Throwing Muses
Kristin Hersh
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"What I Did On My Summer Vacation" by Kristin Hersh, August 30 2006
(Originally published on

Now that we’ve played these 50Foot/TM shows and I know that Throwing Muses can actually still play Throwing Muses songs (honestly, it’s really hard!), I’d like to share this brilliantly written e-mail David Narcizo sent me while we were trying to come up with a workable set list.

Dave sent Bernie & me a buttload of wild song ideas — all intriguing, yet seemingly impossible to play (so many chords…so many time changes…so many lyrics). Dave was excited, I was bewildered and Bernie was pretty much in panic mode (“There is no autopilot for me! I didn’t play on that record, remember?”).

After I let Dave know that I hated him, he laughed, apologized and added more difficult songs to the list, telling me that once I listened to the songs, I’d feel better. I didn’t. In fact, I wasn’t sure I had written any of that material, it sounded so strange. I told Dave that he must be thinking of a different girl in a different band and that maybe he should call her and leave me out of the whole thing. He laughed again and suggested “Mexican Women”, a song that has become a Throwing Muses in-joke and code for Songs We Will NeverPlay. I laughed. Dave said, “No, really.”

Dave won, of course. Throwing Muses seems to have a life of its own. Some songs did fall by the wayside, of course, but we played Mexican Women, we played Soul Soldier, Fear, Colder, Hate My Way…it went from awful to wonderful. Even rehearsals were a serious blast. As Dave said after the New York show, “We are honored.”

Here is his awesome e-mail:

Subject: the coleman stove
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006
From: Dave
To: Kristin

did i ever tell you my winter camping story?
before i was In My Forties i went winter camping in vermont w/ john &
we packed a picnic lunch for the drive of tequila, narragansett talls
and selected herbs and spices. (steve chaperoned).
throughout the drive, as john and i emptied the picnic basket, he kept
repeating: ‘do you realize that the hike into the site is almost a
i remember thinking..’walking. so we walk. i can walk. how hard could
that be?’ i could tell that j. was more worried about it because he
never dropped the subject.

well, by the time we reached the camping area it was snowing. in fact,
by the looks of things it had been snowing for days. we parked the car
at the foot of the mountain logging road that led UP to our site. when
we started to unpack the car, that’s when i noticed that john and steve
had all kinds of ‘real deal’ hiking stuff like backpacks and bungee
cords. i had a duffle bag and a boom box. steve went right to work (cuz
he didn’t eat the picnic basket), he rigged some kind of suit for me
where i had the duffle bag tied around my chest, the boom box in my
hand and a coleman stove bungee’d to my back. i took my first step up
the steep slope but my foot didn’t hit ground until the snow was nearly
up to my waist. that’s when i fell down. face first into the snow. the
scale of my hiking adventure had suddenly hit me full force like a
snowball in the face. this is what j. was trying to warn me about.

being not sober had both advantages and disadvantages. on the upside it
was hysterically funny to me and i laughed into the snow. the downside
was that i would have laughed into the air but truth was i couldn’t
move, roll over or nothing cuz i was drunk and i had a coleman camp
stove bungee’d to my back which was much lighter than the (now wet)
duffle bag strapped to my chest.

my stronger and half more sober friends stood me up and we started the
climb. there was much resting along the way but eventually i hit a
(virtual) wall. i was averaging about 3 steps between rests at this
point. something had to give or go. it was the coleman stove. i left it
there on the side of the trail and moved the duffle bag to my bag.
piece of cake. the hike was over.

i know that i’ve been sending you lists of songs to play for the
upcoming shows and sometimes while i’m working at my desk others pop
into my head like ‘finished! ooh. finished. that’s a fun song. i’ll
email kristin and have her add that to the list. and mexican women!
that’ll be great! i’m pretty sure she likes that song.’

well, yesterday i sat down to practice for the first time since we
decided to play these shows. the triple sow cow has been replaced by
the coleman stove and right now ‘call me’ is my coleman stove. ‘call
me’ is like the fuckin’ suv of coleman stoves. i might rewrite some of
it (don’t tell the purists) and see how that goes. i think that drum
part was written by a meerkat! or an octopus.

i’ve fallen but i can get up.

p.s. ‘mexican women’ turned out to be the duffle bag but one that can
double as a backpack!