Buffalo Springfield – Uno Mundo (aka Un-Mundo) 45 mix

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Buffalo Springfield

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Listen/Download – Buffalo Springfield – Uno Mundo (un-Mundo) 45 Mix

Greetings all.

I thought I’d take the opportunity this week to return once again to examine something by my second favorite American band of the 60s, the mighty (and mightily underrated) Buffalo Springfield.

Though most serious heads will at least be familiar with the shrapnel/diaspora that followed the dissolution of the group (CSNY, Y(oung), Poco, Loggins and Messina) and the big hit ‘For What It’s Worth’, I find that few out there realize how deep, diverse and amazing the Buffalo Springfield catalog is.

One of the problems, is that the band were only “together” for a very brief period (scare quotes intentional to indicate how fractious a tenure they had, with rotating membership due to intra-band fighting and immigration problems).

During that roughly two year stretch, the songwriting/singing triumvirate of Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay, aided by drummer Dewey Martin and bassists Bruce Palmer (who appears on this track) and Jim Messina, laid down some of the heaviest music of the day.

I think one of the reasons that the Springfield doesn’t get the shine they deserve is that the palette they were working with was so unusual. They managed to mix country, jazz, folk rock, fuzz, and dreamy psychedelia (occasionally in the same song) in a stew that on paper seems doomed by its diversity, yet in the ears (and that’s really where it matters, right?) worked sublimely.

Today’s selection is from the band’s final album ‘Last Time Around’, assembled largely when the Buffalo Springfield were for all intents and purposes gone their separate ways. None of the tracks feature the entire band, and like the Beatles ‘White Album’ it veers from creative pole to pole, with tracks that were heavily slanted in the direction of one of the main members or the other.

Stephen Stills’ ‘Uno Mundo’ (listen on this 45 as ‘Un-Mundo’) reflects his love of Latin sounds, developed during his youth spent in places like Costa Rica and the Panama Canal Zone.

‘Uno Mundo’also forms a bridge between Buffalo Springfield and CSNY, sounding like a practice run at the sound of ‘Everybody I Love You’, with it’s chugging rhythm, Hammond organ and Stills’ blazing lead guitar.

As is the case with a number of Buffalo Springfield 45s I’ve found, the mix on the ‘Un-Mundo’ 45 is different than the track on the album, especially toward the end of the song where the horns are higher in the mix and you can hear an acoustic guitar lead (absent on the LP) running underneath.

It’s a very groovy track indeed, and I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Zig Zag Wanderer

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The Original Cap’n Crunch…

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Listen/Download – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Zig Zag Wanderer

Greetings all.

I’ve been hanging on to today’s selection – one of my all-time favorite records – for a long, long time.

As is often the case with a piece of music that hits me in the deepest possible places, I often circle the record warily, looking for the right time to approach.

‘Zig Zag Wanderer’ by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band is an absolutely perfect example of an artist in transition, from a place where they have at least a tenuous grasp on conventional musicality, through something strange, and on into something extra-double strange.

You can locate this sweet spot on mid-60s records by Frank Zappa (who’s later work holds almost no appeal for me), and the Fugs.

In these cases it is almost as if the artist decided to dip their toes into rock and roll, made a record or two while they were getting comfortable (or until they thought no one was looking) and then went, if not batshit, some approximation thereof in relation to their early work.

I’m one of those poor slobs who unwittingly – led on by early 70s rock critics – went out and bought myself a copy of ‘Trout Mask Replica’, utterly unprepared for the sounds packed into its grooves.

Naturally, this put me off of Beefheart for quite a while, until sometime in the mid-80s someone on the garage scene hepped me to Cap’s first 45, of ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’ (you heard it here a while back) and then a little bit later, offered me a tape of his first long-player, 1967’s ‘Safe as Milk’.

‘Safe as Milk’ is the perfect place for someone who wants to know what Captain Beefheart is all about, yet isn’t quite ready to rewire their brains.

You get all the components of the Beefheart sound, i.e. heavy blues influence, weird time signatures, surreal lyrics etc, yet they are all filtered through the rest of 1967, so you get it all couched in garage/psyche energy and frameworks.

The finest track on the album – in my opinion, anyway – is the mighty ‘Zig Zag Wanderer’.

Opening with a guitar riff that sounds as if it’s charging at you down a narrow hallway, followed by the whispered ‘Zig Zaaaaag!’, the song blows wide open, sounding like a psychedelic buffalo stampede, wherein all the buffalo are the bastard spawn of Howling Wolf and a Caterpillar bulldozer.

You also get (for this album only) the guitar wrangling skills of young Ry Cooder, who wails.

The good Captain hollers in a way that must have seemed good and freaky to the heads, probably scaring off more than a few, but at the same time pulling a few new converts into the cult.

If you dig ‘Zig Zag Wanderer’ you will probably like the whole album. I can’t say how you’ll feel about the later stuff, since that usually requires a whole lot of work, that not everyone is willing to put in.

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

Zig Zaaaaaaaag…….

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #47

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Why hello there!

Playlist

Dave Grusin – Ascension To Virginity (ABC)
Don Sebesky – Dance the Night Away (Verve)
Alan Lorber Orchestra – Within You Without You (Verve)
Ananda Shankar – Jumping Jack Flash (Reprise)
Joe Harriott Double Quintet Under the Direction of John Mayer – Overture (Atlantic)
Joe Harriott Double Quintet Under the Direction of John Mayer – Contrasts (Atlantic)
Alan Lorber Orchestra – Flute Thing (Verve)
Don Sebesky – Guru Vin (Verve)

Four Instants – Bogattini (Society)
Four instants – Discotheque (Society)
Four Instants – Watermelon Man (Society)
Sounds of Lane – Tracks of Your Mind (Cobblestone)

Care Package – World of Thursday Morning (Jubilee)
Tina Mason – What (Capitol)
Tina Mason – Good Kind of Hurt (Capitol)
Tina Mason – Life and Soul of the Party (Capitol)
Jackie and Roy – Didn’t Want To Have To Do It (Verve)
Jackie and Roy – The Word (Verve)
Walter Scott – Just You Wait (Musicland USA)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #47 – 149MB/256kbps

 

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#47) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

We get things off to a very groovy start with a set of East/West fusion/exotica, then move into some freakbeat and then a set of very cool pop, wherein Jackie and Roy make yet another appearance.

As always I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

RIP Ron Edgar

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The Music Machine, Ron Edgar 2nd from left

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The Millennium, Ron Edgar 2nd from right

 

Listen/Download – Music Machine – Talk Talk

Listen/Download – Music Machine – Masculine Intuition

Listen/Download – The Millennium – Prelude/To Claudia On Thursday

Listen/Download – The Millennium -I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 edit)

Greetings all.

A little more than a week ago the sad news came down that Ron Edgar, drummer for both the Music Machine and the Millennium had passed away at the age of 68.

Edgar, who had gotten his start as a jazz drummer, had played with Curt Boettcher in one of the iterations of his early group the Goldebriars, before joining Sean Bonniwell’s group the Music Machine.

The Music Machine, known to most as a one-hit wonder (‘Talk Talk’ went Top 40 in the Fall of 1966), were actually one of the deeper bands of the garage era.

They combine complex music, and dark lyrics, all presented in a fuzzed-out, garage-on-the-way-to-psychedelic sound that gave their records a timeless feel that makes them as exciting today as they were almost 50 years ago.

Edgar’s complicated and hard-hitting drumming was an important part of the Music Machine sound, taking a co-lead role in ‘Talk Talk’ and providing layers of sophistication to songs like ‘Masculine Intuition’.

Following the break-up of the Music Machine (Mk1), Boettcher enlisted Edgar (and his Music Machine bandmates Doug Rhodes and Keith Olsen) to work in the studio on tracks for the Sagittarius project. They were soon joined by Lee Mallory, Sandy Salisbury, Michael Fennelly and Joey Stec and became the Millennium.

The Millennium were even more sophisticated than the Music Machine, taking cues from all corners of the pop/rock world, and having one of the heaviest songwriting pools around right there in the band.

I’ve written a lot about the Millennium here at Iron Leg, but I don’t think I’ve ever directly addressed the majesty of the opening tracks of their sole LP ‘Begin’*.

‘Prelude/To Claudia On Thursday’ form not only one of the most sublime and uplifting medleys in the history of 60s pop, but are also a great illustration of the percussive versatility of Ron Edgar.

‘Prelude’, which opens with harpsichord and congas (or tablas?), is soon blown wide open by Edgar’s drums, with an emphasis on a supremely heavy bass drum foot, expanded on with jazzy work on the snare and cymbals.

Segueing directly into ‘To Claudia On Thursday’, you get to hear Edgar lay down a Brazilian beat underneath the heavenly, Beatle-esque harmonies of the group. The way the voices come together in this song – trademark Boettcher – is practically unmatched. This is one of those records you have to really plug into with headphones, and let the voices wash over you.

Edgar’s subtle, jazz-inflected playing on ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ (presented here in its 45 mix) is also excellent.

Edgar went on to play on a variety of Millennium-related solo projects, as well as appearing on Bread’s 1969 debut LP.

He was a great drummer and an important part of 60s pop history, and will be missed.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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*Though I have posted the Jimmie Haskell/Denny Doherty covers of these tunes
PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sound of the 4 Instants

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Clem Cattini

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Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Bogattini
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Watermelon Man
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Discotheque

Greetings all.

I have something rather groovy for you today.

A while back all-around pop-cult maven Kliph Nesteroff posted a Youtube vid on my FB wall, asking if I was familiar with the track in question.

I gave it a spin, and I was as clueless about the song/group as I was blown away by the track.

The group being the 4 Instants, the track a wild bit of noise entitled ‘Bogattini’.

So, naturally I set out in search of the record and information about the 4 Instants. The former proving scarce and the latter all but non-existent.

Then, a few weeks later a copy of the record popped up on Ebay from a UK seller and I was lucky enough to enter the high bid.

Flash forward a week or two later and the record popped through the mail slot, and I was very happy indeed to discover that the LP ‘Discotheque’ was no mere one-track-wonder.

The small bit of information I have been able to gather suggests that he 4 Instants were a group of studio musicians gathered together to record an LP’s worth of dance floor sounds to be sold to clueless teenagers eager to stuff their ears full of beat music.

Following the writing credits on the original tracks, the members of the 4 Instants included former Tornado and UK studio all-star drummer Clem Cattini, guitarist Mickey Keen, bassist Dave Winters and Michael O’Neill (who I’ll assume was playing the organ).

The LP includes three originals and covers of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’, Carl Holmes and the Commanders ‘Mashed Potatoes’, Major Lance’s ‘Monkey Time’ (composed, of course by Curtis Mayfield), Jimmy McGriff’s ‘All About My Girl’, Booker T and the MGs ‘Outrage’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan’ and the old stripper’s standby ‘Night Train’.

‘Bogattini’ is nothing less than a slice of madness, complete with odd sound effects (including a flushing toilet, thus the ‘bog;), heavy, nearly freakbeat guitar, buzzing bass and wild, unhinged drum solos by Cattini. It flirts with novelty, but the package taken as a whole is rather solid.

The version of ‘Watermelon Man’ is 100% unadulterated mod R&B, featuring the organ and some tasty guitar.

‘Discotheque’ is an upbeat, au-go-go number, sounding like it emerged from the soundtrack of a 1966 teen movie.

The bottom line is, there are several tracks on this album, that had they only ever been issued as obscure 45s, would have record collectors killing each other to get them.

As is, they’re all sitting on an equally obscure LP waiting for you (though the album has seen reissue).

So dig the sounds,and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #46

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Attack – Colour of My Mind (Decca)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – Sometimes She’s a Little Girl (A&M)
Boyce & Hart Coke Commercial
Living Guitars – Out and About (Camden)
Shotgun Express – I Could Feel the Whole World Turn Round (Columbia)
Timebox – Gone Is the Sad Man (Deram)
Silver Jade – Fly On Strangewings (DJM)
Ravi Shankar Anti-Drup Radio Spot

Rod McKuen – A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Columbia)
Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr – My Mother Wanted Me To Play Mozart (WB)
Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr – Mud Kids (WB)
Beach Boys – Wake the World (Brother)
Incredible String Band – No Sleep Blues (Elektra)
Paul Williams – Someday Man (Reprise)
Curt Boettcher Levis Commercial

Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – Fixing a Hole (Capitol)
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – Lady Madonna (Capitol)
Cats – Magical Mystery Morning (Rare Earth)
Classics IV – Stormy (Imperial)
Don Agrati – Protoplasm Blues (Elektra)
Bill Anderson and Jan Howard – Someday We’ll Be Together (Decca)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #46 – 135MB/256kbps

 

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#46) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out we have some groovy new arrivals, pay tribute to the late Rod McKuen, and groove on the psychedelic jazz pop of Jackie and Roy.

I’ve come up with a new method of recording/assembling the show, so the tech problems from last month should be taken care of.

As always I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Associated Soul Group – Don’t Think Twice / Wild Times

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Hubba Hubba…

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Listen/Download – Associated Soul Group – Don’t Think Twice

Listen/Download – Associated Soul Group – Wild Times

Greetings all.

Here’s something crazy for you.

I picked up the Associated Soul Group LP a while back because a friend had posted their version of ‘Are You Experienced’, mainly because it included a drum break.

I’m always game for exploito/covers, so when the chance presented itself, I grabbed myself a copy of the album.

What I discovered was that in addition to a couple of groovy instrumentals, there are a couple of excellent garage/psyche tracks as well.

The history/provenance of the the Associated Soul Group is largely lost to the ages, since there probably never was an actual group by that name, and the fact that the music included on the album in question may very well have emanated from more than one source.

The tunes I bring you today, my faves from the LP are two great slices of 66/67 garage called ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and ‘Wild Times’.

‘Don’t Think Twice’, which opens with a very groovy guitar line has the slightly polished sound of 66-era Sunset Strip to it.

‘Wild Times’ works a similar vibe, adding in a touch of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Interestingly enough, this very song, (sounding like the same group, though a different recording) was released as a 45 by the Id, of ‘Boil the Kettle Mother’ fame.

‘Don’t Think Twice’ also appeared under the Id name, as well as appearing on an LP by the ‘Projection Company’.

I have (and have heard) a bunch of similarly intended albums, and what sets these tracks apart is how good they are, so much so as to be too good (if you know what I mean). It pains me to think of some anonymous bunch of longhairs having offered up their best material, only to have the songs recycled/renamed and stuffed into supermarket and gas station record racks until the record company had managed to squeeze the last drop of musical blood from the stone.

There are some names tied to these sounds, namely Jerry Cole and Paul Arnold (at least as far as writing credit is concerned) but the list of groups in this particular orbit – including the Animated Egg, T. Swift and the Electric Bag, Associated Soul Group, Firebirds, Projection Company – only serves to muddy the water.

That said, I do dig these songs a lot, and I hope you do too.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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