Yes, you read correctly: Throwing Muses have reunited and recorded a new album! Throwing Muses will release Purgatory/Paradise, their first album in a decade, in digital format on November 12th and in physical format on December 3rd. The physical set will include a deluxe 64-page art book along with the 32-track CD. If you’re too young to know who Throwing Muses are, they were one of the best and most influential female rock bands in the late 1980s/early ’90s. They were originally led by singer-songwriter stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly. Hersh is the band’s solo frontwoman now. You can stream the track “Sleepwalking” and watch the freshly released video for “sunray venus” below.
Oops, I think I missed last week. Oh well. Our previous selection, the Footloose Soundtrack, remains one of my favorite albums of all time. Yes, it is pure 1980s pop – mostly of the over-the-top, cheesy variety. But it is the best of that genre with non-stop, back-to-back catchy pop hits. Kenny Loggin’s title track in particular is one of the most irresistibly infectious, gotta-dance pop songs ever recorded. Other highlights are Moving Pictures’ “Never” (the song to which Kevin Bacon does his infamous barn dance routine), Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero,” Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around” and the Mike Reno and Ann Wilson power ballad duet “Almost Paradise.”
This week’s classic album is…Kristin Hersh: Strange Angels.
To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.
Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).
Singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh will release her new studio album Crooked on July 19th. The album will be on Kristin’s own Throwing Music record label, which is named in honor of her old band Throwing Muses. Crooked will be released as a book with artwork, lyrics, and an essay about each song as well as additional online content including track by track audio commentary by Kristin, the ability to remix each track yourself, videos and out-takes, live web chats and forums, and sample pages from Kristin’s upcoming memoir Rat Girl. Meanwhile, Kristin is generously sharing the following two mp3s from the album…
*mp3s hosted by & posted w/ permission of artist’s PR rep
I rarely post about the lives or deaths of celebrities, but I must make an exception for Vic Chesnutt. I was mostly offline over the weekend, but I learned of Vic’s hospitalization and subsequent death last Friday through the Twitter updates of Vic’s friend Kristin Hersh.
You can easily find the sad details surrounding his death elsewhere, but I don’t feel comfortable writing them myself. What I will write about is what a gifted singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt was, and how I hope his musical legacy will live on in the aftermath of this terrible loss.
Though I was vaguely familiar with Vic Chesnutt’s music through the 1996 Sweet Relief II tribute, it wasn’t until I saw him perform at Mountain Stage in 2002 that I really became a fan. Vic played several songs from the then forthcoming album Silver Lake. His rendition of “In My Way, Yes” literally brought tears to my eyes, which is not something that happens often. It remains one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life.
I saw Vic at Mountain Stage for the second time earlier this year, and my review (in which I described him as incomparable, brilliant, amazing, transcendent, and awe-inspiring) pretty much sums up my feelings about Vic and his music. I don’t think any of his studio recordings really managed to capture the magic, humor, and supernatural power of his live performances, and I’m sorry I won’t get to see him again.
Singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh has set up a Donation Page to help Vic’s family pay for his medical treatment and funeral.
I found several videos on YouTube of Vic performing live, including this one from the Mountain Stage concert last Spring:
Vic Chesnutt – Mystery (YouTube video)
Mountain Stage’s official blog has a nice post about Vic, including a statement from the show’s host Larry Groce and a link to listen to Vic’s last concert at the venue.