#FF @KristinHersh of @CashMusic , @ThrowingMuses and 50 Ft. Wave

In the late 1980s many of the bands that had epitomized that decade X, Black Flag, the Minutemen, the Dead Kennedys and the Smiths were gone, the Talking Heads and New Order were winding down, Love & Rockets (the remnants of Bauhaus) were just about done and I was, at any rate, looking for something new. What I found was a band out of Boston called Throwing Muses. They sounded like this:

The band would later be lumped into the broad "alternative" category along with everyone from the Pixies to Nirvanna but the Muses have never really fit into any category. The other thing that made the band unique, other than its sound, was its refusal to compromise artistic integrity in order to sell more records. If you read Kristen Hersh's 2010 book "Rat Girl" you can read about their distrust of record executives and their refusal to sell out, in part because they distrusted anyone wanted to buy what they were selling.

Despite their refusal to cuddle up to the music industry, the band has done well. They recorded consistently until 1996 and had 5 albums make the charts, along with 3 singles. Since 1996 the band has drifted apart and come back together and has seen a few members come and go but there has never really been a 'break up'.

Today Kristen Hersh who originally fronted the group along with Tanya Donelly is still recording prolifically. In addition to new Throwing Muses songs she is also recording with her other band 50 ft Wave and solo material. She has published two books and was one of the co-founder of Cash Music, a company that produces open source software for recording artists. Just to rub it in, she manages to do all of this while raising (and homeschooling) four sons.

Hersh has also managed to do what many people think is impossible. She has become financially self sustaining as an independent artist who gives music away. Through her "Strange Angels" program, fans pay as little as $10/month ($30 / quarter) to help keep Kristen and her family fed and cover all of that studio time. Anyone who signs up for the mailing list, whether they are paying or not, gets regular updates and new songs and demos on a regular basis.

Despite her success, her many obligations and insane schedule she is one of the nicest, most humble and 'down to Earth' people you will ever talk to: Still, I think, wondering why people want to buy what she's selling.

Follow Kristen at @kristinhersh , while you're at it also check out Cash Music  ( @cashmusic ).

p.s. Kristen is also looking for filmmakers / animators for work on a new Throwing Muses project. If that's you she's at kristin@throwingmusic.com

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