Friday, June 25, 2010

Freakin' Out

I have this theory, and I’m not even sure if I believe it, but I think it’s pretty close to the mark: There is so much good music in the world – and so much good music that you’ve never heard – that you could construct an alternate universe where you throw out every song you own and replace them all with great songs you’ve never heard, and that you could come out at least even in the deal. Forget all the orthodox narratives about how we got here, from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters to Chuck Berry to the Rolling Stones to you know the rest. I’m just talking about the things we enjoy. Every song the Beatles ever wrote might be more important than anything the Tom Robinson Band ever recorded, but I’m not sure that any song would be more pleasing to my ears right now than “2-4-6-8 Motorway.”

I’m a relatively big fan of the band Blur, but I came to them late, long after they’d made their initial big splash in their native England and considerably smaller splash over here. And I’ve followed bandleader Damon Albarn’s subsequent projects (most notably Gorillaz) with equal fervor. But until a few moments ago, I’d never paid any notice to the solo efforts of Graham Coxon, Blur’s guitarist. And then I browsed through So Many Records, So Little Time (seriously, one of the great blogs ever) and stumbled on to “Freakin’ Out” from Coxon’s 2004 album Happiness in Magazines. It was one of those moments where you’re teleported to another time (in this case, it seemed, 1979). How did I ever live without that song? And how many more are there out there like that?

Graham Coxon, “Freakin’ Out”

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