So last time I went all crowd-pleasey (or as crowd-pleasey as I can manage) with tasteful eclecticism. And this time… well, this time I’ve probably swung too far in the opposite direction and won’t be pleasing anyone whatsoever. Yes, folks, I’ve gone pop. Mainstream, well-known, pure and simple every time. Forgive me my synths, I know exactly what I do. Sadly…
Track and artist names (and a few short attempts at justification) after the jump…
I mean, I knew she was still alive and everything, but a new single from Petula Clark? And one that sounds like Lana Del Rey produced by Moby. Or something. (With a video that looks like it was made in about 1985.) It’s a curio. But I think I like it.
A fair few of us ‘Spillers were rather in love with the last album from Phosphorescent, aka Matthew Houck (wasn’t “The Mermaid Parade” in someone’s top three tunes of the year this time two years ago?). And if this track is anything to go by, the new one looks set to be its equal (if not its better). Nice Johnny Cash reference to hook you in, gorgeous vocal, sumptuous synths (yes, synths!), an unhurried melody, a lyric to return to over and over again…
First great song of 2013, anyone? It’s already on my list of potentials for next year’s Top Three.
Somehow this passed me by, but it’s really rather good – perhaps not as perfect-pop-rocky as “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” or “See A Little Light”, but pretty perky nonetheless. Thought I’d share in case anyone else had missed it too… Amy, might be one for you?
Oh you all know the rules (such as they are) by now. Which of these poor defenceless ickle kittens songs are you going to break my heart by putting up against a wall and shooting? And are there any you might consider giving a good home to?
Track and artist names after the jump (as I believe they call it)…
So 2012 has so far been the year of disappointing comebacks from my 80s heroes: the much-vaunted return of Dexys was great fun as a live experience but the album is, for the most part, too ‘musical theatre’ even for me; Sinead’s “How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?” album has its moments but fails to coalesce as a cohesive whole, IMHO – plus, it includes an utterly redundant John Grant cover.
But the worst of the lot is Pro Patria Mori, the new album from Ian McCulloch. It’s been released via PledgeMusic, and I was sufficiently intrigued by the concept of donating to get an album recorded and released – and by the pre-release hype Mac the Mouth was spouting (I should have known, shouldn’t I?) – to pledge my 15 squid for a download and a signed CD.
A month or so back, I received an email saying that the download was ready but that the physical album wasn’t quite. I downloaded it… and it’s rubbish. Really, really disappointing. (And this from a man who loved Mac’s first solo album, “Candleland”, and enjoyed a fair chunk of the follow-up, “Mysterio”.) You know an album’s not gonna be great when it starts with the line: “Babies come and babies go…” (Or at least I do.) And from there on in, it just gets worse: pedestrian, plodding, prosaic. The title track opens with an Aled Jones-style choirboy descant, FFS.
Anyway, I wasn’t too fussed about receiving the hard copy after that. But even so, after a month of waiting, I was starting to feel a little peeved that it hadn’t been sent to me. After all, it’s always nice to get some post. And then last week, I got another email – this time an apology for the delay. And, by way of compensation, a link to another mp3. This time, a live version of the Bunnymen classic, “Bring on the Dancing Horses”. And whaddaya know? It’s really rather lovely.
The original was derided by hardcore Bunnyfans for its glossy, shimmering Laurie Latham production. Of course, being a true child of the 80s, I loved it despite (or perhaps because of) that. Unlike Mac’s new material, it was exotic in its allusiveness and poeticism (ie, who knows what the words meant but they sounded good). And now, 27 years later, I’ve been gifted a version that sounds like a lost outtake from the “Ocean Rain” sessions: a big, string-laden ballady take on the song. It doesn’t entirely work, but I think it has sufficient merit to share it with you Spillers. Hopefully some of you may enjoy…
Now I forget who the Lykke Li fan was – glasshalfempty, perhaps? I think so. Somebody certainly submitted the wondrous “I Follow Rivers” as an earworm a year or so back. Anyway, a few people may find this an interesting listen, so I thought I’d post it… It’s a cover of the Stevie Nicks song “Silver Springs”, recorded for an upcoming Fleetwood Mac tribute album. I must confess to not having known the original (although I’ve just had a listen – it’s pleasant enough), but I am finding this version hypnotically addictive. If I were 15, I’m sure I’d be listening to this lying sprawled out on my bed (bedroom door firmly shut), REALLY LOUD and on repeat. And enjoying a good old wallow, natch.
Really ramps up a notch at the 2min mark so don’t give up before then!
If I’m not mistaken, today is not only your birthday, Maki m’dear, but a big and important one. So here’s some (rather hastily cobbled-together) birthday songs from those of your ‘Spill friends who read my shamefully last-minute email in time!
Mitch thought his chosen track was appropriate now that you have “turned the corner into ‘old codgerdom’”. Tinny writes: “Spain gave us Las Ketchup and we’ve been waited 10 years to give ‘em back. Viene Maki rumbeando!” Carole “knows you like some great plank spanking, so is wishing you a happy birthday with Davy Graham playing the incomparable Anji”. Severin says: “Here’s a peaceful and (I think) beautiful song for a chap’s 50th birthday. Nitin Sawhney – Koyal (Songbird). Happy birthday to Maki and, hey, I think I’ve just used up a potential earworm.” Glasshalfempty sends you something Manana-ish from Radio Tarifa. Ali claims that “50 years young is not so bad when you get used to it!” Honest! DaddyPig sends you “a groovy African-Hispanic thing to say Happy Birthday”. Sakura chan has sent something called “Sakura Sakura”, which she maintains is not about her but about cherry flowers. Hmmm. Beth’s not sure you’ll like Pentangle but wishes you a very happy birthday anyway. Bluepeter sent a humorous videoclip that I tried to upload but failed – sorry Peter and Maki, my technical skills have let you down… T’other Chris says: “I suppose Spain is more in need of wads of cash than sunshine but I hope you like this version of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ that Jerry & co delivered back in 1973. The voices aren’t perfect but the music is suitably sweet and warm. May your next 50 years be filled with little joys like these.” And Amy brings us back to old codgerdom, saying: “Happy Birthday to Mr. Maki, and many more!”
And, quite frankly, SO SAY ALL OF US! Have a good one, my lovely friend.
UPDATE: Now with added DsD, who says: “Happy Birthday Maki. As the lyrics of my contribution say, “May your days be golden”. Hope to see you very soon. Rich C. / DsD”
PS: All tracks (plus bluepeter’s vid) now in the Dropbox!
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!)
I never really listen to the radio. Dunno why – I just don’t tend to. But the other morning, I happened to put 6Music on as I was doing the washing up and Shaun Keaveney played this chirpy little indie-pop song from Morecambe’s The Heartbreaks. My ears pricked up. I think it may be my favourite record of 2012 so far. I realise this is because it sounds like it could have been recorded in pretty much any year since 1986 (and therefore I probably only love it out of some misplaced sense of nostalgia), but with a killer hook like wot it’s got, who cares? Like The Smiths meets The Railway Children meets The La’s meets Glasvegas. Plus, I can’t think of another song that rhymes ‘hot beverage’ with ‘privilege’, which makes it instantly brilliant.
The sort of song the British summer was made for. All we need now is to have one this year…
I’ve been listening to a lot of Sinéad recently, partly because she’s got a (patchy) new album out and partly because I’ve had a stressful few weeks (college stuff mainly), and she’s always been a voice I turn to in times of difficulty. She understands, you see.
Anyway, yesterday I came across this video of her performing his Bobness’s “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” on Irish telly a couple of years ago. I can’t stop listening to it. It made me think in particular of tfd’s comment about Mitch’s recent Spanish earworm version of this song: “Should be bitter though.” Sinéad’s certainly tapped into that bitterness, not to mention fury…
She takes the song, changes one line (from “Come, mothers and fathers” to “Come, bishops and fathers”) and transforms it into a savagely righteous response to Pope Benedict XVI’s refusal to condemn the Irish Catholic church’s shameful history of child abuse. I think it’s an extraordinary performance – and one that gives me yet another reason to love her. I just wish it was longer!
I’m much prone to claiming that such-and-such an album was my favourite when I was such-and-such an age, but I think Sandie Shaw’s “Hello Angel” may genuinely have been my favourite album when I was 16. Always a bit too pop-obsessed (and slightly too young) to really love The Smiths at the time, this was perfect for me: a glamorous 60s diva disinterred by Moz and given the chance to prove her relevance in the late 80s (the album was released – on Rough Trade, natch – in 1988).
The only actual Smiths song on the album is “Hand In Glove”, which she’d released several years earlier, but Morrissey and Stephen Street also contributed the two minutes of throwaway fun that is “Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness”.
Elsewhere, the album includes Sandie’s versions of The Waterboys’ “A Girl Called Johnny” and the Mary Chain’s “Cool About You”, the latter of which is particularly splendid. But surprisingly, it’s her own songwriting that wins out, in my opinion. “Nothing Less Than Brilliant” is aptly titled: joyous, ebullient, life-affirming. Expressing sentiments like these, it’s no surprise she went on to become a psychotherapist. (But then, I would say that.) The title track is gorgeously languorous. Or languorously gorgeous. Or something. “Take Him” is a slinky little “Jolene-esque” cha-cha-cha. And “I Will Remain” is just breathtaking – even down to the comedy punchline (Morrissey’s influence pretty obvious there, I would say!).
I guess what I love(d) about this album is how surprisingly cohesive it is. It should feel like a ragbag of “will this do?” covers, but it hangs together really well as a whole, I think. And Sandie has probably never sounded in better voice.
Ladies and gentlemen, here she is, Miss Sandie Shaw…
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!
This one passed me by somehow when it came out toward the end of last year, but in the last few days I’ve been enjoying the recent EP from David McAlmont and new musical partner, Guy Davies. As you can see from the video above, they’re going by the name of Fingersnap. The video is for the EP’s lead track, “I Wanna Rise”, which – like much of his uptempo post-McAlmont & Butler work, I think – is a bit of a pale imitation of “Yes” (with something of a BeeGees’ “Tragedy” vibe thrown in with those strings).
The final track on the EP, however, strikes me as a bit special. Written as a ‘letter’ to Gene Robinson, the (openly gay) Bishop of New Hampshire, it manages successfully to combine the personal and the political in a way that didn’t quite happen for me in his work with previous collaborator, Michael Nyman (although that album, “The Glare”, is quite fascinating – and stunning in parts). Plus, his voice on this song sounds just effortlessly beautiful.
“An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.”
Les Sans Culottes – Les Sauvages
Fromage homage and oh so camp! Get your go-go boots on for this one. SpottedRichard Zaz – Prends Garde à Ta Langue
I apologise for this choice if Zaz is as popular in the UK as she is on the Continent, where she is THE success story of the year, hailed as the new Piaf, and her music is played literally everywhere you turn (in shops, on the TV, escaping headphones in the library). Despite the overkill – and her shameless record company has brought the same album out THREE TIMES in one year: the original CD, then CD-plus-DVD and now the live-on-tour version of the same songs – her music remains toe-tappingly refreshing. debbym Earthling – Soup Or No Soup
Earthling were a trip-hop combo (I think I’ve got that right, I’m not very good at genres) who never made it. People who liked Tricky found them too normal and the rest of the world never found them at all. I tried to get their “First Transmission” onto the R/R playlist several times to no avail. Have a listen to this. Have some soup. Sing your own Hallelujah…. Severin Rare – Something Wild
From that mid-90s era of Morcheeba and Lamb when everyone and his wife (and Everything But The Girl) went “a bit trip-hop”. I know nothing about this band, but I somehow heard the single when it came out, bought it and haven’t stopped listening to it since. bishbosh Billy Joel – The Stranger
Abahachi and I don’t have many musical tastes in common, but we both enjoy this one; I can think back to my teenage years (this was my favourite album of 1977) and he can witter on to his heart’s content about the Jungian theory of the persona… Mrs Abahachi Aphrodite’s Child – Break
This is a lovely limpid tune, totally at odds with everything else on the 666 album and a minor hit when released as a single back in 1972. It was sung by the band’s drummer, Lucas Sideras. I think that more people know of the band than have ever actually heard them, despite two members, Vangelis and Demis Roussos, going on to become internationally famous. This song really deserves to be better known. Carole
Well, my friends, I’ve had a lovely eight or so months curating earworms – it genuinely has been a huge, huge pleasure. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated everyone’s contributions and kind words of support. But all good things must come to an end… to make way for other equally good, if not better things! So it’s time for me to hand the baton on to… the one and only Zalamanda! I know she’ll do a fab job – and hope she enjoys it as much as I have. Please keep sending submissions to email@example.com – thanks! And I’ll see youse all down in the Comments area…
Yazoo – Ode to Boy
Alison’s voice is filled with yearning in this song, I find it so intense it’s almost an uncomfortable listen, but I keep coming back to it; if it were a book it might be read in a brown paper cover, such is the quality of desire. bethnoir The Auteurs – The Rubettes
I’ve always liked the idea of Luke Haines more than the reality, but this one hits the spot for me – and not just for the steal from “Sugar Baby Love”! bishbosh Paul Gayten – The Music Goes ‘Round and Around
Recorded in 1956. Heard by me in 1996. I have nothing clever to say about this. It’s just pure joy (and an earworm). He discovered and produced Clarence “Frogman” Henry since you ask. Well done that man. Severin Curley Moore and The Kool Ones – Funky Yeah
A bonafide earworm should grab you by your lapels (or below…) with the first chord and never let you go in your entire life. This is what Curley Moore & The Kool Ones’ Funky, Yeah does. CM & TKO is (or so the kind soul who youtubed this says) the wonderful Eddie Bo, one of those New Orleans funk luminaries I didn’t know the first thing about, to my shame. I’m trying to fix this now… (Note: This may nominally be funk, but to my clothed ears, Funky, Yeah is nothing but a psych-garage guitar freakout – and all the better for it.) Lambretinha Jerry Lee Lewis – Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
This one popped up on a compilation CD I have called “It Came From Memphis”, an eclectic mix of tunes. This is Jerry Lee Lewis, The Killer himself, and it manages to be slightly less unhinged than some of his stuff but with a rootsy appeal that is hard, nay impossible, to dislike. It is a toe-tapping slice of piano-driven rock ‘n’ roll with a great countryish guitar break in the middle. Hope it gets people jumping and jiving Carole The Hold Steady – Certain Songs
Craig Finn has written so many great lines for The Hold Steady that have become earworms in themselves that on the eve of his first solo album, a Hold Steady earworm about earworms seems apt. “Certain songs, they get scratched into our souls.” tincanman
Happy New Year to you all! Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
“Music is the cup which holds the wine of silence.”
Charlie Haden and Carla Bley – Silence
I don’t know if this will divide opinion. It certainly takes a long time to get nowhere in particular but I find it utterly mesmeric, much like the (Haden and Bley arranged) Liberation Music Orchestra take on We Shall Overcome. This is sustained, mournful minimalism and every splinter of emotion is felt all the more like a death knell. May1366 Horse – Careful
Zalamanda’s “Wichita Lineman” nom reminded me of this late 80s single, the B-side of which was Horse’s take on the song. One of several records from that era that were forever being re-released in the hope of making them a hit (see also “Mary’s Prayer”, “Dignity”, etc). I’ll be interested to hear what people think of this. I veer between loving it and thinking that that bizarrely tremulous foghorn voice is doing battle with the strings (and the lyric) rather than complementing them. bishbosh Yoshida Brothers – Storm
From the recently-purchased Best Of Yoshida Brothers – ありがとうございます。Sakura-chan – I give you a shoo-in for the theme to the next Oriental-located Bond/Bourne/Powers/Johnny English film. DsD When Saints Go Machine – Fall Forever (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
This track, Fall Forever, from Danish electro-pop band When Saints Go Machine, is too good not to send in. After Efterklang, I’m beginning to think there’s something good in the water in Copenhagen. glasshalfempty Davy Spillane Band and Rory Gallagher – One for Phil
Davy Spillane plays the uilleann (Irish) pipes, and Rory Gallagher hums and plays guitar on this much-too-short tribute to Phil Lynott. Rory Gallagher probably needs no introduction, but Davy Spillane may be less well-known. He was a founder member of Moving Hearts with Christy Moore and Donal Lunny in the early ’80s. He has subsequently worked with many other musicians including Rory Gallagher and Andy Irvine. His album “East Wind” (with Andy Irvine) inspired Riverdance in the mid ’90s. I think he is a fantastic musician and I love this track, but if you don’t like the pipes, best move on to the next selection! Ali Munday Ella Baila Sola – Amores de Barra
Marta and Marilia were a duo that wrote songs about being young in mid nineties urban Spain. Great observers of the fauna inhabiting the night. This one’s about one night stands or “Bar counter love” as they decided to call them. The lyrics are excellent – right down to the make up quickly applied in the loo to make sure of getting their man. Mrs Maki
Please send submissions to email@example.com – thanks! Hope you’ve all had good Xmases! xx
2011, eh? It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? (Or has it? I can’t remember that far back.) And now we’re coming to the end of it…
Way back on 1 November, everyone’s favourite in-house rock’n’roller, RockingMitch, emailed to inform me that Christmas was coming (yikes, really?!) – and sent me a typically rockin’ festive cut from Chuck Berry, “Run Rudolph Run”. “One of the few Christmas songs that I think are worth listening to, good ol’ Chuck Berry never fails!”, Mitch wrote. And I think we can all agree with him there, can we not?
All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.
Larry Hosford – If I Could Talk As Fast As I Think
West Coast bar legend with some way more famous friends helping out. This just grabs my toes & starts ‘em tapping every time. Fintan Dave Edmunds – Sweet Little Lisa (LP Version)
Twanging rock’n'roll from the 1979 album Repeat When Necessary, with very special guest Albert Lee on guitar. Further connections to Emmylou’s Hot Band are the songwriters, Hank Devito and Donivan Cowart. Five lovely minutes here of Albert Lee working with not only Dave Edmunds, but also the rest of Rockpile: Nick Lowe, Billy Bremner and Terry Williams – and there’s a very special spot-the-rock-star-in-the-background moment from 2’50″. DaddyPig Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra – Pride Of Lions
These guys have been playing together for 21 years and are among the most influential musicians in Japan. They all work with other people but still tour and record together. This song is from 2008’s Perfect Future, the last album they made with “front man” Tatsuyuki Hiyamuta who eventually decided to leave after a long illness to concentrate on getting better. They never replaced him and rely on guest vocalists now, so this was the last album with them all together. They sing this song in English… It is about lions… Maybe… Hoshino Sakura Everclear – The Joker (Return to..)
This year’s Return To Santa Monica is Everclear frontman Art Alexis’ attempt to revive his legendary Portland band by covering some of the band’s big songs using L.A. session players. Not a cunning plan; much better to buy the originals. There is this, though, a rocking cover with more personality than the original. tincanman Vivian Boys – Suki! Suki! Tarantula
I know practically nothing about this band other than that they come from Japan and that this is bloody marvellous. Reminds me a lot of Japanther’s “The Gravy”, which is not a bad thing in my book. Pairubu Hank Williams III – Hellbilly Joker (Go Fuck You)
This is the sort of country I like! The artist, Hank Williams III is the grandson of the legendary Hank Williams who died of chronic alcohol and drug abuse at age 29. I like his attitude! This is just the song for a quiet, romantic evening! RockingMitch
Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks! And don’t forget: Festive Earworms will appear on Saturday!
“Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?”
The Clovers – Blue Velvet
Most people know this song by Bobby Vinton, which was a hit in 1961 and again in the 80s when the film of that name came out. The Clovers were one of the top vocal groups of the 50s, often recording comedy (“Love Potion Number 9″) and upbeat songs. However, on this they sounded more like either The Orioles (a top 40s group) or even The Ink Spots. This was the original recording of the song. RockingMitch The 6ths featuring Katherine Whalen – You You You You
I got this song from one of the Oxford American Music Samplers (hat tip TreeFrogDemon). (Katherine Whalen of the Squirrel Nut Zippers). This is so earwormy! SpottedRichard Icehouse – Crazy
I really, really loved this song when it was released, and I still think it’s ace. I used to feel very sorry for the character. Icehouse were an Australian rock band who veered towards pop (or, at least, they did on the album that this track comes from). Please ignore the fake radio bit at the beginning; I nabbed this from Youtube, and that nonsense was part of the official video. Zalamanda Anna Calvi – Blackout
Forget the unfavourable comparisons with PJ Harvey, simply because it’s a forceful woman with a guitar; this is less angsty and more operatic, from a pretty impressive debut album, and the world is certainly big enough for the two of them. Abahachi Eurythmics – Love Is A Stranger
With their “Sweet Dreams” album, Annie and Dave proved that you could make distinctive, characterful, powerful music with synthesizers – and music that wouldn’t have worked on guitars. Nearly 30 years on, it still sounds fresh to me. bishbosh Rowetta – And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going
Rowetta was a backing singer for The Happy Mondays. Then she was a losing contestant on the first series of the X-Factor. She released one album. It may well have sold one copy. If so, I’ve got it. This song from the musical Dream Girls could have been written for her. Bigger and better and utterly bonkers. Rowetta sends me. Severin
Please send submissions to email@example.com – thanks! OK, so I keep dithering over what is happening with Earworms over the festive period. But after consultation with Shoey, the upshot is: Normal Earworms set on 12 December, Xmas Earworms set on 17 December (Saturday), no Earworms on 19 December (to make way for Festive Spill tunes), Normal Earworms service resumed on Boxing Day. (And while I’m here, I’m very aware that a couple of contributors at least have had to wait an awfully long time for recent submissions to appear – apologies for that! They will feature in the next week or two, I promise! Thanks for your patience. It’s only cos everyone’s been so good at sending stuff in recently!)
The other week when I got my 29th A-lister (thanks very much, Jon D!) with Dusty’s “Nothing Has Been Proved”, I got to thinking about how many rather marvellous non-Pet Shop Boys records the Pet Shop Boys have been involved in. And how many of them I (obviously) own. So I thought I’d do a post. I’ve split the playlist into two halves. (The Pet Shop Boys, they’re very like a game of football…)
World Aids Day doesn’t seem to get the press attention it used to, perhaps because in the West at least, Aids is no longer (necessarily) the death sentence it once was. Of course, in sub-Saharan Africa in particular, it’s a different, obscenely tragic story. But even here, it remains a life sentence.
“He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once”
Them – Hey Girl
I first heard this song when I was about 16. Even then, I thought it a bit creepy. Lots of rock & roll jailbait songs but very few this gorgeous. Fintan Sparklehorse – Cow
Our resident DeadHead recently identified a difference between my’n'his musical likes. He likes longer songs to feature some variety in structure… more often than not, I don’t. I like songs that take a motif and do no more with it than sneakily crescendo. Chris may [perfectly legitimately] get bored, but me? I love to lose myself in the repetition, as in this fine effort from the late, lamented Mark Linkous. DsD Hussey-Regan – Wichita Lineman
Now, I have never proffered an All About Eve song up as an earworm. And this is not an All About Eve song. It’s not even (quite) an All About The Mission song. But it is a rather splendid cover version, and I feel curiously vindicated in knowing that the arrangement was by the Regan half of the duo. Zalamanda Kathy Mattea – Late In The Day
This is the perfect post-break up song. Uncompromising country. Bourbon. Heartache. Yessireebob. SpottedRichard Tom Russell (with Lucinda Williams & Calexico) – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
On this bonus track from his fantastic new album, Mesabi, Tom Russell teams up with Lucinda Williams (who previously covered it on her own) and Calexico. That combination brings a more fitting level of menace to the lyrics than Dylan’s sitting around the campfire delivery. tincanman
Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks! And don’t forget: Please send those festive Earworms in by 12 December!