NPR logo Podington Bear: The Song of Every Other Weekday

Podington Bear: The Song of Every Other Weekday

The only known image of the artist currently known as Podington Bear. hide caption

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Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Fantasy and Denouement"
  • Artist: Podington Bear
  • CD: MP3 only
  • Genre: Electronic

At first glance, Podington Bear appears to be a gimmick on top of a gimmick: An anonymous musician takes on the persona of a cartoon bear and releases a new electronic song via podcast three times a week for an entire calendar year. And it is a gimmick on top of a gimmick. Even the music itself doesn't always shy away from cutesy affectation, with "Frogs in Tuxes" exhibiting a tweeness that extends well beyond its title.

But for an entity obligated to anonymously churn out 156 songs in 2007 — here's hoping he or she worked ahead — Podington Bear doesn't look to be running out of ideas. The songs released so far, though not explosively inventive, have run a consistently good-natured gamut from sleek ambient noise to popping, beat-driven party jams. Even if the project weren't being made available to the public for zero dollars, it would be worth seeking out for the likes of "Fantasy and Denouement," which opens in some sort of airport walkway of the future before wending its way into an enticingly fizzy rhythm.

Podington Bear may be heavily indebted to the Aphex Twins and Brian Enos of the world, but he or she shares their ability to inject heart into a genre that can be icy and clinical by nature. "Fantasy and Denouement" pings and plinks and whirs and clatters like a toy machine, but it's also made with the understanding that, when programmed correctly, robots can convey the soul-sick pathos of grieving poets.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'