The back section of Perfect From Now On
contains three appendices filled with lists of my musical preferences, formulas for figuring out whether a band is worth your time, and proclamations about new bands that I was unable to write about elsewhere. It's meant to be a fun, easily consumable thirty pages that rewards those brave souls who sit through the main story. In many ways, it's the Frosty you get after scarfing down that Classic Triple with Cheese at Wendy's. It might be a good idea to have a pack of Tums handy when you read my book.
Since loving music obsessively compels a person to compose lists, how about if I give you two off the top of my head.
TOP SEVEN SONGS RELEASED 2004-2007 THAT WERE NOT WRITTEN BY ROBERT POLLARD
1. "The Rat," the Walkmen
2. "Lazy Eye," Silversun Pickups
3. "Neighborhood #3," the Arcade Fire
4. "Jams Run Free," Sonic Youth
5. "Wolf Like Me," TV on the Radio
6. "Funeral," Band of Horses
7. "Slow Hands," Interpol
Do you disagree? I hope you do; lists like these are meant to be quibbled with. Some readers are undoubtedly sittting there staring at the list with eyes agoogle and fuming, "No Joanna Newsom? No Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!? What's up with that?" Or "Dude, 'Rebellion (Lies)' is way better than 'Neighborhood #3.' What's up with that?"
People love to say, "What's up with that?"
But there is nothing up with that. It's just a stupid list. Here's another meaningless one:
TOP FIVE BANDS PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TO TURN ME ON TO AFTER READING MY BOOK AND THE MAIN RATIONALE I'VE BEEN GIVEN FOR WHY I SHOULD BE LISTENING TO THEM
1. Bob Dylan ? "The first line of your book really says, 'I hate Bob Dylan'? You cannot be serious!"
2. The Fall ? "How can you like Pavement and not like the Fall?"
3. The Mountain Goats ? "As prolific and lo-fi as Pollard!"
4. Champion Hairpuller ? "Can I send you my CD? It sounds a lot like early-period Pollard!"
5. The Nuevos ? "Hey, we sound a lot like Guided By Voices as fronted by the lead singer of James! Check this song out!"
The great thing about writing a very personal book about your musical preferences is that you're bound to hear from obsessive music fans about their own very personal musical preferences. In the past few weeks, I've gotten more quality recommendations than that entire year I subscribed to Blender magazine. And some of the music being sent my way is really good ? like Southern California's Champion Hairpuller, whose songs I urge you to listen to here, especially "Secretary of B's" and "Son Shine"; and the Nuevos, a slick indie band from the unlikely locale of Sarasota, Florida.
But there are, of course, some musicians that I'll simply never warm up to, for one reason or another. Dylan is one of them ? but I won't blow the first chapter of the book for you by telling you why. Still, keep those recommendations coming! Just don't suggest the Decemberists. Or the Scissor Sisters. Or, ugh, Hot Chip. Which leads me to a final list.
TOP TEN MUSICAL ACTS THAT PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BOTHER RECOMMENDING TO ME, BECAUSE IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN
1. Bob Dylan
2. Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes
3. Joanna Newsom
5. Panic! At the Disco
6. Elvis Perkins
7. The Knife
8. Cat Power
9. Fall Out Boy
10. The Fray
I hope we can still be