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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Self-hate

Throwing Muses, “Hate My Way”, 1987. Kristin is 20 years old. This song never made it onto any of their albums while they were together as a band, but was played regularly at their concerts in that era. Kristin defied every convention of songwriting. There are no hooks, there is no consistent time signature, and the lyrics sprawl all over, being basically primal scream stream of consciousness spew that occurred to Kristin after a dream when she immediately woke up and scrawled it in a notebook. I think it’s pretty obvious why they never became a top 40 band…

-Badtux the Music Penguin

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Kristin Hersh, “Krait”, off her 2010 album Crooked.

You have to be some sort of crazy to try to make a living in music. Because if you have music in you it is what it is, it doesn’t care what’s popular or what is profitable. If you’re lucky enough to have a talent for self-promotion and the music that bubbles up is pop-y enough, you can make a good living at it — just look at Lady Gaga or Beyonce for evidence of that. But if what comes up isn’t that kind of music…

Kristin Hersh never had a choice in what music she wrote and played. It was what whispered in her head and turned into guitar and words. She never had a choice about whether to write and play music either, it wanted to get out. As a result she’s had a hard life. Kristin is two years younger than I am. She look ten years older. The years have not been good to her, because the years since she was hit by a car when she was sixteen years old and had a concussion that changed her brain in some unknown way have been filled with the music in her head, the music demanding to be let out, the music that doesn’t let her go, that doesn’t let her be normal. From time to time she announces that there’s been another diagnosis for what’s wrong with her head, another mental illness added to another of a long list, and then announces that she has been cured, that the obsession that has filled her life is no longer. Then a few years later here we are again.

In case you’re wondering, Kristin Hersh and her stepsister Tanya Donelly formed the band Throwing Muses, an early post-punk band, in 1981. I would say that it’s all the drugs Kristin has taken for her mental illness issues over the years, but her former bandmate in Throwing Muses, Tanya Donelly, is the same age and looking just as decrepit. I guess the rock lifestyle just ages you.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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We’re all living in America.

Rammstein, “Amerika”, off their 2004 album Reise, Reise.

— Badtux the Music Penguin

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This girl I used to be

Belly, “Feed the Tree” off their 1993 album Star.

Tanya Donelly is two years younger than me, so she’s like 27 years old in this video. But she’d already been in the rock business for thirteen years by the time this album was made — she’d started the band Throwing Muses with her stepsister Kristin Hersh when she was only 14.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Can’t get home

Dirk Powell, “Waterbound”, off his 2004 album Time Again.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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If my heart must break

Songs: Ohia, “The Lioness”, off of the 2000 album by that same name. Nobody could save Jason Molina.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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The keys to heaven will be mine again

The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats, “White River”, off their upcoming album Sign of the Fighter. Available soon from their website, or maybe from Amazon or iTunes if you’re in the right zone…

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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