Just when you thought you knew what new music was supposed to sound like, it suddenly ceased to be new music. Corey Dargel is a difficult one to compartmentalize on the pop-nonpop divide. His songs are further proof that there really shouldn’t be and ultimately aren’t such divides for people doing some of the most vital music right now. So forget about whether this is a pop song or a ‘pop song’ trope by a downtown experimental composer. We’ve even been there before: don’t forget Robert Ashley, Eve Beglarian, or Mikel Rouse to name a few; or Beck, Prince, or the Fiery Furnaces to name a few others who are just as worthy. So when “Gay Cowboys,” which could easily ride the wave of post-Brokeback Mountain gay-positive messages in the mainstream media to become a number one hit single on the pop charts, don’t say, “I told you so, it’s pop music.” Instead, celebrate the fact that something comprised of so many intricate, interwoven compositional layers can get on the charts. (P.S. Full disclosure: Not only am I thrilled that Corey has written an article for NewMusicBox, I’m also hosting his next concert appearance in New York City at Cornelia Street Café on May 22. If it’s too late to book a flight, at least buy the CD!)
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