Thursday, May 24, 2012

Youngman Brown Vs. Gotye (And Everyone Else)

If you are reading this, it means you are a person.  And since you are a person, it means that I am about to offend you.  Because every person in the world apparently loves the song “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye.  But please read this with the forgiving heart, for I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like that song and am clearly delusional.  If you love this song, simply insert an artist that is popular and that you happen to hate.  So every time I say “Gotye,” just say “Justin Bieber” or “Kesha” or “Coldplay” or whatever artist or band that you happen to hate.


Anyway, here is the song if you have somehow not heard it yet:


*   *   *

There is a bar at work, and the female bartender sometimes plays “Somebody I Used to Know.”  And by sometimes, I mean all the time.  What is most frustrating is that she doesn’t play any songs in between.  She simply plays the song (on her iPod, apparently), then continues to tend the bar in silence. 

An hour or so later, she plays it again, as if it is an automatic reflex as natural as breathing.

Or, as I see it, as natural as urinating.

I hate the stupid song with its stupid lyrics, stupid whining, and stupid xylophone.

But my hatred for the song didn’t develop after hearing it for the millionth time.

I disliked it the first time I heard it. 

One of my Facebook friends posted the video along with the statement that it was “OMG the best song EVER,” and “totally captured every emotion that I have ever felt EVER” and “totally changes the way I look at the world.”

So I listened to the song, but did not experience the same epiphany that my friend had.  Instead, I listened to it, said “meh,” and moved on with my life.

But like my indigestion after eating at Applebee's, Gotye was not going to go away so easily.

*   *   *

On one of my commutes home from work, I was listening to the radio.  My iPhone was out of battery and the Phillies game was over, so I turned on 104.5, which is pretty much the only radio station that I listen to.

What song came on, but Gotye.

I said something along the lines of “Get off of my radio” as I toggled my radio down to 102.1, which plays pop music. 

And wouldn’t you know, they were playing “Somebody I Used to Know” at the same time!  Except this was a remix, with an added beat.

The added beat did not help me to hate my life less.

I listened for about ten seconds, as I pondered what crime I had committed to bring two radio stations to conspire against me.  I mean, clearly it was me who they were transpiring against, because I am the only person in the world to even notice that two radio stations were playing the same song, for who in the world would ever change the station when Gotye is playing???

After I could take no more, I clicked off my radio.  Every twenty seconds or so, I briefly clicked it back on to see if the song was over before I resumed listening to the radio.

Yes, I know it is somewhat pathetic that I actively chose to listen to silence rather than finding some other station.  But at that moment, I felt as if I needed to take a stand.  The world had gone mad in their universal acceptance that this song was so good, with such a significant message, that it deserved to be played on a constant loop, never un-listened to, like the eternal Olympic flame. 

They say that what defines someone’s character is what he or she does when nobody is looking.  And as I sat in silence in my car, I feel as if I had proven something to myself, although I don’t know what.

*   *   *

When I was a little kid, I collected baseball cards.  And when I say collected, I mean collected.  Not only did I amass a huge quantity, but I took fine care of them, putting even the worthless ones in protective sleeves so that they would retain their mint condition.  Like the Good Shepherd, I protected each and every card as if it were my most treasured possession.

But I always flushed my Albert Belle cards.  Flushed, as in flushed them down the toilet.

Source
I hated Albert Belle.  He wouldn’t take interviews before games, cursed at reporters and fans, refused to sign autographs, and used a corked bat, among other things.  In general, Albert Belle was my first understanding of what it meant to be an asshole.

So in my act of defiance against everything that Albert Belle stood for, I crumpled up my Albert Belle baseball cards (which, in comparison to most of my other cards, were actually worth a decent amount of money), threw them into the toilet, and smugly waved to them as they spun into the maelstrom that would eventually suck them into hell.

I’m not exactly sure why simply throwing them in the garbage wasn’t enough; why getting water involved was necessary.  But I think it had something to do with making a statement.  With saying “I might be a little kid, but I happen to know a thing or two about what constitutes a poopy-head.  And you, Albert Belle, are so much of a poopy-head that you deserve to go where my poopy goes, despite the monetary loss that I might suffer as a result and despite the fact that you, nor anyone else will ever know that I did this.”

And perhaps that is the reason I turned off my radio.

To say:

“Hey Gotye, I have listened to your dull song with its unimpressive xylophone too often.  I never really liked it in the first place, and as someone who likes everything when it comes to music*, it kinda frightens me that I can’t understand why everyone else likes such a boring song so much. 

*Except country, of course.

So in my commute home, I am going to turn the radio off in an act of protest.

Not down.

But off.

Just in case something is tracking what I am listening to, I want to ensure that they know that I am actively choosing not to listen to your incredibly annoying song.  Just to ensure that it does not become even more popular.”

I don’t know.  Maybe there’s a better way to protest a song.  

But let’s be honest, there is no toilet in the world big enough to flush as massive of a shit as a Gotye CD.

-Youngman Brown


84 comments:

  1. That is so hilarious!!!! My kids make me turn the radio station every time a Miley Cyrus song comes on, especially "The Climb". They despise that song.

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  2. fair play to you, i`m not keen on it either, although i do like the mini-history that goes with it,, the youtube cover that went viral and the cries of .." oh, i prefer the original ".

    no, no-one prefered the original anthem to butthurt, thats why it bombed when it first came out.

    ooh, maybe i do hate it after all.

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    1. Haha I could see your wheels turning there.

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  3. The bit of this story that I found the most weird was the bartender who doesn't play any other songs. It seems so bizzare to be in silence and then have a song - any song - blasted at you.

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    1. I agree! I am wondering if perhaps she is not allowed to play any songs at all, and just sneaks it in whenever she can?

      Either way, it is weird and I hate it.

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  4. I actually like the song myself. I never thought of it as revolutionary or "life-changing;" I just saw it for what it is, a break-up song. I went out and bought their CD as well. All the songs are completely different from one another and fairly unique. One in particular sounds a lot like Earth, Wind, & Fire which is one of my favorite bands. Bah, anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

    Yeah, I heard the song for the first time a year ago. It's a fairly old song, but I guess it had just been recently discovered. I don't listen to the radio so I didn't even know it was airing. Anyway, I respect your opinion, and it was a pretty hilarious post either way.

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    1. Fear not, for you are in the majority.

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  5. Never heard it before - but I'm blessed (or cursed) with the inability to understand lyrics most of the time. It all just sounds like wahahahh aaaahhhhhhhh wwwwaaahhhhhhhhh la di da to me. I'm sorry for your pain ;-)

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    1. Yes, all I hear is WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH also.

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  6. Since I am at work reading this, I can't get the link to the song to work, so I have yet to hear it, but your lecturing of Albert Belle as a poopy-head was awesome. Did the baseball cards ever clog the toilet? Because you could have blamed that on Belle too.

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    1. Yea, most of the time there was a clogging issue, but I was always able to unclog it myself and I never got in trouble :)

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  7. Love it! I have Monkey trained to scream, "IT'S EVERYWHERE" whenever we change the channel and it's on. We both refuse to listen to it. She's 4 and has better taste. Cannot tolerate that song. Know what is currently stuck in my head all the DAMN TIME though is that F'ing French song! OMG the DUMBEST thing I've EVER HEARD and yet I cannot get it out of my brain! It's making me insane!

    Just in case you haven't heard it yet and because I'm sweet like that...check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXoILGnHnvM&feature=fvwrel

    So, no, you aren't alone. I also turn the radio immediately if Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Daughtry, or any number of other annoying people come on.

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    1. I imagine that that French song is played in purgatory.

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    2. Which is going to suck because there is no way I'm not ending up there...drink in hand tanning in the flames. ... shit ...

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  8. It truly is everywhere. I went through the same overwhelming attack and thought "You know what, let's go to a channel I KNOW it's not on!"

    I turned to the Dubstep channel on Pandora. And behold, there it was. WUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUBWUB

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  9. This cracked me up although I do not share your hatred of Gotye. I do love that song. Sorry don't hate me.

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    1. To hate you would be to hate the rest of the world, and I could never do that :)

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  10. So I love this song too, but I will tell you that the Heart song All I wanna do is make love to you is the crappiest song ever in the hole world even worse than Tiny Tim singing tiptoe through the tulips!

    I HATE THAT SONG! The fact that I have written about it has now wrecked my day. I am gonna listen to Gotye and feel better!

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    1. Haha I just listened to that song and I can see why it wrecked your day.

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    2. Okay this post is merely to make you vibrate! Then maybe your day will be better!

      Delete
  11. I feel exactly as you do about that sound. I hate the whiny voice. The whole thing annoys me AND I often sit in silence if I'm boycotting a song. I wait about four minutes then turn the radio back on. I also ALWAYS notice when two stations are playing the same song and especially if it's a stupid one. Creepy bartender too.

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  12. You know why I love the song? Because every time he says "but you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough" I hear Sean Connery saying "rough, like your mama likes it, Trebeck", and then I laugh ha-HAH!

    (You are welcome.)

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  13. I like the song. What I don't understand are the people who get all, "What??? You don't like (insert band, food, movie here)?????" Dude, who cares? If I like something I most certainly don't need someone else's validation that it's good. That is really strange to me.

    Except when people like Nickelback. Then I'll be the one yelling, "You like what????"

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    1. Yea, that's the way I feel about Coldplay. They are one of my favorite bands even though everyone bashes them all the time.

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  14. I have an irrational hatred of all sorts of things - monkey grass, chickpeas, trucknuts, etc - so I very much appreciate this post. Also, that song is awful.

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    1. What, might I ask, is monkey grass?

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    2. LOL, yes Kelly, tell YB what monkey grass is, *still lol*.

      Shiels

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  15. Thanks for sharing my beautiful song with your followers!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, "Gotye."

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  16. Hahaha! That is some powerful protest history! I turn off the radio too, when a song comes on that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns. But you know, if you ever wanted to try something different instead of sitting in silence, you could join us country music fans and be welcomed with open arms. :-)

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    1. I have tried to become a country music fan three different times in my life with an open mind, but failed all three times. I just can't like it. My brain doesn't work that way.

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  17. Okay, that Gotye comment just did me in. I am going to be laughing all day about that.

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    1. Lol even Gotye can't resist the power of Good Youngman Brown.

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  18. I'm not gonna lie, I love that song. I pointedly ignored it for months because everyone on my facebook raved about it, and I felt it was safe to assume that I wouldn't like it because of some of the people that did. But when my best friend raved to me about it, I had to try it.

    From a musician's standpoint, it's a fantastic song, musically, with all the little bells and whistles that go into it. That whole album is pretty neat too. There are some really neat Peter Gabriel-ish/Genesis-ish tunes on it (if you're into that kind of thing haha).

    Also, I loved your Albert Belle rant haha!

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    1. You bring some good points to the table, but for me it is kind of like that time you got sick off of rum. Every time you taste rum again, you think of puking.

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  19. I think if I heard this song too often I'd get sick of it fast. I tend to lean to music that is rarely on the radio. That said, I totally get your baseball card thing. I feel exactly the same way whenever anyone says "Michael Jackson" or "Justin Beiber". I just want those two people to fade away and never hear of either one of them again. Ever.

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    1. Heard this on the radio last night and actually listened to it. Yep, it's an irritating annoying song. That tinkling effing music is like water dripping from a tap, while you are trying to sleep.

      Now, I'll probably actually "hear" it every time it's on instead of letting it fade into the background. Thank you for that.

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  20. Never heard the song and I LOVE Applebees. So much for being interesting. The cheesy spinach dip is the bomb.

    Back to my bland life (outside your blog that is). (:

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    1. I still enjoy food at those kinds of establishments, I am just trying to get every dig into Applebee's that I can.

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  21. You're not alone. I hate it too.

    But I read the post twice and you're right, it works just as well for Coldplay.

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  22. I've never heard the song before. I read the lyrics and I'll have to say that I've experienced it once or twice but I don't think its actually defined my view of life at all. It is what it is.
    Now as to things we absolutely hate? What better place to flush crap than the toilet. That was priceless.

    Ciao
    Shiels

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  23. I feel the same way about the T-Mobile commerical, where the mom and daughter are whining about menstral flows, or feeling fresh, or some such bullshit. The commercial makes me want to stab myself in the ear with something rusty.

    And then, when I change the station for approximately 1 minute, I imagine some digital numerical system clicking one less, because I changed the channel.

    So, I totally get you.

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    1. It is important to alter their imaginary numbers, one at a time.

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  24. I really don't like the Gotye version, however, Walk of The Earth does a great cover. In my opinion it is a much more appealing version and comes with a very cool video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M

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    1. Wow that really was a cool video.

      I still hate the song, though.

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  25. Ha-this post cracked me up. I have to admit I used to love this song, but I definitely agree that everyone and their mother has covered it and it has become WAY overplayed. I can see why you hate it.

    BTW, 104.5 is the only radio station I listen to. Today I thought of you and laughed every time I heard that song come on!

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    1. Haha I'm glad that I have invaded your thoughts.

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  26. This Gotye dude is about a 10 on my creepy-shit-o-meter. This song is atrocious. Now that I've seen the video, my hatred has been reinforced.

    I totally GET your Albert Bell thing. I am a huge fan of the Diamondbacks... but Randy Johnson is an enormous douche nozzle. Back in the championship year, I was staying at the same hotel as the team during spring training. I ended up having a beer with Luis Gonzales and Kurt Schilling, and watching Randy Johnson push his way past children with outstretched arms clutching pens and paper to reach the elevator. What. An. Ass.

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    1. Gotta hate when they won't sign autographs for the fans that put them there.

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  27. You know, if you truly want to protest this song and banish it from your ears, maybe you shouldn't post it on your blog...just sayin! lol

    But yeah, I agree. Why is the song so popular? It's not that great.

    And the damn radio stations do no justice either, playing songs over and over again. Like we need to hear the same songs 50 times a day! Radio kills every good (and bad) song out there!

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    1. Yea, I know that writing about it contributes to its popularity, but I couldn't contain my anger.

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  28. That was the first and last time I listened to this song. It almost made my ears bleed blood. Just horrid.

    I still have my thousands of worthless trading cards in their little jackets in pristine condition, too, just hoping that in a hundred years or so they will be worth what I paid for them. I never threw any away, though, so score for you!

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    1. IMPORTANT UPDATE: This morning I got into a loaner vehicle while my car was being worked on and that song was playing on the station in that car. I had to smile but couldn't turn it off fast enough. My ears were almost bleeding blood again.

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    2. Haha thanks for the important update Tracie. Sorry for exposing you to the song.

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  29. I like the song but since I haven't downloaded it yet, I commute so I never listen to the radio, it means I don't hear it all the time which means it's still enjoyable for me.

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    1. I usually listen to my iPhone too, but such is the dangers of batteries running out and being forced to listen to the radio!

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  30. I feel the same about most modern "music". I know that feeling well of being so surrounded by stupid that you have no choice but to just sit in silence.

    You did well to stand strong by your convictions, doesn't matter if no one's watching, flush it all down!

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  31. I really like it! But then, I like pretty much everything that isn't too drippy. So yeah, my taste in music - which ranges from teeny-bopper-pop to hard rock to indie festival singer-songwriters I'll never hear of again - can be kind of confusing.

    I'm with you on the "no country", though. Unless it's bluegrass. I like bluegrass. See? I can't even commit to disliking country music as a whole

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    1. Haha I think you just have too much of a loving heart, Stephanie.

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  32. I hate that song too. I turn it off myself. If a song doesn't get me to dance or sing, I shut it off. Thank goodness for Satellite radio.

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  33. I'm in the hater camp as well...if I need some crazy scientist to invent a way of tuning it out of my consciousness...

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  34. Hadn't heard that song until I clicked on your link. I'm worried that, now that I know of it's existence, I'm to be followed by it. Because I agree. TERRIBLE. People like that song?

    It reminds me of the first time I heard that break up song by Adele. And was all, "pretty voice, what crap lyrics." And then I was subjected to it via radio, TV, internet and friends every day for months.

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    1. Haha that is such an intensely sad song, in its purest form.

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  35. Mate, the first time I heard it, I thought "Catchy tune - likeable". Then you catch 20 seconds of the lyrics and you realise its a ranting of a mad stalker.

    They should take it off the radio playlist for the sake of kids. That's all I'm saying...

    letterstotheantipodes.blogspot.com

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  36. You know what's funny? I'm a big Gotye fan... but don't hate me, because this comes with a huge BUT.

    Like the hipster I am, I've been a fan of his since 2006 back when he was just that guy from Australia whose name no one could pronounce ("it's like 'gotcha', right?").

    I love his first CD, Like Drawing Blood. It's brilliant. Making Mirrors isn't bad, but Somebody That I Used to Know is probably the only song I DON'T like. And yet I hear it everywhere, and now, not only do I not like it, I can't freaking stand it. They played it on Glee for Christ's sake (for the record, Gotye said he hated it, which is a little redeeming).

    Again, maybe that makes me a hipster, but seeing people scream over this song that is only average, when he has so much better music to offer... it makes me sad for America. Then again, I think our post today just about sums is up.

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    1. I have had similar experiences as you, and feel your pain.

      Perhaps one day I will go and listen to his older stuff. I just need to find some time, which is quite rare at the moment.

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  37. I had never heard that song before so I watched the video you provided and I don't hate it, but I don't really like it either. It's hipster music that I sort of don't care about one way or the other. It's meh.

    I've been listening to a lot of jazz/blues lately like Melody Gardot, Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, so my Pandora stations don't include hipster music. I guess that's why I had never heard the song before. I didn't miss much.

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  38. I could go either way on the song but I really like your strong stance. I can appreciate that. :) I tend to feel that way about covers of classic songs. I absolutely hate them. They're classics for a reason.

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  39. Oh my, this is how I feel about that stupid stupid "we are young" song. Not only do I hate it, but I think it's playing almost every time I turn on the radio.
    Conversely, my daughters favorite song right now is "I'm sexy and I know it" and it's NEVER on when we are in the car together!
    I think the stations are out to get us!

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  40. The first time I heard that Gotye song was in a mash-up. The mash-up artist (Norwegian Recycling, in case you're interested) made a video, splicing together the actual videos of each song he used. I was frightened by the whole Gotye part (why is this naked(???) guy trying to stare into my soul as he sings??). While I do not think it's the greatest song ever, I do have to admit that the song has sorta grown on me. But, don't worry - I won't be buying his CD. Or even the the song on Itunes.

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