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If You Leave Me Now: CHICAGO

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Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha

....and

Everybody loves

Sam Cooke !!!

 



I don't have a new Pony, but I do have a new Hobby

       Forget the burgeoning baseball season, forget rereading Raymond Chandler or keep reading Steve Erickson, forget the Boston Globe sports page, forget continually listening to Little Steven’s Underground Garage, forget obsessively filling the backlog of my unseen Gunsmoke episodes, forget making lists of the top ten Warren Oates’ character names, forget buying every single ripped-off, repetitive, and badly recorded Johnny Thunders recording evah, forget checking  a few more outré film noirs off the grand list, forget finishing that piece about the stony greatness of Pynchon’ s last book, forget about finally beginning that new David Foster Wallace kinda-last-maybe-baby novel. Fuggedabouit, I’ve acquired a new hobby, another fresh and fertile landscape to explore, somehow a totally new (and astonishingly original) slab of pop cult meat to vulture on.



10 Reasons Why This Pic Works for Me

 

1. Look, I've always wanted a good reason for letting Paris Hilton into my heart.

2. Her hands are not perfect (read claw hand).

3. Any Captain Beefheart publicity is good publicity (even hoax publicity___ I'll take it if only for that one shining moment when I thought it could be true). See Number 6.

4. That red barrette---hair thing. I think my little sister had a set of those. If it's part of some designer line of accessories, I'll be crushed.

5. Strike the last part of 4, I'll take half a dozen.

6. It brings out the Candide in me. No seriously, this is how I picture Cunegonde.

7. Fast and bulbous, got me?

8. She's wearing Mike Nelson's watch.

9. Oh maid, if only I knew what causeth thou to smile so!

10. I'm booglarized. I'm just sayin'.



The Enigma....

....still

with a

stigma....

 



Jane Russell: Mean, Moody, and Magnificent

    

   Obviously, once upon a time there were no Kardashian sisters, no up skirt websites, no mass produced semi-celebrity sex tapes, and no instantly publishable photographs of the glitterati sans underwear.  Way back in the not-so-long-ago 1940 and 50’s, except deep under the furtive shadows of the deviant underground and the back room demi-monde, overt sexuality on display was unheard of. Unlike today, it was about suggestion, aura, dress style, costume, pose-- all of it artful artifice--with the exception of the somewhat innocent concentration on the one lowest-common-dominator feminine psychical characteristic commonly referred to as “curves”. Jane Russell, perhaps one of the greatest of all Hollywood Va-Va-Voom girls, had every ingredient listed in that last sentence, and she had ‘em spades.



The American Metaphysical Circus: You Can't Ever Come Down

It would be too easy to wax nostalgic for nostalgic wax and just list the records that you heard first and will remember always coming out of your older brother's portable radio, the one in the perforated black pleather case. The thing had a handle and a bent antenna and ran on batteries, but around outlets, you could plug it in, and that was living. You remember it as it was, tuned to the same "underground" radio station for half a decade. 

Only in hindsight can you claim critical distinctions between any of the tunes or the musicians on the playlists spun by the college DJs with the cool nicknames, and nasally, post-adolescent voices. The ones bunkered in some out of the way corner on the campus of Brown University.   

As far as you cared, one tune was as laudable or as damnable as another, no matter who the performer. Perhaps with the advent of the rock press, an easily influenced adolescent (you!) started copping attitudes about geniuses and sellouts and all that nonsense, but in the halcyon days of first encounters with the underground, the song was the thing, whether it was the Beatles or Pearls Before Swine, the Byrds or Circus Maximus, Bob Dylan or Tim Buckley or Lord Buckley even.