What’s worse than a song stuck in your head?

Posted in music, personal at 11:00 pm by danvk

talkingheads.jpgNot being able to remember the name of a song whose instrumental part is stuck in your head. It’s maddening!

NPR plays these fifteen second instrumental clips from popular songs between segments on some shows. I’ve listened to enough music that I’m usually really good at picking out the song. But this one escapes me. And there’s no words, so I can’t search for it!

It brings the whole issue of literacy into focus for me. I don’t think twice about writing a thought down on paper, but when it’s a bit of music, I’m totally powerless. I can’t really reproduce it (it’s got some weird reverb effects going on) and I certainly can’t convey it to someone else. It’s a prisoner in my mind. All I can say is it’s got bass and syncopated, reverbed percussion, like Squarepusher’s “Iambic 5 Poetry“, only more upbeat.

The only way out: I have to listen to every song in my library until I find it. ARGH!!!

Update: Two days later, my fifth guess paid off! It was 0:15 through about 0:30 of “Warning Sign” off More Songs About Buildings and Food by the Talking Heads. For the record, my previous guesses were: Pixies, Pavement, R.E.M. and Boards of Canada.


  1. Ryan Moulton said,

    August 8, 2007 at 8:32 am

    You could try humming it to people? =)

  2. music said,

    February 12, 2010 at 12:35 am

    not bed, not bed…