third child on llogmanay. ‘lt‘s easier than touring with babies. But. then. l tend to do that too. ljust don't really have much choice. i can't really afford to stay home from work for very long. I have a lot of people depending on me.‘

And an awful lot more people have been waiting patiently for Limbo, recorded. like Universil_\'. at Daniel Lanois‘ homely New Orleans studio. Evert after a decade. there‘s no sign of Hersh's creative well drying up. Lini/m‘s awkwardly beautiful songs are cut from the saute cloth as their predecessors. but they're sweeter. Kristin having reined in the distortion that has helped cover up the absence of Tanya Donnelly since Red Heaven.

‘I tried to put some clean guitar on University. because I was leaning on distortion too much. I like distortion too much! I thought it was going to become a problem. But it wasn't right for University songs the clean guitar sounded a little busy and ineffective.‘ For Limbo. though. she's found a sound that‘s ‘not grungey muscular. it's muscular in that you hear the pan that's played. I think that tended to make the details of the songs a bit clearer than when we would steamroller over them in the past. I like the way all the messy stuff flew around on University. but these songs would be confusing. I think. ifwe did that.‘

It’s boring to read. year after year. that a band's latest album is ‘possibly their best ever‘. but Limbo really is something special. even by their standards. The title track is one of the

Throwing Muses: new baby. new tunes

most compelling tracks the band has ever set down. and as a whole it stands as proof that. despite Kristin‘s new Dolores Cranberry hairdo. Throwing Muses are about as likely to be sucked into the corporate maw as they ever were.

This is the first album. for example. that the band have released on their own label (in America; British and European releases remain on 4A0). This. they reasoned. would make the band a more financially viable proposition. and they'd own their own master tapes for a change. ‘We were never a major label band. and we made no secret of that.‘

There was a time once. though. back in l989. when the band‘s resolve had been so weakened by record company persuasion that they made their one and only attempt at something that might make a neat hit single. it was a fluffy little tune entitled ‘[)izzy‘. Kristin hates it.

‘I hated it immediately. I regretted it while we were doing it! And that was our decision when we were making Red Heaven: to continue as a band and never have an ear to the outside world. Which might sound kind of insular. but really it means we're playing for the music. and that's the best way to present music to other people: not to trick them. not to push music down their throats. but to really give them something that we thought was great.‘ Throwing Muses play The Arc/res. Glasgow on San l5.

Tired and emotional

Mark Kozelek is a tired man. He’s tired of continually over-analysing his own work to the point oi describing himself as ‘hyper-anal.’ This time around, he has just let things happen, having moved from MD to record the new Red House Painters album Songs ForA Blue Guitar for Island.

The band’s first demo tape, handed to 4A0 bosses by American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel, became the Painters’ debut release Down Colourful Hill, a collection so dark, including titles such as ‘Medicine Bottle’, ‘Japanese To English’ and ‘lord Kill The Pain’, that the stereo would threaten to scream, ‘stop, bring me light!’

Yet now, Mark Kozelek has moved on and the new record contains a distinctly upbeat refrain (ior them), which could lead to accusations oi an unaccustomed outbreak of fun occuring within the group’s personnel.

Formed in San Francisco in 1989, the fled House Painters are the kind of combo who attract a fanatical bunch of supporters who stop at nowt to see them live. How little they may know of Kozelek’s previous antipathy towards

stepping out in front of a live audience. ‘I’m starting to enjoy it now I

Red House Painters get blue for you

but before I used to get really nervous,’ admits the Painters’ central artist. ‘I would toss and turn for weeks and get real sick before a show but now it’s good for me to express myself and hear the applause. Hot everybody gets to have that kind of reaction with their lob.’

With the new album, Kozelek has mixed his own scribblings with a trio of unlikely covers originally penned by Rio Ocasek, Jon Anderson and, most surprisingly Paul McCartney’s ‘Sllly Love Songs.’ His revamping of this watery ditty into a Crazy Horse- inflected fine wine is truly a modern- day miracle. Kozelek’s songs are blue. They’re on the guitar. And they’re dead, dead good. (Brian Donaldson) lied House Painters play La Belle Angelo, Edinburgh on Tue 10.

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Tickets: £15.00 Credit cords Tel: 0131 557 6969 (£1 per ticket booking fee). Aveileble from Just The Ticket. Virgin, Ripping end ell ueuel TOCTA outlets (Subject to 709 per ticket booking





The List 6- l9 Sept I996 35