Jump ... Screech!

Friday, 1 June 2012

I experience terrible internal torment when it comes to music I don't like.  Terrible.  Truly, nobody really understands just how close 666 Radio Susie is at times to throwing me under a bus.  And so I groaned last night watching a show about the making of one of Deep Purple's albums when I realised it was the one containing Smoke on the Water.  Radio Susie loves Smoke on the Water.  As soon as that guitar riff starts up - surely one of the most well-worn for aspiring guitar players - I want to stick long forks in my ears, or head off to bed and feign a migraine, because I know that that bugger is now gonna be buzzing round in my head for the next few days like bees from the depths of Rupert Murdoch's dirty soul.

And I don't know hardly any of the lyrics (or at least I didn't), so the loop in my head consists of that stupid boww-boww-boww boww-boww-ba-boww boww-boww-boww-bahh-boww riff, followed by a sort of muffled humming sound that makes up the first two lines of the lyrics (because I don't know the words - or I didn't), followed by the chorus:

Smoke on the water
Fire in the sky.

That's the loop.  It's really small.   Radio Susie likes it like that.  You can fit it in more times in an hour that way.  At the end of the loop my mind is blissfully silent for about four seconds before it goes back to the beginning again, back into the guitar riff.

It's terribly tiresome.

My partner, God rot his brain, underestimates my torment.  He thinks it's funny.  He lay in bed last night singing those first two lines for my musical education.  And then this morning I received a text at 10:39 which read in its entirety:

We all came out to Montereax

followed up at 11:54 by:

On the Lake Geneva shoreline.

And so now I know the first two lines to Smoke on the Water.  Perhaps I should thank him for the opportunity of spicing up the loop.

And now, thanks to the lovely folk at SongMeanings I have learned this afternoon (in lieu of doing uni homework or cleaning up the house) that this song is about what happened to the band when they were making their last album.  It was in Montereax, Switzerland, but some dolt got there first and burnt the place down before they could begin recording.  So instead they had to stay at the cold and gooberly Grand Hotel and record using a portable van (which, to its credit, the Rolling Stones had previously used but which, to its discredit, was positioined down on the road and they had to wend their way through a labyrinthe every time they wanted to go down and chat with the engineers about anything).

So there you go.  That's an interesting story.  Perhaps this is a form of aversion therapy I could use in my quest to rid Smoke on the Water from Radio Susie's playing list.  Sexing it up by giving it a narrative.  And I must say, now I know a bit more about the song, I do feel more amenable to it.  I like its story (even if the soundtrack to the story still remains shit).

So maybe this part of the plan will foil Radio Susie.  To find something I like about Smoke on the Water so it's not my enemy anymore.  I don't know if it will work.  Because I still HATE that guitar riff.  It reminds me of drunk bogans in tight t-shirts with packs of cigarettes stuck in one shoulder from my teenage years.

I don't know what this propensity to high-rotate songs I dislike comes from.  But then it's not always songs I dislike.  Sometimes high-rotation is fun.  Like in that awesome newly-in-love phase with a new album when you've done the hard yards of the first tedious four listens, and now the songs have begun to separate themselves, and the refrains of certain parts of them come to visit you throughout the day, enticing you back for another listen (at the moment it's Snowflake and Misty from Kate Bush's 50 Words for Snow).

But then at other times the high rotation backfires.  If the song is a more familiar one that you have loved long time, so that it's like a comfortable pair of jeans, high-rotation can sometimes end in divorce if it goes on long enough.  And that is terrible and traumatic when you divorce a song and you only have yourself to blame.

And Radio Susie cleans out her teeth with a toothpick, and begins searching for her next victim.

Radio Susie's particular love for songs I hate (perhaps I should call her Mrs Muscle) is the reason why, when I saw that the theme for this month's NaBloPoMo is Jump, the screeching started straight away.  That awful screeching that's been stuck in my head since 1992 that makes me want to keen and dribble and slash.  It comes from that song called Jump by those young 'uns called Kriss Kross that topped the charts here in Australia 20 years ago.  Again, this is a perfect song for Radio Susie's most demonic torturings because I don't know any more of it other than the chorus, a repetition of the song's title accompanied by that noise.  That screeching noise.  Ohh, Radio Susie loveses it.  The whore that she is.

Perhaps I should try learning all the lyrics to this song too, or at least the story behind it (though I seriously doubt there is one).  Find something to hang the aversion therapy hat on.  Maybe actually learning all of the lyrics of that pustulent song would reconfigure the calibrations within Radio Susie so it would lose its lustre for her, and she would chuck it and Smoke on the Water onto the enormous pile of Songs I Don't Like Very Much But Nevertheless Don't Torment Myself With on a Semi-Regular Basis.  Songs like ...

Ahh.  I see what you're up to Radio Susie.  Let's move along.

Or perhaps another tactic I could try is to simply have another song to put in their place when those earworms turn up to torment me.  I could do a direct replace, jump for jump, so to speak.  And so I rack my brains with my sievelike memory to find what songs I know with the word "jump" in them. But all I can think of is Jump by Van Halen.  And to be honest and sacreligious,  I find that song boring as batshit.

Oh, that's right.  There's Jump by the Pointer Sisters, but that's really frying pan into the fire sort of stuff, isn't it.  Not helpful at all.

And so I head back to where I just was, to SongMeanings and begin searching for songs with jump in the title.  And from my searchings I have come up with a song I would like to get to know better.  It's called Jump Up by Elvis Costello.

Hmm.  This has been a creative brainstorming regarding an irritating problem.  This could be the start of a whole lot of new album purchases :)

~ ~ ~

This is my first post for NaBloPoMo.  It entails a commitment to blog every day through the month of June.   The theme for this month is Jump, which I may or may not deviate from at times.  If you want to participate yourself you can jump in up till 5 June.  The blogroll is here, you can get a snazzy badge for your blog here, and the writing prompts, should you choose to use them, are here.


  1. Like that EC song, Sue - says a whole lot in 2 mins. Also like your brainstorm - hope you get struck by enlightning in June:)

  2. Hooray for englightning storms, Harry!  :)

  3. Sometimes it's just a still, soundless 'kiss from within', Sue, like, oh yes, that's the way it is... how could I have missed it? You are what you're looking for, and that's far too simple for the mind, which likes to spin a big story. As we learn to just ignore the spin, Being Happens at the still centre. But then you probably know all this:)


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