Monday, January 18, 2010

the worst song in the world

ben has been waiting and waiting for me to blog about
1. his new favorite song
2. his bread knife

favorite song
through a survey of 1001 people, a pair of russian artists discovered the most desirable and least desirable characteristics of a song, then created two songs using these characteristics.

"For example, people hate songs about holidays, choirs, and kids singing. So there was a passage where a children's chorus singing about Labor Day.

[Phil Ford] quotes an account of how the sonic parameters were selected:

The most unwanted music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and "elevator" music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays, and the most unwanted listening circumstances are involuntary exposure to commercials and elevator music. Therefore, it can be shown that if there is no covariance--someone who dislikes bagpipes is as likely to hate elevator music as someone who despises the organ, for example--fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population would enjoy this piece.

Hiphop tuba plus a soprano rapping about the Old West -- what's not to like? You can listen to it here. (

ben listens to the most unwanted song over and over, and says that if you really love him, you'll listen to all 25 minutes of it.

bread knife
we moved in with nothing but clothes and a few books, but were lucky to find nearly everything we needed in the kitchen. we inherited a pretty good knife, but it often squashed or crumbled ben's bread. when the knife wouldn't cut ben's new loaf at all, he searched frantically through the flatware drawer for something that would work, and found a nice-looking butter knife. or maybe it's not a butter knife, but its serrations worked like a dream, and now ben praises it day and night.

in my opinion, the french bakery down the street (where he buys bread) is a bit more exciting. the pastries look so delicious...


Katie said...

1. "Something inside of me feels a dichotomy."
2. I hate the organ.
3. I don't love Ben (yet) as I have not listened to all 25 minutes (yet), but I mentioned this to Bryan (who has been reading over my shoulder anyway) and he said "play it," so it's really bound to happen sooner or later.
4. I wore "Free Marae" to work out to "Tighter Assets" this morning.


Katie said...

P.S. I miss you mucho. Won't you fly me to London so I can visit you?

Bryan Lewis said...

Oh! I listened to this song while I was at work a couple of months ago! It was on "This American Life."

Rosalie said...

I love this American Life! Most of the time when I mention it, people give me weird looks.

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Lisa Lou said...

So I am listening to this song right now and cracking up. Also, the comment right before mine sounds pretty good...almost too good?!

Kate Lewis said...

Clementine is sleeping, or else I would listen to this song right away. I am definitely curious . . .

Kate Lewis said...

I must say that a good bread knife is a very nice possession.

The Newey-Ka-Blewey's said...

again-Andy and i thought, "hey we have a few minutes to kill" so we started the song. oh man...i dislike it but Andy saved it so we can listen to it again...later...again. lol I guess we love you Ben!