Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Too Sexy for this Earworm

Dear Ann,

My kids are killing me with their non-stop Fresh Beat Band and Yo Gabba Gabba music loop. I’m considering cutting them off cold turkey and only listening to classical music. Is that cruel? I can’t get The Fresh Beat Band's “Bananas” song out of my head!

Nah nah nah nah nah nah…
I’ve gone,

Dear Bananas,

If you start listening exclusively to classical music, you will only be hurting yourself. And on a side note, I’m pretty sure listening to The Beatles works just as well as those Baby Einstein CDs

When the entire world was weirded out
The earworm epidemic is a cause that is close to my heart. You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we’re far apart, you’re always in my heart. Damn it, Michael Jackson! See what I mean? This is a very serious condition. It sounds like you’re stuck…and I’m…stuck in the middle with you. Scheisse! Okay, the first step is for both of us to breathe. Belly breath right through it. All better? Good.

Being semi-sadistic myself, I like to fight earworms with earworms. Sometimes this has worked wonderfully. I have weened children from the Fresh Beat Band to a more advanced addiction of The Go-Go’s. This is a step in the right direction. What you need to do is simply match the overall feeling and rhythm of a kid’s song with something more acceptable to you. Until that becomes unacceptable. Rinse and repeat. If you get stuck in a Go-Go’s loop and your kids only want more of the same, this may be the time to introduce Belinda Carlisle, solo artist. If you tell them, “this is the Go-Go’s” you sort of aren’t lying to them. If that works, you can diversify further with some Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles. Maybe hand them a snack during this diversification project.

So don’t be cruel and cut them off cold turkey. If they’re stuck on Yo Gabba Gabba, I’d suggest transitioning to Talking Heads. Both have just a bit of space-age-y-infused funk. If it’s a generic kid song with clapping, whistles or bells, try taking baby steps to Toni Basil or the The Ting Tings. When in doubt, use Michael Jackson as musical methadone for almost any earworm. Kids love it because it is awesome. Other random recommendations that rock and/or roll: John Mayer’s Queen of California, The Black Crowes’ Garden Gate, and anything by Fleetwood Mac.

Your children will be torturing you with their music for years to come, so it's good to develop some strategies now. 

Go forth and rock,
Your Ann Abler

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