Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Shazam!

Two tunes tangentially related by the fact that I can never remember what they’re called

On the one hand, it’s unsettling to think that teenagers now think of the 1990s in the same way that I thought of the 1970s when I was a teenager. But then I look back at all the weird hair and clothes of the 1990s, and I realize that yeah, it tracks.

But it hits different when you can remember the things that all The Youths think of as ancient history. I can hear a song from the late 90s and immediately be hit with a wave of memories: being an adult (more or less) in Athens or Atlanta, driving on the freeway in sweltering heat, listening to 99X as they played the song of the moment in constant rotation to guarantee that it would be burned in my memory thirty years later.

For some of these songs, I can — and do — pull up the entire melody, the lyrics, and even details from the videos from the darkest recesses of my brain, out of nowhere, at a moment’s notice. I can usually remember every minor detail about them… except for the title of the song, or who sang it.

One of those is “Out of My Head” by Fastball. It would often pop back in my mind unprompted, and in the dark days before Shazam, it would drive me crazy that I had a stray tune that I simultaneously vividly remembered and couldn’t place. Even after the advent of marketing-driven music-listening technology, I’d have to wait until I happened to hear it — most often in the waiting area of a restaurant playing “the oldies” — before I could try and catch it.

It’s a solid, short, and sweet song, much better than “The Way” in my opinion. One of those songs that sounds like the 1990s but also timeless — you can vaguely imagine it was probably played on Dawson’s Creek or some other WB show, but it’s not quite as anchored in the past as something like “I Don’t Want to Wait.” I like the song enough that I’ll even forgive the band for those sideburns.

The prime example, though, is “Sleeping Satellite” by Tasmin Archer. I really love this song, and it never fails to remind me of the early 1990s and my awareness at the time that we were genuinely entering a new decade, as opposed to just stretching the 80s out for several more years. It was a much better harbinger of the coming of decade of music than, say, “Sadeness” by Enigma. (Turns out people weren’t actually as into Gregorian chants as the music industry had hoped?)

But I’ll be damned if I could remember the name of it. Looking through my Shazam history is hilarious, in that “Sleeping Satellite” keeps popping up over and over again. Evidently I spent years realizing, “Oh I love this song! What’s it called again?” and then immediately forgetting.

Wait, what were we talking about, again? Oh, hey, I love this song! What’s it called?