Hips And Makers. An amazing and intense album of folk inflected indie rock from the lead singer of Throwing Muses. It was an undoubted hit in the mid 90’s thanks largely to the duet with R.E.M vocalist Michael Stipe going viral on MTV before going viral was even a thing. That duet, Your Ghost is a perfectly wonderful song but I thought if I was going to cast light on this era and Kristin’s solo work I ought to pick Sundrops.
This album loomed large in the lives of all who packed into the small house we lived in while studying in my second year of university. There was the usual mix of things that didn’t quite fit the young adult student lifestyle all crammed into one terraced house.
Doc owned a set of really rather expensive speakers. The sound quality was absolutely amazing and they cost a fortune. This was something he’d prioritized over food and clothing. Grace owned a cat. We were in shared rented accommodation and she decided we needed a house pet. So we had a cat. It was totally her cat but we all liked the little guy. However, he was prone to sleeping on top of Doc’s speakers. I guess one of them was at the right end of the room for the heater. Me? I supplied the records.
And these somewhat random nuggets of information have chosen this song. Because when I think back to playing Hips And Makers over and over and over again one of the things I recall most is how the intro to Sundrops caused vibrations in those speakers which sent the sleeping cat into a blind curtain climbing mewling panic.
It’s a great song from a flawless album. But the cat picked this one track as a stand out with it’s ridiculous reaction. We were banned by Grace ever playing that song again if the cat was in the house. We of course complied. The poor creature looked horrified.
So this is my recommendation. Kristin Hersh, removing cats from speakers since 1994.