Arts Desk

The Pragmatist: Three Songs To Overcompensate For Your Katy Perry Addiction

Yes, "Teenage Dream" is a damn catchy song. The vocal triplets in the bubblegum chorus take you back to your uninhibited youth and instantly remind you of less-jaded years. You heard it for the first time in your girlfriend's car a while back, and it was stuck in your head for weeks. Naturally, you later downloaded the entire Katy Perry catalog. It was purely for research, of course, but that didn't stop your old college buddies from audibly snickering when they saw it on your iPod over the weekend. They just don't understand your deeply nostalgic connection with her less-than-profound lyrics. Ah, but you'll show them. It may be a more eclectic music world these days, but now and then, you can't repress the urge to prove you're a "serious" music listener. You've got no qualms with pop, but here are a few tracks to prove your taste goes well beyond the mainstream.

For the real record nerd, Krautrock is like crack. It's old, pretty weird, and arguably super influential. For the average Joe, there's not a lot in the way of catchy melodies or understandable song structures. Apparently, even Thom Yorke loves Neu!, so give "Hallogallo" a shot.

You can't hang out in any of the few independent record shops remaining for very long without eventually hearing some kind of noise rock. Avant-garde composer Rhys Chatham essentially started the whole genre in the late '70s with his piece, Guitar Trio. Here's part of one of his massive 200 guitar orchestra concerts, wherein the audience spontaneously stands up in a bout of near-religious fervor.

Long-time locals The Plums don't even write compositions. They're pure, explosive, noise-rock improv. If anyone is the antidote to Katy Perry, it's these guys. Why don't you and your old college chums take a trip down to Velvet Lounge on Tuesday, and we'll see who laughs last.

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