Amoeblog

Earworms, brainworms, and sticky music

Posted by Whitmore, June 28, 2008 10:05pm | Post a Comment

An Earworm is a term for a portion of a song or other musical bit that gets "stuck" in someone’s head and repeats continually against a their will. Often, relief comes only when it is swapped with a newer fragment from another tune. Research indicates that the people who get the most earworms tend to listen to music frequently and are more likely to have other neurotic habits, such as biting pencils or finger nails or tapping fingers. In Oliver Sacks latest book, Musicophilia, he defines the phenomenon as “involuntary musical imagery.”

I’m regularly haunted by fractions of tunes wandering between lobes. And more often than not, these are unfamiliar melodies incessantly repeating, tumbling about, until my slipping weak-ass sagacity cracks. Musicians tend to more susceptible to earworms, and it probably doesn’t help that I listen to scraps of songs all day at Amoeba as a I comb over the piles of used, alien 45’s littering my office. Yesterday, for example, I played snippets of possibly three hundred different singles just trying to figure what is what and what is not. I seem to have survived the experience, at least for the moment; in any case I won’t know until the next ghostly notes infest my synapses. Unfortunately some melodies or musical moods are so perfectly defined; my simpleton’s grey matter is rather easy prey to a full-on earworm assault. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been re-watching all 29 episodes of David Lynch’s 1990 -1991 television show Twin Peaks. And no, the Twin Peaks Theme is not the exact piece of music bouncing around my skull, but Twin Peaks is the source of the latest spell.

(In which Job reflects on the end of the year... a year late.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 9, 2007 10:46pm | Post a Comment

"They'll never give us a room if we don't pretend we're married."

Welp… We’re about ready to finish off ol’ 2007. And what a year it’s been. For years to come, we’ll be remembered by history as the people who got to see… urr… hours of YouTube footage of Britney Spears trying to buy cappuccinos. Oh yeah, and something about a war?

Anyhoo, I thought I’d maybe talk a little about my favorite album of the year – only, there’s a problem. My favorite album of the year came out in November of 2006. Hey, it’s not my fault if I wasn’t as blown away by the latest release by [insert everyone who released an album this year].

It’s not that I’m cynical and it’s NOT that I didn’t enjoy anything new this year. It’s that nothing has replaced my favorite yet. So, I continue listening to it.


For those few of you who don’t know what you’re looking at here, it’s the album “Ys” by Joanna Newsom.

There’s very little praise I can say here that hasn’t been said before by critics the world over. When it hit the scene, the album secured Miss Newsom some serious accolades. For myself, it was a rare moment when popular culture and yours truly loved something at the same time. That’s a blue moon moment. I think the last time it happened was… Twin Peaks. And Jesus, there’s people working as cashiers at Amoeba Music that are too young to remember who Laura Palmer is.


The good old days.

My relationship with the album is personal and doesn’t easily translate for my whimsical blog. I don’t like to talk about it. Every time I try to explain how I feel about the music, I get all overwhelmed and vulnerable, like a quaking fawn on newborn legs, and then I wanna punch faces in. You know how it is.

welcome to twin peaks!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 4, 2007 06:22pm | Post a Comment

Finally!!! Twin Peaks Season 2 is now available. It just came out this week. It has been over 5 years since Season 1 came out on DVD! Like many of you, I sold my vhs box set years ago in anticipation of the release of this show on DVD. I am so excited I now get to revisit my favorite show and watch it all from the beginning. David Lynch is a genius and was really able to show the world just how brilliant he was with this amazing ground breaking television show.  Season 2 originally aired in the 1990/1991 season. While the 1st season only had 8 episodes, season 2 had a full season of episodes with 22. This was the year it was nominated for some Soap Opera Digest Awards.

Sheryl Lee was nominated for best death scene as Maddie Ferguson. And I have to agree...she was amazing. She was brilliant in her second role in the series as Laura Palmer's strangely almost identical nerdy cousin. Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie were both nominated for outstanding acting. The show was nominated for outstanding Prime Time Show. It won no Soap Opera Digest Awards but did walk away with a couple Golden Globes. Amazingly the Soap Opera Digest Awards still happen. However last year was the first year it was not televised and it went straight to magazine. Not a good sign for the future of the awards show.

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