First comes TV, where we are extremely compatible. We both love Buffy, Angel, Alias, Friday Night Lights, The Office, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Arrested Development… a whole host of things. About the only TV show we don’t watch together is Survivor, though I usually drag her in by the finale.
Then come movies, and we’re a little less in line. We do love a lot of the same films, but there are many movies that I love and she either hates or has no desire to see. And on the flip side, she has her favorites that I find little time for.
Finally… music. And here there is almost no overlap at all — mostly because she’s just not into music the way I am. She has her stable of CDs and listens to them often enough, but while driving she’d much rather put on NPR or the XM radio political channel. She finds most of my favorite artists boring at best and annoying at worst, and I rarely find myself searching for the CDs she has stashed in her car.
So that makes it all the more exciting when we find a new artist we’re both crazy about. In recent years that has happened exactly twice. The first was John Mayer. The second was Josh Rouse.
If you don’t know Josh Rouse, you should go buy one or more of his albums immediately. He is one of those criminally underrated musicians who writes impossibly catchy songs but still can’t crack through to mainstream popularity.
I can understand why Rufus Wainwright, say, or Regina Spektor are not platinum-selling artists. Their music is an acquired taste and by definition appeals to a smaller crowd. But Josh Rouse is writing for the masses, and I mean that in the best possible way. His crackerjack pop songs are immediate and engaging, the kind of hook-heavy stuff The Beatles once put out.
‘Winter in the Hamptons’ is the second track on what might be Rouse’s best album (though there’s a lot of competition), Nashville. It’s a hypnotically peppy number that owes a big debt to The Smiths. Listen up… become a fan. If he can bridge the musical gap between Alex and me, he can do anything!