Nathaniel Merriweather Presents… Lovage Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (also known as Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By) is the only album to date for the group Lovage. Lovage is made up of producer Dan the Automator, and Jennifer Charles and Mike Patton on singing duties. The album was released on the 6th of November 2001 on the label 75 Ark.
Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By features Mike Patton and Jennifer Charles as a Man and a Woman in their most dramatic, archetypal form (Charles is also the singer for New York band, Elysian Fields who has also collaborated with John Zorn). The title is a reference to an album Hitchcock appeared, Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Music to Be Murdered By (1956), indeed some track titles are also references to Hitchcock films. The title is also a play on the trip-hop vocals from Patton and Charles and all of the provocative dialogue often used within the songs.
The album features a total of 16 tracks, all of them share a tongue-in-cheek style and provocative lyrics and music, reminiscent of another of Dan the Automator’s projects, Handsome Boy Modeling School.
The creative vision of the band is present in every track, where it is shown that everyone Dan the Automator bought into the project had total faith in the talent of the supergroup. The album was recorded at the studios of 75 Ark, located in San Francisco, California, USA.
The album has a number of guest appearances including Kid Koala on the turntables, Brandon Arnovick (as Astacio the Nudist) on guitar, Maseo (as Chármelle Carmel) from De La Soul, Afrika Bambaataa and Prince Paul, Damon Albarn (as Sir Damien Thorne VII of the Cockfoster’s Clan). Albarn and Dan the Automator had also worked on the debut Gorillaz album with Kid Koala in the lead up to this album.
An instrumental version was released a couple of weeks after the original release.
Ladies Love Chest Rockwell
The vocals of this song are by Prince Paul. Paul resumes his character of Chest Rockwell from the Handsome Boy Modeling School album, with the song serving as an introduction, setting the style for most of the album.
Pit Stop (Take Me Home)
Anger Management (Why Must God Punish Me)
Everyone Has a Summer
Kid Koala provides scratches.
To Catch a Thief
This song is a reference to Hitchcock’s 1952 film, To Catch a Thief (That is in turn based on a screenplay by John Michael Hayes inspired on the novel of the same name by David Dodge). The film counts the talent of Cary Grant as a retired cat burglar while Grace Kelly stars as his romantic interest.
Lies and Alibis
Herbs, Good Hygiene & Socks
Afrika Bambaataa provides vocals on this song.
Book of the Month
Lifeboat is also a reference to a Hitchcock film, his 1944 thriller movie Lifeboat. Lifeboard is a movie set entirely on a lifeboat launched from a sinking passenger vessel following a World War II naval attack. The film stars Tallulah Bankhead and William Bendix.
Strangers on a Train
Strangers on a Train is another thriller by Hitchcock (1951), where two strangers meet on a train and plan to “exchange” murders. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. The film stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker.
Lovage (Love That Lovage, Baby)
Damon Albarn provides vocals as Sir Damien Thorne VII of the Cockfoster’s Clan.
Sex (I’m A)
The album’s single “Sex (I Am)” is a significantly different version of Berlin’s racy song by the same name. Some lyrics were changed to fit the raunchy motif present on most of the album, but the most iconic parts were preserved as an homage to Berlin’s song, most notably the verse:
I’m a man – I’m a goddess
I’m a man – Well I’m a virgin
I’m a man – I’m a blue movie
I’m a man – I’m a bitch
I’m a man – I’m a geisha
I’m a man – I’m a little girl
And we make love together
Kid Koala provides scratches.
Tea Time with Maseo
Maseo (as Chármelle Carmel) from De La Soul provides vocals.
Archie & Veronica
This song title is a reference to Archie Andrews and Veronica Lodge, both popular characters from the clean-cut comic “Archie”.
The artwork is a reference and a homage to French musician Serge Gainsbourg’s second album No. 2 (1959). It features Dan Nakamura’s alter-ego for the album, “Nathaniel Merriweather ” in the same pose as Serge Gainsbourg.
The rear cover includes a section on the herb of lovage, stating:
Lovage is an herb that is said to be a benefit for relieving abdominal pains due to gastrointestinal gas. It’s also been touted to reduce flatulence when consumed as a tea brewed from its roots or leaves.
America Herbal Society of Quebec
It also mentions the other artists that appeared on the album under the title of “Featuring Well Known Sexperts”:
- Chest Rockwell (Prince Paul)
- Damien Thorn VII (Damon Albarn)
- Afrika Bambaataa (the Godfather of Hip-Hop and Love)
- Charmelle Carmel (Plug 3 from De La Soul)
The cover for the instrumental version is the same image, except with Nathaniel Merriweather removed from the picture.