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Novelist Philipp Meyer Picks Three; That Was A Hit?!? 'Kung Fu Fighting' Edition; Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks In Studio

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks perform in the Soundcheck studio. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks perform in the Soundcheck studio. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

In this episode: Author Philipp Meyer’s epic novel, The Son, ended up on best-of 2013 lists from The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Tackling big themes about the American West, race relations and oil, the book follows multiple generations of the McCullough family in Texas. Today, Meyer -- a former derivatives trader -- tells us how The Clash and union anthems like “Which Side Are You On?” got him thinking about a creative life beyond Wall Street.

Carl Douglas scored a No. 1 hit in 1974 with a catchy but not-quite-politically-correct track called “Kung Fu Fighting.” Pop chart obsessive Chris Molanphy explains how the birth of disco and the death of Bruce Lee created a perfect storm for this truly weird hit.

Stephen Malkmus has now released more music as a solo artist than he did with his influential former group, Pavement. Now, he and his band The Jicks have recently released their new album, Wig Out At JagbagsHear Malkmus and the Jicks play some of it in the Soundcheck studio.

 

This is an encore edition of Soundcheck.

Linda Oh

Listen To This: Linda Oh, 'Footfall'

Celebrated jazz bassist performs at 55 bar Sunday night. Listen to "Footfall."

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Comments [1]

A. Nother Listener from NJ

The thing about "Kung Fu Fighting" is, if you take away the lyrics (and the incessant use of the cliche "oriental" melody), it's a great track!

And the lyrics are sooooo dumb, it's transcendent, beyond novelty--right up there with my other favorite perfectly stupid song, "Emotional Rescue."

Aug. 29 2014 09:30 PM

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