Paul Smith, Empics/PA Throwing Muses are to release a 'Best Of' set that…
- Posted on Nov 14th 2010 9:00AM by DJ Lanphier
Those who've followed Hersh's career from her Throwing Muses days know that her music reflects her experiences; songs like 'Your Ghost,' '37 Hours' and 'Gazebo Tree' paint a portrait of her world. She is a consummate storyteller and observer and while her work may be tragic, redemptive, ironic, political, spiritual or sad, it is always honest.
Earlier this year, Hersh, who revealed that acupuncture has helped free her from bipolar disorder admitted, "I hated the connection between mental illness and art." She felt a great deal of relief from the clarity she's been able to achieve through treatment saying. "I couldn't stand that you had to be sick in order to create beauty, or confused to create truth."
Hersh's earnest set in Manhattan, complete with wry humor and matter-of-factness, was exactly what fans of hers have come to expect. And yet, this time around, there was something new. Standing in front of the audience, enjoying the give-and-take, there was a defiance in the 44-year-old singer-songwriter's eyes -- some fierce new confidence, perhaps stemming from finally becoming a truly independent artist.
Prior to the show, Spinner spoke with Kristin Hersh about working with her audience, building a self-sufficient business model, and being one of the first artists to give her music way for free."It was necessary," Hersh said of her open-source Cash Music business model. "[A] business shouldn't be evil ... it doesn't need to be. Good people are going hungry. That's sorta the way it's always been."
Having spent years struggling with major labels, it became clear to Hersh that a change was needed. "The only equation I had to solve was getting the work done without that money." How would she do it? Listener-supported music.
The idea "came from the listeners themselves." Hersh says. "It took a few years to allow that process to fall into place." Today, Cash Music has been the conduit for all of Hersh's solo releases, plus songs from her other band, 50 Foot Wave songs. All for free.
"I think if you're actually good, you'll rarely starve," Hersh concluded. "You have a tinier audience, but you can work a day job and play music for your audience and that's great."
Standing in front of the microphone in Tribeca, her black Xtone guitar strapped around her small frame, she treated her loyal crowd to a heart-wrenching rendition of 'Sno Cat' off her 2003 album 'The Grotto.' An artist at work, humbly building something pure and good with her audience.