Saturday Night: Barbara Manning and the Sleaze Tax at the Hemlock Tavern

Barbara Manning and the Sleaze Tax
Hemlock Tavern,
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Electric folkie, indie-rock goddess, and baseball nut Barbara Manning must have been in the witness protection program. Or maybe she was farming alpacas in New Zealand. In any case, she's been largely absent from the S.F. live music scene for almost a decade. (It turns out she was getting a bachelor's in biology at Cal State Chico.) But you'd never know it, based on her rip-roaring set at the Hemlock with her new band the Sleaze Tax (formerly Sleestack).

Manning has played under many names throughout her long career. After stints in 28th Day and World of Pooh, she formed the SF Seals in 1992 (named for the long-defunct baseball team) and recorded the baseball-themed EP One Perfect Green Blanket. Lazier critics have compared her voice to Liz Phair's, but Manning can actually sing, unlike Phair's lower-register tunelessness. After several solo albums and guest spots with the likes of the 6ths, Stuart Moxham, and various Flying Nun stalwarts (David Kilgour and Chris Knox played on 1999's Live in New Zealand), she recorded two albums as the Go-Luckys with Flavio and Fabrizio Sternbach at the start of the decade before going on musical hiatus.

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