Valantine’s Massacre

House Of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You
F.S.K. – My Funny Valentine
Attila The Stockbroker – Valentine’s Day
Slits – Love And Romance
Mekons – Where Were You
Magazine – Cut-Out Shapes
Dub Syndicate – No Bed Of Roses
Wolfgang Press – Mother Valentine

Monochrome Set – Eine Symphonie Des Grauens
Mountain Goats – Love Love Love
Shriekback – Hand On My Heart
ACR – The Big E
Calvin Party – Words Of A Great Man
Hunters & Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me
Tindersticks – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
Broken Family Band – Seven Sisters

Earworms – 13th February

The Mekons – Heart of Stone
In which the one-time punks tackle an early ‘Stones single. Low romance quotient, but chillingly effective, with female vocals to twist things about a bit.

Agnes Obel – (I Keep a) Close Watch (John Cale cover)
It befuddles me why the usually adventurous John Cale performed (I Keep A) Close Watch like an Elton John ballad. Nothing wrong with Elton, but his ballads are all kind of the same. Now this, with the interplay of the Danish Obel’s piano and breathy voice fully realizes the majesty of what is, at heart, a beautiful composition.

Nelly Furtado – My Love Grows Deeper
From the Whoa Nelly! Album. Nice little song with some unexpected influences from a pop diva, which as we know, is not the sum of our Nelly’s musical vocal talents.

Roddy Frame – Reason For Living
One I turn to when I need reminding that things aren’t always so bad… I just find this euphoric – and love that it’s actually sung in a register I can (just about) holler along with!

Julieta Venegas – Eres Para Mí
Singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas brings long drawn out Mexican phrasing and vowel sounds to more modern genres with remarkable success. Her lyrics mix poetic imagery with a hint of mischievousness – here she tells us “The wind has told me – you’re the one for me.”
Mrs Maki

Linda Lyndell -What A Man
Salt-N-Pepa sampled this & polished it into an irresistible hit in the 90s. When it was first released  in 1968, Linda Lydell received so many death threats from the KKK that she soon retired from the scene.  Damn shame, ’cause she really could growl (maybe that’s what scared those crackers). 

If you have a suitably earwormy song you’d like to share, please send it, with a few lines describing it, to The earworm guru likes a full inbox…

He Said ~ She Said – Poll Result – It’s Hawaii ! ! !

Hi Everyone ! ! !

We asked you to vote in our poll to decide where we went next in our little tour of Asian music.

The Result of our poll was Hawaii ! ! ! !

We will make a post and try and post it on Wednesday as usual.

This will be our last post in the He Said –  She Said series for a little while as we have some comitments coming soon which we need to prioritize, but we hope to be back with some more posts soon.

Spill Challenge, star date 2435.101.15: Thursday and no challenge this week? For those who like a quickie:

Since this is a Thursday instead of the usual Tuesday, and inspired by Nilpie‘s embracement of Dr Seuss on RR, we turn for inspiration to a line from a children’s rhyme….

Thursday’s child has far to go

What was the first(ish) song to come to mind?

Home At Last ! ! ! Okinawa – Indie,Thrash and Punk ~ He said – She Said

Are you really sure about our new image Mr P ? ? ?

She says:

Okinawa is a sub-tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, mountains and rainforests, wonderful weather and cheerful and generous people and a long and fascinating history.  But it is also the poorest prefecture in Japan and nearly 20% of the land is occupied by US military.  Many young people have to leave the islands for education or to develop their career.  These conflicting influences somehow all come together in our music, but more than anything the spirit of fun seems always to win in the end ! ! !  I think you will see this in the tracks we have chosen to share.

He says:

Up till a couple of years ago all I knew about Okinawa was where it is ( roughly) and the terrible battles in WWII. Then my daughter volunteered for us to host a Japanese student from the school which is associated with hers. The children come over every year and stay for a few days with local families ( they have to win a English language competition) . The girl who came to stay with us was a total delight and all of the children ( apart from one rather “gothy” girl) seemed to have the “spirit of fun” that Sakura refers to. Maybe it’s the weather, I’ve seen a similar joie de vivre in Hawaiian kids, maybe it’s just the way they are raised but I have to say that so far 100% of the Okinawans I have known have been absolutely lovely. The music’s not bad either.

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Pat Orchard

Heads up for the next in the occasional series of interviews that me and my pal Sean are somehow allowed to present on London’s Art Radio, Resonance 104.4fm  The show  is  Johny (Band of) Brown and Inga (Holy Joy) Tillere’s regular Friday night slot,  ‘Mining for Gold';  Our shtick is, think of our favourite musicians, invite them along and get to spend a few hours up close and personal, late on a Friday night, with the added bonus of being able to share some live playing, choice back catalogue and incisive  questioning with you all, out there in ‘Radio Land’, or in  .  .  .   ‘Internet Land’   .  .  .    if you live outside the M25.

This week we’re amazed to have been able to tempt the extraordinary guitarist and songwriter Pat Orchard back to the Great Wen; Pat’s personally-penned-mini-bio below might make you think he’d had enough of the place, but reading between the lines, the move allowed new music to emerge and having listened to the demos and recordings that have trickled out  from deepest Devon, it’s clear these songs are ready for the wider world.

“Newborn. Africa. Child. Rebelled.
Exmouth. School. Fool. Expelled.
College. Knowledge. Work. Degree.
London. Eighties. Thatcher. Greed.
Homeless. Drifter. Dole. Broke.
Guitar. Busker. Dreamer. Hope.
Support. Headline. MTV.
Touted. Guest list. VIP.
No Deal – Big Deal. Life’s a Song.
My Voice. My Choice. Moving On.
Goodbye Smoke. Westward Bound.
Devon. Heaven. Ancient Ground.
Builder. Home. Catherine. Wife.
Fern. Dylan. Father. Life”

Here’s Pat at Glastonbury last year, a number of the the new songs are based on his experience of childhood in Africa: pretty sure we’ll hear an updated version of ‘The Singing Grass’  on Friday.

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New Sinéad!

She sounds to have had a rough old few months, but this new single is really rather joyous and uplifting. Here’s hoping the album, “How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?”, lives up to its promise. Perhaps most intriguingly, it looks to feature a cover of John Grant’s “Queen of Denmark”. I for one can’t wait!

New Vintage Stones

Prompted by Zala’s call for extra special earworms, i figured it might be time to check out the new tunes on the Some Girls re-release. Had no expectations, as i was generally underwhelmed by the bonus tunes on the Exile re-release. Well blow me down, some of the tunes are fucking great. (And seem to lack the tinny sound of the Exile remasters too). Now i can maybe see why they didn’t include these on Some Girls – they didn’t fit with the disco / punk aesthetic the Stones seemed to be shooting for, and maybe they wanted to look forward musically instead of back. But guys, if it ain’t broke, no need to fix it. Lotta baby got tossed out with the bathwater there.

Keep Up Blues, Petrol Blues, and the (Ron Wood penned) When You’re Gone are wonderfully sleazy little blues numbers. Tallahassie Lassie is a Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon cover which trumps the original, imho. And a pair of country covers to round off this little sampler – Hank Williams’ You Win Again, and Waylon Jennings’ We Had It All (sounds like Keith on vocals). Enjoy.

1. Keep Up Blues
2. Tallahassie Lassie
3. Petrol Blues
4. You Win Again
5. When You’re Gone
6. We Had It All

Earworms – 6th February

This, dear ‘Spillers, is the 100th post to be categorised as “Earworms”.

It is not the 100th Earworms post.That was five weeks ago. Oops.

However, because of the complicated way in which these things occur, the official Earworms-100 has been designated as “The 100th Earworms post to have been categorised as Earworms.” This post will appear – all being well – in 5 weeks time!

Do you have any extra special earworms that you’ve been hanging on to? Do you have any “ordinary” earworms (no earworm is truly ordinary; if it was, it wouldn’t be an earworm, would it?) that you’ve been meaning to send but haven’t got around to doing so?

Earworms-100 needs you! Yes, YOU! (Especially you at the back. What do you mean you’ve never sent an earworm in before?) Please send your submissions to the address at the bottom of the post.

Anyway. As you were. Story time.

Lee Ann Womack – Time For Me To Go
A sweet country ballad from a gal with a sweet voice, who first came to my attention the night I heard on the radio that “Lady Diana” had died (as they announced it in Texas). Nice bit of mandolin in there.

Mecano – Aire
A hangover song. I dreamt one night my tummy button came undone and I deflated like a balloon. I tried to make sure in my new element – as the air that fizzed out of me- I would only be breathed by the right people. Nacho Cano was a fine composer with a wild imagination. You have to admire his pop sensibilities, however and, what’s more, Ana Torroja’s ability to sing the lyrics he wrote without a hint of irony. A beautiful song that works despite its pretentious lyrics and captivates both those that understand them and those that don’t, mainly for the voice that deserved (and occasionally got) better at times.
Mrs Maki

Tigran Hamasyan – A Fable
Heard this today on the Gilles Peterson show from September, a beguiling solo piano piece that goes with the season. Window-gazing music.

R Dean Taylor – Gotta See Jane
I’ve long been a fan of R Dean’s “There’s A Ghost In My House”, so imagine my excitement to come across this somewhat similar Motown curio. I love the sound effects, the slow build, the fact that he sounds like he’s singing outside at the start…

Labi Siffre – I Got The Blues
You know him for Something Inside So Strong and probably know Madness covered his It Must Be Love. This is probably the next port-of-call if you were journeying further into his music. He’s largely knocked the music on the head now and concentrates on poetry of which I prefer the relationship stuff to the politics, but in all forms he’s a courageous artist, and slightly undervalued British treasure.

Vetiver – You May Be Blue
Something about the chugging rhythm and dreamy sound gets stuck in my head like a little jumping record and it goes around and around forever. Catchy.

Please send your earworms to along with a short description. Thank you!

Fairground Attractions

Stranglers – Waltzinblack
Keith LeBlanc – Freaktime
Vic Mars – Ferris Wheel [Cheju Rmx]
Why? – Ferriswheel
Welder – L…Carousel…C
Superpitcher – Mushroom

Ivo Papasov – Fairground
Curve – Cotton Candy
Black Mountain – Rollercoaster
Kay Starr – Wheel Of Fortune
Euphoria – Ferriswheel (In A Morning Mist)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Carnival Is Over

Studio Jekyll and On-Stage Hyde

As the snow comes down at the end of a very quiet Saturday, I figure it’s now or never to post a thread I’ve been pondering for a while.

Amylee‘s excellent Disco thread threw up an example of something that has frustrated me for over thirty years, namely the inability of some brilliant bands to capture their magic on record.

The culprits cited this week were Cameo; my go-to band (since the 70s) to demonstrate what I mean has always been Thin Lizzy, but tonight Matthew, I’m going to be . . . trip-hop, chillout, wouldn’t-harm-a-fly merchants Morcheeba.

Now I will admit that back in my cash-rich, child-free days, I would go to gigs and buy albums on a whim, and I wasn’t always rewarded for my investment. That’s how I picked up debut Who Can You Trust. There was something about that album that got under my skin more than, say, Massive Attack, Zero7, Distant Cousins, or even Portishead did. Trouble was, I couldn’t figure out what it was, and in follow-up The Big Calm I couldn’t even hear it. Oh it was pleasant enough, but I’d have had the tassles on my leather jacket ceremoniously ripped off by the HM Society for voicing that opinion out loud.

Nevertheless, I went to see them live in Leeds, and HOLY AXEHERO, BATMAN! The band generally, and guitarist Ross Godfrey in particular, blew me away. They ROCKED, MAAAANN! Why didn’t they sound like that on record? I went back to the albums when I got home, and w-e-e-l-l-l, yes, I suppose the evidence was there, but it was almost buried under the production. I tried for quite some time to convince friends and family, (even tried on RR once), but with no-one else I knew having seen them, and audio/video evidence of their live prowess pretty much non-existent, I got nowhere. I wrote to the band’s label, their management company; got nothing in reply. Eventually, after diminishing returns (for me) from their next couple of albums, I lost interest.

Well, they’re back, reunited with their early albums’ vocalist Skye Edwards. In fact, they’ve been back for a while, but who knew? I’ve only just caught up with 2010’s Blood Like Lemonade. And GUESS WHAT?!?!?

Er, no. Still the same problem. Hints of their ability to cut loose, but to start with, no more than that. Take Crimson from BLL: lyrically, a deliciously dark tale of love, jealousy and revenge, but musically, same old same old. Good, but … Have a listen though, please, because this is the set-up for my point.

OI! You still awake out there? See what I mean?

But the difference between my frustrations of a decade ago and now is that marriage made in copyright hell – cameraphones and YouTube. The audio quality still isn’t great, but get a load of this live version of the same song:

[Cut to the three minute mark if your patience is running thin here]

Now there’s a sound I’d kill to own a whole album of – Cave-black lyrics, soulful vocals, trip-hop sensibilities, but played in a blues-rock stylee. WHY DON’T THEIR RECORDS SOUND LIKE THAT?


Tunes Of The Month – January

First Aid Kit, Grimes, Laura Gibson, Mark Lanegan Band, Big Pink, Maccabes, Leila & Mt. Sims, Cloud Nothings, Nicolas Jaar with Scout LaRou & Will Epstein, Lower Dens, M.I.A., Roxy Music [Lindstrom & Prins Thomas], Zammuto, Chairlift, Trust.

The Chinese Alternative Music Scene ~ He Said – She Said

" Do you really think we will find a punk band in China Mr P ? "

He Says:

The Big C. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, as the country opens, up the music scene has begun to blossom. Shanghai was always a bit of a “show town”, the San Francisco of the east and it’s here that the indie scene really seems to flourish. Still early days, apparently the distribution and manufacturing systems aren’t really geared up for the small, independently produced labels but this appears to be changing and there’s a real wealth of great music coming out of China now.

She Says:

China ! ! !  Of course rock music in its different forms has a very short history in China.  It is really only since about 2000 that rock bands could form and play without state approval.  And it ha been a long and hard road for many of them. It is easy to forget the price paid by some musicians for their art and courage.  Of course we want to celebrate the great things that are happening now, but we also will humbly acknowledge a true hero.

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Not All Disco Sucked

Beg to differ? No problem. For any who care to stick around – my dance card has plenty of spaces. Hard to tell what exactly defines disco – i tend to lean towards the funk / r&b end of it. Left out quite a few decent poppy disco tunes too. Have any personal faves, feel free to post below. I left a lot out. Some may sound very familiar – lots of covers of of the old disco tunes.

1. Yarborough & Peoples – Don’t Stop the Music
2. Evelyn Champagne King – Shame
3. Michael Jackson – Working Day and Night
4. Teena Marie – Lovergirl
5. Mary Jane Girls – In My House

6. Anita Ward – Ring My Bells
7. SOS Band – Take Your Time (Do it Right)
8. Cherelle – I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
9. Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
10.Evelyn Champagne King – Love Come Down

11. Earth, Wind & Fire – Getaway
12. Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
13. Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle
14. Cameo – She Strange
15. Rufus – Tell Me Something Good

16. Brick – Dazz
17. Slave – Slide
18. Ronnie Hudson and the Street People – West Coast Poplock
19. Mtume – Juicy Fruit
20. Zapp & Roger – More Bounce to the Ounce
21. Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can