The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

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“Officer!! They’re looting the Food King!”

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Listen/Download – The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

Greetings all.

As I was cleaning (or more aptly, working some level of organizational triage) in my record vault, I pulled the 45 you see before you today out of a box and thought to myself, ‘Hey, the time is right for something a little nutty.’

Sure, I could have put it back and whipped a little sunshine pop on you, or maybe even some fuzzy garage, but when fate steps up and hands you a Sonics 45, you kind of have to fall in line and do what you’re told.

If you don’t know the Sonics, even if only by reputation, then I don’t know what to say.

The day I first heard the Sonics, some 30-odd years ago, my brain was rewired permanently, in a way that only happens to you a few times in life (if you’re lucky).

I had some small amount of experience with ‘garage punk’, but no amount of snotty, teenage fuzz could have prepared me for the Sonics.

Taking form in the foggy, moss-covered glens of the Pacific Northwest in the early 60s, the Sonics sounded like (and I’m going to quote myself here, because I don’t think I can do any better)

“…pure, unbridled animal energy, mixed with an electrified libido and marinated in grain alcohol is reduced to a serum, injected into Little Richard, who then went to the zoo, mated with a hyena in a swimming pool during an electrical storm then took their unholy spawn into a recording studio (during a tornado) and whipped up something very, very heavy.”

The Little Richard comparison is apt, since today’s selection – ‘Keep a Knockin’ – was first unleashed on the world, via Mr Penniman in 1957, which seems like an eternity away, but when the Sonics recorded it (the b-side to their very first 45), was only seven years in the past.

Now, any fool knows that trying to beat Little Richard at his own game is work (usually) reserved for fools, but the Sonics had something special.

That something was the musical equivalent of a sledgehammer made of dynamite.

This is the sound of a band running at top speed plus, like a car used to burning gasoline with a tank full of rocket fuel instead.

There’s nothing subtle about the Sonics take on ‘Keep a Knockin’, but there never needed to be.

I’m convinced that their first album was called ‘Boom’, only because ‘KABLAMMO!!!’ wouldn’t fit on the cover.

You either grab on and hold tight, or fall under their wheels.

Your choice, buddy.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Elvis Costello and the Attractions – You Belong To Me

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Elvis says “Whut???”

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Listen/Download – Elvis Costello and the Attractions – You Belong To Me

Greetings all.

Every once in a while even the most jaded of collectors needs to be reminded that he/she is not omnipotent of infallible (you shouldn’t need to be reminded, but we are after all taking about record collectors, so…).

Back in the olden days, when I was in high school and new wave was (new) I used to sit at the same lunch table as a couple of marginal characters (at least I thought they were marginal at the time) named Bob and Alan.

Like most non-athletic adolescent boys of the time we spent an inordinate amount of time discussing/arguing about music.

I had recently discovered Bad Company.

Yeah…

Though Bob and Alan were both hard rock aficionados as well, their tastes ran to KISS (I’m still ambivalent), but they had already started to progress by digging into bands like the Clash and Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

I had spent most of my early teen-hood obsessing about the Beatles, and was as a result a case of musical arrested development. I was suspicious of anything even vaguely punk-adjacent, so when the boys started rapping about Elvis, I kind of rolled my eyes and ran the opening chords of ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love’ through my head for the thousandth time.

Flash forward a year or two, and the unfinished synapse that started with the Beatles closed its circuit when I discovered how much of debt new wave and power pop owed to the Fabs and every other pop and jangle band of the 60s.

Before long I was scouring the local flea market for commercial stuff like the Cars and the Romantics listening to college radio.

Then, in college, a friend whipped Elvis’s ‘Armed Forces’ album on me. I immediately threw down my arms, hoisted the flag of surrender and joined Oliver’s Army.

I had seen the Attractions on Saturday Night Live, and Elvis and his spasmodic affect struck me the wrong way (though I remember digging DEVO, so maybe it was a case of ‘weird but not quite weird enough’ or something like that, but when the dulcet tones of ‘Armed Forces’ wormed their way into my head, I discovered that the four-eyed goon staggering around the stage was a songwriter of no small talent and deserved my attention after all.

I eventually found my way back through EC’s early albums – losing track some time in the early 80s when his prolific nature outpaced my interest and bank account – and discovered that there was much gold to be dug.

The record that really knocked me for a loop was the second by EC and the Attractions, 1978’s ‘This Year’s Model’, and the track that I wore the grooves out on was the one you see before you, ‘You Belong To Me’.

I suspect that my 1980s garage-mania has a lot to do with why I love this song so much, since there’s more than a touch of the Pebbles at work here.

You get the ringing guitar riff, the elbows-on-the-keyboard combo organ and the kick of the bass and drums, all of it with roots that reach back to 1966 (thanks to Nick Lowe for the production). I always find myself wishing that someone back in the garage revival days had glommed onto this one but I suspect that such a move would have been perceived as apostate (no matter how hip in real life).

The groovy 45 you see before you was picked up (along with half a dozen others by EC) whilst out digging in the hinterlands of New York last summer.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #33

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Zig Zag Wanderer (A&M
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Abba Zabba (A&M)
Graham Bond Organisation – Harmonica (Gonks Go Beat Soundtrack)
Carnaby – Jump and Dance (Picadilly RE)
Cat Stevens – Baby Get Your Head Screwed On (Deram)
Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out of Sight (MGM)
Paul and Barry Ryan – Hey Mr. Wiseman (Decca)
Paul and Barry Ryan – I Can’t Make Your Way (Decca)
Moody Blues Coke Commercial

The Joyride – The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine (World Pacific)
The Joyride – The Crystal Ship (World Pacific)
The Joyride – Coming Soon (World Pacific)
The Joyride – Land of Rypap Papyr (World Pacific)
The Joyride – His Blues (World Pacific)
Living Legends – Monkey Don’t Care (RCA)
Paul Jones – It’s Getting Better (Bell)
Paul Jones – Not Before Time (Bell)
Brewer & Shipley – Truly Right (A&M)
Stone Ponies Pepsi Commercial

Everly Brothers – Man With Money (WB)
Everly Brothers – Walk Right Back (WB)
Everly Brothers – So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) (WB)
Phil Everly – The Air That I Breathe (RCA)
Tupper Saussy and the Wayward Bus – Love Hum (RCA)
Fairport Convention – I’ll Keep It With Mine (A&M)
Fairport Convention – Meet On the Ledge (A&M)
Fairport Convention – She Moves Through the Fair (A&M)
Fairport Convention – Tale In Hard Time (A&M)
JJ Cale – After Midnight (Liberty)
Cyrkle 7UP Commercial

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 33 – 181MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

We have some groovy new arrivals in the playlist this month, including some prime freakbeat, West Coast Sunshine Pop/Flower Power, pure pop, freakout, UK Folk Rock and a tribute to the late Phil Everly.

As always, I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #32

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene(KPM)
Chesterfield Kings – She Told Me Lies (LP version) (Mirror)
Chesterfield Kings – Cry Your Eyes Out (Mirror)
Pandoras – Hot Generation (Voxx)
Smithereens – Got Me a Girl (Dirt)
Stomachmouths – R&B 65 (Got To Hurry)
The Scene – Stop-Go (Diamond)
Untold Fables – When the Night Falls (Dionysus)
Vipers – Nothing’s From Today (Jem/PVC)
Vipers – Never Alone (Midnight)
Vipers – You Don’t Believe Me (Midnight)

The Fuzztones – Bad News Travels Fast (Midnight)
The Fuzztones – We’re Pretty Quick (Midnight)
The Fuzztones – Gotta Get Some (ABC)
Green Telescope – Two By Two (Imaginary)
Hysteric Narcotics – Electric Children (RPM Mag Flexi)
Cynics – Painted My Heart (Dionysus)
Funseekers – It Should Be You (Susstones)
Original Sins – Come On Up (Chaos)
Royal Nonesuch – You Need Love (UP)
Telltale Hearts – It Came To Me (Voxx)

Boys From Nowhere – Beg (Young Lion)
Creeps – Rattlesnake Shake (Tracks On Wax)
Fleshtones – The World Has Changed (IRS)
Insomniacs – My Favorite Story (Umbrella)
Lyres – How Do You Know (New Rose)
Plasticland – Go a Go Go Time (Enigma)
Plasticland – The Windowsills (Enigma)
Plasticland – Rattail Comb (Scadillac)
Secret Syde – Hole In My Pocket (Mutha)
Spectors – I Fell In Love (Get Hip)
Stems – Make You Mine (Citadel)
Stems – Under Your Mushroom (Citadel)

The Bangs – No Mag Commercial (Ear Movie)
The Bangles – The Real World (IRS)
The Bangles – The Hero Takes a Fall (Columbia)
The Rain Parade – This Can’t Be Today (Restless)
The Rain Parade – Prisoners (Enigma)
The Eyes of Mind – Yesterday Is Gone (Voxx)
Mad Violets – Psilocybe (Voxx)
Lord John – Westminiature Abbey (Bomp)
Mod Fun – I Am With You (New)
Mod Fun – Grounded (Cryptovision)
Phantom Five – She’s Not (Making Tyme)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 32 – 256MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have a very special edition of the show lined up for you this month.

Though I have included some garage/psych revival tracks over the course of the previous 31 episode of the podcast, I have always wanted to dig out a big stack of 80s (and some early 90s) vinyl, digimatize it and devote an episode to the sounds of my misspent youth.

So I did (finally).

Though it is by no means comprehensive, it is a good look at the kind of stuff my friends and I were digging during the first wave of the garage/psych/mod revival in the the early to mid 80s.

There’s a bunch of American stuff (both coasts and the middle) as well as the UK, Europe and Scandinavia represented.

There are even a couple of really rare things in the mix for the trainspotters in the crowd.

You get almost two and a half hours of sounds!

As always, I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #30

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Mindbenders – The Morning After (Fontana)
The Remains – Once Before (Epic)
The Remains – Diddy Wah Diddy (Epic)
Sir Raleigh and the Coupons – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day (Jerden)
Del Shannon – She (Liberty)
Carole King – Pleasant Valley Sunday (Demo)
Scotty McKay – All Around the World (Claridge)
Baker Knight and the Knightmares – Hallucinations (Reprise)
The Enemys – Mojo Woman (MGM)
Freddy Cannon – 20th Century Fox (WB)
Moody Blues – Fly Me High (London)
Moody Blues Concert Promo


Nilsson – The Path That Leads To Trouble (Tower)
Nilsson – Good Times (Tower)
Nilsson – So You Think You’ve Got Troubles (Tower)
Nilsson – Growin’ Up (Tower)
Nilsson – Signs (demo)
Nilsson – This Could Be The Night (demo)
Monkees – Daddy’s Song (Head OST)
Glen Campbell – Without Her (Capitol)
Bobby Vee – One (Liberty)
Ella Fitzgerald – Open Your Window (Reprise)
Nilsson – Ban Roll On Commercial

Paul Williams – Nilsson Sings Newman (A&M)*
Puppet – Best Friend (Date)
Nilsson – Everybody’s Talkin’ (Aerial Pandemonium Ballet Remix) (RCA)
Nilsson – Mr Richland’s Favorite Song (Aerial Pandemonium Ballet Remix) (RCA)
Nilsson – Mourning Glory Story (RCA)
Nilsson – Mother Nature’s Son (RCA)
Nilsson – Puppy Song (RCA)
George Tipton – Rainmaker (WB)
George Tipton – Maybe (WB)
Davy Jones – Are You Sleeping (The Point UK Cast OST – MCA)
Mickey Dolenz – He’s Leaving (The Point UK Cast OST – MCA)
Pat Williams – Don’t Leave Me (Verve)
Lena Horne – Think About Your Troubles (Buddah)
Harry Nilsson – Handgun Violence PSA

DMZ – Out of Our Tree (Sire)
Paul Raven – Soul Thing (MCA UK)
The Paupers – Numbers (Verve)
Mars Bonfire – Ride With Me (UNI)
Joe South – Hush (Capitol)
Lamp Of Childhood – Two O’Clock In the Morning (Dunhill)
Bodine – Disaster (MGM)
KHJ Tiny Tim Concert Promo

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 30 – 247MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have a very special (very long) episode of the show for you this month.

Sandwiched between two sets of garage, freakbeat and psych you get a long tribute to all things Nilsson, featuring some rarities by the man himself, as well as a far reaching assortment of covers by everyone from Glen Campbell to Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne.

I think this is an especially cool one, so pull down the ones and zeros and dig it!

See you all next week with some more coolness.

Peace

Larry

*NOTE: After I recorded the show I found a piece by Paul Williams addressing his song ‘Nilsson Sings Newman’, and his relationship with Nilsson directly. It’s worth reading.

 

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DMZ – Out of Our Tree

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DMZ

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Listen/Download – DMZ – Out of Our Tree

Greetings all.

The past month or so has been an especially tasty one in regard to the acquisition of new (old) records, including some long (long, LONG) time want list items (for here and over at Funky16Corners).

It was during the digimatization process, and plowing through the crates to prep for the next episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show, that I happened upon an especially old record that I had unjustly neglected for years.

Flash back to the very early 80s, and my brothers and I are hanging out in our parents backyard, doing nothing remotely productive, and we happen to hear on the radio that REM were going to be playing that evening at the Capitol Theater in Passaic.

We rapidly dragged ourselves out of our lawn chairs (without spilling our beer) and hightailed it up to Crazy Eddies.

You see, back in the olden days, before the computers and the beep-beep, bloop bloop and what not, you used to have to go somewhere special to buy concert tickets, usually Ticketron (anyone remember those rainbow colored tickets?).

There were a couple of Ticketron outlets nearby, one inside of a Macys department store (?!?) and the other inside Crazy Eddies.

Crazy Eddies was (for those of you too young or too far from the NY area to remember) an appliance/record/tape chain, with lunatic TV commercials, that eventually collapsed under the weight of its founder’s criminal activity.

Though I wouldn’t generally go to Crazy Eddies specifically to buy records (for guys like us it was a place to get stereo equipment and blank tapes), if I’m in a store, and there are records to be had, who am I to look the other way??

So, we buy our tickets for the show, and I headed over to the “imports” section, where in addition to overpriced French prog rock albums, you could find all kinds of domestic independent label stuff.

Though I can’t be 100% sure, I think this was also the day I grabbed the Vipers Jem/PVC LP, but the real score (though I didn’t know it at the time) was a remaindered copy of a four or five year old release by a band called DMZ.

DMZ, formed in 1976 and dead in the water two years later, is now best known as the band that introduced the world to the charms of Jeff Conolly, aka Mono Mann.

It was still a few years before I would hear about the Lyres, so that meant nothing at the time, but I did recognize that the album included a cover of the Sonics ‘Cinderella’, so I forked over my 99 cents, and headed home.

While my ears were still stuffed full of sweet, power pop/new wave candy, I had started to develop a taste for punk (zee raw, seexteez zound) and DMZ brought it.

I found myself dropping the needle on the opning track, ‘Mighty Idy’ a lot, but the cut that really rattled my cage is the one you see before you today, a cover of the Wailers 1966 slammer ‘Out of Our Tree’.

The importance of the damp, depressing Pacific Northwest to the development of punk, 60s and beyond cannot be underestimated.

Bands like the Kingsmen, the Sonics, Don and the Goodtimes, and Paul Revere and the Raiders all made awesome sounds (some, like the Sonics far beyond awesome), but the mighty Wailers were there first.

The group had their first hit with ‘Tall Cool One’ in 1959 (again in 1964), and over the next few years their R&B/frat sound morphed in sometimes savage garage punk.

‘Out of Our Tree’ was released in 1966 and it is one of those records that wears the era like a badge of honor.

You get pounding drums, combo organ, fuzzed out guitars and wailing (of course) vocals, and the overall effect is powerful enough to shoot grandma out of her chair like a roman candle.

Conolly, one of the great rock and roll maniacs and a devoted record collector brought his love of 60s punk to DMZ, and the result was very cool indeed.

Now, if you were to set to Googling, you would discover that there is something of a critical consensus out there which suggests that the DMZ album suffers from sub-par production by Flo and Eddie.

I am here to tell you that this is bunk.

Whether this is a case of “I don’t think it sounds punk (read, INEPT) enough!” or “I love the Lyres and this doesn’t sound enough like the Lyres!” I can’t say for sure, though both schools of thought seem to be in play.

Having been around then, I fully understand the tendency to associate clean, professional production with ‘the man’ and loosey goosey indie 45s recorded in a basement somewhere to be the ne plus ultra, but as is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I would suggest getting yourself a copy of the album (or just download the MP3 here), and turn it the fuck up.

The production is right on the money for 1978. DMZ sound like an era-appropriate punk band and Flo and Eddie gave the bass and drums (especially the drums) quite a bit of sonic punch.

Jeff is solidly savage, and while the organ could be a tiny bit louder, it is there, and you’d have to be a fool to deny that DMZ does the Wailers proud.

Not long after DMZ imploded, Conolly, Rick Corraccio and Paul Murphy went on to form the Lyres, one of the greatest live bands of the 1980s and beyond.

As always, I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #20

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Opener – Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Spirit – I Got a Line On You (Ode)
Spirit – Taurus (Ode)
Spirit – Girl In Your Eye (Ode)
Spirit- Straight Arrow (Ode)
Spirit – Topanga Windows (Ode)
44th St Portable Flower Factory – Let’s Get Together (Scholastic)
44th St Portable Flower Factory – The Letter (Scholastic)
Esko Affair – Morning Dull Fire (Mercury)
Roy Buchanan – Down By the River (Atlantic)
Spirit – Clear LP Promo

Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich – Shame (Fontana)
Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich- You Make It Move (Fontana)
Bang Girl Group Revue – Drink In Hand (Psychedelphonic)
Bang Girl Group Revue – Love’s Gone Bad (Psychedelphonic)
Dino Desi and Billy – I’m a Fool (Reprise)
The Finnz – East Side Story (Finnz)
Heather Black – Bill The Black Militant (Double Bayou)
Kitchen Cinq – Determination (LHI)
Terry Knight and the Pack – Got Love (Lucky Eleven)
Gary Lewis and the Playboys – Heart Full of Soul (Liberty)
Gary Lewis and the Playboys – The Flake (Kelloggs Corn Flakes Ad)

The Critters – Mr Dieingly Sad (Kapp)
East Coast Left – My Child (Kapp)
Epic Splendor – It Could Be Wonderful (Hot Biscuit)
Giant Crab – Help Yourself (Uni)
Giant Crab – It’s Getting Harder (Uni)
Hourglass – Power Of Love (Liberty)
Music Machine – Some Other Drum (Original Sound)
Tom Northcott – Blackberry Way (Uni)
Peter Fonda – November Nights (Chisa)
The 10:15 – Joe’s Acclamation ()
Semicolons? – Beachcomber (Cameo/Parkway)
Poco – Hurry Up (Epic)
The Rockets – Hole In My Pocket (White Whale)
Neil Young – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere LP Promo

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 20 – 184MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope all is well in your part of the world.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show, episode 20!

This time around we start the show with a tribute to the late, great Ed Cassidy of Spirit, move on into some top shelf freakbeat and garage and finish up with a solid set of pop.

I hope you dig it all, and that you come back next week for the annual Year In Vintage Pop mix.

Until then…

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Halloween: The What-Knots – I Ain’t Dead Yet

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Unngghhh!!!

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Listen/Download – The What-Knots – I Ain’t Dead Yet

Greetings all.

The witching hour (or week…as it is) has arrived.

Halloween is right around the corner, and I have some rollicking, slightly morbid garage wax for you to stuff in your ears.

Way back in the day, I wrote up one of the early versions of this tune (not the OG) by the Gentrys.

When that one came out in 1966, it was called ‘Don’t Send Me No Flowers’, and it was a cover of a record by another Memphis garage band, the Breakers.

The record I bring you today, rather boldy stolen, retitled and waxed by a crew calling themselves the What-Knots is groovy indeed.

My guess (going by the style of the record and the Buddy Killen production credit) is that the What-Knots were also from the south somewhere, but I can’t say for sure, since they are pretty obscure, even for a garage band.

It is of course possible that 45 years hence (this dropped in 1967) the What-Knots are still hiding from the Breakers’ lawyers, but you never know.

That said, their version of the song is a hopped up bit of southern/frat rock garage, with a singer that sounds in the breaks like the inspiration for James Brown’s Hot Tub Party.

I’m still not sure what he’s saying in a couple of places.

At one point it sounds like

“LEMME HEEYA BLOOTY SIGH!!!”

Okay Luther….whatever you say.

The combo organ and the honking sax-o-ma-phone are top notch, as is the thick, soup bass that threatens to overwhelm the whole affair.

It’s the kind of garage record that could only be made south of the Mason-Dixon line by a pack of likkered up snotballs, and for that we are all thankful.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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The Beachnuts – Cycle Annie

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Lou Reed: One of the great shit-eating grins of all time…

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Listen/Download – The Beachnuts – Cycle Annie – MP3

Greetings all.

At long last the week is at and end and I am good and ready to curl up in a down-filled cocoon of my of making, where my video iPod and I will spend as much time as possible in womb-like isolation. Just until I get my head screwed on securely.
I figured I’d close out the week with something cool I grabbed when I was digging in western Mass last year. Alongside some cool Easy sounds, as well as a few stellar pieces of 60s pop, I was lucky enough to find a record I’d been seeking for years.
Since I first discovered the band some 25 years ago, I have been a serious Velvet Underground fan. Though I knew some of their songs before then – via versions of ‘Rock and Roll’ by Detroit (used as the jingle for the local dragstrip), and Lou Reed’s solo versions of their songs on the ‘Rock’n’Roll Animal’ LP – I didn’t actually hear a Velvets song until the mid-80s, by which time, along with Big Star they had become patron saints of the new, alternative underground.
To be honest, in the beginning I tended to breeze right by noise experiments like ‘Sister Ray’, in favor of the band’s poppier side with songs like ‘Sunday Morning’ and ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, but as the years wore on I grew to love almost everything they recorded (before Lou Reed left the band, anyway).
Anyway, in the years of my VU fandom I read that before the band came together, Lou worked as a songwriter and session musician for exploito label Pickwick Records. Pickwick was one of the truly great ‘knock-off’ labels, manufacturing al manner of spurious music meant to fool the less studious record buyer into believing that they were buying something cooler than they actually were. These scams ran from repackaging the early, uncharacteristic work of popular artists, to creating new ‘soundalike’ artists out of whole cloth.
During his time at Pickwick, Reed both wrote material for other people (like the All Night Workers’ ‘Why Don’t You Smile Now’) and performed himself under assumed names. Today’s selection is an example of the latter.
Now, when you think of someone cranking out teen exploitation, whether it be films or music, there are varying levels of, how do you say, finesse. Some folks, like the AIP factory created movies, that while generally dumb and condescending managed to also be brilliantly colorful, entertaining and had the bonus of featuring motion picture appearances by all kinds of cool musical acts.
On the other hand, you had the schlockmeisters who filled the drive-ins of the 1960s with quickly made garbage meant to flicker on screen as the background to millions of heavy petting sessions.
The Beachnuts’ ‘Cycle Annie’ falls somewhere in between those two extremes. The band name and song title sound like they were created by some Vitalis soaked goon in a shiny suit who had himself convinced that he understood the youth market. The actual music is something else entirely. With a vocal that is unmistakably the voice of Lou Reed, and a wall of distorted, barely tuned guitars, ‘Cycle Annie’ is what exploitation pop sounds like when shoved through the avant garde meat grinder of Reed’s sensibility. If you swapped out the motorbike lyrics for something a little heavier, like cruising the back alleys of the city for drugs and quick sex, you wouldn’t land too far off from the actual Velvet Underground.
Give this one six or seven listens, preferably with a head full of green cough syrup. I think you’ll see what I mean.
See youse on Monday.


Peace

Larry

 

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PSS The Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive has been updated, now with 31 mixes!

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

Example

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.

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