "
From Wilfred Owen's poem Dulce Et Decorum Est8:
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!---An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
From a World Cafe Radio interview in March 1994:
I've been trying to use those words. They came to me at first in a different configuration, from a Wilfred S. Owens poem called Dulce Et Decorum Est. He was a war poet, and he was describing the soldiers in the field who were getting gassed. For some reason, I just fell in love with his poems, I guess, because they were so beautiful, but they were talking about something so horrible. The way he melded the two things together, two complete opposites, and made it so beautiful.
I was a total romantic to this guy. He was talking about the ecstasy in fumbling. They were in ecstasy of fumbling as they tried to fit on the masks, so they wouldn't die. He was watching people not make it and fall, and that little phrase stayed with me all these years.
I think I first heard it in the ninth grade. I've always wanted to use it, but "in ecstasy of fumbling" or "fumbling towards ecstasy" how to fit that into a song. I thought, "Wow!What a simple, beautiful metaphor for my life, for what I'm trying to do. "I mean, you can put in place of "ecstasy" any adjective, whether it's inner peace or nirvana or whatever. I'm definitely trying to reach that and being human and making mistakes, which I think is one of the greatest learning things that I have.
There are mistakes all over the record, and another interesting thing for me is that there are mistakes and we tried to take them out, but I realized that the mistakes were what made it wonderful. They were what made it unpolished and human, and it just seemed like a perfect title, and like I said, I always wanted to use those words. Another great thing is that it made people laugh. When I told Arista, they laughed and they said, "Yeah, sure!"And I'm like, "No, really!"
It's nice because people would laugh and go, "Oh, right on!" The past two records, Touch and Solace, have been very melancholy and dark. I really wanted to get away from that because, as a human being, I've always strived for happiness, but I really feel like on this album, there are places and moments where you can see that. I wanted to dispel that depressed myth.
This is from Basted In Blood which Sarah performed with Ana Gasteyer on Saturday Night Live in 1997.
Several of Sarah's albums were released on CDs which had an extra multimedia track. These albums were Freedom Sessions, B-Sides, Rarities and Other Stuff, and Surfacing. Note that if you got your copy of Mirrorball from Best Buy and it came with the Bonus disc, then the main disc has a multimedia track, but this track only contains information on how to obtain a "custom disc", an offer which expired on 1 July 1999.
The Freedom Sessions Easter Eggs, by Jay "The Guy Who made Them":
According to Jay, "the guy who made the Easter eggs", B-Sides, Rarities and Other Stuff does not have any Easter Eggs. But Decadence has at least one Sarah egg and many others.
On the first disc (the only disc, if you don't have the limited edition), click in the middle of the tree graphic on the main screen. On the second disc (if you have the limited edition, or the bonus disc if you purchased it separately from Nettwerk), click the exit button from the main menu, and move your mouse over the black and white graphic in the center. Click on the new image that appears.
After Nettwerk released B-Sides with a so-called track zero multimedia, they discovered two problems. First, certain CD-ROM drives (the majority being PC drives) couldn't read the multimedia, because it wasn't supported in the drive's firmware. One such drive is the Toshiba 5302, of which I am an unfortunate owner. :-( The second problem is that support for track zero CDs was removed from later releases of Windows 95. Specifically, the file
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS\SCSI1HLP. VXDwas changed. (This problem occurs even if your drive is not SCSI, despite the filename) If you're able to read the multimedia from DOS, but you have problems in Windows, get
SCSI1HLP. VXDfrom the original release of Windows 95. I have posteda copy of the relevant file on my web site for your convenience. Copy it into
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS. It has also been reported that one can achieve success by disabling 32-bit protected mode CD-ROM drivers. If you don't know what this means, fret not: all you need to do is the following (under Windows 95). Go into the Control Panel, double-click the System icon, and select the Performance tab. Click the "File System" button, and then the "Troubleshooting" tab. Check the "disable all 32-bit protected-mode disk drivers" checkbox and click "OK". Now, ensure that your DOS CD-ROM drivers are loaded, reboot the computer and you should be able to read the CD. Note that you should undo all this when you're done using the CD, because disabling 32-bit disk drivers degrades system performance. Thanks to Leilani Nonies for sending that tip along. A workaround is also available for Windows 98 users. Do the following:
Get hold of the install disk for Windows 95. You just need the floppy. The CD-ROM is NOT required. Boot the computer from the first (
A:\) floppydrive. Select the generic NEC (or other) CD-ROM driver in the boot menu. After boot-up you should be able to "see" Track 0 under DOS, if your CD-ROM drive supports it. Copy all the files and directories to your hard drive. It's only about 54 Mb total, and some are Macintosh files. Run the programs off your hard drive under Windows 98. Thanks to Eugene Hsieh for that tip. Macintosh users might be wondering where they stand in all this. Thankfully, only a small percentage of Macs are equipped with drives that can't read the multimedia. If you are one of the unlucky few, well, you'll have to either get a firmware upgrade (if one is available from your manufacturer), or buy a new drive.
Users of Linux, OpenBSD and the like: just mount the CD and have a poke
at the files that show up. You'll want at least version 12. 16 of
sox to be able to play the
*. Iff files and the AFsp package
may be able to play the AIFF-C files (
*. AIFF on the CDs). The
QuickTime movies require a QuickTime client, which, at the time of
writing, is not available for any open-source operating system. Needless
to say, unless you can run Windows or MacOS binaries, you won't be able
to run the program that is supposed to manage the CD's contents.
Failing all this advice, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the Enhanced CD FAQ. It answers all the questions they've had so far from people who've had any problems running the CD-ROM tracks on their computers. You can also find the FAQ on Nettmedia's web site.
Necros has released a Screamtracker MOD remix of Possession. MODs are music files, similar to MIDI files, but using "voices" incorporated right into the file, as opposed to using standard instruments, like MIDI. They originated on the Amiga platform. You can download the file from ftp://ftp.aquezada.com/pub/possession.s3m.
Prayer of St. Francis, the soft jazz version of Sweet Surrender and about an hour of multimedia content not found on the album proper. You can order the Surfacing Bonus Disc directly from Nettwerk. (see What are these extended CDs?)
The song Full of Grace, written in the second half of 1994,was first performed on the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy tour. At the time it was called Fall From Grace and had lyrics that differed slightly from those on the Surfacing version of Full of Grace. Then she recorded Fall from Grace for the Moll Flanders soundtrack and changed a few of the lyrics and called the song Full of Grace. The version on the soundtrack uses the past tense in its lyrics, e.g. "Oh darkness I FELT like letting go. "Then Sarah re-recorded Full of Grace for B-Sides, Rarities and Other Stuff, changing the past tense lyrics back to the present tense lyrics which she had used when the song was called Fall From Grace. This "present tense" version is the one found on the album Surfacing. Note that there are slight differences between each pair of versions, even disregarding any differences in verb tense and the use of "full of" versus "fall from".
You can write to Sarah care of her record label:
Nettwerk Productions 1650 W. 2nd Avenue Vancouver, B. C. , V6J 4R3
No, but you can write to email@example.com if you have a question about Sarah or her music.
Yes. This list consists of announcements about Sarah related merchandise, television and other media appearances as well as touring updates. Subscribing and unsubscribing to this list can be handled at http://www.nettwerk.com/major.html.
If you want to discuss Sarah and her music, see Mailing List.
The official Sarah McLachlan web site is located at http://www.sarahmclachlan.com.
There are many Sarah fans and many of them maintain various Sarah related resources. Here is a partial listing:
Yes. The newsgroup alt.music.s-mclachlan is devoted to the discussion of all aspects of Sarah and her music. The newsgroup has a homepage at http://members.xoom.com/sarahng/main.html.
From the faq for that newsgroup:
alt.music.s-mclachlan was "born" in late 1994. A control message from one Arnold Kasemsarn from Northwestern University was sent to alt.config in November 1994. The only words he used to describe what the Sarah newsgroup was about were "A Touch of Solace in Ecstasy". Today the newsgroup is still running strong, containing a large and diverse group of people with one common love, the music of Sarah McLachlan. Conversations within the group range from how her songs have touched our lives, what song we want to see released as a single, concert reviews (when she's touring), who showed up at Lilith Fair, how Sarah's bread recipe tasted, and (believe it or not) there have been threads on how one nostril seems bigger than the other. Basically any posts having to do with Sarah and the music industry are always welcome conversations in the group. The only time anyone really catches any flack is if name calling and personal attacks are used.
You might also find some discussion of Sarah in the newsgroups alt.music.lilith-fair, alt.music.enya, alt.music.ecto, alt.music.canada, and alt.music.alternative.female.
Yes. It's called Murmurs. There is an annual membership fee. The fan club offers 3 newsletters per year, a full colour glossy magazine, and items not available anywhere else. Contact Nettwerk by mail, phone, or e-mail to apply or to get more information. See What Sarah related merchandise is available?.
Yes. See the Nettwerk catalog or your local music store for details on the three songbooks available. There is also the Sarah McLachlan Guitar Archive. You might also try looking at http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/tabs/.
In addition to the official Sarah McLachlan web site and the official Lilith Fair web site, try the following sites:
Lots. Contact Nettwerk to receive a catalog or browse it on the web.
Nettwerk Productions 1650 W. 2nd Avenue Vancouver, B. C. , V6J 4R3
No. It's been gone for some time now and what with the 'net and all, there are no plans to revive it.
Yes. From http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusic/jun20_sarah.html:
U.~S.president Bill Clinton is even a fan, according to the infamous Starr Report: "When I was hiding out in your office for a half-hour, I noticed you had the new Sarah McLachlan CD," Monica Lewinsky is quoted.
Also Monica Lewinsky has stated that the song Do What You Have To Do reminds her of Bill Clinton.
This question applies only to Canadian editions of Sarah's records. It's a standard Canadian recording industry copyright notice.
In Sarah's case, all of the above apply, hence the full-circle MAPL symbol.
Download the archive from http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/archive/sarahgame.zip. Since this game was written using Macromedia Authorware for Windows, you will need aWindows environment for the game to be useable. A sound card is highly recommended.
In the summers of 1997 through 1999, Sarah McLachlan led a tour of female fronted bands across the United States and Canada. This tour was the Lilith Fair. For more information on the figure of Lilith, see http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/2975/lilith.html and for the official Lilith Fair web site, visit http://www.lilithfair.com.
In June 1996. There were four concerts that summer in the style of the Lilith Fair. Sarah was, apparently, testing the idea and found that it worked.
There are several reasons:
Only as members of bands backing up female singers. Sarah wants it that way. She considered allowing men to perform during the final year of Lilith Fair, but Emmylou Harris, acting as Sarah's conscience, pointed out that Sarah had started a good thing and should continue with it despite the criticism that some people chose to send her way.
After the 1999 Lilith Fair tour, Sarah plans to do a few benefit concerts before taking an indefinite amount of time off to begin raising a family and generally recover from the various consequences of having run the Lilith Fair for three years.
Mainly guitar and piano although some fans report that Sarah was seen playing drums during other artists' sets on the 1999 Lilith Fair tour.
Sarah has had a number of musicians in her touring band over the years:
Note that Sarah's band during the Lilith Fair performances in 1997 through 1999 was the same as that for the Surfacing tour.
Sarah was invited to go there in September of 1992 with World Vision and Terry David Mulligan of MuchMusic to make a documentary focusing on poverty, hunger and child prostitution in that region. The documentary was broadcast in Canada during a fund-raising campaign. See Ice.
Sarah sang O Little Town of Bethlehem at the Vatican's Christmas Concert on 14 December 1994. Yes, she did meet the Pope at a gala dinner the night before the concert.
The fumbling-towards-ecstasy mailing list is a forum where fans of Sarah McLachlan talk to each other. The official fumbling-towards-ecstasy list homepage can be found at http://www.fumblers.org/fte/.
27 January 1994. Anthony Baxter of Australia started the list and maintained it on a machine named "yoyo" until his responsibilities demanded his attentions elsewhere. fumbling-towards-ecstasy moved on 15 October 1999 to a new home in northern Virginia. The new list maintainers are John Stewart and Jenni (Jen) Christensen.
The list is named after Sarah's third studio album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. At the time of creation, this was the most recent release, and seemed as good a name for the list as any.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org containing
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Send your message to email@example.com. If you prefer, you can send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org instead. This second address is just an alias for the first--which means that your message will go to the same place, just as if you used that first and longer address. John Stewart writes:
If you are trying to post from an address which is not s*bscribed to FTE, your post will not make it through to the list. This is to prevent spammers, at least in most cases, from flooding us with garbage. [Any jokes about volume on FTE already being high anyway can be kept to yourselves, thanks].
Additionally, note that use of certain words tend to confuse the list management software and cause it to attempt to process your post to the list as if it were a set of commands. These words include "subscribe", "unsubscribe", "help", and "get". The last of these is apparently interpreted as a command when it occurs at the beginning of a line. Should you need to use these words in your post, you will probably find it easiest to use asterisks in place of some of the letters in the word, e.g. "s*bscribe".
First, consider whether your reply needs to go to the list at all. It's perfectly acceptable to only reply in private. When you do post to the list, try to use the standard Internet quoting style. That style of quoting places a "> " at the beginning of each quoted line so that it is easy to distinguish the quoted material from a response to that material. Some mail clients use a different style of quoting by default, so have a look at your documentation to see how to change it--many people will appreciate your efforts. VoxSolace@aol.com writes:
This is directed towards AOL folks but it may also applyto other mail clients:
Most people on AOL use the default AOL style quoting, which if you reply to, and your quoting style is different, can make the quoting go off (meaning sometimes you don't know where the quoted message ends and the reply begins).
So persons using AOL should change it, if they so desire, from the "AOL Style Quoting" to "Internet Style Quoting."
To do this one should go to Mail Center then to Mail Preferences and go to the bottom of the pop up screen and change it to Internet style quoting.
<<this is an example of AOL style quoting>> >>this is an example of >>Internet style quoting
Note: AOL only quotes if you select all of the text and then hit the reply or reply all button.
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Although list volume varies substantially over time, we aren't surprised to get around 100 posts to the list in a day.
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Send an email to email@example.com containing
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First, read this faq; it exists to cut down on the amount of noise generated by people asking questions to which the answers are already well-known. Failing that, try to post to the list and see if your question can be answered there. Failing even that, try to contact anyone you may know from the list, e.g.people from fumbling-towards-ecstasy with whom you have had conversations through private email, and ask them if they have any ideas. You can also try talking to your local technical support people. Failing all these, you can send a message to the listowner.
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Just to let you all know, smoe.org handles bounces just a little bit differently than yoyo did.
When you start bouncing mail from FTE or FTE-Digest, you will be uns*bbed from whichever [or both in some cases - some of y'all are nuts :-)] list. You will be simultaneously s*bbed to a temporary list called "bounces".
This list sends mail to you--as soon as it can get access to your account--letting you know that your account was temporarily uns*bbed, on what date and for which list. It also gives you directions on getting back on the list again, or so I'm told:-)
In any event, this way you won't just randomly disappear from the list like would occasionally happened at yoyo.
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In a manner of speaking, yes. First, If you have a reasonably good idea
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The old list archives, from jan 1994 to late july 1995, are available via anonymous ftp from ftp://yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au/listserv/fumbling-towards-ecstasy/archive.you will need to be able to handle gzip files (.gz extension).if you dont know how to do this, see http://www.gzip.org.
See Is the list archived on the web?, for a web-based alternative.
Yes, have a look at http://www.smoe.org/lists/fumbling-towards-ecstasy/ to see all of the traffic that has come through fumbling-towards-ecstasy since the list moved to smoe.org. Note that using the web-based archives reduces the load on smoe.org's mail server, and that's a good thing10.
fumbling-towards-ecstasy is an unmoderated list for fans of Sarah McLachlan that share an obvious common interest. It is not, therefore, so surprising that other topics of conversation spring up on a regular basis. There is a fairly open policy on topics of discussion. The one constraint is that messages should be labeled appropriately. See Subject Header Abbreviations.
If you post using MIME/HTML content, your post *will* be rejected. You may think it looks nice and pretty on your computer, but realize that not everyone sees mail the same way, nor uses the same program. Majordomo also just doesn't handle that content well. Finally, also remember that each time you send a message using many mail programs, the HTML/MIME content is IN ADDITION TO your original message, so you just doubled the amount of work the server has to do to send your message out to the 450+ of us. Which is also why that content is not allowed.
Email is for text. If you want to use HTML, or show everyone the new pictures you took on your last road trip, put it on the web.
Here are some abbreviations you are likely to see in various places. They are listed in all-capitalized form, but, as with much on the 'net seeing versions in lower case is quite common.
IMOis also seen.
The simplest definition of fumbler is "a member of the fumbling-towards-ecstasy mailing list". But, once a fumbler, always a fumbler. And some people would be fumblers if they only had the chance. The variant pseudo fumbler, for a serious fan of Sarah McLachlan who has never joined the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list is used from time to time. The variant honorary fumbler for a friend of a fumbler, especially at a fumbler event, e.g. fumble rumble or concert, is also seen. Julian C. Dunn elaborates:
I would say that 98% of the Fumblers I've met have turned out to be wonderful, generous, friendly and sensitive people. Who said that Internet people were freaks? You know, it takes a lot more than just being a Sarah fan to be a "Fumbler", in my interpretation of the word. Being a Fumbler means also being an awesome human being.
The term fumbler derives from the title of Sarah's third studio album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and, therefore, from the name of the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list itself. List members were first described as fumblers in a post11 to the list in September 1994. That particular post simply used the term, giving no explanation of the useage. Usage of "fumbler" slowly increased over the next year, displacing the then prevelant "FTEer" as the preferred designation for list members. The change in designation seems to have been due to two causes: dispursion of usage among list members and the introduction of new list members who were less familiar with the older designation.
The three domain names
fumblers.com were purchased by a fumbler couple in Washington
state. Currently they provide an email aliasing service and there are plans
for a web site in the works. You can also find some of the
regional fumbler sites, on the fumblers.family site.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to do this. Currently only people subscribed to the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list will be given an address. Also, remember that these addresses are mail aliases. See http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/fumblers/emails.html for the official explanation of this.
Your fumblers.family address receives mail just like any other account,
except that it will send all incoming mail to wherever you told
hostmaster you wanted it to do so. To send outgoing mail with your
fumblers.family address, you will need to be able to edit either the
Reply-To: header of your outgoing messages. Most
modern mail clients will let you do at least one of these. There is a
wide spread consensus that AOL subscribers will not be able to
send outgoing mail with their fumblers.family address.
Yes. Fumblers have been recognized by Nettwerk and Sarah almost since the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list began. While this recognition has not always been of the most desireable sort, on the whole, fumblers, as a group, are quite well received by Sarah and Nettwerk. T-Boy, in the course of several email messages, gives the following details:
Sarah has always been aware of fumblers and has actually mentioned "us" on a few occasions (at the gorge lilith in 1997 and in a tv interview from 1998). At various shows she has smiled or nodded at the glowsticks (She even wore one that a fumbler put on stage at [the 1998] columbia lilith!). Perhaps sarah has, up until sunday's show at any rate, held back from acknowledging us explicitly, not wanting to encourage potential stalkers or overly obsessive fans in expecting or demanding this "special treatment" all the time?
The 1997 gorge lilith mention went something like this: Just before sarah played a haunting version of I Love You on piano only, she said, "Oh, the fumbling list!hello! *laughs sweetly*", in response to a sign that xochitl and a couple of other fumblers had held up.
as for the [mention in a 1998] tv interview, i'll have to find that video one of these days , but i think she was asked about fumblers and she said something to the effect that we were very loyal.
Several fumbler events have included tours of the Nettwerk offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the fumblers have been announced, as a group, during such visits.
The height of this recognition, however, came at the 22 August 1999 Lilith Fair show in Toronto after Sarah played I Will Remember You. Dana Wagner recounts the event thusly:
sarah: "...you gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light"T-Boy reconstructs whatSarah McLachlan said as:
<most of the first 2 sections of the venue light up with glowsticks through the rest of the song... at least 100 glowsticks in perfect union>
Sarah: "weep not for the memories"
<crowd cheering and glowstick waving continues>
sarah first comments on all the glowsticks in the audience (i can't remember her exact words)... "something tells me you guys talked about this <big smile>... could you be the fumblers?"
<complete and utter shock, as well as jaw-dropping from every fumbler>
sarah: "well, hi. how are you?"
dead silence from fumblers (still in shock) before we were able to think again and realize what had just happened.
You guys got this glowstick thing on cue...Something tells me you talked to each other about this...Could you be the fumblers?... well, hello!Jen(ni) writes about this event and the entire weekend which featured, among other goings-on, large numbers of fumblers wearing the most recent in the series of FTE t-shirts.
We heard people all weekend talking about the FTE-shirts. We even had more than a few people stop us and ask us about them. Then, on Saturday night, some girls behind us were reading Dan's shirt and talking about it. One of them said that she'd seen a bunch of people wearing them. She said to her friend that we must be some kind of Sarah McLachlan "club" or something....I remember telling Dan after Sunday night, where Sarah acknowledged the Fumblers, that there were going to be some people who after seeing the glowsticks in unison all weekend and seeing the t-shirts and then hearing Sarah ask about the Fumblers, were going to check out the "Fumblers" on the Internet. Sure enough, there was a post to the Toronto list Sunday night from someone who was at the Toronto shows and saw all the glowsticks and t-shirts, etc.and wanted to see what this Fumblers thing was all about.
See Why do fumblers wave glowsticks during Sarahs live performances?, and How should I wave my glowstick?, for some further comments on these matters.
There have been active participants from Nettwerk in the past, but there are none currently.
The closest we come to Nettwerk participation these days is one `Armand S. ' who runs the official Sarah announcement list which provides the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list with a little news on the product and touring side of things. They like to keep a low profile, so don't bother them with questions that can be answered elsewhere. They do have work to do and all that. Armand has been known to post to the list when an excedingly important question arises that requires an official statement from Nettwerk, but this is quite rare.
There are, in the realm of myth and symbol, 700 fumblers. A few queries to majordomo when combined with some simplistic shell commands in the middle of 1999 yielded a figure closer to 600. Some months after fumbling-towards-ecstasy move to smoe.org, the number of people subscribed to fumbling-towards-ecstasy settled down to about 400. Of course, this number varies from time to time. See What is a fumbler?, for some thoughts on who, exactly, counts as being a fumbler.
Everywhere. We will take over. The United States and Canada have the biggest showings, but the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Norway all have their representatives. Fumblers have been known to change their location to be closer to other fumblers.
First, Jill :D is no mere fumbler, she's the ListMum and has a jewel-encrusted apron indicating her office which she is obligated to wear to all Lilith Fairs, rumbles and Nettwerk press conferences as an indication of her esteemed rank. Be good to the ListMum because she will be good to you.
However, the term Jill :D can be used in a number of forms:
- Today, I pulled a Jill :D.
- If it wern't for Star Wars this week, I would Jill :D on today's new releases.
- Compact Combined Usage:
- Jill :D will Jill :D regardless of Star Wars.
It's usage is a tribute to the ListMum's habit of frequenting record stores and buying five or more selections at a time. The coolness of the Jill :D increases with the number of rare and unusual titles you can find, especially in the used and cut-out bins where you have to wonder "How could they have overlooked that first solo album from Chicago's Robert Lamm?"
But remember: To claim the Jill :D, you have to proclaim the Jill :D. We're always open to album recommendations.
For full details on "pulling a Jill :D", visit http://www.binky.demon.co.uk/pulling_a_jill.htm
or for more details on Jill :D herself, visit the Jill :D Campaign for Fame and Fortune website at http://www.binky.demon.co.uk/riphug.htm
Yes, ListFamilyMembers. While the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list can be accused of many things, it cannot now be nor has it ever been accused of incompleteness. While many fumblers are in their teens and twenties, the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list features a smattering of older fumblers, the oldest being apparently in his middle fifties. See How do all the happy birthday messages get sent out?.
Here is a list of the known ListFamilyMembers:
The fumbling-towards-ecstasy mailing list is not a matchmaking service, but anumber of people have met and become romantically involved because of, or at least with the aid of, the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list.
The Sarah 500 is a list of signs that one is a true Sarah McLachlan fan. The variant Fumbler 500 is occasionally seen.
A rumor from a usually reliable source has it that NASCAR is considering a mid-season stock car race, possibly between the races at Daytona and Talladega, in Vancouver, that might be called the Sarah 500 if sufficient amounts of money and other favors find their way to the relevant officials in the NASCAR hierarchy.
The fumblecode is a shorthand, in the style of the geekcode that indicates just what sort and how obsessive a Sarah McLachlan fan one really is. There is a fumblecode generator on the web at http://www.easynet.ca/tass/cgi-bin/fcode.pl.
For more of an introductory glance at the fumblecode, see http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/fumblers/fumblecode.html.
The Long-Haired chicks guild and FTE redhead crew are both well represented on the list, allbeit primarily in the signatures of their adherents. The fumbler mafia is, by its very nature, somewhat more closed-mouthed about its existence. A number of other subgroups have formed within fumbler ranks.
The FTE redhead crew has a homepage at http://www.geocities.com/aubeasty/FTERedheadCrew/index.htm.
From the official literature describing the Cult of e:
Close your eyes, find your center, then the Cheshire cat grin should appear before you. Once you see it, you should receive a card within 7 to 10 business days with your Cult of e membership number embossed upon it.
Alternatively, you may notice postings from one email@example.com or occasionally one firstname.lastname@example.org. Be warned, however, that the mistress of chaos, who lives in Utah, is not a dominatrix and has definite opinions on copper mines. She also considers that she provides a useful service to the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list by proclaiming her opinions on various matters which often differ considerably from those offered by most list members. Cult members display a tendency to spontaneously appreciate her wit and style. As you will find stated in the salad bowl sutra:
This appreciation is greatly eased by the articulate nature of the pronouncements of the Lady from the Smoke-Filled Bottle.
They are lurkers. From time to time one or the other will pop up to say hi and allow newcomers to earn points on their fumblecodes. If you can find a copy of the old list FAQ (The reason it's old is a complete story in and of itself), you can read more about their legends.
This group is alledgedly active but is being eclipsed by the Cult of e in terms of new members.
Our mission is to find support from each other for what the cruel, cruel world persecutes us for... our love of long hair.
We're here to promote long hair and support each other. If we band together, we won't have to sit through more comments about how long hair is evil from people who really shouldn't be talking. We don't do much...or haven't so far...but you can put it in your signature and then everybody knows you support and have long hair.
Membership in the both brigade is judged solely on the answer "both" to the question, "Sarah or Ash?". Send mail to email@example.com for more details.
In the late spring of 1999, four fumblers achieved a certain degree of infamy with their high volume of often superfluous and one-line posts which were considered by many, at that time, to be, at best, a waist of everyone's time and bandwidth. Those fumblers are:
Various list members, including e have been offered positions in MART or have attempted to gain such through petition, but none, to date, beyond the original quartet, have been excepted into the group. The members of MART, shortly after initially being dubbed as such by one irate list member, internally changed their name to RATZ although some list members maintain usage of the original designation. Subsequent to the initial labeling of RATZ, the members of RATZ sharply decreased the volume of their posts to the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list and generally became quite friendly folk to share a list with. MART/RATZ went from a high of about 34. 3% of list postings on the day that brought the most noteable complaints to around 9. 5%about a month and a half later. The RATZ members formed their own list and took their RATZ-specific traffic to that new list. There is a RATZ homepage at http://www.angelfire.com/co2/FumbleRATZ/RATZ.html.
Leora of Realtime started a countdown of sorts from 10:30 to 11:00 PM EST. She introduced the whole scenario with the question "Should we negotiate with e-mail terrorists?"--a reference to a message I sent to Realtime, describing who we were, what we wanted, and what we would do if we didn't get our way (i.e. soak their mailbox with copies of War and Peace).
She read my message on air and opened up the 800 lines for callers to answer the question. Pretty funny responses from across the country ranging from Sarah non-fans expressing their own counter-threats to other Sarah fans who thought the idea was original and "harmless". Typical hostage-taking arguments (should we, shouldn't we, will it just open CBC to attack from others, etc. ).
In the interest of keeping the peace, CBC played "Good Enough" for us at 10:55. I later thanked them, they thanked us, and we all went on to live happily ever after.
In January 2000, John Stewart wrote:
Back in the day on FTE...probably mid-to-late '96...I had decided to buy the house I currently live in. I actually closed the deal, finally, at the very beginning of '97. That began an epic odyssey of literally tearing the house apart, down to the studs, as they say, and putting it back together again. I spent 6 months not being able to live there, while the plumbing was redone, all the wiring was torn out and redone, the furnace was put in, the water service put back in [pipe had corroded], and the roof redone [3 layers of old roofing material. Very nice.] Then another 7 months while we put the inside back together again - sheetrock, all the bathroom stuff, insulation, paint, etc., plus getting all the wood floors totally cleaned and stripped and refinished.
The last big piece left is the kitchen. We started working on that summer of '98. It's still not finished yet, and the biggest holdup is the floor. I hadn't ever done tile work before, nor had my dad. We learned a lot. Fixed a lot of mistakes. Now we just need to grout what's left and then at last we can put up cabinets and actually have a pretty-much-working kitchen.
Much of that played out on FTE--well, and the SF-Fumblers list--with me providing updates on and off as things occurred. Basically depending on whether or not I could get the computer at home running, which depended on the state of the house :) That PC--which no longer exists, I broke it apart for spare parts--moved from room, to room, to room, to room. Pretty "mobile" for a desktop.
Many posts to the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list end with phrases of the form "<poster-name> (with <issue-name> issues)". This is a minor but delicate artform. Watch the list and see how it's done. Doug writes:
The issues thing started back in December 1997 when a) fumblers were assuming spice girl names b)some of us met up in Vancouver and began discussing my drinking habits (there was a video camera making the rounds and every shot I was in, I had a beer bottle in hand (yayy!!)). I was declared to have issues, many, many issues, so I became issues Spice. :-)
While Doug can lay claim to having the most serious--and widely varied--issues around, fumblers, by their very nature, display a tendancy to have issues with almost every aspect of life, particularly those aspects which make it into their posts.
There is unconfirmed speculation that the infamous interview in Details from January 1998 may be at least partially responsible for this aspect of list culture.
This ritual's origins lie on the fumbling-towards-ecstasy list itself. A group of fumblers who were all going to a specific show decided to buy glowsticks and break them in the first chorus of Witness, which contains the words "Will we burn in Heaven ?". This continued throughout the Surfacing tour and has persisted since then at Lilith Fairs where it is often a wonderful means of identifying other fumblers. One group threw a curve by all showing up with red glowsticks instead of the more traditional green and called the event Operation Red Rexy.
Size is everything, despite that old proverb. Six inches is considered optimal, despite that old proverb. Three inches is considered too small for standard fumbler usage, despite that old proverb.
Back in October of 1997, we had a FumbleRumble at Jess's house where about 20+ people turned out. I'm not sure exactly how it came to pass, but a couple of people decided to bring glowsticks so that we could 1) see where each other were in the venue, and 2) let Sarah know of our presence. So somebody (I think it was Lisa Rabey) ran out with some other folks and bought a whole bunch of the things--mainly red and green.
At the venue (Paramount Theatre, Oakland), we decided to coordinate. I'm going to guess Esther (with help from a whole bunch of people) decided Witness would be appropriate. Don't know why or how, but Witness was it. At that point, all we said was "whip 'em out during the chorus, and hide them otherwise. " In any case, it went over well, and a cry of "Fumblers Love You, Sarah" from a group of fumblerettes sitting with Edward (T-Boy) near the stage made Sarah connect the glowsticks with Fumblers. in Bazie's own words:*smile* That was so great...you know, that was something that I will always remember...what happened was that I was sorta dreamy, trying to digest what was going on in that brief silence between songs. Ang & Mari suddenly snapped me out of my awe, and motioned to get closer "Ok, on the count of three...we'll shout...`Fumblers love you, Sarah!' Okay?" Before I knew it, the count began and I was swept up into it... "1, 2, 3, ... `FUMBLERS LOVE YOU SARAH!'" I didn't even realize what I had done till I shouted it. For the briefest split second...I was sorta embarrassed to do that in the relative quiet lull of the theatre. But then came the amazing payoff of Sarah's smile right at us saying, "You guys were the ones with those...? <motioning a glowstick with her hand>. " Talk about being in heaven! :)
Since then, glowsticks during Witness became a trend that soon became a tradition. A lot of the "rules" regarding glowstick usage were developed by myself and others over a series of concerts where we were just trying to coordinate. These included when to bring it up, how to wave it, when to drop it, and what to do with it the rest of the concert. We never made anyone follow our rules, but we liked them. Others have asked us about it, and we just give them the general guidelines. No one--I repeat, no one--has ever stated that this is the "official" method. It's just one that I found myself and T-Boy handing down to various other Fumblers in an attempt to be somewhat uniform.
As far as Witness being an official song, I don't think it is, and I don't think we need one. Each Fumbler likes Sarah for a different reason, and we each have our own favorite song. Glowsticks during Witness is just a way for us to recognize each other during a concert.
Colors? Pick your favorite. Blue is quite popular because of its relative rarity and the association it has for many of us(?) with Gemma, who was quite creative by making a cool poster with the word fumblers accented by an F made with lighted glowsticks. Also as Dan had mentioned in his review of the Columbia Lilith, Sarah acknowledged the Fumblers in her own way by popping the blue glowstick that Dana had given her, shook it up and wore it on her pants for the last half of the show!
From a traditional standpoint, green and red are the colors, with a certain predeliction on my part to red. We've also used white (very cool) and pink (great for the outrageous personalities among us). Just don't go overboard like T-Boy did in Toronto when he tied several glowsticks of dubious colors (hot pink & purple??!)...just no fashion sense at all when he's supposed to be a fashion photographer of sorts!
He further explains:
First, there are no hard and set rules for glowstick usage. I'll tell you what T-Boy and I worked out through a number of Liliths and Surfacing shows.
Not sure how long we waved them the first time, but ever since then, we've always waved them through the entire chorus of Witness. Holding the glowstick in the right hand, we bring it up in a left to right motion, followed by a slow waving left and right to the tempo of the song. It's kinda hard to give you the idea, but it's sort of "Will we burn(right)(left)(right) in(left) hea-(right)ven(left), like(right) we do(left)..." Listen to the song and you'll hear it. It's hard to be exact since Sarah holds the notes for so long. We put them down on "and when we're done". At that point, hide them so that you aren't blinding anyone around you, but get ready for the next chorus.
Other than that, we use them occasionally throughout the rest of the show. Like on Camille's "ahh"s during Adia. Basically, use your discretion. In some cases, venue security has asked us to put them away, other times they don't care. After the show, use the glowsticks to find each other.
This happened during the 1999 Lilith Fair tour because Sarah was not performing Witness. Lizza writes:
At Vancouver, we were unsure as to whether or not Sarah would sing Witness. We decided that if by the fourth song, there was no sign of Witness, we would hold up our glowsticks during the chorus of that song instead. Unfortunately, this happened to be Adia, so Sarah was sitting at the piano at the time. She saw us, but after that show the fumblers decided that Hold On would be both more appropriate and more practical.
It was agreed on the list that glowsticks would be swayed from side to side during the lines:
Am I in heaven here or am I... at the crossroads I am standing So now you're sleeping peaceful I lie awake and pray that you'll be strong tomorrow and we'll see another day and we will praise it and love the light that brings a smile across your face
For more about glowstick waving during the 1999 Lilith Fair, See IWRY Recognition.
A gathering of fumblers, especially at a restaurant or on the floor of a fumbler's living quarters.
Post a note to the list. If you land an actual Sarah performance or a stop on the Lilith Fair, then you have sufficient excuse. If not, then plan a trip to the zoo or some other local attraction and invite everyone to show up. Fumblers are decidedly migratory.
The fumbler registry is a list of fumblers with contact information. It's a great way to find fumblers to get in touch with. But don't forget to speak up on the list. Fumblers are, on the whole, a friendly and sociable lot. We like to make new folks feel welcome. See http://intothefire.com/registry/.
Here's a partial list of geographically specific fumbler resources:
(That's Australian Fumblers, for those of you who don't yet know what the term "Aussie" means)
subscribe sf-fumblers in the body.
Here is a partial list:
Yes. Quite a few, as it turns out. You can find a list at http://www.aquezada.com/sarah/fumblers/im.shtml
and another version at http://paulschreiber.com/fumblers/fumblerim.php. Jonathan Stooner maintains the official version of this list.
Yes. See http://groups.icq.com/group.asp?no=1047001.
The exact nature of the handbasket is readily apparent to the observant and the persistent. The instigator of the handbasket, Edward AKA T-Boy, whose online adventures with fumblerettes are notorious, offers the following account of the handbasket:
Just to clarify for our beloved newbies, once upon a time, in the halcyon, golden-ages of FTE faerieland, long, long before even the First Coming of the Cult of e, and Jill :D was a mere ListLass, in a mystical kingdom surrounded on all sides by barbaric, heathen tribes such as the dreaded Divas, there was a mysterious knightly figure whose noble mission was the rescue of poor damsels in distress during the darker periods of the evil flame-wars. After an eye-opening series of arcane rituals and drawn-out initiation rites, these vestal handmaidens were then ceremoniously shepherded into the protective cozy custody of the sacred handbasket where ethereal, angelic music by a certain Canadian enchantress wafted soothingly all day and night to allay their past traumas and darkest fears.
First, Sarah and Paula Cole have been chummy for years. Those of you who caught the then-head-shaven Cole opening on a leg of the Fumbling Towards Ecstacy tour got to see Sarah's first experiment at an all-female bill. Call it the Lilith Fair Beta Release if you must. If Sarah and Paula ever had it out, they did a teriffic job of keeping the media out of it.
The other part of this one came when someone decided to tell the story of Sarah stuffing her Labrador Retreiver puppy, Rex, into the Radarrange and setting it to "defrost". As those of you who saw her can attest, Rex is alive, well, and frequently being walked by Ash Sood on the road.
a troll who appeared in the summer of 1998. There were quite a few of them. a new one would pop up practically every day claiming the others were fakes. This troll also had a habit of posting peculiar messages which alledged13 odd facts about Sarah and her life. A sample follows:
From: Ramesh Diltan <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 13:14:40 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Sarah abuses her dog?I read in The Worthy Note (December 1997) that Sarah's house was picketed a few years ago because she was allegedly using her dog as a garbage disposal unit, and making him live in the microwave, and whacking him with a steel bat.
can anyone verify this? I certainly would hate to think that Sarah abuses animals! She is too good for that!
**FUMBLE HUGS** :)
From: Ramesh Diltan <email@example.com> Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 12:44:09 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Sarah lingo?
Today, I was reading an interview Sarah had with Blender (March, 1998). In it, she refers to her "womanly parts" as "rotten melons" and a "furless racoon". Does anyone know if Blender made this up, or if it is real? Has anyone read this anywhere else? Please tell me.
Thanks a lot, :)
**FUMBLE HUGS** !!! ;)
There have been several t-shirts printed by and for the list since the winter of 1996. They are warn proudly on many occasions, including but not limited to fumbler events.
The Fumbler Birthday Project, first organized by fumbler Chris Bryant and then by Marisa Bailey, donated money to Habitat for Humanity in honour of Sarah's birthday in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
These days, Beasty sends out messages wishing fumblers a happy birthday. He does this in conjunction with the Fumbler Age Project.
If you visit http://www.geocities.com/aubeasty/fumblerageproject/index.html you can join the FAP, view the main stats about the project and have a look at the 155 members of FTE that have responded to the FAP.
If you have responded and your location details are not correct, please let me know :)
If you have not provided your details, please do it for the sake of accurate reporting and statistical methodologies :)
See http://www.aquezada.com for more details, but the aquezada girls are four musical artists with their official web sites hosted on the Aquezada Productions web site. Julian C. Dunn writes:
This announcement-only list (no posting except from myself and the girls) will keep you up to date on upcoming events, tour dates, etc. from the four Aquezada Girls: Jessica, Rayanne, Trish and 'Chelle.
To subscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words
in the body.
Once upon a time when I was still a member of Really-Deep-Thoughts (a Tori Amos list) there was a really nice girl on there named Anna Maria Quezada. We wrote to each other occasionally but then eventually she disappeared off the face of the Internet. Shortly after this I unsubbed to RDT for various reasons and so we lost touch. But in honour of one of my first "online friends", when my boss asked me in 1997 if I'd like to have a domain, I decided to name it after her login. (The other option was www.xochitl.org ... hmm :-) )
No. See the Fumbler Dreams page at http://members.aol.com/mike72452/FumblerDreams.htm.
The Fumbler Book Club was started as a place for Fumblers to come and discuss their favorite books and authors! Discussions are held at the end of each week and follow a set syllabus, with ongoing discussions throughout the week as well. Discussions are unmoderated but should be related to books, etc.
At the end of each week, we'll be going over the chapters for the upcoming week and towards the end of each book, we'll be "voting," or vtaking suggestions for our next book.
Make sure you check out the Fumbler Book Club homepage, http://jennilu.com/bookclub/ for all the latest information.
Not everything fits into these neat little boxes I've made up for this faq. Here are a few of those questions that come up from time to time on fumbling-towards-ecstasy that I couldnt fit anywhere else.
The http://www.gnu.org/GNU project uses the gzip program for file compression. See http://www.gzip.org for all the details on how to obtain and use the gzip program.14
See http://www.matrix.clara.net/Acorn/ra/ for some hints on doing this.
While some companies want you to pay for virus checking software--and
some vendors even want you to pay for the upgrades to such software, up
to this point, the company behind http://www.datafellows.com/ are
quite understanding about personal use of the software product
f-prot. Of course, the real solution is to run an operating
system that doesn't allow the virus problem to arise in the first
place. have at Linux or
OpenBSD for some good alternatives.
Here is an alphabetical index of topics covered in this faq.
As of November 1999, this faq is under version control
cvs and so
the diff is generated with the facilities of that program.
The first version of the
faq, written in late July 1999, was written with version 3.12n of the
texinfo package. As I use the
texinfo package a great
deal, I rather actively track the
You'd know if you do.
The mp3s available on mp3.com are officially sanctioned by the artists whose work they represent. The link is intended to be a source of information about the mp3 file format and not to be a link for "unofficial" mp3 data.
For the lawyers out there: If you're considering taking legal action, don't. If you do, you will be in violation of this license agreement. If you really have a problem with the material in this faq, talk to me about it. Keep the courts free for important matters.
This quote is used with permission from John Shepard (Squid). It may be reproduced for personal use only. It is not to be distributed in any form or by any means, including print, electronic, or other media, the sole exception being its inclusion within this FAQ.
The lyrics for this song are by Randy Newman
Actually, there are two listowners, but asd this has not always been the case and since it might not be the case in the future, I keep the wording of the section in the singular case.
The post was by David Dalton, long recognized as one of the list's most eccentric members. He is, unfortunately, no longer with fumbling-towards-ecstasy.
Note that the semi-official rank carries with it an exclusivity which official list couple status does not carry.
Your editor, at least, believes that Ramesh's intent derived from a twisted sense of humor rather than any desire to spread malicious rumors about Sarah.
I'll gladly include platform specific details in this question if you report them. See How do I contact the maintainer of this faq?
Additionally, Chapters has a habit of offering 5 and 10 dollar coupons, redeemable on all their merchandise.