About 10 years ago on Thanksgiving, my grandpa waited until everyone had their mouths full, as he did when he really wanted our attention, then he shared a dream heâ€™d recently had about how he was Santa Claus. In the dream, he was surrounded by adoring elves. Pretty cute, huh? Except they werenâ€™t elves â€” they were strippers peeling off their skimpy green outfits and jockeying to, ahem, take a ride on Santaâ€™s bowl full of jelly. Naturally, my mom and aunt were appalled. And, naturally, I had to bite my lower lip hard to keep from blasting my stuffing across the table. Man, I miss him. I hadnâ€™t thought of that story for a long time before hearing Lee â€œScratchâ€ Perryâ€™s â€œPum Pum,â€ the dancefloor anthem from Perryâ€™s ambitious new album, produced by his pal Andrew W.K. Most people know Perry as a legendary Jamaican musician and producer who helped create both the signature waka-waka sound of reggae and the signature stoned production quality of dub, among other influential moves. He is a giant among giants despite his diminutive stature â€” truly a living legend. Heâ€™s also a dirty old man. I canâ€™t sincerely say that â€œPum Pumâ€ is one of my favorite tracks right now just like I can’t say that this Spring-Winter pairing of W.K. and Perry is the same as Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash, but I can say that itâ€™s pretty fascinating. The crazy old bastard in the multicolored hat manages to mix reggaeton-style beats and synths with pornstar moans, lots of dirty-talk and, inexplicably, Jesus. Or thatâ€™s what I think he does. Truthfully, I can only understand about half of what is going on at any given time in â€œPum Pum,â€ but Iâ€™m pretty sure itâ€™s naughty. Thatâ€™s part of the allure. Some are calling Perryâ€™s new album a return to form. That may be so, but to me it sounds more like a lovingly perverse old coot flipping the bird at all of us and speaking whatâ€™s on the unfiltered side of his mind. Grandpa would be proud.
Is Guitar Wolf a Japanese homage, pastiche, or caricature of U.S. garage rock? As with “Iron Chef,” does it really matter? Guaranteed to be the best 2:27 of your otherwise dull day…
Sly, absurdist bluegrass from the borough of Brooklyn (natch). How can you not smile at a couplet like, “But when she danced/The monkey filled her pants?”