Earworms 8 February 2016


Well the lights may be going out on RR, but the community continues. Here are two songs to cheer you up and spur you on, and three to make you sit back and reflect on the gloriousness of friendship, community, and music. Thanks to all you stars for your musical contributions; please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Maria de Lourdes – Huapango Torero – goneforeign: I love Mariachi music, it’s wonderful to see it performed especially in Mexico. The voice, the strings, the brass and the outfits are a wonderful combination.

El Twanguero – Coco Zoot Suit – Ravi Raman: I picked up this album quite by mistake, while searching for more music by Royal Crown Revue. Luckily as it turns out. The album is called Pachuco and is by a Spanish musician called Diego Garcia. I don’t have much of this type and would love some pointers from the ‘Spillers.

Theo Bleckmann – Dream of Sheep – abahachi: If there’s a competition for ‘successful artists who are rarely covered’ then I imagine Kate Bush is a serious contender – the songs are so bound up with the performance that it would be a brave or foolish singer to put forward their own version. Here’s an exception, and maybe the fact that a man is singing the songs makes it easier to separate them from the original: the German jazz singer and composer Theo Bleckmann, whom I know from his appearance on Julia Huelsmann’s 2015 Kurt Weill album, who dedicated his ‘Hello Earth’ record in 2011 to Bush’s music.

Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – Four – glasshalfempty: Berlin meets Reykjavik is a marriage made in ambient heaven. Here’s Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, with the magical ‘Four’. Amazingly, there’s a disco remix too, but I’m of an age where the sedative version is fine by me!

David Cross & Robert Fripp – Starless Starlight Loops – AliM: I have a love/hate relationship with Spotify. But dammit, they’ve hard-wormed into my brain with their latest “Discover Weekly” customer-orientated playlist which included this gem from King Crimson veterans David Cross and Robert Fripp, re-visiting the “Starless” theme. This is so beautiful, I can hardly bear it. In fact “I liked it so much, I bought the album”.

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BBC 6Music comes to Bristol

Some of you may know that the annual BBC 6Music Festival is coming to Bristol next weekend.

Now, this is a really exciting thing for me, because I live in Bristol and the local music scene is something of which we should all be proud. Bristol has thrown up a huge range of different sounds over the decades; rock, jazz, reggae, punk, post-punk and, of course trip-hop.

Also, I have tickets for the Sunday afternoon and evening to see John, Grant, Laura Marling, Blue Aeroplanes, Julia Holter and Guy Garvey, amongst others.

Anyway, to celebrate the huge variety and inventiveness of Bristol’s music here is a playlist (which will hopefully open in a separate tab) of fairly randomly chosen tracks, all of which were released in the decades since I first came to the city which I am happy to call home.

The tracks are;

The Blue Aeroplanes – Jacket Hangs
The Pop Group – We Are All Prostitutes
Rip Rig + Panic – You’re My Kind of Climate
Portishead – Glory Box
Gary Clail – These Things Are Worth Fighting For
Martina Topley-Bird – Need One
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Tricky – Hell Is Round the Corner
Roni Size – Brown Paper Bag
Way Out West – The Gift

Twilight of the Donds…

living deadThere aren’t so many of us any more. We don’t know how much time we’ve got. We’re not quite the only ones left; occasional contact from people like Swawilg or Panthersan shows that there are other isolated groups across the globe, probably holed up in similar places to us – defensible position, source of fresh water, good view across the surrounding countryside, but not too obvious. But it’s a while since we’ve heard from Nilpferd or Maki, Ravi or Deano. The lights are gradually going out… And we know that, sooner or later, they’ll be coming for us too, and we won’t be able to hold them off.

For the last six weeks, or however long it’s been, we’ve been too caught up in day to day events, first dealing with the sheer shock of the world falling to pieces, then desperately scrambling for any means of survival; no time or energy to think about anything else. But things have been quiet recently – a pause in the relentless hostilities, enough for some people to start feeling just a little bit of hope that we might make it through, and even for us pessimists to conclude that we could afford to let down our guard slightly and try to relax. “It’s time,” said Darcey’sDad. AliM and Barbryn, who’d kept the Spill ticking over even in the darkest days, agreed. The Prof, who had all the data, muttered something about Zeno’s tortoise and that so long as the ceremony was always taking place tomorrow and never today, RR could never actually come to an end – but TinCanMan and SOWC sat on his head until he agreed. Ladies, gentlemen and the terrifying zombie hordes of the Guardian management, we present: the Spill Awards 2015. Continue reading


I’m a sucker for a new sub genre, the more unpronounceable the better, so was thrilled to come across something called Gqom this week – apparently it represents “da sound u get wen u drop a rock on tiles”.

At first I was surprised that something that seems so Western and cutting edge like bass music/dupstep/electronica could find a voice in the poor South African townships of Durban, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that a music that started out being made on Playstations by 15-year old black kids in deprived London tower blocks should resonate with 15-year old South African black kids in deprived Durban townships, especially when held against the college kid centred fratboyisms that twisted the urban grime of bass music into safe and inoffensive stadium-glo-stick-waving US EDM.

OK, enough rambling, here’s the lead track on a compilation album documenting the scene. The African musical influences are more than apparent and it stretches the genre in any number of new directions.


Listen to (and then buy!) the whole thing here and read all about the album and the scene.