Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wonderful Witches

A little more new music – well, new/old music. Cauldron, the 1967 Limelight release from San Francisco's Fifty Foot Hose, was recently re-issued on 180g vinyl. I found a copy many years ago at a garage sale; it has the distinction of being the only record I've ever listened to home alone that freaked me out to the point that I had to turn it off.

Fifty Foot Hose Fantasy (excerpt) mp3

That little clip is pretty tame (and also really, really good) but trust me, there are moments later on in the record that are like straight-up witchcraft being performed on your turntable. Hippies can be scary.

This particular band of them formed in 1966 after their leader, Louis "Cork" Marcheschi, constructed a homemade electronic instrument using (rumor has it) a fuzzbox, a theremin, a whole bunch of tubes, and a speaker from a World War II bomber. Fifty Foot Hose toured extensively and released Cauldron in 1967. Aside from the scary stuff, the album also has some lighter moments, such as this cover, with Nancy Blossom on vocals:

Fifty Foot Hose God Bless the Child mp3

The band broke up in 1969 when most of its members joined the cast of the San Francisco production of Hair, though they have reformed at various times, even releasing another album in 1996. Some members of Fifty Foot Hose went on to form the avant-electronic band Kwisp.

Cauldron is or should be available on CD from your favorite music store, and you can hear more sound clips and buy the newly re-released vinyl at Turntable Lab. Just have a buddy with you when you drop the needle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An amazing album, way ahead of it's time. This band never received the attention it should have at the time, that WHY it's ahead of it's time.

This amazing pioneering work was done years before Krafwerk of ENO.

The Kwisp recordings are very cool too.