Marve and the Tinnon Bros. – I’m a Loser

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Listen – Marve and the Tinnon Brothers – I’m a Loser – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the beginning of the week finds you well.
If you are a reader of both Iron Leg and Funky16Corners, make sure to reset your links to reflect the new location for the latter, that being www.funky16corners.com .
The old version(s) of the Funky16Corners blog will soon be closed down for good, so get those changes in now before we recede even further into the interwebs.
The tune I bring you today is something I picked up at a record show years ago, and despite much effort on my part has resisted further discovery.
By that I mean, that no amount of creative Googling has turned up anything of substance on Marve and the Tinnon Brothers. I have seen references that indicate that M.O.C. records was a subsidiary of the storied Hi label, but aside from that, nothing.
I originally picked up this 45 in the hopes that it might be funky, on account of the fact that I already had a copy of Seleno Clarke’s Hammond funker ‘Soulful Drop’ in my record box, but when I got the 45 home, what I actually heard emitting from the grooves was what sounded like a longhaired white band, a la Creedence or one of their ilk getting down in the style of so many bands after the decline of the garage punk years. There’s a bluesy edge, a little choogling (apologies to Mr. Fogerty), some harmonica, some guitar that sounds like it’s being piped through a Leslie speaker and lots of hearty, he-man vocals (I actually dig the singer a lot), but little else to indicate who these people were.
I did find a discography for the M.O.C. label, which ran from 1962 into the early 70s, but I’ll be damned if I recognize any of the artists.
If anyone knows something about Marve, the Tinnon Brothers or both, please to drop me a line.
Until then


Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a live mix of Hammond organ burners.

Iron Leg Digital Trip #31 – Drugs, Love and Pot

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Iron Leg Digital Trip #31 – Drugs, Love and Pot

Playlist
Van Dyke Parks – Music for the Ice Capades Pt1 (WB)
Kaleidoscope – Keep Your Mind Open (Epic)
Wizards From Kansas – High Flying Bird (Mercury)
Mighty Baby – A Friend You Know But Never See (Head)
Bert Jansch – Poison (WB)
Poppy Family – Shadows On My Wall (London)
Steve Miller Band – My Friend (Capitol)
Yardbirds – White Summer (Epic)
Van Dyke Parks – Music for the Ice Capades Pt2 (WB)
Fever Tree – Death Is the Dancer (UNI)
The Litter – My Little Red Book (ABC/Probe)
Standells – Medication (Tower)
Jethro Tull – Fat Man (Reprise)
Van Dyke Parks – Music for the Ice Capades Pt3 (WB)
Clear Light – Think Again (Elektra)
Bubble Puppy – Lonely (International Artists)
Grateful Dead – Doin’ That Rag (alt version) (WB)
Millennium – Karmic Dream Sequence (Columbia)
Mephistopheles – Take a Jet (WB)


This mix can be heard in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive

Greetings all.
The new week is upon us, and thanks to a little bit of creative time management (part of the Funky16Corners/Iron Leg Ergo-system, in which gaps in the schedule, much like you see when you try to defrag your hard drive, are identified and filled appropriately with blog-related activity, like writing and vinyl digi-ma-tization) the new edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip has arrived.

But first, a programming note…The Funky16Corners blog (aka the mothership) has moved to http://funky16corners.lunarpages.net (www.funky16corners.com should work as well) and, should you wish to read it, you should adjust your linkage appropriately.

Not to get too deep into the process, but as has been discussed before (hither and yon) the mix process has a couple of different MO’s. There are the high-concept, “theme” mixes, in which a very specific topic is addressed musically, in an attempt to put a finer point on something. Then, there are the cumulative mixes, in which, over the course of a few months (or more), as I go through stacks of records, I put things aside in their own little corner of the hard drive that seem to have an affinity, i.e. garagey, poppy, or psychey things, and when a suitable number of them have amassed, a mix is assembled for your (and my) delectation.
Iron Leg Digital Trip #31 is one of those.
The vibe here is a little bit of that late 60s, long hair, pot smoke, blacklight poster, late-night haze, in which the cumulative effects of intoxication have peaked, plateaued and are just about to slide downward into that space where fatigue begins to creep up on you. You know that you’re going to have to succumb to sleep eventually, but you’d much rather feed your head some more sounds, mostly psychedelic, some with an introspective folky vibe, a few with a slightly more confrontational, brain stretching thing, like your brain is fighting back, asking to have a little bit more fun before it puts up the “closed” sign and turns out the lights.
Am I making any sense here? No. Good.
That said, while the elements of this mix may not at first seem to fit together, sit yourself down, slap on the headphones and give it a listen. I think you’ll find that all the right nerve centers start to fire, and maybe some of the old ones, long shuttered and dark, begin to warm up again.
Things get started (and interrupted here and there) with an odd bit of proto-Moog action from the enigmatic Van Dyke Parks. The ‘Music for the Ice Capades’ appeared on an old Warner Brothers sampler, and I’m not sure if they ever saw release anywhere else. They are nothing if not whimsical (like so much of VDPs oeuvre) yet, like most early synthesizer experiments manage also to qualify as psychedelic.
The Kaleidoscope are one of my fave west coast 60s bands, and have appeared in this space before. ‘Keep Your Mind Open’, from their debut LP is probably their most conventionally trippy track.
The Wizards from Kansas may not have been actual wizards (not sure what professional organization issues credentials in that regard) but they did indeed hail from the gateway to Oz. Their version of ‘High Flying Bird’ is a great window into their prairie take on the SanFran sound.
We dropped some Mighty Baby last week in memory of their late bassist Mike Evans. ‘A Friend You Know But Never See’ is another groovy track from their first album.
I’ve been a Bert Jansch fan for a long, long time. I forget where I first heard of him, but I suspect it was somehow related to my early Richard Thompson/Fairport mania. Jansch, as a solo act and as part of Pentangle orbited in the same UK galaxy as Thompson and his mates. Interestingly, all I knew of Jansch for years were his purely acoustic works, many of them in a more traditionalist bent. I was surprised later on when I discovered that he created some more contemporary sounding things. ‘Poison’ is one of those.
Would it surprise you to find out that the Poppy Family (with ‘Shadows on My Wall’) included in its ranks none other than Terry Jacks, the man who attacked the ears of me and my ilk with ‘Seasons in the Sun’ back in the early 70s? It should…
Despite the damage to his rep caused by duff stuff like ‘Abracadabra’, those who know will tell you that early on, Steve Miller made himself a couple of very nice, psyched out albums. ‘My Friend’ is from his 1968 ‘Sailor’ LP, and was co-written by, and features guitar by none other than Boz Scaggs. Dig the vaguely Link Wray/surf vibe of the opening.
If the Yardbirds ‘White Summer’ sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because guitarist Jimmy Page – never one to let the fact that someone else created something stand in the way of taking credit for it himself – borrowed it from the traditional ‘She Moves Through the Fair’ (also recorded under its original title by Fairport Convention).
Fever Tree were one of the cooler Texas psyche bands not related to the International Artists stable. They hailed from Houston and recorded for Uni and Ampex between 1968 and 1970. ‘Death is the Dancer’, which opens with a tip of the hat to the civil rights anthem ‘We Shall Overcome’ sails off into the trippy, suite-like distance with heavy guitars, harpsichord, changes in time signature and vocals that sound like they could have been lifted from a Music Machine album.
The Litter were a Minnesota band that, in addition to creating the garage stunner ‘Action Woman’ recorded a couple of albums (for regional and national labels) that took their garage roots (which included a love for the sounds of the UK) and turned them into something heavier. Their version of the Burt Bacharach classic ‘My Little Red Book’ (made famous by Arthur Lee and Love and Manfred Mann) comes from the 1969 album for ABC/Probe.
The Standells’ ‘Medication’ is one of the earlier tracks in this mix (1966) but is it undeniably psychedelic. It has strong ties to the Standells garage sound, but the inference in the title cannot be denied.
Say what you want about the later recording of Jethro Tull (a major part of my youth) but you really must go back and listen to their first two albums (‘This Was’ 1968 and ‘Stand Up’ 1969) which are truly amazing. Tull combined a fascination with the blues (check their cover of Dr. Ross’ ‘Cats Squirrel’) with serious late-60s UK freakism. ‘Fat Man’, from ‘Stand Up’ blends Ian Anderson’s vocals and flute with a truckload of Middle Eastern-y percussion, with the djoumbek and the finger cymbals and what-not, to the point where you half expect a belly dancer to take the stage. Very groovy indeed.
Clear Light were one of the lesser lights (pun intended) of west coast psychedelia, mainly notable for including in its ranks drummer Dallas Taylor (later of CSNY) and ubiquitous 70s character actor Cliff de Young. ‘Think Again’ is a cool one, and indicative of the sound of a band named after a variety of LSD.
Speaking of International Artists, one of the more successful bands on the label, and one of the most conventional (i.e. falling outside of the influence of Roky and the Elevators) was Bubble Puppy. They had a hit with ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafras’ in 1969 and the excellent ‘Lonely’ appeared on that record’s flipside.
The next cut is something unusual by one of my fave (misunderstood) bands, the Grateful Dead. When I picked up the aforementioned Warner Brothers sampler I was surprised to hear a very different version of 1968s ‘Doin’ that Rag’. The original version appeared on the group’s 1969 LP ‘Aoxomoxoa’. This take is completely different from the LP version, and I don’t know if it ever appeared anywhere else in this form.
‘Karmic Dream Sequence’ is yet another bit of goodness from Curt Boettcher and the Millennium.
This edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip closes out with a track by a band that I know very little about, Mephistopheles. I do know that ‘Take a Jet’ appeared on their 1969 LP for Reprise, and that guitarist Fred Tackett later joined Little Feat.
I hope you dig this mix, and I’ll be back next week with some more cool stuff.

Peace
Larry


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PS Make sure to head over to the new home of the Funky16Corners blog for some Northern Soul.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Mike Evans RIP

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A very young – pre-Action – Mike Evans

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The Action – Mike Evans second from left…

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Mighty Baby looking kinda patchouli-y….

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Listen -Mighty Baby – Egyptian Tomb – MP3

Listen -Mighty Baby – House Without Windows – MP3

Listen -Mighty Baby – Same Way To the Sun – MP3

Greetings all.

A couple of days back a reader forwarded me the sad news that bassist Mike Evans,a founding member of both the Action and Mighty Baby had passed away.
I’ve mentioned it here at Iron Leg and over at Funky16Corners numerous times, but allow to reiterate the importance of the Action to my musical education. Not only did the mightiest of Mod bands record some of the finest singles of the 60s (produced by no less a light than George Martin) but they carried the mod love for American soul music very far, covering number by (and introducing me and my mod/garage cohorts to) a variety of soul classics.
Their anthemic version of the Marvelettes ‘I’ll Keep On Holding On’ is one of the greatest soul covers ever committed to wax, and their covers of Martha and the Vandella’s ‘In My Lonely Room’ and Bob and Earl’s ‘Harlem Shuffle’ were killer as well.
As the 60s moved on and their mod vibe morphed into something much more psychedelic, Evans and a few of his fellow Actioners went on to become Mighty Baby. Their debut album was a truly inspired classic, mixing psychedelia (with a San Fran twist) with a progressive vibe.
I’ve posted cuts from that album in this space before, and I’ll add a third today, in memory of Mr. Evans.
Below is a repost of my original write-up of Mighty Baby’s ‘Egyptian Tomb’ from September of last year.
I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll be back on Monday.
Peace
Larry

Originally posted 9/2009:

The weekend is hovering like a cobra, ready to strike, so like a swami of the mystical east, I will now attempt to soothe it with some tunage, so that we may all ascend to the next level, with happy ears and a smile on our faces (individual smiles, or maybe one big collective one, I’m not sure).
The tune I bring you today was passed along to me many years ago by my man Mr. Luther as (if memory serves) a birthday gift, and what a gift it was.
Then, the connective tissue at work was the fact that a number of members of Mighty Baby had also done time in one of the greatest of the Mod bands, the Action. I had heard of Mighty Baby, and has seen the album cover in a coffee table book, but was woefully unfamiliar with their music.
When I got home, and slid the CD into the player and slapped on the headphones I was – to rehash an old cliché – blown the fuck away.
The first song on the album (and the CD, natch) is the tune I bring you today, ‘Egyptian Tomb’.
When ‘Egyptian Tomb’ started flowing from the phones into the earholes, my head began to spin.
Though I spent a fair amount of time digging the fuzz, the mod beat and the lo-fi, look sharpery of the mid-80s retro scene, I was a couple of years older than many of my compadres and as a result had spent a goodly amount of time, previous to those years ingesting a somewhat higher grade of freaky post-psychedelic progressive-ness, perhaps a little too caftan and long bearded for the Beatle-booted, mop tops of ’86.
Back in the day, during the waning moments of my Beatles obsession, when I was playing in actual (non fuzz-oriented) garage bands, and partaking in the leafy goodness of the cannibis sativa, my buddies and I tended to shovel into our ears as much of the dreamy prog-type stuff as possible. This included everything from Traffic to Yes, to King Crimson to whatever records we could find with long, dreamy songs that would – how do they say? – facilitate the dreamier effects of the intoxicants at hand.
As my tastes became punkier, and I spent more time digging on the Sonics and the Gonn, it wasn’t that I gave up on the vibe, as it were, just that I replaced ‘The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys’ with stuff like ‘Slip Inside This House’ and ‘Vacuum Cleaner’, drilling deeper into obscurity.
When I was handed the Mighty Baby CD, and informed of the Action connection (the disc also contained some very cool unreleased psychedelic Action tracks) I assumed that what I was going to hear was also stylistically Action-like.
When I actually heard the album, I was stunned at how un-Action-y Mighty Baby was, and how close they were to the things I’d been listening to at the end of my teenage years.
‘Egyptian Tomb’ is in many ways the perfect opening track for Mighty Baby’s debut album because in its roughly five and a half minutes it manages to act as a statement of purpose and style for the entire record. It is in turns spacey, jazzy, tuneful and trippy in a way that doesn’t hew to closely to any of those styles but manages to mix them all into something completely new. Though there was a taste of Traffic in there, there was also bits of California mellowness, as well as traces of the UK psyche underground that was at that time mutating into something much looser (since you could spread out more in a caftan than in a tightly tailored, ruffled, satin dandy-suit).
The grooviest thing of all about Mighty Baby, is that they managed to stitch together everything that was cool about that transitional era while simultaneously dispensing with everything that sucked about it. Mighty Baby were the prog band for people that have learned to despise the mewling of once groovy musicians who felt it necessary come 1969 to work out their “classical training” 25 minutes at a time while wrapped in a sequined cape (I’m looking at you Rick Wakeman…).
It was only earlier this year that I got my mitts on an original copy of the Mighty Baby album, which was actually one of two records released on an obscure, short-lived subsidiary of Chess Records called Head (check out that crazy label). Give this song a listen, and if you dig it, get yourself a copy of the CD, on account of it’s really, really good.
That is all.
Have a great weekend.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some groovy soul jazz

The New Breed – Want Ad Reader

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The New Breed – Tim Schmidt on the right…

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Listen – The New Breed – Want Ad Reader – MP3

Greetings all.

Welcome to another week at Iron Leg.
The tune I bring you today is – like so many other selections herein – something I’d known for years (decades) and only managed to get an original of relatively recently.
The HBR label (those initials standing for Hanna-Barbera Records, yes, the same folks that brought you the Flintstones) is one of the more interesting one for collectors. They released all kinds of stuff, from soul (the Packers, Scatman Crothers, Jean King) , to pop (Laurie Johnson Orchestra) to a surprising amount of hard edged garage punk (Guilloteens, Unrelated Segments, Five Americans, and the ultra-rare HBR issue of ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators).
All the years I’ve been digging have proven one thing, that being that the more obvious titles turn up with a much greater frequency than the coolest stuff, which could probably be said about any record label. The good thing is, that even with that part of the equation in place, the HBR discography was so limited, and the label so distinctive and easy to spot, than even the run of the mill discovery tends to be fairly interesting.
This past summer, during one of the Asbury Lanes record/garage sale, while flipping through a box of one-dollar 45s, I happened upon the HBR label, and instead of yet another busted Tidal Waves 45 I pulled out a mint copy of the New Breed’s ‘Want Ad Reader’.
I can’t recall the exact comp I heard it on, but I can say without question that I first encountered this song back in the garage/mod days of the mid-80s. I always dug the nascent power pop cum garage vibe of the song, and my historian/digger instincts were fired up when I discovered that one of the members of the New Breed was none other than Timothy B. Schmidt, who went on to join both Poco and the Eagles.
The New Breed were a product of the greater Bay Area in California (actually hailing from Sacramento), and the ‘Want Ad Reader’ 45 was originally released locally on the World United label. I don’t know exactly how they were picked up by HBR, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was another one of those regional success stories that piqued the interest of a nationally distributed label.
‘Want Ad Reader’ is a dynamite bit of fast-moving, fuzzed out, yet bright pop. The flipside ‘One More For the Good Guys’ – which was included in Iron Leg Digital Trip #26 – is a really surprising stylistic switch, sounding more like something from the stage of a San Fran ballroom than anything remotely garagey.
I hope you dig the record, and I’ll be back later in the week with something groovy.


Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a soul jazz vibes mix.

Herman’s Hermits – The Man With the Cigar

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Herman’s Hermits as drawn by Frank Frazetta

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Listen – Herman’s Hermits – The Man With the Cigar – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the end of this cold, cold week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is an old, old favorite, something that I discovered quite by chance.
Many years ago, back in the garage/mod days, I happened to have picked up a couple of Herman’s Hermits 45s at a record show. Though the musical selections posted herein might not lead you to believe that I would be a fan of Mr. Noone and his friends, it pays to remember that alongside dreck like ‘Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’, the Hermits were, like so many of their British Invasion contemporaries, beneficiaries of some of the finest songwriting available. A quick look at an HH greatest hits collection reveals the handiwork of Graham Gouldman, PF Sloan and Steve Barri, Goffin/King, Carter/Lewis and others.
I picked up one of the 45s in question in order to get the Barri/Sloan song ‘A Must To Avoid’. The 1965 Top 40 hit is one of the groups best moments, with ringing, folk-rock guitars, beat group harmonies and a very interesting melody (especially in the verse). When I got the record home, I flipped it over and saw a title I didn’t recognize, so I decided to give it a spin.
Good thing I did, because if I hadn’t we wouldn’t be here today, discussing ‘The Man With the Cigar’.
‘The Man With the Cigar’ is a haunting number that quickly became a fixture of my mix tapes, and remains a fave these 25 years later. I haven’t been able to find out much about the writers Larry Kusik and Barry Richards, nor have I been able to confirm whether or not this is the same song that appears on an early 45 by soul great Lou Courtney. In addition to the aforementioned b-side, ‘The Man With The Cigar’ also appeared on the album ‘Both Side of Herman’s Hermits’, which also includes a cover of ‘Bust Stop’ and a jacket illustration by none other than Frank Frazetta(!?!).
Either way, it’s a great record that ought to be better known, instead of languishing as an obscure Herman’s Hermits album track (and b-side).
Oddly enough, despite having pulled out the 45 some time back, specifically to digimatize it and post it here, it has become lost in the mighty sea of wax in my record room, so I bring you the song recorded from the LP (in which case you get the cool Frazetta picture, so it all balances out).
I hope you dig the song as much as I do, and I’ll be back on Monday.


Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some Chitown funk.

The Fugs – Group Grope

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The Fugs

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Listen – The Fugs – Group Grope – MP3

Greetings all.

Last week I was wandering around the interwebs somewhat aimlessly and I happened upon the announcement for a benefit to help the ailing Tuli Kupferberg.
If that name is unknown (or only vaguely familiar) to you, allow me to mention the group of which he was a founding member, The Fugs.
Kupferberg, now an unbelievable 86 years old has suffered two strokes recently that have left him blind. There will be a concert for his benefit on January 22nd St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, featuring performances by Ed Sanders, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Sonic Youth, John Zorn and others (further details below).
Back in the day, Kupferberg, and his fellow just-post-Beat poet Sanders (also known as the author of ‘Tales of Beatnik Glory’ and ‘The Family’) formed the Fugs as a kind of rock/poetry/performance art/provocation/general nuisance in Greenwich Village. They succeeded on all levels, crafting a number of cool albums, including a couple for the storied New York alternative label ESP-Disk, of which ‘The Fugs’ from 1966 was their second.
Though I certainly knew who the Fugs were, I didn’t actually hear any of their music until the late 80s, when I picked up their first two albums on CD. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since long-term ingestion of 60s/70s rockcrit spew seemed to indicate that the Fugs were punk (in the truest sense), offensive (though that is certainly a matter of perspective, since their lyrics wouldn’t raise many eyebrows today) and completely insane.
I had arrived at a time where I had investigated all the obvious 60s garage/psyche avenues and was peeking down every back alley I could find. When I took a turn down Fugs St I was pleasantly surprised to find it lined with many of the usual 1965/66 type sounds, whipped into a crazed meringue, closer in spirit to Little Richard than William S Burroughs.
The tune I bring you today, ‘Group Grope’ hails from that 1966 album and sounds like Sanders and Kupferberg hijacked Dylan’s ‘Highway 61’ band and stuffed them full of LSD. The vocalists spend just over three and a half minutes going buck wild over a foundation of guitar, electric piano, bass and drums.
It’s all about…

“Dope, peace, magic gods in the tree trunks and GROUP GROPE BAY-BEEEE!!!!”

…as well as other, similar sentiments.
It’s a great sound, and if it were just a little stoopid-er and a little younger and a little less urban it might pass for garage punk.
If you dig it – or were hopefully already hep to the Fugs – and you’re in the area, go to that benefit and hobnob with some of the giants of New York underground history, and help Tuli pay his medical bills. Surely that man that helped created something as solid as ‘Group Grope’ deserves a little peace in his golden years.
I hope you dig the song, and I’ll be back later in the week.


Peace

Larry

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A Concert for Tuli Kupferberg
January 22 – St. Ann’s Warehouse
Lou Reed, Philip Glass, John Zorn, Sonic Youth, John Kruth; Ed Sanders, Mr. Kupferberg’s fellow Fug; and Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders
Tickets are $75 to $125 and are available at stannswarehouse.org or (718) 254.8779.

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some upbeat southern soul.

The Hangmen – Faces

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The Hangmen

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Listen – The Hangmen – Faces – MP3

Greetings all.

The end of another week is upon us, and I thought I would dip into the archive and pull out a little bit of the fuzzy, garagey, good stuff, i.e. a cut by Washington, DC-area killers the Hangmen.
I first heard the Hangmen back in the 80s, during my garage/mod days when I was lucky enough to score a copy of their Monument LP at a dying record store in Red Bank, NJ. It was a banner day (for me, not the record store) because after some concentrated digging I came up with a handful of excellent, fairly rare (some rarer than others) garage, pop and psychedelic LPs, and when I got up to the cash register, discovered much to my delight that everything in the store – by virtue of its oncoming dissolution – was selling at half the sticker price.
Barely able to conceal my glee, I paid the now greatly reduced price and took my records home so that I might drop the needle and wallow in the goodness.
Not long after that I was rapping with some of my equally fizzed out compadres, mentioning that I had found a copy of the Hangmen LP, and was digging the song ‘What a Girl Can’t Do’. Much to my dismay I was informed in short order that the version on the LP was what – years later – my funk and soul brethren would refer to as ‘weaksauce’, and that if I were in search of the real thing, I ought to find myself a copy of the 45 which contained a much cooler version of said song.
Well my friends, I never did score that particular 45, but last summer, while plowing through a bunch of one-dollar 45s at a local record show, I was lucky enough to find another of the group’s singles, that being today’s selection ‘Faces’.
Now, I won’t go into the Hangmen’s long and convoluted history here, but I will send you over to the excellent and comprehensive Garage Hangover entry on the group, featuring a look at their early incarnation as the Reekers, the group that recorded the superior version of ‘What a Girl Can’t Do’ that was eventually issued on 45 under the Hangmen name.
What I will do is tell you that ‘Faces’ is a killer in its own right, with some fuzz, some jangle and lots of that heart, delicious garage punk flavor. The vocals are snotty, in that post-Dylan, post-Jagger, white-boy bluesman bouillabaisse that you all know and love so well, and the tempo is right for you to slip on your Cuban heels, shake your Prince Valiant cut and spill your beer (not necessarily in that order).
It is indeed a groover, and just the kind of record you might want to get your weekend started.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a remembrance of the great vibraphonist Freddie McCoy.

Asylum Choir – Welcome To Hollywood

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Asylum Choir – Marc Benno and Leon Russell

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Listen – Asylum Choir – Welcome to Hollywood – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the dawning of both a new week and new year find you all well.
I spent New Years Eve amongst with my wife, kids and in-laws up in frosty upstate New York, playing Go Fish, drinking ginger ale and going to bed before midnight.
Last night, after the children had retired the wife and I were having a discussion about the pros and cons of New Years Eve as a celebratory milestone, eventually agreeing that aside from hanging with the family, we had both endured too many disappointing parties (as a couple, and before we were together) to get revved up about the night. It just seems that outside of an opportunity for binge drinking and an ugly peek into the mass psychology of crowds, the night is better spent amongst those you love.
That said, the tune I bring you today is a look at an early side of the mighty Leon Russell, one of my all time favorites, who I have rhapsodized about in this space before.
Russell came west from Oklahoma in the early 60s, eventually carving himself out a place as an in-demand session player (and member of the Shindogs) in the studios of Los Angeles (including those of Phil Spector) as a keyboardist and arranger.
He teamed up with guitarist/bassist Marc Benno in 1967 to form the band Asylum Choir, and their debut album ‘Look Inside the Asylum Choir’ was released on the Smash label the following year.
The tune I bring you today was the lead-off track from that album. ‘Welcome To Hollywood’ has hints of Russell’s rootsy heart (the guitar and piano could have come off of one of his Shelter LPs), but is marked by psychedelic flourishes. His easily recognizable voice is front and center, but where his later work would be enveloped in waves of Americana, the Asylum Choir tracks feature all manner of timely baroque filigree, including phasing, ringing Beatle-esque trumpets and the like.
‘Welcome To Hollywood’ is a typically jaundiced look at the mean streets that awaited those who were drawn west (but a little further south) during the Summer of Love. It’s a groovy look (listen?) to the world of Leon Russell just prior to his hirsute escalation into rock’s first rank alongside the various and sundry Cocker/Delaney/Bonnie/Clapton conglomerations, and his own amazing solo work.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.

NOTE: I just updated my post about Steff’s ‘Where Did She Go’ thanks to some info from someone close to the story.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some sweet Brazilian jazz!

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