Blog Post

I published my first review in Bookforum. It's about Kristin Hersh's Rat Girl.

Apparently it's the 90s nostalgia week here on Teenage Kicks. This month I published my first writing on paper in quite awhile, this brief(ish) review of 80s/90s rock figure Kristin Hersh for Bookforum's autumn edition. It's headlined "Sing, Muse." (Not my idea, but I like it.) Apparently she likes it. Which, you know, while not my intent, is nice to hear.

What I'm imagining she liked about it was my appreciation for her lack of nostalgia about the past. Her story is a story-qua-story rather than an excuse to burnish the reputation of her circle, herself, her older musical material. In fact, my conclusion is that her writing maybe even better than her music -- at least to my ears. (I'd somehow avoided knowingly hearing Throwing Muses until I wrote this review, reminding me of the inevitable holes in one's listening during this era of the endless archive & the celestial jukebox and reminding me, also, of one of my college English professors, a specialist in contemporary fiction, who sheepishly admitted to never having read Catch-22.)

(PS - Registration on site is required to read the review.)

Alec Hanley Bemis's picture
Alec Hanley Bemis lives in Brooklyn, NY but spends a lot of time in California. He obtained his B.A. in History from Yale University. His writing has appeared in LA Weekly, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Spin,, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. In 2001, he co-founded Brassland, a record label that documents the work of a growing community of musicians, including The National and Nico Muhly. Currently he continues to run Brassland, consults for the UK-based music company All Tomorrow's Parties, co-manages The Dirty Projectors, and acts as general manager at Cantaloupe Music. In the past, he has taught in New York University's graduate journalism program, produced projects for the new media-design firm, Funny Garbage, and written for Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve.