Tag Archives: music

The people’s choice

From 1994 to 1997, the artists worked on the series People’s Choice, whereby they created the “most wanted” and “least wanted” paintings of various countries based on the results of surveys conducted by professional polling companies. The book, Painting by Numbers: Komar & Melamid’s Scientific Guide to Art, published in 1997, explains the statistical underpinnings of the polling process and provides the results of each country’s preferences. Komar & Melamid used the same process in 1996–1997 in a collaboration with composer Dave Soldier to create The People’s Choice Music, consisting of “The Most Wanted Song” (a love song with low male and female vocals, of moderate duration, pitch, and tempo) and “The Most Unwanted Song” (in part: an operatic soprano raps over cowboy music featuring least-wanted instruments bagpipes and tuba while children sing about holidays and advertise for Wal-Mart).

The Most Unwanted Song has a Wikipedia page. The Most Wanted Song does not.

The Most Unwanted Song was uploaded to YouTube in September 2012. It has over 238,000 views. It was also uploaded in parts in October 2009. The first part has over 73,000 views. The Most Wanted Song was uploaded in December 2011. It currently has 34,512 views. Here’s the video description:

The Most Unwanted song is easy to find everywhere, but the Most Wanted isn’t – so here it is.

And here’s the first comment:

The funniest thing about this is that I listened to the Most Unwanted song longer. I found it more interesting. Does that make me a hipster?

And here are the replies:

nope, this is a rubbish song. makes sense.

No, I think that’s the point. This song was made based off of what was popular on the radio/what people ‘liked’; the result being that it sounds really samey and not special. The unwanted song was built off of weird things that you don’t hear often, so it’s more interesting. I don’t know what their aim was with this project, but I assume it has something to do with showing how popular music can be quite boring.

See also: Eurovision.

No Wave

Other White junkies and degenerates of New York City’s Lower East Side embody what Robertson described as well. The purposeful atonality of the No Wave music scene (complete with a jazz influence), and the sophomorically pornographic Cinema of Transgression movement were both in full swing as the city its adherents inhabited began to look more and more like wasteland somewhere in the third world.



No Wave led to Swans and Foetus. Swans and Foetus led to Wiseblood, which set out to create, in their own words, “violent macho American music”. Those three bands, especially Swans, were influential in the creation of a new American (or Usonian, if you prefer) style of music, which is best exemplified by Cobalt’s album Gin.

Swans also inspired The Young Gods, a Swiss band (interestingly, Roli Mosimann, an early Swans drummer who went on to form Wiseblood, was also originally from Switzerland), which influenced bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry — and Agalloch, the best-known Cascadian black metal band.

Are you SWANS fans? Perhaps it sounds strange, but AGALLOCH reminds me of this band…

Anderson: “I am flattered that we remind you of SWANS. I have to say that SWANS is one of the most important bands in my life. I think they are absolutely brilliant and one of the most prolific bands to ever grace this Earth. When I saw a solo performance by Michael Gira, I gave him a copy of ‘The Mantle’. When I handed it to him I told him how much of an influence SWANS has been on all of us. He was very nice and seemed flattered. However, I doubt he would be into it. He seems to be more into American roots and folk music now.

Now, it’s true that No Wave also spawned a load of garbage, like Sonic Youth and all its tedious, limp-wristed imitations (Pavement, for example), but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some very beneficial effects.

An introduction to classical music

Below the cut.

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