Earworms 23 July 2012

Pop Quiz: How many athletes can you name who can sing? Here’s one!

1: The Radha Krsna Temple – Hare Krsna Mantra (2010 – Remaster) – BethNoir

There’s something rather comforting about a mantra, isn’t there? Or is that just me and George Harrison?

2: Rachid Taha – Tabla Motown ~ AlBahooky

Here’s a tune from Rachid Taha’s ’95 LP ‘Ole Ole’ which ticks all the boxes for me; North African meets India via Europe/USA – haven’t got a clue what it’s about but that’s irrelevant when it sounds like this : voice + music = groove.

3: Takeshi Terauchi &  Bunnys – Genroku Hanami Odori  ~ HoshinoSakura

I think this is an interesting piece from Takeshi Terauchi.  He was know as The King Of The Surf Guitar and made lots of albums over the years.  This one mixes the typical surf guitar sound with a traditional Japanese dance melody.  I hope you like it ! ! !

4: Sophie George – Girlie Girlie ~ RockingMitch

I love it, but it is one of those songs that once heard, never leaves your head, or what in my case passes for a brain.

5: Miguel Bose- Te Digo Amore ~ MrsMaki

A song about love not a loved one. About how important it is and the effect it has on our lives. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter: it gives us life and we are lucky it exists.

6: Jean Sibelius – The Swan of Tuonela ~ GoneForeign

I think of this piece as the Finnish  equivalent  of Lark Ascending, it’s by Sibelius and is based on medieval mythology. What’s unique is the unusual small orchestra it was written for; cor anglais , oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trombones, timpani, bass drum, harp, and  strings. The cor anglais  [English horn] is the voice of the swan and its solo is perhaps the best known cor anglais solo in the orchestral literature. It’s this assemblage of musical voices that gives it  it’s unique quality. A beautiful piece of ‘mood music’.


A big Thank You to everyone who has send in these and other songs. If you have more, PLEASE send them in!  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either earworm@tincanland.com or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

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39 thoughts on “Earworms 23 July 2012

  1. Hare Krsna Mantra: Ooh this is lovely. Weirdly perhaps, the first thing that strikes me is how English the singer sounds. Like Maddy Prior or somebody. Some of the harmonies too sound more western than I’m used to. But these are good things! All good music adopts and adapts, doesn’t it? Like how it builds to a feverish climax too.

    Tabla Motown: Ooh, like this too. I do love a tabla. Find the abrupt rhythm changes when the Hindi lady singer comes in a bit baffling on the ear to begin with, but once acclimatised to, they’re lovely.

    Takeshi Terauchi: Hadn’t read Sakura’s blurb when this started so was completely taken aback by the sound of it. Anyway, it has put a big smile on my face. Great fun.

    Girlie Girlie: Speaking of great fun… I know you’ll find at least two fans of this on the Spill: me and Severin. Loved it back in the day, love it now.

    Te Digo Amor: Who’d have thought this lovely tender sigh of a song would work so well after Sophia George? It was just what I wanted to hear. Gorgeous.

    The Swan of Tuonela: And speaking of tender… What a lovely, graceful piece of music. I’d have to listen several more times for it to hook its way into my head properly, but a beautiful sound.

  2. Cool. A world tour on my laptop!
    The Radha Krsna Temple. When I worked (in the 80s) in Greek Street, the Hare Krishna Mob (as we called them) had opened a great veggie restaurant just off Soho Square and cheap too. They also used to feed down & outs. I’m not going to knock them or this.
    Rachid Taha. Fascinating sound. I love this.
    Takeshi Terauchi. yeah! Boss! I think I’ll leave it to him to fight out with Dick Dale, who also liked to be titled “King Of The Surf Guitar”.
    Miguel Bose. Beautiful sound!
    Jean Sibellius. This takes me back to my school music lessons. Our teacher, Terry James, was an aspiring conductor and would play records like this and “conduct” the orchestra. Sort of classical karaoke, I guess. Again, beautiful to listen to.

    Nice set.

  3. I’ve also been to the Krishna restaurant and very good it was too.

    In the 1960s, Jimmy Savile used to book bands to entertain the inmates at Broadmore. He booked this lot and they did the chant for about 40 minutes. Apparently, people were going into trances.

    On a lighter note, it was covered by Cilla Black on het tv prog. ‘orrible.

  4. I really liked this playlist flows nicely and is really unusual – well done for fitting the Hare Krishna Mantra into a play list where it fits in ! ! !

    I will try and comment properly later – I am rushing round just now being disorganised ! ! !

    Well done everyone and SR for some great tracks and a great playlist ! ! !

  5. Hare Krsna Mantra: I have more respect for Buddhism than any other world religion, and anything that channels money towards the ‘Hare Krishna Mob’ (e.g. this record) is fine by me. As a listening experience, I find it limited (although, obviously full of honest joy).
    Tabla Motown: I like the way it starts but then it feels like the [colonial influence of crap] French euro-pop starts to take over and, before long, almost all the non-European influence is drowned out (apart from one note in the scale). To me, the joy of the tabla comes from the wonderful voices and polyrhythms that good players can produce from them: here, they’ve gone for pretty standard pop repetition.
    Genroku Hanami Odori: yep, Dick Dale and Hank Marvin. Retrofun.
    Girlie Girlie: I thought this was using the Arnie implication of the word but no; rather the opposite, in fact. Confusing. But great fun.
    Te Digo Amor: not my thing, although I acknowledge how well the sweetness is produced (having no Spanish skills, the bitterness completely passed me by). It commits drum-crime (see previous rants/moans), although only second degree drum-crime, as I think there’s a human involved.
    The Swan of Tuonela: yes, lovely. A huge, down-filled arbour. Earworm? Not at all. (I must confess to knowing a very limited number of cor anglais solos.)

      • Moot but fair, Mitch. I suspect it gets my respect in part for that very reason. (Although a dictionary source I just used gives this as a definition of religion: ‘a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.‘) In the Tibetan version, there’s definitely a significant ‘god worship’ element, making the distinction a little mooter.

  6. Wow, talk about never knowing what to expect when you log in to earworms!

    This is a set that will take multiple listens over an extended period to decide how much you like them, which is awesome. An earworm isn’t necessarily something you hear once and it gets lodged; sometimes the lodging comes from repeated borings. (ooh, just realized how that could be read. I’m going to use that some day!)

    The Swan of Tuonela strikes me, along with the simple explanation, as exactly the sort of piece that sparks an interest in classical music. I quibble with the term ‘mood music’ for it. but perhaps because I use it to describe music you put on in the background while you do something else. I was engaged throughout – listening for what the bloody swan would do next.

  7. Tinny: Total agreement re. ‘mood’ music, don’t know what came over me. For me it is an earworm in that the various segments keep coming back. I love the last 2-3 minutes where it swells as the horns come in. Best set in a while, a pat on the back for SR, more later.

  8. Half way through listening to these for the second time, I had a “Vicar of Dibley moment”

    i.e.

    Alice – “You know that stuff I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter?”

    Geraldine – “Yes, what about it?”

    Alice – “Well” (long pause) “I can’t believe it’s not butter”

    In other words I thought “these earworms – they’re really earworms aren’t they?”

    From the top:

    Hare Krsna Mantra – Brilliantly hypnotic and kind of inspiring whatever you believe (or don’t)

    Tabla Motown – I liked the blend of east and west. Great sound.

    Takeshi Terauchi – Japanese surf music! Brilliant!

    Girlie Girlie – As stated I love this record – one of my own earworms from long since.

    Te Digo Amor – Nice gentle wind down / chill out after the franticness (is that a word?). Lovely.

    The Swan of Tuonela – And we float off into the distance. Yes a very unusual combination of instruments but simple and effective.

    What a good set!

  9. The Radha Krsna Temple – have had my fill of religion or belief or whatever it is but this is wonderful / spiritual. All it lacks is Steve Hillage.

    Rachid Taha – this is great too, I didn’t take it very seriously (was I supposed to?) It made me dance, first time in weeks, ‘cos I’ve not been well. Probably a mistake, think I’ve definitely sustained a fracture.

    Takeshi Terauchi & Bunnys – Hank Marvin in Japan? Don’t quote me on that Mitch, it’s a throwaway comment – loved it.

    Sophie George – joyous. All good.

    Miguel Bose – sorry Mrs Maki, it’s very pleasant but not for me. I am trying, really.

    Sibelius – I love Sibelius. My parents had various Sibelius records, as we called them in the old days, and I listened to them a lot, growing up. This is beautiful, though I do wish they wouldn’t play it in Huddersfield Bus Station, it kind of takes the edge off it.

    “But now they drift on the still water,
    Mysterious, beautiful;
    Among what rushes will they build,
    By what lake’s edge or pool
    Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
    To find they have flown away?”

  10. @ goneforeign – don’t I owe you for the two Rachid Taha tunes (Aïe Aïe Aïe & Barra Barra) that I previously knew?

  11. Hare Krsna Mantra: Mantras do have a natural advantage as earworms, don’t they?

    Tabla Motown: A bit of a disappointment, if I’m honest. What I love about the two RT tunes I mentioned above is just how alien they are to me; this is a little too … identifiable isn’t quite the word I’m after, but I’m too tired to pin down the exact one.

    Takeshi Terauchi: For some reason, my memory is insisting I know this, but the logical section of the DsD brain denies that’s possible. ‘Worm!

    Girlie Girlie: Speaking of ‘worms – eee, I’d forgotten all about this. Grin-inducer.

    Te Digo Amor: Now I really shouldn’t like that, but I really do. Weird.

    The Swan of Tuonela: Damn. I’m an uncultured sod, so despite wanting to like this, I just didn’t and couldn’t.

    An educational week though, SR; nice one.

    • We’re all uncultured swans. I know you are busy with a lot of things and it’s hard to get 8:06 to your own, but if you approach it like a yoga exercise: No distractions, cleansing breath, listen, be one with the swan

      Or don’t bother and be Gor…the guy, I meant. Poop, not the guy, a guy. Oh cripes, which one is backspa

  12. Hey, there’s a third Rachid Taha tune lurking in my music folders, Like A Dog or Comme Un Chien to be precise.

    Oh, no, I mean … it’s not lurking like a dog; it’s called … *sigh* …
    Tinny, can I borrow your BACKSPACE?

    G’night all.

  13. Re: Songs by athletes:

    It’s worth noting that several country singers (Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Jim Reeves) had played minor league baseball before their recording careers.

    Association football teams had been going into the studio to cut records for a long time before the “great” tradition crossed the Atlantic. The 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle would sell over 1 million copies and charted on the national charts. It set off an annual parade of embarrassing rap records by teams that continues to this day.

    Some solo efforts…

    Gridiron football:
    Terry Bradshaw
    Mike Reid – the only one who had the decency to retire from the game before launching a singing career

    Basketball
    Shaquille O’Neal

    Ice Hockey
    Phil Esposito

    Soccer
    Alexi Lalas – this really sounds like karaoke night at a sports bar

  14. Songs by athletes you ask? You’ll be sorry you did. Here’s Carl Lewis channeling his inner Grace Jones in an 80’s horror work out:

    Am sure Mr Bolt could do better.

  15. 1. It’s a lovely mantra and I like that it was sung by an obviously British group of singers. I believe the story of the patients going into the trance-like state; it’s hypnotic.

    2. I like this tremendously. I think the fusion of influences and the unexpected bits were wonderful. If music like this that helps interest those who are stuck in the chart-type music into exploring the music of other cultures that has to be a good thing.

    3. This is extraordinarily fun and a great sound. Terrific!

    4. I remember Girlie Girlie with much affection too. It’s wonderful. This is the wormiest song this week for me.

    5. I am growing fond of Miguel Bose, and although he will never replace Alejandro Fernandez and Luis Miguel in my heart :-) I enjoyed the song. I said it was a bolero on RR, but I am not sure it really qualifies as one.

    6. I’ve always liked a bit of Sibelius, me, and I know and love this piece. A thing of beauty indeed.

    These tunes showcase the diverse taste we have on The ‘Spill very well indeed! Well done wormers.

  16. Some good stuff this week, I particularly like Girlie Girlie and Takeshi’s twang.
    Can’t take Hare Krishna seriously thanks to the Fugs version which automatically plays in my mind at the first mention of “hare” or “Krishna”.
    Refuse to like Sibelius lest I catch “culture”.

  17. Like several others here Girlie was the top of my pops. I have a personal involvement with that one, I took the photos for the album when it was released in Ja. Also we have a sweet old female Boxer called Jasmine but my wife calls her ‘Girlie Girlie’, I’d never made the connection ’til now.
    An overall interesting playlist, I liked that each came as a surprise and it was always a pleasant surprise. Hare Krishna I always thought of as wild airport chanting, here we get the full treatment and an appreciation of manta effect, lovely. ‘Tabla’, anything with tablas is OK with me and the more N. African the better, Earwormers can’t be picky. Sakura’s cut was very Dick Dale-ish but the Japanese influence made it doubly interesting, I liked it more than I thought I would. Sophie, a lovely girl, nuff said, her husband was Geoffrey Chung, a producer who worked with just about every Ja. group. As usual Ms. Maki’s contribution was a lovely piece, she’s continually introducing us to a group of artists we’d otherwise never know, loved Miguel Bose. And the Swan; am I alone in seeing all sorts of comparisons to Vaughn William’s ‘Lark’? I’ve never been to Finland but this piece fulfills my imaginary vision of what it looks like, dark fiords surrounded by dark tree covered mountains with a threatening dark sky as the swan sails serenely by whereas the Lark absolutely creates mental visions of a Suffolk summer afternoon, I could take you to the exact spots but Wiki tells me it was nothing of the sort; shattered all my illusions.
    Richard, not guilty, ’twasn’t me.

  18. “Hare Krsna Mantra” didn’t do an awful lot for me, I’m afraid; it was a bit too repetitive for my tastes. But the list didn’t let me down. The tablas and the growly (?) voice on “Tabla Motown” was more like it, and “Genroku Hanami Odori” was fabulous, despite not having any vocals for me to fasten my ears on to.

    But my earworm of the week has got to be Girlie Girlie. Which duly wormed and sqirmed its way in…

    Te Digo Amor was absolutely lovely, and I did enjoy The Swan of Tuonela, but I’m not sure I got the full benefit of it. I always feel like that with classical. Kind of … its nice, but I’m missing something…

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