Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Plight of the iPod-less

So, the other day, I was coming home from a class when the battery in my new iPod fizzled out (note to self - buy a damned car charger!!).

Have you seen Jerry Maguire? Remember the scene where Jerry is driving back from the Cushman's after having just sealed their deal, and he's in the mood to sing? Not just any song will do, though, and he scans around until he finds an appropriate Tom Petty tune? Well, I was feeling a little like Jerry Maguire that day. I hadn't sealed any deals or anything, I was just coming back from a class, but I was in a particular mood and wanted to sing.

Anyway, with my iPod in a coma, I had to resort to listening to the radio (oh the HORROR!). I wasn't in the mood for NPR, junkie that I am notwithstanding, so I set my tuner to a quasi-local station and listened for a while. When the song was over, the D.J. came on the air and started some inane babbling for which I have zero patience, so I flipped over to the other station that's preset into my tuner and listened to the end of that song. It seems these two stations are on very similar schedules, though, because as soon as that song finished, the tirade of chatter and commercials commenced.

Frustrated, I hit the scan button on my radio and made a full loop around the dial. Here's a bit of what I got:

One REM song (It's the End of the World as We Know It)

Two (yes, TWO) Queen songs. I stopped to sing with one (Fat Bottomed Girls) and, when that was over and I hit the scan again, I found Killer Queen. Go figure.

Kodachrome from Paul Simon. I stopped to sing with this one, too. I love the line in the beginning that says "If I look back on all the crap I learned in high school / it's a wonder I can think at all." I know, I know, I TEACH high school. Sue me.

FAR more country and western than suited my taste. You'd think we live in Wyoming and not in New England. (shudder)

A couple of offerings of very heavy rock. I recognized one by the voice of the lead singer - I think I have something they did on the Daredevil soundtrack - but I couldn't identify the song.

Only one station offering hip-hop, rappy sort of stuff. I'm guessing that all the extra bandwidth was taken up by the country whiners before hip-hop came to these shores.

Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer. Loved that video.

Two offerings by Maroon 5. Funny story - my husband, his best friend (who I'll write more about later) and I went to a Maroon 5 concert at my university a couple of years ago. I swear to GOD that we were the oldest people there who weren't escorting teenagers to the show. It was almost embarrassing.

In the course of about half an hour, I had made about three trips around the dial, stopping to listen to songs that I like. It was an interesting trip - I got to hear some stuff that I don't have on my iTunes or my iPod (Kodachrome - I should invest in that one) and it inspired me to come home and rip my Rhythm of the Saints CD into my iTunes.

Here's a question that has been burning in my brain for a few days now, and I'm looking for anyone who can give me a reasonably plausible answer. Why is it that, at literally ANY given moment, I have music in my head? How does it get in there? How do the songs change? Seriously - the other day, I got Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" stuck in my head. I was humming, singing, and hearing it inside my head for DAYS. Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just my own personal psychosis? Any ideas?

Oh, and by the way, the current internal selection is another offering from Mr. Joel: Don't Ask Me Why from his Greatest Hits CD. I haven't heard it in years, it's not on my iPod, but there it is, in an endless loop in my head. I'm going to go burn it to iTunes now...


Anonymous claudia said...

Don't know if this helps,but when tunes get stuck in your head they're called "earbugs".Info in DISCOVER magazine said "it occurs more often in women,muscians,and individuals who tend to worry." Also,it"tends to vary across situations,striking when people are tired or under stress."

12:38 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

Really? Well, I'm a woman - but NOT a musician - and I do tend to worry, but not as much, I think, as people think I do.

I can't say, for me personally, that it strikes when I'm tired or under stress. It's a constant condition for me. There's just always music in my head.

It doesn't really bother me too much (unless, of course, someone plants a Barry Manilow or Rod Stewart song in there). I just wondered whether any one else had this experience.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous claudia said...

Sorry,I was responding to the "any ideas?"part of your questions,unless you meant them as rhetorical. I also found that scientists discovered that about 98% of the population will experience this,in varying degrees,at one time or another. You can find a fair amount of the technical stuff regarding "cortexes" and such online if you're still interested.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

No, no - I AM looking for answers - I wasn't being rhetorical at all. I was just saying that this is pretty much a full-time thing for me and isn't, as far as I can tell, related at all to my stress levels.

So, 98% of the population has this? I wonder how much of that percentage is conscious of it. Honestly, most of the time I don't even think about it (being, as it is, a natural state for me). The only time I mind it is when I have a song stuck in there that I'm not particularly fond of.

What I really want to know, though, is HOW certain songs get in there? There have to be triggers somewhere in the environment, but I'll be damned if I know what they are most of the time. Last summer, for example, I got Vacation by the Go-Gos in my head and had NO idea how it got there. Husband mentioned that a snippet of it was played at a baseball game we went to, but I was under the stands guarding girls against sunburn and didn't "hear" it at the time. That song I can account for, but how did the current Billy Joel selection get in there? I have NO idea.


7:03 PM  
Anonymous nhfalcon said...

I know how my wife gets songs stuck in her head - I put them there! :)

It never fails. If I feel like being a schmuck (which is quite often, I admit), I'll start singing "If I Only Had A Brain" and she'll be humming it back to me a half hour later without even realizing it. :)

8:55 PM  

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