Thursday, April 28, 2005


What to do when the most exciting new jazz discovery is old jazz?
If this performance sees the light of day, you think Jason Moran wants his latest coming out at the same time? Anyway, something to look forward to.

On the more forward looking tip, we've been wondering how we haven't noticed Paris Transatlantic (formerly the Paris New Music Review) before now. Discovered via Nate Dorward, PT magazine offers a range of New Music reviews and interviews, rendered in mercifully jargon-free language. Check the great interviews with Dave Burrell ("Ella used to practice in her kitchen and we could hear it in our kitchen. Everybody back in the '40s didn't quite know what she was doing, so a lot of people were complaining about it."), Sunny Murray ("Milford was freaking out, screaming 'Don't ever listen to nobody but me!'"; "But the real dinosaurs were ESP and BYG, because they didn't pay NOBODY. You're dead as far as they're concerned. I've been dead for thirty-two years. Now they've re-released everything so it's like you're dead two times."), Alan Silva ("Nobody plays Unit Structures in a jam session! That album took us four months of rehearsal."), Misha Mengelberg ("I played a piece for [Monk] that I thought was one of his best pieces, and he said he had forgotten it. Never heard of it. “Criss Cross.” Never heard of it."), and so on and so on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Saying what you mean when you really mean it

A tip of the hat to novelist, critic, and filmmaker John Berger whose vast body of work is being celebrated in the UK this month. Most famous for his seminal art treatise Ways of Seeing, he's also written numerous other fine books, parts of which have been handily compiled in a single volume by Geoff Dyer. All of his writing demonstrates that it's possible to be socially enaged and politically radical without sacrificing a nuanced view of the world, appreciation for the ambiguities and paradoxes of art, or a keen sense of humor. This interview and profile from the Guardian serves as a good introduction to Berger's fierce and humane work. Where many writers seem content to sling snarky observations or academic jargon at the latest musical/art/literary fad-of-the-moment, Berger always digs deeper into his subjects. He never loses sight of the larger world around him and the social and political context that many feel safer ignoring.

Here's a Berger chestnut on the subversive powers of art. It's an idea so old-fashioned that it's practically hokey. And yet it still holds currency, even in Bush's America:

"I can't tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that art has often judged the judges, pleaded revenge to the innocent and shown to the future what the past has suffered, so that it has never been forgotten. I know too that the powerful fear art, whatever its form, when it does this, and that amongst the people such art sometimes runs like a rumour and a legend because it makes sense of what life's brutalities cannot, a sense that unites us, for it is inseparable from a justice at last. Art, when it functions like this, becomes a meeting-place of the invisible, the irreducible, the enduring, guts and honour."

Do the evolution.

Only a month until Sleater-Kinney's The Woods hits the shelves of your local file-sharing service. But songs are already appearing on discerning radio stations everwhere. Yup, all three of them. Check out "Jumpers" on this recent BBC broadcast - it comes in about an hour and 39 minutes into the show.

And while we have been largely apathetic about Pearl Jam's music ("less catchy than your average hymn," S. Malkmus once quipped), we've always considered Eddie Vedder to be a thoroughly decent and compelling individual. As it happens, Eddie interviews the ladies of Sleater-Kinney for this month's issue of indie-rock glossy Magnet. Can't find a copy at your newsstand? Some kind soul transcribed the entire exchange. (Fetching cover graphics not included.) Learn how Eddie and Corin felt being booed after talking smack about Bush in front of stadium crowds in the heartland; the difference between surfing with the guitar and surf guitar; how The Woods literally shredded Eddie's car speakers; dude vs. lady bands; and yes much more.

Monday, April 25, 2005

To the Strand.

Roxy notes:

Out this month from independent publisher Chicago Review, The Thrill of It All: The Story of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, by David Buckley, author of The Complete Guide to the Music of David Bowie. This week's Publishers Weekly review calls it "alternately page-turning, tedious and gossipy."

Beaten to the punch and due in June, Both Ends Burning: The Complete Roxy Music, by Jonathan Rigby, author of a Christopher Lee bio and English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema.

Also in June, Roxy Music plays the Isle of Wight festival. A publishing rule of thumb appears to be coalescing, that with the reunion tour comes the book(s).

Friday, April 22, 2005

Book news of microscopic import.

Some recent deals we note in passing, via Publishers Marketplace, our typing accompanied by this sound: ppffffffffffft:

  • Paul Davidson's BLOGOSPHERE, a collection of blogs "written" by historical figures and celebrities such as Elvis, JFK, Confucius, and John Lennon (upon meeting a young woman named Yoko Ono who seems very interested in how The Beatles deal with the publishing rights to their song library) sold to Jason Pinter at Warner, by Arielle Eckstut at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world). Davidson is the author of Consumer Joe: Harassing Corporate America, One Letter at a Time. This deal will not be noted in the next mm story on book deals n blogs. One hopes the blog of Pat O'Brien's Boswell is simply lifted wholesale.

  • Tom Reynolds' I HATE MYSELF AND WANT TO DIE: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard, sold to Emily Gould at Hyperion, by Farley Chase at the Waxman Literary Agency on behalf of Sanctuary Books. Funny, the title captured my mood exactly. Should be a fun book party, though, everyone slow dancing to "Holocaust."

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to listen to the complete works of Suicide.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

They were very paranoid.

Music books getting bloggy with it.

The Rock Snob's Dictionary is out in book form now, and the authors have a strikingly well-designed blog going. [via] These guys are trying really hard. The Voice recently reviewed it, and in two paragraphs just about out-snobs them.

Also, Continuum's 33-1/3 series, featuring slim books each devoted to an album of some note or worth, has its own blog, the most salient piece of which is the list of forthcoming titles. (Time to light a fire under McGonigal.) The idea of this series appeals to me in almost every way except one: I seem to have absolutly no interest in reading any of it. It's not the uneven choices being offered (Music From Big Pink, London Calling.... In the Aeroplane Over the Sea?), which sweetly level the playing field and add a note of quirkiness to an otherwise predictable list. It's more the apparent lack of any kind of consistent approach --- every author brings his (occasionally her) own structure, focus, history, tone. I'd soooner buy one for the author than album chosen, which seems the wrong way around. I have this same problem with other series, for example, the James Atlas-fueled Eminent Lives books. I actually read Paul Johnson's clear-cut Washington bio, but stalled midway through Chris Hitchens' tortuous presentation of Thomas Jefferson. Call me old-fashioned, or just old, but I'm of the mind that a series should at least offer some pretense of consistency, otherwise why do a series? Obviously, different authors will write differently, but can't we at least get some common frame of reference?

It occurs to me as I write this that at least some of my resistance is due to anticipated buyer's remorse; that, and my inability, born of years in the publishing world and my DNA-inscribed skinflintiness, to spend any money on books. Toss me a free Wolk on JB or, say, Bruno on EC, and I'm there.

Yesterday's! VV ed.

It's what we do:
--Francis Davis pulls no punches in assessing the Free America releases. [Chilly, waiting for the rebuttal.] Davis also notes Grachan Moncur's return to recorded life.
--Larry Blumenfeld gives it up for David Ware's recent 3-fer. With no noted antipahy for Guillermo Brown's "aggressive" contribution, it's a little hard to take it all seriously, but it's a tremendous document, no doubt.
--'70s Cleveland beaches another dead white whale, and one more shibboleth is lost.

Make the music go pap.

The Experience Music Project's fourth annual Pop Conference wrapped up over the weekend, with music writers and thinkers of varied stripes convening in Seattle to talk about (or in the parlance of the conf., deliver papers on) everything from blackface and the minstrel tradition to fake bands and fake fans. I only barely noticed this event in years past, if at all, but my recent obsessive attention to music blogs has paid off, and I'm now more keenly aware than ever of my almost total lack of interest in academic approaches to music, a reaction that goes hand in hand with my typically simplistic, inarticulate, and shallow responses to it. That said, I was continually impressed by the depth of thought and research on display.

There's not a conference in the world that I'd attend willingly, and reading a variety of unmediated responses, reactions, and recollections to this one, via blogdom, is far and away the best way to go for the socially phobic. Here are some, unalike enough to make it seem as though all attended radically different confs.:

  • Carl Wilson gives the best overall view, in multiple posts, with his usual thoroughness, clarity, and wit: day 1; day 2 (if you only follow one link here, make it this one; don't miss the bit re David Thomas on Cleveland horror-host Ghoulardi); day 3; summing up.

  • Phil Freeman has posted his entire paper, on the semiotics of metal T-shirts, at his blog, along with another post about his time at the fair. The paper is intruiging, but the T-shirt, to me, is a thin and flimsy reed on which to hang the heavy load of authenticity.

If that doesn't do it for you, you're me, sadly, and so already know that Flaskaland has it all and more. Just keep scrolling.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Need a goddamn [new] job.

Westerberg today: Thrilling, revitalized troubadour or sorry, washed-up hack? [the latter via]

Were these guys at the same show? Don't DeRogatis and Kot hate each other? (Or is it me that hates both of them?) Something about that newsboy cap makes me very nervous, and leaning toward hack attack, much as I would prefer to imagine different.

For TMFTML lovers only.

The science watchers over at Imponderable Research point to items of interest in their most recent issue, notably some research by and for the adolescent male that in at least one case seeks to put the bun back into bunsen burner (or the opposite). Four actual research projects are noted, in precis form, among them:

"Colorectal Foreign Bodies," which appeared in Colorectal Disease. vol. 7, no 1, January 2005.
Objective: A pictorial review of colorectal foreign bodies and their extraction.
Methods: A prospective data-base and photographic record of patients who presented with retained colorectal foreign bodies at our institution has been maintained since 1995.... The foreign bodies included a penknife, an aerosol deodorant spray can, a blue plastic tumbler, a plastic bag containing two bank-notes and some marijuana [worst. drug deal. ever.], a plastic packet containing fish hooks, a penlight torch, a broomstick, a battery powered vibrator, a primus stove, a cap of an aerosol can, a piece of wire, a piece of hosepipe wrapped with wire and an iron bar. They entered the alimentary tract for a variety of reasons....

A pictorial review? It's true; this stuff never gets tired.

The other report worthy of mention would be "Monkeys Pay Per View: Adaptive Valuation of Social Images by Rhesus Macaques," from Current Biology, vol. 15, no. 6., in which we learn "male rhesus macaques [paid something of value] for the opportunity to view female perinea...." Porn: it's a primate thing.

We leave further Google work to the truly fetishistic.

Unknown pleasures.

Two of our fave blogs point today to Simon "I'm blissing, goddamn it!" Reynolds' forthcoming book on post-punk 1978-1984, Rip It Up & Start Again.
Reynolds / Rip It Up
Per Reynolds' blog, there's the UK edition (out this week), and then the US remix (due Feb. 06), like some old school Beatles shit. Why the SST chapter would be one of the deletions stateside is beyond reasonable contemplation. Here's the Guardian review, from yesterday. Here's the more favorable Sunday Times [UK] review, from which the following:

Punk, Reynolds reasons, wasn’t the revolutionary moment of popular cliché, but rather a crude aberration, “a brief blip in an otherwise unbroken continuum of art-rock spanning the 1970s from start to finish”. Punk threw open a window of opportunity for the artists who arrived in its wake, but their musical touchstones would invariably be Brian Eno, David Bowie or the Velvet Underground rather than the two-chord numbskulls recently dispatched to deserved oblivion.

Alright, that's a thesis. Reynolds' recent deep musings on MIA --- in which (inter alia) he disdains the art-school sheen that he hears laid over her pan-continental genre-mining and terrorism-touched name dropping, coming down in favor of organic, self-feeding, grass roots scenes --- seem to make a little more sense in this context, coming off a huge book project, one that must have taken prodigious amounts of time, effort, and imagination, and that no doubt had him wallowing up to his armpits in arty pretension. A rebound move toward...ah...let's say... "authenticity" might be expected. (More on which soon, possibly.)

Anyway, here's what Reynolds is all about right NOW.

Leggo my Tego.

If you read this Village Voice article on reggeton a few weeks ago, and you came into it as virginal a listener as me, then allow me to direct you to this DJ/Rupture page with three solid song links, including Japanese-produced dancehall with hardcore Jamaican vocals. I have no idea what this last phrase signifies; we're strictly cut and paste at this point. Anyway, all tunes had me reaching for [virtual] rewind, if that means anything.

Short reggeton clips can also be accessed via this page of links compiled at the Voice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


New York's venerable Downtown Music Gallery recently reported the following in their latest oppressively long and detailed email newsletter/test of endurance:
Note on last week's ENO REMASTERS: It turns out Virgin Europe screwed up again -- tracks 18 and 20 on the MORE MUSIC FOR FILMS disc are the SAME CUT! We have made calls to the authorized US distributor, Astralwerks/ Caroline, and they have assured us that they will be sending us replacement discs [without covers] to send to all our mail-order customers who have ordered - or are ordering - this item, as well give to any store customers who have kept their receipts of this purchase. All others, regardless of where you purchased it from, must write to Caroline records and they will send you a replacement. However, these replacement discs will likely not be available for at least a month, so in the meantime we have not been asked to return our stocks - you may still purchase this -enjoy it now - and receive your replacement later.

Okay, thanks. I can barely make it through the first two lines before my eyes fog over, but it does give us license to point to this early Eno track [scroll down] recently posted at WFMU's On the Download page, where they say: "PAW PAW NEGRO BLOWTORCH by Brian Eno with the Winkies. Rarely heard 1974 BBC session with Bri-Bri backed by a temporary rock band known as the Winkies. This song appeared in much different form on the Here Come the Warm Jets." You can keep More Music for Films; I'll take this one.

Unquestioned answers.

Future shock.

Herbie Hancock turns 65 today. Can't point to much interesting listening, but there are some brief but cool video segments at the NEA site of talking heads talking about him, filmed on the occasion of Hancock becoming a Jazz Master Fellow in 2004. (I think the NEA gets his birth date wrong, if his own site is correct.)

And then there's this long article for gearheads on Herbie's technical bent, which doubles as an ad for Apple.

Read Between the Lines

A shout-out to this hilarious and biting new blog that details a love-hate relationship with the world of magazines. If there's any industry that's more insular, absurd, and downright poisonous than book publishing, it's got to be glossy magazines. Unless it's film. Or television. Or music. Or perhaps silicon farming. In any case, there's no shortage of snarky anecdotes, howling gaffes, and occassionally compelling stories to be discussed and Front of the Book sorts through it all with admirable brevity.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Lost time is not found again.

Remember Pylon? (As I recall, some twenty years ago REM was poised to become "the next Pylon.")
[via largehearted boy]

Anybody need a blurb? I mean, really, anybody?
[via TEV]

It's not enough for them to create whole worlds for us (or blurb any and all books for us); now they have to score it, too?
[@ largehearted; via we forget]

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Free At Last

If you're even vaguely considering purchasing the new Free-America jazz reissues, don't wait another minute! Although book publishers are still clinging to the hackneyed received wisdom that free jazz doesn't sell, copies of this limited edition series are flying off the shelves. J&R's Manhattan store blew through their stock of over 500 copies in a matter of days! A week later, their website was completely out of stock and unable to track down more copies - even through Amazon. (Note that both websites still erroneously list the entire series as "in stock"). The one place that guarantees it still has a few copies in stock is the estimable Dusty Groove, which now offers lower shipping rates via media mail.

I recently got six of the Free America titles from them and can vouch for the quality of the product. The packaging is surprisingly intricate. Stunning artwork and a booklet including photos and both brand new and original liner notes. A clear labor of love - no skimping on production costs. I wish they had reproduced the original covers in color, but the B&W fascimilies are nice in their own right. The remastering is also top notch. Reviews to follow next week of Art Ensemble of Chicago's With Fonetella Bass and Phase One, Dave Burrell's After Love, Alan Shorter's Tes Estat, Clifford Thornton's The Panther and the Lash, and Frank Wright's Uhuru Na Omoja.

Although much praise is due Universal for bringing these hideously rare titles into print, I'm surprised they've limited the series to 5,000 copies per title - with only 1,000 copies for the U.S. market. The demand has far outweighed supply (European copies sold out quickly too), so why not make more? Why go to all the trouble of creating such thoughtful packaging and remastering if the titles disappear as soon as they are printed? The worst thing is that the sales figures will probably be used as another empirical example to back up the idea that free jazz is hopelessly uncommercial. Five years from now, some exec at Universal will review the Free America numbers, note that each title in the series "only sold 1,000 copies," and decide that there's no reason to venture into such an unprofitable genre. Yeah, they sold only a thousand copies - in a single month! - because you refused to print more. So much for freemarket capitalism.

Forest from the Trees

We can't offer a review of Sleater-Kinney "The Woods" just yet, but here are two interviews with the band that offer some interesting insights into the recording process of the new album. First there's this chat with both Corin Tucker and new producer Dave Friedmann where they discuss how the band reshaped its sound in the studio. Caveat with the link: it may load slowly due to unecessarily gigantic images or you may need to search for the article again within the site. Plus you'll have to overlook the high school journalism intro. So skim and you'll enjoy.

Even better is this recent interview with Carrie "Better than Clapton" Brownstein where she tackles a wide range of topics including the reasons for the band's long abscence, the benefits of working with a producer who isn't a fan, going back to grad school, why she hates '80s throwback bands, Rick Moody, Deep Purple, Can, donuts, and much more. No need to skim this one.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

All of the humans blow up.


  • The unambiguously straight duo Lethem and Chabon,
    Lethem & Chabon
    hoisted by their own petard. Or a petard very much like their own. In their next adventure, Ayelet "Superwife" Waldman tries to off Lethem for touching Chabon more than the allotted amount. [via]

  • If you prefer your free jazz with a more youthful bent, you might be interested in what SubPop calls the best school project ever, a high school jazz band cover of a Wolf Eyes song. [via] Not young enough for you? How about these elementary schoolers, who, under the influence of Ornette Coleman and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, recorded an entire album of big band free jazz as the Tangerine Awkestra.

This ain't no disco.

Forgot where I first read of this, but David's Byrne's site has recently launched a radio feature, which is in fact not radio, but a fixed, three-hour loop of songs available as a stream. So if you've ever wanted to listen to a mix as selected by Mr. Byrne, here's your chance. Recommend using your own player, following the directions at the site (see under "notes on the stream").

Here's the playlist, just to take all of the guesswork out of it:

Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) / The Arcade Fire
Keeping Up / Arthur Russell
Hana / Asa-Chang & Junray
Espinita / Banda Ionica
Come l'aria / Banda Ionica
Let's Go Away For Awhile (Stereo Mix) / The Beach Boys
Crazy In Love / Beyoncé Knowles feat. Jay-Z
You Say He's Just a Friend / Biz Markie
The Tiger And The Lamb / Bob Schneider
Bog La Bag / Carlinhos Brown
Ser igual e legal / Carlos Careqa
Don't Blame You / Cat Power
Free / Cat Power
Staging of the Plaguing / Cornershop
Come As You Are / Dani Siciliano
Red / Dani Siciliano
This Is The Way / Devendra Banhart
Roble / Fabulosos Cadillacs
Space Heater / Geggy Tah
Oju-Obá / Gilberto Gil
Horse Tears / Goldfrapp
I Don't Wanna Grow Up / Holly Cole
Which / Jeri Southern
One Rainy Wish / The Jimi Hendrix Experience
El Perro / Juana Molina
La Visita / Juana Molina
Mañana / Los Aterciopelados
1 Flash / Max De Castro
Drume negrita / Merceditas
Lacho / Merceditas
Honky Tonk / Miles Davis
Sock It 2 Me / Missy E
Naked, If I Want To / Moby Grape
Tu Crois au Marc de Cafe / Nicole Renaud
One Step Inside Doesn't Mean You Understand / The Notwist
Off The Rails / The Notwist
Hold On Be Strong / Outkast
Happy Valentine's Day / Outkast
Darling Lorraine / Paul Simon
Luna Rossa / Pietra Montecorvino
My Phone's On Vibrate For You / Rufus Wainwright
Blue Monk / Thelonious Monk
Canto de pedara preta / Virginia Rodrigues
California Stars / Wilco & Billy Bragg

The first letter alphabetical organizing principle strikes me as pretty lazy, and an instrumental Beach Boys track the height of perversity, but I did enjoy the Miles / Missy / Moby Grabe seque.

Related: One Louder recently linked to this Thurston Moore article from Wired touting the joys of the mix tape. Dude has time to write just about everything except for 250 words on some free jazz for a couple of down-and-out bloggers.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Feeling cruddy.

Perhaps you caught The Tournament of Books, hosted a ways back by the fine folks at The Morning News. Not to be outdone, the priapic proprietors of TMFTML and Lindsayism have initiated The Tournament of Exes, the winner of which shall receive the first annual Cruddy Award for best ex story. I was honored to be asked to judge a few entries -- those that know me well know I'm a judgmental prick (just ask the wife) -- and you can read two such stories and my response at the Cruddy site.

White and sexless.

Two interesting news bits from Pitchfork last week:

First, Neil Young recently suffered a brain aneurysm, but appears to have made a full recovery:

Revered rock icon Neil Young is in a New York hospital tonight [Friday] after suffering a brain aneurysm. Fortunately, having undergone minimally invasive neuroradiology on Tuesday, the prognosis is good. According a statement from Young's agent, Bob Merlis, the procedure "corrected the problem and has been characterized as a complete success with a total recovery. And resumption of normal activities by the 59-year-old rock legend is predicted for the near future." In the meantime, Young is resting up.

The first signs of trouble came on March 14, after a performance with the Pretenders at New York's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, when Young began experiencing visual field disturbances. Shortly thereafter, he was given an MRI scan, which revealed a blood vessel had burst in his brain. Surgery was scheduled for this week. Young passed the time between the diagnosis and procedure recording in a Nashville studio.

Neil Young: not one to let a silly little brain aneurysm get in the way of his recording schedule.

And also, scrolling down:

Gang of Four to Reissue Entertainment!
Rhino Records has announced a May 17 arrival date for the reissue, which supplements the original 12-track record with the four-song Yellow EP and four further bonus tracks that, as far as we can tell, are previously unreleased. The songs from Yellow have already been used as bonuses for earlier editions of Entertainment!, though one of them, "Armalite Rifle", was left off of the most recent pressing in England. (The U.S. reissue on Henry Rollins' Infinite Zero Records had it, but the British version has had the distinct advantage of actually, you know, being in print.)

01 Ether / 02 Natural's Not In It / 03 Not Great Men / 04 Damaged Goods / 05 Return the Gift / 06 Guns Before Butter / 07 I Found That Essence Rare / 08 Glass / 09 Contract / 10 At Home He's a Tourist / 11 5.45 / 12 Anthrax / 13 Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time (Yellow EP) / 14 He'd Send in the Army (Yellow EP) / 15 It's Her Factory (Yellow EP) / 16 Armalite Rifle (Yellow EP) / 17 Contract (alternate recording) / 18 Guns Before Butter (alternate recording) / 19 Blood Free (live song, unreleased) / 20 Sweet Jane (live) [Velvet Underground]
I'm looking forward to finally updating my cassette of Entertainment!, and to the NY show in a few months.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Give the. People. What they. Want.

This is old news, but it surfaced again a few days ago over at Improbable blog, so that's newsworthy enough for us. You'll probably recall the research conducted about ten years ago by Russian artists Komar and Melamid; they surveyed 1,001 Americans (and folks in other countries around the world) in an effort to statistically come to terms with the kind of art
most wanted
Komar and Melamid
USA's Most Wanted, 1994.
most citizens want to look at, and the kind they least want to gaze upon. (The latter looks glancingly Ray Johnsonesque; see post below.) The art that results when following the poll results is absurdly bland, and almost defies critical comment. There's a long and engaging interview with Alex Melamid at the Dia Center site, reprinting a Nation article,
least wanted
Komar and Melamid
USA's Least Wanted, 1994.
that gets into all of this in much greater depth and thoughtful detail: "Why this artist, not that artist? Why Schnabel is a good artist? Who can tell? I don't know. Can be good, can be bad, but there is no objective truth. [Except for this one.--Prof.] This is the crisis of modernism."

Anyhoo, K&M also applied the same rigorous statistical analysis to the world of music, surveying 500 individuals and eventually recording two songs on a CD: The Most Wanted Song, a musical work that will be unavoidably and uncontrollably “liked” by 72 ± 12% of listeners, and The Most Unwanted Song, which fewer than 200 individuals of the world’s total population will enjoy.

Regarding the most wanted song:
The most favored ensemble, determined from a rating by participants of their favorite instruments in combination, comprises a moderately sized group (three to ten instruments) consisting of guitar, piano, saxophone, bass, drums, violin, cello, synthesizer, with low male and female vocals singing in rock/r&b style. The favorite lyrics narrate a love story, and the favorite listening circumstance is at home. The only feature in lyric subjects that occurs in both most wanted and unwanted categories is “intellectual stimulation.” Most participants desire music of moderate duration (approximately 5 minutes), moderate pitch range, moderate tempo, and moderate to loud volume, and display a profound dislike of the alternatives.
Helps to have Vernon Reid as an instrumental ringer. And about that least wanted song?

The most unwanted music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and “elevator” music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays.

That bagpipe-and-children's choir duet you hear is John Zorn orchestrating his latest 26-mintue Cobra piece.