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“I write on his wall” (Throwing Muses, Pearl, 1992 – 12 years Before Facebook)


from zioWoodys photostream

from zioWoody's photostream

Sometimes I find a real bargain. Sometimes it’s deceptive – the coffee machine I snagged for a tenner turned out to be a Nespresso machine. Que? Charlie Brooker tells me that I’ve inadvertantly bought into a lifestyle, which I wasn’t really aware of, although others seem happy. I’m not sure I fancy buying into some coffee club, I plan to stick with my ethically-unsound-but-dirt-cheap-and-still-quite-good Aldi coffee. Anyway, my point is, sometimes a bargain isn’t always as bargainous as it seems.


However, sometimes it patently is. How about a Springsteen classic for just an English pound? I’ve got a 60 year old copy of Bertrand Russell’s history of Western philosophy, I’ve found Half-Japanese singles, and much more, but it’s still nice when one finds something really good for really cheap. In a charity shop in Loughton, on Saturday, I purchased Throwing Muses’ Red Heaven for just £1.75. Having found some other delights, I’ve not listened until now, but it’s brought back a little of what I often forget: I heart Kristin Hersh.

Next year, Kristin Hersh will be celebrating a quarter of a century in the biz, since she and Tanya Donelly released the Stand Up EP in 1984. So when I was two, a teenaged Hersh was cranking out spiky guitar lines over thwacking great drums and screeching about her many problems. It’s a little frightening, but then consider REM started before I was born, Nick Cave’s been frightening pretty much everybody since the seventies, Tom Waits released his debut in 1973. Goodness, even Cliff Richard is still going. Red Heaven was released when I was ten, in 1992. By this time, the band had already released a couple of classics, had said goodbye to Tanya and were going strong.

Red Heaven is absolutely up there; its sound is (to my untutored ears) most reminiscent of Limbo, which came 4 years later. Either way, it’s a cracker, and that’s why I love rifling through bargain bins and charity shops – you never know what you might find.


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