Not in that goofy ’80s Satanic Panic, Ozzy Osbourne backmasking kind of way. While the Grateful Dead make it sound cool, the devil is no friend of mine. And no matter how many times I play The Beatles “Revolution 9,” backwards, instead of hearing “Paul is dead,” it just sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown.
Nope, I gave that up around the time I stopped cutting the fingers out of my mom’s Isotoner gloves and pretending I was in a Twisted Sister video.
Rather, than subliminal, my iPod’s sending me subtle messages by the songs/artists it chooses for me. Random, as it turns out, ain’t so random after all.
How else can I explain the fact that among the 2,000-plus hand-picked songs I’ve arranged in my special “Working for The Man” playlist, three Billy Joel songs pop up … in a row. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Piano Man,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “Captain Jack” as much as the next guy, but there’s something a little creepy about that kind of synchronicity.
It’s like my iPod has a mind of its own and secretly knows that I can’t really write with such sing-along fodder pouring through my earbuds. It’s a dose of reverse psychology, see. My iPod “chooses” songs that are distracting as a way of telling me that, while Mike D might actually be “The masta blasta/drinkin’ up the Shasta,” listening to The Beastie Boys at work is the best way to guarantee that I get nothing done. (Yes, I know that I made the playlist and therefore control its function, so I can only blame myself when catchy songs pop up. Give me a break. It was a rough week. I’m short on ideas and this is what I’m going with. So treat this like Christmas and understand that going in with a suspension of belief is the best way to let the magic pour through.)
And what’s up with all the Winger? (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.) Just yesterday it was like I’d joined the Kip Winger fan club. I bounced from “17” to “Headed for a Heartbreak” to the acoustic version of “Miles Away” between my mid-morning snack and lunch.
Why I have so much Winger on my iPod is a whole other column.
Then it’s as if my Ipod — nicknamed Lemmy — turned true to its nature and spewed forth a series of Motörhead classics loud enough to make my ears bleed … “Killed by Death,” indeed.
And, of course, the embarrassing moments: singing Queen’s “I Want It All” while busting out the Freddie-Mercury-Live-at-Wembley-Stadium prance complete with fist pump only to have someone walk into the bathroom when you thought you were alone.
The cool thing about my job is that we’re allowed to listen to music. Only my mind doesn’t divide that way. The Diva and My Lovely Wife can both be productive while watching TV. Jellybean and I are one-track beings. When the music plays, it’s like there’s a “Wonderwall” between us and reality … that probably makes no sense, but no matter how many times I’ve heard it, I still can’t figure out what the heck a Wonderwall is. I guess Oasis is smarter than a 38-year-old.
So when it comes to being productive, from now on I guess I’ll have to listen to my iPod without actually listening to my iPod. Somewhere Kip Winger is crying.
Contact Brett Buckner firstname.lastname@example.org.