Twee Funk Revisited


Patrizia and Jimmy: Trust Your Child
From 7″ (Ala, 1974)

Jack and the Mods: One Is Enough For One
From 7″ (?, 197?)

Both from Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul (Numero Group, 2007)

Bonus: Ponderosa Twins Plus One: Bound
From 7″ (Astroscope, 1971)

This is long overdue (what isn’t these days?) but I first reported on Matthew Africa’s excellent twee funk mix, almost a year ago. Numero Group seemed to be thinking along similar lines since they dropped their Home Schooled comp over the summer (and which I recently reviewed for NPR).

I won’t repeat the review at length (though I do encourage people to take a listen when they have a chance) but what I think stands out about kiddie soul is that fine line between youthful innocence and adult knowledge that is, far from being a contradiction, the core appeal of many of these songs. We like hearing kids sound old beyond their years…so long as they still sound like kids, if that makes any sense.

For that reason, I enjoy these two picks above even though they’re very different songs. I like the kind of moxy exhibited in the Patrizia and Jimmy – it’s the the kind of manifesto that young people always wish they could throw down at adults (but rarely do). In contrast, the Jack and the Mods, feat. nine year old Jake Townsend, isn’t about Jake speaking to adults so much as it him exhibiting a preciousness…a romantic wisdom beyond his pre-pubescent years.

The bonus cut by the Ponderosa Twins Plus One is timely; I realize that a rap song I posted not-that-long ago uses it as its sample base, coincidentally enough. I’m loving this song, especially the bridge at the end. Our friend HHH hit us with the digital copy (and then I promptly went out to track down a copy of the 7″ for self) and he’s got the flipside of this single available at his site, so peep. I didn’t know much about the group but apparently, they were considered bigger (relative to most of the groups on Home Schooled) though nowhere close to the fame of, say, the Jackson 5 or Sylvers. I dig their sound and will probably use this 7″ as the jump-off point to checking out their larger catalog.

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