My (Throwing) Muse: Kristin

I’ve lost count of how many singers I’ve remixed from raw a cappellas, the number is probably in the dozens. There are some, like Frank Carter (who I recently interviewed for ccMixter) that are obviously brilliant singers but for some reason I can’t remix. Frank could be particularly frustrating because I claim to have some cred in R&B and funk, yet, I have never remixed him to my (or anyone else’s) satisfaction. I have no idea what’s going on there. If I were touchy it about I’d be freaked that as a musician I should be able do a competent production on any singer, especially as good as Frank, in any genre. In school we used to call that ‘8 bars of anything’, as in: “play me 8 bars of anything and I’ll be able to re-create it and make it my own.” But as I get older and (god help me) mellower about these things I’m starting to feel totally comfortable being the loungy-elector-70s-porno-soundtrack-chill guy. So in that sense, I am not flogging myself over a case like Frank because, I guess, there’s just something in the harmonics and timing (for you kids: “flow”) that isn’t lining up to the type of mixes I’m doing nowadays.

On the other hand, it feels like I have an affinity for other singers like c. layne or Colin Mutchler. Those mixes “just work.” I hear the pell, I get it, the options are endless.

But nothing in my music experience can match what I feel when I get my hands on a pell by Kristin Hersh who started uploading pells to ccMixter a few months ago. Basically, if I could sing I would want to sound 100% like her. She cuts me deep.

Kristin is the lead singer of Throwing Muses a band I was aware of as I was bar hopping around Los Angeles in the record biz in the 80’s but never latched on to. In those days I was seeing between 5-10 bands a week so it’s more than possible that I saw them perform but I never owned one of their records.

All I know is that now, with the separated pells I’ve lost my mind with pleasure. Do my mixes of Kristin connect with anybody else? (or even her?) I don’t really know. They tend to be warmly, received by the other mixers at ccM but really, I know what’s there and I’ve said everything I need about it here and in the music. Here’s the latest:

5 thoughts on “My (Throwing) Muse: Kristin

  1. Lucas

    Kristin Hersh is uploading pellas to mixter? Jesus christ. That is fucking amazing.

    She was a major deal in Boston in my years there…

  2. Frank

    Don’t feel bad, Vic. In your defense, I’d say you’re not the first person to have the situation when dealing with my voice. After listening to your Kirstin remix and hearing her voice, I can probably tell you what I think part of the problem is. I believe it’s a combination of context and timbre. Most folks hear my voice and can only seem to hear it in a particular genre or style. So no matter what they do, part of them always goes to their initial feeling and it never seems quite right to themselves. That’s kind of what so amazing about CCMixter. I don’t know anyone on the planet other than Sr Privado who would think to take an R&B styled a cappella vocal and adapt it to a Puerto Rican guitar-folk style called Aguinaldo (?) and jam them together. But it worked! And it worked better than anyone imagined. Or hear some of the stuff sleeperspaceborn did with some of my vocals. Fantastic!!! He was able to hear the song in a totally different context. ‘Cuz as we all know, most creativity happens between your ears before touch anything to get it down. I’m going to uploading some not so R&Bish stuff in the future & I’d hope you’d tackle some of that stuff. You won’t have to fit a style you think you should be doing – you’ll just do the Fourstones ‘treatment’ and you will pleasantly surprised.

    Be EZ!


  3. gurdonark

    One of the unalloyed pleasures of the CC thing has been visiting Kristin’s site after Lucas mentioned her CASH project in his weblog. Like most of us, I knew and respected Throwing Muses, and like many of us, I had nonetheless not been a steady Muses listener. To find that she’s going down the CC path has been a great joy–and songs like “slippershell” really show she’s still a very strong artist. I like that Kristin makes not only ‘pells but stems available, that her weblog is very read/write, and that she’s trying to figure out ways to earn artists a living.

    Her recent 10-4 project was amazing. Each fan could pay a flat fee, and choose 10 songs for her to play individually for the listener. A daunting task, and one that of course sold quickly and became perhaps a time-consuming effort–but something that shows me that she “gets it”.

    I am virtually unable to remix melodic ‘pells at all, as I use software which does not detect pitch all that well, and my own ear for pitch is insufficiently tutored to let me figure out melodies. But if I could remix Kristin, I would, because she has the right spirit.

  4. John Pazdan

    @Frank: absolutely agree …when I heard KCentrics “guilty by association” spoken word piece I got an immediate feel for Hitchcock/Ralph Ellison stylee alienation. And tried a movie/soundtrack string arrangement… with no beatzzz. and it worked. who woulda thought..

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