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February 2010

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

HUMS OF THE LOVIN' BUNKY AND JAKE

Bunky and Jake L.A.M.F. album cover

Bunky, an attractive black woman from Brooklyn, and Jake, an aspiring white male Bohemian, met between brushstrokes at New York's School of Visual Arts in 1962. In high school, they both had sung on street corners with a cappella groups--Bunky with the Mello-Larks, Jake with Claude and the Emeralds. Eventually they began to be influenced by the folk music coming from the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village. Bunky and Jake, who had first met to rap about the old vocal groups they adored, put an act together and played the folk clubs, singing of being hip in New York City.

Like a good-natured jam, the duo's second album, L.A.M.F., is an eclectic blend of music influences, a record that's funkier and more rooted in traditional rock than the average folk record of the period. Their first album for Mercury, Bunky and Jake, though pleasant enough, was too pop, marred by corny string arrangements.


In contrast, L.A.M.F. sounds like music made on a sunny rooftop among neighborhood friends.  Bunky and Jake are backed by a competent bassist and drummer, and their sound is filled out by various instruments:  organ, vibes, clarinet, piano, conga, and sighs.  The overall feel is of being amiably zonked.
"Songs of lament," Al Jacobs (Jake), in an interview, once labeled the tunes on L.A.M.F., and most of the songs do refer to other times, other places, other artists. 



THE LONELIEST ALBUM EVER MADE

Frederick Knight album cover

Frederick Knight's only album for Stax is one of the loneliest albums ever made.  It speaks of failure, the sense of loss, and solitude.  Of these things, Knight knew a great deal.

He was born in Bessemer, Alabama, in 1944, and spent years visiting record companies. Joe Tex's manager, Buddy Killen, helped Knight obtain an advance from Mercury for "Throw the Switch," but it was never released. Capitol issued "Have a Little Mercy," but it went nowhere. Knight looked for a career in New York, but had no luck. Eventually he returned to Alabama to work as an engineer at the Sound of Birmingham Studio.  Knight's first hit, "I've Been Lonely For So Long," was written by Posie Knight, his wife, and Jerry Weaver (although they had someone else in mind when they wrote the song).

Released in April, 1972, the single was a unique, almost bizarre, example of Southern soul, its sound gentle and resigned, not over-the-top or too deep. Knight's falsetto suggests Al Green's, but it's more whining, less serene. Unlike most soul songs, the passionate tirade of a preacher is not at the heart of the performance. Instead, Knight's voice knows the value of keeping the peace.  No drums were used on the recording session; the rhythms were made by tambourine and a stool hit with slats of wood. There is a silence imbedded even in the percussion work.




ROCK AND ROLL LOST AND FOUND #4: STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER

Beatles front cover of 45 single Strawberry Fields Forever

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER

1. Penny Lane (3:01)        Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
2. Baby You're A Rich Man (3:01)  Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]  
3. Only A Northern Song [Mono]    Yellow Submarine [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
4. Magical Mystery Tour (2:50)    Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    5. The Fool On The Hill [Take 4] (3:45)      Anthology 2 [Disc 2]    
6. Your Mother Should Know  2:28  Magical Mystery Tour[2009 Stereo Remaster]  
7. Flying (2:16)                 Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
8. Blue Jay Way (3:55)       Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
9. I Am The Walrus (4:36)  Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
10. All You Need Is Love (3:50)  Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
11. Hello Goodbye (3:29)        Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Remaster]    
12. Strawberry Fields Forever (4:01) Magical Mystery Tour [2009 Stereo Re]
 

Beatles Penny Lane  45 sleeve



THE KINKS: PARIS, MAY 1968

Regular Lovers Philippe Garrel DVD cover

“Regular Lovers” (2005, Philippe Garrel)

Or, Nixon in China: The events of 1968, depicted by one of its cinematic heroes as an intimate epic—and, with a self-deprecating fury, as a lovely but unsustainable burst of youthful lyricism.--

RICHARD BRODY, New Yorker, Best Films of the Last Decade

This is #5.



One Of My Daddy's Favorites: "High Heeled Sneakers"

This footage very well may be the evidence why I am... the way I am. My parents had impeccable taste in music. A FB friend [the ridiculously talented Marc Campbell of Nails fame] posted this song and immediately I remembered how much my dad loved it and all of Billy Lee Riley's stuff... I liked to dance with my Grandmother to this. Bless!

A man of the south, Billy Lee Riley was the son of a sharecropper and learned to play the guitar from folks [read: poorly treated black folks] working on the farm. He headed to Memphis, where he recorded with Sun, however... not unlike many of the best of the best, was poorly represented so sales were slow. In the music business, naturally, that means zip, nada, zero promotion.



"Hey-hey-hey, is Dee Dee home?", Ginah's calling...

 

So, I said a little prayer this morning, "Hey Dee Dee Ramone! Can you hear me?! Winter is killing me - thank you, wherever your soul may be, for your funny, inspired, humble brilliance."

A day's worth of errands, responsibility, over-load, etc., DONE. I'm left with only MUSIC, forming strange word-sculptures and flickers of scenery, other than my current view, DC's "snow tomb" and the nightly news of the weird (CNN). Nope, I'll pass on the winter wonderland and ever depressing (ever mind boggling) current events and scribble a bit about the man, Mr. Douglas Glenn Colvin, because he wrote a heap of it.