wears the trousers magazine

free music friday: throwing muses
January 29, 2010, 11:40 am
Filed under: free music friday, mp3 | Tags: , ,

Throwing Muses
‘Sunray Venus’ [demo]

Back in 2003, Kristin Hersh announced that the tour of that year was intended to be Throwing Muses final outing for the forseeable future, and while they have played live somewhat sporadically since, there has been no new output for the Muses, either live or recorded. But this week something special happened; a letter appeared on the band’s website, written by Hersh in her typically direct tone, announcing a potential new release. The letter is a lovely read, and takes forward some of the things that Kristin told Wears The Trousers in an interview in November 2008, specifically that Throwing Muses songs have been hanging around bothering their author for ages. “Songs don’t care how much studio time you can afford, though; they just keep singing themselves at you,” she writes. “And I know a Muses song when I hear it: intricate and dynamic, they’re easy to spot. When one came to me, I would learn it and then put it away.”

It seems that now is the time for Kristin and co. to unpack these hidden songs and share them with their ever-faithful fanbase. The band are hoping to release an album through CASH Music, the project that Kristin and ex-L7 frontwoman Donita Sparks set up in order to allow under-funded musicians to raise money in a non-profit format to finance releases. It’s a superb idea that has worked well for Kristin in particular, and the fans who subscribe to her ‘Strange Angels’ project, who get exclusive downloads, gig tickets and special content in return for their contributions. This will be the first time that a Throwing Muses record will have been funded this way and the project is still in its early days. As Kristin states, “Bernie and Dave are hearing these songs for the first time [online], when they’re posted, and will be working out their parts long distance, Bernie in Seattle and Dave in Rhode Island. I’m in New Orleans, of course, so we definitely have some details to iron out, but for now, we’re just thrilled to be thrilled again. There’s nothing we love more than working.”

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #50–26

part one | part two | part four

Here’s the third part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #50–26.

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Queen Adreena
Drink Me

[Rough Trade, 2002]

Casting aside the disparaging comparisons to “Kate Bush on crack” bestowed upon her in the wake of Queen Adreena’s debut album Taxidermy, KatieJane Garside upped the ante with Drink Me, tearing whatever hinges that were still attached right off with a blisteringly manic grunge-metal fervour. Among her Wonderland’s re-energised malice, the softer moments found Garside’s raging voice shrunk mouse-high, whispering seductively as if through the keyhole, or chillingly into a void. Richly imaginative and manically enjoyable, Drink Me remains one of the decade’s most vigorous and visceral thrills, disturbing to the very last note.

Alan Pedder

read our interview with KatieJane

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thea gilmore offers fans a £1 a week subscription service
June 25, 2009, 8:33 am
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , ,

250609_theagilmore“Partnership” scheme will offer exclusive benefits

Having carved out a fiercely independent career since the age of 18 when she broke out of Oxford with her debut album Burning Dorothy, the only thing that’s surprising about Thea Gilmore’s new plan to offer her fans the chance to become an “Angel In The Abbatoir”, that is to sign up to a “partnership” scheme that will give them exclusive benefits in exchange for direct-to-artist financial support, is that it didn’t happen sooner. With her brief and fraught dalliance with major label subsidiary Sanctuary Records long behind her and a young son to raise, Thea’s more enduring fans have gone along with her for a bumpy ride that has seen the singer-songwriter battle with depression and struggle to turn her massive critical acclaim into commercial record sales, and it seems only logical that the next step would be to develop that relationship into something along the lines of what Kristin Hersh has achieved with her “Strange Angels” sponsorship venture through CASH Music.

“Those of you who have followed my career to any extent will know of my wariness of the corporate wheels that oil the music industry and the labels who allegedly ‘invest’ in artists – but also frequently draw them in, chew them around a little and spit them out leaving them owing money and, to all intents and purposes, on the scrapheap,” says Thea. “We live in the age of dumbing down. It may be possible as a musician to have a successful relationship with a big label if you make nice music, look nice, say nice things – in other words tick the right boxes. But if you’ll pardon the pun, the label–artist relationship in the present climate has become a case of the bland leading the bland. Musicians like me who seek to retain some semblance of artistic control over their output and the way it’s promoted are bad news for big labels.”

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two things of mild to moderate importance
February 3, 2009, 8:07 pm
Filed under: stuff 'n nonsense | Tags: , , , , ,


Wears The Trousers now has a Twitter account where you can follow what goes on behind the scenes. Like yesterday, when we drank soda and ate oranges with Amanda Palmer in the most amazing apartment full of books. Follow follow follow. The picture is by top illustrator Eliza Lazy – who also drew our banner – and was inspired by a Björk lyric (the opening line to ‘Wanderlust’, to be precise).

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To celebrate the imminent relaunch of CASH Music, next week will be KRISTIN HERSH WEEK on Wears The Trousers. We’ll finally be bringing you that long-promised interview, plus a clutch of features and reviews. Here’s a little something to whet your appetite…

FREE MP3: Kristin Hersh, ‘City Of The Dead’ [Works In Progress version]


first listen: new 50 foot wave ep
January 6, 2009, 5:58 pm
Filed under: EP, first listen, review | Tags: , , , ,

firstlisten_50footwave50 Foot Wave
Power + Light EP

At nearly 26 minutes long and with no production breaks, you’d be forgiven for initially thinking that Power + Light is an alt-rock explosion trying desperately to find its feet in a field of its own shrapnel. But give the record some much-deserved attention and the intense live atmosphere 50 Foot Wave notoriously create seeps through the cracks torn by the driving rhythm section and roaming electric guitar. Fronted by the legendary Kristin Hersh, the EP emerged as a 30-minute live dirge of a demo. It was then divided into seven separate movements that barely give bassist Bernard Georges, drummer Rob Ahlers and guest cellist Victor Lawrence a chance to mop their foreheads. 

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the new neko case really blows
December 3, 2008, 2:10 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, video | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

020708_nekocase…only joking!

Remember back at the end of August when videos of Neko Case singing four new songs at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle surfaced on YouTube and everybody cooed in unison? Well, expect that cooing to whip up into a howling squall of appreciation when her much-anticipated new album Middle Cyclone hits the shops on March 2nd through the Anti- label. The album – her fifth solo studio release – includes 13 new originals and two covers: Sparks’ ‘Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth’ and the Bumbershoot-premiered ‘Don’t Forget Me’, originally by Harry Nilsson.

Recorded in Tucson, Brooklyn, Toronto and Vermont and co-produced alongside Darryl Neudorf, Middle Cyclone sees Neko working once more with Kelly Hogan, Paul Rigby, Tom V Ray, Visqueen, Calexico, The Sadies and The Band’s Garth Hudson, while guest appearances on recent Giant Sand and M. Ward output are reciprocated by the boys. Other guest stars include Los Lobos, The Lilys, Sarah Harmer and several New Pornographers. 

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the breeders to curate second weekend of ATP 2009

Throwing Muses also confirmed for the event

Massively influential queens of alternative rock The Breeders will curate the second weekend in next year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties at Butlins, Minehead, and with only the first five of 40+ acts confirmed as yet it already looks exciting. Gracing the stage along with Kim and Kelley Deal will be Kristin Hersh’s equally legendary Throwing Muses, a prospect that has us foaming at the mouth with rabid anticipation. Recent Breeders album Mountain Battles (review) may have been a little disappointing but the force of their live show remains a wonder to behold. In short, this is not to be missed.

The event runs from May 15th–17th and tickets are now on sale in all the usual places (here is best). But if all those monies are a little stretch for you pre-Christmas, ATP are graciously offering a limited deposit scheme where you can pay £50–£60 per person up front and pay the rest in January; the deposit guarantees you an apartment and entry to the event. 

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