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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: "I Feel Beautiful" by Robyn Hitchcock

Earworm Weekly: "I Feel Beautiful" by Robyn Hitchcock

Not all earworms are former Billboard Top Ten successes, well-known by everyone who hears even a few notes of their melody. Some earworms can be obscure songs that come to have personal meaning to the listener. They get burned into…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Seals and Crofts' "Get Closer"

Earworm Weekly: Seals and Crofts' "Get Closer"

These days, after writing this column for so long, the earworms practically generate themselves. As I wrote my previous column on the Ghostbusters theme, for example, I listened to a lot of songs where Ray Parker Jr. played session…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: The Many Versions of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You"

Earworm Weekly: The Many Versions of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You"

I'm out of town on vacation this week, and my “beach reading” is Mark Binelli's new novel Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All Time Greatest Hits, a fictional retelling of Hawkins' life story. The title is a sly little joke, because Hawkins,…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: "I'll Be Around" By The Spinners

Earworm Weekly: "I'll Be Around" By The Spinners

No matter what the calendar may say, summer has arrived, and here is how I can tell. I was standing in front of the Macarthur BART station after work this week when a vintage convertible rolled to a stop at…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: "The Bad Touch" By The Bloodhound Gang

Earworm Weekly: "The Bad Touch" By The Bloodhound Gang

I went out dancing on Friday night, at a small club in West Oakland. In fact, the club was so tiny, and I arrived so early, that for a good while my sweetie and I were the only two people…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly – “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

Earworm Weekly – “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

I've mentioned before that I am of the nonstandard body type commonly known as “fat.” Not only that, but I've been a fat activist for many years now – someone who actively works for the rights and dignity of…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Prince's "Take Me With U"

Earworm Weekly: Prince's "Take Me With U"

Prince hung around the Bay Area for about a week recently, mounting solo shows at the Paramount and Oracle Arena in Oakland, catching a Warriors game in the meantime and capping it all off with an afterparty at Great…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Eddie Murphy's Brief Foray into Pop with "Party All The Time"

Earworm Weekly: Eddie Murphy's Brief Foray into Pop with "Party All The Time"

Remember the first time Eddie Murphy decided he wanted to be a pop singer? I, for one, will never forget it. It was 1985. Murphy paired up with Rick James to produce “Party All The Time,” the first single…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl"

Earworm Weekly: Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl"

In 1981, Rick Springfield, former teen idol, blossomed into a genuine heartthrob. He played a doctor on General Hospital and moonlighted as an aspiring pop star. And, he finally made an indelible mark on the music world with the…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: "Fatback" Celebrates Thick Women and Good Cookin'

Earworm Weekly: "Fatback" Celebrates Thick Women and Good Cookin'

I'm not a connoisseur of Latin jazz, but I am a happy casual listener. So I had never heard of conga legend Mongo Santamaria before his song “Fatback” became a persistent (if not pleasant) earworm for me. I blame this…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: A Closer Look at Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

Earworm Weekly: A Closer Look at Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

In 1998, Lauryn Hill released her first solo album, one that would become a landmark in both the hip-hop and neo-soul genres. She also unleashed a gigantic earworm that reverberates to this day. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” was the…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Have You Ever Actually Listened to the Lyrics of "Norwegian Wood?"

Earworm Weekly: Have You Ever Actually Listened to the Lyrics of "Norwegian Wood?"

It's not that I hate the Beatles, per se. It's simply that I've already heard the entirety of their extensive catalog enough to last the rest of my lifetime. This decision isn't about quality or significance: it’s about ubiquity.…
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Music, All Shook Down Earworm Weekly: Wham!'s “Everything She Wants”

Earworm Weekly: Wham!'s “Everything She Wants”

Back in 1984, George Michael was half of the prototypical boy band Wham! He was 21, presumed straight, and one of the leading teen-girl crush objects of the era. Unless you were me. I always tried hard to fit in…
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Music, All Shook Down She's an Earworm: The Tubes Reconsidered

She's an Earworm: The Tubes Reconsidered

By now everyone knows what an earworm is, right? It's a song that gets stuck in your head, like a musical worm that's burrowed into your ear and made a home there, crooning its chosen tune just for you. Perhaps…
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