Pin It
Favorite

Stay on Her Good Side 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & The Golden Mean & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & "F & lt;/span & olsom Prison Blues." "I Fought the Law," Clash Version. Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me." Outkast's "Two Dope Boyz (In a Cadillac)." Dylan's "Song to Woody." An odd mix of music connected by a single fact: Music columnist and humorist Joshua Allen believes they're the perfect length for a pop song -- 2:42.





He says a team of scientists has confirmed it. They haven't, I don't think. Allen clearly just picked the number out of the air. It got me thinking, though. Of all the songs I love for reasons of catchiness, only rarely do they outstrip the three-minute mark.





Looking at my considerable library of Kinks songs is enough to prove the point. One of the world's great pop bands, it seems, didn't write more than maybe four good songs that eclipsed the 3-minute mark. "Come Dancing" and "Lola" are the best of those, though "Come Dancing" could be trimmed by a minute and lose nothing.





While it's an arbitrary number supported by anecdotal iTunes evidence, the brevity thing strikes a chord with music-types. The column was shown to me by no less a songwriter than (The Inlander's) Joel Smith. "There's something to it," he said, before lamenting that he himself has never written a song under three minutes. No wonder son doesn't have a record deal. His singer/songwriter-heavy iTunes collection, further, has only five songs that hit Allen's golden mean (compared to my hit-riddled 24). Maybe that's why folkies ain't the platinum-sellers they once were. The world has turned. Brevity is in, and has been, by my calculations, since just after Cyndi Lauper curated The Goonies soundtrack.





Also on my personal list is perhaps the world's sexiest adultery song, Springsteen's "I'm on Fire." Flip through your list of sub-three-minute songs. I bet every one leaves you wanting. "I'm on Fire" does for damn sure. Every time the Boss' coo-yodel kicks in and the song starts to fade out, I'm crying, "Bruce! Come back, Bruce!" He doesn't come back, though, because he knows seduction as few do. And so I yearn.
  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Classic Gass
  • Classic Gass

    Armed with a new album, the Kyle Gass Band brings its blend of rock and humor to Spokane
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Wanna Rock?
  • Wanna Rock?

    A slew of '80s glam favorites come to Wreck The Halls of Spokane Arena
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • <b>Lit Up</b>
  • Lit Up

    The urge to photograph and record entire shows is more prevalent than ever, but is that a hindrance to the concertgoing experience?
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Totally Tubular Tuesday: Holiday Films

Totally Tubular Tuesday: Holiday Films @ Garland Theater

Tue., Dec. 6, Tue., Dec. 13 and Tue., Dec. 20

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Luke Baumgarten

  • Chasing Whales
  • Chasing Whales

    Let's focus less on courting big companies and focus more on nurturing big ideas
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Completely Repellent
  • Completely Repellent

    How can we expect people to find constructive uses for space that wasn't built for them?
    • Dec 30, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Wanna Rock?

    A slew of '80s glam favorites come to Wreck The Halls of Spokane Arena
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Big Themes

    Disney's Moana is the empowering and fascinating tale we need right now
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


Readers also liked…

  • Pour Them
  • Pour Them

    Silver Treason continues to show off their country twang and attitude on debut album
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • Here On Earth
  • Here On Earth

    Local existential rockers B Radicals on their new album, current events and why they're not exactly hippies
    • May 6, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation