The Junkyard Band – The Word

Explaining what go-go is in a short blog post is difficult. The easy route will help with the basics. You could try to dime why a regional music with so much appeal on paper holds such little weight outside DC. Historical texts are fairly easy to come across: The evolution has been mapped out (quite brilliantly here by Jeff Chang). But the fact that it’s still thriving in our nation’s capital without ever having huge breakout successes with a few exceptions (Slim Charles, I see you) is the head-scratcher to most folks. For a brief second or two, it looked like things were happening. Cats had Chris Blackwell money behind them.

Our selection today has a production credit from the Slaytanic Messiah himself, Rick Rubin. But perhaps its viability outside our beloved District is a non-issue. It’s thrived this long without serious play from concepts like “retail buy-ins” and “national radio partners,” so maybe brain-teasing on the widespread appeal isn’t the issue. Maybe it’s just incredible that a regional music has stayed distinct and virtually intact in its original form. Anyway, this is the first of a series of posts about go-go. This is a more well-known joint, but incredibly dope nonetheless. The Junkyard Band’s 1986 single The Word usually gets overshadowed by the epically funky Sardines, but the low-end thump on this track keeps hindparts in constant rotation every time I hear it played out.

Audio – The Junkyard Band – The Word

Post by Ben Fasman