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August 20, 2010

Friday Earworm Thread

But soft! What fresh Hell
Outside my office window breaks?

[peering outside cautiously].

Ah! 'Tis a member (we use the word advisedly) of the paint crew, singing 'My Sharona'. Sadly the Editorial Staff cannot say that the air guitar, though enthusiastically rendered, adds anything to the performance. Feel free to add your list of Top Ten Songs You'd Least Like To Hear Some 20 Year Old Dude With A Ripped Off T-Shirt Belting Out From Beneath Your Office Window in the comments.

This should get you into the proper frame of mind:

1. Baby's Got Back (I Like Big Butts)

2. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I got love in my tummy)

3. Loving You (Is Easy Cuz You're Beautiful)

4. Don't Stop (Make it Pop)

URGENT CORRECTION! We are reliably informed by Grim (whose word we accept without question on All Matters Gaga) that we previously displayed the wrong pop tart for "Don't Stop (Make it Pop)". From henceforth, we propose to trust Grim's cultural expertise over that of the heathens at YouTube:

Wea culpa. Wea culpa maxima....

5. Dancing Queen (Abba)

6. Barbie Girl

7. Sugar, Honey Honey
8. Party in the USA
9. I Believe in Miracles (You Sexy Thing)
10. Achy Breaky Heart
11. Afternoon Delight
12. Bette Davis Eyes
13. Don't You Want Me, Baby?

SECOND IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Oh. My. God. I did not know a man's voice could go that high.

Posted by Cassandra at August 20, 2010 11:58 AM

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Comments

Seasons in the Sun.

Posted by: Cricket at August 20, 2010 12:38 PM

OMG.

Hate, hate, HATE that song! :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 12:46 PM

1. "Anything a 20-year-old is likely to know well enough to sing."

BTW, I have the misfortune of being able to tell you that the song you have attributed to Lady GaGa is actually properly attributed to one "Kei$ha." It's a song that has been bothering me since the first time I encountered it.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 01:02 PM

Grim, I will have to take your word for it.

I have studiously been trying to avoid knowing anything about Lady Gaga for at least 18 months now...

I plan to console myself for the loss of innocence you just inflicted upon me by reminding myself that knowing that "Don't Stop, Make it Pop" was performed by Kei$ha does not technically violate that longstanding vow :p

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 01:07 PM

At least the animated Disney Mickey Mouse Show "Hot Dog Song" is gone from my ears. Bach, that's what I need. Wendy Carlos.

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 01:21 PM

As you wish. I'd tell you that my own sense is that Kei$ha is stridently worse; but that would require you to know something about the other one, if only her direction on a range.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 01:21 PM

Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun :)

Posted by: I'm in Hell.... at August 20, 2010 01:31 PM

Faster: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Brandenburg Concerto #3, part1

... the candlesticks are dancing now, the candlesticks are dancing now ...

I suppose it's an earwig if you don't like Bach.

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 01:31 PM

I feel like a woman

Posted by: tomg51 at August 20, 2010 01:52 PM

"Lady in Red".

Even worse b/c red is my best color.

Posted by: Please, please kill me now... at August 20, 2010 01:54 PM

It is with the utmost trepidation at revealing my hitherto unrealized ignorance of the existence of anybody calling herself Lady GaGa that I reveal my ignorance of the existence of anybody calling herself Lady GaGa.

Or Kei$ha.

And I have no idea how the Mickey Mouse Hot Dog Song goes.

There are certain advantages to not having a television or a radio...

Posted by: BillT at August 20, 2010 01:56 PM

I had heard of (and seen photos of - how can you miss her?) Gaga.

Kei$ha was new to me.

Posted by: Please, please kill me now... at August 20, 2010 01:58 PM

witty reference to the author
Seasons in the Sun

Posted by: tomg51 at August 20, 2010 02:06 PM

Oh. My. God. I did not know a man's voice could go that high.

See 3:19.

Although you'd better mute between :46 and :48 if there are children about...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I&feature=related

Posted by: BillT at August 20, 2010 02:08 PM

I had heard of (and seen photos of - how can you miss her?) Gaga.

They don't publish an Iraqi edition of the National Inquirer...

Posted by: BillT at August 20, 2010 02:20 PM

See 3:19

OK, that was scary :)

Posted by: Please, please kill me now... at August 20, 2010 02:25 PM

I have to say that for the decade I was a disk jockey, and ever after, the song I hated most was "Cherish", by the Association; mostly because it seemed like every other request we got was for that, with an accompanying dedication. We finally had to put a limit on it, no more than six plays a day. There were times the list of name-to-name on an evening playing lasted longer than playing it twice."For ... Suzy (in Fee Hall) from Bill (in Wonders Hall) ... Blonde Suzy in Fee from Bill in Wonders Annex ..."

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 03:03 PM

Cass,

If you really want revenge, simply open your window, put your head out and tell him where the nearest Karaoke bar is. He'll most likely die of embarrassment, but since you don't need to be registered to use that in Maryland, you should be fine with the cops.

Posted by: MikeD at August 20, 2010 03:12 PM

I enjoyed the late, great John Denver. However, even 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' drove me around the bend. I still cringe whenever I hear it, and I first heard it 39 years ago. Every single dj in LA played it every hour, on the hour, 24/7. Except KRLA and KLRB (the *mellow* station in Carmel)

Posted by: Cricket at August 20, 2010 03:20 PM

Hm. What music do you use to get rid of earworm?

Posted by: Cricket at August 20, 2010 03:21 PM

Klingon opera.

Posted by: BillT at August 20, 2010 03:30 PM

Bach. There's some linked above, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 03:47 PM

"One Way or Another" (i'm gonna get you get you get you get you...)
Blondie

The only defense is "Free Falling", Tom Petty

Posted by: tomg51 at August 20, 2010 03:55 PM

Free fallin' is one of those songs I never get tired of. Not sure why, because usually when songs are overplayed I end up hating them with a passion.

I can't listen to most Beatles songs for that very reason.

Posted by: Does this dress make my craters look too big? at August 20, 2010 03:58 PM

Well, if we're going to go with favorites, I have to say I've not heard better than Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing as recorded at Carnegie Hall.

On the other hand, I always liked Chuck Berry, but his My Ding-a-Ling always got next to me.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 20, 2010 04:25 PM

Cricket - depends on the earworm in question. I may use opera (Domingo singing "nessun Dorma" is a start) or classical choral music. But if it's a serious problem, GothPunk (Within Temptation "Our Solemn Hour" or anything by Night Wish.) Marko, the Munchkin Wrangler, puts on headphones and blasts Ramstein at his earworms, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the few brain cells I have left to that group.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at August 20, 2010 04:45 PM

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. . . ."

And I second the motion on "Seasons in the Sun."

Posted by: Texan99 at August 20, 2010 09:35 PM

A second to Cherish and Seasons in the Sun, Cherish is by far the worse.

I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing made me switch to Pepsi and then I found out Pepsi had ties to It's A Small World, so I switched to wine.

Posted by: Donna B. at August 20, 2010 11:10 PM

Dionne Warwick's Do You Know the Way to San Jose. As far as that goes, most any song by her composed by Burt Bacharach.

Posted by: Glenn at August 20, 2010 11:11 PM

"It's a small world" I was afraid someone would say that. That's what "Cherish" replaced. I only went on the ^%$@!#^% ride ONCE and it was stuck in my ears for years.

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 11:26 PM

http://www.youtube.com/v/Rx8m0LZWRp8

Posted by: Eric Blair at August 21, 2010 12:28 AM

The Pina Colada song was good. Usually songs with a good melody are easily forgotten, but the ones with good lyrics and melody are hard to forget.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 04:50 AM

The definitive Barbie Girl recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF04SRz1FO0

Posted by: FbL at August 21, 2010 08:20 AM

I don't know which is scarier, Fuzzybee -- that you went looking for it, or that you knew it existed in the first place...

Posted by: BillT at August 21, 2010 08:55 AM

Found it a long time ago by accident while looking at funny soldier videos.

Posted by: FbL at August 21, 2010 10:20 AM

What is actually scaiest is that he obviously knows all the words! I love his buddy's reactions, though.

Posted by: FbL at August 21, 2010 10:26 AM

'American Pie.' Part of the reason I use 'Cricket' as my moniker is a nod to Buddy Holly & the Crickets. That song, however, is a nasty strain of the earworm species. Think Chekov and Dr. McCoy in 'The Wrath of Khan.' You will do anything to get rid of it...

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2010 01:38 PM

Don't Stop(Make it Pop) is vile. That is beyond truly awful. Even the Young Man is shocked I am listening to this. He is whimpering in the corner. He might need therapy.

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2010 01:42 PM

Even the Young Man is shocked I am listening to this. He is whimpering in the corner.

I made it to :23 before it triggered my tinnitus.

The tinnitus has a better backbeat...

Posted by: BillT at August 21, 2010 03:35 PM

FbL -- His sisters must be -so- embarrassed. I wonder if they're older or younger? It did clean out the It's a Small World, which is very good.

Grim -- glad you enjoyed it, and hope that you (and the others) went on to parts ii and iii; the allegro is so fast and precise it seems magical, and the video shows how hard they're working. Now to fix my OpenID....

Posted by: htom at August 21, 2010 04:28 PM

"URGENT CORRECTION! We are reliably informed by Grim (whose word we accept without question on All Matters Gaga)"--The Blog Princess

Does this mean Grim has gone Gaga?

Bill, while I am sorry you have tinnitus, I think you were better off with it than hearing that horridness.

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2010 06:34 PM

Fbl, I kept hearing echoes after I heard that song.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 08:58 PM

He was singing inside an AFV, Ymar. They echo in there...

Posted by: BillT at August 22, 2010 01:05 AM

I've been considering the question, Cricket, of modern music. Aesthetics is one of my interests. As you know, my general position is that everything after Johnny Cash is crap.

What's more interesting, though, is the question of why it's crap. Gaga's music is bad because it's empty. The music, like her performances, shows every sign of having been constructed by someone who is trying to cover emotional disinterest with technical complexity.

That carries through to the costuming, the dance maneuvers, and the actual music itself. They don't care about what they're doing in the slightest; they're just doing it because it fits a formula.

Kei$ha is worse. Her music and such are likewise empty formula. Instead of trying to get attention with elaborate costume and dance routines, though, they've fallen back on the allure of the morally depraved. I don't know if the young woman understands just how depraved she is being portrayed as being, or if she's just being used as a vehicle for those who are trying to profit off of her.

Once you've worked out the reasons its bad, of course, it's no longer worth watching. The only thing interesting about it is the philosophical critique of it. The stuff itself is banal to the point of boring.

Posted by: Grim at August 22, 2010 08:32 AM

The four chord music is full of harmony and pleasant to hear in a melodious context.

But once you put some cacophony ontop of the chords or change the tempo, then things become off the beaten track of aesthetics. What would otherwise have been pleasant, is not discordant.

Several of the Japanese created artistic openings and endings were very uplifting or sorrowful or tragic. It hit different emotional tones at different times, always with an exact change of tempo to match the visuals on screen.

Some aren't good or are simply uninteresting, but most are very nice works of artistic creativity and choreography. And the special ones, don't ever get old once you know the feelings and experiences of the characters in the story.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 22, 2010 10:07 AM

Correction: is now discordant.

As for Keisha, half of what these people try to sing, I have no understanding of. It's the perfect block and counter for propaganda. You have to understand the visuals and meanings behind words, for it to affect you.

Like illusion magic, you have to believe in the illusion for it to work. Without belief, there is no awesome power behind the trick. Belief, the strongest WMD.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 22, 2010 10:12 AM

All empty formulaic music is crap, and of course much commercial pop music fits that bill. But I don't think music has gotten more formulaic. In any age most commercial pop music is that way, but we remember the standout music that was not from the time when we were still listening to a lot of new music.

I became resistant to hearing or appreciating anything new after the age of 25 or 30. Not completely impervious, but much more resistant. Now I'm just like my dad: "All that modern stuff sounds alike! Boomba boomba boom!"

So I'm off to my iTunes list to see what's been written since the sublime Johnny Cash that's not crap to my aged ears. "Message of Love," by Chrissie Hynde? "Modern Love," by David Bowie? "Save it for Later," by The English Beat? "Romeo and Juliet," Dire Straits? "Solsbury Hill," Peter Gabriel? You see I can't even drag myself out of the 1980s. Just about the only more recent thing I found on my list of favorites was "Smooth," which was a hit in 1999.

Posted by: Texan99 at August 22, 2010 10:35 AM

Grim,
I agree with everything you have said, and here is why: When one is raising children, you reach the point of actually having to explain your position to them instead of retreating to the safe-but-no-longer-viable 'Because I am the parent.'

I also agree based on the fact that my late mother was a musician. She played the piano and was a vocal coach. I deeply regret not studying with her, as she was a genius. BUT she let us 'listen' for ourselves. She did this because she knew the background she gave us in classical, jazz and contemporary music was the foundation, or the acid test of what we would listen to as adults.

She also schooled us in Scripture; I remember her telling me the story of David and how he danced before the Lord, why music was critical in the teaching and learning process.

I did take voice lessons from her for a year. I can carry a tune, but I lack the in-depth training to be truly good. My daughter, OTOH, is amazing. She is not the 10 year old opera prodigy, but she loves music and is working to hone her skill and craft. She loathes Lady Gaga and Madonna. She loves Josh Groban, Lily Pons (I am really dating myself here...) and Julie Andrews.

Posted by: Cricket at August 22, 2010 11:06 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkQZxZ9uVwY&feature=related

I like that song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrvodSr3JmA&feature=related

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 22, 2010 12:26 PM

Texan, check out Celtic Women, Evanescence, and Haley Westenra.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 22, 2010 12:28 PM

http://www.williamhagen.com/p04.asp

This is so...sigh. Definitely kills earworms.

Posted by: Cricket at August 22, 2010 02:16 PM

Celtic Women's best material is Renaissance in origin, though; which is all very well, really. It's fine to say that a band is 'formulaic' if it plays folk music, which has been popular in largely the same form for centuries: that suggests the form is good.

The problem with the current form is that it is not good; it is empty.

The Johnny Cash reference was more a sketch than a formal position. There is some good music being written today: especially in film scores, but sometimes even in electronica. Folk music and early music consorts are doing some exciting things. So, there's a lot of good stuff going on; just, somehow, none of it is on the radio.

Posted by: Grim at August 22, 2010 09:32 PM

Ghosts, bill... could it be ghosts doing the echos?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 23, 2010 10:05 AM

Hah.

The ghosts I know would be more likely singing this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTs6a0ORdQU&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: BillT at August 23, 2010 11:34 AM

I actually let my kids listen to the unedited version of 'A Boy Named Sue.' I was always a fan of Shel Silverstein's poetry. Johnny Cash turned it into a legend. I would love to see a movie out of it.

Posted by: Cricket at August 23, 2010 12:18 PM

I could see Grim playing both Sue (he's going to hurt me for that) and his dad, through the miracle of CGI blue screen...

Posted by: BillT at August 23, 2010 12:55 PM

You know, I named my son "Beowulf." I expect to be the old man with the gun, before it's over.

Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2010 01:07 PM

He's already older than three, so you should be safe until you light out and leave the guitar behind...

Posted by: BillT at August 23, 2010 02:11 PM

Heh. I even cast the movie after I first heard the song way back in the 60s...and I was a Young One.

I had Clint Eastwood for the Lad Named Sue, and Kirk Douglas for his dad.

Posted by: Cricket at August 23, 2010 04:53 PM

Cricket, were you a movie director/producer in another life?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2010 10:51 AM

I should have been. I cast Alan Rickman as Severus Snape the second we finished 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' in 1998.

I love casting movies from the books I read. That is another dweeby habit...I read a book, cast it, then see if it has gone in production. It has been a pleasant surprise that some of my choices have been selected.

It seems to work better with older characters, as the actors in the age range are known, but sometimes there is an unknown, so that is half the fun.

The Engineer gifted me with the complete series of 'Jeeves and Wooster' with Fry and Laurie. Total bliss.

Posted by: Cricket at August 24, 2010 12:24 PM

Sorry for one more post: I loved P.G. Wodehouse, but didn't quite get it until I started watching Monty Python's Flying Circus back in the 70s. At that time, I had cast Eric Idle as Jeeves and John Cleese as Bertie Wooster.

When the 'new' series surfaced, I was in KY and caught only one episode. The next 19 years were spent chasing it around public television, and then, the internet.

Posted by: Cricket at August 24, 2010 02:22 PM

Are you then a member of the produce a movie yourself program, Bill Whittle recently broadcasted about?

It is a movement designed to attempt to produce and market movies for and by Americans, rather than the current Hollywood trend of marketing for the world because the world supplies the money for movie production.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2010 02:23 PM

WHAT? I have not heard of this. You might have created a monster here at Chez Cass.

I shall be checking it out. I have several television series in mind, and not a few of them are based on sci-fi and, for laughs and giggles, one based on Starfleet Academy.

heh.

In other news, I am debating the Marxists in my Econ 204 class. I am kind and gentle, but it is still like shooting fish in a barrel.

*giggling madly*

Posted by: Cricket at August 26, 2010 10:45 AM

The problem is, can any of us act?

Posted by: Grim at August 26, 2010 10:51 AM

Of course you can act. I did go check it out...it seems like a worthwhile investment of my entertainment dollars.

First up would be James Clavell's 'Children's Story.' We'll go from there. I wonder if we should do a reader's theatre online of some kewl poetry and short stories?

Sort of a better version of Whats-his-name in the Egyptian Deli?

Posted by: Cricket at August 26, 2010 02:17 PM

Grim has all the fight choreography done, so you don't need a stunt double for him.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2010 12:11 PM

You might have created a monster here at Chez Cass.

I'm always doing my part to create massive biological weapons of war.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2010 12:14 PM

Heh. Other earworms: ANYTHING on Guitar Hero and Rockband.

AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

We close the basement door and flee the house when the Young Man and his friends or the CLUs start to rock out. Dang Wii. They 'wii, wii, wii'ed' us all the way home this spring.'

Posted by: Cricket at August 28, 2010 11:38 AM

It could have been worse, Cricket...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr2jlCyCJBI&feature=related

Posted by: BillT at August 28, 2010 04:19 PM

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