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10 Songs Indelibly Stamped Upon My Cortex - #1

2007-10-10 - 7:25 p.m.

Most Recent Style of Band-Aid Utilized: That thin strip kind for a cut on my right index finger

Listening To: Pixies, Sam Cooke, Old Dirty Bastard,

Quote:"I get paid on Friday, so my Hurricane will blow on Saturday." - Ryan G., to Zach

Hi. Oh . . . hi. What've you been up to? Really? No, seriously. Honestly? Well that's good. It's healthy. I mean, sometimes you just get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you have to just go out there and polish the brass ring bluebird of happiness. Or something.

So in my time away from you gentle souls, when I wasn't eating scrambies and attending every wedding to come down the pike (and let me tell you, the pike was chuck FULL of weddings this summer), I was reading many of the copious lists on The Onion's A. V. Club. They are simply full of lists and lists and more lists. I could name some of them, but let's be honest, are you really going to click the links and go check them out? I didn't think so. Half of you were convinced Dinosaur Comics would give your computer herpes, so I'll let you just explore the above link on your own. So, in an attempt to copy the A. V. Club's wacky lists, I present:

~ 10 Songs Indelibly Stamped Upon My Cortex - #1 ~

[But FIRST, I shall explain what exactly a song carving an indelible stamp somewhere upon my cortex actually MEANS. It doesn't mean a song that really stuck with me. Or a song that I love. Or a song that I hate. Or a song that I've put on lots of mixes (otherwise this entire list would be made up of TH songs and The Coral's "Dreaming of You".) No. These are songs that if I hear them, no MATTER what I'm doing, I am instantly transported to either a time, or place, or source material, and can associate this song with nothing else. JUST THAT ONE THING. I could get into a severe croquet accident listening to one of these songs and it still wouldn't shake it's prior associaton for me. In some cases, if it's glued to the mental file of that time "Say You, Say Me" was playing on a loop while I was trapped in an nursing home on Spaghetti Western night, this is a bad thing. But if I'm forced to think of that time I was hiding in Maura Tierney's dressing room every time I hear "The Thong Song"? That? Is a very good thing. So now that an overlong introduction has killed any and all momentum we may have had, let's proceed . . . )

1. "Unbelievable" - EMF

There's no ranking here. So this isn't necessarily my TOP song association. Wait, it most certainly isn't. I just felt like starting with a song that's practically fucking impossible to get out of your head once you've thought of it. Anyway, this song was absolutely fucking everywhere in 1991. And as a 7th grade hipster who wasn't hip in the slightest, I was listening to anything that a.) PEAK 103.7 was playing and b.) could be bought as a cassette single at Greenlaw's. This song matched both requirements nicely.

Jeff, McLaughlin and I made a trip to Cannon to go skiing one Saturday that winter and we listened to that song a lot that weekend. And if we didn't have a walkman or a radio near us, we just sung it. Now, keep in mind, while we didn't exactly possess golden pipes, it didn't really matter since NO ONE knows the lyrics to that song. This is basically what everyone knows: "Don't bother me with your questions, {something, something} The things you say, {something, something} give you away, the things you say . . . YOU'RE UNBELIEVABLE!! Ohh! YOU'RE UNBELIEVABLE!! (x 20)" It would not be unusual if during a round of cards (this is without alcohol mind you, we're only 7th graders and our names weren't "Chad") for Jeff to lay cards down and scream out, "YOU'RE UNBELIEVABLE" and we wouldn't even blink an eye.

So as we're going down one of the blackier diamondier slopes that ridiculously foggy day, and no doubt trying to do little tricks and jumps and stupid shit with our poles and whatever and all that would make us look as cool as 8th graders (but probably made us look more like 5th graders) we were yelling the "lyrics" to Unbelievable at each other whenever we'd criss cross dangerously in front or back of each other or go off a jump and buzz by the other one. Now, this was Cannon and not Gunstock, so we didn't know the finer ins and zags of these trails. If we had, I probably would have realized the trail was coming to a 3-way split before I did. Maybe I was too distracted by McLaughlin's jazzy "froggy" skills. I tried to stop, was going too fast, caught my skis up on themselves, was thrown mouth first into the snow, and slid rapidly into a tree that marked the 3-way split. This tree kindly stopped any motion on my part for the better part of the next 4 minutes as I lay there moaning. I can only imagine that whole affair was far more fun for Tim and Jeff to watch then it was for me to do. For those of you not familiar with the term "Yard Sale", a "Yard Sale" in skiing is when you crash badly enough that all your shit is splayed out in every direction, possibly over more than one slope, in a way to suggest to other skiiers, "Look, I am brain dead, and to celebrate, I am having a Yard Sale - rain or shine!" Well, Yard Sale it I did. One ski down one slope, one down another - with one of my poles, my hat and a glove down a third. One glove and one pole still was attached to my person. And EMF's one-hit wonder was echoing in my brain. Along with the thought that my neck may be broken. But my neck wasn't broken.

Incidentally, EMF stood for, "Epsom Mad Funkers". I did not know that. I never even asked! Also, a factoid that can't go ignored, from Wikipedia:
"In 2005, Kraft Foods used EMF's 'Unbelievable' in their Kraft Crumbles advertisement campaign. The surviving members of EMF reconvened to re-record the tune. The original song's chorus, 'It's unbelievable,' was replaced with a more 'crumble-centric' chorus, declaring 'It's crumbelievable!'

I feel I need to start doing a better job of making more things in my life 'crumble-centric'.

It's been real,

Takeo Kensei

Next: A Jefferson Starship gem!

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