If you do not think you have heard "Young Folks," you should think again. Listen to it if you think I am wrong. Or watch the music video to refresh your memory:
In the waning months of 2006 it was everywhere. In November the song was featured on the ABC show Grey's Anatomy, and it made scores of 2006 end-of-year best-of lists, even of the non-indie variety. As Pitchfork put it in naming the song #5 on its own best-tracks list,
In a year of The Long Tail-- when nobody didn't have a website (not even Ryan Adams), and music listening followed TV viewing and political wingnuttery into Big Bang-style fragmentation-- "Young Folks" belonged to everyone.With its retro-1990s break beat and its catchy but empty whistle riff, "Young Folks" was a perfectly sweet, semi-irono dance number to warm our autumns, and even winters. It was respectable ear candy to modestly rock our modest urban houseparties. It should have ended there.
And yet here we are in March, with SXSW just days away, and Peter Bjorn and John seem to be on the short list to be (in the lamentably accurate term) the "buzz band" that emerges from the festival as the New Voice of a Generation or some such.
For more on why this is deeply problematic, wait for my next entry.