Iron Leg: On Hiatus

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Greetings all.

I come to you today with a heavy heart.

Thanks in large part to a busy schedule which only seems to get busier, I’ve decided to put Iron Leg on hiatus.

I don’t want to turn out the lights and shut the door, but I am going to have to suspend regular posting here until I get a little bit of breathing room in my life.

Funky16Corners, always the ‘main’ blog will remain at full strength, as will the weekly Funky16Corners Radio Show.

If funk, soul, jazz and rare groove are your bag, you can visit with me over there.

Iron Leg was started up in 2007 to feature pop, psyche and garage sounds from the 60s and beyond, and while my interest in these sounds has not wavered (I still have dozens of tracks digitized in reserve for future posts) my ability to get the posts written and up on the blog has.

During its existence, Iron Leg has featured hundreds of songs (not counting the ones in the mixes) and with any luck I’ll be back with some more.

The Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive will remain in force, 35 mixes strong, so stop by there if you’re in need of a listen.

Hopefully sometime in the not too distant future, things will settle down to the point where Iron Leg can get going again.

That said, thanks for coming by the last three and a half years.

See you later.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Bubble Puppy – Lonely

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Bubble Puppy

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Listen/Download – Bubble Puppy – Lonely

Greetings all.

Here’s hoping that the new week finds you all well, and in the mood for a little armadillo-inflected, Texas psyche-o-modelica.

If you were to walk into a crowd of music snobs and casually dropped the names 13th Floor Elevators and Bubble Puppy, some folks might know what you were talking about, but very few would be able to fill you in on the fact that although the Elevators – one of Americas greatest bands of the 1960s – are rightly legendary and emulated the world over, it was in fact the latter band who brought the storied International Artists label its biggest hit.

That song, ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafrass’ hit the Top 20 in early 1969, a minor masterpiece of pop psychedelia gone wild, is not the song I bring you today.

Rather, in the tradition of all things Iron Leggy, your truly has flipped the disc over to bring you the very groovy B-side, ‘Lonely’.

The Bubble Puppy – posessors of one of the goofiest band names in an era overflowing with them – first came together in San Antonio, TX in 1966.

They signed with IA the following year, and just about a year after that, ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafrass’ was unleashed upon the world.

‘Lonely’ is very much along the lines of a kind of vaguely pop inflected heaviosity that was entering the cultural bloodstream toward the end of the decade, with the Blue Cheers, Grand Funk Railroads, Amboy Dukes (I even hear touches of Moby Grape and Kak in the mix), wherein the lysergic-ness in the air was dissipating just the tiniest bit, and the guitar-toting longhairs were engaged in experiments engineered to discover just how much volume a human eardrum could bear.

This is not to say that the Bubble Puppy were as proto-metallic as some of their brethren, but that they were dipping their toes in the same basic stream, that being the one that goes up to eleven.

They lacked the bluesy base of so many of their contemporaries, and they were certainly not whipping up any hippy dippy stew back at the crash pad. What the Bubble Puppy were playing was louder than many, dumber than some (in a good way) and on more of a DMT trip than anything light and transcendental.

The band recorded an LP for IA, but left the label and moved to Los Angeles in 1970, where they would change their name to Demian and recorded an album under that name.

I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll be back later in the week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a tribute to yet another fallen soul giant.

Radio Stars – Dirty Pictures

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The Radio Stars

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Listen/Download – Radio Stars – Dirty Pictures

Greetings all.

I hope the end of the week finds you all well.

The tune I bring you today is something a little later on the schedule that we’re used to here, but there is a tie in for you psyche-a-mo-delic types, so hold steady.

Earlier this year I bought a nice stack of groovy records from my man Mr Luther, including some psyche, some soul, and as you’ll see/hear today, some proto-punky, post-glammy, power pop (enough hyphens for you???).

As seen here previously, I’m a big fan of the UK 70s label Chiswick Records, which, along with the Stiff imprint, released a grip of very interesting stuff, which thanks to the vibe they were cultivating and the various and sundry stylistic intersections of the time produced some very interesting sounds.

One of these sounds was that produced by the group the Radio Stars.

Formed out of the ashes of a number of bands, but most prominently featuring Andy Ellison, former lead singer of John’s Children (see, I told you…) the Radio Stars kind of floated in the same stream as bands like the Raspberries and any number of the flashier, more Anglo-sounding pop bands of the day, in that they were steeped in an early 70s brand of metallic pop (thus, the glam) but mixed in a substantial bit of forward thinking energy, thus the punk/power pop.

It’s telling that one of the other members of the band, bassist Martin Gordon (who wrote today’s selection) had done time in Sparks, bringing with him some of the campy, avant-pop gloss of that band.

The tune I bring you today is 1977s ‘Dirty Pictures’, which taken down a glam notch might pass for an early Cars song.

Featuring some razor sharp guitars and Ellison’s flash vocal delivering the suggestive lyrics, predates the Vapors similarly themed ‘Turning Japanese’ by a few years.

The songs actually met with a little bit of success in the UK, and recorded three albums between 1977 and 1982.

The Radio Stars reformed and were performing concerts in the UK as recently as this year.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some boogaloo!

Dance the Slurp!!

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Slurp, slurp…POW!!!!

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Listen/Download – 7-11 – Dance the Slurp

Greetings all.

I hope you’re all well.

I’d like to start by telling you that the mighty soul singer Solomon Burke died this past weekend, and if you dig him (or want to) head on over to Funky16Corners to check out my tribute.

In another bit of Funky16Corners synchronicity, the tune I bring you today is something that, no matter how many gallons of Slurpee I have ingested in my time on the earth, I would never have discovered were it not for a now famous mix of obscure funk 45s by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, known as Brainfreeze, which turned this 45 from a nickel and dime flea market oddity into a collectible.

The record in question is not, however funk, nor is it funky, or particularly soulful.

What is is, is an odd bit of au-go-go product placement, wherein the good people of the Southland Corporation, i.e. 7-11, long thought of as a repository of soft drinks, beef jerky, pornography, cigarettes and loitering (in other words a microcosm of suburban America), decided to musical-ize a paen to the wonderfulness of sugary slush, hoping that their customers, existing and future, would be taken away by the rapture (and the sugar, natch) and start dancing.

I have no inkling who the performer on this 45 is, but it is groovy, and what is a great record collection if not decorated with the fillagree of a great vinly oddity?

So, take off your pants, get out your straws and dance the slurp people.

It’s the only sane thing to do.

See you later in the week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a tribute to the late Solomon Burke.

Raspberries – Go All the Way

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The Raspberries

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Listen/Download – Raspberries – Go All Way the Way

Greetings all.

How’s by you?

All is well hereabouts, aside from the usual deficit of time and energy.

If I were asked to reference the first songs I remember hearing as a kid, I’d probably touch on the Mamas and Papas or Beatles, with my first significant attachment to contemporary pop music coming in the summer of 1969, when as a 6 year old I spent a few weeks in the company of my older cousins who had the radio going non-stop, with the Stevie Wonder, Tommy James and the Shondells, Blood Sweat and Tears and Oliver (yes…Oliver).

However, track it a few steps further on down the line, to when I had acquired my very own radio, to which I had become attached, and you’d be settling in around my 10th year on the planet.

1972 (actually, probably Christmas of 1971) brought a snazzy, multi-band portable radio into my life, where it took a leading role until I got my first record player.

Most of my listening at that time was divvied up between WABC (and occasionally WNBC) on the AM dial, and WCBS (an oldies station) on the FM side.

At that time – though I didn’t really have any idea at the time – most of the jocks I was listening to were relics of the heyday of AM Top 40 radio in New York, with guys like Cousin Brucie and Dan Ingram.

While some of their contemporaries – like ex-Good Guy Scot Muni – ended up on FM rock stations, these cats were still doing what they did best, serving up whatever was hot to a willing audience of teenagers with an exciting delivery that almost made you forget how many commercials were breaking up the musical flow.

Back then, I was listening to the radio almost constantly, from when I got home from school, between dinner and bed, and then long after the lights went out.

Though I remember a lot of what hit the Top 40 back then, aside from various and sundry soul and funk sounds, not a lot of the rock stuff has stayed with me, changing/evolving tastes being what they are.

One marked exception is the Raspberries’ ‘Go All the Way’.

I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the first time I heard this record my ears perked up, not to perk back down for a long, long time.

Though at the time I had literally no idea what Eric Carmen was requesting in the song, it wasn’t particularly important because once the opening guitar riff (perhaps riff isn’t strong enough of a word) hit, nothing else mattered.

‘Go All the Way’, despite Carmen’s patented brand of marshmallow fluff in the verse, was heavy as fuck, and super, duper (shmooper?) poppy, encapsulating in its three minutes and 10 or so seconds every bit of satin, guitar strings, sequins, platform boots, long hair, stage pyrotechnics of 1972, without (and this is the important part) sucking like so much of the other music that brought on the same sense memories.

It’s still one of those records that absolutely DEMANDS that the radio be turned up when it comes on.

No matter that within a few years Carmen would have detached himself from the steely grip of the band so that he could suck OUT LOUD with stuff like ‘All By Myself’ (REALLY?!?!) and ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again’ (dumb move, pal…), and would even further on down the road take part in the execrable ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack, the records he made as part of the Raspberries are rightfully considered as a classic intersection between hard rock and power pop (you know Cheap Trick were digging this…at least Robin…).

Thank you Ohio.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a funk 45 instrumental.

The Buffoons – Sunday Will Never Be the Same

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The Buffoons

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Listen/Download – Buffoons – Sunday Will Never Be The Same

Greetings all.

I have returned from the southern(er) regions of the mid-Atlantic, having DJ’d, purchased many records (little and big) driven hundreds of miles in less than 48 hours, eaten good food, eaten shitty food, met some cool people and then returned to my lair where I promptly collapsed.

The tune I bring you today is something I picked up this summer in the wilds of Pennsylvania. Once you take a look at the label I think you’ll agree that once spotted, there was no way it wasn’t going home with me.

I mean, honestly…look at the label, the name of the band, the song that was a hit for a much more familiar group…all of that combined to make it Iron Leg-bait of the first order, so naturally, it went right into the keeper pile and home it came.

When I did finally return home, and found my way onto the intertubes I discovered that the Buffoons were actually Dutch, and released a number of 45s and LPs between 1967 and 1975.

They were apparently quite popular in their home country, something that cannot be said of their records here in the US.

I haven’t heard anything other than this 45, but I really dig their sunshine pop reworking of Spanky and Our Gang’s ‘Sunday Will Never Be the Same’, wherein they mess with the harmonies a little bit, adding an interesting edge missing from the pure pop of the original (one of many records I happen to love by Spanky et al).

Bright Orange (which was originally called ‘Power’, and released at least one 45 by Pacific Gas and Electric) was a subsidiary of Kent/Modern. I’m not sure if it was the same label that reissued a bunch of trad jazz, but the catalog numbers seem to intersect, so who knows.

I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two new live funk mixes!

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