Kristin Hersh

Latest email news from Bristol Festival of Ideas. I can’t make it, it’s mid-week so will be in London but thought some of you might be interested….

Kristin Hersh performs words and music
Arnolfini, Bristol, 26 January 2011, 19.00-20.30

American songwriter and guitarist Kristin Hersh has been called by the Guardian ‘a tremendous poet … a magnificently charged union of Sylvia Plath and Patti Smith’. Widely recognised as an indie rock pioneer, Hersh was a preternaturally bright teenager, starting university at fifteen and with her band, Throwing Muses, playing rock clubs she was too young to frequent. By the age of seventeen she was living in her car, unable to sleep for the torment of strange songs swimming around her head – the songs for which she is now known. But just as her band was taking off, Hersh was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Her memoir, Paradoxical Undressing, chronicles the unravelling of a woman’s personality, culminating in a suicide attempt; and then her unplanned pregnancy at the age of nineteen, and the birth of her first son. Playful, vivid, and wonderfully warm, this is a visceral and brave memoir by a truly original performer, told in a truly original voice. In this special show, Kristin will perform words and music from her memoir. Further details here.

Kristin Hersh is an American songwriter and guitarist. She founded the seminal art-punk band Throwing Muses and is widely recognised as an indie rock pioneer. Kristin Hersh recorded with 4AD records until 2007, when she helped found the non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake Holders (, recording and releasing music without a record company. She is entirely listener-funded and makes her music available free of charge and free to be shared, via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licenses ( This year Kristin is making available a series of four intimate session recordings in which Throwing Muses performs songs from Paradoxical Undressing.

How to book:
Price: £7.20 / £5.60. Contact Arnolfini, Bristol on: 0117 917 2300, book online, or visit in person.

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  • PhilD  On December 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Man I’m jealous. She was onstage for two of the greatest gigs I’ve ever seen, one with Throwing Muses – Tanya was still with them and glamourising cigarettes* – and they did a ten minute version of ‘Ruthie’s Knocking’ that will remain etched into my soul forever. The second was her solo, touring ‘Hips & Makers’ and a rendition of ‘The Letter’ that left us speechless, unable to move or cheer or anything except cry our eyes out. It remains one of the the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen on a stage

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