It started with a joke. It seems that RFC darling and all around gnarly dude, Archie Powell, he of "& The Exports", listened to "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry a ridiculous 74 times in a row whilst he and his Exports were on the way to a show in Missouri. Inspired by this, I stated to Powell via "the facebook" that I was so inspired by his listening of "Teenage Dream" that next time I went on the road, I was going to "pull a Powell" and listen to Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag" 74 times in a row.
That's when Abby stepped in, saying this actually was a legitimately good idea and would make for some interesting articles.
Thus, the 74-Play Challenge was born.
I was tempted to stick with my original idea, playing "Teenage Dirtbag" en route to a show one day, documenting people's reactions, quips, and desperate pleas to "change the song, for the love of god, can we please just change the song" but to be honest, I didn't want to wait. And on the evening on Festivus, December 23rd, I decided to embark on my first 74-Play Challenge, with The Rural Alberta Advantage's "Drain The Blood".
This is what happened that day.
Listen Ten: At this point, I'm sussing out what the exact rules are of the 74-Play Challenge. If I leave the room, do I pause the music? If I go out for a cigarette but can still hear the song playing inside from the back porch, does it count as "listening"? I decided to pause the song when I go upstairs but keep it going when I go out for a smoke. The rules of the 74-Play Challenge are as such, I have deicded: You must hear the song 74 times in a row. Or else the challenge is null and void!
Listen Sixteen: It wasn't the first time that the lyrics got to me. Driving back from a party the weekend prior, I had screamed the lyrics along and felt them cauterize me, reminding me of a time long since gone past when I was in love. Yes, Amber "The Barnacle" Valentine can fall in love... She just doesn't like to. The Rural Alberta Advantage's repeated verse, including the apt lyric "Change my heart into petrified wood", was heavily tinted with memories of the boy I did just that for. Countless nights were spent in his bed, laying next to him in the dark and trying to convince him of his self-worth, talking him out of bouts with tragically low self esteem. Everyone knows the end of this story: I got sad, slept around in futile attempts to make him jealous, all the whilst bending over backwards to be his best friend. Seeing him constantly, with new girls every week, made the whole "getting over him" process more lengthy than it should have been. Most girls, when they get their heartbroken, hate the guy. I just loved him more for some reason.
Listen Twenty-One: I feel sort of high. This song is making me feel sort of high.
Listen Thirty: Unless I'm still high from last night, I've discovered that listening to the same two-and-a-half minute long song thirty times consecutively can make you high. I might win a nobel prize with this discovery. After I'm done listening to this song another forty four times, I'll draft my acceptance speech.
Listen Thirty-Three: I don't think I've ever known a song as intimately as I do "Drain The Blood".
Listen Thirty-Nine: I'm shockingly still not sick of this. And more than half-way done!
Listen Forty-Two: If this 74-Play Challenge were a montage in a movie, now would be the cut scene of me screaming the lyrics along with The RAA and sobbing. I'm not sure if I've developed a deep emotional connection to the song or if I'm starting to go a little crazy.
Listen Fifty-Two: I texted fellow RFC-er Bill Baker to let him know my progress. He asked my mental state. I told him about the crying. I'm not proud.
Listen Fifty-Eight: It's almost over. I really can't believe it's almost over. This has gone by surprisingly fast. Although I am developing a headache (Can't imagine why!) and most words I type actually end up being lyrics to "Drain The Blood" instead of the words my brain means to make happen.
Listen Sixty: Maybe I spoke too soon about that "almost over" thing. On one hand, the time is going by incredibly fast... On the other... I don't remember the last time I heard a song that wasn't "Drain The Blood".
Listen Sixty-Four: I have resorted to imagining conversations with people now. Namely, I'm envisioning talking to the aforementioned ex that this song reminds me so much of. Were I speaking to him now, I'd ask him to have more tact with girls in the future than he did with me.
Listen Sixty-Five: I wish someone would change my heart into petrified wood.
Listen Sixty Six: Just kidding! I like my heart being a black hole of death and despair for all who attempt to enter it!
Listen Seventy-Two: Well, this has gone by surprisingly fast, in all reality!
Listen Seventy-Four: As the seventy-fourth listen stopped, a look of shock grew on my face. "Drain The Blood" ended... And it didn't start again. I'm honestly not sure how I feel right now... Sad? Strange? Still kinda high? All of those, and also, strangely nostalgic for my time spent with "Drain The Blood".
The Verdict: After The 74-Play Challenge, I remembered that Roney's band were in talks to cover "Drain The Blood" in the very near future. This makes me think I perhaps picked a poor song, given the fact that I'll be hearing "Drain The Blood" a whole lot in the near future. Never the less, after hearing nothing but "Drain The Blood" for 3.4 hours straight, I could still listen to it again. That means The Rural Alberta Advantage...