Minute Maid

Kim Boekbinder, The Infinite Minute – This collection of 169 songs, each approximately one minute long, was part of an ambitious project that Kim launched last year. Everyone who contributed to her Kickstarter received a copy of the album, and a hundred-dollar contribution let you request a personalized song from her. I wish I’d had the money to afford this, but I can’t say I did. Some of these songs were kept private, but the ones that the backers allowed her to share are all here, together with others she wrote totally on her own. With such short songs, it’s not a surprise that many of them would come off as similar to commercial jingles, and some of them actually are. I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Kickstarter to adopt Kim’s song for the site. Aside from that, there are love songs, Christmas songs, and songs in remembrance of people. There’s one about a trachodon written for a two-year-old, an ode to a planet-exploring robot, a number about a fan of Thor and Loki, another about a glasses fetish, and yet another in honor of Nutella. I’m apparently one of the few people who doesn’t actually like Nutella (at least I don’t think I do; I remember having it on a pancake at a restaurant and not much caring for it), but I still like the song. I’m more in agreement with the one about enjoying breakfast food. I’m not sure it really holds together that well as an album, considering how long it is and how many of the songs are kind of similar, but there are plenty of gems here. Most of them have kind of a lo-fi electronic sound, but there’s also violin on “The Parlour,” a folk feel to “The Jerk” (which is actually about forgetting someone’s birthday), a spoken-word part on “Moon Ranger,” fuzzy guitar on “Tea Duel,” and an incorporation of the Imperial March from Star Wars into “Darth Cuddles.” The sample-heavy “Toothsome Threesome” is about a threesome between Paul Newman, James Dean, and Eartha Kitt, which apparently really happened.

What with the songs each being about a minute long, I was reminded of the Residents’ Commercial Album, which was also all minute-long songs. The thing is, while I first heard of this record years ago, I’d never actually listened to it. I found it on YouTube and I’m listening now, but I’m not sure how long it will stay up or how legal the upload is. The Residents were always a band where I liked the idea behind the band more than I actually liked listening to the songs, but they did some stuff I enjoy. And hey, Andy Partridge contributed to one of the songs on the album. There’s also one called “Fingertips,” which They Might Be Giants have claimed was not a conscious inspiration for their collection of song snippets of the same title, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t influence them on some level.

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2 Responses to Minute Maid

  1. Paul says:

    ohhh the commercial album. bought that one way way back and have always loved it. mind blowing at the time, annoying most of the time but beautiful just the same. Their “Third Reich N Roll” is really awesome. And annoying. And beautiful. Either one will clear a party PDQ.

    • Nathan says:

      I don’t know that the Residents’ albums really stand up to casual repeat listening, but they’re very interesting if you want to devote your attention to them. At least that’s been the case with the ones I’ve heard.

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