Song In My Head #1: “Public Transit” by HP Mendoza

Today marks the first in an occasional series of posts featuring a song that has currently captured my fancy. It can be old, new, popular, or obscure…the only requirement is that I’ve been thinking about it or singing it nonstop for three days or more. I was going to call it “Stuck In My Head,” but that implies a negative earworm quality. I can’t guarantee your reaction to whatever tune I present here, but I promise it will be one that has brought me joy at the time!

I begin with a song I discovered last week, when I watched a DVD of San Francisco indie filmmaker HP Mendoza’s 2009 feature Fruit Fly. (He was heavily involved with 2007’s Colma: The Musical as well, writing the scripts and songs for both projects.) “Public Transit” lodged itself in my brain during the opening sequence, and I’ve been singing it nonstop ever since. You will have to track down the Fruit Fly CD or mp3 soundtrack to hear the version in the movie, which has a synth-pop arrangement reminiscent of ’80s 8-bit video game soundtracks (sounds insane, but it works here) and a charming vocal by lead actress LA Renigen. (Renigen’s powerful choruses on Colma‘s “Crash The Party” were that film’s highlight for me.) Yesterday, however, I discovered a solo performance of the song by Mendoza himself. The toy piano accompaniment plays up the Brian Wilsonesque chord progressions in the verses, and turns it into an instant indiepop classic. Enjoy:

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