Salutations and greetings, and I bid you all welcome back to Absurdisan, which has been on an unintentional hiatus for numerous reasons – I managed to get tonsillitis again, there was a massive workload at work thanks to the Deus Ex Human Revolution release, and most recently my brother had his stag party in Berlin, which was suitably messy European fun. Nevertheless, I apologise for the lack of activity on here, and as such I will endeavour to post more regularly from now on.
Lots has happened since my last post, and I can’t think of anything specific to focus on about it because my mind has been left a haze of illness- and drug-addled mugginess, so I shall move on and embrace subjects new.
Today’s topic is flash-recall, or the sudden and inexplicable recollection of something completely random and with no discernable reason for you having remembered it. I will be focusing specifically on flash-recalling randomly awesome music – these are the songs and albums you had completely forgotten about by artists you could swear you didn’t actually like. This has happened to me quite a few times in the past few months, and each time I find myself searching for the song on YouTube (it being the simplest way to access such things at work) whereupon I listen to the offending tune and absolutely love it to bits.
Last month, Follow Me by Uncle Kracker somehow blurted its way into my head, and after tracking it down online I spent most of the day relistening to it over and over. I still pop it on occasionally now, possibly for fear of it disappearing into the obscurities of my brain once again. More recently, my mind was suddenly assailed by Steal My Sunshine by Len, so straight to YouTube I went. Now, thanks to YouTube’s related videos, I have been enjoying a private 90’s classics party of awesomeness at my desk, featuring Eagle Eye Cherry’s Save Tonight, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something, and Hanson’s delightfully incomprehensible Mmmbop.
But this doesn’t just happen with 90’s retropop from my childhood – various rock and metal tracks that I once loved to bits will hurriedly sprint into the forefront of my mind, as well as any other musical genre that feels unwanted. TV themes, video game soundtracks, even music I heard on some advert once – it seems that almost any tune can forcefully invade my psyche and not let go until I’ve satiated its hunger.
I know for a fact that this happens to other people – reading on the internet or even just talking to anyone you know will bring up sentences like, “I got this random song stuck in my head,” or, “Remember that shit tune we heard that one time?” or, “MMMBOP, de-bee-dapadooble DOOOWOP, deewee-abadab DOOBOP.” And yet everyone is caught off guard by this, and people say it’s because they’d forgotten that song/themetune/artist/jingle. However, we all know this is rubbish – the real reason we are so startled is because we never realised we’d forgotten it in the first place.
You think that everything you hear, especially the songs that really resonated with you at a specific time in your life, would be with you forever – you could never forget Spandau Ballet’s heart-achingly terrible breathy-sung intro to True, or Rush’s sheer mind-blowing feel-good technicality of The Spirit of Radio. And yet all of a sudden you’re caught off guard by your once-favourite song, and we are left with the realisation that the only reason we were thrown so off-kilter is that we really had forgotten.
Of course, with the advent of digital music, this problem is remarkably more easily overcome, as we can immediately go and download a song, or an album, or even an artist’s entire discography if we are so inclined, just so that we can absolutely make sure we have it and will never forget again. We may know that this is doomed to failure as it gets buried in our many thousands of other songs, but it’s a great relief to us in the end.
But I argue that this flash-recall isn’t such a bad thing at all.
The act of flash-recalling is more often than not a wonderful experience. We are instantly reminded of older times, events now in the past that have lain dormant in the recesses of our minds, slowly gathering rose-tinted dust without us even knowing. When we trip over these memories, they shimmer and shine with the wonder of lost treasure, and this is a truly great thing to be shared with the world.
Indeed, posting about Uncle Kracker’s Follow Me on Facebook garnered quite a few nostalgic and very thankful responses. So when you’re next struck by a moment of flash-recall, don’t be afraid that you had forgotten such a classic (even if it is, in actuality, a terribly rubbish song that you like for no discernable reason). Enjoy the feeling, relive the moments you remember and share them with your friends, as they will most likely have forgotten about that as well. They’ll thank you.
Unless you flash-recall rap. Keep that shit inside.