Monday Earworm: Madonna

I know it’s Tuesday.

Somehow summer break is even busier than the school year. I always think I’m going to have all this time and flexibility, but the first couple of weeks of June still end up being a catch-up on all the appointments I had to put off during the last six weeks of school. Ah well! C’est la teaching vie.

Yesterday this song came on the radio and it was JUST the right thing I needed to hear at JUST the right time I was in the mood to hear it. It came out in 1990, I think, the start of a very dynamic and changeable decade that ended in maybe no way like it started. The 80s influence is quite strong here, of course, but you can tell things are also very clearly moving forward.

But why didn’t I post this yesterday? I meant to, truly, but my afternoon and evening were taken up completely with finishing the second issue of Sonic Chihuahua — which piece of 90stalgia, by the way, got an absolutely delightful write-up over at Postcards from La-La Land today! Woot! Go check it out, and while you’re there, browse Nerija’s blog, which is really wonderful and has all kinds of goodies about literature and mermaids and (here lately) zines.

And if you’re a subscriber to Sonic Chihuahua, your zines should be coming to you soon. And if you aren’t yet but want to be, drop me a note in the comments!

And in the meantime, enjoy this earworm.

Monday Earworm: Barenaked Ladies

I hope everyone has had a good holiday weekend (if you’re here in the US) or a good weekend and Monday generally (no matter where you are). I have been aggressively decompressing from the school year by reminding myself frequently that I don’t have any school work to do right now and also forcing myself to sit on the couch and play Wordscapes on my phone for extended periods of time while silently repeating the mantra that I am not wasting time because there are no more papers to grade or lessons to plan for this week.

I also want to acknowledge the sacrifices of our military and express my appreciation for them. Being in the service is another underappreciated and deeply necessary career, and I send my gratitude and best wishes to all our service members, past and present and future.

It is also, after all, a Monday, and I really like this song. It’s not really related to the holiday, but that’s okay, too. The musical style goes with a mellow kind of day, and it comes from an underrated but absolutely excellent album.

Monday Earworm: Harvey Danger

Is there a more iconic 90s-era one-hit wonder than “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger? It’s possible there is, but it’s not coming to mind at the moment. And the reason why? Because this song has been stuck in my head for a while now.

Recently I teased a note on here that I was working on a new project but couldn’t say anything about it yet. Well, that project has come to fruition in the last few days.

Back in the early 90s, I and a couple of my friends from high school, named Alli and Lauren, made a zine called The Sonic Chihuahua. We published it for one summer, three issues. I wish I still had them. I wrote articles and printed them out on my mom’s dot-matrix printer and then taped them onto plain paper and Xeroxed the zine on the copy machine at my family’s grocery store. I don’t remember a whole lot about the content of each issue, but I do recall that in our first or second one I wrote a review of Nirvana’s first album — not Nevermind, which was pretty hot at the time, but Bleach, which might have been a demo. I’d gotten a bootleg cassette of it and went to town with my hot take. We also had a regular column called “EAT THIS” that featured recipes. I remember Alli and Lauren made some great doodle illustrations for the margins.

But come August, I was going off to college and my friends were going back to high school, and I was getting antsy that they might get in trouble at school for doing something so edgy and underground. (That was the kind of school we went to back then.) So I wanted to stop the project because I was worried about them. They were not worried at all and didn’t want it to end, but I pulled out of the project, and it died.

I have always regretted that: my anxiety for them and my unwillingness to risk. 

Well, for the last couple-few years I’ve been thinking about The Sonic Chihuahua and wishing I’d kept up with it and wondering whether I should revive it. And to make a long story short, several things have happened in this last month that, frankly, have assembled themselves into a giant Magic-8 Ball telling me, “All signs point to Yes.”

So. Twenty-nine or so years later, Sonic Chihuahua is back, better than ever. My Friday-night decompression the last few weeks has been putting this zine together. I’m going to try and do an issue each month. It fills a creative need I have and has also catapulted me out of a..let’s call it a malaise. Maybe at some point the new Sonic Chihuahua will find its way to Alli and Lauren and I’ll be back in touch with them. That would be serendipitous, I think.

Anyway, time for this week’s earworm — which is late because today was the last day of classes and I’m preparing for final exams (and because yesterday I spent some time on zine distribution). The lyric “I wanna publish zines and rage against machines” has been stuck in my head since I first decided the zine was going to come back. And I went back and looked up the lyric and found the title and band name (which had been lost to my memory). And I really paid attention to the song this time and realized that the lyrics are actually pretty funny, mildly clever, and a refreshing change from the lowest common denominator of pop music we sometimes get with two and a half verses of mostly repetitive and mostly uninspired words.

Anyway. Enjoy this bit of nostalgia. (And if you want a copy of the zine, send me an email to I’ll mail you one.)

Monday Earworm: Monks of Doom

Remember a while back when I posted a King Missile earworm and referenced Monks of Doom?


I couldn’t help myself so went to the Monks of Doom website and found some video clips of their performances. Do not ask me why I induged this curiosity, for I cannot explain why I could not leave well enough alone.

BUT! One of their songs was unusually compelling. Here it is for you tonight.


In other news, I’ve been working on a new project which I think some of you will love. I can’t tell you about it quite yet, but I promise I will. More on that later. Soon, actually. Before the semester ends… Stay tuned!

Monday Earworm: US3

When I was a sophomore in college, “Flip Fantasia” came out and became basically one of my favorite songs. I’m not sure it’s ever fallen off my Top 10 list.

Toward the end of the semester, the Honors College was having its annual dance — a bunch of college kids in the basement of the library dancing in dim lighting, etc. etc. etc. — and one of the upperclassmen on the periphery of my social circle was DJing. We had all brought our own CDs for him to play tracks from and could give requests. I brought this one and asked him to play it.

He grimaced. “You can’t dance to that.” Oh, his dismissiveness.

I thought, What? Are we going to have another four tracks of Devo? (Not that Devo isn’t awesome.)

“Come on, just play it,” I said. “This is totally danceable.”

He wasn’t into it, and I had to wait a long time to hear it, but eventually he did play it. And lots of people danced.

Because, come on, this song is all groove. 



Monday Earworm: Leonard Cohen

I will be the first to admit that I’m not really a fan of Leonard Cohen. Sorry. I mean, I love the song “Hallelujah,” but I really like the covers of it more than his original, no matter how many dozens of verses he penned.

Have you been watching the third season of American Gods? It’s a really good show — intense, and generally excellent — and based on a really fantastic book by Neil Gaiman. Of course, they’ve gone fairly far afield from the novel by this point. Anyway, this song accompanied the end credits for one of the later episodes in this season, and I’m just not sure there could have been a more fitting ending to the shit that went down in that hour of television.

If this is Holy Week for you, it’s the darkest and most (appropriately) morbid time in the liturgical calendar. And if you’re celebrating Passover, well, that was kind of a dark time, too. It’s a time of sacrifice, perhaps unquestioning and certainly (for some) unquestioned.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the more cheerful and festive and optimistic springtime holidays. (Happy HolI! And Happy Belated Equinox!) But I can’t deny that to have balance we have to acknowledge all the aspects of ourselves, and we are not 2D, flat characters in this life. We are light and dark, we are happy and sorrowful, we are cheerful and morose. We are also everything in between at one time or another. And it’s okay and even important to recognize that.

So here, have an eerie and maybe kind of frightening tune. And later this week, prepare for April.

And what is April here on my blog? A celebration of National Poetry Month! You can look forward to my Poem-A-Day series starting up on Thursday, April 1st. (Please note that while these poems are going up, most other features on the blog, such as the Monday Earworms, will go on hiatus. But never fear, they’ll be back in May.)

Until then, good luck getting this creepy ditty out of your head. (If you need help with that, let me know, and I will prescribe some Sting, which I have to admit has been absolutely branded into my brain the last week or so OMG. I swear some of that dude’s songs are so romantic it’s unfair.)


Monday Earworm: King Missile

My first year of college, my friends and I listened to a bunch of unusual music, entertaining stuff with a skewed sense of humor. We had dunked ourselves well and truly into the alternative-music waters of the era. One night, my friend AJ convinced me to join him and a few others at the student center for a King Missile concert. I was not super familiar with their music, but the concert was quite memorable and a lot of fun. (Of course, I would probably have enjoyed whatever they put up on the stage that night after the opening act, which was Monks of Doom — a band I’d never heard of before and absolutely the weirdest and most incomprehensible concert set I’d ever seen.)

Here’s one of King Missile’s songs, “Pickaxe,” which was a hit at the time. This really odd sense of humor was definitely their brand.