Sunday, January 10, 2016

Current Earworm, and Me and One Hit Wonders

A week ago, I wrote a post about binge-watching the early 70s anime smash Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. When I wrote the post, I was forty-two episodes into the series, and I am now at episode sixty-four. At some point, I had to take a pause, "Get a hold of yourself, you can't just watch SNTG episodes!"

Sooooo... I, er, um, watched a clip from the Star Blazers, a 1979 adaptation of the Japanese series Space Battleship Yamato, a space opera about an interstellar quest being undertaken by the crew of a restored Yamato which has been outfitted with a hyperdrive based on a design sent by a friendly alien in order that the humans can defeat a common enemy. The "ultimate weapon" of the eponymous Space Battleship Yamato was the Wave Motion Gun, a superweapon which used the energy of the spaceship's engine to devastating effect:

Poking around the t00bz, I found a song titled Wave Motion Gun by the band Marcy Playground. Now, I had heard of this band, their song Sex and Candy received quite a bit of airplay on alternative radio stations in the late 90s. I was pretty much indifferent to the song, finding it a bit of slacker-grungey mediocrity, so I never really pursued any of the band's other material. Damn, damn, damn... all along I was missing out on a neat little nerdy band whose one mediocre song appealed to radio station program directors. Wave Motion Gun is about the dangers of heroin, comparing the drug to the eponymous planet-busting weapon:

Wave Motion Gun" is a cool song. That's off Shapeshifter. That's a song that a lot of people seem to really dig. It's one of those impression songs. In the end, it's telling the story about me trying to convince my friend not to do heroin anymore. And that became a theme of my life because I went to college in Olympia, Washington, in the early '90s. It was sort of a port area in the Pacific Northwest where all the heroin trade was coming through. And everybody was on it at the time in the early '90s. And all my friends were sort of disappearing, and I didn't know where they were going. I found out they were all doing heroin. And they were doing it together, which is really a weird thing. But I never did it. It was not something I was ever interested in. In fact, drugs are something that never really interested me, except for some experimentation. But I just started watching friends die and disappear and drop out of school and stuff, and turning up in houses in San Francisco and shit like that. And my one closest friend I tried to convince to stop doing it, and that's kind of what that song's about.

The song is pretty damn addictive, I think I might write a song about being addicted to this song.

As far as "one hit wonders" go, it's almost invariably the case that the one song which captures the attention of the public is among my least-liked songs by any particular band. It's a shame that so many bands are saddled with this moniker when their deeper album cuts are so much better than their one hit. Of course, with royalties being what they are, I'm sure any band would rather be a one-hit wonder than a no-hit wonder.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

the one song which captures the attention of the public is among my least-liked songs by any particular band

Even Radar Love?

mikey said...


I loathed 'Sex & Candy'.

I LOVE 'Saint Joe on the Schoolbus'. It's a wonderful, powerful, dramatic gutpunch of a song, and it's in regular rotation on a number of my favorite playlists....

OBS said...

Mrs. Snob and I are supposed to go to a superheroes-and-villains-themed fundraiser next month. Alas, she is not interested in dressing up as any of my anime-based suggestions. Closest I got was for us to be Speed Racer and Trixie, which she didn't completely dismiss out of hand.