No dears, it’s not what it sounds like. Tuxedo clad singers won’t appear bedside after a night made out of a bottle of wine and some alcoholic spare change, both firmly lodged and aching somewhere behind your eyeballs. This is not the macaroni-and-cheese, peanut-butter-out-of-a-jar, kiddie-pool-full-of-coffee, musical hair of the dog. (Though that would be a good list, huh? Joshua, take note. I’m thinking a next morning cocktail of the Jayhawks and Zappa, with Katy Perry sprinkled on top…it could work.)
A musical hangover is more than a song that’s stuck in your head. It’s a song that’s lodged in your week. It’s a song you wake up singing, that you listen to on repeat for days without tiring of it, and still listen to (albeit with less fervor and repetition) on and off forever. You don’t wear it out—you just wear it, to the point that you convince yourself it means something, it’s part of the elusive soundtrack of your life, someone in a studio is pressing play as you walk through the doors and see that person, or do that thing, or gaze moonily out a window (moony moon-gazing is a serious side effect of musical hangovers). Enjoy your musical hangover while it lasts. Too soon, you’ll hear some awful jingle or bit of Top 40 fluff that will run through your head like an unpleasant musical flu.
Now that our Charm City Jukebox vocabulary lesson is over, here are three of my most recent musical hangovers: