Songs that got stuck in my head, 2010

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22×30”, branding iron on paper

I stumbled across the technique before I developed the concept. While at a local toy store this spring,  I saw a novelty branding iron with a moveable typeface. Intended for use with a backyard BBQ, the host could sear a steak or burger with the name of a guest. I purchased the iron knowing I could use it in an artistic process, but didn’t know how.

A few weeks later, the concept met the technique. The song Wonderwall by British band Oasis got stuck in my head. I thought I might exercise the song, which was now burned into my grey matter, by burning the title onto a piece of paper. The use of smoke and fire seemed suitably ritualistic for the extrication of the song, but that the tool was decidedly suburban was nice. Thereafter I began making notes of what songs got stuck and when.

I soon discovered that the amount of burning changes the way the song title is perceived. Neil Young’s Look Out for My Love read like a threat when the paper was really charred and like a barely audible plea when the paper was just lightly singed.

And fair warning: there is potential of contagion. If a viewer reads the title and recognizes the song, there is a good chance it will then become stuckin their head.

 

Hard Luck Woman, Kiss 1976

Back in the USSR, The Beatles, 1968

Look out for my love, Neil Young, 1978

Fun House, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, 1970

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