The Green Pajamas: The Night Races Into Anna

A collection of lethargic naptime music from Seattle's paisley popsters.

The Green Pajamas

The Night Races Into Anna

Label: Hidden Agenda
US Release Date: 2006-11-14
UK Release Date: Available as import

The Green Pajamas might be classified as Britpop if it wasn’t for the fact that they come from Seattle, Washington. The band formed in the ‘80s amid Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground scene (a sort of lame psychedelic resurgence that spawned The Bangles). They parted ways in 1990 and after a seven-year hiatus reconvened to release a series of records from which this 20-song collection is extracted. This is not, however, a "best of" collection from these years; The Night Races into Anna is an assembly of rarities and unreleased tracks from this obscure act. The 75-minute assortment is a treat for those faithful fans of the group (assuming there are one or two still out there).

Not only is this pack of paisley pop so utterly conventional, but the members are simply relics of a scene that, even in its heyday, was not so formidable a genre. So it’s hard to believe that these archaic artists can produce anything worthwhile. The effort starts out innocently enough with "Looking for Heaven", a song penned almost 35 years ago. Unfortunately, bland psych-pop does not age as well as fine wine. "Looking For Heaven", like so many other tracks on this album, is lethargic naptime music which is slightly reminiscent of ’60s rock.

The one moderately catchy tune on the album is the hackneyed love song "The Memory of You". The song, complete with scenes of departing trains and goodbye tears, could have been a Gin Blossoms hit, or some other moribund alt-rock band from the '90s. The sad part is: this is about as good as it gets. The next track, "Beautiful Deadly" begins with a staccato verse that band leader Jeff Kelly chants in an annoying faux-British accent. It’s all way downhill from here as we are treated with one humdrum track after another.

The eerily childlike "The Haunted Dollhouse" was meant to be on a concept album for a children’s picture book published in 1983. Thankfully, for the kids’ sake, the album was scrapped and the song has been relegated to this epic compilation. The chorus features a choir of children innocently, yet ominously, singing "come into the house". The delivery is dark and zombie-like. Instead of being cutesy, the choir and the song come off as scary and ultimately unlistenable. The birthday song "Forever 13" chronicles a young girl celebrating her special day. After opening her gifts, the girl retreats to her room for her "secret wish" -- I wonder what it was. The song, unlike The Beatles’ "Birthday", is the most drowsy, depressing birthday song ever recorded.

The promo material suggests that this 20-song double-LP provides a nice collection for fans of the Green PJs. For the rest of the world I would be probably suggest you start with their "Best of" collections, as this current crop of rarities is tepid and uninspiring. To add insult to injury, these paisley popsters have announced the possibility of a Volume 2! Please, spare us the unnecessary extravagance gentleman. You’d probably be better off penning some new stuff -- or throwing in the towel.






The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.


The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.


Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.


'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.


'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"


Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.


The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".


GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".


Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".


Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.


Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.


The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".


Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.


Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.