Throwing Muses
Kristin Hersh
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50FOOTWAVE: Power + Light

I. Medicine Rush
II. Honeysuckle
III. Power+Light
IV. Skeleton Key
V. Broke
VI. Wax
VII. Sun Dog Coma

LABELS: Throwing Music, Suburban Home Records

Kristin Hersh
Bernard Georges
Rob Ahlers
- Power + Light, a vinyl-only release, has been described as "one track in seven movements." While each movement's title is listed separately on the vinyl release, the mp3 (downloadable from includes all seven movements in one continuous file.
- Artwork by David Narcizo.
- Vinyl available in black, cyan, yellow, and magenta.
- Power + Light features Victor Lawrence on cello.

- Recorded at The Hobby Shop, Highland Park, CA.


- "“Power and Light” was something we’d seen written on the side of a van once on a 50FootWave tour. Like many eloquent things we see written on the sides of vans, it turned up in a song a few months later. A song which stretched out in both directions, greedily snatching at parts of any other songs it could find and stuffing them down its throat. It seemed never to be satisfied with the beginnings and endings I handed it, always eager for more movements, until “Power and Light” was an epic, half-hour piece of piled up pieces. That poor van has no idea what it wrought just by driving down the highway.
When I played the screechy results by myself, cramming them into demo form and sending them off to my bandmates, now scattered across the U.S. (I so wished we were still an LA band so that I could have apologetically invited them to the practice space for an afternoon of gentle thrashing and warm beer), they may have blanched, but they did not let on. They are superheroes, after all.
I saw Rob in California soon afterwards and asked him if it was even possible to learn a half-hour long song. He grinned and said sweetly, “I already did!” Of course.
We recorded this interesting monster with Mudrock, who is starting to seem a little masochistic in his continued willingness to donate his time to work with noisy, broke 50FootWave. He even gave us the apartment upstairs to live in during the session, ensuring that we would eat, sleep and breathe Power+Light for the duration.
He also gave us Victor Lawrence, a dear creature who plays achingly beautiful cello. Victor’s parts make these gritty songs heartbreaking, for which I am forever indebted.
The first thing you notice when you enter Mudrock’s Highland Park studio in Los Angeles is a mannequin head wearing a surgical mask with wires coming out of the back of its scalp. I found it wildly off-putting and wondered (privately) if Mud wasn’t actually a little sado-masochistic after all.
“Her name is Beatrice,” said Mud, “she’s a mike. You’re gonna love her.”
“I will not love that,” I answered, stepping away from it, but unable to tear my eyes away from its dead stare.
“You will,” he said. “Trust me.”
I didn’t trust Mud then, but I trust him now, because I do love Beatrice. She is an amazing microphone and her unblinking calm saw me through many a gut-wrenching vocal. I sang to her, mostly, and she took it gracefully. She didn’t seem to mind the screaming or even the endless leads I played, Mud crawling around on the floor, pressing his hands into foot pedals chosen from his sleek, enviable and totally indecipherable collection of Japanese guitar effects.
Beatrice didn’t flinch when Bernie’s bass cab shook the building, or when Rob’s godless pounding almost flattened it. She merely accepted the sounds and laid them down, adding her own personal tweak: a bizarre combination of transistor and room. She looks like she may have seen a coupla hard days, too, which adds to her depth, makes her expression seem serene rather than blank.
Or maybe I’m projecting. ‘Cause Mud was right; Beatrice is lovely. Which is why she graces the cover of Power+Light, brilliantly photographed by L. Fletcher and artfully coalesced into an LP sleeve by David Narcizo.
We did eat, sleep and breathe Power+Light, or we would have if we’d taken time away from playing to do things like eat, sleep and breathe. It seemed more important to serve this greedy, forever-long song and give it the world it had asked us for when its van whizzed past ours on the highway so many tours ago.
Love, Kristin"

Look up, a clear blue sky.