Week 249: “Circle None” by Mice Parade


I am not ashamed to admit that I have a moderate-to-strong obsession with anagrams.

Anagrams are words or phrases formed by using all the letters in another word or phrase. For example, if you take the letters in “listen” and shuffle them around, you get the word “silent”. The letters in “astronomer” become “moon starer”. “Tonya Harding” becomes “do an angry hit”.

Anagramming is mostly a useless skill, but it does come in handy when playing Scrabble. Sometimes, if I’ve been playing a lot of Scrabble, I find myself making anagrams without even being aware of it; I’ll be trying to have a conversation in Starbucks when my mind taps me on the shoulder and decides that now is a good time to tell me that “chai latte” can be re-arranged to make  “I chat late”. Meanwhile, the person with whom I’m actually supposed to be chatting is waving their hand in front of my face, wondering what my problem is.

Anyway, I can take solace in the fact that I’m clearly not alone in my love of anagrams. Imogen Heap jumbled the letters in her own name for the title of her 1998 album, “iMegaphone”. Bill Evans wrote a song in tribute to saxophone player Sonny Clark called, “NYC’s No Lark”. And a few weeks back on this very blog, I featured Fred Deakin’s solo alter-ego, the anagrammatical “Frank Eddie”.

So you can imagine my joy when I discovered that the band Mice Parade, who I had intended to profile on this blog anyway, was founded by a musician and probable anagram enthusiast named Adam Pierce.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The repeating, twinkly guitar part really does bring to mind a group of mice on parade.

2. Once the other instruments come in, the song isn’t in the key you thought it would be in when it started.

3. Everything gets very reverb-ish at about 1:45, as if the song has suddenly entered a cave.

Recommended listening activity:

Melting a disconnected ivy timer.

Buy it here.