Author Topic: Throwing Muses (for Nags)  (Read 465 times)

Pingers

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Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« on: September 13, 2020, 10:22:57 PM »
What do you do after 35 years of making music, putting out records, and endless, endless live shows? Why, you just keep going, of course. You keep making music, because that's what you need to do. And you only make the music you want to, or that you feel you need to, and that unique music is filled with your own life and stories because that's the way it has to be - that is, if you're Kristin Hersh and the rest of Throwing Muses.

To paraphrase John Peel's description of the Fall, Throwing Muses are always a bit different, never quite the same. Over the years they have evolved with pretty much every album, whilst always retaining an intrinsic, unique quality that makes them who they are. They've got a new album out, called Sun Racket, and it's great.

When I heard the first track Dark Blue, I thought Sun Racket was going to be a straight continuation from 2013's Purgatory / Paradise. No bad thing, I thought, but a bit of a long wait for more of the same. The second track, Bywater, is a classic Muses/Hersh song in form, but sounds different. As does the rest of the album, as it turns out. There is something very hypnotic about Sun Racket; there has always been a circularity to Hersh's playing but with the layering of sounds and textures here it becomes something different, an eddying and sometimes disorientating experience. There are no stand-out belters on this one (the closest you get are Dark Blue and Frosting), more a strange, hazy meander, but I already love it. Hersh has always talked about the songs as having their own existence and their own personalities over which she has no control, and this collection is another one-off experience.

My favourite so far is the subdued and off-kilter Upstairs Dan but I feel pretty sure this is going to be one of those where the favourite keeps changing, as with all the best albums.



Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 11:24:13 PM »
I first heard Throwing Muses thanks to an EP stuck to the front of Sounds. Despite two of the other bands were Dinosaur Jr and Pixies theirs was by far the song that grabbed me the most. I went out and bought The Fat Skier which has the epic Soul Soldier on it.

Then they were on SnubTV, and talking about how their songs were visceral rather than cerebral and then they showed the recording of the track on that first EP I bought which is about as visceral as it gets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgTHbKtBAGM

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 01:28:06 AM »
I got into Kristin Hersh around the time of Hips & Makers and never got around to TM. I thought Strange Angels was a fantastic album, but it was diminishing returns since then. Don't think I even listened to Learn to Sing Like a Star. Saw her live though, very small, intimate show, great stuff. Would love it if she returned to the folksier stuff. I also interviewed her when I used to write for a music mag and she was delightful.

The Mollusk

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 09:00:20 AM »
Currently listening to The Real Ramona over breakfast. Although I’m not a huge fan of the vocals (a style which seems to be overly present in a lot of indie/post-punk in the 80s/90s) I think the songs are really good. There’s a sort of blend of Cocteau Twins jangly ethereal experimentation and supercool Blondie pop swagger which I find really intriguing.

One or two other albums you think I should check out?

The Mollusk

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 09:12:57 AM »
Not Too Soon is fucking GREAT.

Pingers

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 09:20:41 AM »
Not Too Soon is fucking GREAT.

Yeah, that's an all-time great guitar pop song. It was written and sung by Kristin's step-sister Tanya Donnelly, who left Throwing Muses soon after and was in The Breeders and then Belly. The Real Ramona is a cracking album and was the more accessible face of the band. My favourite is Hook in her Head  (the drumming!) but there's loads of great tracks.

If you like The Real Ramona, you might want to try Red Heaven next - it's different because by then they were a power trio, but still pretty accessible - and great.

Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 09:24:46 AM »
I think Hunkpapa was where I got on board with Throwing Muses after I'd seen an interview/video on TV*.
Never really delved into her solo stuff though.


*Rapido?

Glebe

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 11:19:55 AM »
I think Hunkpapa was where I got on board with Throwing Muses after I'd seen an interview/video on TV*.
Never really delved into her solo stuff though.


*Rapido?

By mad coincidence I was just watching this the other day.

Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2020, 12:20:04 PM »
Red Heaven seems to get a bad rap, but I really like it.

Pingers

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2020, 12:21:48 PM »
Red Heaven seems to get a bad rap, but I really like it.

Me too. It's got Pearl, Rosetta Stone and Dio on it for a start. There's also something very direct and forceful about it that I like very much.

Pingers

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2020, 08:04:34 PM »
I got into Kristin Hersh around the time of Hips & Makers and never got around to TM. I thought Strange Angels was a fantastic album, but it was diminishing returns since then. Don't think I even listened to Learn to Sing Like a Star. Saw her live though, very small, intimate show, great stuff. Would love it if she returned to the folksier stuff. I also interviewed her when I used to write for a music mag and she was delightful.

Learn to Sing Like a Star has a lot of good stuff on it. It's not as acoustic as Hips and Makers, and it has a lot of strings on it. When it works it works really well, if you like her more acoustic stuff then these might be up your street Nerve Endings Ice

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Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2020, 03:13:57 PM »
I first heard Throwing Muses thanks to an EP stuck to the front of Sounds. Despite two of the other bands were Dinosaur Jr and Pixies theirs was by far the song that grabbed me the most. I went out and bought The Fat Skier which has the epic Soul Soldier on it.
If it's the one with the live version of Hey on it then I've got that exact EP! For Christmas though a few years ago as the EP is a bit older than I am.

Re: Throwing Muses (for Nags)
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 04:24:43 PM »
If it's the one with the live version of Hey on it then I've got that exact EP! For Christmas though a few years ago as the EP is a bit older than I am.

It's certainly held its value over the years...

https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Sounds-Machine-EP-1/release/523494

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