Back in May when we did our Memorial Day podcast, I was sorely unaware of Junie Morrison’s music. Sure, I had heard the Ohio Players’ albums from the early ’70s, of which Junie played a seminal part; I had heard Funkadelic’s late ’70s music, particularly “(Not Just) Knee Deep” (I mean obviously, I’ve watched Good Burger enough times). But, while I was technically familiar with Junie’s contributions, up until about a month ago I couldn’t have told you who he was. Even after I heard Kanye’s “No More Parties in L.A.” Even after I heard Solange’s “Junie.” Even after I heard that he’d died earlier this year.
I like to think that I’ve made up for some lost time in the past month, however, because I’ve been unapologetically obsessed, and will spread the gospel of Walter “Junie” Morrison as much as possible. The man easily deserves as many accolades as Prince, and in many ways is very similar: Junie was a multi-instrumentalist who played every instrument on his solo albums; he joined the Ohio Players at only 16 years of age and was largely responsible for writing and arranging many of their earlier records. Matter of fact, after becoming familiar with Junie’s solo stuff from The Westbound Years, I can’t imagine Prince’s first two albums–much less his entire career–without Junie Morrison’s music.
Hell, Jheri Curl June as we know it would not exist without Junie. Give another listen to “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” with its triumphant synth line (one of Junie’s signature sounds), and tell me that is not a rudimentary form of Jheri Curl Music. Furthermore, Junie, along with yesterday’s JCJ inductee Stevie Wonder, predated Roger Troutman’s usage of the keyboard talkbox by several years. So, there you have it, folks: Junie Morrison is the unsung architect of our sacred Jheri Curl Music. Until now, that is.
Well, here we are: for the second consecutive year, we’re turning Memorial Day weekend into a time of remembrance for the many great artists we lost since last May. But because this is still Dystopian Dance Party, and we’re constitutionally incapable of being reverent for more than a few minutes at a time, please be aware that the resulting podcast is about 70% wake, 30% roast (well, maybe 60/40). Just believe us when we tell you it’s all coming from a place of love. Hopefully, while everyone good continues to die and leave us trapped on this smoldering husk of a planet, we can at least entertain you (and ourselves) with our impressions of “The Force M.D.’s Meet the Fat Boys”… R.I.P. to Trisco Pearson. Show notes and Spotify playlist below.
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been doing Dystopian Dance Party for three years now; I’ve had actual relationships that didn’t last as long as my relationship with this stupid blog. Even harder to believe is the fact that we’re still not running out of steam. Basically, at this point the blog is an act of aggression; we’re going to keep inflicting it on the world, whether the world likes it or not. If you do like what we’re doing (for some reason), check the list below for my completely subjective choices for the 12 best posts in our third year of operation.
We’re back to our regularly scheduled programming this month, and I think we’ve got a pretty good slate of coming attractions. The big news this month is, of course, the long-awaited conclusion to our series of Dystopian Book Club podcasts on the memoirs of KISS, covering the Starchild himself, Mr. Paul Stanley. In less exciting news, there’s also the return of Zach playing Final Fantasy XV and talking to himself. This is also (probably) the month when he will finally finish that epic post on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo he’s been promising/threatening for so long. And, last but not least, we’ll have a Dystopian Dance Mix dedicated to Ishtar (the Mesopotamian fertility goddess, not the legendary movie flop starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty). There’s a couple other things up our sleeves, too, but for now, we’ll leave it at that. Hope to see you soon!