Earworms 26 January 2015


Thank you everyone, it has been a joy this week. Can’t decide which I like best. Go ahead and enjoy, and please keep sending your spare worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Herbert Pixner Project: Dirty Kathy (live) – abahachi: ‘Volksmusik’ programmes on German television can go one of two ways. Most of them peddle a ghastly sort of washed-out, mid-tempo pop-like sludge that makes James Blunt look avant-garde, with the only connection to a folk tradition being the costumes and the pictures of Alps. But there are also programmes that present ‘real’ Volksmusik (‘echtes traditionelle Heimatsmusik’, apparently), not just as a period piece but as a living tradition. This is my current favourite group in this line, from Sud Tirol (the bit of Alpine Italy where they speak German and retain Austrian customs): accordion, guitar, bass and harp going hell for leather…

The Cat Empire – Hotel California – deanofromoz: The recent RR topic of hotels made me think of this. An Australian radio station, Triple J, has a segment called “Like a Version” where they invite groups in to perform unlikely cover versions. I have a compliation best of from one of these, and it contains the Cat Empire’s great French language take on the Eagles classic. I will also be sending through to Ali some more unlikely covers, so keep an eye out for them.

Prince Fatty & Nostalgia 77 – Freedom (Zombie Dance parts 1 & 2) – shoegazer: Another gem from Shoey’s Dubtronica series.

Perfume Genius: No Good – bishbosh: My album of last year. Just a staggering piece of (unashamed) art. I love the more confrontational tracks like Queen, but also the quieter numbers like this one, where he puts me in mind of a damaged queer Art Garfunkel. With added poeticism.

William Topley – Black River – LeaveitAllbehind: The Blessing’s lead singer William Topley went solo following their break-up. This is the title track from his ’97 debut album: Black River. What can I say, the voice, the guitar, the heartache, “let me roll back to you”, brilliant.

Psychedelic Furs – Into You Like A Train – bethnoir: these 5 CDs sets that Beggars Banquet have been releasing are fab, I have plenty of Psychedelic Furs now and I’m enjoying their spiky, husky tunes.

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Earworms 19 January 2015



Took the dog to the pub (don’t judge). Dripping at the bar in wellies and muddy parka, scrabbling myopically in the dog-biscuit pocket for change for a pint, trying to hold a skittish 20kg dog with one hand, I could see myself as mad Grandma in a cartoon. Anyway, I present this week’s worms for your delectation. Please send all spare worms to earworm@tincanland.com, thanks kindly.

Stone Sour – Inhale – LeaveitAllbehind: Stone Sour is Corey Taylor’s (Slipknot) other band, also from Des Moines, Iowa. Before you all skip this one, give it a go, yes there is a ‘screamy’ bit but the guitar opening is very good and the core vocals, when he sings properly are brilliant.

John Lee Hooker – I’m in the mood – goneforeign: This is a typical John Lee groove, he spent his life playing variations of this. He lived out the last years of his life quite close to me in Long Beach California, I saw him perform several times.

Speedometer – Happy – Albahooky: Another one that could’ve made the ToTY but didn’t due to pretentiousness/senility/mood at the time of submission. Here’s some groovy vitamins to combat the winter blues, in a reworking of THAT Pharrell Williams tune in a Columbia George Benson style.

Souljazz Orchestra – Conquering Lion – Fuel: Another gem from the Fuel archives, The Souljazz Orchestra is a Canadian band whose music combines soul, jazz, funk, afrobeat and Latin. Jolly good, too.

Woodkid – Ghost Lights – YoungMunday: Woodkid is Yoann Lemoine, a French music-video director, “neo-folk” singer-songwriter and graphic designer. He has worked with many well-knowns including Pharrell (see “Happy” above), Philip Glass and Lana Del Ray – and apparently he became a musician because Richie Havens gave him a banjo. One for ghe?

Depeche Mode – It’s No Good – bethnoir: familiar to everyone I suspect, but I’ve recently been talking to friends about them and I’m surprised how loved they are, by a cross section of music fans. They’ve influenced many artists I like and are a much bigger deal than I think. Dave Gahan’s voice is great on this track. Go the Mode!

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Earworms 12 January 2015


I think this week’s selection is pretty much unclassifiable, but no less enjoyable for that. Severin’s choice inspired the picture, I was almost stumped. Anyway, thanks to everyone who has topped up the Worm Bank, it’s looking a bit healthier now. Of course, there’s always room for more so if you have any spare, please send them along to earworm@tincanland.com.

Bela Fleck & Oumou Sangare – Djorolen – goneforeign: This stunning performance of “Djorolen” by the great Oumou Sangare is a fragment from a DVD, from Bela Fleck’s documentary “Throw Down Your Heart”. Bela Fleck toured Africa performing and recording there with many African musicians.

Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band – Ark-La-Tex – Albahhooky: Here’s one that could have been in the TotY from Wayne Shorter’s drummer with his own Fellowship Band off of the brilliant LP ‘Landmarks’ released in 2014. It speaks for itself. Have a happy (& musical) New Year!

David Sylvian – Let The Happiness In – bethnoir: I believe that Mr Sylvian has the voice of an angel and this song lifts me up.

Angels and Airwaves – The Adventure – LeaveitAllbehind: When Blink-182 had their differences and went on an indefinite hiatus, only later to reform, Tom DeLonge (guitar and co-vocalist) formed A&A. Less ‘punky, snot-nosed American teen than Blink, A&A have now released five albums; this is from their debut We Don’t Need To Whisper.

Cat Stevens – School is Out – deanofromoz: I have been second hand CD shop bargain bin diving again, and found a compilation of early Cat Stevens recordings. This was a new song to me. I love the optimism the song expresses. Some would say the foolishness of youth I guess, but nothing wrong with a bit of confidence.

Jack the Lad – Home Sweet Home – severin: Early to mid seventies folk/rock outfit formed by three ex members of Lindisfarne. This single from their second album The Old Straight Track was seldom off my turntable for the best part of a year. More music hall than folk and definitely not typical of their sound but (to my ears) irresistible. “Window cleaner wash away my pain”. Yes indeed.

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Earworms 5 January 2015


Here we are, back to “normal” for many of us, the first full week of 2015. I hope you’ve all had a decent break and that today isn’t too painful. Me? I feel like crawling back to bed and sleeping until April, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. So let’s make the best of it with some upbeat earworms to cheer us along. Thanks for all contributions, and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Pass the coffee.

Davido – Aye – bishbosh: I seemed to come across a load of ‘best of Nigerian Afropop’ lists in the last couple of weeks of the year. This was the song that particularly stuck with me. Something about the (to these Western ears) off-kilter rhythms that nevertheless resolve satisfyingly. I’m dancing about architecture, aren’t I?! Oh well…

Burning Spear – Appointment with his Majesty – goneforeign: Burning Spear, AKA Winston Rodney is a serious rastaman who’s undertaken the advocacy of Marcus Garvey as his lifelong mission. in 1980 he formed his own record label, Burning Music, that gave him total control of his recordings and independence from Island records, his original label. He’s recorded dozens of albums and still lives in a very simple cottage at the beach in St. Annes.

Troy Cassar-Daley – Play – Deanofromoz: Some Aussie country music for you. A fun song all about playing guitar. Infectiously catchy.

The Band – Ain’t Got No Home – CaroleBristol: The band recorded an album of covers called “Moondog Matinee” in 1973, when they were not getting on that well as a group, there were lots of ego issues and substance abuse problems and the creativity was waning as a result. It is, to be fair, a patchy album, but this Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry song is infectiously toe-tapping stuff.

Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang – Battle of New Orleans – shoegazer: another from the “unexpected covers” series.

Alberta Cross – Magnolia – LeaveitAllbehind: A Swede (Petter Ericson Stakee) moved to England met up with Terry Wolfers and then moved to New York to begin work on their debut album as Alberta Cross. Terry has since left but whilst together they released two albums: Magnolia is the opening track from the second album Songs of Patience. Totally earwormy.

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Earworms 29 December 2014


Hello again, I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas and a chance to relax. Thanks to everyone for all the earworms over the last year – the bank needs topping up for 2015, so if you have any spare please send them to earworm@tincanland.com. Meanwhile, I’ll wish you all a Happy New Year!

The Besnard Lakes – 46 Satires – DsD: Although it was one of my favourite tunes of 2014, I couldn’t pick this for my Festive Spill trio. I was too slow off the mark; the album was from April 2013. But it did win the DsD “Favourite New Discovery Soaring Guitar Solo” award. Though I suppose it’s easy to soar when you’re released from a support craft that’s already taken you to stratospheric heights.

Adrian Borland – Simple Little Love – severin: (See blurb from severin below, in the comments).

Jackson Browne – The Pretender – CaroleBristol: Jackson Browne is West Coast singer/songwriter royalty and The Pretender is one of his greatest songs. The two lines “Out into the cool of the evening/Strolls the Pretender” kind of stick in my mind. Anyway, this song is superb.

Rokia Traore – Sabali – goneforeign: Here’s someone one I’ve been listening to recently, she’s from Mali, the daughter of an international diplomat which allowed her to visit many countries worldwide and to absorb their musical cultures. She’s a multi instrumentalist, she plays guitar, ngoni and the balafon on her albums. This cut is from her 1998 CD, Mouneissa on the French Label Bleu.

Kate Rusby – The Night Visit – AliM: This is from Kate Rusby’s new album, “Ghost”. The words are traditional and the tune is attributed to Tony Cuffe – I know the tune as “When First I Came To Caledonia”, and it has been stuck in my head since I saw KR’s excellent Christmas concert in Huddersfield last week.

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Christmas Earworms 22 December 2014



Happy Christmas ‘Spillers! Thanks for all your contributions, we have a bumper selection this Christmas, so I hope you find something you like in the pick n’mix. Whatever you’re doing this year, best wishes from me here in Earwormland, and when it’s all over please send more worms to top-up the bank, at the usual earworm@tincanland.com address. For festive ‘Spill points, if you’re really bored, list something you like or dislike about Christmas, beginning with one or more of the Christmassy letters below (B, C, D, F, G, J, M, N, O, P, R, S, U, V, W).

2141697_sBB King – Merry Christmas Baby – goneforeign: Here are your Christmas presents, take your pick (I was unable to choose so I picked them all, see below – Ali).

Blink-182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas: LeaveItAllBehind: Do anti-Christmas tunes count? Well this one from Blink-182 probably doesn’t feature on many ‘Ultimate Christmas’ compilations, it certainly isn’t East 17, more reminiscent of The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl but I love it anytime of year.

Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa – beltway: So Dylan’s Xmas album was met with rather mixed (and plenty of hostile) reviews, but this particular track is an essential part of Xmas round our place now, it’s infectious, fun Cajun style mixed with Dylan’s highly cheerful rasp is just irresistible – just love the idea that Bob likes to kick loose with this!

Boca Chica – Not on Christmas Eve – shoegazer – (no blurb, I imagine shoey is exhausted after his amazing festive ‘Spill posts).

Bristol Bach Choir – He Smiles Within His Cradle – Bethnoir: I have a rather classical ear worm for Christmas, I wanted a version in German, but this one appeared. I used to sing in choirs and always liked this one, used to sing it to my boy when he was a grizzly baby.

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Earworms 15 December 2014

Heaven forbid that Earworms should ever have a theme, but if it did,  this week it would probably be “misspent youth”. I’m sure I had one, once. Anyway, onwards – wrap yer ear’oles round this little lot. And if you can spare a minute from the Christmas rush, please send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com (Christmas worms welcome, by 21 December, please).

Ian Matthews – Road to Ronderlin – goneforeign: This is a genuine earworm, I can’t get it out of my head, actually it’s been there for years, it just pops up every now again. It’s from an album by Matthews Southern Comfort – ‘Later that same year’ from 1970. The singer is Ian Matthews, originally with Fairport Convention. It’s a great album, well worth a search.

Twin Atlantic – Yes I Was Drunk – AliM: Twin Atlantic hail from Glasgow; the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist is called Sam McTrusty. How could you fail to like someone with a name like that? I’ve been bopping around the house to this recently.

Otis Redding – Hard to Handle – AliM: I’ve liked this song for years but only recently discovered that it is sung by Otis Redding. Why didn’t I know that?

Otis Gibbs – With A Gun in My Hand – tincanman: A metaphor about growing up. Twangy but stick with it ’cause we all end up with private thoughts and a gun in our hand.

Plan B – Traded In My Cigarettes – Deanofromoz: Plan B is a UK rap artist – not normally my thing, but on his concept album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, he blends rap with soul music to tell the story of a singer who is imprisoned for rape. It’s an interesting album, one I have surprisingly grown to really love. The album probably has more soul than rap, and Plan B’s voice is quite lovely – with almost a Smokey Robinson quality to it. I know some will say that if they want to hear Smokey they will listen to a Smokey record, but nevertheless I quite enjoy it. To pick up the story of this track, Strickland Banks finds himself in jail and feels insecure and unsafe, so he trades cigarettes to obtain a weapon.

Blume – Western Rust (Interface Remix) – Bethnoir: I’ve found a few industrial samplers lately and this was on one of them. They’re Italian, but don’t sound it. I do enjoy the way the music from all over the place is accessible and the cross pollination that allows it to flourish.

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