05 March 2012

4 March 2012 - 50 Foot Wave/Kristin Hersh - Your Ghost

My favorite band is a little band from Newport, Rhode Island called Throwing Muses.  Led by Kristin Hersh, a paranoid schitzophrenic and teen mother, the band continued through 2003, with a number of personnel changes, but with the same drummer - David Narcizo.  The last lineup included those two and bassist Bernard Georges, who had toured with the band an awful lot before he joined them full-time.

But Kristin had a growing solo career, and David a growing art business, so the band broke up.  They've gotten back together a few times since then - and made another album.  But they've also kept themselves busy with other projects, in addition to their primary careers.

Kristin started a band that was NOTHING like Throwing Muses, nor like her art-folk solo sound.  She did recruit Bernard for the new band - 50 Foot Wave - but a new drummer.  The band's music is completely available through Kristin's Cash Music project, which is essentially an open source artist's royalties platform that has worked pretty well for a few artists, including Kristin.

The hard-edged band even covered Kristin's best known song.  Even though it isn't as folky as the original, it works.

For reference, here is Kristin's original version, a duet with Michael Stipe.  It got MTV airplay, and was featured in the movie With Honors. It also works, but is a completely different song.

Kristin wrote the song, as well as the reinterpretation.  She is one of the most overlooked songwriters of her generation (which also happens to be my generation). Last year, she wrote an excellent book - Rat Girl - that I recommend you read, if you want to hear the genesis of a musical genius.

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