It's hard to escape the potent magic of pop music. Some consumers never do, hovering forever in thrall to three-minute sermons of neurotic idiocy blasting from the commercially conjoined pulpits of R&B, rock and country. (To keep this point sharp, let's credit "alternative" music with expanding the illusion of choice, then let's just set that ingeniously marketed kettle aside: too many worms.) In transmutations both alienating and horrifying, advanced pop fans occasionally evolve into stultifying snobs. For instance, back when it seemed to matter, I had a friend who would have kissed Bruce Springsteen's theatrically thrashed boots (and known their exact size) before condescending to enjoy David Byrne's solo work, since he deemed Springsteen's hangdog mythos "real" and Byrne's loopy anthropology "unrelatable." Akin to the dysfunctional discophiles of Stephen... More >>>