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One of the quietly great college bands from the 1980s, Throwing Muses was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Kristin Hersh and her half-sister guitarist/vocalist Tanya Donelly with a few friends from high school. In 1986, the group's debut album was put out by the prestigious British label 4AD; Throwing Muses was the first American band to be released on that label. Throwing Muses' angular, anguished, mercurial sound had much to do with Hersh's mental illness (she suffered from a form of bipolarity that caused her to hallucinate), especially on early albums like House Tornado. 1991's The Real Ramona marked a break from the heaviness of the previous albums, with lots of shimmery pop gems penned both by Hersh and Donelly, who contributed at least one song per album throughout her stay in the band. Creative tensions between the two songwriters rose until Donelly left in 1992 to play with the Breeders and ultimately form Belly. That year Hersh re-formed the Muses with drummer David Narcizo and released the band's fourth album, Red Heaven. After that, Hersh released a solo album and toured extensively, leaving fans to wonder about the status of the Muses. In 1995, however, Hersh and the rest of the Muses (Narcizo and bassist Bernard Georges) released University, one of the band's most cohesive and accessible efforts. University was followed by Limbo in 1996. The group's dissolution was announced soon after, with Hersh continuing on as a solo artist. In a Doghouse, a collection of rare early Muses material, followed in 1998. In spring 2000, the Muses reunited for a special event called the Gut Pageant, which featured a set from Hersh, Narcizo, Bernard Georges, and Robert Rust, as well as a solo performance by Hersh, short films by Narcizo, and a picnic lunch hosted by the group. During three weekends in 2002, the trio got together to record another album; released the same day in 2003 as Hersh's The Grotto, Throwing Muses (self-titled, just like their debut) was the group's rawest, loudest album. Donelly provided background vocals on some of the songs. Hersh and Georges subsequently recorded and toured as two-thirds of 50 Foot Wave, and Hersh continued her solo work. In 2011, the Muses assembled Anthology, a double-disc compilation of favorites and B-sides, and toured in support of it.
Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the group's songs. Throwing Muses are known for performing music with shifting tempos, creative chord progressions, unorthodox song structures, and surreal lyrics. The group was set apart from other contemporary acts by Hersh's stark, candid writing style; Donelly's pop stylings and vocal harmonies; and David Narcizo's unusual drumming techniques eschewing use of cymbals. Hersh's hallucinatory, febrile songs occasionally touched on the subject of mental illness, more often drawing portraits of characters from daily life or addressing relationships.
Formation 1983-1986 
Throwing Muses formed in 1983 Kristin Hersh and her step-sister Tanya Donelly who were attending Rogers High School and were initially called themselves "Kristin Hersh" and the Muses in which they were accompanied by bass player Elaine Adamedes and drummer Becca Blumen but were later replaced by Leslie Langston and David Narcizo, respectively. Narcizo did not originally know how to play the drums but when Hersh said that Becca Blumen left the band and he could join, Narcizo said on the subject “I had never played a drum kit before – all I’d played was marching drums and concert drums. We found somebody whose kit we could borrow, but it arrived without cymbals. I learned to play on it without cymbals which then became my trademark early on.” They released their debut self-titled EP in 1984 on their Blowing Fuses label. They then released a set of demos, later known as The Doghouse Cassette, garnering a number-one college radio hit, "Sinkhole," that year. The demos impressed Gary Smith of Fort Apache Studios and he lead them to a signing with 4AD being the label's first American band. Kristen recalls “I signed with them because [owner] Ivo [Watts-Russell] was funny and goofy, and that was about it.” In 1986 they released their self-titled debut album produced by Gil Norton. Hersh has written the memoir Rat Girl about the year the band moved to Boston, was signed, and recorded their first album.
In 1987, they released two EPs, Chains Changed and The Fat Skier, released 6 July. In 1988, they released their second studio album, House Tornado, produced by Gary Smith and engineered by Paul Kolderie; it was recorded at Fort Apache Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The album was released internationally on the 4AD label, except in the United States, where it was released by Sire Records. Sire used a different album cover for its release, as the label was putting a strong promotional push behind the band, and label executives favored a picture of the band over the collage featured on the 4AD release. Also a version of the CD featured The Fat Skier EP. House Tornado saw them embark on a tour in the UK supporting the Pixies.
In 1989 they released their third album, Hunkpapa, produced by Gary Smith and engineered by Steve Haigler. The album shows Hersh experimenting with more conventional melodic structures.
In 1990, bassist Leslie Langston left and was replaced by Fred Abong and they recorded then recorded their fourth album, The Real Ramona; shortly after its release in 1991, Tanya Donelly left the band to play bass for The Breeders and then went on to form Belly and was followed by Fred Abong, who also joined Belly. The Real Ramona is considered to have a more poppy sound than their previous records. Also the song "Counting Backwards" was released a single.
1992 saw the band having a fresh start with Bernard Georges and recorded their fifth album Red Heaven and Leslie Langston played briefly as well. It was produced by Throwing Muses and Steve Boyer and was recorded at The Power Station and Fort Apache Studios. The album also had a duet with Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould on the song "Dio".
In 1993 they recorded their sixth album, University right before Hersh recorded her debut album, Hips and Makers, which was released in 1994 which delayed the album until 1995. It featured the band's first national hit "Bright Yellow Gun", the album was very favorably reviewed but it did not sell well so this ended in them being dropped from Sire. They then released their seventh album Limbo and was followed by a tour but they disbanded in 1997 and Kristin Hersh went on to continue her solo career.
Reformation 2003-present 
In March 2003 Throwing Muses came back with their eighth album, Throwing Muses, which also seen the return of Tanya Donelly who provided backing vocals for the album, although did not contribute to any other albums.
Throwing Muses have released a compilation titled Anthology and have currently been working on a new album possibly to be released in the spring or summer of 2013.