I was driving home from work last Friday and heard this song. One of those snotty male twenty-something punk-pop voices declaiming over minimal, guitar-noodling instrumentation:

     If Sarah tells me to read a book,
    I’ll probably read it…

(No guarantees on exact wording, I only did hear the thing once.)

This is repeated many times, with different inflections and pauses. There are additional snotty male punk-pop voices who make supportive noises in the background and occasionally join in on a phrase or two. The whole thing sounds like it’s being made up on the spot. Toward the end the lead singer varies his declamation:

     If Sarah tells me to get a job, 
     No way!

Everyone joins in on the last line. And I’m thinking, what a cool thing to write a song about! There are definitely people I know who if they recommend a book to me, I will probably read it. (There are others to whom I’ll nod politely.) As in the best early Paul Westerberg songs, here is someone very young who has decided to write about what’s right in front of him, and in doing so has created art to which even this somewhat older listener can relate. There’s a thrill in having someone notice what was there for anyone to notice. Plus, they seem like they’re having fun, in on the joke, just as twenty-something year old musicians should. This is what the new Parquet Courts album should have sounded like.

I have Googled the heck out of this thing and Spinotron’d the radio station (WMFO is the Tufts University station), but can’t find a single mention. Maybe I imagined it. If you know the band, shoot me an email. If you are the band, you can also shoot me an email.

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