kristin hersh

26 November 2007

CASH Music is Now

Welcome to the sparkly-new CASH Music.

As many of you may already know, CASH is an acronym -- it stands for the Coalition of Artists & Stake Holders. The name indicates just what we're all hoping to build here -- a coalition through which we blur the line that's traditionally stood between creators of content and the consumers of that content.

Just to head off any potential confusion, CASH Music is not "me", or "mine". It's a group of people that have built a framework that is not meant for any single artist. I'm only the first. Look for more artists soon. The next featured artist and a co-founder of the coalition is Donita Sparks. CASH will soon be open to any and all independent artists who want a set of tools to offer their music directly to their audience for collaboration as well as financial support.

We're all stake holders here. We all stand to gain from a productive relationship. Maybe it will help to think of this relationship as a conversation. For instance, I start the conversation by writing and recording a song every month, like the one I'm posting here this month, "Slippershell". You respond by listening & sharing "Slippershell" with others.

Sharing is encouraged, I license my work through Creative Commons. If you're unfamiliar with Creative Commons, do yourself a favor and check out the licenses I use. They're in plain English and provide better, more realistic and rational copyright protection.


Here are some beautiful things from a world none of us remember:

• a folk song is carried across the ocean, altered by the voices which relay it. Chord progressions, lyrics and instrumentation change as the original material is shaped according to different concepts of beauty in sound.

• a blues player walks a song from town to town, playing on street corners, in dance halls, at parties and bars. The song stays when the musician leaves, adopted and adapted to suit various personalities, voices and life stories.


Art is by nature a conversation. I'd like us to make it a community. Think about what you have to offer. Read-only culture is not enough anymore. We'd like you to treat this stuff as read-write. I'd also like to hear your comments on the songs I post each month. I'll read them all and reply too.

What does read-write mean? Maybe as you're listening to "Slippershell", you're inspired to DO something: paint a picture, write an essay, make a video, remix, or even re-record the song. Please do so. And share your work with me and the rest of the CASH community by uploading it somewhere and sending me a link. I'm offering my Pro Tools mix stems to make it easy to work with my recorded material. We will review all the links submitted, I promise. At some point, I'll release the songs I post here in the form of a CD. It's my intention that the CD release should also include lots of the stuff you send me. I think that would be incredible.

What we're doing today is just the beginning. It is in the nature of a share and share alike community to grow. Gradually, over the next weeks and months CASH Music will be revealing it's "real" self. Other artists will be involved, the final and fully-capable site will be launched and new features will be added -- all incorporating your input and creativity. CASH is a community that in the end will be defined by itself.


Here's an ugly thing we all see every day:

• Big business tries to replace your opinions because this makes big business money. But big business isn't me and it isn't you.

Here's something you can do about it:

• Demand substance. Substance in music, in education, in art, in health, in film, in information, in everything. When you find people doing something you like, support that endeavor as an investment in the future of quality output.


CASH asks for your financial support. Please consider contributing or subscribing in whatever amount is comfortable to you. Your money will support not only me and my work but CASH directly, allowing this community to grow and become something to be proud of. A forum for all of us as creative individuals to collaborate, creating "read-write" culture from user-generated content.

This should make for an exceptionally interesting conversation, don't you think?


Just in case you missed it, "Slippershell" is here.


Blogger Chucky said...

Yay! I'm first to comment.

I love the new song, Kristin. It sounds like something from the Sunny Border Blue era. Are those bells in the background?
I've mentioned your CASH project on the main Radiohead fan web site, so I hope that helps spread the word.
I also want to say that I really appreciate the fact you offer the song in FLAC. It sounds so much better tham MP3.
Good luck with the new venture.
Oh, and some self-appointed music critics are ranking How To Sing Like A Star as the second-best CD of the year.
...and by some, I mean me :-)

8:56 PM  
Blogger estanis said...

finally, after weeks of waiting, we see this great project start to walk! and it's really exciting. the idea is so unique and completely different to what major record companies want the people to believe and their solutions to "save the record industry". it's amazing that you put up something that's really an alternative to everything as we know it.

i loved "slippershell". didn't know what kind of production to expect of your new recordings and it's been a nice surprise to see the different band elements pop in again, but you can tell the song has a different nature than those on 'Learn to Sing like a Star'.

in love with music again

5:01 AM  
Blogger Divinyl said...

I love it already! Thanks Kristin! I have it on repeat and it's a great song. I have blogged about it in the hope of sharing it even further afield with my can either just click on my name above, or read it at
if you wish.

I am really excited about this...I have always loved your music, both solo and with Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave. Best of luck with this project...if all the songs are this good it's set to be a stormer!

3:35 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Hey...Thank you so much for your excitement, enthusiasm -- and comments.

I hope you all will seriously consider contributing to this "conversation".

1:54 PM  
Blogger Divinyl said...

I don't have anything to offer...except my genius.

Actually, sadly, not even that! The blog I wrote was, however, the first one out there, which is pretty cool.

I am afraid, as much as I love music, that I am not musical enough to remix the song or much as I'd love the chance to get on a Kristin Hersh CD!!

I will continue to try to spread the name of CASH though...and am greatly anticipatory of further releases :o) It's a really interesting thing that you are doing here. x

2:58 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...


I definitely plan on trying my hand at a remix, Kristin. Maybe this weekend, if my kids can shake their colds and sleeeep through the night.

I don't have ProTools, but I have some software that has multi-track capablities as well as tempo/pitch adjustments.

If I do, will you sign the guestbook on my web site? I've linked to your Cashmusic page and have some photos of you up there (blonde and brunette!) for the next few days. I try to change the site a couple of times a week to highlight new music that is overlooked by commercial radio.


8:37 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

First: Read/write music. Very cool. I dig it.

This song paints a picture of a lonely night lit beach( some light coming from the street lamps)

Third: One sugestion.

The fade out just doesnt seam to fit the feel of the song. It feels like a character is having a conversation with me but I am walking away from them. I wanted to hear the resolve.

My 2 cents.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

Cant wait to hear more.


10:50 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Finally something on the internet worth giving a dam about.

Great show at the Kings Arms in Auckland by the way, especially loved the Throwing Muses stuff...first time I've had the chance to see you live, and I was not dissapointed! (Sorry to gush, was a true highlight of my bloody life...well since I bought University back in 95'anyway)

Let's have some more 'substance'!

I will spread the word down here NZ.

PS, did good'ol t-shirt number 88 win the guitar?


5:29 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


I meant t-shirt 82.

Go t-shirt 82!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Red Valentino said...

Hello everyone and Kristin.

Lately I haven't been able to afford buying a single record. After The Grotto, the only Cd I bought was The Laments of Ariadne 'Claudio Monteverdi', because it was cheap price.

I am a filmmaker, well, I studied film, was even enrolled in MA program in production when I was 21. Now I am 31, by december precisely I will be - and for the last 10 years I have been frequented by fellas in the field I used to know after I worked from the age of 19 til 21 revolutionizing the underground theater in my country, Lebanon, the East, the middle one. This frequenting often consisted of 'come on, do not worry about budget, dream it out' advices which would have placed me 'unblessed, under the tents of the wicked' in a manner of speaking.
I already have enough problems with my faith keeping, to the iota, wailing wall front seat I, so any career that succeeds the baptism of filthy rich anti-semites would not make me a filmmaker, it would make me a plunderer of heritage, a sleek snake in the courts of pharaoh, I would lose the blessing of the Holy Patriarchs, I would mistake the eye of Azazel for the pearl.

Yeah, all this to say that no more the age of 'Pushing' in the underground, now pushing is made live Tv, the slums and scums have lifted up, we are famished for standard.

To the fellas that frequented and often said, you are wasting your years not doing anything with your talent, I would answer, I have been making films, they are perfect, I watched them all, fuck you.

I am glad that in the US you may actually profess your reasons and your doubts, you may scream them out and holler them, here where I am, any first hand honesty of my part to the face of somebody would be considered murderous assault.

Not to depress you but the connection is slow, I couldn't download the track and Kristin, I love the album Sky Motel - Clay Feet etc.. Fav. song; Delicate Cutters (which is like a prayer) and 'A She Wolf After The War'...It's me and she, she is in a mess but she is stronger than scissors. I get fingers up my ass as I walk with Truth.

High hopes, it is coming.
Love you and Amen.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Red Valentino said...

PS: , I take it out here.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Solan said...

Very interesting concept. You are actually a new artist to me, Kristin, so I don't know what to expect, whether I will love or hate your song ... but you leave me a window open to explore. I'll pay and come back later if I like the song after it's been on my player for a week.

I've spread the word, though, since I really like tis way of exploring and buying music - and that you are offering full quality!

To do my part to avoid taxing your server, I download by torrent and will of course seed at least as much as I leech. Or will try ... seems everybody else on the torrent is also keen on seeding to at least ratio 1.

PS: Would you prefer that we pay per song or a bigger lump sum? (I don't know what kind of mark-up PayPal takes.)

7:49 AM  
Blogger Solan said...

PS: If Radiohead's experience is aything to go by, your music will end up on other torrent and file sharing sites. Not by my doing, since I don't do that kind of thing, but we know it happens. Fans with a issionary zeal and whatnot. Why not prepare a short .txt document accompanying the file, containing the URL to CASH Music and an explanation, for instance? Or perhaps do that when / if you later put up a whole album for download.

Kristin Hersh 2008 CD

01 - Slippershell.flac
02 - (some other title).flac
13 - New Year Bonus Track.flac
Artwork01 - Kristin.jpg
Artwork02 - Kristin_large.jpg
Artwork03 - Kristin_really_large.jpg
Artwork04 - Lotus Flower.jpg

Just a thought. Or you could organize by what I have now decided surely must be The Ultimate Universal Standard for organising CDs on file (I am in the middle of ripping my wife's CD collection (and have finished my own), and have strong opinions at this point):

Folder: Artist
Subfolder: YYYY - Album Name
In Subfolder:
01 - First track.flac
22 - Last track.flac
Subsubfolder: Artwork
Artwork01 - Front.png (300 dpi)
Artwork01 - Back.png (300 dpi)
Subsubfolder: Meta (for cue and log and notes if I am so interested that I take notes, and URLs to wikipedia articles and whatnot if I am similarly interested ... )

Did I say that I am planning on hiding our CDs in the back of a cupboard in a corner of a dark room in the attic or something like that afterwards? The physical medium is a hassle, so I appreciate what you do, giving us the opportunity to buy your music in full quality without being hassled with the plastic and the transport costs.

(Damn, how full of rants I am today!)

8:27 AM  
Blogger John Davies said...

Best wishes with this bold move which to my mind is totally in character with the way you are as an artist who always pushes at boundaries. I love the new song too, even though the bells sound exactly like my doorbell and so the first few times I heard them got me out of my seat....

1:45 PM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

I've been listening since the late '80s, and you've never ceased to surprise. Congratulations on this great new venture.

You've been blogged:

4:23 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...

HERE IT IS.... :-)

I have picked up the gauntlet, Kristin, and have done a remix of your song.

I'm an amateur, and it truly shows during an awkard transition near the 1-minute mark. But I'm fairly pleased with some experimentation at the beginning and the end. Wait for a return after the fade out.

I'd love to know what you and others on this board think... Here's the link:

1:17 AM  
Blogger Chucky said...

...and another attempt at a remix

mostly guitar...and I play around with the pitch of your voice at the end.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Ciaran said...

wow! this is exciting!

first up Kristin, love the song, love the bells, remind me of winter off Learn To Sing...i love when you throw something a little different in, like that trumpet from White Suckers, i love that!

I just became a Strange Angel too, which is nice. nice to think i am helping an artist, even just a little, who has helped me for so many years now with their music.

it's all still a bit mad for me, i am a complete novice with computers, just about figured out how to send an email, don't have a clue what FLAC is so just downloaded the MP3. if anyone feels sorry for me and would like to explain the difference then feel free! i am relieved that you will still have actual physical albums out, i do like to have a new album!

would love to hear some acoustic stuff soon too, dunno if you have any plans, but i am hoping. i just loved the work you did with Andrew Bird and Howe Gelb on The Grotto. Deep Wilson and Arnica Montana are two of my favourite songs in your magnificent catalogue! but anything new and i'll be excited.

Anyway, well done on Slippershell and this whole CASH idea, i hope it all works out for you, it should. hope to see you in Dublin soon.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Hey again everyone.

Your comments are all so great. I appreciate you thinking so hard about this and sharing your thoughts.

If you do a remix or anything 'inspired by' the music, please visit:

...and post a link to your work!

Paul & Peter, I haven't checked the stems and can't today, can you 'remix' the song without the fade? If not, maybe I'll have to re-up the stems without one.

Tony, shirt #144 won -- sorry!

Red Valentino...keep doing good work because it's all you have.

Solan, either is fine...whatever you feel is right for you. And good idea about preparing the files for re-distribution (which is fine with us, of course).

Sorry for the doorbell confusion...

Love "playful librarian" thanks for the mention!

Right on Chucky! Go post the link at CASH (see above).

Ciaran...I can't wait to be back in Ireland...thanks for the note.

Hope I haven't forgotten anyone!


3:58 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...

Ah... I always forget to read the instructions :-)

Okay, I've posted my amateurish remixes on the cash site. I'd be interested in anyone's feedback.

I tried to create a spooky sound by using just the voice and bells in places.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

New Ending. No fade-out version of Slipper Shell.

Down load here:

I subtracted elements, sorta mirroring the intro but in reverse.

I don't have protools so I edited the WAV files. There is a little clang at the end.

It was bad ass to be able to get my hands on your split up tracks! The "write," interaction is so exhilarating. Playing art director for one of my favorite musicians... a dream no more ha ha ha.

Will be cool to see how user write ability plays out.
I like it.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

I was going to post my file and the official posting address seams to be down?


1:05 AM  
Blogger Red Valentino said...

hell, I have been answered to by Kristin Hersh... she called me by my name, even my family name, Red, Red Valentino.
I don't know what it does to you, but for me, it sure wakes my ghost.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

Ok the posting site is working.

I think its cool to talk back and forth with Kristin too. The only other time I get to talk to creators is at comic conventions. The creators there like to spitball ideas sometimes. I make comics in my free time.

One thing I like about that personal interaction is that you and the creator are grounded. The artists ability is high. Not to make Kristin seam like a goddess that us mortals could never talk to. I never got that feeling from her music. The efforts and focus is on MUSIC. Also why I liked it. That is real art to me.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...

I have to say, I'm very impressed with Creig's remixes.

They sound very professional, with smoothe transitions.

I also like the fuzzy-reverb effect Creig inserted.

What software did you use, Creig?

8:41 PM  
Blogger estanis said...

i've just uploaded a link for the remix i've created. it's just an idea which sounds quite amateur, but hey :)

"slippershell" on piano and some strings that i buried deep in the mix in case their sound was much too cheesy


1:35 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...

That's a cool remix Estenis. a very different vibe.

and no, the strings are not too cheesy. :-)

2:33 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

Cool versions so far! I especially like just Voice and piano.

Here is an epic versions of Slipper Shell.

Edited the WAVS, sorry about the pops.


5:03 PM  
Blogger estanis said...

This post has been removed by the author.

5:59 PM  
Blogger estanis said...

i'm really enjoying every remix that's being posted, this is the funniest thing ever :D

6:00 PM  
Blogger killwill64 said...

i am not the brightest star in the sky. i downloaded the materials for re-mixing, but now what? not sure what to do from here

7:54 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

I wanted to change up the pace, so here is one with lots of pace shifting. I was able to get rid of all the pops i had in it on the [epic version]



10:10 PM  
Blogger Paul and Peter Ziomek said...

If you have protools you can load the files, or look up WAV editors. I edited the WAV files for mine on Final Cut pro. (WAVs also in big down load pack.) Gurage Band kept freezing, but that probably would work too.

I hope that helps.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

People should feel free to write in appropriate votes for the obviously best blog, site, song, album, and artist of the year at Note you need to select five pre-chosen items to have your vote count. ugh.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...

WOW :-0

I'm blown away by North Sea's Sleepershell remix.


I'd be interested in knowing how you did it...keyboards, swooshy sounds, etc.

12:08 AM  
Blogger gurdonark said...

I think it's great that you're using Creative Commons licenses, and that you're providing wave files from the song that can be used for the purpose of either direct interaction or of sampling to create new material. Thanks to your group of artists for your stride forward here.

best, robert, who records as gurdonark

5:29 AM  
Blogger gurdonark said...

p.s. I like the new song, which I just downloaded. The paypal thing worked smoothly.

The protools stems are great. I suggest, though, that for remixers like myself who love working with samples but don't always love downloading 600 MB, a fun additional product you could offer is a 10 MB or less zipped file of little wave files of individual notes or sections of 10 seconds (or a rhythm section) of 30 seconds or less. This simpler sample pack would allow remixers to take advantage of your instruments without having to download half a gig of material.
You could even post this sample pack of 10 MB or less at as a cool kind of viral marketing for this song and this site.

It's great that you're getting this rolling. It will be fun to watch this progress.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Hi Kristin, congratulations on this move. FLAC, multitracks, CC, 'read/write' - you really do *get it* - it's so wonderful to see this from a major artist.

And the song is great! I look forward to remixing it, or another, when time permits.

The only criticism I have is the name 'CASH music'. It's a smart acronym, but has the wrong emphasis, imho (although I'm happy to contribute $).

Btw, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with yr fans after the Basement gig in Sydney. It meant a lot to us.


10:12 AM  
Blogger Sken! said...

Yo, KH & Kids!

I really dig the idea. After seeing that so many are taking advantage of the stems, I'm gonna have to get my grubby little hands on them and do some stuff. I'll be interested to hear Slippershell one track at a time as there is some kind of turn of phrase or something in the chorus or "C" section (not to be confused with "C Section") that sounds a little clumsy somehow, BUT, the song's overall feel is really exciting. When I first read that you're offering the Pro Tools stems my first thought (jeez, I'm such a "guitarist") was, "Oooooo, I could add a little guitar here or there perhaps." Then I listened to it and realized that I am an idiot. Your guitar playing is wonderful (as usual). It has an edge but remains melodic and true to the song. Can't wait for more and I gotta go dime-a-day here soon, 'cause, well, I ain't got more than that. Take care, all, this is fantastic!

11:01 PM  
Blogger ez said...

hi ...luv your music, but plz consider an alternative to paypal... i simply won't use it and i don't think you will want to either after reading the thousands of horror stories here:

they are not a bank and thus do not have to follow any banking rules...thnx!

8:58 AM  
Blogger SalmonGod said...

I just found CASH Music in the course of some research for school. I'm writing a paper where I suggest exactly the same kind of service you seem to be attempting.

Independence is great, but needs aren't being met. Artists need to support themselves. Audiences need convenience. What it amounts to is the need for a CENTRAL community which can act as a gathering place and a lifeline between everybody involved in music. A place where artists can say "hey I need money or I can't make music," and everybody else can find the music they like, get to know the people behind it, and easily donate to their needs.

I can see from what you have up already that you get this. I really hope what you're doing catches on, because we're on the verge of a renaissance that's only waiting for two things to happen. We need to mature past corporate shit and build a community for creativity to prosper.

I'll be watching CASH. If you want a glance at my paper, feel free to send me an e-mail at I'm also a 3d artist, so I hope maybe someday your website will expand to cover more than music.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Rakibuddin said...

Giving us free music- thanks but we don't deserve it, we miserable sinners we! Bless all your 50 feet or however many it is you have!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Chucky said...


10:56 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Hi All,

Thank you again for the thoughtful comments and especially for the remixes and artwork posted at CASH.

gurdonark...GREAT idea to do sampler packs...damn. we'll try and pull that together soon. Taking the 600MB via torrent might make it a bit easier for now.

Shannon...the name is by design. Anyone who thinks artists can live on love and appreciation alone doesn't understand fully what's at issue here. Allowing an artist to be a professional by supporting them with CASH (not a dirty word) is doing them a great service. I can't do what I do best if I'm sweating the electric bill.

ez...we're well aware of the PayPal issues and wish we had a better answer, but they're simply a temporary solution for this early release of CASH Music. They're flexible and secure...and the only game in town right now. We've made payment optional so as to not force anyone to do anything...and have plans to roll out our own proprietary payment solution with the full release of CASH.

Salmongod...consider posting some of your 3D art at my "-RW" page, if you wanna.

More music soon..."Torque" should be up by the end of the 28th or so.

Happy New Year!


3:06 PM  
Blogger chairkickersunion said...

Hi, Kristin.

First and foremost: my hat, albeit an imaginary hat, is doffed to you and CASH in general. This is, as they say, an idea whose time has definitely come.

Second: I've been playing around a bit with my remix of Slippershell (I was responsible for the TGK remix), attempting to add in the vocal track, and I was wondering - if, that is, I can get the vocals to sound right - if I could perhaps send in a second version - the TGK vocal remix, if you will. (God, that's a horrible way of putting it - it sounds like some kind of thump-SSS-thump-SSS house music monstrosity. You get the idea, though, hopefully.)

Keep on...

11:14 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

J (Chairkicker)...please do submit another remix -- the TGK remix is loved. The more the better!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Matt Moran said...

Wow - that so totally rocks! This is how music ought to be copyrighted: the way the artist wants. I'm flat broke at the mo so I only did the $3 thing, but I'd be happy to pay for more music, knowing it's actually going to you & knowing that fair use is something you not only allow but encourage.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Matt...Thank you for your thoughts and for 'getting it'!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Todd Perley said...

This post has been removed by the author.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Todd Perley said...

Hi Kristin.

To start, may I offer the usual cliché, but what I find absolutely requisite general lauding of your long and fascinating career. Your work was nothing short of formative for me in college in the 80s and helped me get through the Terrible 20s more acutely than any other single artist, and I have enjoyed the paths you've taken since those bitter-halcyon days equally well.

I'm intrigued by the CASH project — its simplicity and good common sense (which, of course, is anything but common these days). I sincerely hope it takes off and I'll be following its progress with interest. We live in curious times, distribution-wise, with iTunes, mp3s, e-books and the Information Thooperhighway in general. Its fascinating to see how people forge their own ways, what works, what doesn't, and why to both. Best of luck on this noble endeavor.

Thanks also for offering so many downloads of your music over the years. It's been a great way to keep in touch with your work, and introduced me to your other musical incarnations that I may not have otherwise been privy to. (50' Wave is on my bar's jukebox at my behest, e.g.)

Sharing is caring, and you seem to want people to link to their own efforts, so here's mine, the first song I've written in my life although I have nearly 30 years of piano in my fingers. I woke up one morning with a Joplinesque rag going through my head, but in a minor key. I pored through all my music books looking for the song, finally realizing I must have written it myself in my sleep. Two mind- and finger-bending months later, voilà: "The Executioner's Rag" [mp3]. (The score and cover art is here.)

I hope you'll come visit us in New Orleans soon; we always seem to be omitted from your tour schedule. If you need help with booking in the appropriate venue, I believe I can be of service.

Todd Perley, NOLA

1:39 AM  
Blogger Matt Moran said...

You really need to turn CAPTCHA on.

3:40 PM  

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