PopKrazy Store PopKrazy Guide
to Pop
Culture

September 2009

Here you can step back through the vortex of time to view old PopKrazy content. Pages, Podcasts, Polls, and Stories will appear here.

VINYL JUNKIE MANIA: CHAPTER ONE

For 40 years, I have explored the storage bins, attics, defunct retail outlets, haylofts, bathtubs, bedroom closets, cedar chests, wardrobes, coffins, and wherever else I could crawl into to get my hands on lost and abandoned and forgotten vinyl.  Yes, once I was a vinyl junkie, willing to steal quarters from little children in order to appease my appetite.

Perhaps the search was about finding the sounds I'd not yet heard in a record's grooves or wanting to possess sounds I had already heard on some faraway radio station--or, perhaps, it was because I just didn't know what else to do with my adolescent self.  Nevertheless, I succumbed to the desire, more often than not, but am still here to tell the tale of many heartbreaks & woes but also numerous triumphs & discoveries.



TEN EARLY PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN PUNK ROCK HISTORY (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

 1.       Youngstown, Ohio, 1961.Twelve year old Steven Bators (Stiv Bators), in attempt to goose up his visiting cousins, tosses a jump rope over a backyard tree branch, and ties a noose around his neck, delivering a self-hanging showtime for a few huge snot-producing moments.



ANDY KAUFMAN'S SMACK-DOWN WITH THE AMERICAN DAUGHTERS OF SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR

 book cover of andy kaufman I hate your guts

You’d have to go all the way back to the epistles of Abigail Adams and the poems of Emily Dickinson to find such a profound articulation of the soul of American womanhood as the stunning new collection of never-before-published letters, “Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!,” forthcoming from the fine folks at Process Books.

In 1977, Kaufman offered a $1000 reward to any woman who could pin him in a televised wrestling match, vowing to shave his head and wed his vanquisher. His taunt spurred an impassioned response from hundreds of would-be contenders from across our great land, from all-CAPS typewritten manifestos to hand-scrawled hate mail accompanied by photos and illustrations that Process rightly calls “an astonishing Rorschach of the late-‘70s liberated female psyche.”

Samples leave us in humbled awe and ever more mindful of how much we miss the pranking spirit of our dear departed Latka:



HOWLIN' WOLF MEETS THE ROLLING STONES ON SHINDIG

Mr. Chester Burnett a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf live on Shindig, check out England's Newest Hit Makers in the background!  The Rolling Stones were guests on the show and insisted that the Wolf appear as well, what a contrast on a teeny-bop television show in the early 60's... how very audacious at the time!  Now the footage is a legendary piece of rock and roll history.

Originally recorded in Memphis in 1950 as a 78RPM on Chess Records, "How Many More Years and Moanin' at Midnight" was a major hit for Howlin' Wolf and sold 60,000 copies.

chess masters promo photo of howlin wolf bo diddley muddy waters

photo courtesy of POPKRAZY ARCHIVES

 



Gary Pig Gold vs. The Human Serviette

 

 it's

A Wild Pear 

Indeed

as Gary Pig Gold

has  Eight Questions

for

Nardwuar.....



PATRICK SWAYZE'S MASTERPIECE WILL STAND

Patrick Swayze Road House poster
Forget Ghost.  Forget Dirty Dancing.  Even forget the great Point Blank.
The recently departed Patrick Swayze’s one towering forget-me-not credential was his nonpareil portrait of Dalton, the Zen/magisterial/mystical/ultra-masculine/mythical Wandering Bouncer in one of the long, gonest, baddest of all contempo bad movies, 1989’s Road House.  
You can argue that the pic was a purposefully homoerotic meta-pulp statement or a sly and eye-winking semiotic take on the macho-nacho action genre, but you cannot deny the truly weird, virtually hypnotic, late night cable filmic tone poem that it has become. Once bitten, all those who go there will go back repeatedly, like an adult (or at least post-adolescent) spinarama of The Wizard of Oz, Shane, and Yojimbo.
The shimmering setting is a fabulist dream, a one horse town with just a car dealership, a general store, the bar (poetically named the Double Deuce), no visible police presence, a lake, and, shades of Samuel Beckett, two houses sitting across it and in full view of each other, the metaphoric ranches of the avenging Dalton and the villainous (and oldie-singing) baddie, as ham and egged by Ben Gazzara.  Add frozen-faced Kelly Lynch as a town Doc (called Doc) and America’s own perpetual filmland somnambulist Sam Elliot as an old school Wandering Bouncer, and you just about achieve pop cult nirvana.


PIGGY IGGY

  

After many years of being a full shoe-gazing participant in the sweaty-palmed carnival of freaks known as rock fandom, I’ve come to realize  that Ultimate Sin # 1 a band or artist can commit in the eyes of those-who-know is to blow away fringe or cult categorization and actually score a hit, i.e., create a song or an album that sells. Committing that Ultimate Sin # 1—achieving a modicum of popularity—will result in posters being torn down, websites shut off, compact discs tossed away, while also unleashing a steady, whiny, siren song that generally goes “He/She/Their not half as good as they used to be when I saw ‘em play in front of twenty college kids and a coupla half-zonked rock scribes at the cool daddy rock club that’s now a Starbucks.”

 



LAST TANGO FOR BOBBY D

dramatic painting of tango dancers

Before the Twist and the Macarena and the Mashed Potato, there was the Tango, the first international dance craze, the first to cause mass hysteria and public outrage, as critics went as purple as any present-day haters of hip-hop, as they denounced the universal appeal of a mongrel music that sprang from the bordellos of Buenos Aires to the ballrooms of the world.

“It is a monotonous and expressionless dance, with the stylized rhythm of coupling,” wrote an appalled Argentine commentator  in 1933.  “It does not arouse in the spectator’s spirit feelings of joy, of enthusiasm, of admiration, of desire. It is a dance without soul, for automatons, a dance of everyone’s sorrow: It is the same sorrow we feel upon seeing young horses tied to a hoisting machine.”

Such harangues have done nothing to halt the enduring popularity of tango, one of the last dances standing from the past century. But there is another reason we come today to praise it.

Without tango and its patron city, Buenos Aires, we would not have the strange noir fantasia of Robert Duvalls’ B-movie vanity piece, “Assassination Tango,” generally reviled and ultimately ignored upon its release  in 2002 but which now retains its rightful place in the Duvall canon somewhere between his haunting youthful cameo in “To Kill a Mocking Bird" and his autumnal masterpiece, “The Apostle.” And every Duvall performance--with graying pony-tail or not--that we can get in his pushing-80-plus twilight years is worth a thousand ham-bone Pacinos.

Bring it on Bobby D. We will always have a place on the dance floor for you.