HENRY first met musician Teddy Blanks in Buffalo Exchange’s changing rooms. Nothing sultry ensured. We’d been summoned by his girlfriend for a fashion consultation, and happily offered commentary as Teddy tested new looks. Teddy himself remarked little on the garments. Instead he appraised every song played over the shop’s sound system. As a connoisseur of pop, the airwaves were where Teddy’s attention lay, and over time he’s furnished HENRY with an appreciation for the medium. Pop musicians can’t armor their art in intellectualization, can’t claim “You just don’t get it.” No, a pop song must be instantaneously catchy, structurally lithe, and consummately lucid.
Teddy’s new single “Famous Friends” accomplishes all three of these feats. It’s surprising, then, that a musician who insists upon bouncy clarity in his own work favors the often befuddling fiction of postmodernist author Donald Barthelme. Hear what Teddy sees in Barthelme’s short story “The Ballon”, and a Top 100-worthy reading of the text.