Kristen Hersh

Singer / Songwriter

Interview with Kristen Hersh


Best known as the founder of seminal American art rock band Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh presents a riveting solo spoken word and musical performance drawn from her acclaimed memoir, Rat Girl. Often quite funny, at times harrowing and always candid, this wry and vivid work characterizes Hersh’s double life as a cripplingly shy artist who is simultaneously recognized for her brutal honesty in the spotlight. She continues to perform as lead singer and guitarist for alternative rock group Throwing Muses and the hardcore punk-influenced power trio 50 Foot Wave. She has written a memoir, titled Rat Girl, which was published in the USA by Penguin Books on August 31, 2010 and is co-founder of the non-profit, open-source software project for recording artists, CASH Music.

Hersh, whose early publicity at times portrayed her as a tortured artist “channeling” her songs from her psyche, has mentioned that the “angry young woman” fascination of some writers in reviewing the work of female performers has at times led to cartoonish stereotypes, rather than three-dimensional portraits respecting their intelligence. By the mid-1990s, journalists acknowledged that the breadth of her “fierce, quirky, and imaginative” lyrical style included explorations of “emotional and physical love” combined with “elliptical puzzlement”.

After receiving some airplay and major media coverage for Throwing Muses album University in 1995, Hersh moved to Rykodisc for her 1996 Throwing Muses album, Limbo, and her 1998 solo album, Strange Angels. In order to better control her career and the distribution of her recorded material she created the ThrowingMusic label with husband/manager Billy O’Connell in 1996. This enabled her to co-release certain Hersh-related projects, including an ongoing download subscription service called Works in Progress (WIP) for releases available only through the label’s ThrowingMusic website.

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FRI 8/31, 9:30pm click to purchase tickets
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“Hersh is a fearless rock innovator.” – The New York Times

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