Earworms 27 October 2014 – Halloween Special

Photo on 20-10-2014 at 15.56

It’s Halloween on Friday. An unkindness of ravens gathers as ghosts and witches stir in the shadows, while the werewolves are listless, waiting for the full moon. Meanwhile, the spirits in the haunted nursery gaze from the window – what’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Death, the night prowler, stalks the unwary, but DsD’s okay (he’s got gris-gris). The devils and demons aren’t going to bother him! Spook yourselves silly and don’t forget to send more worms slithering to earworm@tincanland.com. Whooo-oooo—ooo!

Japan – Halloween – bethnoir: One of the things I like about Hallowe’en (there are many) is that I get to hear Japan in the supermarket sometimes, can’t get more on theme than this.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Halloween – ghe: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band do a fine job of keeping traditional jazz alive in New Orleans. Here’s their rendering of “Halloween”.

Slash – Ghost – DsD: Rifftastic from the second scariest top hat in popular culture, and with a guest vocal bonus just for Beth!

The Hekawis – (Return of) The Spook – deanofromoz: Something truly obscure for you this week. In January 1998, I went to what was supposedly the Hoodoo Gurus last ever live show (they have since reformed and currently tour). I would still rate it as one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Anyway, the support band before the support band was The Hekawis. I had never heard of them before, or since, this gig, but they did a nice little set, and handed out free copies of their CD to the early arrivers like myself. I play it every now and then because it’s a great listen, and includes an organ driven cover of “Sweet Soul Music”. They obviously never made it anywhere (to my knowledge), but they have a great sound. On this track, a short and largely instrumental track, they channel 60’s surf music, layered with some spooky sounds to fit this week’s theme. Hope you enjoy, and if anyone knows anything else about this band, please let me know.

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Earworms 20 October 2014

This week is a Goneforeign special – GF has helped keep Earworms afloat by sending over 75 worms since I took over as worm-mater, and what an eclectic choice of music. Marvellous stuff; thanks GF. If you would like to contribute some worms of your own, please forward them to earworm@tincanland.com. There’s still time to send some spooky worms for the Halloween special next week.

The SAC Choir – Namhla Niyabizwa – goneforeign: South African Gospel; some of you might recognise the tune as ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’, others might recognise it as ‘When this bloody war is over’ from the trenches of WW1, [Oh what a lovely war] whichever, enjoy.

Mose Se Sengo Fan Fan – Kwala Rumba – goneforeign: Fan Fan started out playing guitar with Franco and his TP OK Jazz orch. in Zaire in the early 60’s. This cut is from his album ‘The Congo Acoustic’ .

Ali Farka Toure – Allah Uya – goneforeign: Singer/guitarist Ali in a religious mode, acknowledges the Omnipresence of Allah. Recorded in 1998 on Location in Ali’s home village of Niafunke in the middle of the Sahara on the banks of the Niger. Love the timing of the handclaps.

Dory Previn – The Hollywood Sign – goneforeign: Gina was in the kitchen fixing dinner and my iPod was on the windowsill on shuffle, this came on. She’d never heard it before and when it finished she said, “God, what a sad song!” She played it again.It’s not about Mary Cecilia, there’s much, much more, ‘A sign of disillusion?’

Joan Armatrading and Pam Nestor – City Girl – goneforeign: Another from Joan’s first album with Pam Nestor, ‘Whatever’s for us’. I’ve read that it was written by Pam and directed at newcomer Joan, ‘Be cool girl, you’re playing it too hard’.

Brenda Fassie – State of Independence – goneforeign: I love the backing on this South African tune by Brenda Fassie – ‘State of Independence’, how prescient. A 1984 12″ single by a South African group called Joy, lead by Brenda Fassie, late niece of Nelson Mandela. It was issued by Island Publishing but never became available commercially. Brenda Fassie became famous while her famous uncle was in prison on Robben Island. She died of an overdose in 2004 at the age of 39.

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Earworms 13 October 2014

Here I am, dancing in the season of mists and mellow wellingtons … take a leaf out of my book and send some more earworms to earworm@tincanland.com, we need to stock up for the cold months ahead. They’ll be very happy here, they like a nice bit of leaf mould.

The Stranglers – Always the Sun – AliM: Heard this recently for the first time in ages and can’t get it out of my head. Used to see Hugh Cornwell drinking in the Rose & Crown at Larkhall, a lifetime ago!

Cornell Campbell – Rope In – goneforeign: In the early ’80’s there was a hugely popular hit in Jamaica by the duo, Michigan and Smiley, it was ‘One love ina Jamdown’. As you probably know producers there always retained the rights to backing tracks, which they’d then sell to other artists. In 1982, Cornell Campbell came up with this song and chose to use the backing track from One Love… he called it ‘Rope In’. I think it’s a fabulous riddim, totally unique for its time, Janet Enright, the famous female Jamaican jazz guitarist, produced it. It’s been stuck in my ear for 30 odd years. If you want to check a version of the Michigan & Smiley original it’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z63rnpttnM. I’m in that crowd.

Blind Melon – No Rain – AliM: Found this in my ITunes, didn’t know I had it. A great pop song, catchy as hell, have been singing it for weeks. Sadly the lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died from an overdose in October 1995.

The Game – Gotta Wait – beltway: A perfect 2 minute 60’s pop song, totally economical, not a wasted second, love the jump from the grinding bluesy verse to the moody, minor key chorus, and it just sits in your head for days …

T Rex – Sunken Rags – Marc Bolan – bethnoir: Marc played with words in a nonsensical way better than most, for some reason this B side always appears in my head if I am exposed to Oasis, something I try to avoid, but it’s fun.

Daniel James – Aint No Money – AliM: One of the better recent promos (IMHO), and very catchy. DJ comes from Northern Ireland, though is now based in London, and supported Hozier on tour earlier this year. Apparently he was brought up on his parents’ record collection of David Bowie, Van Morrison and Motown. https://soundcloud.com/thisisdanieljames/daniel-james-aint-no-money/ .

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Earworms 6 October 2014


Well, another week has hurtled by and here we are again, Earworms on a Monday morning. Hope they brighten your week, and please keep sending them in to earworm@tincanland.com. Many thanks. GF, I think you’ve sent me the Gilberto Gil version of Easy Skankin’ rather than the Bob Marley one, but I’ve included it anyway ‘cos it’s great.

Rose of Avalanche – Never Another Sunset – bethnoir: released in 1989 this ballad has stayed in my head for a long time, the Leeds band were usually less introspective and deserve to be more remembered.

Dantalian’s Chariot – Sun Came Bursting Through My Cloud – beltway: A beautiful bit of British 60’s Psychedelia (or proto-prog maybe), with the great husky voice of Zoot Money piercing through the sweet instrumentation. That’s Andy Summers from The Police on guitar there as well.

Mark Seymour – Legend of the Snowmen – deanofromoz: Another legend of Australian rock for you, Mark was the lead singer of 80’s pub rock band Hunters and Collectors, but I think he has really come into his own in his post band solo career. His ability to tell a story with his passionate vocal delivery is amazing. I just recently went to one of his gigs, and this track, which is about asbestos of all topics, really stood out to me.

Grateful Dead – Sunrise – chris7572: Apart from one flatulent line, this is rather lovely. The only song that Donna Godchaux wrote for the band is (almost definitely) a tribute to Rex Jackson, their iconic roadie who died in a car crash the previous year. His shamanistic presence entranced men and women alike, resulting in children by two different band ladies and a charitable foundation bearing his name. Donna’s evocation and the band’s restraint seems to come from a place of special reverence, and the continual minor-to-major modulations define ‘bittersweet’.

Thurston Moore – The Best Day – carolebristol: This track has been popping up on BBC 6Music over the last few days. Very catchy. What else do you need to know? Oh yeah, it’s got guitars and riffs, it is called The Best Day and it is by Thurston Moore. That’ll do for me.

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Easy Skankin’ – goneforeign: I’ve got at least a dozen books about Bob and not one of them mentions this song in their indexes nor does the album ‘Songs of Freedom’ from which it comes. Nor was I able to find anything via Google and Wiki. Strange. Skankin’ is dancing, Easy Skankin’ is self evident and the rhythm reinforces that. One detail, it was recorded in the ’70’s at the height of the police/army roadblock arrests, a la Three o’clock Roadblock. Tosh took a militant stand re. ganga, even confronting Manley and Seaga personally and directly at the One Love Peace Concert for which he paid a price, Bob took a much lower key approach, ‘Excuse me while I light my spliff’.

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Earworms 29 September 2014

Copyright: ivonnewierink / 123RF Stock Photo

Grooving away to Lions in the Street and Howling Bells here. Hope this latest batch of worms takes your fancy, and please keep sending them in to earworm@tincanland.com. Thanks all.

Lions in the Street – You’re Gonna Lose ….tincanman: Pin-back-your-ears-and-let-‘er-rip rock and roll from stubborn “we’ll do things our own damn way, thank you very much” Vancouver outfit.

Howling Bells – Setting Sun – bethnoir: An Australian band with a lovely swooning sound, this song gets stuck in my head for days at a time, but none of their other tracks have grabbed me.

Bob Evans – Sitting in the Waiting Room – deanofromoz: Bob Evans is one my favourite singer/songwriters, and on this track I think he really sums up the nervousness and worry that one feels when they accompany a loved one to a medical appointment where the worst is feared.

Tackhead – Class Rock – DsD: As full of hooks as the fish lure I stepped on during our Cornish holiday. ‘Nuff said.

Frank Black – Old Black Dawning – beltway: I love a song that bursts on, dazzles you, achieves everything it needs to achieve, then buggers off again, all in under two minutes – not many people can do that well, but Frank Black does it perfectly here, hurtling across the Galaxy, comparing his mission to the doomed tower of Babel, and indulging in a beautiful instrumental break. Seriously underrated song.

Antonio Chainho & Marta Dias – Fadinho Simples – goneforeign: Antonio Chainho has been playing guitar since soon after WW2 as an accompanist to Portugal’s most famous singers. He’s performed duets with the world’s greatest guitarists and recorded albums with the London Symphony, here he accompanies Marta Dias.

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Earworms 22 September 2014

Your worm curator is stressed this week. All my preconceptions of dogs are true. They are disgusting creatures, they eat live snails and their own vomit (and WORSE). Euuwwgh. I am off to live in a tepee with my cat. Hope you enjoy these soothing tunes and please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Sekou Diabate – Guitar Fo – goneforeign: Bembaya Jazz is/was Guinea’s leading band, it was founded in 1961, Sekou has been associated with the group all his life and in 1977 he performed this piece at the Lagos Fespac, the Pan African arts Festival.

The Chieftains – Tabhair Dom Do Lámh (Give Me Your Hand) – beltway: From their mid 70’s peak, it’s an elegant take on a modern Irish Folk Standard that could as easily be a pop song (The Wolfetones and Planxty pretty much made it one) – but this one just sets the hairs on the back of my neck standing up….

Shrimp Boat – Dollar Bill – chris7572: Sweet, wrecked and carefree: just how I like my wo….er, music. Shrimp Boat may only have packed a couple of musical ideas in each song but they were interesting ideas.

Al Wilson – Do What You Gotta Do – bishbosh: A Jimmy Webb song perhaps best known in the (fairly similar) Four Tops version, but I believe he originally wrote it for Al. And, much as I love Levi Stubbs, I think I prefer Al’s gentler, slightly less bombastic take.

Marc Almond- The London Boys – bethnoir: A cover of a very early Bowie song with a quote from Marc Bolan at the beginning, I think this version highlights the vulnerability in the track.

Satchel – Whose Side Are You On? – DsD: I’ve been finding myself in need of some late-night soothing music again recently. Something to do with my kids’ summer holiday fractiousness, I reckon. This song scores twice: once for the calming feel of the music, and once for giving me a lyrical mantra (the “wormy” chorus line) to repeat when trying to arbitrate in sororal disputes.

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Earworms 15 September 2014

Greetings from Earwormland, a slightly psychedelic feel to part of this week’s selection, although you may disagree. Thanks to all; if you would like to send some worms for future reference please dispatch them to earworm@tincanland.com.

Wolfgang Riechmann – Himmelblau – beltway: You want a long, meditative yet catchy piece of Krautrock-Electronica? Then here is the perfect thing for you, a piece of music that shines so gloriously bright, it’s just like the sun in that expansive blue sky it tries to capture. Riechmann was a bit of a peripheral figure in the Düsseldorf scene of the mid to late 70s, but his 1978 Wunderbar album from which this comes was probably destined to be his big breakthrough and it probably could have been – somewhat tragically he never found out, before it was released he was stabbed to death in a random, unprovoked attack on a Düsseldorf street. A terrible waste, but this is a beautiful thing to leave behind.

Eleventh Dream Day – Rubberband – chris7572: I’m fed up waiting for RRSA Saliva to turn up, so here’s my favourite song about all the melodramatic tension of one embarrassing aspect of nodding off. Apologies for any residual image in your brain, but none for the aural traces.

Robert Plant – Little Maggie – carolebristol: This is the opening track from Percy’s latest album with his band, The Sensational Space Shifters. The album is called “lullaby and …. THE CEASELESS ROAR” and is less of an Americana-influenced set than his last couple of releases. Anyway, this is toe-tapping stuff with some lovely West African sounds that gets the album off to a great start.

Taj Mahal – Johnny Too Bad – goneforeign: Taj was born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr. His father was a Caribbean jazz musician. I met him in Jamaica once and asked him what he was up to, “Just down here spending some time with my father’s family” he said, he has strong family ties to Jamaica and Jamaican music. This is his cover of Jimmy Cliff’s song from the film ‘The Harder They Come’.

Hank Williams – Move it On Over – deanofromoz: Some catchy country music from the 40’s. Note the resemblance to Rock Around the Clock, a pioneering rock and roll song, so I think this track demonstrates the evolution of music very well.

Lucero – Sixes and Sevens – DsD: Make sure the kids are out, lock the door, close the curtains, put the answerphone on. Clear the floor and turn up the volume: it’s dad-dancin’ time. “I can’t say I mind you dancing, it’s quite impressive in those shoes …” I don’t need no complications, but those are complicated moves …” What? . . . . Oh, OK, just me then. Well sod-yuz, I’m duck-walkin’ and side-shufflin’ around the office floor with a big grin on me face, so there!

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