New Music Love, Gabriel Kahane. Putting ice cubes down people’s shirts.

I was writing a Very Serious Review (which will appear tomorrow) when all of a sudden Pandora turned up a musician I’d never heard before and I fell in love.

I almost never find musicians I love, but Gabriel Kahane is amazing. He’s sort of like Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown (who, I just learned by looking him up, apparently has a seriously gorgeous Jewish nose) presented as vaguely pop* music.

His instrumentation is stunning and I love the complex melodies. I almost didn’t pay attention to his lyrics until I happened upon his epic aria about the plight of a man who cannot find a roommate because of his compulsion to put ice cubes down people’s shirts.

I have a compulsion to put ice cubes down people’s shirts. As my roommate, you will likely bear the brunt of this problem. Don’t ask me why I do this. Why do I do this? Why do I do this? Years of therapy hasn’t helped. Hasn’t helped. Hasn’t heeeeeelped.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii always have ice cubes on hand. Don’t think you can simply get rid of all the ice trays in the apartment. All the ice trays! All the ice trays!

Trust me, I have tried this. I will only buy more! I will only buy more! I will ooooooooooooooonly buuuuuuuuy moooooooore!

Really — gorgeous music *and* humor? I swoon for this music.

You, too, can listen for free online.

*Note: my definition of “pop” means “written for enjoyment as individual songs.” As opposed to “part of a musical.” When I was in college, I complained over and over again to my friend Tim Jones-Yelvington that I couldn’t get into songs that weren’t part of a story. I thought my problem was unique until Tim’s boyfriend — a lyricist and playwright studying at NYU — revealed he had the same problem. I’ve gotten over it since, by dint of musicians like Poe (whose album Haunted is a musical response to her brother’s amazing experimental novel House of Leaves) and the Dresden Dolls (whose song “Coin-Operated Boy” is a perfect science fiction short story in three minutes).

ETA: Why did I not previously notice that this song is on an album called “Craigslistleider?” That’s seriously brilliant. So, for instance, another song in the cycle is “I have one pair of slightly used assless chaps in size 42. Will trade for spiderman comics. Will trade for spiderman comics. Will trade for spiderman comics or equivalent.” Set to disjunctively serious music. Awesome.

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