Self-Portrait: Juliana Hatfield - My Hands Are Tools | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Self-Portrait: Juliana Hatfield

My Hands Are Tools

Apr 25, 2019 Photography by Juliana Hatfield Web Exclusive
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For our recurring Self-Portrait feature we ask a musician to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by Juliana Hatfield.

Hatfield released a new album, Weird, back in January via American Laundromat. Weird is the follow-up to Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, which came out in April 2018, also via American Laundromat. But unlike that covers record, Weird is an album of originals. The album features Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Sunshine Boys) and Todd Philips (Lemonheads, The Juliana Hatfield Three) on drums on various songs, but Hatfield plays all of the other instruments (as well as some drums too).

A previous press release said “Weird is an album about disconnection and discomfort.”

Hatfield further explained in the press release: “I often feel cut-off from other people, from my feelings, from technology, from popular culture. I feel weird, I feel like I’m dreaming my life and that I am going to wake up some day.”

Read on as Hatfield writes about the skill she wants to master, her hands, and the thing that most makes her stomach queasy. Above is her self-portrait image, made with acrylic paint.

So here are a few things about me:

1. I’ve never had a manicure (or a pedicure). I don’t see the point. Who cares what my hands look like? My hands, to me, are simply tools that I use to help me pull sounds out of my guitars and keyboards. My fingers are calloused because of my songs and sometimes there are blisters and cuts but these lumps and bumps are things that make me proud because they are some of the battle scars of my job.

2. I want to learn to ride a unicycle. Like, soon. It’s a short-term goal. Maybe this summer after I am done touring I’ll try and find a unicycle teacher. I need someone to show me how, and to lend me a (uni-)cycle in order to do it. Or maybe it’s really easy and self-explanatory?

3. I’m really clumsy. I’m always dropping (and breaking) dishes and drinking glasses and always tripping over rugs and falling up stairs. It’s a miracle I’ve never broken any bones. In the self-portrait painting you can see a little cut and some bruising around one eye. This is from when I opened a car door and hit myself in the face with it. Don’t ask me how that happened. I wasn’t drunk, I swear. (I really wasn’t). It was in Scotland.

4. I never vomit. I’m a never-puker. Well, I have thrown up but only twice in my life that I can remember. Once when I was about five years old and then again when I was around 30 years old, about two whole decades ago. It’s just something in my constitution that doesn’t go that way. I rarely even feel nauseous. But, having said that…

5. The smell of yogurt makes me want to throw up. I just can’t stand it.

Check out her tour dates here:

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May 9th 2019

God I love Juliana Hatfield! Saw her live multiple times and can say that her voice is way, way better live than in studio format with no doubt! I agree with the line about manicure her hands don’t need any decoration they were made to play music! Also a very nice painting :)

February 17th 2020

Beautiful music, very talented artist vocally. I listened to her songs many times in the evenings, then you can feel great in the atmosphere.

May 17th 2020

Beautiful Spotify collection!

May 17th 2020

Listening to “It’s So Weird” at this time last year is such a different experience than listening to it now with the coronavirus going on. What a timeless piece that morphs into whatever I happen to be experiencing in the moment.. this is why I love music!

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