Throwing Muses make a nice, nice noise.

oh god, where to start? the packaging? the music? the remastering? the essay? This Throwing Muses Anthology has been more than I ever anticipated.

I’ve gotta say, I think it’s perfect.

It is absolutely a retrospective, a representation of who this band *is*, and as a fan of 24 years, I think it does a fabulous job. A “greatest hits” compilation would have been brainless and too simple, exactly what Throwing Muses is not. This collection of songs is smart, interesting and a bit quirky, and they’ll make you think. If that’s not perfect for Throwing Muses, I don’t know what is. And the remastering is so *bright*. It makes these songs shine. They stand proud as an embodiment of who Throwing Muses are.

The packaging is stunning, beautiful. I keep paging through the book, there’s so much to look at! I keep reading and re-reading Kristin’s essay, looking through the old tour routing and schedules and the fun little bits like “Please Play Mexican Woman” (love that). Kristin’s essay is deeply moving and I can’t really say anything that’d do it justice, really. The last page, though, makes me happy, content. Because this is right, all of it. What this band has done. What this band will do. How much we love them. How much they love us. A lovely, beautiful, diverse family.

The songs…. I’ve gotta start out by saying how extraordinarily *happy* it makes me that A Feeling is on this album. This is *my* song. The song that started it all for me. This blog is it’s namesake. A Feeling changed my life. The first time I heard this song I instantly knew I was home. I always thought it was the song that was just a bit too weird for most people, and I thought only I loved it as much as this, but it’s here, to help represent this band. Forever.

Two Step. Two Step used to make me sad. Sad enough that I often didn’t want to listen to it because it sounded like an ending. It was the end of Throwing Muses with Tanya. The final song on her final album. It was the end of her beautiful harmonies in Kristin’s songs. It was the end of her contributions, I did always so love her songs on the early records. The song itself was the period at the end of this band. The closing of a chapter. I traveled to NYC to see Tanya’s last show at the Marquee. At the time I thought that was gonna be it for this band I loved so much.

It wasn’t until I heard this Anthology that it really hit me that it was NOT the end of this band, just as Leslie’s departure wasn’t the end of this band. Nor was it the end when Kristin began her solo career. Nor was it the end when Throwing Muses had to stop touring and recording due to a lack of money when the music business imploded. The little band that could. They’re still recording. They’re still playing shows. They’re still here. Just like we are. I’m not going anywhere. So now, I’m downright fucking ecstatic because I now LOVE to listen to Two Step and it’s not going to make me sad ever again. And god, it’s gorgeous.

This Anthology has me falling in love all over again, when I never fell out of love at all. This collection of songs has me rediscovering them in a way very different from before. They’re pulled out of their protective album shell, and they’re placed amid these other heavy hitters so to speak, and they’re all standing out, making themselves known. I’m surprised, actually, at which songs have resonated with me most so far. They’re not always the songs I would have guessed. No Way in Hell. Mr. Bones. You Cage. Two Step.

Furious. I’ve realized that I love this song so much more than I ever thought I did. And previously I thought I loved it pretty damn much. I must have endless love in this song soul of mine, because I can’t get enough of this right now.

Mania. Each and every time I hear this song I say “Thank you” at the end, because I got so used to Kristin saying that as soon as the song ended at live gigs. It often ended the set, and there you go, “Thank you.” It’s almost like it’s part of the song for me, I saw that so many times. I love it.

I could go on and on about all these songs and I haven’t yet touched upon Disc 2. The b-sides. The hard to find songs. THIS has been a rediscovery.

Hillbilly. Damn, this song is such a great one and I really haven’t listened to it much in recent years, probably only because it kind of stands alone on that compilation. Opening the disc with that song gives Hillbilly the front row seat it’s always deserved.

Disc 2 made me notice just how many freakin’ covers Throwing Muses has done! OK, maybe it’s not that many, but kinda feels that way. They’re great though, these songs with the Throwing Muses personality shining through them too. A little different, a little wonderful. As my daughter said, “What’s with all the music?” in Amazing Grace. Why would we want these to sound the same as all the other renditions? That wouldn’t be like Throwing Muses to do anything uninteresting or *standard*. That’s why I love them.

Heel Toe: Heel Toe! Heel Toe is like a ballroom dance. It’s gorgeous and flowing and just so *sweet*. How wonderful that this is now here, on this CD, plucked out from it’s b-side spot? It’s got it’s chance to shine now too!

Not to be overlooked is Like a Dog. Listen to that song. Really *listen* to it. I’m not sure you can find a more interesting song. And it’s aching beauty? I can’t exactly find the words to do it justice. But it’s mossy. Soft, green moss. This is a good thing.

Limbobo. This is one song that I could listen to for hours. I wish the 4-minute outro would last for hours. If my heart could be timed to the beat of any song, I think I’d pick this one. It’d keep me alive forever.

The Red Eyes and Same Sun from the Season Sessions recordings hit me in such a way that the originals never did. It’s forever changed how I hear and feel those two songs, so it’s interesting to go back and revisit the original versions. The imagery I feel and the sensations I experience are here too, the Season Sessions versions just brought all that to the surface somehow.

I think I could talk about each of these songs for hours, and we’re probably much past the “too long, didn’t read” point.

In closing, to Kristin: “My favorite sound….. you make.” Love you. Love your band. Forever and always. xo.


Chipping Teeth

The feeling I get from this song is of swimming underwater, with the bright sun shining through the surface, free of having to touch ground all the time. Floating, gliding, propelling yourself forward through this ocean of song. Don’t have to breathe down here, the music keeps you alive.

It’s like these songs grab my face and demand my attention when they’re new and we’re getting to know each other. I learned this Japanese word recently – boketto – meaning “the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking”. This is what I did with Chipping Teeth. I need a similar word which means “gazing vacantly into the distance feeling the music.” Absorbing it, making it a part of me. ‘Cause that’s what I do.

Watch and listen to Kristin Hersh’s Chipping Teeth: