Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Songs that Will Play on a Loop in Your Head ‘Til You Die…But Still Kinda Rule

A researcher at the University of Cincinnati reported in 2001 that the theme from Gilligan’s Island, We Will Rock You, the Macarena, Whoomp (There It Is), and It’s a Small World After All are some of the most frequently reported songs playing on a psychotic loop inside brains cross the country. He asserts that what these songs have in common is a melodic simplicity and inherent repetitiveness that render them not songs, but a “cognitive itch” scratched by mentally singing the tune over and over. We assert that what they have in common is grave levels of abject suckitude. While we know that individual on-repeat songs are personal (a roommate wakes up singing ODB’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya every day, a friend has had Electric Avenue on brain repeat for two decades), these are ours. For the most part, we forgive them.

Songs that Will Play on a Loop in Your Head ‘Til You Die…But Still Kinda Rule
(Complete mixtape available on Blip.fm)

1. Squeeze – Another Nail for my Heart
Kai says: It never stops. I basically make up my own words to it. Well, I also sing the line “I’ve had a bad time, now love is resigned, I’ve been such a fool, I’ve loved and goodbyed” pretty damn dramatically.

2. Wham! – Careless Whisper
Kai says: I once tried to teach my bird the saxophone solo.

3. The Left Banke – Walk Away Renee
4. The Rolling Stones – Under My Thumb

Kai says: I blame these on years of working at a health food store that only played an oldies station. Something about the repetitiveness of pricing vitamins and the dire, gloomy feeling of knowing you still had hours to go, all while stuck in that awful health food smell put these songs on a permanent loop in my head.

5. Outkast – Hey Ya
Kai says: The part about lending me some sugar, I am your neighbor is basically what’s in my head if I’m not actively thinking something else.

6. Ghost Town DJs – My Boo
Kathy says: I didn’t even know who did this song until I had to find it on Blip for this mix, and then when I brought it up to other people they insisted they didn’t know it. It’s one of those songs where you have to sing the first two lines of the chorus and then everyone’s all, “Oooooh, I know that sonnnnng.” But then everyone loses. Because you’ll be singing it until you die.

7. Blake Babies – Temptation Eyes
Kathy says: There’s a couple good cover versions of this song by the Grass Roots (the Replacements one is really good too), which is a small relief when you have it lodged in your head. At least you can swap lead singers in and out like a wrestling tag team.

8. Rod Stewart – Young Turks
Kathy says: It’s really hard to think of songs that you get stuck in your head when you don’t currently have one stuck in your head. This was not the case with this fucker, which I remembered almost instantly. The kicker was searching my own blog for the phrase “stuck in my head,” and turning up ONLY this song.

9. Dinosaur Jr. – Not You Again
Kathy says: I actually love this song and look forward to the weeks when I can do nothing but sing “just fuck it up yourself” or “driiiive me home again” every time I open my mouth.

10. Social Distortion – Ball and Chain
Kathy says: This song is the soundtrack to an endless drunken bar singalong in some wrinkle of my cerebellum.

11. Lisa Loeb – Stay
Kathy says: You know how on South Park, Cartman has to sing the entirety of “Come Sail Away” if he hears the first few words? Yeah. I know how he feels.

12. The Crew Cuts – Sh-Boom
Kathy says: Yes, this is enough to drive you to homicide. Yes, it was in Clue. Yes, it was me, in the parlor, with the candlestick. Pounding on my own skull.

13. The Monroes – What Do All The People Know?
Kathy and Kai say: This is the first song to show up on both of our lists. This means it is the end all of repetitive songs. It’s the red phone. Listen at your own risk.

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