Now that the Reader is running these dock totals, maybe you can answer a question for me. Which is the better tuna, yellowfin or bluefin?
— Mark, O.B.
I’ve consulted with a few of my friends around the state who own small, artisan sushi restaurants, and their answers all include phrases like “mouthfeel” and “briny, oceanic, acidity.” I can’t pull that off, so I’ll explain this in terms of indie pop.
Yellowfin is like Death Cab for Cutie, and its greatest strength is its versatility. At its best, anyone can consume it in an emotional, raw state and experience some kind of connection; a sense of, Hey, I like this and it speaks to me somehow. But, even if it’s warmed over and mishandled, yellowfin keeps much of its charm. If all else fails, just cook it and cover it in the metaphorical teriyaki sauce of glib, knowingly clever lyrics. No one will be the wiser.
Bluefin, on the other hand, is more like the Smiths. Bluefin, like any number of legendary Smiths songs, is not to be fiddled with. You don’t dress it up all fancy, you just serve it as is and let the titanic greatness speak for itself. Sure, it’s a bit cliché, but legends become epic for a reason, and it’s no joke when people talk about bluefin as the “king of fish.”
You see, it’s not so much a matter of which is better as much as which is greater. Both are delicious/acoustically excellent, but only one can be the king.