After founding her influential art-punk band Throwing Muses in Providence, RI, at the age of 14, Kristin Hersh has spent over two decades confounding expectations and breaking rules – both hers and others.

From life as the reluctant front person for the Muses, to the solo career she swore would never happen, through the founding of an ambitious and altruistic nonprofit, to her recent foray into a surprisingly successful new career as an author, Kristin, now a mother of four, didn’t see much of this coming.

Throwing Muses first gained traction in the early ‘80s playing on bills with similarly singular artists like the Pixies, Mission of Burma and Dinosaur Jr. They signed with the highly regarded British indie label 4AD Records, the label’s first American signing, and eventually signed to Warner Bros. After six releases and glimpses of the gold ring, the band released their crowning achievement, Limbo, in 1996 and promptly disbanded for 7 years.  In 2003, the band reformed, recorded and released the CD, Uses.

In 2004, Kristin formed the power trio, 50FootWave. Since then, 50FootWave has released a series of frighteningly intense mini-albums, all available for download free of charge and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons. The most recent – the emotionally wrought “With Love From The Men’s Room”.

In 2007 Kristin co-founded the non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders (CASH Music). Over the past few years, CASH has not only completely funded Kristin’s own output, but has also powered dozens of other artist and label projects and has grown into a widely-recognized powerhouse of technical tools that enable commerce, communication and sustainability for artists — all in the open source and free of charge.

Kristin’s solo and mostly-acoustic career spun off in 1994 with the release of Hips and Makers. The CD was widely acclaimed and included “Your Ghost” – a duet with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Since then, Kristin has released a steady stream of solid and distinctly individual solo albums. 2010’s Crooked is an entirely listener-funded recording, written and demoed in public and in full conversation with the audience meant to consume it.

In 2013, Throwing Muses returned again with their first studio album in 10 years – Purgatory/Paradise – published as a book and a CD. The art book is 64-pages of lyrics, essays, and photos and includes a 32-track CD that was entirely listener-supported thanks to Kristin’s Strange Angels. The book/CD is accompanied by online content including instrumentals, a commentary by Kristin and David, and digital music files in mp3 and lossless formats.

Kristin began her book writing career several years ago, beginning with essays and tour diaries which she published on her own website, and as a guest blogger on  Since then she has published “Paradoxical Undressing” in the UK, (released as the critically acclaimed “Rat Girl” in the USA) and a children’s book “Toby Snax”.

In October 2015 Kristin will release a new book “Don’t Suck, Don’t Die”, a personal account of her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt. A haunting ode to a lost friend, this memoir by the acclaimed author of “Rat Girl” offers the most personal, empathetic look at the creative genius and often-tormented life of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt that is ever likely to be written.

“Don’t Suck, Don’t Die” is now available for pre-order from University of Texas Press

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