You ever get a song stuck in your head and struggle to get rid of it? Ever hear a snippet of a song somewhere and struggle to place it, even though its on the tip of your tongue?
I almost always have music running through my brain. Whether its song ideas or snippets of thing I have recently (or not so recently) heard. Sometimes I dream about a song (a soundtrack to my dreams I suppose), and while I almost never remember the actual dream, but by the time I am in the shower I try to force myself to remember what song it was. Often I cant get that song out of my head until I figure it out and listen to it on my headphones while walking to work. Most of the time I treat it like a game…trying to figure out what the song is before I have to look it up.
Anyway, I bring this up because this week’s Radiolab delves into what makes music so catchy and why we can’t get them out of our head. The topic has now been rattling around in my head about as much as a Kylie Minogue pop song.
If you’re not familiar with Radiolab, it is a radio program from NPR and WNYC that in which hosts Robert Krulwich and Jan Abumrad explore and explain the scientific and philosophical. Its smart and funny and yet the sound they construct is pushing the boundaries of radio production. It sounds musical and stream of consciousness like early avant garde electronic music mixed with highly sampled synapses firing at rapid speed.
And yet at the heart of the show, Radiolab tells amazing stories that resonate with the listener and make you think. At its best, its completely mindblowing.
Take a listen to the Pop Music episode of Radiolab HERE!