At The Mercy of my Mental Jukebox

It’s always unfortunate to find yourself in the situation where a song that you haven’t heard in a while makes its way into your head, refusing to leave. We’ve all been there, you’re walking through the grocery store, debating on whether to spend the extra fifty cents on the fresh basil, when suddenly your mind turns into a boombox, tuned to a station from hell. One minute you’re ducking the mister in the produce aisle, the next you’re trying hopelessly to get Love Is A Battlefield out of your skull.

Lately my brain has been the number 1 fan of the devil’s radio station, alternating every genre and long forgotten artists with current pop hits and the occasional children’s song. I’m left to wonder if this may be a warning sign of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease… how else could one explain my recent infatuation with The Doors’ Peace Frog (trust me, once that organ gets in there, there’s no getting it out)? Unfortunately, in the last few days I’ve been lucky to have a few Doors jams in my head, as my current top 40 is far worse. If you were to run wires out of my ears and into a pair of speakers, you could solve nearly any world conflict in roughly 24 hours… after the 30th spin of Bennie & The Jets (not the whole song, just the annoying section with Elton screaming “BENNIE!” in that high-pitched, stammering massacre of sound) all parties would surrender their demands, joining forces to kill me.

So, since misery loves company, I thought I might share a few of the tunes that are causing me such agony of late. A variety of songs, in which “good” or “bad” is irrelevant. Even your favorite song grows incredibly tiresome after about the 5,000th spin of the chorus, and your least favorite song makes you want to hang yourself. It’s my theory that Kurt Cobain wasn’t actually suicidal, he’d just had the misfortune of walking around Seattle with I Want A New Drug stuck in his head for weeks, at a certain point there’s only one way out. So, I’d like to present the top ten songs that have been mercilessly stuck in my head for the last month… prepare yourselves to become very, very angry with me.

10. I Want A New Drug – Huey Lewis & The News

The very song that may have killed Cobain has put me on a similar path to self destruction in the past few days. With many of these songs, I can’t even begin to understand where they came from. With this one, I know the culprit. I found myself watching a classic episode of The Simpsons a few nights ago, one in which this particular jam was featured… it’s been rattling around in my head since that moment. Normally I have nothing but praise for Matt Groening’s creation, but thanks to that snappy writing and wry, cutting-edge humor, I’m now stuck with not only Huey Lewis, but The News.

9. Mark Chesnutt – Too Cold At Home

No idea where this one came from, other than the possibility that when it gets this hot, your brain just looks for songs about how incredibly hot it is. Fortunately, I’ve been able to avoid Buster Poindexter’s Hot Hot Hot… oh… dear… God. There it is. There could be no more miserable feeling than accidentally tricking your brain into playing Hot Hot Hot on repeat, and I have just done it. Curse this list!

8. Buster Poindexter – Hot Hot Hot

Clearly a late entry into the top ten… but since It’s the only sound I can hear right now I think it may have earned the number 8 spot. I do have to admit, I don’t really hate this song. Even with a decade’s worth of karaoke and Toyota commercials, I still really enjoy it. I’m sure all of that will change by this time next month when I’m still singing “Ole’ Ole’, Ole’ Ole'” at the gas pump. Hot Hot Hot is a prime example of the type of song that gets stuck in the ol’ noggin… it’s catchy, incredibly addictive and you’re not really quite sure what the words are. Well, all but three of them, and and the occasional Ole’.

7. Coolio – 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin New)

In 1995 it was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to miss this song. I have no way of knowing how many house parties, dance clubs, strip clubs, barbecues, car stereos and portable cd players were playing this song at the exact same time, but I’d imagine that actually knowing that number could cause a rip in the space/time continuum that could destroy us all. 12 years later, there’s not a party that can’t be livened up by tossing in a lil’ Coolio… except maybe for the party in my head. The hundreds of uninvited guests occupying my skull, drinking forties and dancing around are starting to get to me.

6. VengaBoys – We Like To Party

This was a regular staple of my inner play list in the late 90’s and early 00’s, fueled by the agony of working in a record shop during its release. I’d come to terms with the song, finally laying it to rest somewhere around 2001, when Six Flags decided to make the painfully annoying track the official theme of the park, and the official theme of creepy old men dancing around the park. A few years later, a young girl had her feet severed at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom… coincidence? If you ask me, the police should have focused more on the creepy old man sabotaging rides and collecting children’s feet!

Note: Take notice of the fact that the video is subtitled… in English. Can anyone explain that?

5. Britny Fox – Girl School

Of all the 80’s hair band hit singles, this one may have been the most completely unnecessary of the bunch. It is both totally unremarkable and absolutely memorable, creating an amazing paradox that only Britny Fox could actually explain. Unfortunately, you will never hear this explanation, as you will never be fully prepared to experience the kind of rock that Mr. Fox has to offer. It’s not so much the chorus or the opening riff that sticks in my head (although both certainly do), it’s the moment in which the front man/woman/Britny screeches, “You’re staying after schoooooooooool!” Imagine, if you will, hearing that mournful cry upwards of 50 times in any given day, then you’ll start to understand the cruel and unusual punishment my brain inflicts on me at every turn.

Note: The look on the “square” teacher’s face when she cuts the headphone cord is priceless. It’s as if she’s thinking, “Oh my God, by cutting this girl off from her Britny Fox, I’ve forced myself to attend a Britny Fox concert! What have I done!?” Which, I’d imagine, is a fairly natural response to that situation. From this point forth I promise to be extremely careful with headphones, for fear of severing the cord and accidentally causing Britny Fox to appear in my living room.

4. Dropkick Murphys – For Boston

It’s not just that this song sticks in my head, it’s that I have absolutely no idea what the words actually are. Once it kicks up I start singing my heart out, yelling “FOR BOSTON, FOR BOSTON!” only to trail off into “Ahummagummabaaddaabooboo Abuggabuggamuhbaddaahoohoo… FOR BOSTON, FOR BOOOOOSTON badababbabadadooo!” Literally, that’s what it sounds like in my head, over and over again. I’ve read the lyrics, I’ve tried matching them to the song, I just can’t do it. I’m on the verge of a recurring nightmare involving me, the hit Fox television game show “Don’t Forget The Lyrics,” a million dollar prize and this song. If you were to tell me what he’s saying right now, I promise that I wouldn’t remember five minutes later, I have a mental block that prevents me from learning the words to this particular song, which makes its permanent residency in my brain much, much more painful.

3. Leon Redbone – Mr. Belvedere Theme

This is a strong, strong contender for the top spot, as I don’t really believe that I’ve gone a month since the show’s initial release without actually singing it. This theme song is truly in a class of distinction, a member of the Mt. Rushmore of television theme songs (right up there with Perfect Strangers, The Jeffersons & Dallas… imagine for one second an giant mountain carved up with the images of Mr. Belvedere, Balki, George Jefferson and J.R. Ewing, if that’s not a tourist attraction then I don’t know what is… Furnace Mountain, watch out). Since this list is ranking the songs that are currently in my head, Mr. B must settle for 3rd place, although he’s likely to stay in the 4-2 range at any given moment.

2. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Just Like Honey

After the release of Lost In Translation, I found myself humming this song over and over again for the first time in years. Time passed, it went away, then TJ&MC decided to reunite and do a few gigs around the states. Needless to say, it weaseled its way back into my brain, where it has lived for about two months. I haven’t actually gotten to the point of full-on outrage with this one just yet, as I genuinely enjoy listening to it at work, in the car and even in my head. However, the writing is on the wall, the end is coming for these Scottish lads. Nothing’s quite as effective at killing a great mood than some mopey, droning guitar. “Hey guys, want to come over and drink beer? We can slide on the slip-n-slide and eat cotton candy!” “No, I can’t make it, I can’t get this song out of my head.”

1. M.A.S.K. – Original Theme

There are a few things that you need to know. First, M.A.S.K. was the greatest toy/cartoon combo, ever. I mentioned the idea of a television Mt. Rushmore earlier, well, this one would feature M.A.S.K., He-Man, Transformers and G.I. Joe… I wouldn’t just visit that landmark, I’d move there. Secondly, I not only have this song on my iPod, I have the full, two minute and fifty-four second version.

My friend John found this online a few weeks ago, then decided to share. As a result, I’ve been riding hot on Venom’s trail for many, many days. He also found it necessary to send me the theme to Pole Position, which is rapidly climbing the “stuck in my head” charts… “Pole Positioooooon! Only their uncle knows! Hey-Oh, Hey-Oh, Hey-Oh!”

So that’s it, the agony of my internal playlist from hell, shared with you so as to make your day just as maddening as my own. If I’m acting squirrelly in the next few days, it’s probably because I’m suffering from severe mood swings brought on by my desire both fight crime and cry in my beer. Just give me a minute, it should pass.

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6 Responses to “At The Mercy of my Mental Jukebox”

  1. david Says:

    jarvis, alfred, & mr belvedere…god like manservants
    i had the doors stuck in my head on a drive back from WV on saturday.
    also on the trip in WV, i discussed huey lewis with the several youth from another church. they had never heard of huey lewis!!! i’m guesing thy had never seen christian bale’s bloodlust either, but decided not to bring it up.
    that’s the third TJ&MC reference i’ve heard in the last couple of weeks.
    can’t believe MASK was brought back to memory. however, i’m sure there’ll be a movie for it soon.

  2. Yoshimura Says:

    Ohhh, man, that MASK intro is tooooo good.

  3. Zack Says:

    Well, i think you did your job, my friend, because that damn MASK cong is stuck in my head and I can’t get it out now.
    BTW, what happened with Saturday morning cartoons having actual theme songs that were both full length and rocking. It seemed like every cartoon, even Disney cartoons, had awesome theme songs, now, it’s what, ike 10 seconds of techno mapped over some shot of shit blowing up?

  4. paul baylay Says:

    So here’s the thing.. i woke up 3am Monday morning with Huey Lewis & The News so loud in my head i kinda wondered who was playing with the volume switch and more to the point who had stuck the damn song in there to begin with. But after much trepidation and embattlement i finally managed to delete it from my head…………………… until three minutes ago………… but maybe that’s not so bad as i can see “The Cars”, “Twisted Sister” and “Ace of Bass” all in the queue behind Huey. So maybe i should leave it on repeat ad naseum after all. Great blog by the way.

  5. Daxon Says:

    This fekkin’ rocks man! I just can’t believe it. You tube may be the thing that eclipses the internet as the invention that most changes human life as we know it. Naturally, you could argue that Youtube could not exist without the internet, but people who would argue that are just missing the point, aren’t they?

  6. Heather Says:

    Britney Fox…………..

    Metal Edge ruled.

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