The Morning Bell

These days, my cellphone serves as my primary alarm clock. (It’s one of three, down from a peak of four alarm clocks a few years ago.) Lately, I’ve been trying to change up the sound that the alarm feature plays. The results have been surreal, and I thought I’d share some of them here. So: yes, this is a post reviewing assorted ringtones found on my phone in terms of their effectiveness at waking me up. This is what comes of getting positive feedback from my thoughts on the Mr. Belevedere theme.

“Whistling Wizard.” No, not a mid-eighties prog-rock band that opened for Dream Theater in Denmark once. It sounds, not unexpectedly, like background music from an off-hours cartoon I might have stumbled onto in, yep, the mid-eighties. The problem? It’s just whimsical enough that I want to hear it again and again when I’m waking up. My tastes, when half-asleep, are slightly questionable. Which segues nicely into…

“Like a Movie.” Deeply sappy synthesized cellos. Something that would have played over the ending of an early-nineties role-playing game for the NES: lots of trees and clouds and celebration. Once again, the sentimental bastard that is a not-fully-awake me eats this kind of thing up.

“Wahwah.” Exactly what you’d expect.

“L.O.V.E.”  Oddly, it reminds me of Club 8. One riff that has a Scandinavian electro feel to it; catchy, but also loud enough to jar me from whatever half-sleep I’m in. Probably the most effective of all of what I’ve listened to so far in terms of getting me up without leaving me severely disturbed. For that I’ll need to turn to…

“Froggy Night.” This one begins with the sound of crickets chirping, and then a bassline I’d call “jaunty” kicks in. But the problem is: stylized crickets chirping run through a cellphone speaker sound less like crickets and more like, I don’t know, a giant robotic centipede crouched next to my bed, wheezing. And so the first morning I heard this, I damn near started screaming. And while I don’t doubt its effectivness in waking me up, I’m reluctant to try it again, lest the anticipation of it give me nightmares. Seriously: it is fucking terrifying.

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