DJ Earworm 2015

by Belle Waring on February 5, 2016

The Plain People of Crooked Timber: Belle. What is your deal even. You said you would post trivial idle thoughts alla time and instead you just ghost. And you haven’t even posted your annoying end-of-the-year mix of all the sucky songs from the previous year!

Well, gentle readers, I…I don’t have a great excuse because surely if I can play Candy Crush and lie awake at night looking at Pinterest for three solid hours I could post something. But I feel as if I should post something intelligent if I haven’t said anything in so long! I get similar email guilt; the feeling of shame at not having checked my email recently enough becomes a crippling barrier which prevents me from checking my email in a vicious cycle of anxiety. This is because contrived anxiety is actually more manageable than motivated anxiety. Our life is kind of sucking right now? One thing that’s awesome is that my mom, who got diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain over a year ago, is not merely alive and in charge of her faculties, but felt well enough to fly the 24 hours to Singapore and stay for a month. We went to Ubud in Bali also, to this villa that was just the schwaa. (The following is not, though it appears to be, the least helpful, most out of touch with reality advice because it is useful to our Antipodean readers/contributors who, it appears, must perforce go to Bali with some frequency because the entire population of Australia appears to be there at all times. Villa Bali is the best. It’s only economical if there are several of you, like four minimum, but then you have your own kitchen, can go to the grocery store and don’t need to pay for any restaurants so it can easily be cheaper than a mid-range hotel and is 50x more fun.) OTOH, Stage IV lung cancer sucks! It’s normally the stage when they tell you, “you’re about to die, bro.”

Separately, Zoë is stuck in a wheelchair which no one wants for their 14 year old. PT at home! (Short version: her back is all jonked up. Also: they don’t know. Additionally: ???) Homeschooling? Homeschooling! I’ve always thought I would be competent to do homeschooling but would require help in someone making a schedule and forcing me to do it. So…yeah. So far I’ve taught her embroidery and cross stitch. Mmmmm. I don’t know how useful that is for getting an International Baccalaureate, but at the same time it’s a fun activity that you can do semi-reclining, and you get cool stuff at the end. (They have to take the SAT also if they apply to college in the states, which seems unfair. The IB exam is legit.) One can’t really draw without sitting up and maybe, if you are me and Zoë, hunching so far over the paper as you cross-hatch fine details that you get ink on your nose. John is going to have to be the schedule guy; he’s all motivated and organized. And Violet. Violet is also motivated and organized. She comes home on Friday and does her homework right away so she can enjoy the rest of the weekend playing videogames without guilt. What kind of crazy sh#t is that? I would be surprised to find out that I ever started my weekend homework before Sunday at 7 p.m. Being in charge of Zoë doing it is forcing me to do the physical therapy I’m supposed to do for my bjorked-up spine but always blew off until now, and, funny story, I feel better. In the long run everything is going to be OK and I know Zoë will have a way better 2016 than she did a 2015. She kind of has to. I mean, in the long run, except for one’s shoulder itching as it anticipates the icy grip of inevitable death, but, you know, that’s just true all the time.

The Plain People of Crooked Timber: sure, but these mixes are entertaining only insofar as they demonstrate mastery of a narrow skill. He doesn’t create songs to which one wishes to listen. Also, it is unfair to make us all feel bad for you, because what if we need to disagree with you because you are wrong or tell you that you are part of the 1% globally and now you fail to understand everyone’s actual struggles. You don’t see us rushing to the comments with our sob stories. This is a high-minded blog. We are stoic, like Midwesterners, or Finnish people.

Not so! The girls and I listen to DJ Earworm all the time! Violet’s fave is 2012, which is good because of the unusually high number of good songs and the only appearance of Janelle Monàe, while Zoë prefers 2013, which features unusually good video editing, and gave us a chance to make jokes that depends on one’s having read and cared a lot about the manga Gakuen Alice. Namely, “Bear’s got an Alice, bitch!” and “Bear is in Dangerous Abilities!” However, it is hilarious to us and the one other person who has ever gotten it, one of Zoë’s Korean friends. I’m partial to Summermash 2013 because of its heavy reliance on Daft Punk, without its being my favorite. Also, you can still tell me I’m wrong about everything.



MPAVictoria 02.05.16 at 2:49 pm

Missed your posts Belle. Strength and peace in the New Year for you and the family.


Lynne 02.05.16 at 3:24 pm

Belle, I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. And Zoe in a wheelchair! I hope 2016 is as kind as possible to your family.
>>>She comes home on Friday and does her homework right away so she can enjoy the rest of the weekend playing videogames without guilt. What kind of crazy sh#t is that? I would be surprised to find out that I ever started my weekend homework before Sunday at 7 p.m.<<<

Me, too! I used to say to my kids how I wished I'd had even ONE weekend without homework looming over me, as a way to encourage them to get their homework out of the way early, but I never really expected it.

I'll echo MPAV about missing your posts (though maybe not the music posts.;) ) Welcome back!


Lee A. Arnold 02.05.16 at 4:03 pm

That is a great mixtape.


Lee A. Arnold 02.05.16 at 4:24 pm

Or rather, mashup.


Lee A. Arnold 02.05.16 at 4:50 pm

I just listened to all of DJ Earworm and I love it! Thanks so much!

I was reminded of the following track, 19 minutes without a steady beat, though it has various rhythms. I am afraid that youngsters and most oldsters will not like it. But this is one of the best things I have found in 25 years.

It’s a bricolage of pre-recorded Eastern European and Russian ethnic vocal lamentation and church bells, digitally processed into minimalist cell structures, plus soprano. It is continuous through several short movements, some quite rhythmic, and ends in a lovely movement that uses the melody of an old hymn.

As with a DJ mashup, it’s best to know the pieces already. So listen at least twice, because it helps to know what’s coming the second time. Some of the aural effects are unlike anything else.

Ingram Marshall, “Hidden Voices” (1990)


The Temporary Name 02.05.16 at 6:39 pm

My significant other says mashups should be illegal. What should I do?


Jack Morava 02.05.16 at 8:34 pm

Sir: Sir W. Beach Thomas asks

“Is any animal anywhere quite silent?” The most extraordinary
instance of almost, if not complete, silence in any land animal
is the giraffe. It has been heard, I believe, to utter a very
slight bleat when teased with food.’

This letter appeared recently in the London Spectator. It reminds
me that I have been harboring a strange little animal in my house
for years. It looks not unlike a monkey, but since it roosts at
night it must be something else. The `face’ is extraordinarily
withered and old. The creature is covered with coarse fur and has
never uttered a sound. It feeds chiefly on books and newspapers,
and sometimes takes a bath in the kitchen sink, cunningly turning
on the taps with its `hand’. It rarely goes out and is in its own
way courteous. I am afraid and ashamed to let anybody see it in
case I am confronted with some dreadful explanation. Supposing
it’s a little man cunningly disguised, some eccentric savant from
the East Indies who is over here studying us. How do I know he
hasn’t it all down in a little book?

The Plain People of Ireland: Yerrah man you’ll find it’s an
over-grown rake of a badger you have in the house. Them lads
would take the hand off you.

Myself: Indeed?

The Plain People of Ireland: Better go aisy now with them lads.
Ate the face off you when you’re asleep in the bed. Hump him out of
the house before he has you destroyed man. Many’s a good man had
the neck clawed off him be a badger. And badgers that doesn’t be
barkin out of them is very dangerous.

Myself: Thanks for the warning.

The Plain People of Ireland: A good strong badger can break a
man’s arm with one blow of his hind leg, don’t make any mistake
about that. Show that badger the door, Chinaman or no Chinaman.

Myself: Thank you, I will draw his attention to that useful


js. 02.05.16 at 11:55 pm

Belle — Next time, can you live-blog the three hours on Pinterest? It would be amazing!

And well wishes to your family.


oldster 02.06.16 at 12:24 am

Good to hear from you, Belle, and my best wishes to your mother and daughter.

Janelle Monae, y’all. At least something’s right with the world.


JanieM 02.06.16 at 12:24 am

But I feel as if I should post something intelligent if I haven’t said anything in so long!

Belle, I for one would read your writing for the glory of the sentence structure alone. :-)

I hope 2016 goes better.


Doctor Science 02.06.16 at 1:05 am

Belle, if Violet likes the 2012 songs, she may appreciate this fanvid for Nicki Minaj’s Starships. Also excellent for people who like spaceships — which should be all the right-thinking ones here, amirite?


js. 02.06.16 at 1:23 am

the feeling of shame at not having checked my email recently enough becomes a crippling barrier which prevents me from checking my email in a vicious cycle of anxiety

I am in actual fact experiencing this problem with my RSS reader right now. It’s been so long, I probably have 500 unread articles/blog posts/xkcd comics (which isn’t even counting expired pieces). It’s like someone else needs to get in there and “mark all as read” before I can even look at it. Maybe I can sit it out until my account flat out expires?


ZM 02.06.16 at 2:52 am

i have Pintrest guilt, I keep getting emails about new Pins and Pin Twins that I am way behind at looking at. I’m sorry to hear about Zoe’s back, I hope they work out what it is. I remember Tedra was posting on home schooling when she used to write posts here.

This is a nice 2015 cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball by The Mae Trio and Oh Pep, they did a really great cover of Buzz Cut Season last year too


JPL 02.06.16 at 8:41 am

Hi Belle!
Good to see you; haven’t seen you for a while. Sorry to hear about your mother and daughter; well, it’s good to see that even though “they” don’t know, you seem hopeful in both cases.

I do miss (smiling to you, Lynne!) your music posts, as well as your other ones. And I like listening to all the music other commenters are listening to that I’ve never heard of before, let alone heard before. Like the Mae Trio and Oh Pep (Thanks ZM!)

I enjoyed the DJ Earworm Mashup: the visuals are striking, revealing that the level of choreographed dancing has progressed to a very high level these days, a point emphasized by the inclusion of the bodily contortions of Drake.

The longer you go without posting, the higher you raise the bar for yourself. Don’t worry about it. Whatever frothy bubbles the stream of your consciousness sends up are of great and intrinsic interest to all of us.


ingrid robeyns 02.06.16 at 4:10 pm

Sorry to hear about your mother, Belle, but glad she could visit you. And I also hope things will brighten up for Zoë asap! Glad you’re posting, some of us have to do so to keep the blog alive, I guess…


Sumana Harihareswara 02.06.16 at 6:25 pm

My thoughts are with you.


George de Verges 02.08.16 at 3:12 am

Ms. Waring, welcome back. We missed you. Really.

Hope all will be well with your Mom and Zoe.

Hope for a good 2016 for all of you.

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