Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Zig Zag Wanderer

Example

The Original Cap’n Crunch…

Example

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

 

Example

 

 

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Them – Bring ‘Em On In

Example

That’s a mean looking bunch’o’spuds.

Example

Listen/Download – Them – Bring ‘Em On In

Greetings all.

Welcome to the new week.

As I was flipping through the vast ‘to-be-blogged’ archive, trying to pick out a tune for this week, I happened upon something groovy, which – ironically – I had forgotten.

Unjustly, too, since the beat/blues wailing of George Ivan Morrison, the man responsible for my all-time favorite rock song (G-L-O-R-I-A…) is one of my very favorite sounds (as is his slightly later, much hippy-dippier profundity).

If memory serves I picked up this 45 at a record show, mainly because I had never heard (more accurately, did not remember) the songs.

As it turns out, both tracks on the single, ‘Bring ‘Em On In’ and ‘Call My Name’ appeared on 1966’s ‘Them Again’, which I owned a copy of (and have since misplaced/Lost) back in the garage/mod days of the 80s.

Though they are often grouped with the British Invasion, Them were much closer to (and quite close to the top of the class) the R&Beat sound.

That they had the voice and songwriting prowess of Morrison put them close to the front of the pack, but they were first and foremost a shit-hot band, in the end far more influential than they were successful.

On that note, it’s odd to discover that they were a much bigger deal (though still relatively small potatoes, no pun intended) here in the States than they were on the other side of the Atlantic.

They had a handful of moderate hits here in the US, with ‘Here Comes the Night’ being the biggest (and ‘Gloria’ the most influential), as well as a couple of regional successes.

‘Bring ‘Em On In’, released in 1966 as the B-side to ‘Call My Name’ (one of the aforementioned regional hits, making some noise on SoCal and Florida) is a hard-charging bit of R&B cum garage, with some fuzz guitar, piano and of course a searing vocal by Van the man.

Of course by this time, Them – in their Van led incarnation – were pretty much a done deal.

They imploded following a West Coast tour of the US, with Van moving on to working with Bert Berns, and some of the rest of the fellows continuing on for a few years.

It is a very sweet little number, and I hope you dig it.

I’ll see you all next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

Example

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

Example

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

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Elvis Costello and the Attractions – You Belong To Me

Example

Elvis says “Whut???”

Example

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

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #33

Example

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

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #32

Example

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

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #30

Example

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.

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,610 other followers