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Tunesday

Tunesday: 1988 Throwing Muses–Juno, Bright Yellow Gun & More

614Y9SNK81LKristen Hersh and her band, Throwing Muses, have been among my very favorites since I initially heard the song “Juno” from their first full length album, House Tornado, grind it’s way out of my stereo speakers back in 1988.  I’ve begun to realize what a magnificent year that was for my musical tastes–maybe there was something special in the air, maybe something in me, but I discovered a phenomenal number of artists that year that still hear regular play at my house, and for the next several Tunesdays I’ll be sharing some of them with you.

That album, House Tornado, was utterly vital and fantastic, and Hersh’s deeply personal writing struck a note with my poetry-addicted mind.  And doesn’t she look cool in her modest skirt, cardigan, and bad-ass rock and roll guitar pose?  Of note: I bought House Tornado on vinyl a few weeks after its release, then bought it again as one of the first three CDs I ever bought (the same day I bought my first CD player–I was a late and reluctant adopter) because, at the time, it was my favorite album.

Juno (1988) Not the best quality video, but….

kristin h trim

Bright Yellow Gun (1995) Doesn’t this one want you to break traffic laws?

Not Too Soon (1991)

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Uncle Tupelo

uncle-tupelo
http://www.thisisnotascene.com/2014/uncle-tupelo-depression-legacy-edition/

I’m sitting here listening to Uncle Tupelo’s landmark album “No Depression” for the thousandth odd time–and I wanted to take a minute to thank Brian R. who introduced me to the band in it’s dying days back–oh–about 20 years ago. It took some urging–I thought Uncle Tupelo was a silly name and didn’t exactly rush out to the store, though I’m very, very glad that I finally did manage to pick up a used copy of No Depression down at the now defunct Paul’s Records on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, Pittsburgh’s “Little Italy”, in 1994 (Paul’s  lives on today as Sound Cat Recods, the coolest music store in the coolest city in the USA.)  Uncle Tupelo has since become one of the prime makers of the soundtrack of my life–I’ve got a couple of teenagers who, through no fault of their own, can sing along with I belt out “Give Back The Keys To My Heart” in the truck.

Scan11109Brian, I don’t think it’s possible to adequately thank you–those were a couple of good years, though….

Well, back on point, what I actually have my hands on here is the “legacy edition” of this album, which features 17 extra cuts–demos, alternate versions, and goodies like that.  The only thing that could be better is if I had a chocolate malted milkshake while I listen and type this.  For those not familiar with Uncle Tupelo, they were one of the best indie bands from the late 1980s uncle-tupelo-no-depression-legacy-editionand early 1990s.  A little country, a little punk rock, and a whole lot brilliant, they were gone before the mainstream could find them, leaving behind four absolutely genius albums and planting many of the seeds that grew into the wildly popular alt.country genre.  One of the reasons the band was so great was that it featured two fantastically gifted songwriters–Jeff Tweedy and Jay Fararr–and there just was just not enough room for both of them to fully express their different, though complimentary visions.  Tweedy went on to found the band Wilco, while Fararr led Son Volt, in one of those rare instances in which the parts turned out to be so nearly close to the whole that both bands flourished.

Here’s an historic video: