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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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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Cast of Thousands – The Cast’s Blues

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Early Cast of Thousands,
Stevie Ray Vaughn (center), Stephen Tobolowsky (right)

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Listen/Download – Cast of Thousands – The Cast’s Blues

Greetings all.

This week I bring you a very groovy 45 by a band with an exceptionally unusual pedigree.

Years ago, back when I was first digging around for info about garage bands, but before the interwebs were up and running, I’d heard that Stevie Ray Vaughn had played with a band called Cast of Thousands.

Flash forward a few decades and I discover that the band in question was also home to ubiquitous character actor (and podcaster) Stephen Tobolowsky.

In between those two dots on the timeline, I happened to find a couple of 45s by the band, ‘Girl What You Gonna Do’ b/w ‘My Jenny Wears a Mini’ (both sides of which have appeared in Iron Leg mixes and poscasts) and the disc you see before you today, ‘Country Gardens’ b/w ‘The Cast’s Blues’.

As it turns out, SRV only played in (and recorded with) an embryonic version of the band that laid down two decidedly non-garage tracks.

The Cast of Thousands hailed from Dallas and had a series of 45s released on Tower, Amy and Soft (as well as the two SRV tracks released on a local comp) in 1966 and 1967.

‘The Cast’s Blues’ was the b-side of their final 45, and also featured Buggs Henderson before he joined Mouse and the Traps.

‘Cast’s Blues’ starts out as a slow, psyched out jam (with what sounds like electric sitar) before picking up the pace into a slightly harder-edged sound.

The a-side is an odd mix of folk rock, phased vocals and just a touch of psychedelia.

If you get the chance, head over to Music Life Radio and listen to a recording of Tobolowsky telling the story of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s time in the band.

I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all 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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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Move – Fire Brigade (A&M)
The Move – Walk Upon the Water (A&M)
The Move – Flowers In the Rain (A&M)
The Move – Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree (A&M)
Tom Northcott – Blackberry Way (UNI)
The Fortunes – Fire Brigade (UA)

Jennifer – Close Another Door (Parrot)
Jennifer – Sunny Day Blue (Parrot)
Jennifer – Chelsea Morning (Parrot)
Jennifer – I Am Waiting (Parrot)
Jennifer – Places Everyone (Parrot) Fargo
Jennifer – The Park (Parrot)
Jennifer – Saturday Night at the World (Parrot)
Jennifer – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Parrot)

Jennifer Warren – PF Sloan (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Empty Bottles (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Sand and Foam (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Be My Friend (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – These Days (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Magdelene My Regal Zonophone (Reprise)

Hoyt Axton – Double Double Dare (VeeJay)
Hoyt Axton – I’ll Be There (VeeJay)
Peddlers – Song For the Blues (Philips)
Peddlers – Whatever Happened to the Good Times (Philips)
Lee Mallory – Take My Hand (Valiant)
Lee Mallory – The Love Song (Valiant)
Summer Snow- Flying On the Ground (Capitol)
Summer Snow – Your Thoughts Have Wings (Capitol)
Velvet Underground – Jesus (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Beginning To See the Light (MGM)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45 – 203MB/256kbps

 

NOTE: There were some problems with sound  dropping out in this edition of the podcast. I reassembled the file from scratch and remixed it. The link above should work fine. If it doesn’t, please let me know.

Thanks – Larry

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#45) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Thanks completely to aforementioned health issues, this episode comes to you a little late, yet no less groovy.

There are all kinds of goodies this time out, especially two sets of very interesting, little-heard early work by the vocalist Jennifer Warnes.

I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #44

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Small Face – All Or Nothing (RCA)
Small Faces – Understanding (RCA)
Small Faces – Tin Soldier (Immediate)
Small Faces – I Feel Much Better (Immediate)
Small Faces – Afterglow of Our Love (Immediate)
Small Faces – Wham Bam Thank You Man (Immediate)
Faces – Oh Lord I’m Browned Off (WB)
Faces – I Know I’m Losing You (Live on BBC Saturday Club)
There Are But Four Small Faces Promo

Asylum Choir- Icicle Star Tree (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Episode Containing Three Songs (NY OP/Land of Dog/Mr Henri the Clown) (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Death of the Flowers (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Indian Style (Smash)
Leon Russell – Delta Lady (Shelter)
Leon Russell – Prince of Peace (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Of Thee I Sing (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Beware of Darkness (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Crystal Closet Queen (Shelter)

Gene Pitney – Heartbreaker (Musicor)
Billy Joe Royal – Hush (Columbia)
Beverley – Where the Good Times Are (Deram)
The Cast of Thousands – Cast’s Blues (Amy)
Kaleidoscope – Elevator Man (Epic)
Russell Morris – The Real Thing Pts1&2 (Diamond)
Houstons – Sea of Tranquility (World Pacific)
Houstons – Solar Light (World Pacific)
Strawbs – Or Am I Dreaming (A&M)
Fleetwood Mac – Albatross (Epic)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #44 – 207MB/256kbps

 

Greetings all.

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

I have an extra groovy (extra long) episode for you this month, starting out with a tribute to the late Ian McLagan, then on to a set of late 60s/early 70s Leon Russell (with Asylum Choir and the Shelter People) and then closing things out with a bunch of recent arrivals and greats from the crates.

As always I hope you dig it, and that you all have an extra Merry Christmas.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Rick Nelson – Marshmallow Skies

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Rick Nelson in a still from his ‘Don’t Make Promises’ video

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Listen/Download – Rick Nelson – Marshmallow Skies

Greetings all.

I was rolling around in my iPod – much like Scrooge McDuck rolling around in hundred dollar bills – when what should I come upon but tracks I’d recorded from Rick Nelson’s 1967 ‘change of pace’ LP, ‘Another Side of Rick’.

My love for this record goes back to the mid-80s, when I was passed a bootleg VHS of 1960s music video, culled from various TV dance parties, variety shows and a few purpose-made, primitive rock videos.

One of the clips included was Rick Nelson performing my all-time favorite Tim Hardin song, ‘Don’t Make Promises’ (written up here was back in 2007).

Not long after that, I managed to find a copy of the album where that recording originated.

Rick Nelson is an interesting example of a guy who is much more musically interesting than many people would give him credit for, thanks in large part to his early years as a TV star/teen idol.

His early catalog is filled with quality rock’n’roll – and the occasional blinding bit of rockabilly – and his later years feature some of the best country rock of the era.

‘Another Side of Rick’ fell in between those two eras, during a time where Nelson, like so many of his contemporariesm was trying to stay relevant.

While he certainly wasn’t morphing into Jimi Hendrix, he was making some excellent mid-60s pop rock, and as you’ll see with today’s selection, dabbling in popsike.

Co-written by Nelson and his longtime sideman (and guitar whiz) James Burton, and arranged and produced by Jimmie Haskell and Jack Nitzsche, ‘Marshmallow Skies’ is a mellow, sitar-infused bit of Southern California pop.

Pushed along gently by nicely baroque orchestration and a subtly applied rhythm section, ‘Marshmallow Skies’ wouldn’t seem out of place on an LP by Donovan or late-period Chad and Jeremy.

There are those out there that don’t dig this album (or this song),but I think you ought to give it a chance.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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