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Monday, October 20, 2003
Thanks to Matt for posting Grand Funk Railroad's "Some Kind Of Wonderful," because it made me realize that for the first two minutes and fifteen seconds of this song (which is only 3:22 in total) it is nothing but bass, drums and voice. That's the kind of minimalism you'd expect from, I dunno, PJ Harvey or Shellac, but, guys, this is Grand Funk Railroad. Moreover, this is "Some Kind Of Wonderful." And OK, those harmonies aren't very minimalist, but lemme just break out the old Prince "Kiss" comparison, which, flippin' the script, is nothing but drum machine, guitar, voice, and a quick little synth line. It's really kind of amazing that they get away with it. I really appreciate that kind of daring and skill.

Don't get me wrong--I still don't really like the song, although I don't care if you do like it--nothing wrong with that. But I can't help but be impressed at this level of daring, fuck-you minimalism in a pop song that still occupies such a large part, relatively speaking, of our cultural landscape. Makes you wonder why people thought the White Stripes couldn't have a hit. And yes, it's that big: you can hear "Some Kind Of Wonderful" in supermarkets, department stores, offices, fast food restaurants, weddings, cars, bars, late night talk shows, etc., etc., etc. This is one of those songs like "Yesterday" in that it's everywhere, but it's also one of those songs like most of Journey's hits, or John Mellencamp's, in that it's everywhere but you never notice it. Kind of like Queen before Wayne's World.

Oh, and yes, I am going to take up that Journey gauntlet at some point this week. (You with me, Phantroll?)