It feels like at least once a week I find myself talking to someone and they ask "So what kind of music do you like?" A seemingly reasonable question but one I have long disdained. At this point I think I have mastered a facial expression wherein people quickly realize what an impossible question it is to answer fully. Truthfully I like everything but that negates the spirit of the inquiry.
Although I never get this far, to be more precise I am consistently most excited about music that is a highly skewed vision of Pop. I think any sounds I have really adored in my adult life have fit within that spectrum (Os Mutantes, Animal Collective, Fennesz' Endless Summer, Lee Hazlewood, The United States of America) The more exploratory moments feel so much more vivid when the point of departure is so familiar. As much as I love to immerse myself in a sea of noise from time to time, if everything is already so open there is nowhere to really go.
This also goes a long way in explaining my ambivalence towards Sonic Youth even while I admire them a great deal. Sure they flirt with Pop, but above all else they have put themselves in a place where they so fully embody the 'avant-garde' that in a certain conceptual sense, nothing happens in their music, nothing can be surprising, there are no fields to transcend. Of course there are always other reasons to listen but I find this striking. In stark contrast, when Justin Timberlake first utilized the sonic futurism of the Neptunes production, there was an underlying thrill that I have never seen the SY crew quiet match.
Perhaps 1970 witnessed the most skewed and sublime pop song in recent American history, from the Country music charts no less. A husband and wife duo, Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan reached #23 on the US Hot 100 list with Tennessee Bird Walk. The lyrics alone are genius- "Take away their feathers and the Birds will walk around in underwear / Take away their (whistle) and the Birds will have to whisper when they sing."
The other night Kindling and I had BS and Kellyr over for dinner and we listened to the record in question. Brock suggested blogging it up and when I found this video I could not resist.
PS: This image is called 'Misty and Wolf'