Saturday, October 15, 2011

Electrify Your Head: In Which Throwing Muses Bring The Magic To D.C.'s Black Cat

Following the recent release of their new career-spanning Anthology, Throwing Muses are embarking on a brief US tour and they played D.C. last night.

I was there. My ears are still ringing.

The band played a long set to a wildly appreciative crowd -- myself included -- and launched things off with a blistering "Garoux Des Larmes" from 1987's The Fat Skier.

I spent the first few minutes watching Ian MacKaye from D.C. legends Fugazi as he lurked in the wings. The punk pioneer watched most of the show from the side of the stage. I tried to take a pic but it was too dark and blurry.

Throwing Muses delivered the goods and -- as if anyone could forget -- drummer David Narcizo is a formidable powerhouse behind the kit. As the cymbals shook, the guy pounded out the Muses canon.

Bassist Bernard Georges held things down with supple lines and a loose, almost jazzy feel on some cuts.

Promoting the recent Anthology, Throwing Muses gave up a rip-roaring "Finished" from 1987's Chains Changed EP, an edgy "Devil's Roof" from Hunkpapa (1989), a quick take on "Firepile" from Red Heaven (1992), a languid "Furious" from the same album, and a slow-burn on "Vicky's Box" from their first, self-titled album.

There was a run at "Mexican Women" and a few of the other mainstays from the 1988 masterpiece House Tornado, but the encore closer of "Mania" is what made my head spin.

Somehow stronger and even more...robust than the version I would have heard the group do back in 1989, "Mania" reminds a listener that 1) Throwing Muses are one of America's best live acts (and have been for 25 years now) and 2) Kristin Hersh was perfecting this sort of cathartic, emotional alt-rock when Cobain was still learning Sabbath chords back in Seattle.

I was near the stage so I got a lot of great shots of Kristin but not quite as many good ones of David Narcizo rocking the skins, and even fewer of Bernard Georges wielding his bass.

Follow Kristin Hersh and all her various incarnations here on Throwing and on the CASH Music site.

4AD will be releasing a single-disc edition of Anthology outside of the US. However, you can still get the deluxe limited edition 2-disc edition of Anthology from here.

Throwing Muses - "Bright Yellow Gun" - D.C.'s Black Cat, 10/14/11

Throwing Muses - "Soul Soldier" (excerpt) - D.C.'s Black Cat, 10/14/11