“Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”*

[Note: As of 5:55pm (PDT) I finally figured out the file path of the mp3s for this post.  It only took me 45 minutes to get the links right because I forgot these file names were case sensitive.  Nevertheless, the links are now working!  —PK] 

I’m not sure if there’s an answer for this, but why is it that we get obsessed with songs to the point that they get stuck in our head for days (or in my case), years! I’m not talking about those annoying songs that you really hate, but just can’t stop singing or humming, I’m talking about songs that you can listen to over and over and not really tire of them.

Since, dear bloggy friends, I don’t know your personal musical tastes, I’ll confine the scope of this little query to your truly. Also, since I’m blogging away from my music library, I’ll upload my musical examples later on today. I’m 99% certain my current musical obsessions have to do with the fact that I sometimes drum to these songs at my practice space known as the “Jam Box.” However, most of these songs have been part of my musical soundtrack since they first came out. Now, this is not an exhaustive list, it’s just a small group of songs that I seem to be listening to over and over.

First up, Led Zep. I’m not a big fan of this group. In fact when I was getting my early musical education, I couldn’t really get into a lot of their stuff. As I got older (late teens/early 20s), I got over my prejudices against Zep (i.e., they were a stoner band), and started to assemble some favorites. For some unknown reason, their last album, In Through the Outdoors has become a CD that’s on high rotation on my personal playlist. “In The Evening” is such a great opening rocker with classic Zep hooks and great feel that it’s pretty clear why that track opened the album. But it’s “Fool in the Rain” (Download HERE)and the very strange “Carouselambra” (Download HERE)that have me hooked. “Fool in the Rain” for John Bonham’s variation of Bernard Purdie’s shuffle (Click HERE for a bio and an explanation of what the “Bernard Purdie shuffle” is). “Carouselambra” is just a 10 minute odd-ball song for Zep with its bizarre use of keyboard that morphs into a kind of disco/new wave vibe toward the end of the song (think Gary Numan’s “Cars). Carouselambra is a kind of warm up song for me when I play drums. It’s a straight-time 4/4 beat that has a few surprises like a monster fill that seems out of place, and middle section where the dominant keyword riff goes away for about 5 minutes as the band settles into a simmering slow groove that provides a strange contrast with the rest of the song.

Tunnel of Love” by Dire Straits is just a great song – hands down! (Download HERE) Not only is Mark Knopfler’s guitar work just tastefully great, but he had really grown as lyricist as well. But, it gets back to the drumming that makes this song a heavy hitter for me. Pick Withers was able to do some things on that song that he wasn’t really doing before as the drummer for Dire Straits. Specifically, he alternates between matching the bass (which drummers generally do), and adding a little spice here and there to punctuate Knopfler’s vocals. It’s not the most difficult song to drum to, but you have to carefully listen for the transitions or else you’re just going to suck and sound like boring drummer — and who wants that!

Antlerand “Rows of Unending Lines” (Download HERE) has been featured on this blog before, but the more I listen to this song, the more I get captured by it. I hear a lot of The Cure on this tune, but I guess it’s the “big build up” that’s the pleasantly surprising thing about it. If there was one criticism of this song is that the vocals are mixed very low, but for this song it doesn’t really matter since the vocal are so sparse that it’s almost like the band thought that the song needed a little something extra so people didn’t think they were an instrumental band. There are certain songs that capture a mood very well, and this song goes from day dreaming to head-nodding rocking all under 5 minutes. So Antlerand gets double the points for capturing two moods. Some Cure songs do that, but not quite like this one.
So, now that I’ve laid my current musical obsessions on the table, any songs that you’re currently obsessed with? (Hint, hint! I’m assembling songs for this week’s Mix Six).

Fire away!


* Electric Light Orchestra

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