Hey YouTube, thanks for taking the frame out of your embedding options this week. Not like that was a major reinforcement of my site’s color scheme or anything. Jerks.
We end this long Friday with “Pavement Artist” by Iron Claw, just because it rules. It’s not topical, they’re not coming to the city this week for a show, there’s nothing relevant about it other than it’s good, and I can’t even begin to tell you the satisfaction that posting it for that reason alone gives me. Long week? Shit.
But it’s over now, and as I stare both into a bowl of microwave risotto and down the barrel of a long weekend spent doing homework, all I have left to say is thanks for checking in the last few days. I know posts have been few and far between, but I’ve been working hard, and though I may have mentioned it once or twice, it means a lot to me that you come back more than once.
If it hasn’t been said before in this space, I love Philadelphia. I’ll admit it doesn’t have the same sense of cosmopolitanism as New York — its history designates it a purely American city — but the people are so much nicer. It’s as though the city wasn’t constantly acting in a commercial for the city. It’s like someone turned down the asshole factor. If I could ever afford to live anywhere (which I don’t expect to be able to), I’d live there in a second. Even the hippest Philly record store I’ve been to yet, AKA Music, made NYC‘s Other Music look like a parody of itself.
Along with an extensive (if somewhat disheveled) used section from which I grabbed someone’s promo of the new Alice in Chains (meh), and a dollar bargain bin that yielded a copy of Pharaoh Overlord‘s II, they also had both prog and psychedelic sections. The prog section even had a krautrock subheading. Awesome. And for vinyl heads, there’s a whole other store’s worth of it in the back.
I nabbed a compilation of early Peruvian psychedelic music called The Roots of Chicha, which proved to be awesome, and the self-titled release from Iron Claw on Rockadrome‘s Vintage division. Yes, the name comes from King Crimson. The record is a collection of tracks recorded from 1970-1974 from the Scottish band, most of which I’m fairly certain were unreleased before, and on the plastic wrapping of the disc there were five magic words that assured the purchase: “For Fans of Black Sabbath.”
And that more or less sums up what Iron Claw had going on nearly 35-40 years ago. According to the label, they started out by playing Black Sabbath‘s Black Sabbath in its entirety during their sets along with their originals, formed in ’69 in Dumfries, were done in ’74, and until this exhumation, were buried by time and obscurity. The extensive liner notes detail their years together with notable shows and lineup changes and how different players affected the band, and the music is blown to hell, but a track like “Skullcrusher” still lives up to its name.
For serious devotees of the heavy ’70s new and old, Iron Claw‘s a can’t miss. They can’t all be Leaf Hound‘s Growers of Mushroom, but I think I prefer Iron Claw to the self-titled Jerusalem record Rockadrome put out a while back. You’ve got 16 tracks of classic hard riffing with the occasional prog freakout (“Pavement Artist”). Put that together with a city like Philly and mark it a win.