A quick post, via Hard Format (I will try and post something longer later in the week). This thing’s incredible:
Monthly Archives: January 2011
I’m still in the grip of Throwing Muses fever, so I’m going to post some lyrics:
once there was two mexican women ran over the hill ripped off their skin and ate it up
I’m flipping back the pages of your calendar
and your books
and your childhood and your looks
I pray to science and history like cancer doesn’t grow
as it drags us by the legs across the living room
I wanna fight the clouds with your head on a stick
I picked up this lady in the store
she dropped her stuff and then tripped on it
and so I picked her up I said,
everybody falls down
her husband was in line behind her
not everybody falls down
you’re so old, I said, what happened?
if you eat her lipstick you consume her jealous rage
they get you in the mouth, those girls
ELECTRIFY YOUR HEAD!
Centredale to Providence
Middletown to Armageddon
a road is in my dream
Centredale is in my dream
pick your hands up
put them on your head
move it around and say
this is too much
it doesn’t fit!
your feet say nothing but move your hips
if you don’t think I’m pretty
just don’t think you won’t die by a woman’s hand
plus I might hurt you
a boy was tangled in his bike forever
a girl was missing two fingers
home is where the heart lies
the heart lies
two step behind the rest, one fingertip too long
make these people go away
their coats are on my bed
I said a nightmare
complete with barking dogs and coke machines
keep feeling like a baby chicken
I found my september in a notebook
it was too much for the book to hold
that’s how come I wear raincoats
I thought this hardness was a shell
it’s a hard, hard, hard core
I can’t lie
some bitch gets out and tells the truth
I have a fish nailed to a cross on my apartment wall
it sings to me with glassy eyes and quotes from kafka
he loves those noisy girls he wants to beat them up he loves them so much
pianos in my hearing
Vincent, my ear is falling off
who left me alone?
what do you mean you’re alone?
And here’s that video of mania again. I love how funny Kristin’s lyrics can be.
I’ve just finished Kristin Hersh’s Paradoxical Undressing. In honour of which, here’s some early Throwing Muses:
Seems decent videos from back then are incredibly rare. Shame I couldn’t find a good video of The Letter – I have a bootleg(?) with it on from that Town & Country club gig shown in a couple of those videos, so I’m sure it exists, just no-one’s ever uploaded it to youtube 😦
Throwing Muses are one of those vital bands for me (at least, up till hunkpapa. From The Real Ramona on I start to lose interest), the kind that re-shapes your world, spins you around and says, “THIS. This is what matters. This is what you should be doing.” I reckon you only ever get a couple of those in your lifetime, and it’s very much dependent on where you are when you hear them as to whether they have that kind of world-altering impact.
I got In a Doghouse in my last year of high school, and it’s become the album/book/film that most sums up my adolescence. Something about the fractured stories in Kristin’s lyrics has tangled with the various stories I heard or (very very occasionally – my teenage years were very boring) participated in growing up on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I realise this probably happens to other people listening to other music, but I still think there’s something different about Kristin’s lyrics, something that lends itself particularly to this kind of entanglement. Something about the way you get these vivid fragments of stories that attach themselves to your own memories.
I have a pipe dream of one day writing a TV series based on Hate My Way. Not a literal transcription, and certainly not a biography of Kristin or the band, but something full of vivid fragments and light, a coming of age tale set in a West Coast town (maybe Oban? or Lochgilphead?). And it would be mixed up with stories from my own adolescence, and the hints of stories buried in the song. “Full of colours and sweat, and memories and potential”.
Reading the book, I realised that to me, Throwing Muses occupy a similar position to Joy Division. Both offer a hallucinatory take on the world, translating hidden currents into vivid images. But where Joy Division see darkness and death, a dangerous magic, Throwing Muses (despite Kristin’s assertions to the contrary) always seemed to be about life, about its mess and confusion and joy and potential. I do wonder who I would be if I had discovered Joy Division before I discovered Throwing Muses. I think my world would be a far poorer place.