Some of the more clued in readers might have caught the reference in the title of this new blog. ‘Snap, Crackle, & Bop’ is the fourth record in the discography of  “punk poet” John Cooper Clarke. Somewhere between stand up comedy and the pop poetry of Liverpool poets like Adrian Henri & Roger McGough, JCC’s work features humor and social criticism. Produced by Martin Hannett, famous for his work with Joy Division, the musical backing by The Invisible Girls features many of the sonic hallmarks of the post-punk sound.

Though he’s not well known here in the U.S., his poem “Evidently Chickentown” did feature in the closing credits of an episode of the Sopranos. Most recently, The Arctic Monkeys have covered “I Wanna Be Yours” on their most recent release.  For me, hearing John Cooper Clarke’s work was revelatory. His use of everyday phrases and themes to create detailed and incisive social critiques is impressive. Here are a few of my favorites along with his original and the cover of “I Wanna Be Yours”.

Snap, Crackle and Bop is written by Clifton James Weaver III

Clifton aka DJ Soft Touch is a resident selector at Funky Sole, a righteous get-down that packs them in every Saturday night at the Echo on L.A.’s eastside. During the week Clifton can also be heard around town at spots like Club Rubbish at Skinny’s Lounge and the rooftop of the Standard spinning everything from Britpop to indie, to soul and psychedelia. Not content to just DJ music, he also plays in a new band called The Mercury Wheel.