Monday, December 24, 2012

Father Christmas

Occupy Xmas! First holiday song that's been in my head this season that I haven't actually heard in the Ethers yet.

Artist: The Kinks
Year: 1977
Rating: Luke Hot

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Splish Splash

How was I to know there was a party goin' on?

Artist: Bobby Darin
Year: 1958
Rating: Warm

Friday, December 14, 2012

Count It Higher

Fantastic song to wake up to! One of the very best from the Sesame Street oeuvre, in my head for no particular reason at all. Patterned after the ubiquitous 60's hit Twist and Shout, writer/singer Christopher Cerf completely commits to the rock 'n' roll vocal on this educational ditty. This is the kind of song that makes a kid feel fucking cool watching Sesame Street!

Artist: Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats (Christopher Cerf, Jeff Moss, and Jerry Nelson)
Year: 1973
Rating: Hot!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sour Times

Emerged in consciousness after a night traipsing through the rain in the Mission, content, curious, and just a shade of lonely.

Artist: Portishead
Year: 1994
Rating: Warm

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama, Redux

Last in my head on July 30, 2009

Immediate upon waking, clear as a freshly pressed vinyl album in 1974.

Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Year: 1974
Rating: Warm

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If You Could Read My Mind

This is one of those songs that makes me so deeply grateful that I was a kid in the 70s and got to hear it on the radio in my mom's car, in my sisters' cars, over and over again. The words are so seemlessly embedded in my head and so beautifully constructed that the specific, sad beauty is easily glossed over.

Artist: Gordon Lightfoot
Year: 1970
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, November 18, 2012


(You'll have to play this video once to be amused by the hamster, and once to actually hear the song! "Nibbler" is quite distracting, but cute.)

This song has been in my head for weeks, but today was the first time I woke with it. Unbelievably, this is the first Aimee Mann song hitting the blog, despite the fact that she's one of my faves, and that I've seen her at least three times live. This morning, the song was ushered in by a dream: I was having a conversation with Aimee (clearly, we were on a first-name basis in my dream), and with some 20-somethings who had never heard her stuff. I was recommending albums they should listen to. The dream, in turn, I'm sure, had been prompted by a false sense of intimacy I'm feeling with her and with another indie rock hero of mine, Ted Leo, who have been touring together and being all lovey on the Twitter. Damn, wish I'd seen them on stage together.

Artist: Aimee Mann
Year: 1995
Rating: Luke Hot

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)

I love you and nobody else.

Since I'm not currently in a relationship, nor would I likely profess love to a One-and-Only, since I don't buy into that sort of thing, I have to assume that my unconscious is crooning for the love of coffee.

In and out my life/You come and you go
Leaving just your picture behind/And I've kissed it a thousand times

Oh, coffee.

Artist: The Four Tops
Year: 1965
Rating: Luke Hot

Friday, November 9, 2012

Someday, Someway, Redux

Last in my head on March 14, 2011.

Maybe I'll understand you.

I'm singing this to and about myself today.

Artist: Marshall Crenshaw
Year: 1982
Rating: Luke Hot

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Disturbance at the Heron House

Came to me suddenly after having been awake for a couple hours already. I was brushing my hair.

Artist: REM
Year: 1987
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lullaby of Broadway

This song is so deeply embedded in the popular culture, and yet, I have no clear mental reproduction of the precise recording I'm summoning. The first appearance of the song was in the film Gold Diggers of 1935, a movie I've never seen. It's quite possible that the version I heard the most while growing up was by the Andrews Sisters, but I'm guessing I just know it from various homages in movies and TV.

Artist: Wini Shaw
Year: 1935
Rating: Warm

Friday, November 2, 2012

Turn the Beat Around

Bonus: Paul Williams intro. Totally unfunny.

Artist: Vicki Sue Robinson
Year: 1976
Rating: Luke Hot

Yet another song from the Bicentennial year!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Girl For All Seasons

Grease 2 now has its own tag. This is the fourth song from the movie that's been in my head since starting the blog in 2009. Shockingly, I still haven't woken up with a song from Grease, the original, in almost four years of blogging. I will say that Beauty School Dropout floats through my head with some regularity, but I haven't woken with it, and thus, it's been disqualified from the blog so far.

Artist: The Pink Ladies
Year: 1982
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Boy

A random and satisfying earworm for this morning!

Artist: The Beat Farmers
Year: 1985
Rating: Warm

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Workin' for a Livin'

My Huey Lewis oeuvre keeps growing. Those guys are catchy motherfuckers. I love the keyboard in this song. It's one of the tracks that makes it sonically obvious that members of the News once backed Elvis Costello. Yes, really.

Artist: Huey Lewis and the News
Year: 1982
Rating: Luke Hot

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Perfect, if embarrassingly literal, refrain after a lusty full-moon weekend.

Artist: Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Year: 1974
Rating: Warm

Friday, September 28, 2012

I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song

I've been experiencing a significant amount of internal resistance to speaking my truths lately. I'm in a battle over what I need to defend versus what I need to surrender. At the end of the day, usually the communication should just be distilled down to this: I love you.

Artist: Jim Croce
Year: 1973
Rating: Warm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fame, Redux

Last in my head on March 23, 2010. This time, I can't say that confidence is pouring from my pores in synch with this exuberant anthem. The song feels incongruous with my recent moods, indeed. Maybe my unconscious mind is trying to snap me out of these self-flagellating doldrums. Will it work?

Artist: Irene Cara
Year: 1980
Rating: Luke Hot

Monday, September 17, 2012

Who's Johnny

My housemate Scott just came into my room, incredulous that I could even know this song, given the unbelievable truth I just told him: I've never seen the movie Short Circuit. But I was alive and cognizant in 1986, my first year of high school, when this feel-good ditty dominated the pop charts for its split second.

Artist: El DeBarge
Year: 1986
Rating: Warm

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More Than This

It's no small feat when such a simple song lyric captures not only the grief and disappointment, but the absolute beauty and transcendence, of the sentiment that this is all there is. It's one of the most elegant, evocative pop songs, ever. Today, it's bringing tears to my eyes.

Thanks, Mr. Ferry.

Artist: Roxy Music
Year: 1982
Rating: Hot!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Every Morning

The power of suggestion produced this earworm. Two nights ago, at trivia, I cluelessly suggested that the photo of Jason Mraz might've been Mark McGrath, but then remembered that Mark McGrath was the Sugar Ray dude who looks kinda like Ethan Hawke.

Now, I'm stuck with a four-post bed.

Artist: Sugar Ray
Year: 1998
Rating: Cold

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tutti Frutti

It's hard not to take this song for granted, hearing it approximately a bazillion times over the course of a lifetime, but it was a revolution in 1955, and it's still in my head in 2012.

Artist: Little Richard
Year: 1955
Rating: Luke Hot

Note: This performance is from the 1956 film Don't Knock the Rock.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Luke Hot!

I've always been lukewarm about the term I chose in my song ratings system for the degree between "Warm" and "Hot." "Warmish-hot" is so literal, not elegant at all. So I encouraged my readers to chime in and pick a new word or term I could use to designate songs I really really like, maybe even love, that intermediate step between genuinely liking a song (Warm) and thinking the song is The Absolute Shit (Hot!).

Luke Hot is the clear winner, among other ideas I was variously warm or just lukewarm to. Honorable mentions go to "Steamy," "Preter-boil," "Somewhat Sweltering," and "Fuzzy." Shouts out, mazels, congrat's, go to my pal Dave Grenetz, who suggested the winning rating. Here's a Hot Luke picture for you, Dave.

Stay tuned, gentle readers and fellow earworm aficionados. I will be changing all songs rated "Warmish-hot" to "Luke Hot" over the next few days. I'll also be interviewing Dave about the songs stuck in his head in a near-future entry. I think you'll find it Hot!


Can't Get Enough

...and then there's just straight-up, unambivalent, hard-rockin' love.

Artist: Bad Company
Year: 1974
Rating: Warm

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Last Time in Love

I had a conversation with an old friend about love the other day. She had relayed a piece of advice her mom had given her, which went something like, "Finding people to fall in love with is easy; finding the person you can live with is much harder." This song has such a lovely, romantic quality to it that I can't deny, even as a poly person, that when you find "the one," you've fallen in love for the "last time." There is an undeniable beauty and a loss in that process, recognizing you'll never have those fireworks, that blissful limerent feeling, with anyone else again. I'm grateful, in my life, that I give myself permission to fall in love, in lust, when my animus moves me, and when it moves in my chosen partners. I don't have to sacrifice that newness. But the allure of exclusivity, of belonging to someone wholly, is indeed a powerful one. I also don't deny myself the opportunities, when they arise, of digging down deep and doing the work of intimacy. If love were just the easy fire of limerence, well, it wouldn't be love, now would it?

Artist: Sloan
Year: 2006
Rating: Luke Hot

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dreams of Merlin

I had a dream this morning in which my dear friend Marck and I were at an open mic. The performer on stage challenged audience members to stand up and sing if they thought they had a good command of the Eagles' oeuvre. Marck and I simultaneously and defiantly arose. The performer then presented us with the sheet music to a song about Merlin the magician, and proceeded to teach me chords on a banjo.

I woke up, flummoxed to try to find an Eagles song about Merlin; the song that then arose in my brain was "Tin Man" by America, evoking another Arthurian character, Sir Galahad.

In a seemingly unrelated occurrence, I learned via the Facebook this morning that Marck had just been listening to a mix I'd made years ago, entitled "My Fantasy K-Tel Album," on which I clustered an array of enticingly schmaltzy and wonderful 70s and 80s gems. This is surely a piece of evidence that Marck and I are tapped into the collective unconscious. I think today might be ripe for some trans-continental telekinesis experiments.

Artist: America
Year: 1974
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Disco 2000

Your name is Deborah.
It never suited ya.

Artist: Pulp
Year: 1995
Rating: Hot!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I think this entered my consciousness this morning, because I had the occasion to quote the tag line to the film Grand Hotel a few days ago: "People come and go. Nothing ever happens."

Great song.

Artist: Talking Heads
Year: 1979
Rating: Luke Hot

Friday, July 13, 2012

Got My Mind Set On You

I actually don't mind this song, but I fully expect some hate mail for getting what is arguably one of the most pernicious earworms of our time into many of your heads today.

A super special bonus of posting the official video here: do you recognize that guy in the arcade? He's none other than a 21 year-old Alexis Denisof of Buffy/Angel fame. When I realized this a few years ago, I nearly blew a gasket.

Also, I don't know about you, but I had NO IDEA this song was a cover! With actual lyrics! And, not surprisingly, a much more interesting orchestration and vocal performance than the far more popular 80s version. The original artist was an R&B singer named James Ray, who unfortunately died of an overdose shortly after recording the song. He was in his early 20s.

Artist (cover): George Harrison
Year: 1987
Rating: Warm

Artist (original): James Ray
Year: 1962
Rating: Warm

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Black Water

Been remiss at updating lately. Life is just too dense with the obligatory right now, including my ever-elusive battle to get to work on time every day. The other thing is that most of the songs I've been waking up with lately have been strictly due to recent exposure (hearing it on a playlist or at the grocery store, etc.) and I've, by and large, refrained from blogging about those particular songs, because, while recent exposure is clearly my number one source for earworms, that phenomenon is just less interesting to me than when a song seems spontaneously to generate from some unconscious depth or memory trigger or other more poetic means. Anyhow, the Doobs entered the neural paths a couple days ago, and I have a moment to share 'em now. These guys just hold so much nostalgic warmth for me. I love 'em. And they happen to be from my home town.

And I ain't got no worries
'Cause I ain't in no hurry at all

I'll throw a question out to you, the reader: where do your earworms come from?

Artist: The Doobie Brothers
Year: 1974
Rating: Hot!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Not my favorite Heart song, but we can't choose the earworms visited upon us. That is the essential beauty and randomness of the phenomenon. One might prefer Barracuda, but one does not get served up Barracuda. Nevertheless, these ladies certainly do rock.

Artist: Heart
Year: 1985
Rating: Warm

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Bound to infiltrate your mental jukebox, too. You're welcome.

Artist: Cher
Year: 1998
Rating: Cold

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crazy Love, Vol. II

I don't want no part of this crazy love,
I don't want no part of your love.

Artist: Paul Simon
Year: 1986
Rating: Hot!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sunshine Superman

Woke with a strong sense of the melody of this song, but only a very vague sense of the lyrics and no clue about the recording artist. I found it by googling the only bit of lyric I could conjure: "when you make your mind up." Now that I'm hearing it, of course it's Donovan. I thought maybe Turtles, Small Faces, but knew I couldn't quite get a bead on it. The magical internets also tell me that Jimmy Page (then of the Yardbirds) and John Paul Jones (later also of the Yardbirds; both soon after of Zep fame) play on the track. Kind of an epic song in the rock canon, it seems, and good trivia for a future pub quiz!

Artist: Donovan
Year: 1966
Rating: Warm

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Is It ("One Day at A Time" Theme)

One of the best TV themes, hands down. Love the show. Has anyone re-watched recently? Does it hold up?

Artist: Polly Cutter (written by Jeff Barry)
Year: 1975
Rating: Hot!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

A song that really should be in everyone's head, all the time. I unabashedly, unironically, love it.

Enjoy the weekend!

Artist: Elton John and Kiki Dee
Year: 1976
Rating: Hawt!

Another great song from 1976!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Theme from Dynasty

Began whistling the Dynasty theme while making breakfast this morning. It flowed from my face like no time had elapsed between myself now, nearing 40 years old, and myself sitting in my living room in San Jose, a teenager, watching the show with my mom every night in reruns. It was one of the only crossover shows we had, that and M*A*S*H. (Mom liked mystery and procedural dramas; I near exclusively watched sitcoms, until "Dynasty.")

Happy Mother's Day, Roberta. I miss you. Tomorrow's gonna be hard.

Artist: Bill Conti
Year: 1981
Rating: Warm

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (Coke version)

I'm a bit backlogged in updating the blog. I woke a few days ago with this classic ditty from the 70s: but, to be sure, it was the commercial jingle and not the adapted pop song that arose in my mind that day. If you hadn't known this before, the song is a rare instance in which the commercial came before the later radio hit. True fact!

Artist: The Hillside Singers
Year: 1971
Rating: Warm

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Colt 45 Beer Jingle

Wow. That is quite the sustained (implied) orgasmic burst from our friends at the National Brewing Company (now owned by Pabst).

Just the tiniest snippet from this 80's malt liquor commercial entered my consciousness in the wee hours this morning. No known mental antecedent for it.

Artist: unknown
Year: c. 1980s
Rating: I'll pass. But do check out their Billy Dee Williams ads!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Louie Lime Green

Yesterday at work, I was whistling to myself all afternoon. I do this a lot (it helps that my Friday bookkeeping gig is at an awesome local music school). Working down column upon column of credit card transactions, the mind can automatically conjure up tunes and still manage accurate data entry. I thought I'd share with you the sequence of songs I was whistling. The thematic progression: roots rock, prog rock, Elizabethan minstrel music. Somehow it flowed. It helps that Rush is like, totally, Ren Faire.

Louie, Louie
Artist: Richard Berry (writer); The Kingsmen; etc.
Year: 1957; 1963; various
Rating: Warm

Limelight (Redux; last in my head on July 13, 2010.)
Artist: Rush
Year: 1981
Rating: Warm

Artist: various; unconfirmed origin.
Year: c. 1580
Rating: Warm

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Waiting, Redux

This song floats into my head frequently, but last time it was first thing in the morning was July 30, 2009. There does always seem to be something I'm waiting for, something unreachable. Best stick in the Now rather than the Anticipation.

Artist: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Year: 1981
Rating: Luke Hot

*Note, my rating of this song has improved since I last blogged it. Tom Petty's pretty dang cool. And those jangly guitars really get me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Earworms! Earworms! Yay! Boo!

Hello, loyal readers and folks new to my navel-gazey project affectionately titled The Songs in My Head! I just wanted to make an official announcement about my spankin' new Facebook page where you are most welcome to gather and join the conversation about earworms great and horrifying. Lately, mine have been on the horrifying spectrum, but alas, that's what you get for growing up in the 1980s. Please do feel free to comment here on the blog, over at FB, or on Twitter @soozzip and keep on singin,' whistlin,' and fist-pumpin' along to The Songs in My Head!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hands to Heaven

You gotta be kidding me! "We Want Some Pussy" and now this? Earworm gods: please spare me!

Artist: Breathe
Year: 1987
Rating: Cold

Monday, April 9, 2012

We Want Some Pussy

What can I say? There comes a time when this song gets stuck in everyone's head, right?

Artist: 2 Live Crew
Year: 1986
Rating: NC-17

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Young At Heart

Woke with this unmistakable melody this morning. A good reminder to us all to be young, and open, and view the world with fresh eyes every day.

Artist: Frank Sinatra
Year: 1953
Rating: Warm

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Come Sail Away

Starting to amass quite an arsenal of Styx music in the bloggic record of songs in my head. This one suits my emotional set of late, struggling with the obligatory logistics of life under considerable emotional stress over the last couple years:

I'll try, oh lord, I'll try (EPIC PIANO BREAK) to caaaaarrrrry on!

The similarity ends at the whole aliens/starship thing, though.

70s prog rock: Where Middle Earth meets Outerspace.*

Artist: Styx
Year: 1977
Rating: Luke Hot

*Tip o' the hat to Liz Bohm.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Do You Want Crying? or Two (or Three)-Hit Wonders

As I was waking up yesterday, I heard a baby crying somewhere outside my window. I opened the blinds, and saw a man walking with a toddler on the other side of the street, and the kid was sobbing all the way down the block. This relatively obscure secondary hit song by 80s popsters Katrina and the Waves then emerged in my head and stayed with me all day.

It's sort of timely, because Scott and I were recently talking about making a playlist of lesser hits by artists that only had two or three charting songs. You probably recall Katrina's bigger hit a lot better than this one, right?

Or you know how this song immediately springs to mind when you think of Crowded House? Well, instead, we'd put "Something So Strong" on the mix.

I've always preferred it, actually, even though (or maybe because) it's gotten way less air play over the years.

Or, take the band Thin Lizzy. You probably quickly conjure up this 1976 hit, but if you perk up your mind's ears a moment, you might remember this one:

So, readers, what are some other second-rate songs you love by Two (or Three)-Hit Wonders?

Artist: Katrina & the Waves
Year: 1985
Rating: Luke Hot

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts

Been whistling this song all day. I was itching to hear some Spencer Krug, so I played the video for friends a few days ago. It's been stuck since. A lovely, brilliant earworm if there ever was one.

Artist: Wolf Parade
Year: 2005
Rating: Hot!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dear Prudence

I always loved the White Album, all 30 songs lending themselves seamlessly to the whole, but "Dear Prudence" has only recently popped out at me as a stand-alone masterpiece. The gathering momentum of the orchestration, the loving encouragement to coax us out of our shell and into the world of experience. What a life-affirming mantra. Holy shit, it's so beautiful.

Artist: The Beatles
Year: 1968
Rating: Hot!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


How's this for obscure? The movie theme song from a 1985 romantic espionage flick starring Anthony Edwards. Watch the trailer - it's classic 80's.

Artist: Thereza Bazar
Year: 1985
Rating: Lukewarm

Monday, February 20, 2012

You and Me and the Moon

Joyous and sad. Certain Magnetic Fields songs will always remind me of Amber. She's moving into her new place this week. There are boxes of books stacked up in the hallway with labels like "Deutsche Literatur" and "Feminist Theory" written in Sharpie. Despite the complex circumstances of our break up,

The sound of your voice [still] sends shivers up my spine.

Artist: Magnetic Fields
Year: 1995
Rating: Hot!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Woke up with a spirited Jewish song in my head, "Ufaratza," a song we sang/shouted on a weekly basis at Camp Shalom every summer of my childhood. Above, some amazing footage of Chasidic rabbis singing the song in the 1970s.

The song is based on the Old Testament verse in Genesis (28:14) in which god tells Jacob that his people will spread out like the dust of the earth, to the west, east, north, and south, and that all people will be blessed by this spreading out. In the most Zionist/evangelical interpretation, this is a mandate for the Jewish people to populate the entirety of Israel. Thankfully, I grew up quite liberal/secular, and so my own meaning from the song is simply an affirmation of the Jewish diaspora, that our people and culture have spread out throughout the world, and that this sharing of culture is a benefit to all humans.

In looking up this song, I came across a great progressive Jewish blog, written by Rabbi Jared Saks. Here are some of his thoughts on the teaching in the song. His blog entry also includes a new interpretation of the song, reggae-style.

Artist/Year: unknown (Saks credits Avi Maslo with the original song, but I'm not sure that's correct. Anyone know?)
Rating: Warm

Monday, February 13, 2012

Waltz of the Flowers

Thanks to my friend Lisa for identifying this song for me. All I had was a vague rendition of the most famous portion of the composition, whistled through a cell phone exchange. She entertained my indulgent query, and nailed the tune, even though I interrupted her life at 10:00 pm on a school night. That's what friends are for. :)

Artist: Tchaikovsky
Year: 1892
Rating: Warm

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2011 Review, Part 2: Genres & Whatnot

Finally done tabulatin' the data for 2011. I present to you the genres of music most frequently appearing involuntarily in my head: (Click charts to embiggen!)

Classic rock took the biggest leap this year, looks like. And the pop category has a big jump only because I've been using it recently as more of a catch-all category. Likely the tags for commercial pop and contemporary pop will phase out over time.

The "Whatnot" tags are dear to my heart, those categories in the blog that aren't exactly genres but are groupings I wish to track.

Noteworthy this year: posts containing personal anecdotes and meta or self-referential info are gaining in popularity (due to my ever-increasing narcissism). It looks like songs from the U.S. Bicentennial year, songs by bands named after geographical locations, old camp songs, and songs best left to the sharks are all dying breeds in my head, at least in 2011.

New to the category, the Barry-Mix tag, songs that have featured in mixes my dear friend Barry has made me over the years. I have retroactively imposed this exciting (ahem, navelgazy) new category on previous years' entries, so now we have its complete bloggic history.

Excised from the Whatnot stats is data on the earworms tag: my new policy is to use that label on every entry in order to get the bots to recognize it as a keyword to improve hits to my blog. Ergo, the number of times I use that tag is pretty meaningless for personal interest, but might serve a more nifty marketing purpose.

Jump to 2011, Part 1: Artists, Eras, and Ratings

Okay, done. I humbly thank you, my loyal readers.

xo, Sooze

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo

When one writes a blog such as this, one wonders when a song such as this will pop up. In this case, I'm flouting my usual rule of no blogging a song if it's in my head due to recent exposure; I heard a snippet of it last week at my pub trivia night, in the music round. (I nailed it.) But the song begs to be mentioned as one of those insane earworms we all carry around with us.

Lordy mama, light my fuse!

Artist: Rick Derringer
Year: 1970/73
Rating: Lukewarm

Note: Yes, there is a comma in the title of this song.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cornflake Girl

Dreamt about singing Tori Amos songs around a campfire last night. Woke with "Cornflake Girl." Above is her performance of the song on Letterman from 1994, which I viewed with friends in Santa Cruz on its original air date. It was the moment I realized how brilliant she is. I was a bit behind the curve; "Crucify" really annoyed me. But, fuck, can she rock a piano bench.

Artist: Tori Amos
Year: 1994
Rating: Hot!

Note: Tori's album Under the Pink, which featured "Cornflake Girl," was released exactly 18 years ago. Weird!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Interplanet Janet, Redux

Upbeat, silly, geeky. Perfect mood music to whistle to on my walk with Dorrie this morning.

Last in my head on April 10, 2009.

Music/Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens/School House Rock
Year: 1978
Rating: Hot!

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 Review, Part 1: Artists, Eras, and Ratings

I've been doing this blog for three years running now, and if you know me at all, you know I love excessive navel-gazing documentation! Having said that, I present to you the summary of Songs in My Head, 2011 Edition!

Part One: Summary, Artists, Eras, and Ratings

Number of entries: Exactly 100, down about 30% from 2010.
First song blogged in 2011: Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters.
Last song blogged: Fading into Obscurity by Sloan.
Oldest song: The Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa from 1889.
Newest song: Modern Man by Arcade Fire from 2010 (another song from the same album was the newest song I'd blogged in 2010, as well. I haven't been listening to much new music lately.)
Unsolved Mystery: No one as yet has been able to identify this persistent song in my head.

Onward to the Stats!

(Click charts to embiggen!)

Now that I have three years' worth of data, pie charts are out and stacked bar graphs are in for this category. It continues to surprise me that Sloan is still the clear leader of the pack, but otherwise, I've got a pretty typical mental repertoire for a now urban, once suburban, middle class white chick born in San Jose in the early Seventies. Likewise for the now patented formula for the era of songs that pop into my head:

...virtually the same curve all three years of blogging, complete with the Gumby-shaped dual-peak of '70s and '80s songs dominating my internal landscape of tunes.

And again, the songs that pop into my head, by a vast majority, tend to be songs I actually like, which is kind of awesome. It's also apparently in line with research on earworms or involuntary musical imagery (INMI): most people who get songs stuck in their head do, in fact, like the songs, despite the occasional appearance of a nasty worm like Who Let the Dogs Out?

A'ight, that's all I've got for now. Stay tuned to this here blog for more about the Genres and Whatnot of 2011!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Live For Love

I saw new wave band Missing Persons last month at the Red Devil Lounge. I think I woke recently with Ms. Benatar in my head in an associative groove of badass women of the '80s. I listened to this song over and over at one point in my younger years when my dear friend Barry put it on a mixed tape for me. You know, tapes.

Blogging about this song makes me reflect on the tremendous influence of Barry's mixed tapes in my mental musical repertoire. He's always had his finger on the pulse of pop music, often deeply appreciating the mainstream chart-toppers in genres I was too much of a hippy-throwback to enjoy. He was the first person I knew, for instance, to LOVE Kylie Minogue back in the '80s, while I was listening to the Beatles and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

Barry's mixed tapes were carefully curated to blend the objectively good with the god-awfully cheesy in perfect measures. His tapes often introduced me to songs I'd never heard before, and just as often helped to reify the emotional importance of songs that I'd loved as a kid or in my teenage years. He was way ahead of the curve on '80s nostalgia, filling play lists with new wave and 80s dancey tunes before the decade was even over.

This flight of nostalgia propelled me to look back through the blog and discover how many entries I've written so far featuring songs that had appeared on Barry's mixes over the years. I even devised a new tag for these songs: the "Barry-Mix" tag, or simply Bmix. This post makes 19 entries, and counting!

By the way, today is Barry's birthday. Happiest, my love.

Artist: Pat Benatar
Year: 1979
Rating: Hot!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Get A Kick Out of You

It's strange to wake up with a song about the zing! and thrill! of love, and have no particular person come to mind. It's a blank, neutral feeling. Which is oddly refreshing.

Artist: Frank Sinatra (written by Cole Porter).
Year: 1934 (original); first recorded by Sinatra in 1953.
Rating: Warm

Sunday, January 8, 2012

She Believes in Me

This clip is too good to pass up. Once Kenny and Lionel figure out who's doing which verse, I swear, their performance will bring tears to your eyes.

Artist: Kenny Rogers (and Lionel Richie)
Year: 1978
Rating: Luke Hot

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Odd Couple, Redux

Last in my head on August 19, 2010.

This entry gives us a good excuse to rock out to one of my favorite categories of songs in my head: theme music!

Artist: Neal Hefti
Year: 1968
Rating: Warm

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Love the One You're With

There's a girl right next to you
And she's just waiting for something to do...

Artist: Stephen Stills
Year: 1970
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Still the Same

Officially the first tune in my head in 2012. I spontaneously started whistling it on Muni last night on the move between two New Year's destinations. I knew it was a Bob Seger song, but couldn't come up with any lyrics or the title. When I whistled the melody to my friend Ricky, he made a great guess: Best of My Love by the Eagles. The tunes are incredibly similar. The magical internets have helped me solve the problem, so I don't have to resort to posting a Mystery Song entry. :)

Happy New Year, all!

Artist: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Year: 1978
Rating: Warm