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3:52 p.m. - March 25, 2006
Barnacle Songs
Ever get a song stuck in your head?

(Duh, ever get wet in the shower?)

Ok, it’s something that we all fall prey too. There’s that one song, just sitting there, in your head, incessantly pounding, pounding, pounding, waiting to break free.

If you have kids, those songs tend to get stuck the most. Sometimes, it’s cool, like “Mah-nah-Mah-nah”. Sometimes, not so much, like the “Backpack” theme song from Dora. And now, Katie has her own toy backpack that plays that song. Kill me now.

Sometimes it’s TV theme songs and jingles, and that can be cool, like when it’s the theme to “Barney Miller” and you just have to break out your air bass and rock along with it. But of course, once it was the damn “Meow Mix” theme song captured in your head.

Well, this week I decided to document the songs that were stuck in my head, many times at rather inopportune moments, like when I was in a conference session, on a conference call, or reading mega-reports when I got back from the office. (Yeah, he again admits to doing work. Right, Smed, right!)

And here we go:

”Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah)” – Joan Jett - Well, this started last week, as I was prepping some mix CDs for folks and I chose this one for various and sundry reasons. I was blasting it on our stereo at home and Katie was bopping along to it and really liking it, just like I did in high school.

Of course, knowing what we ‘suspect’ about Joan, we should have seen the signs back then. She didn’t change the gender on the song. Nope. “I’m a natural MAN, doing what I can.” Well, now.

So this one was just caught up in my noggin, because it’s so incessant and fun and rockin’, so I let it simmer there for a while. Every once in a while these barnacles need to live on your keel, as it were.

(PS – You do realize that was a cover of a Gary Glitter song, and you can download it on iTunes. And knowing what we know about Mr. Glitter, now, and knowing the lyrics to this song, it kind of makes me want to take a shower. Many, many showers.)

Detachable Penis – King Missile - Yeah, there’s nothing like walking along the conference, seeing and greeting people and having this darn thing running through your head.

It’s not so much the lyrics that get to me; it’s the MUSIC to the song. The echoey part at the beginning and the Styx-like organ that carries the tune really get caught in my head. Especially, that organ part, because it’s just so out front and right there. But thankfully, Dennis DeYoung isn’t playing it; otherwise it’d be really weird.

Stay Clean – Motorhead - Ah, another good choice to get stuck in your head. This is classic Motorhead, from the Overkill album. The riff by Fast Eddie is incessant, loud and spot-on, and Lemmy plays the heck out of the bass, even during his bass solo (yep, and it works, too) that is in the place of his guitar solo. It rocks, baby, but when you’re trying to learn about the issues with your new software, you may wanna keep the headbanging to yourself.

Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J - DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK! Yo! And I’m not going to embarrass myself any further by going into the urban lingo, just step off!

Hole In My Shoe – Traffic - So I’m sitting in the airport, waiting, waiting. (I think Robert Frost could have done something lyrical about sitting in an airport. Me, not so much), and I’m being very judicious about my iPod use because, as you have read, I left my charger at home. I’ve called a few friends, and now I’m reading, and for some freakin’ reason, this psychedelic little thing goes right into my head.

And I can’t get it out.

Perhaps you don’t know the song that well. It’s not a Steve Winwood song, it’s a Dave Mason song, and it was big in England but not so much here, and it really is terribly dated, using all of the psychedelic effects (like phasing) that were popular at the time. As a topper, there’s a section where some babble is recited by a child during the bridge.

Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.

And I’m not going to waste my battery trying to extract it from my head. So for about 30 minutes, I’m sitting there with this thing in my noggin.

It’s like suicide.

Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me – Peter Brown - It’s great to have a big selection of tunes on the iPod as you can always get a song out of your head by playing it.

Well, not this one.

Many of you may recall this 1978 disco hit. It was all the rage at the roller rink and the radio. It’s was hot AND funky.

But it’s nowhere to be found in my collection. That is a crying shame, of course. And of course, it’s not on iTunes. (Like I wouldn’t have checked that daily for the past week?)

So the idle mind is the playground for the devil, as the song goes, but this idle mind keeps spinning this song in my head.

Help me!

Mountain Song – Jane’s Addiction - This shouldn’t have been a barnacle, but it was. I was watching “The Alternative” on VH-1 Classic and the video for this came on. I immediately made a note, as that was the perfect song to put on my last CD for a dear friend (in fact, it was the genesis of the final CD I made). So I ambled upstairs after a bit and searched for it on my iTunes.

It wasn’t there.

Oh, I have the CD. Oh, I have OTHER songs from the CD. I just never ripped this one.

And now, I had to go find it.

My CDs are still a mess. I used to have them alphabetized by artist, and then within each artist I arranged them by year of release, with all of the compilations coming at the end.

But I haven’t had time to do that and so everything was everywhere. I have six big Rubbermaid containers with CDs in them.

Of course, this one was in the very last container I picked up and rifled through, and I had to look at it twice. And of course, by that time, this song was totally in my brain, playing endlessly.

But now the song is ripped and in the mix, and now it’s OUT of my head.

Debaser and The Sad Punk – The Pixies . I’m ending this with two songs that just got stuck in my head today.

I was in the shower today, running a bit late as usual (I had an event to attend at the College) and as I was soaping up, the phrases “Slicing up eyeballs” and “Un chien Andalusia” kept repeating over and over in my head.

(Yeah, that’s a bit odd, I know. So sue me. My brain does NOT have to be linear, ya know. Even though I’m a math geek and all, I can still be abstract. I’d LOVE to have seen Dali paint some melting spreadsheets and database servers!)

All the cool kids now that’s from “Debaser”. That’s a song that REQUIRES you play it immediately upon barnacle status.

Later, I had to run to the grocery store. As I was pulling into the parking lot, listening to the final running order to a mix, the “Sad Punk” came on, and all through my shopping trip, I was going:

“I….smell…smoke...that comes from a gun NAMED EXTINCTION!”

(It doesn’t make much sense out of context, does it?)

However, as soon as my groceries were in the car, I could crank this mother up and listen to Joey Santiago spew his guitar all over my eardrums. Heck, yeah!

Well, as you can see, it could be almost any song that gets stuck in my brain, at any time at any place and at any juncture. Right now, I bet ONE of these songs is going through your head, and if you don’t know any of them, I bet you made up a tune anyway!



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