I was once a little…um, okay, terribly obsessed with iTunes. I got my first iPod in 2004 and became immediately entranced by Apple’s seeming infinite lists of music for sale. Over the years, I spent way too much time on iTunes and spent way too much money on music, some of which was great, and some of which was not. In 2011, for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I went cold turkey. I suspended my iTunes activities and completely stopped visiting site. With the iTunes Diaries, I take a look back, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly in music that I just had to have in the moment.
Life fact #27: Snippets of songs good and bad from commercials will get inextricably stuck in your head for extended periods of time.
TV commercials with catchy tunes. You can run from them, but you can’t hide. And even if you turn off the TV, once is all it takes sometimes for a ten-second melody to become permanently wrenched inside each and every one of your brain cells.
For example, perhaps you’ll recall this Geico commercial from a few years ago:
Quite the little diddy they’ve got going in the background, huh? For weeks after seeing this commercial, that little song snippet was on repeat in my head. On the subway [and everywhere I go], making dinner [there’s always something to remind me], playing games [of another place and time]. But for as much as I heard that tune and saw the commercial, I just wasn’t all that obliged to do anything about it. And that a bit unusual for me because usually once something like that gets stuck in my head, it means that I need to find the song and I need to learn everything I can about it, the artist, and the artists’ body of work. But that impulse was oddly absent in this particular instance. If anything, I was more annoyed by the commercial and its catchy tune than anything, almost to the “get the fuck outta my head!” point.
Eventual that Geico commercial and that tune became a slow and distant memory. But then, the oddest thing happened. At work, we didn’t always listen to the radio, but when we did, it was usually tuned to NPR. On one fateful day, with a change in the staff rotation, someone asked if we could start listening to a local rock station. Vote taken, majority ruled, rock won. The station played your standard line-up of hard rock and not-quite-heavy metal, and it kept several songs in heavy rotation. One of those songs was Audioslave’s “Doesn’t Remind Me” from the album Out of Exile.
Being a long-time fan of Soundgarden, I was smitten by Chris Cornell’s vocals, as well as the hills and valleys of the song itself. I kept track of Audioslave’s work until the group disbanded, but “Doesn’t Remind Me” became a favorite, which was duly noted during an afternoon on iTunes.
Upon finding and purchasing “Doesn’t Remind Me,” I became distracted by a number of songs that popped up in the “similar” and “users also bought” sections. A few songs appeared that had the words “remind” and “me” in the title, but one far too hard to avoid since the band had a funny-sounding name: Röyskopp. The song was simply titled “Remind Me.” I clicked the entry and played the song.
Jeezuschrist! …THAT SONG!
The thirty seconds of “Remind Me” that played were almost exactly those that played turned that damn commercial, something I hadn’t thought about in weeks and weeks. Something I never thought I’d think about again. But this time, instead of casting aside the song once again, I figured it had to be fate. I mean, why, of all the songs, did I just happen to click on that one? Or something. Plus, that band name… Röyskopp? Röyskopp. Sounds a little sexy, no? No? Well, okay then …
I headed out to the wilds of the Internet to see if I could find the song in its entirety, which I did, obviously, or I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. It wasn’t love at first listen (my downtempo groove was still years off then), but the out-and-out annoyance I once had for its chorus didn’t well up either. Then I started listening to other Röyskopp songs from Melody A.M., the album that contained “Remind Me,” and I liked what I was hearing. Simple, clean, minimal, but somehow also catchy and interesting. I wasn’t ready to commit to a whole Röyskopp album, but I was willing to submit to “Remind Me,” if only because Audioslave had somehow brought me back to it. As well as that radio station.
Life fact #3: Nothing is unrelated; everything is linked. It’s up to you to find the connections.
The songs remain favorites on a rather jumbled playlist I’ve aptly titled “eclectic.” And even though the songs are worlds apart as far as style goes, I can’t listen to one without thinking of the other.