Throwing Muses
Kristin Hersh
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"Tour Diary" by Kristin Hersh, January 29 2007
(Originally published on

Jan. 1

New Years Day. Moving day. We’re cleaning out the apartment, throwing away unopened bottles of beer (ouch), calming the dogs and kids and saying goodbye. Goodbye to my brother, my sister-in-law and my nieces, to our Portland friends, to Mississippi Studios and Forest Park, to my practice space. Sad. And there’s an ugly rain falling which adds to the effect.

But we’re almost always up for a new start. Back in the car, we get our road thing going and share a picnic dinner in the backseat. The stars come out. It’s beautiful again.

Jan. 3

Lordy, that gorgeous mid-western silver light. Crazy sun shining on tall grass prairie coated in ice. One of my favorite-ever things.

Jan. 6

Fake Ass Family Christmas in Rhode Island with Doony (who didn’t make it out to Portland for the real one). All four brothers eating gingerbread cookies and Chinese food, giggling over goofy presents…really sweet.

Jan. 12

I’m writing from my London hotel room where, as usual, I’m spending the whole trip drinking tea and watching Jackass and South Park. A seriously well-spent week.

Last night the McCarricks and the 50Foot boys and I played a “Learn to Sing…” preview show at a theater in Soho, mostly for press. It was like taking a test on the subject of new songs, but I enjoyed it. I’ve never been on stage with so many people before. The sound was so full, I kept walking around listening, of all things.

Bernie and Rob playing quietly! Hah! We call it “Pussy Foot Wave”. I kissed them goodbye in the hotel after the show, handed them some tangerines and told them I’d catch up with them in L.A. in a couple of weeks. I hate saying goodbye to them.

Jan. 16

Massive “Fopp” in-store here in London today. They have a venue inside the store with a stage, a full PA and a bar. They crammed a ton of people in there and then shut a bunch more out. I’m pretty sure I met them all, though -— I signed so many CD’s afterwards, my hand ached, my face hurt from smiling and I was blind from flashes.

No weirdos though. A big plus.

Jan. 18

Leaving London. It smelled really good there because the flowers are in bloom, thanks to global warming. Apparently the bears can’t sleep (what bears?), but it was working for me. What a beautiful city.

Best sign-age on the way to the airport:

“No Options” and “Altered Orientation Ahead”

Jan. 22

Boston press and a Newbury comics in-store. The Newbury Comics employees were awfully nice people, but they didn’t know how to build a PA, so Billy and Echo did sound.

Tea and Dean brought the girls (more nieces!) and I spent the whole time pretty much in tears, kissing the babies. What happened to me? I used to be bad ass.

So many old Boston friends — a wee little love fest. When we stepped outside, a perfect snow was falling on Newbury Street, on the brownstones and the Christmas lights. Nobody said anything; we all just stood and watched.

Jan. 24

New York. The kids safely dumped on Billy’s family, we pick up our friend Gina and make our way to NPR (no beer!) for an interview and then more NPR (still no beer!) for a live session and then more NPR (help! I need beer!) for both. Too much coffee and nothing to eat makes my hands shake — shaky hands and live radio: a bad combination. Nobody notices but me, though.

I met a tiny, little 11 year old rocker girl. She has a band. She’s 11! I wanted to scream, No!!!! but I guess she’s having fun.

Music’s fun, right?

We visit our beloved “anti-publicists” at Sacks & Co. and then have sushi at Sakura, around the corner from Billy’s old West 11th street apartment where we courted. We’ve had many a bowl of heartbreak soup at Sakura. It fixes just about everything.

Jan. 25

Philadelphia. NPR (do I have to say it?). They’re always so professional, like at the BBC. No “deejays”, just “hosts”. And engineers that actually know how to work a board. They totally fall down on the beer front, though.

We showed the kids the Liberty Bell on the way to the Borders in-store and then got caught in a traffic loop and showed it to them 6 more times.

Jan. 26

Washington, DC. It is freezing here. Freezing! What happened to global warming? I want cherry blossoms!

Voice of America and AP first thing (oh my god, where’s my beer?). Voice of America goes out to 150,000,000 people. They also video tape it for some reason — the camera man is introduced to me as “the man who shot Reagan” (!!)

They place an enormous picture of me behind me and begin filming right away (beer?). We work with Gary, Mary and Larry to try and find a song on the record without swears in it that they can play on the air. We decide on Day Glo.

“Is it too hairy?” Billy asks Gary, Mary and Larry.
“Hairy?” ask Gary, Mary and Larry.
“Scary,” he says.

We go with Wild Vanilla. Billy coughs over “shit scared domestic god”.

The show begins. The host introduces me and asks me what it was like to be in the Pixies.


More radio, some phoners and then an in-store. We finish the night ordering-in Thai with our dear friends Kevin and Marco who live in DC. They let our dogs hang, too. They have an enormous Golden Retriever named Flapjack that Kitty, Nimbus and Captain all take to immediately. Then Kitty eats an entire order of Pad Thai.

This could be a long night.