Sunday, July 9, 2023

Tripping Out With Matchstick Men - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Quinoa"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, leaned heavily on psych music, in particular stuff from across the pond. If you happened to miss this episode you can listen to it on the KUCR Archive. It'll be up for a couple weeks before it gets replaced by newer shows. Listen while you can!

We kicked off this episode with a popular psych song by Status Quo named "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and according to Francis Rossi, the band's singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, Status Quo wasn't much of a psychedelic band before the song's release and he considered the group more akin to his mod contemporaries. In his 2004 book XS All Areas: The Status Quo Autobiography Rossi states:

Musically, the success of Matchstick Men sent us on a whole new path. Because it was looked on as this very sort of psychedelic, hippy-dippy type of song, we were now looked on by the people who had bought it as a full-on psychedelic group, which of course we weren't at all. I didn't even know how to spell 'psychedelic' back then.

Additionally, Rossi explains how he began writing the song while locked in his bathroom, where he often hid from his first wife during their tumultuous marriage. In an interview with Carl Wiser for SongFacts, Rossi cites Jimi Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe" as inspiration for the song's structure and states that the song is about his ex-wife and how he regretted marrying her early into their relationship. I have found countless articles mentioning that the song was written about L. S. Lowry's paintings but I haven't been able to locate any particular interview where Rossi makes such a claim. It seems that the song's ties to Lowry come from the fact that his works were often described as having "matchstalk" or "matchstick" men due to the unusually stiff subjects in Lowry's paintings. 

During the show, I mentioned that I read someone's interpretation of the song which argued that it's about a man that's haunted by Lowry's unusual paintings. However, there isn't much merit behind such a claim, being that the imagery Rossi alludes to doesn't match the descriptions of Lowry's paintings and that Rossi has clearly stated that the song is about his ex-wife. While Rossi might be referencing Lowry's "matchstick" men in the song, I would say it would be wrong to claim that the song is "about" Lowry's work. Of course, there is a sense of eeriness in Lowry's work and with Lowry himself, being that he was an unusual man with a mysterious aura, so it does make sense that someone would write a song inspired by his paintings or eccentricities.

As the show went on, you heard The Montanas' "Difference of Opinion" and I spoke about the band's industrial hometown of Wolverhampton, England which, like the settings of Lowry's paintings, was at one time known for being dingy. When Queen Victoria was 13, she had visited Wolverhampton and wrote in her diary that it was "a large and dirty town" with grass that was "blasted and black". As time passed, so did most of the industry, with large swaths of factories closing in the 20th and 21st century. 

As for The Montanas, they mostly had a sparkling clean sunshine pop-ish sound with their most popular song being "You've Got To Be Loved". The song was successful here in the states but didn't really catch on in the UK. At first, The Montanas played with a straight forward beat sound but as time went on, they began to add more strings, bounce, oohhs and awwws which led to the pop sound they are most famous for.

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, July 1, 2023

The Youngers, Jazz Cafes and The Riverside Plaza - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Dandelion Greens"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, was split halfway between garage rock bangers and psyched out dreamers with a sprinkling of Rhythm and Blues. For some reason most of the songs from this episode weren't on Spotify, so if you came to the website to find a particular tune be sure to peep the playlist at the bottom!

Towards the beginning of the show you heard a Japanese band The Youngers (ザ・ヤンガーズ ) perform their super fuzzy and bass thumping song I Don't Want To Let You Go. Although there's a bunch of information readily available on the web in Japanese, it appears that the group hasn't received too much coverage in English. Through the modern technical wizardry that is Google Translate, I have found that the band was similar to what we consider a modern boy band or at least something similar to a pop rock group such as The Monkees. Rather than forming naturally, the band was scouted by a "Jazz Cafe" or "Music Cafe" in Shinjuku City named La Seine. At the time there were several venues in and around Tokyo that served as hangout spots where you could eat and drink while listening to live "GS" (garage sound) bands that played beat, garage, and psych standards, as well as, western influenced originals. 

Ichiro Tominaga on Comedy Manga Dojo Digest

The Youngers was composed of 6 lads from around Japan, with the youngest member, vocalist Yoichi Suzuki (17) acting as a songwriter for their debut song My Love, My Love. Multiple sources claim that the group had an active fan club that was 2,000 members strong before they had even released their first single. Supposedly, their fan group was managed by Ichiro Tominaga (富永一朗), who was an early manga artist and well-known television personality.

As expected, The Youngers' most active fan base were among middle and high school aged girls and according to a poll conducted by the Tokyo radio station Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, the group was ranked the 8th most popular GS band. Like most other pop rock groups, the band eventually lost popularity as they got older and after briefly changing their sound to a more mature pop/adult contemporary sound, they called it quits. Various members continued to play music, however, they never seemed to achieve the same popularity as The Youngers.

If you happen to follow KUCR on Instagram, which you definitely should, then you probably saw a post featuring a CGI rendering of the Hippie Love mascot along with a Googie style KUCR sign. Well, I based that model off an old sign that used to sit in the parking lot of the Riverside Plaza during the 1960s. There's not much to add besides that but I thought it'd be fun to make a higher resolution version of the Instagram post available. Enjoy!

Well folks, that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. If you can't catch the show live there's now a convenient way to listen via the KUCR archive.  Unfortunately, due to copyright laws, each episode can only stay online for a few weeks, so you have a limited time to listen before they're gone. Better than nothing, I say! Just follow the link and search for Hippie Love Turbo or click on the "All Shows" drop-down menu.

You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In.

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Henry Laurens and Jefferson Handkerchief - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Barbados Cherry"

This week's episode of Hippie Love Turbo , on KUCR 88.3 FM focused more on psych and featured music that ranged from moody to abrasive....