Earworms – 30th April

“Well, that’s another guitarist gone.”

Patrick Duff – Refrigerator
This is not, in my opinion, Patrick Duff’s (formerly of Strangelove) finest moment, but it is quite catchy, I think you’ll agree. Come on RR, do white goods as a topic, it’s a shoo-in.

The Stranglers – Boom Boom
Still getting my head and ears round the new offering from what has to be my favourite group. This is the one I keep coming back to and I suppose that makes it an earworm. No relation to a far better known track of the same name but no-one owns copyright on onomatopoeia, I suppose. Besides, I love the idea of the Guildford Stranglers having a vocalist with a strong North Eastern accent.

The Moving Sidewalks – Joe Blues
This is probably the best thing that the Moving Sidewalks or ZZ Top ever did, and they did some pretty good stuff.  For me, it’s as way up there as blues-rock chill-out songs go.    

Retribution Gospel Choir – Maharisha
From the latest by the fabulously misnamed Low side project ( Alan Sparhawk, Steve Garrington and sometimes Mimi Parker). It isn’t gospel, there isn’t a choir (this time) and it’s not a full-time band. It’s poppy, it’s loud, and it rocks (a la Grand Funk, complete with cow bell!). Maybe this is retribution for Low’s subdued, moody pieces, but I like them too.

Mice – Pyjamadrama
In which the estimable Julianne Regan seems to be planning a sleepover with Roxy Music. Just as a friend. Hey, there’s chocolate cake involved – and who could resist that voice?

Mike Heron – Feast of Stephen
Wrong time of year, I know, but this came on the ‘Pod the other day and I just could not work out what it was. The intro is very Southern Accents, but I knew it wasn’t that, and then there were drums and all sorts. The structure’s kind of Roy Orbison, in that it doesn’t follow a conventional form, and it builds to a climax – but that’s followed by the chanting, which goes on and on till it gets all hypnotic. Turns out it’s got John Cale playing most of the instruments, and it’s from Mike Heron’s post-ISB solo album Smiling Men With Bad Reputations. Packs quite a wallop.

Please send those wormy songs and your wormy reasons to earworm@tincanland.com.  Many thanks!

Updated dropbox: Now let someone view without a download

A Dropbox update makes it easier to share direct links to files inside your Dropbox folders without using your Public folder.

The new system allows you to “Get Link” by right clicking on any file or folder in Dropbox. Send the link so the recipient can view the photo, watch a video or read a document in their browser – no download required.

The feature should be live in the Dropbox webapp, mobile apps, and desktop client right now. (via Lifehacker. Also, dropbox vs Google Drive vs …)

Down In The Park

Invaders Of The Heart – Bungalow Park / What The Problem Is
Ween – Buckingham Green
Ral Partha Vogelbacher – CDB National Park
Durutti Column – People’s Pleasure Park
And Also The Trees – Jewel Park
Clientele – Walking In The Park
Ian McCulloch – Sliding

Us3 – Sittin’ On My Park Bench
Chumbawumba – The Wizard Of Menlo Park
John Foxx – Plaza
Get Well Soon – Christmas In Adventure Parks
Todd Snider – Keep Off The Grass
Robert Wyatt – On The Town Square

Trouble Ahead? Trouble Behind!

For reasons I won’t explain here, my series of posts following the dates of the Grateful Dead’s 1972 European tour has ended on this site.

For any of you wishing to continue my pseudo-historical journey, the remaining dates will be remembered HERE, starting today.

All are very welcome.

There will be something new there (ir)regularly until at least May 26th.

He Said – She Said ~ The Battle Of The Sexes – Mr P and Ms S go head to head ! ! !

Make ten steps...Then turn and fire ! ! !

She Says:

I am going home for most of the month of May so this will be our last post of a while but before we take our break we are going to have a battle of the sexes.  Which one of us has the best taste in Asian Music ? ? ?  And we would like you vote for the one you like the most in the poll at the end of the post.

Whatever . . .. .

He says:

Hello ladies ( and gentlemen). We have decided this week to battle it out, musically, in a rip snortin’ “Battle of the sexes”. Who has the better taste in music ? Is it the beautiful, charming and fragrant Sakura or brutally ugly, virulent and pustulous me ? ( Correct answer is “me” , obviously, I had to make Sakura promise not to sulk when she lost. Women, eh ?). We’ve chosen three songs each that represent different aspects of the gender divide. A “fast” song, a “slow and smoochy” song and a “wild card”. Furthermore and notwithstanding you get to vote in a poll at the end to show how much better my taste is !! How cool is that ?

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Spill Challenge # 34872395 – Music Junkies!

I first heard this on a mixtape my friend gave me back in the early ‘90’s which was made up of downtempo underground tunes (hip-hop, trip-hop, flip-flops etc.) that had completely passed me by as looking after a 3 year old girl with very little moolah to buy records will do that to you.

Also how do you go into a shop to try & explain how this sounds (“it sounds a bit like Horace Silver but with vibes and has a flute that rests so sweetly on the guitar, percussion, drums & bass …”), previous experience had told me that this would more than not be a futile exercise (N. Hornby’s High Fidelity sprung to mind).

From then on any jazz records I bought was in the hope that this tune would start seeping out of the speakers unexpectedly, but all to no avail and as time passes it occasionally pops into your head until …

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon I was listening to Gilles Peterson’s show, now on 6 Music,  in the kitchen whilst preparing dinner for La Famille (a mild korma to go with my wife’s homemade garlic naan if you want to know) when I heard THAT intro and then felt the indescribable joy that is the essence of being a music junkie which is best described and to paraphrase Nile Rodgers, “I can’t kick this feeling when it hits”.

Question : Do you have a similar scenario – brilliant tune, no idea of who or what but by happy accident found it however long it took? Is there something you have that you would like to know who it’s by? 


Hyperinflation hits Argentina: S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y out costly

New peso coin specifications; Argentina, 1974

In 1974, Argentina came out with a new peso coin (the peso leya).

It was 2mm thick, weighed 5 g, and was made of aluminum-bronze. It was generally described as round, and had a narrower rim than the 1976 peso coin. In addition, the sun on the 1976 peso coin was larger than on the 1974 peso coin. The edge was milled. Lettering on the coin read: REPUBLIC ARGENTINA on one side and 1 PESO on the other.

This was a period of high inflation in Argentina. It took 11.90 pesos to buy one American dollar at the start of the year, and by February it had jumped to an exchange rate of 12.30 pesos. There was little change in March, but in April it jumped to 13.30 pesos. By the end of May it took 14.40 pesos to purchase one American dollar. There was again only a modest increase for one month, but by the end of July the exchange rate was 16.60 pesos to one American dollar. In August the exchange rate increased to 17.55 pesos per American dollar. By the end of September the exchnage rate was 18.70 pesos, and by the end of October it had risen to 20.05 pesos. November saw a minor increase to 20.90 pesos, and by the end of December you would need 22.00 Argentinian pesos to purchase $1US.

Meanwhile, also in early 1974,  in the UK  Les McKeown was hastily re-recording lead vocals on the Bay City Rollers’ forthcoming single, “Remember (Sha La La La)”. It was the break the Edinburgh pop/rock/pop rock/bubblegum pop/glam rock quintet needed as it became a sizable hit and a lead-in to a series of UK chart hits.

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Genesis Of The Eurozone: Another Snake Metaphor

In a first attempt to introduce some stability to their currencies in relation to the US dollar, the six member states of the European Economic Community (West Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) agreed, at a meeting in Basel 40 years ago today, to create a currency exchange rate system.  It became known as the ‘snake in the tunnel’: the ‘snake’ being the various intra-European exchange rates and the ‘tunnel’ being the limitations created by the dollar’s exchange rate with them. Continue reading

Coming Soon – The He Said – She Said – Battle Of The Sexes ! ! !

Hi everyone ! ! !

This Thursday Mr P and I are finally going to resolve who has the best taste in Japanese Music ! ! !

To celebrate the end of our first joint series, we are going to have a special edition of He Said – She Said where we will each present three tracks and then we will ask you to vote for who has the best selection ! ! !

We have picked some really great tracks so I am sure it will be difficult for you (but I am confident I will win)

We hope you will enjoy the post and vote in the poll at the end.  The Battle starts on Thursday! ! !

Get ready Mr P –  This is war ! ! ! 

Earworms – 23rd April

Godrevy Lighthouse from Gwithian, Cornwall, New Year's Day 2012 (painted 02/02/12). Oil on canvas. With added mosaic effect around the edges.

Mercedes Peon – O Mar
Maki has been introducing you all in the intrincacies of all things Flamenco, but Spain is a very diverse country and its folklore has many other, very different things to offer. The song’s about a woman who’s lost her man, a percebeiro (a barnacle picker, a very, very dangerous job), taken by the high tides while he was working. Peon is usually more adventurous when it comes to stretching the limits of Galician, celtic-flavoured folk, but in a more traditional framework, as O Mar proves, she really shines.

Please The Trees – Lost Mind
Can’t quite put my finger on what i like so much about this reflection on unrequited love by these Czech indie / alt rockers, but it could be the guitar hook.  Spill points if you can pinpoint exactly who they remind me of… I can’t quite.

Micah P. Hinson and the Opera Circuit – You’re Only Lonely
Classic Rock bands find it easy (if too often cheesy) to slow down to [power] ballad pace: even Motorhead are at it these days. Over recent years, what’s fascinated me more is typically gentle artists choosing to wig-out. With the sound-tsunami climax to this song, Micah P. Hinson nailed it.

Maria del Mar Bonet – Vigila El Mar
María del Mar Bonet has tried her hand at more modern stuff but her real forte is traditional Balearic folk. This song, sung in Mallorquín, is a fine example. She has a beautiful voice and was one of the leading figures in La Nova Canço along with Joan Manuel Serrat and others.
Mrs. Maki

Madredeus-O Mar (The Sea)
The Portuguese have an illustrious seafaring past; here, Lisbon fado-folkers Madredeus allow themelves to become obsessed by the hypnotic prescence of the sea itself. The song has a certain melancholy beauty that recalls a mood I have often encountered at the shore.

Panda Bear – Last Night At The Jetty
I don’t always get Animal Collective or Panda Bear, their drummer’s solo project. But occasionally they coalesce into moments of pop perfection. This song is an example – summery, catchy, yet somehow achingly sad – not so much sounding like the Beach Boys as actually becoming the spirit of Brian Wilson.

Please send any earworms that you care to share, along with a (short) blurb for each one, to earworm@tincanland.com.  Thank you!

Die Alte Graupfeifenprüfung?

Beat-Club was a TV music program that ran from September 1965 to December 1972, broadcast from Bremen, in what was then West Germany. Many UK and US acts, and Kraftwerk, performed on it and a fair number of clips from the show – including performances from the likes of Alice Cooper, King Crimson, ELP, Deep Purple, The Doors, Canned Heat, BB King, Jethro Tull, Cream and The Who – can be found here.
[Achtung: Sie verlassen jetzt die Totenfreizone!] Continue reading

iDunce: iNeed iPhone iHelp

OK, so I finally succumbed and took a bite from the Apple: got myself an iPhone4S. But it’s taken me less than a week to realise I haven’t got a scooby how to do anything on it, apart from play Yahtzee on a free download app that’s now annoying the shit out of me by causing the phone to beep incoming messages that turn out to be unwanted ads at all hours of the night.

My friendly-neighbourhood T-Mobile store bloke took pity on me and got my 1200+ Contacts transferred, and I have somewhat decluttered the homescreen, but that’s about as far as I’ve got.
It turns out I need two new email addresses, three new accounts, and Gawd knows what else. What the hell’s the difference between an iCloud account, an Apple ID and an iTunes Sign-in anyway??

I can’t get the Snooze right on the alarm; I can’t import my own wallpaper; I can’t pick a ringtone from my own music … I haven’t even dare TRY the camera yet!

The iPhone won’t talk to my [temporary] Bluetooth carphone thingy, or to the Parrot kit in Julie’s car at all.

A 7-year-old had to show me how to put it on silent when we were at the Beeb last weekend, FFS! I have gratefully received the tip that applications never close, but merely hide and continue to run unseen unless you expose and close them, and I’ve committed how to do that to memory, but I’d never have found that on my own in a million years!

The User Guide is now paperless, i.e. I have to access it on the phone, which by definition means I’m not in the function I want to learn how to use, and by the time I’ve stumbled back to the right place, I’ve invariably forgotten how to do what I wanted in the first place.

It would therefore appear I don’t have any Apple-logic grey matter in my hurting head. So gimme some tips here, iPhone users. I’ll take and try whatever you’ve got that you think I’ll find useful.

In particular, I want my ringtone back. How do I get UFO’s Only You Can Rock Me to play as calls come in without having to buy again a song I already own about a dozen times?


You might have noticed a recently in the news that sections of Einstein’s grey matter have been brought to the UK for the first time for an exhibition. You might have thought “That’s interesting, it would make a great subject for a song. I wonder if anyone’s ever written one?” You might have thought that, but you probably didn’t. If you did though, the answer is yes, The Dark released a classic single in 1981 on exactly that subject. They were a band that managed to combine punk energy, the ability to write a catchy pop song, and a moody quality that saw them gradually move towards “the genre that dare not speak its name” (goth in case you’re wondering).

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Seraphim & Cherubim

Flight Of The Conchords – Angels
Happy Mondays – Angel
Delgados – I Fought The Angels
Echo & The Bunnymen – Angels & Devils
Psychic TV – Godstar [Ready Steady Go Mix]
Talking Heads – Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
Mazzy Star – Be My Angel

Nina Nastasia – Little Angel
Lotte Kestner – Halo
Kimya Dawson – Angels & Seagulls
Jesca Hoop – Havoc In Heaven
Lisa Germano – Angels Turn To Devils
Mountain Goats – Maybe Sprout Wings
Thee More Shallows – Walk Of Shame

tfd fears allayed

TP x 5

A video about the lighting design for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ current tour was posted on their website the other day and I got a bit worried, because there didn’t seem to be any video screens and I’m going to be quite far back for at least one of the concerts I’m going to.

But it seems I needn’t have worried!

Mr Play In A Day

As the tributes deservedly pour in on the sad loss of Levon Helm, the departure of another great figure was announced: that of Bert Weedon.

I don’t know if he’s still that influential but, for my generation of budding guitarists, his book, Play In A Day, was the manual for learning how to become a Rock’n’Roll Star. Not the flashy, ego-flaunting side of it but the nuts and bolts: how to play Emajor, Amajor and Bmajor, the building blocks of life in rock and pop music. You had to negotiate the tune of Molly Malone too – and the book’s title was slightly over-egged – but it was enough to launch many talents down the road to axe-heaven (even I made a few steps along it).

Here’s Alan Yentob worshipping Bert and his book.

Twang In Peace, Bert.

He Said ~ She Said – We Speak Engrish ! ! !

But Mr P ! ! ! I told you the Takushii Driba did not speak Engrish ! ! !

♪   ♫    ♪

Engrish is so lomantic ! ! !

She Says:

Japanese borrows words from everywhere ! ! ! We  have stolen words from Chinese, Portuguese and of course English and made them part of our language.  We also learn English at school, so of course we can not resit showing of our English skills in our songs.   Putting some English into a song can make it sound cool to Asian people but singing in a second language can be dangerous ! ! !  But these tracks all feature English and we really love love them.  We hope you do too !  ! !

Speak Engrish punk!!!

He Says:

Herro Evelyblody ! I found this topic a little traumatic. I’d hate anyone to think that I was being anything other than totally affectionate and supportive towards the musicians here who bravely, nay, courageously, take English words and mangle them into submission in the cause of being totally hip and cool and stuff. I suppose it’s no surprise, really, “rock” is pretty much and American/English invention. Anyway, here’s some tunes we love and hope you do to. Doomu Aligatto for listening

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Message from Levon Helm’s family

Dear Friends,
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.
Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage…

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy

Spill Challenge no. 34872394 – If it ain’t broke?

Afternoon all! Has anyone already nabbed this week’s slot? I do hope not. (And if they have, sorry…) And I hope this isn’t a question anyone’s already asked. It might well be…

Anyway, yesterday I was listening to various tracks from Kate Bush’s “Director’s Cut” album, in which she overhauled material from two previous albums, “The Sensual World” and “The Red Shoes”. I became particularly obsessed with her new take on “Moments of Pleasure”, one of my favourite of her songs. At first, I was outraged. She’s taken out the chorus! The hook! And replaced it with what?! Some hushed choral “oohs”?! What the devil?! But the more I listened to it, the more I came to appreciate it. It seems to me that she has transformed a celebration of life (and lives well lived) into a gorgeous eulogy for those she’s lost. Less redemptive perhaps, but at least as affecting. I think I may actually now prefer this simpler, solemner version.

So my question is: have any of your favourite artists reworked their own material, and if so, has it been for the better or the worse? (If you can’t think of any, there’s always cover versions to consider, I suppose. But I’m sure we’ve been down that road before!)

American Crazies on TV

Unlike television in their homeland, Danish TV was willing to broadcast the Grateful Dead live, in stereo and without numerous ad breaks. They didn’t air the hour-long Dark Star/Sugar Magnolia/Caution but a fair number of the earlier songs were supplied to the Danish public’s ears and eyes. What seems to be the full broadcast show from the second night at the Tivoli on April 17th 1972 is now on YouTube (see below).

To add some visual interest to the show (let’s face it, there’s not a lot of snazzy stagecraft in a Dead performance), they donned their Bolo and Bozo masks to play Big Railroad Blues (at the hour mark in the video).

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New Frida!

I discovered Swedish songstress Frida Hyvonen thanks to the Festive ‘Spill in 2009, and have been just-this-side-of-a-restraining-order obsessed since. She’s finally back after a long hiatus with an unlikely 80s-disco sound (wait! come back!). This is disco where hunters are shooting at bears in the forest in the dark depths of a Scandinavian winter. It’s really rather wonderful. Probably not to all tastes, but I defy you not to be singing along by the end.

The new album was out in Scandinavia last week, but doesn’t seem to have a UK release date yet, even digitally. Grrr. So I’ll just post one old song instead:

Teenie Tunes

Augustus Pablo – Young Generation Dub
Andy Fairley – Lack Of Education
cLOUDDEAD – The Teen Keen Skip
Cake – Teenage Pregnancy
Elbow – Buttons and Zips
Camera Obscura – Suspended From Class
Mountain Goats – Teenage World
Madder Rose – Ultra Anxiety (Teenage Style)

Fun & Janelle Monáe – We Are Young
Killers – When You Were Young [Lindbergh Palace Dub]
Naked & Famous – Young Blood
M83 – Teen Angst
Trust – Sulk
Youth Lagoon – Seventeen
Explosions In The Sky – Our Last Days As Children