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Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

 

Stereophonic bullets

A post over at Monitor Mix covers the not-so-unusual phenomenon of using music as a weapon to annoy parents, significant others, office mates, etc. I can think of no other place where this is more common than in college dormitories. Reading the post conjured up some reverse-nostalgia for the hard time I spent in the Soviet-style dorms at the University of Oregon.

During my sophomore year I lived next door to a guy who was completely obsessed with the Grateful Dead. After learning that he absolutely despised the Beastie Boys, I fought back against the tide of his endless live bootlegs with "Professor Booty." He eventually moved out and was replaced by a gent who couldn't get enough of Madonna's "Ray of Light." Precisely at the stroke of 10 AM he would play the song at top volume after returning from a morning class. This served as my alarm clock for the duration of that entire term.

I tracked down a copy of The Immaculate Collection in the hopes that if I fired back with a few of Madonna's older singles it might encourage him to at least try one of her other hits. "Papa Don't Preach" didn't do the trick and neither did "Material Girl" or "Like a Prayer." All of these years later I still wonder why he was so infatuated with that random pop song and if he ever ditched this peculiar morning ritual.

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