Earworms 31 August 2015


Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, and what better day for YoungMunday to be celebrating his thirteenth birthday? We have an extra earworm by way of celebration, chosen by the teenager himself, and very lovely it is too. Happy Birthday our kid! Nepotism aside, here’s a great laid-back selection for you this week, and a very welcome return by Toffeeboy. Thanks to all for the worms, and please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Bob James – Westchester Lady – glasshalfemptee: Jazz purists probably hate ‘smooth jazz’ but there is a time and a place for everything. Here we have a prime exponent, keyboardist Bob James. He has proper credentials in bop with Quincy Jones before committing the ultimate sin of commercial success. I disapprove of the song title – I can hear my mother now, saying “She’s a woman, Paul – a lady is the wife of a Lord”. But I approve of the earwormy riff.

Aztec Camera – Let Your Love Decide – toffeeboy: One of the joys of my Scottish escapade has been the discovery of new music by bands that I’d somehow failed to explore – but equally, the discovery of music by bands that I’ve loved for years has sometimes set my pulse racing. This track, from Aztec Camera’s largely-forgotten fifth album, Dreamland, is a case in point. It’s almost too beautiful to bear…

Gabby Young and Other Animals – We’re All In This Together – severin: She has a lovely voice, she supported K*tz*nj*mm*r at the Scala and this is one of her best songs. That’s it really.

Joan Baez – One too Many Mornings – goneforeign: From Joani’s ‘Any Day Now’ album. Sept 1968, Gold album! That made my guilt at buying Dylan’s songs by an intruder tolerable, But I simultaneously loved Joani as much as Bob, so I had to have the album. I loved it and played it to death, particularly ‘Sad-Eyed lady’. So they all became ‘Earworms’ ’til this day.

Milk and Bone – Pressure – YoungMunday: Milk and Bone are a duo from French-speaking Canada. This track is from their 2015 debut EP “Little Mourning” which you can read about here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/15/new-band-of-the-week-milk-bone-no-53 (it’s very earwormy).

Ryan Bingham – Nobody Knows My Trouble – deanofromoz: Ryan Bingham won the Oscar for best song for his contribution to the movie Crazy Heart. His “Mescalito” album is really great. My CD purchasing habits have moved from brand new stuff to rummaging through second hand cheapie bins, but I recently had a discount coupon for a store, so was able to buy up some that I had wanted to get, so I picked up Bingham’s “Fear and Saturday Night” album. This is the opener, and the real highlight on what is a really solid album, better than his “Junky Star” album in my opinion, although probably just a little behind “Mescalito.” I love the songwriting here, you can just tell it’s a very personal tale, but he doesn’t give much away, and that aura of mystery really makes the track.

Brad Paisley – Cluster Pluck – RaviRaman: Here’s a catchy tune that has earworm written all over it. Cluster Pluck by Brad Paisley featuring Vince Gill, Albert Lee and James Burton.

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‘Spillyear 1993

This evening I shared a bottle of 1993 Bordeaux (not this one) that my brother bought on a gap year two decades ago. It was very nice.

I don’t know if 1993 was an especially good vintage for wine, but it was a great one for music. Or maybe that’s just because I was 15, which is always a great time for music. What do you think?

Listen to the playlist here

Add your top 3 here 

Earworms 24 August 2015


A varied and very-difficult-to-spell-correctly selection for you today. Next week, songs by Fred Jones. Hope you enjoy, many thanks for the contributions and please keep sending your spare earworms to earworm@tincanland.com. Happy listening.

Kadri Gopalnath – Kanne Kalaimane – Ravi Raman: This is a song called Kanne Kalaimane by a classically trained musician – Kadri Gopalnath. He pioneered the use of the saxophone in Carnatic music. I’m kidded for liking this by highbrow types coz this is a film tune composed by Ilyaraja. Kadri himself plays this album down while secretly admitting to an extreme fondness for it, and one that I share.

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole – ʻUlili E – deanofromoz: Some Hawaiian folk music, just Israel’s vocals and the ukulele. I picked up a compilation album of his, because his brilliant cover of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (if you haven’t heard it, look it up) has been getting a lot of airplay over here, particularly on the easy listening station that I tend to listen to of a morning. I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the best of. I was hoping for ukulele music, but a lot of the tracks had orchestral backing which I didn’t think quite worked for me (maybe I was just looking for cliched Hawaiian sounds, I don’t know), but this track sort of fitted with what I was hoping to get … it’s quite lovely. I think its about a bird, but I might be wrong.

Jocelyn Pook – Upon This Rock – AliM: As far as I can work out this amazing song is a fusion of ancient Persian poem and classical orchestra. Jocelyn Pook is a film music composer (e.g. Eyes Wide Shut) who also works for TV and dance (e.g. the National Ballet at Glastonbury, a couple of years ago). She has worked with the Communards, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Laurie Anderson and others. Why have I never heard of her before?

Anna von Hausswolff – Move On – Fuel: Anna Michaela Ebba Electra von Hausswolff is a Swedish singer, songwriter and pianist. This is from her debut album, “Singing from the Grave” (2010).

King Crimson – Sleepless (dance mix) – CaroleBristol: Back in 1984, King Crimson had a strange thing happen, they had a dance-floor hit (for about five minutes) with Sleepless, a track from their ‘Three of a Perfect Pair’ album. There are several remix versions of the song around, this one is by François Kevorkian, a French DJ who started out on the New York underground club scene, later worked at Studio 54 and was one of the pioneers of House music. Anyway, the bass line by Tony Levin is all kinds of brilliant.

Herbie Hancock – Rockit – severin: Written by Herbie and Bill Laswell and released as a single in 1983. I only own an MP3 of this because I ordered the “Best of…” album from Amazon for somebody else several years ago. Some time afterwards the digital version appeared on my computer. It’s magic I tell you. Probably over-familiar to many but it was entirely new to me and I liked.

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The Last Mystery of All

We’ve had everything explained to us and there are no mysteries left. Myths have been debunked, and the internet had analysed every cultural detail into meaningless dust.

DJ Shadow finds an unmarked record when cratedigging and throws it in a mix as “unknown song, unknown artist”. Anton Newcombe from Brian Jonestown Massacre picks it out a number of years later, puts it up on youtube, claims it’s from a sixties band called Smile, or Smiles, says it’s a brilliant tune. Says it’s called “I Am Just A Star On A Democratic Flag”.

Maybe it’s Newcombe himself behind the record, sounds like it could be.

DJ Shadow allegedly says “The name of the group is “Smiles”. I think it’s a group from Los Angeles, and the song’s dating back from 1968-69. Unfortunately, the writtings on the record are not in good shape. I’ve never seen another record. I remember Dante came to my house, he saw the record, listened to it. He will never stop digging to find that particular record.”

Someone listens carefully to the surface noise, to see if it’s genuine, or an affectation.

Newcombe denies it’s him. Youtube commenters fail to find any online record of the song. Some claim that Newcombe is not Newcombe. DJ Shadow denies his real name is Clive. Clive Shadow.

I post the song on an intelligent, popular music blog with very well listened contributers, and hope for some news.

The mystery continues, the plot thickens.

Earworms 17 August 2015


Another mixture for you. Can anyone tell me what the guitar in the Lijadu Sisters track reminds me of? The Claude Francois reminds me of “Going Back to my Roots” or “I’m Moving Up”, both of which I have been humming tunelessly all week. Anyway, thanks to all and please keep sending your stray earworms to earworm@tincanland.com. Have fun.

Odetta – Pastures of Plenty – goneforeign: Another by Woody Guthrie, written in the 40’s and describing the travails and dignity of migrant workers in North America, we still have migrant workers and not much has changed. Recorded here by Odetta, the voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

Tyler Farr – A Guy Walks into a Bar – Ravi Raman: I caught this song quite by accident. I first thought it was a novelty number. Pleasantly surprised.

Tobias Jesso – How Could You Babe – glasshalfempty: Male singer songwriters seem ten a penny at present. Tobias Jesso makes it eleven a penny. Plinkety plonk piano – check. Slightly falsetto voice – check. American accent – check. Inane lyrics – check. So, good pop then? You decide. Here he is channelling Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

The Lijadu Sisters – Danger – Fuel: Of all the songs I forgot to nominate on RR, this is the song I regret most.

Claude Francois – Alexandrie Alexandra (live) – abahachi: People who hate disco will hate this, so I’d suggest just skipping the track altogether. Anyone who likes or loves disco may be intrigued by the idea of a slice of late 70s French disco-funk by the co-writer of the song on which ‘My Way’ was based, posthumously released after he was tragically electrocuted when he tried to straighten a light fitting while in the shower…

Cookie Crew – Got to Keep On – severin: British girl rappers from 1989. They made quite a splash at the time but disappeared from the scene around 1992 when their record company wanted them to record more “pop oriented” material. They didn’t want to go down that road and quit recording altogether.

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