02 November 2010

All Hook No Chorus: Recently-Appreciated Exemplars of an Invented Genre

1. Barbara Comyns, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
Catalogue of disaster, burnt bacon, toy boats stuck in the mud. Attention and arc are beautifully equanimous.
2. The Parting Gifts, “Sleepy City”
Stones cover. One of the hookiest non-chorus songs I’ve ever heard.
3. The Slits
RIP Ari Up. Incantatory.
4. Rachel B. Glaser, all of Pee on Water, esp. “Dream House”
Teenage narcissism=lead vocals, “real world”=backing track
5. Bruner, “Wichita Lineman”
As far as I can tell, there’s one primary line that’s changed from the Glen Campbell version: “And I want you for all time” becomes “And I want you all the time.” Pristine, wrenching urgency forced to simmer.
6. Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch
I’ll admit it, I haven’t yet read back through it in the hopped-up order—but when no thought is left unreported, the hook becomes the way the mind works.
7. James Schuyler, “A White City”
Each line a hook a sound a site.

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