Selling Songs in One Sentence! | Songs of the Week 03/17/2023

Since I’m fourteen pages deep into midterm essays with a flash fiction unit on the horizon, I figured it might be fun to try to distill my love for this week’s songs into one sentence each, which is something that should be easy-breezy, especially considering how deliberate, curt, economical, un-repetitive, and un-repetitive my writing tends to be—the “B” in Max B. Todd stands for Brevity, after all, and as a believer in nominative determinism, which I don’t actually think I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I strive to try and embody this in my every sentence, and that’s the Max Todd Dot Com (Max! Todd! Dot! Com!) guarantee, free of extraneous “bombastic”s and “driven”s and “punchy”s and “swelling”s and “earworm”s and any words I’d never, ever use more than once, because… sorry, hold on, I think I was going somewhere with this.

DON’T GIVE UP | Feist (feat. Timber Timbre) covering Peter Gabriel (feat Kate Bush) This might be blasphemous, but as high as Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s operatic original flies, I’m almost more comforted by the soft, lullaby voices of Feist and Timber Timbre, backed by crooning, tearful strings and muted tambourines like baby chains.

Pairs Well With:American Flag” (Cat Power), “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” (Noah Hawley and Jeff Russo covering Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch) “Devil is Fine” (Zeal & Ardor)

NOT ONE OF US | Stephin Merritt covering Peter Gabriel In the same vein, while this cover from the prolific Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields and The 6ths fame) can’t quite touch Peter Gabriel’s original as a parable with mythic weightiness, it’s a masterfully remixed earworm that gets stuck in my head even more than the original.

Pairs Well With:All the Umbrellas in London” (The Magnetic Fields), “Circuit” (The Apples in Stereo and Marbles), “Retreat” (Guerilla Toss)

EVERYBODY (BACKSTREET’S BACK) [EXTENDED EDITION] | Backstreet Boys I try to make all music accessible here, but I’m gonna be real with you—don’t even bother listening to this one unless you’re the original, you’re sexual, and you have a concrete plan to bring the flavor.

Pairs Well With:I Don’t Dance” (Chad, Ryan, Cast of High School Musical), “CRYING ON MY BIRTHDAY (feat. Olivia Rodrigo)” (Yankee Escape System), “…Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears)

SKIP DIVIDED | Thom Yorke A dark horse candidate for my favorite track on The Eraser, “Skip Divided” runs neck and neck with previous contender “The Clock” thanks to its slithering sounds and eerie flow, effortlessly spilling through mouthful lyrics like “When you walk into a room, I follow you ’round like a dog / I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a lapdog / I’m your lapdog, yeah” (probably not worth reading into).

Pairs Well With:Feral” (Radiohead), “The Clock” (Thom Yorke), “The Wretched” (Nine Inch Nails)

MISTY | Kate Bush Though about as slow and soft as you’d expect from 50 Words for Snow, it makes me happy that this steamy, shakespearean Frosty the Snowman fanfic holds the title of Kate Bush’s longest song—a thirteen-minute journey worth following to its tragic end.

Pairs Well With:The Fog” (Kate Bush), “Winter’s Eve” (Kishi Bashi), “Spirits of the Ice Forest / Antarctic Spring” (Benjamin Bartlett)

Credit to the Brooklyn Museum

“Tiger and Magpie,” folk art from Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, proves that this meme was already old before it was made, and also that it had already been done better in the 19th century.

Okay, this is me gasping for air now. Looks like that didn’t streamline my process enough to let me get this out on time, but I hope this was a fun experiment for everyone that didn’t take away from the read, but at the end of the day, I’m at least on that economical sentence grind. Stanley Fish can suck it.



  1. sabinaespinet · 1 Day Ago

    has emilyclairereynolds put a backstreet boys spell on you?

    • maxtodd · 1 Day Ago

      Crazy to hear her whole god given name like that

  2. f̶̨̢̨̛̛͇̼̣͎̹̩̺̠̪͇̝̘͕̜͈͎̻͖̮͇̺̮̝͍͙̀͌̇͒̽̈̋͑̀̈́̕͜͜͝͝ͅu̵͖̜͈̣̘̹͚̯̠̰̬͚̦̦̥̱̞̯͍̱̣͓͇̱͕͋͛̋̏̋̀̅̄̈̑̈́̋̉͠ͅñ̴̢͎͓̪̪̙͂̒̒̿̈́̆̎̌͘͝ģ̶̛̛̛̼̹̮̫̹̰̳̝͙̮̅̆͆̀̄̄͑͗͌͆͗͐͊͌̊͛̍̄̎̌͘̚̚͘͜͜͠ư̸̢̜̺̤̠̳̟̖̗̙̈̀̄̈́͛͌͛͋̇͒̓̅̿́̑͌͘͠ͅş̶̢̧͖͚͕͉͖̰̠̮͈̳̜̻̗͚̟̞̲͙̥̟̗͋͂̾͆͊̔̏̓̔́̑̂̅̀̔͌̔̄̀̅̏͘̕̕̚͝

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