October 13th, 2014
Since forming in Rhode Island in 1980-whatever Throwing Muses have been alt rock royalty and their uncompromising frontwoman/leader Kristin Hersh has been an indie rock legend setting the world to rights ever since.
It’s almost impossible (and probably kind of offensive) to condence Hersh and Throwing Muses complicated history into a brief introductory paragraph. That said, in a nutshell, it goes something like…
At 16 Kristin was involved in a car accident that dramatically changed how she hears music (she describes it as being like ‘a kind of possession’), she formed Throwing Muses (originally Kristen Hersh and the Muses) with her step-sister Tanya Donnelly, they (along with the rest of the band Elaine Adamedes and drummer Becca Blumen who were later replaced by Leslie Langston and David Narcizo) released their first EP in 1984, subsequently signed to 4AD records and toured with their friends the Pixies.
Kristin has (pretty openly and publicly) dealt with at different times being diagnosed with schizophrenia and later bipolar disorder. You can read about some of this in Kristin’s book Rat Girl, which is essential reading, kind of like the alt rock version of Ghost World or a way gnarlier Lena Dunham. The Muses have had a rocky time negotiating their fierce uncompromising creativety within the music business, at times down right rebelling against their former long-time label Warner and according to Hersh being left pretty much flat broke.
Throwing Muses have just been out on the road proving they’re still a killer force live and have finally released an epic new album Purgatory/Paradise, a 32-track record accompanied by a 64 page book of essays. As far as I’m concerned Throwing Muses is Kristin Hersh and Kristin Hersh is Throwing Muses, so when the Muses came to town I went to have a chat with her about their latest record and being shitty…
Click through for the interview.
October 13th, 2014
We spoke to Throwing Muses, Fifty Foot Wave and solo artist Kristin Hersh across the ether of the internet last week. Having just arrived home in New Orleans, she was fresh from a series of UK shows which saw the Throwing Muses trinity (Hersh, Tanya Donnelly, Dave Narcizo) reunited and touring Purgatory/Paradise. Released late last year, this was their first new studio album in 10 years: both a wonderful, skittering, haze of the Muses fuzzy-inspirational music and a flat-out beautiful object as well, with an accompanying book of words from Hersh and illustrations from Narcizo.
Despite the limitations of the email interview format, a series of call-and-response communications that can sometimes frustrate, Hersh’s responses came through in the same engaged, lucid and upfront voice that can be heard in her highly entertaining twitter feed, a fascinating contrast to the oblique mystery of her lyrics. Although battling jetlag (both her own and her iPad’s at one point), perhaps the common thread here is the honesty and lack-of-rockist-bullshit that characterises her music and the thoughtful answers which she nevertheless was able to provide.
Click through to read the interview.
October 13th, 2014
I listened to nothing but the new Throwing Muses LP for one week in my car. Maybe you’ve heard it already – but even if you have, I’ve no doubt that you’re clamoring for my thoughts on it.
Hold up a minute. A crucial point first.
We load our senses with memories. One smell or sound can trigger some other thought that’s completely tangential. And music, which seeps into so many nooks and crannies of day-to-day living, mingles with a buncha people and places in our heads. You know how it is – a friend or sibling loves this one album to death and plays it over and over and over, until he tires of it and stops. Few years later, a stray song pops up on the radio, and you think of him. I use the male pronoun, because my brother adored Steely Dan when we were in high school and would play Katy Lied or The Royal Scam in the car any chance he could. (“Yeah, I’m doing this,” he’d say, and soon came “Chain Lightning” or “Kid Charlemagne”.)
This is crucial, you understand, because the memories we tie to a thing do color our judgment. Critics, of course, tend to eschew these tangents for the sake of that bastard prince Objectivity and its almighty father Authority. However, as we all know, I have no authority whatsoever – and so, rather than the usual track-by-track analysis and retrospective gazing for Purgatory / Paradise, I’ve decided to list the thoughts that have been floating around all week. The original plan was one for each track – but that’d equal 32 bullets, and the Twitter zombies don’t have time for that. We’ll see.
Click through for the rest!
October 12th, 2014
Click through to check out Tunabunny’s Athens Intensified set.