Somehow, In-a-Gadda-da-Vida pigeon-holed them.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Iron Butterly – in concert at The Galaxy Club, North Hollywood – 1967 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Okay – this one comes with a caveat: The sound is so-so. Well . . it’s stereo and there’s some nice separation, but the mixer was operating on the fly and the vocals get lost or are reduced to a thick fuzz of distortion in places. That’s not to say the whole concert sounds terrible – it doesn’t. It just takes a while for the levels to get calmed down.
That said – this is a rare concert by a band who hadn’t quite released their first album yet. Everyone knows Iron Butterfly from one song – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (or as it was supposed to be know as: In A Garden Of Eden . . but apparently a few drugs got in the way), but the songs in this concert are all from the first album, which was pretty sensational at the time it was released.
It’s recorded in 1967 (no exact date available) at a club in North Hollywood called The Galaxy. Since there is nothing in the way of crowd sounds, it’s suspected this may be either a rehearsal or a demo of songs to be included in the first album.
Whatever the circumstances, this is a unique document that sounds good for the time.
And if you’ve never heard Iron Butterfly before – or only know them based on that one memorable hit, this is the next thing to being there.
The West Coast sound was indeed changing by this time and bands like Iron Butterfly, even though they were pigeonholed as a top-40 band for a while, were at the forefront of that change.
And this concert, given early on in their career, gives some idea of what they were driving at.
In any event, it’s a
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The Zen Circus – what “losing your mind” sounds like in Italian.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – The Zen Circus – Live At Urban di Perugia – December 15, 2012
Over to Italy tonight for a live set by the enigmatic and somewhat overlooked (at least in the States), Zen Circus. I’ve been following Zen Circus for several years now, ever since their involvement with Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes. They have a pretty good following in Italy and around Europe, but I’m not sure who else knows about them. To classify them as an Italian Punk band is a little too limiting. They cover a wide spectrum, even Folk. And even though some of their experimenting doesn’t quite pay off all the time, they are thoroughly engaging as a band that has a lot to say.
Ritchie’s tenure with the group was short-lived and the personnel often change. Around since 1994, it’s only natural they go through a lot of different musical directions.
They may not be your cup of tea, but I liked them from the get-go for a lot of different reasons, mostly because they aren’t afraid to try things. And anybody who uses a washboard for an instrument demands at least some respect from sheer physicality alone.
So the least you can do is hit the play button and see what you think . . . .following along the lines of keeping an open mind and all . . . .
Jack Benny – What humor in America used to sound like around the holidays.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Jack Benny Christmas – 1953
It wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one appearance from the legendary Jack Benny. Most people know Benny via his TV series that ran from the 1950’s well into the 1960’s. But Jack Benny was also a fixture in just about every American household on Radio going back to the 1930’s.
While the transition from Radio to TV was beginning in the early 1950’s, Jack Benny managed to do two versions of his show – one on TV and the other on Radio. They were never duplicated. And because Radio relied a lot on the imagination, Benny’s humor was considered wildly funnier than his material on TV.
Here is one of his annual Christmas shows, which first aired on December 20, 1953 over the CBS Radio Network.
It’s complete and intact, with nothing edited out, exactly as it was first heard that Christmas season in 1953.
Dr. Martin Luther King – as relevant now as he was 45 years ago – maybe more so.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Martin Luther King – Xmas Sermon on peace – 1967
With so much madness sweeping over the world this week, perhaps the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King hold just as much, if not more, meaning and relevance than they did 45 years ago.
Here is his legendary Sermon On Peace, given as part of the Massey Lecture Series from CBC Radio in Canada from 1967. The lectures have been repeated over and over; their message is as powerful as when they were first spoken.
If you aren’t familiar with them, I urge you to sit down and have a listen to this one for starts.
Here is that complete lecture, given as a sermon.
The time is right. The message is clear.
Mastermind behind one of the great overlooked Christmas songs.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Leon Russell – Slipping Into Christmas – 1972
Okay – it’s that time of year again. And you are probably getting bombarded by Christmas music. Well . . .maybe not getting bombarded by the right kind of Christmas music. Like last year at my old site, I’ll be playing non-traditional Christmas records from unlikely artists to give you a little alternative from the mainstream glop you’re getting up to your eyeballs.
Tonight it’s a non-album single released by none other than Leon Russell in 1972. Slippin’ Into Christmas probably qualifies as one of the great overlooked Christmas songs of the last 40 years. Done in inimitable Leon Russell fashion, it’s that bittersweet look at the over-hyped Holiday season, and he puts it all in perspective.
Tune up the eggnog and grab a taste.