Welcome to The Cuckoo Jar, a blog by Nanna Koekoek - illustrator, music- and flea market junkie.
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6 October 2011

Gems from the East and the West

I'm a big fan of girl groups; they make up a substantial amount of my record collection. So you might imagine the thrill when I came across the cd Let's A Go-Go! Singapore and Southeast Asian Pop Scene 1964-69 at Earwax in Brooklyn. Which is a nice little store by the way. They don't have a huge selection, but what they have is all good (lots of reissues that are dirt cheap). The 31 tracks on the cd feature not only girl groups, but also boy bands and solo female vocalists. It's a rather nice compilation of pop songs, rock 'n roll, beat, garage and surf in several languages. These are two of my favorite songs:

Betty Chung - Bang Bang (yes that's a Nancy Sinatra cover). Download it here.

I couldn't find out more about Betty Chung than she was (is??) Chinese and also an actress and played in a Bruce Lee movie.

Dara Puspita - A Go-Go. Download it here.

Dara Puspita were one of the more successful girl groups in Indonesia in the 1960s. What made them really stand out at that time was that they played all their music themselves. Their live shows are supposed to be really wild and quite a sensation! And all this in an oppressive regime, where you could be jailed for playing rock 'n roll. There is a greatest hits album out on the Sublime Frequencies label, which I desperately want to get a hold of.

I also bought the double LP West Indies Funk 2. I have no means of letting you hear anything off this record, but just to give you a taste here's a track of volume 3: a steel drum version of Hold On I'm Coming!! Also highly on my wish list as you will understand.

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