I'm surprised with the little wave of 90's nostalgia that they don't get more attention, but The Kids are probably more fascinated with the trainwreck that is Courtney Love and the swagger of the riot grrls. This wasn't about looks, being the cute bassist or the perky frontwoman. Too understated to call attention, too raw for the Lilith Fair set. I keep hoping that someone will stumble across this the way I did. Not as much stuff on the Youtubes as I'd like, since I can't setlist the way I do for other things. I played 2 hours of sundry Hershness this morning on the show. It made some people happy. Only three people in my world actually care. She's 46 today. Give her money and download some awesome jams.
It was a little too jangly for me then, but "Shimmer" stuck, and a few years later I revisited them one summer when I was working at the zoo and would come home and pass out in the hot attic with the boombox on after a long day of printing out tickets and dealing with angry suburban moms. This time, it was perfect and hit me in that place that all good music should. I had those albums on repeat, slipping into blissful rest with the chorus pedalled sweetness and reverb. I'm convinced that love for this band comes with age, that it's not a love at first sight all the time but it worms its way in profoundly, what the hell was she singing about? I wasn't sure, but it spoke to my awkward young person soul and inspired me.
Hips and Makers and Strange Angels became my go-to acoustic albums and seeing her on tour for Learn to Sing Like a Star with the accompanying string section was fantastic. That duet with Michael Stipe still shows up on mix CDs with regularity. The way those two voices come together devastates me every time.
It seems that each effort's gotten more punchy, more cathartic, more intense, both in the more demure solo output and the squalling Cobain-with-ovaries power trio incarnation. Some people burn out, others fade away, and others burn on stronger.