ILDT#35 – Vibrations

Example

Iron Leg Digital Trip #35 – Vibrations

Playlist

JK & Co. – Magical Fingers of Minerva (White Whale)
Shadows of Knight – Light Bulb Blues (Dunwich)
Wool – Combination of the Two (ABC)
Steve Marcus – Rain (Vortex)
Sagittarius – The Truth Is Not Real (CBS)
Thorinshield – One Girl (Philips)
Neon Philharmonic – Midsummer Night (WB)
Lynn Castle – Lady Barber (LHI)
Hearts and Flowers – The View From Ward 3 (Capitol)
Living Strings – Vibrations (Camden)
Mighty Baby – Been Down So Long (Head)
Terry Reid – Sweater (Epic)
Parade – This Old Melody (A&M)
Brewer & Shipley – Love Love (A&M)
Yardbirds – Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor (Epic)

Listen/Download 96MB/256K Mixed Mp3

Download 72MB Zip File

Greetings all.

Welcome back to the Iron Leg thingy, wherein we all get together and rap about the grooviest, pop, psyche, garage and all possible combinations therein.

This edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip is something a little psychey for the head (and the ears, natch) engineered to keep everyone happy for the duration of the week.

I’m coming off an incredibly busy weekend, followed by another busy week, so I figured I’d get a nice selection of tunes all mixed up and blended so that I could take the time to concentrate on the real world for a few days.

This mix features a number of artists you’ve seen and heard on Iron Leg before, as well as a couple you haven’t who will be appearing by themselves in the coming months.

I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace
Larry


Example

PS Make sure to head over to Funky16Corners for a new mix of organ 45s.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Moby Grape Sells Cigars…

Example

Moby Grape

Example

Listen/Download – Moby Grape – Omaha

Greetings all.

This is going to be quick (it was very nearly non-existent) because I have a bunch of real world stuff (mainly related to traveling down to Washington, DC to DJ this weekend, see Funky16corners for details) to do.

The mighty Moby Grape has appeared in this space before, and I have been on records stating that they were one of the great late 60s bands (truly underrated).

The tune I bring you today should – for most of you – be a familiar one – ‘Omaha’.

The song first became known to me via a cover by the Golden Palominos (with Michael Stipe on lead vocals), but when I finally heard the OG (during a visit to a psychedelic loft during the days of the 80s garage revival) my wig was good and truly flipped (Thanks, Dino!).

As if that wasn’t enough, the recording you’re hearing today was made from a very strange little promo EP that I found while digging in the Pennsyltucky Dutch Country not too long ago.

When I first picked up the record, I thought I might have found a long-lost recording by a forgotten psychedelic band called the Consolidated Cigar.

When I looked more closely I discovered that what I was holding was in fact a 33 1/3 EP featuring Columbia/CBS Records acts.

When I got home and set to Googling I discovered (in an old issue of Billboard no less) that this EP was produced to help introduce/advertise

“the Tipalet, a new cigar designed for special appeal to young smokers.”

Um, WTF??

The Billboard blurb includes mention of a Boston concert featuring the 5th Dimension and Vanilla Fudge to push the item in that market.

Imagine a megacorp trying something like that today. Not that they don’t think about it all the time, but (so far) they haven’t started trying to recruit young smokers quite so obviously.

It is a great song (of course) and I hope you dig it.

I’ll be back on Monday with a brand new edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip (and hopefully with a carload of newly acquired records).

Peace

Larry

 

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for one of the all time great organ 45s

The Poor – She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)

Example

The Poor (Randy Meisner, top)

Example

Listen/Download – The Poor – She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is one of the happy by-products of walking around with a big juicy brain that sucks up facts like so much pocket lint.

Having spent most of my life as a music-obsessive and voracious reader, and often compelled to drill things down to their factual essence, at some point in the distant past I discovered that Randy Meisner (of the Eagles, Poco and Rick Nelson’s country-rock era) had gotten his start in a band called the Poor.

I’d never heard anything by the group, but I did know they fell well within the 1960s segment of the timeline.

When I was out digging earlier this year, that I had that fact filed away served me well when I found two singles by the Poor at a record show. Neither of them was expensive, so I tossed them on the keeper pile and took them home with me.

When they finally found their way onto the turntable and under a needle, I knew that I’d have to spend the rest of the day pampering my brain for serving me so well (perhaps some nice oily fish or a difficult crossword puzzle??).

I spend a lot of time in this space rattling on about the utter perfection of the mid 60s Sunset Strip vibe, with the jangle, and the granny glasses, and the onrush of psychedelia all wrapped in the brilliant pop hooks (since sunny southern Cal was bursting with talent), and when the old turntable started to release the sounds of ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ I knew that I’d hit a big, fat bullseye.

The Poor were rooted in a few different bands in Meisner’s native Nebraska and Colorado. They relocated to LA in 1966, recording a number of 45s for York, Decca and Loma records.

Now aside from the unspeakable wonderfulness of this record, the really interesting thing for me is the involvement of (Michael) Brewer and (Tom) Shipley in the whole SoCal, folk rock jingle jangle scene.
Know mostly for their 1971 hit ‘One Toke Over the Line’, Brewer and Shipley years before that writing and recording their songs, and having the same songs covered by a number of artists.

I became aware of their songwriting when I discovered that one of my favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band tunes, ‘Truly Right’ had been written by Brewer and recorded by the duo on an album I would later track down, ‘Brewer and Shipley: Down In LA’ (which I’ll post some songs from in the not too distant future).
The duo also recorded their own version of ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ (written by Shipley), which though excellent pales in comparison to the cover by the Poor*.

I am 100% serious when I tell you that this 45 (the one I have is a one-sided promo) is absolute Sunset Strip, Technicolor, pop perfection.

Like the best examples of that era, ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ is pop, folk rock, ever so vaguely psychedelic (in lyric and sound) and bears the mark of the kind of forward moving musical innovation that was verily exploding in Los Angeles. Naturally it also includes the bright, high harmonies for which Meisner would become famous.

When the piano solo (sounding like they hung a mike inside a slightly out of tune baby grand) comes in, it tweaks your head and ears just enough to let you know that if the song itself wasn’t about drugs, psychedelics (in varying degrees) were certainly floating in the periphery.

If there’s anything at all wrong with this record, it’s that it’s less than two minutes long. It lasts long enough so that if you close your eyes and fire up your imagination you’re right there, loitering in front of Ben Franks with the band, but you’re pulled from your reverie before you know it.

‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ was a regional hit in the band’s native Denver in the spring of 1967.

There’s an import comp that collects the Poor’s best stuff.

I hope you dig this tune as much as I do (which is, obviously,  a LOT).

Peace

Larry

 

Example

*The other incredible Poor 45 I picked up that day is a tune called ‘Feelin’ Down’, written by Michael Brewer

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two cuts by the Masqueraders

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – Tomorrow

Example

The Strawberry Alarm Clock

Example

Listen/Download – The Strawberry Alarm Clock – Tomorrow

Greetings all.

The sixties were a turbulent time…

No shit…

That said, whenever some decrepit 60s icon staggers into view on late night TV, trotting out that tired, old saw to sell CDs, you can just about guarantee that it will be followed (backed?) by the music of one of three pieces of music:

Jimi Hendrix doing ‘Purple Haze’

Canned Heat doing ‘Going Up the Country’ (or possibly ‘On the Road Again’ depending on the level of drug association required)

Or, and this one works it’s own specific kind of magic, gathering together a special class of damaged brain cells through which the mind processes things like tie-dye, psychedelic light shows and documentaries about the 60s being a ‘turbulent time’,

The Strawberry Alarm Clock playing ‘Incense and Peppermints’.

Very few songs pack the kind of psychedelic punch most likely to grab your ‘mainstream’ viewer more than ‘Incense and Peppermints’. It is at once trippy, bubblegummish, and a well written pop song, and its opening, with the pounding drums and swirling organ are just about perfect.

The kind of thing that will compel most people of a certain age to start doing a loose amalgam of the frug and the Batusi, by which they indicate that they understand the psychedelic-ness of the situation, and are imagining those two refugees from Woodstock in the old ‘Freedom Rock’ commercial.

Now, I say none of this to put down the Strawberry Alarm Clock (even the name is the ne plus ultra of psychedelic absurdity), since I really dig that song.

Though I can’t say that I know a lot about the band (other than that Ed King ended up in Lynrd Skynyrd), the 45s that I have procured over the years (especially the tune they did in ‘Psych Out’) have been cool, or at least cool enough to separate them from the kind of Kasenetz-Katz ersatz band product that was its contemporary.

The Strawberry Alarm Clock were not dwelling on the psychedelic Olympus with bands like the Jefferson Airplane, but they did create a very solid brand of psychedelic pop that managed to remain somewhat authentic, while simultaneously crossing over to the pop crowd.

The song I bring you today, ‘Tomorrow’ (sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine…), written by guitarist Ed King and keyboard player Mark Weitz, is a breezy pop-psyche confection with a vaguely Latin underpinning that sounds somewhat Association-ish until the combo organ and acid guitar pop in, and then closes out with a bit of trippy echo.

Proof once again (literally) that they were more than a one-hit wonder.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

 

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a 45 by the mighty Andre Williams.

The Cowsills – We Can Fly

Example

The Cowsills

Example

Listen/Download – The Cowsills – We Can Fly

Greetings all.

I hope that everything’s all hunky dory in your corner of the world.

The tune I bring you today is one of those twenty-five cent, flea market/record show ‘I don’t know it but I’ll grab it ‘cuz I dig the group’ things, and is also one of those ‘turned out to be groovy’ records as well.

The very first time I heard the Cowsills was probably some time around my eleventh birthday, for which I received a beautiful portable, multi-band radio that I clutched tight to my breast for years, day and night, until it’s antenna got snapped off in some tragic mishap or another.

The day that radio came into my life marked the beginning of my love affair with music that had come out before I was old enough to dig it, via a radio station in New York City called WCBS-FM.

During the heyday of progressive FM rock, WCBS-FM was an ‘oldies’ station, which is an odd name since in 1973 most of the music they played was between three and fifteen years old (imagine a station today that played only music from between 1995 and 2007 calling itself an ‘oldies’ station). They had lots of TV commercials, a nice big transmitter which provided a nice clear signal, great DJs (many of whom were giants of New York 1960s AM radio) and a fantastic playlist that stretched from doowop to psychedelia (or at least what passed for psychedelia in the Top 40).

I used to put my cassette deck up against the radio speaker and record 30 minute chunks of airtime, hoping to either catch a favorite song or discover new ones (oh how I wish I still had some of those tapes).
It was during one such taping session that I first heard (and had my mind blown by) ‘The Rain, The Park and Other Things’ by the Cowsills.

As you may have surmised by the prevalence of pop – pure, Sunshine, and otherwise – on this blog, I have a ‘sweet ear’ i.e. I love bits of pure harmony and great hooks, which the Cowsills produced in abundance.
It would be years before I read about their connection to the ‘Partridge Family’ (a big TV show of my childhood) and even longer before I heard about the unpleasantness in the Cowsill kids lives, but even with that knowledge, all I could ever really register about the group was their sound.

Much like the best of Curt Boettcher’s catalog, the finest Cowsills records pack a real sonic punch.
Today’s selection ‘We Can Fly’, written by the group and Artie Kornfeld and Steve Duboff (who had written ‘The Rain, the Park and Other Things’ and lot of the group’s other material) is a brilliant (literally and figuratively) bit of sunshine pop, with a chorus that’ll blow the top of your head off.

The Cowsills, who had their fair share of big pop hits, are one of those groups that deserve to have their albums – which are filled with cool stuff – explored as well.

I hope you dig it as much as I do.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a remembrance of one of the great New Orleans soul singers.

Lynn Castle and Last Friday’s Fire- Rose Colored Corner

Example

Listen/Download – Lynn Castle and Last Friday’s Fire – Rose Colored Corner

Greetings all.

The tune I bring you today was a lucky find during a fairly recent, and unexpected bout of digging.

I can’t recall if I mentioned this before, so forgive me if I repeat myself, but a while back I happened upon a really nice stash of 45s at one of the Asbury Lanes garage sales, and when I was done I talked to the guy and discovered that he was connected to an old record store that hadn’t really sold any records of consequence in a long time (at least since the last time I shopped there, some fifteen years or so ago).

I filed this fact away, and when I got a free morning I took a drive over, hoping that I might find a similar bounty.

Unfortunately as soon as I walked through the door and scoped out the vinyl area it was pretty obvious that this wasn’t going to yield similar results, but, record fiend that I am, with time to burn, I figured I’d paw through the racks and see what I might find.

Good thing too, because although the results were not voluminous, they were satisfying and in the case of today’s selection, especially so.

I grabbed the Lynn Castle 45, mainly because it verily screamed ‘mid 60s’, and since it was on Lee Hazlewood’s LHI label, I figured it was worth two bucks to find out whether or not it was cool.

It was (is).

While this may not be a ‘valuable’ 45, it ended up being worth a lot more than two bucks, and a quick listen revealed to me that my instincts about it were correct.

The only hard info I’ve been able to find about Castle is in Mick Brown’s Phil Spector bio ‘Tearing Down the Wall of Sound’, in which Brown recounts that Castle was a popular Sunset Strip hairdresser to the stars (Sonny and Cher, and the Byrds among others) who was apparently stunning, as well as friendly with Lee Hazlewood.

According to a Lee Hazlewood discography the backing band on the single Last Friday’s Fire recorded at least two more 45s for LHI under their own name.

Both sides of this 45 (the flip ‘The Lady Barber’ has been comped) mix folk rock with a vaguely garage/psyche edge. ‘Rose Colored Corner’ the darker (and less fuzzy) of the two sides, and features some nice vibrato guitar and pulsing combo organ. Recorded in 1966, it was produced by Hazlewood.

I’m not going to slip you the old rubber peach and tell you that Castle was a great singer, but she does a fair enough job, and the whole thing sounds as mid-60s Sunset Strip as it looked upon first glance.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for both sides of a solid NYC funk 45.

Buck Owens and the Buckaroos – Buckaroo

Example

Buck Owens (left) and the Buckaroos (Don Rich, 2nd from left)

Example

Listen/Download – Buck Owens and the Buckaroos – Buckaroo

Greetings all.

The new week is here and I thought I might get things started with a selection that might at first glance seem decidedly un-Iron Leg-gy, yet which first listen will reveal to be apropos.

I have to start by saying that although I didn’t really get into Buck Owens until the late 80s (when some of his early stuff appeared on a comp of Capitol Records West Coast country) I probably knew who he was since I was a little kid.

How, you ask?

Anyone else remember Hee Haw?

Back in the day, when I was vegetating on the couch, after the Saturday morning cartoons had finished (and following reruns of the Monkees, and the Children’s Film Festival), there wasn’t much on the tube.

However, were you to spin the dial (remember spinning the dial?) you would encounter all manner of syndicated coolness, including Soul Train, and that heap of hillbilly hilarity, Hee Haw.

Hee Haw went on the air in 1969 as a kind of rural response to the success of Laugh In and featured all manner of country stars, both musical and comedic. After two years in prime time, it was canceled and then rose from the dead into syndication where it ran for almost two decades.

The hosts of that show were Roy Clark, and Buck Owens.

By the time Owens started on Hee Haw he had been one of the most successful country artists of the 60s, charting over a dozen #1 hits and along with Merle Haggard bringing the Bakersfield Sound to the fore.
That said, for years all I knew of Owens was his TV “character” of an amiable, talented bumpkin in backward overalls.

When I heard his older music, many years later I was blown away.

My idea of 1960s country music was almost entirely the syrupy, string laden Nashville product that often crossed over into the pop charts.

When I first heard Owens, and Haggard I was drawn into their harder edged, guitar driven sounds that were sometimes informed by, and often influenced rock and roll (the first time I heard Merle Haggard songs was via covers by the Grateful Dead and Gram Parsons).

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bunch of original Owens LPs at a local record store, and eventually picked up the boxed set that Rhino put out in the 90s.

As important as Owen’s talents as a vocalist, songwriter and talent scout, was his ability to put together a shit hot band, which was led through the 60s and early 70s by his lead guitarist, the legendary Don Rich.

Now for most rock fans, Buck Owens pops up on the our radar via the Beatles’ cover of his 1965 Country #1 ‘Act Naturally’ (written by Johnny Russell). Owens was said to have been a fan of the Fabs, and returned the favor by covering Beatles tunes in his live sets.

He did so more subtly (at least to my ears) with his #1 from the Fall of 1965, ‘Buckaroo’.

The first time I heard ‘Buckaroo’ I flipped my wig. My first impression was how the tune was at its root ‘country’ but simultaneously pop/rock, and the thing I kept hearing in the back of my mind was the Beatles doing ‘I Feel Fine’.

Though the tune was written by Bob Morris, who wrote a number of tunes for Owens and artists in his orbit, like Susan Raye and Haggard, it’s hard to imagine it taking off the way it did in the hands of anyone but Don Rich and Buckaroo’s pedal steel player Tom Brumley.

‘Buckaroo’, which hit #1 around Christmas of 1965 is centered around a ringing guitar riff, a vaguely latin beat (much like the one the Beatles borrowed from Bobby Parker’s ‘Watch Your Step’ when they wrote ‘I Feel Fine’ which charted in late 1964) and a turnaround in the middle of the song that sounds like a tip of the hat to Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’.

Interestingly enough, in addition to being a huge country hit, ‘Buckaroo’ scraped the Top 40 of the Pop charts in a number of markets, including New York City.

‘Buckaroo’ went on to be covered by a number of artists (including the Byrds, their version appearing on the CD issue of their 1969 Fillmore concert) and was a live feature for Don Rich and the Buckaroos until his untimely death in a 1974 morocycle accident.. In a bizarre twist it was almost a year to the day after another guitar genius (and Byrd) Clarence White was killed by a drunk driver.

I hope you dig the tune, and if you have any interest in good, solid country music, check out Buck Owens.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some mid-70s Chicago funk.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,532 other followers