Saturday, June 28, 2014

Throwing Muses - Tanya Donelly -- 9:30 Club - Jun 27 2014

Tanya Donelly - An original Throwing Muse member is here to open tonight's show with some of her own outstanding material. Donnelly handles all vocals and plays electric guitar with three other string players. She has a cellis, electric guitarist w/slide work, and an acoustic guitarist who also has a foot pedal on a drum box. These instruments combine to form a powerful atmosphere of distinct voices that meander in and about with playfulness that never deviates far from the song. Donelly's singing is great and she has some innovative moves in a few of the songs which are quite striking. This reminds me at times of an early Woven Hand/J. Munly sound with a bit more warmth and coziness here. The bright and dark songs contrasted well and fit together due to the strength of this band. The crowd was enthusiastic and treated this set pretty much as a headlining set, which it easily could have been.

Throwing Muses - I felt I knew this band, but then as I prepared to come to the show I realized I had known their name and their standing, but did not spend much time with their music. It did not take more than a couple of songs before I started kicking myself for being so negligent over the years as they have a great sound, familiar yet distinct. Tanya Donelly's step sister Kristen Hersh is on hand for vocals and electric guitar with her original drummer and long time bass player. They have an early Nirvana/Wipers feeling to them even though they started over by the other ocean in Rhode Island. The component sounds again work so well together with firm and steady drumming, a smooth and flowing bass, and crisp choppy guitar chords straight out of the power pop-punk bin. Hersh had some subtle shifts in sounds and could string out some lovely guitar lines when desired. The songs kept coming and coming and built into an outstanding set. But there was even more fun in store when Tanya Donelly joined in for the last 25 minutes of the hour long set and added guitar and vocals for some of the classics that the audience were very much in to. There were chills, some warmth, intriguing lyrics and stories which I would need more time to digest, and it all worked extremely well. I am happy they are back so I can correct my oversight and the fans here are happy for many more reasons as they called them back for a few more cuts before heading home.

Quote of the Night: Kristen Hersh was telling an interesting story about talking to her label long ago and wondering why they weren't selling many records. The label said it was ok, because they were getting 'reaction'..... "We heard our song in a store so Dave went up to the record store clerk and asked if they had the Throwing Muses record. He said 'you mean Weezer?' So that's why no one buys our record because Throwing Muses rhymes with Weezer."


Chris O. said...

I listened to one album by Tanya Donnelly and one by Throwing Muses in the past month, but I realized that my only exposure to them was hearing TD's band Belly in the 90's. She was hanging around after the show and people were getting their pictures taken with her on their telephones, so I mentioned that I heard "Feed The Tree" driving back from the beach last Tuesday and took it as an omen. She made a remark to the effect that lots of radio stations play it on Arbor Day (which it wasn't).

David Hintz said...

Ha. Real artists make great non sequiturs.