Saturday, August 29, 2009


Computer duo EBN (a variation of his last name Liben) and OZN (a chop on his last name Rosen) were briefly popular circa 1983 when they had hits with "AEIOU Sometimes Y," and "Bag Lady (I Wonder)." The rock video for “Bag Lady” featured comic legend Imogene Coca and a more traditional guitar-hero sound from the team. They broke up in 1985, and EBN died of a heart attack in 1998. OZN had some success with his own "One Voice Records" label.
Naturally Illfolks only remembers them from their delightfully dumb disco-electronic cover version of "Rockin' Robin," with the creepy vocoder electro-voice effect only Peter Frampton thinks is still cool (Alvino Rey's talking guitar from the 40's, is still cool.)
"Rockin' Robin" was a tune anybody could enjoy. When it first arrived in 1958 sung by Bobby Day (real last name, Byrd) it was silly enough for toddlers, catchy for teens, and even adults could dance to it (as they once did to equally idiotic Kay Kyser big band hits). There was no sharp divide as there is now, in terms of age or race. Everyone snapped their fingers to "Rockin' Robin," and over the years, anyone with that first name, from manic comic Robin Williams to boxer-contender Robin Blake used it for an entrance song.
The punky Ebn & Ozn team needed to slow down the analog tape recorder for the lead vocals in order to get a funky black-sounding deep voice, which only adds to the oddness of the double-track electronic-tricked chorus. The result? You can kick the bird, overcook the bird and sauce the bird in any kind of strange way...but it's still kinda tasty.


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