❴Read❵ ➳ Rat Girl Author Kristin Hersh – Dailytradenews.co.uk

Rat Girl chapter 1 Rat Girl , meaning Rat Girl , genre Rat Girl , book cover Rat Girl , flies Rat Girl , Rat Girl b0bf91c546cd3 The Founder Of A Cult Rock Band Shares Her Outrageous Tale Of Growing Up Much Faster Than Planned In , Kristin Hersh Was Just Starting To Find Her Place In The World After Leaving Home At The Age Of Fifteen, The Precocious Child Of Unconventional Hippies Had Enrolled In College While Her Band, Throwing Muses, Was Getting Off The Ground Amid Rumors Of A Major Label Deal Then Everything Changed She Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder And Found Herself In An Emotional Tailspin She Started Medication, But Then Discovered She Was Pregnant An Intensely Personal And Moving Account Of That Pivotal Year, Rat Girl Is Sure To Be Greeted Eagerly By Hersh S Many Fans


10 thoughts on “Rat Girl

  1. says:

    i m so fucking excited i gave the quote that opens this book so i m allowed to name drop that she s my awesome mother in law, right


  2. says:

    En 1985 Kristin Hersh tiene 19 a os y un grupo de m sica prometedor Throwing Muses El mismo a o, le diagnostican trastorno bipolar y se queda embarazada Este libro est basado en los diarios que escribi en ese momento, aunque como ella misma dice, esa chica ya no existe A n as , aqu est su historia ntima, divertida, honesta y ca tica Sabes lo que es una ecograf a Es ver el sonido As que no soy la nica que lo hace.


  3. says:

    In 1984 was supposed to go see Duran Duran play on the Seven and The Ragged Tiger tour with a group of my friends, but at the last minute my parents wouldn t let me go So the first rock show I went to without parental supervision was in high school in 1989 I was seventeen and the club was eighteen and over only I was a hopelessly good kid that didn t care about drinking and never owned a fake ID , but I altered my driver s license so that it looked like I was a year older just so I could see Throwing Muses play live I had become obsessed with them after hearing a track on the Lonely Is An Eyesore compilation put out by 4AD records This weird jangly alternative rock with obtuse lyrics drilled into my head and I played their records endlessly and memorized and sang the words I didn t understand, but felt moved by nonetheless I went by myself and was scared to talk to the other people in the club, who I was certain would know I was underage Still I made my way to the front of the stage and was transfixed by this spooky singer who apologized for the fact that she stared into the distance throughout her set I managed to grab the set list and then waited outside watching the band load out and wishing I had the guts to go up to talk to them If I had, perhaps I would ve gotten a glimpse of the postscript to the amazing year described in lead singer Kristin Hersh s new memoir Rat Girl The book is a swirling, moving and deeply personal story of four seasons of dramatic transformation between 1985 and 1986 Hersh s beautifully told tale is unique and fantastic, yet should resonate deeply to anyone who lived through their confusing teenage years trying to make sense of a world that didn t seem made for them I tore through this gem of a book and can t recommend it enough Even if you ve never heard the music of Kristin or the Muses, you will enjoy this extraordinary, touching memoir But if you are already a fan, this is necessary reading and throws the songs into such amazing dimension that you will never be able to listen to them the same way again.I m jealous of the folks who will be discovering her amazing music for the first time through this book and I hope there will be many , but I am happy to say Throwing Muses whenever I m asked about the first show I went to by myself.Be sure to get this book soon as readers in the first year of publication are given access to live recordings of the songs mentioned throughout.Also be sure to check out Kristin s recent solo music and new Throwing Muses recordings, much of which is available for free pay what you like here Kristin is offering to talk to book clubs that choose to read Rat Girl My book club had her call in and it was an amazing experience She is such a wonderfully kind and giving artist and everyone was moved by the additional perspective she gave us on the book and her life If you re interested you can get in touch with her through Twitter KristinHersh


  4. says:

    In Which Kristen Hersh Calls Our Book Club and is Dark and Blue and Sweet I d never heard of Kristin Hersh, or her art rock band,Throwing Muses, which she formed at age 14 I know, I know, I m about as hip as a walker My Book and Cake Club picked her memoir, Rat Girl as our October read BTW, if you don t belong to a book club where everyone brings cake, you re in the wrong book club Hersh s email address is printed in the back of her book, so Noah Scalin emailed and asked her if she d like to attend Noah has been a fan for a long time he saw her band play at a club in Richmond when he was too young to be there I imagine that struck a chord no pun intended with Kristin, who for six years was too young herself to be in the clubs she played She answered Noah right away and said sure We met on Oct 24, and Kristin Hersh participated via speakerphone.I love people who love to laugh, and Kristin loves to laugh Notoriously shy, she commented on her recent experiences at literary events, where people often ask her very personal questions I go with it, she said, but as she says in the introduction, I m not interested in self expression I don t want people to listen to my songs so that they ll care about me And I don t think she wrote this book so people would care about her, either Rather, she has shared with bone white honesty what is was like to be 18, freakishly talented and walking a line between sanity and stability, adventure and responsibility, ambition and integrity, music and motherhood.Initially approached by a ghost writer who apparently felt comfortable enough to suggest that he move in as part of his research, Kristin stopped returning his calls and decided to write her story herself, using her 1985 diary as the starting point I kept a diary because someone told me I should, she said It was like homework to me The book includes passages from her diary as well song lyrics which inform the memoir, and offer glimpses into her creative process.What surprised me about his memoir is how sweet it is I wanted it to be sweet, Kristin said Indeed, dark and blue and sweet is a recurring theme, and listening to her talk about Betty Hutton, with whom she had a remarkable college friendship in the mid 80s, her voice takes on those colors I feel a little guilty about Betty, she says of the years they were not in touch For those of you who don t know, Hutton was a Hollywood star who hit her stride in the 60s, playing Annie Oakley in the MGM movie Hutton was in her 60s when she attended Kristin s gigs, and gave advice on connecting with an audience Hersh paints other characters with equally heartfelt strokes her parents, whom we might expect to be neglectful or oblivious are instead loving and sweet Her therapist Dr SevenSyllables , whom we might expect to be detached or cluelessly cerebral, is instead empathetic and hip He gets her, and perhaps importantly, guides her through a pregnancy without drugs Hersh describes no petty behavior among her band members, although I m sure there must have been some These things don t interest Kristen, even as they were undoubtedly of interest to her editor at Penguin She wrote in the margins, EXPLAIN in big red letters But I didn t want to write about the boring stuff I wanted to write about the stuff that interested me For four years, she wrote from 2 00 am until dawn insomnia seemed another creative stimulant , then rewrote, erased it all, and rewrote again I hate it when people ask me what are you working on next It took me four years to write this one Following a car crash which left her crumpled on the side of a road, Hersh developed a condition that sounds like synesthesia As she described it I would hear ambient noise as music which sounded like me playing next door Imagine the everyday background noise in your life arranging itself into the building blocks of songs, sometimes wild or twisted up, other times electrified and flitchy And that s her music surprising, haunting, sometimes loud, always compelling.She also suffers from bi polar disorder It s onset, at 18, helped bring about a sort of Art as Danger lifestyle, in which Hersh found herself homeless, self destructive and so creatively alive she almost combusted Add to this mix an unplanned pregnancy, and you might expect a boiling cauldron of sadness and regret But this memoir doesn t go where you think it will, doesn t ask what you expect it to answer Neither depressing or triumphant, it is a glimpse into one woman s creative process by way of the most remarkable year in her life arguably as recorded in her diary and music The memoir doesn t try to make a statement Hersh sees only concerned with making music And she puts her money where her mouth is she found the nonprofit Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders www.cash music.com in which she records and releases music without the aid of a record company She is entirely listener funded and makes her music available, free of charge and free to be shared, via CreativeCommons.org.You can download acoustic songs that complement her memoir at www.kristenhersh.com seasonsessions.The book is impressionistic Hersh leaves out as much as she includes, which fascinated me She never tells us who the father of her child is, for instance indeed she makes little reference to having sex at all , and I feltl that the question was beside the point But we wanted to ask, out of a sense of connection than curiosity But we didn t ask, and she didn t offer Rat Girl is not about romance, after all It is about passion Passion for sound, reptiles, old ladies, guitars, a car, water, weather, friends, colors, chords, children, a band, fish, light and shadow Passion that is dark and blue and sweet.


  5. says:

    I ve been trying for some time to write a decent review of Rat Girl A Memoir, but not very successfully As has been noted elsewhere on GR by myself and others, the books you really love are the hardest to review Therefore, although I cannot do this quirky and delightful work justice, the following brief remarks will have to suffice As a rule, I am very stingy with my 5 star reviews I usually reserve them for works of exceptional technical skill, genius level mastery of the narrative form or language, or a book that simply changed my life through the way I look at things But I ve realized there is a 3rd category that I occasionally use, but rarely This book gets 5 stars just because I just enjoyed the hell out of it And any book about music is going to have at least a one star running head start anyway Before reading this, I had heard of, but had not heard the music of, the band Throwing Muses So a few pages in, of course I got me over to YouTube and liked it very much But I don t believe one s taste in music has any bearing on whether one will like this book It can stand on its own Kristin Hersh notes in her Intro that the book is based on pages from her diary in 1985 And interestingly, she says, it turns out to be a love story One with no romance, only passion Passion for sound, reptiles, old ladies, guitar, a car, water, weather, friends, colors, chords, children, a band, fish, light and shadow It does include all these things, plus the nature of creativity, the impact of mental illness on said creativity, the inadvisability of being on drugs while pregnant, insomnia, the music industry as business rather than art, and If it doesn t stray too far from the linear it is fairly chronological it is definitely not slavish to filling in all the gaps And despite the sometimes ragged edges of the life described divey clubs, grungy crash pad style communal apartments, rats and roaches abounding , the voice is sweet and innocent It s hard not to love a narrator who believes the highest value is kindness And the book is funny Other reviews don t generally mention this, but it was one of the things I enjoyed most Hersh recounts the year of living in derelict abandoned apartments with her bandmates, playing dumps where the fans have neatly organized themselves into little factions the goth chicks, lovely and soft spoken, the neo hippies, friendly, harmless and they all dance like goofballs, musicians of two types, lost in a scene or lost in space, and the junkies, a ghostly group but livelier than you d think When she and the Muses are not playing music, she hangs out between college classes with her best friend, aging movie star Betty Hutton Betty specializes in giving advice on how to make it in show business Kristin seems to think, in the early days of their friendship, that Betty was just some delusional old lady, then she finds out, no, wait, she really was a famous movie star back in the day Hersh suffers from a type of synesthesia and her songwriting is something that happens to her, rather than something she does At the beginning she seems to believe that her tendency to be assaulted by all types of sensory overload that becomes a song is attributable to an accident where she was hit in the head Later however, she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it s not clear if one or the other or both are responsible for this talent When I turned away to look for my missing foot, the woman grabbed what used to be my face and turned it toward her You were hit by a car She spoke loudly and slowly, carefully articulating each word You re going to be fine Why is she talking to me like I m foreign I flashed on seventh grade health class, where they taught us what to do in case we ever came upon an accident We learned to tie tourniquets and perform CPR, how to recognize the symptoms of shock and what happens to the person in the backseat if you keep a crowbar on the dash hint don t.They also taught us how to talk to the victim You speak loudly and slowly, carefully articulating each word You tell them what s wrong and then you tell them they re going to be fine You have a crowbar through the middle of your skull You re going to be fine She describes herself as a shy spaz who is compelled to write and play this music that, before a double concussion, presented itself as tapping me on the shoulder and singing into my ear Afterward they slugged me in the jaw But she admits I m head over heels in love with these evil songs They re arresting And she knows that music is as close to religion as I ll ever get It s a spiritually and biologically sound endeavor it s healthy One of the things that impressed me most was, this girl gets the point of music In fact she explained something to me I have never clearly understood about myself, why I don t listen to music, loving it as I do The you love music, the less music you love, cause you get picky we take our religion seriously Bad music is angrifying and good music is so painfully intense Why bother listening unless it s great And if it s great, I tend to get distracted and absorbed in it and don t get anything done It s never wallpaper, but something to be experienced to the fullest And this book made me begin wondering, for the first time, when other people get finished with a book they really love, do they close the cover and then give it a little hug before they put it down Does anyone else do that Or is it just me Am I sharing too much I love this book.


  6. says:

    Maybe the best thing I can say about this book is that I really, really want to listen to a lot of Throwing Muses after reading it There are a few songs by the band that I like particularly Shimmer and I also really like Kristin Hersh s solo stuff, but knowing about Hersh s creative process has made me listen to the songs in a whole new way.While I was reading, it occurred to me that Hersh would make a great subject of an Oliver Sacks piece Here we ve got a woman who has had a head injury, who is bipolar AND who is a synesthete which means, in her case, that her brain associates sounds with colors , and she takes all of these things and uses them to create some really beautiful music But the book is about than just her creative process She writes beautifully about what it s like to have a diagnosable mental illness, particularly what it feels like to think that everything that makes up YOU is really just a side effect of your brain s chemical malfunctions She writes about being a young female musician in a time mid 1980s and a place New England and working in a genre of music crazy ass pop alternative rock when all of these things were not exactly embraced She writes about becoming pregnant and choosing to keep the baby She writes about her friendship with an aging Hollywood actress, who is both like her and not like her in every way possible It s a huge amount of material to cover in such a slim book but she does it.What I liked best about the book, though, was Hersh s voice She conveys her wide eyed fascination with the world and all of the ugly beauty inherent in everything it has to offer Sometimes that kind of willful innocence can feel forced but I didn t get that from reading this book Instead I just felt privileged that I got to spend a couple hundred pages inside the mind of such a gifted woman, and blessed that the world is capable of producing someone like her.Recommended for anyone with an interesting in music, in memoir, in mental illness or in reading a lovely little book.


  7. says:

    Original review Kristin Hersh Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave and herself writes about the most turbulent year in her life, a year of bipolarity and pregnancy and eccentric old women, a year she would revisit in countless songs in her career She bears her past sufferings with dignity and writes in a unique, graceful way that never indulges in sentiment or self pity Her prose can be stylised at times, esp with her bandmates repartee, but she has a good understanding of how to keep her narrative pumping along with entertaining brio.Among the most illuminating sections are her insights into Throwing Muses songs the possession that takes over when she finds her music Her relationship with the old Hollywood luvvie Betty is also strange and touching A few details are vague surrounding her pregnancy Her parents don t seem to lift a hand to help her, or she doesn t approach them for help, and no mention of the father is made It is assumed she must do the whole process alone, and this detail does sort of hang there, despite any reasons of privacy Tremendous literary debut.Update 19 8 11 I saw Hersh at the Edinburgh Book Fest and she spoke about the pigswill of mainstream music, her fan funded free music endeavour CASH music and why the title was changed for the UK market She also touched on Vic Chestnutt, her tortured male equivalent, about how he once tore apart the wall of his house with an Exacto Knife because he thought the songs were coming from in the cavities Haunting She mentioned that Your Ghost was written in Edinburgh too Ha She also signed a ticket stub and humoured my girlfriend, who drew her a kooky little doodle Charming woman And her music is capital U unique start with University and go back from there Great night


  8. says:

    Only a tad bit past the Introduction and what s this I want to write a progress review already just b c it hits home already I wasn t in a band I was just a f ked up artist teenager in the middle of a life that just kept getting stranger, sadder, funnier, ironic in the dictionary senses of the word , and oddly enough, I became stronger and compassionate despite the deep seated disgust and hate flowing through my being at that time There s only so long after leaving home when you can blame your family for your bs after all the screaming, finger pointing, and destruction you still get to live with yourself, and you damn well better be prepared Hersh, though she has battled mental illness, family upheaval, and many moves in her life, manages to not only survive, but thrive listening to her own inner drummer in a world seemingly longing to take her out Sure, she has legendary ups and downs, but she sees through them, becomes what she always was deep inside a true artist and this document, as painful as it is, she shares some of her process and personal pain and gifts.Bravo, woman


  9. says:

    Picked this up because I am working through Rolling Stone s list of the best rock memoirs I like Throwing Muses and haven t read many female musicians memoirs so I went into this thinking it d be a good book Hmmmm I read the intro where Kristin says this isn t a memoir per se but a novel based on her diary from when she was 19 Ok, well obviously every memoir written is not 100% true unless the person has been walking around their whole life tape recording conversations and has a photographic memory But to start off the memoir by saying it s based on her life not actually about her life it was off putting.I have read easily 2 dozen memoirs biographies of musicians and Rat Girl is in a class of it s own Which is good and bad The good part was how she wrote about music and song writing and performing I enjoyed learning the tidbit that she liked performing with her contacts off so she couldn t see the audience And as soon as she wrote about the colors she saw when playing or listening to music, I was thrilled I saw a documentary a while ago that had a segment on synesthesia a neurological condition where the person sees colors in music or letters or numbers I found it fascinating to read about how she perceived music Just really amazing She goes into great detail about the colors of music She also wrote a lot about her music hallucinations That she did not write songs but merely recorded what she saw heard outside of herself It was not a surprise to me when she was diagnosed as bi polar.I read Patty Duke s memoir earlier this year Patty also is bi polar and wrote about having it but in a very, very, very different way than Kristin Maybe because Patty is twenty years older than Kristin was writing a traditional memoir wherein a person looks back upon their life and talks about it from almost a third person perspective Rat Girl is written in the first person here now Patty wrote she had manic episodes summarized what she did how people reacted to her Kristin shows the manic episodes from within There is no omniscent narrative looking at the mania from the outside I found it hard to read about and relate to Kristin but also found it eye opening and educational to get a perspective like that At times I felt like I was reading parts of Faulkner s The Sound and The Fury or perhaps Burrough s Junkie or Joyce s Ulysses Not easy reading but worthwhile reading.What bugged me the most about the book was how vague opaque it was Her lack of detail drove anal retentive OCD me insane There was not an easily followed timeline Things and people were introduced in the storyline but not explained and then suddenly dropped I got no sense of Kristin s family or homelife or friends or lovers The book was incredibly internal Which may be her point That her mental illness consumed her and made her incredibly self focused to the detriment of relations with other people Still, I wondered how did she pay for her apartment in Boston She mentions at the beginning of the book how poorly the band was paid When why did she stop living with her parents Why weren t they concerned about her being homeless for a while Or were they Most importantly, where the hell did that pregnancy come from Was it an immaculate conception She writes absolutely zero about anything sexual and then suddenly she is pregnant WTF Again, it made me think of Patty Duke s memoir Patty got pregnant during a manic episode and did not know who the father was Promiscuity was part of Patty s manic episodes I found it hard to imagine that was the case with little ol asexual Kristin who describes herself several times as looking like a 13 year old who wears grandma clothes Luckily Professor Google came to the rescue I googled Kristin discovered she lost custody of her oldest son when he was 3 during a bitter custody battle WHAT Why would a one night stand which is what Kristin s memoir implies want custody More Professor Google Turns out the father was her long time boyfriend of several years WHA This info made me very cynical towards the second half of the book when she was pregnant I kept wondering why she left out the father of her baby Her boyfriend Was it revenge Was it her fantasy of how she wished the pregnancy to have been Who knows All I know is that it negatively impacted my impression of her Judges don t willy nilly hand over a child s custody to the father unless the father is involved in the kid s life That whole section of the book left a bad taste in my mouth And don t even get me started on choosing to keep the baby in that situation and not choose abortion or adoption I don t get it.I wish the book had focused only on her music Those were by far the best parts of the book, the parts about her creativity and her performances and recording their first album All other musicians memoirs that I have read focus on two things either the sex,drugs rocknroll lifestyle that the musician lives in an attempt to be like Keith Richards or Jimmy Page or the focus is on the business aspect of music The contracts money touring gold records awards There will be a bit about actually composing playing music, but not much What made Rat Girl so amazing was how her primary focus was on the art of music, the creation of music It was a wonderful insight into the mind of a musician.


  10. says:

    There might be some minor spoilers below, though probably nothing surprising and nothing that s not alluded to on the back cover When the early Throwing Muses records came out, I didn t pay much attention to them, not disliking them but kinda dismissing them as madness rock and being vaguely turned off by Kristin Hersh s unusual vocalizations I think bleating is an accurate, non judgmental description of one of her techniques Over the years, I came to like them a bit and now, after reading Rat Girl, I ve become a big fan, somewhat in awe of Hersh.This memoir, written as a novel, describes her experiences during one hugely significant year, from Spring 1985 to Spring 1986, when she was 18 19 It s based on her diary, and written in the voice of a precocious teenager who is well aware of her outsiderness I initially thought this was going to keep me from enjoying or finishing the book, but after a few chapters the decision to use that voice felt right it would ve been odd to read this story from the relatively detached perspective of the wiser, forty something author, devoid of the confusion and bewilderment that defined the year.And what a year she describes The bulk of the book describes a long term manic episode, which she doesn t realizing she s experiencing until she suffers a sudden breakdown After she reluctantly begins taking medications for her condition and after the band has moved from Newport, R.I to Boston to pursue their dream of being full time musicians living in a van , two life altering events occur almost simultaneously her band gets a recording contract, and she discovers she is pregnant.The entire book is interesting, but I found the first two thirds about her then undiagnosed time in Upland to be particularly great She describes her highly unusual songwriting process of that year, anyway in great detail, encompassing a fascinating and terrifying confluence of life long synaesthesia she has seen music as vivid colors and shapes since early childhood , debilitating visual and aural hallucinations likely brought on by a horrible hit and run accident she was the victim of at 16, and some of the effects of her mania she s developed her own mythology of what the songs are and how they affect her and the people who hear them For instance, when she plays the songs or finishes writing one, she experiences them as tattoos on her body, which can only be removed by swimming laps for hours at a time Her descriptions of the aural hallucinations are particularly striking each song begins as undifferentiated noise, which her brain gradually as in constantly, over the course of several days and unconsciously organizes into notes, instruments, arrangements, syllables, and finally, words which she recognizes as fragments of stories from her life She doesn t consider herself a songwriter so much as somebody who is a conduit for and wrangler of new songs It s gripping stuff, making similar anecdotes in Oliver Sacks Musicophilia pale in comparison He needs to read this if he hasn t already Hersh experiences several of the neurological phenomena he writes about, and her ability to describe them is probably keener than many of his subjects.Her attitude during her illness, and through the stressful period of making a record while in the third trimester of a pregnancy is remarkable She seems fearless understandable during the manic period , but also displays a constant sense of wonder, and a near complete lack of cynicism unless she s talking about unnamed radio pop songs she hates, or rich Harvard kids who make lewd advances Hersh seems to value kindness as the best quality a person can have and, luckily for her, she is surrounded by kind people who are unusually sympathetic and supportive her bandmates, her senior citizen college buddy who used to be a Hollywood star Betty Hutton, Muses producer Gil Norton, early booster and demo producer Gary Smith, and 4AD label owner Ivo Watts Russell This is a rock memoir completely lacking in sex but with a pregnancy , drugs of the recreational kind, anyway , and rock and roll other than Throwing Muses themselves Unless I missed it, only three other bands are ever mentioned in the entire book The Who, Pink Floyd, and Deep Purple The Who is only mentioned in an anecdote describing an out of touch major label VIP trying to make small talk with the Muses over dinner a phone ringing in London sounds like Pink Floyd and Deep Purple rudely kicks the Muses out of the studio in the middle of the recording of their 4AD debut Teenage Kristin Hersh s highly solipsistic internal world doesn t allow for music as entertainment to her it s a vital, evil in a good way force trying to form itself into song bodies which exist in the physical world In this memoir at least, she s too preoccupied by, well, everything, to enjoy listening to other music.Hersh is surprisingly funny, too Her descriptions of Ivo calling her from England every morning for a week to tell her that he owns a label but doesn t sign American bands, and an anecdote about running away during the recording of Throwing Muses debut album, made me laugh out loud.Recommended for anybody curious about the creative process especially as it relates to mental condition , though I don t think many people can relate directly to hers.Also, I found it very helpful to have on hand Throwing Muses self titled album and their Doghouse demo both available on the In A Doghouse compilation album , as well as their amazing video for Fish filmed live in a loft while Hersh was visibly pregnant, but before Ivo Watt Russell knew she was pregnant The creation of each, from Hersh s unusual perspective, is described in detail in Rat Girl These enhanced my enjoyment of the book, and the book enhanced my enjoyment of the music.


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