Never one to do things by halves (nor to ignore an opportunity to paint), I ended up doing three paintings of shoe-like objects for Parkinson’s Awareness Week and the “In My Shoes” theme. They are not, as it happens, all mine (I have Young Onset Parkinson’s, so the theme is apt). The wellies belong to my son, and were both easier to get hold off and muddier than mine, which I only wear if I really have to (not because I have Parkinson’s. I don’t like wellies because I have the wrong shape feet for wellies). Wellies really ought to be muddy. My cheapo lightweight walking boots, or trail boots, are also appropriately muddy.
And they are all on eBay in the hope that someone (hopefully lots of someones, so they bid the price up …) will buy one or more, and Parkinson’s UK will get a modest, painting-sized chunk of money.
And the ‘Spill gets more hits than my solo blogs, so I am shamelessly exploiting it because of the charity angle.
Charity singles are a bit of a hit and miss affair. They may hit the charts, but they frequently miss the spot. I’m having difficulty thinking of a truly great one, although I can’t help but recall that the first record I ever bought was Ferry Aid’s “Let It Be”, an ensemble affair in aid of the Zeebrugge Disaster of 1987.
(I had convinced myself that my first single purchase was the Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s A Sin”, but the dates defy this recollection by a couple of months.)
While I was contemplating this post on one of my other blogs, I kept coming up with songs I wanted to soundtrack it with.
The post was an exercise in increasing awareness for Parkinson’s, as requested by the charity Parkinson’s UK. So I thought it might be appropriate to spread the word on other platforms, and the best place that I know of for playlists is the ‘Spill.
The painting is for sale, by auction, for charity. Click on the picture…
Now, how does this new-fangled play list thingumajig work?
Jackson 5 – Rockin’ Robin (Bobby Day cover)
Only a masterful vocal performance by young Michael, in one of his first breakout solos, could equal this floor-packing gumbo of rock, soul and funk. It still even sounds musically progressive. Tincanman
Fiction Factory – (Feels Like) Heaven
Who were Fiction Factory? I have no idea. I presume this was their only hit? I remember it from one of the early “Now” compilation albums. I always loved the verses’ comforting blanket of melancholy. Of a piece with Furniture’s “Brilliant Mind” somehow. Shame the refrain is a bit of a damp squib! Thank God then for a strong middle eight… bishbosh
Sweet Black ft Maki Goto and Bigga Raiji – Queen Bee
I just love Maki Goto – she was a classic J-pop Idol who managed to re-invent herself as a R and B singer; and Bigga Raiji is a really great, and very funny, rapper. So, when the two of them got together with producers Sweet Black …well, something good was of course going to happen ! ! ! It is a great dance track that is now a firm earworm of mine ! ! ! Hoshino Sakura
Electribe 101 – Talking with myself
One of those dance tracks that seems to retain its appeal outside of the club. Probably because it had lyrics worthy of the name – and that intriguingly laidback vocal to boot. Zalamanda
Gene Vincent – Dance To The Bop
The Bluecaps had undergone several personnel changes by 1958, when this was cut. However, they still provided superb backing for the King of Rock & Roll. Superb. RockingMitch
Get those fingers dancing on your keyboard and send your zippiest earworms to firstname.lastname@example.org – don’t forget to add a short note explaining why they merit the worthy title of “‘Spill Earworm”. And it would help if you could identify yourself by your blog name, too.
And me? You might have heard that I’d get myself a full time job, which means I’m a bit short of time, and something(s) had to go. Alas, one of those things was the role of earworm charmer. I’m dancing right out of the wormery, leaving you in the capable hands of the lovely SpottedRichard! I’ve had a lovely time collating those ‘worms; I’m sure that SpottedRichard will enjoy it too.
So long, and thanks for all the ‘worms.
(Not that I’m not going to be hanging around any more – I just wanted to say that.)
Suite For Ma Dukes – Untitled/Fantastic (GAM Remix)
For some reason, L.A. seems to be where it’s at for me in producing quality music over the past few years; take this one from the Suite For Ma Dukes orchestra, arranged & conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, of a couple of the late great J Dilla hip-hop compositions that have been remixed by Georgia Anne Muldrow. AlBahooky
Moondog – Symphonique #6 (Good for Goodie)
I was vaguely reminded of this again when that Neil Cowley clip was posted a few weeks ago. This is such an extraordinarily eccentric funky classical/jazz piece by the Viking of 6th Avenue. SpottedRichard
Esperanza Spalding – Crowned & Kissed
Gorgeous Portlander Esperanza Spaulding is out with a new album & once again enchanting me with her great bass lines & elvish voice. This hits all my buttons. Fintan
Lulu – After the Feeling Is Gone (with The Dixie Flyers)
I always thought of Lulu as a bit of a raspy old belter – who knew she had the capability to deliver a song with the subtlety she does here? I love the thoughtful maturity of the lyric too. It all makes me think that, had she had better quality control, she might now be spoken of in the same breath as Dusty. bishbosh Damnation of Adam Blessing – Fingers On A Windmill
This Cleveland, Ohio group spent numerous years on a major label (United Artists), with nary a hit to show for it. And as a final insult, the label misspelled the title on the picture sleeve. Ouch! Some really cheesy hippie-dippy lyrics (“Someone killed a teardrop, made a child cry”), but an interesting example of very late period baroque psychedelia nonetheless. SweetHomeAlabama ( … hover for extra blurb)
Please send all of your lovely earworms, with a few words to cover them (and keep them warm), to Earworm Central at email@example.com. Thank you!
Ismael Lo – Jammu Africa
Some Spillers may remember Senegalese musician Ismael Lo for his song, “Tadio Bone,” which appeared here some time back. This one is a wonderful mix of drums, guitar, background singers and Ismael’s amazing voice. It was featured in the recent film about the Rwandan genocide, “Shake hands with the Devil”; the prior song Tadio Bone was featured in Almodovar’s film, “All about my Mother”. GoneForeign
Vincius Cantaria – Perritos
Cantuaria’s Horse and Fish album was an impulse buy in 2004 just because I liked the sound of it from the promotional write-up in Barnes and Noble. I was not disappointed. While it is no doubt Latin/Brazilian Jazz/Pop in origin, the acoustic and electric guitar work is exceptional and the whole album contains some offbeat as well as interesting interpretations of classics of the genre. This is a sweet one. SpottedRichard
Chris Isaak – Except the New Girl
I recently saw James Vincent McMorrow (in support of Sinead) attempt an unwise cover of “Wicked Game” and it made me wonder whatever happened to Chris Isaak. What a voice he had! This laidback, countryfied number was always a favourite of mine. Bishbosh
Glasvegas – It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry
How James Allan could write his band such a scorcher and … well, lets leave that. It’s a tender and thoughtful song for all it’s testosterone, a necessary element that leaves no doubt about the implosive destruction of guilt-fuelled paranoia. Tincanman
Matthew Mayfield – Ghost
Several of us get freebies from Noisetrade these days. A recent album was Matthew Mayfield’s ‘Now You’re Free’. He hails from Birmingham, Alabama, and a track on the album, ‘Ghosts’ really grabbed me enough to want to share it with y’all. I love the beat, and the sandpaper voice. Waddaya think? Glasshalfempty
Please send earworm contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
La Oreja de Van Gogh – Mil Rosas
They could win an award for the daftest band name ever (Van Gogh’s Ear) but they have also put together some of the catchiest and well structured pop tunes of the last decade. This slow one is really just about being in love and how nice it is to get roses from your lover. I love Amaya Montero’s voice on this track. She has since left the group and it’s not the same. Mrs Maki
Nish – Jwel
I’ve had this lovely slice of European electronica on 7 for about ten years, but it still manages to startle me every time I put it on. Panthersan
Here’s a track that came out at the fag-end of last summer but makes me feel as though spring has finally sprung here in the North.
Oh, and don’t let a recommendation from The Guide put you off to what is a great album. AlBahooky
The Rugbys – Wendenghal The Warlock
If it’s on a Shelby Singleton label, it’s always worth a look and a listen. The Rugbys were a group out of Louisville, Kentucky who had a national hit with “You, I” in 1969 – a decent, if slightly dated garage psyche tune. The followup was like nothing else, and actually got some airplay. A bizarre stab at British “Dungeons & Dragons” prog rock (Sabbath, Zep, Heep) with a distinctive organ line. If nothing else, it’s a Southern-fried Spinal Tap. SweetHomeAlabama
Only five selections this week, because that Jimmy McGriff is a bit long.
Please send your wonderful earworms, along with their blurbs, to email@example.com – and remember that multiple submissions are both permitted and, indeed, very welcome. Thank you!
Mónica Naranjo – Empiezo A Recordarte
Mónica grew up in Figueres, where she met Salvador Dalí when she was a child. Her singing style is perhaps more suited to Mexican ballads than anything from her native Catalonia and indeed she was successful there before returning to Spain. This song to a lost love, believe it or not, is one of her more restrained, less melodramatic numbers. Note perfect live, she is a wonderful performer. Mrs. Maki
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – All The Roadrunning
Seemed like an odd partnership to me, but they’ve worked together quite a bit. This is a live version of the song, which Knopfler wrote – another one about the joys and perils of the itinerant musician, and it has a nice loping swing to it. Tingle-up-the-spine time. Treefrogdemon
Bobby Hutcherson – Goin’ Down South
A jazz tune that is so evocative of how I imagine the American South to be; with the rhythm of Joe Sample’s gospel blues piano and the ‘fatback’ drums of Mickey Roker underpinning Bobby’s vibes whilst Harold Land’s sax gives it a slow sultry feel as if you’re on a slow rolling train with the white of the clapboards blazing in the heat of the afternoon sun … or maybe an overcast south London suburban sprawl as you amble into Clapham Junction! AlBahooky
D L Menard – The Back Door
You’ve heard of a boy named Sue. This one was Doris, which is why he went by his initials. Happy song by “the cajun Hank Williams”. SpottedRichard
Emeline Michel – Bel Kongo
From her 2004 album, Rasin Kreyol (which translates as “Creole Roots”), Emeline delivers a gem combining traditional music with Haitian and Brazilian rhythms with a wonderful marriage of voice and a perfect orchestration. Bel Kongo is ‘beautiful Congo’. GoneForeign
Please send earworm contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
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. Bethnoir
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. Makinavaja
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. Tincanman
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? Zalamanda
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. Treefrogdemon
Please send those wormy songs and your wormy reasons to email@example.com. Many thanks!
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. lambretinha
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. Amylee
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. DarceysDad
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. Zalamanda
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the (lack of intellectual) depth, and (making me out of) breath, and (sexually-charged) fight”
. . . Oh, I can’t keep that up! This is just a simple joyous blast that I really shouldn’t play sat at my desk, ’cause I can never keep working when it’s on. DarceysDad
Joe Pug – In The Meantime
You could make a career out of a song this good. Not Joe Pug, though. He is writing so many iconic songs that it’s almost a throwaway. I’ve been calling Pug the first actual ‘next Dylan’. In hindsight, if anything I’ve undersold him. He really is that special. Tincanman
The Civil Wars – Billie Jean (Live)
Astonishing how two voices and a guitar can still be so compelling. Their own songs are gorgeous but one does love a quirky cover version.
Sinead O’Connor – [Live] You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart
Unsurprisingly given that voice, Sinead has been invited to contribute to numerous film soundtracks over the years, most recently Glenn Close’s “Albert Nobbs”. This is my favourite of her soundtrack work, from “In the Name of the Father”. No-one can touch Sinead in avenging angel mode. One of the best things Bono’s had a hand in writing too. bishbosh
Brian Kennedy – Hollow
Late 80s. Me at University, sister still at school – we both picked up on this new Irish singer, he of the long locks and achingly beautiful voice. This track is about yearning for honesty in his acquaintances. Kennedy went on to collaborate with Mark E. Nevin (formerly of Fairground Attraction) and to appear on stage with Van Morrison. Zalamanda
Please send your bestest and most fabulous earworms to email@example.com. I’ll even take second best… Thank you! (But don’t forget a nice short blurb to go with it – something about why it’s a ‘worm!)
Los Lonely Boys – La Contestacion
Los Lonely Boys may not be the most famous band outside of Texas, or even the best from Texas, but I’m including this because it is a sweet song and I like it. Hope you like it too. SpottedRichard
Pete Morton – Another Train
A weird time-slip has happened in my brain, because I got this on a folk compilation album and when I listened to it I said ‘oh yes, Another Train, used to hear that at the folk club’; but when I looked Pete Morton up it turns out he’s much too young to have played at the folk club I used to go to, and the song came out in 1991. So, where did I hear it? And when? Dunno, but it’s forceful, stirring stuff. Treefrogdemon
Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble – Bop
Enthralling, hypnotic classical-jazz-techno hybrid, that sounds to me like a mutant cousin of the soundtrack to Goodbye Lenin. This is of course a good thing. Abahachi
Love Psychedelico – Freedom
I love this track as it is just such a positive energy track, with a great rock beat and some great guitar riffs in it. I really like Kumi’s voice when she sings these rock numbers. Like nearly all their tracks it is in part English and part Japanese so The Spillers will be able to understand it! ! ! Hoshino Sakura
Westworld – Dance On
One-hit wonders (ish) with “Sonic Boom Boy”, this was Westworld’s (failed) attempt at a comeback. I love the boingy bass (?) line and – I know Mitch will probably hate me for using the word – but the cheerful rockabilly vibe. Bishbosh
Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
A falsetto and a brother who knew Danger Mouse gives us a totally wormy, singalong, dancealong retro soul summer sizzler from an unsigned (not for long!) LA band. Warning: Play this once & you’ll play it a dozen times. Tincanman
Please send earworm contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The Roches – My Winter Coat
The best song about a coat this side of Leonard Cohen. There’s something peculiarly touching about the obsessive attention to detail, and the evident love for the garment in question, despite its imperfections. I love my winter coat too, but not sure I could sing its praises for a whole 8 minutes. Barbryn
Panda Su – Bee Song
Languid slo-mo melodic Fife pop that I play over and over. There aren’t many better songs about being stung by a bee. Blimpy
Luka Bloom – Throw Your Arms Around Me
Not being Antipodean, the first version of this song I heard was Crowded House’s cover, not the Hunters & Collectors original. Having sought out other versions since, it’s always struck me as an amazing song in search of the perfect rendition. This version, by Christy Moore’s brother Luka, is by no means that, but I love the leisurely tempo and the warmth of his delivery. bishbosh
Mildred Bailey – What’ll I Do
I think I dropped this on to RR one day for Lonniej. It’s my absolute favourite version of this old classic. SpottedRichard
Mayte Martin – Usted
From my absolute favourite album of last year, courtesy of Friday Night Flamenco: jazz piano trio meets flamenco singer to create something magical and heart-breaking – even if I have only the faintest idea what the lyrics mean. There must be something significant about the fact that ‘Usted’ is the polite form of the second person… Abahachi
Little Angels – Radical Your Lover
90s Scarborough rockers Little Angels come screeching into the Earworms Shopping Centre car park, in a low-slung, souped-up, tastelessly-resprayed Citroen AX. The sound system in their boy-racer (worth more than the rest of the car) blasts out one of my favourite uses ever of a brass section in Classic Rock. DarceysDad
Dragon Ash ft. Rappagariya – Deep Impact
I love this track! ! ! It is loud, noisy and has a fantastic beat and riff. Dragon Ash are a really innovative group that have been around forever and I love they way they mix styles and all the different influences they show in their music. I hope people like it – but I know not everyone will! ! ! Hoshino Sakura
Cornershop ft. Bubbley Kaur – United Provinces Of India
Although I’m a big fan of Cornershop, I was very unsure about a whole album with another vocalist but it’s an absolute delight. She isn’t called Bubbley for nothing and has me dancing round the kitchen on a regular basis. Mnemonic
Thundermug – Africa
I’ve been digging deep into the Canadian charts of this era. The general rule is that, even in the era of CanCon, the Canadian charts generally paralleled the American charts with Canucks (and to a lesser extent, Brits) charting higher. That leaves quite a few interesting exceptions which failed to crossover to the US or UK. Here’s an odd hybrid of T-Rex glam, bass-heavy Mountain funk, bloozy Led Zep hard rock, and kazoos (!). Hit #38 in Canada. SweetHomeAlabama
Richard Berry and the Pharoahs – Louie Louie
This is the original 1956 cut by the song’s composer. Although I like the Kingsmen’s better known version, I actually prefer this. I’ve just discovered that the vinyl EP I own which this track comes from is now worth about £200. RockingMitch
Funkadelic – Smokey
I imagine that after a hard day funking on the mothership you might want to sit down, relax and kick back. if so, this would be just the tune to do it with whilst chanting the mantra: ‘looking back at you, I lost a lot, you’ve got a lot, miss you a lot’ - just try to resist. AlBahooky
Please send earworm contributions to email@example.com. Thank you!
From left to right: Stonehenge, Zalamanda, Bethnoir, distant hordes of tourists.
On Saturday, a small social gathering was convened on the once-hallowed grounds of the ancient monument known as Stonehenge. On this momentous occasion, I was greatly pleased to make the acquaintance, in person, of Bethnoir.
The event was everything it should have been; the sun shone, the crowds weren’t too excessive, the picnics were happily (if not fully) consumed, the children frolicked happily together, and the grown-ups had a lovely time chatting. Oh, and nobody put Spinal Tap on their compilation CDs. Or any songs about standing stones.
Fortunately, we both have children capable of acting as photographers. Less fortunately, the subjects proved difficult; in the above image (devoid of smaller children and random tourists), we are looking at the wrong camera!
Edit: Apparently, music is required. The track I wanted isn’t on YouTube, but who needs the video?
Who cares where all the money went? Well… English Heritage snaffled a fair few pennies for admission. But I don’t really care. Right now I’m everso slightly regretting not having featured floral decorations as part of the outing (but the children were enjoying playing with the plentiful chalk).
Mark Knopfler/Gerry Rafferty – The Way It Always Starts
Rafferty had turned his back on his singing career and retreated to the country but was persuaded to record this Mark Knopfler penned song in 1983 for the soundtrack to the film “Local Hero”. After years of alcohol abuse Rafferty died in 2011. Wonderful voice, greatly missed. bluepeter
Sammi Smith – This Room for Rent
This song is rather typical of the 70s song by the female country singer, Bobbie Gentry, Billie Jo Spears and others could have done rather well. Sammi Smith was just about the only female in the Outlaw Country sub-genre and there’s just a little less sentimentalism and little more bitterness here than you often get (or am I imagining it?). SpottedRichard
One2Many – Downtown
No, not that “Downtown”. Petula Clark this isn’t. But this was another of those Woolworth’s bargain bin cassettes, bought on the basis of (a) it being only 50p and (b) a vague remembrance of liking a lone track. “Downtown” was, apparently, a big hit in ’89. Do we remember it? Should we? I still like it – happy Norwegian pop with a nice bit of piano. Zalamanda
Steeleye Span – Cam Ye o’er frae France
Apparently a Scottish song from the Jacobite era. I just love the all over the place tune and the strange pronunciation; until I just looked online, I had no idea what it was about, but even without the history the tune is remarkable. Bethnoir
Django Reinhardt-Swing De Paris
Mrs. Fintan & I have been hooked on Django Reinhardt since seeing Midnight In Paris. As usual, Woody has unimpeccable taste in 30′s jazz. This makes me glad to be alive, it does. Fintan
Fleetwood Mac – Seven Wonders
I’d never heard of the Mac before Tango In The Night came out. I blame my age. I was seduced into buying the album on the back of this exotic beauty – and subsequently deeply disappointed by all the insipid Christine McVie ballads therein. Favourite bit? Stevie’s faded-out singing over the outro: “I hope and I pray, well, maybe it might work out some day…” bishbosh
Heard – or been reminded of – any stick-in-the-ear tunes lately? Why not share them with the ‘Spill? The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to write a short blurb to accompany the music! Thank you!
This, fellow ‘Spillers, is the officially designated* Earworms-100. It is the 100th Earworms post to be categorised as “Earworms” (there were a few posts that were put into this category that were not yer actual, bona fide, official Earworm playlist posts). It is the 100th Earworms post since Earworms became known as Earworms (instead of “Earworms of the Week” or “S&M”, which stood for “Spill and Music”).
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights I was in need of ’100′ titles for a playlist, so a-googlin’ I did go and my very favourite track of all those thrown at me turned out to be this one: I love the voice, I love the arrangement, I love the sentiment! I can’t believe I’d never heard of Sharon Jones before (I rather suspect I’ve not been paying enough attention on here), who just has to be a contender for the Aretha of her generation. Debby(M)
Silly Sisters – The Grey Funnel Line
Well, I think it’s special. Silly Sisters (aka June Tabor and Maddy Prior) and “The Grey Funnel Line”. Probably a bit marmite but the old folkies will be happy! AliM
Emeline Michel and Kali – Haiti cherie Emeline is from Haiti and Kali is from Martinique, both are among my favorites from the non-Jamaican Caribbean. This is the first time I’ve heard them sing together. Kali plays the banjo and also leads his own group. GoneForeign
Finally, we have a late addition to this weeks’ earworms; I’m told that it’s something of a “scoop”.
Tom Klose – Born A Lion
Tom Klose is a young local singer-songwriter who came to my attention when he played a gig with TheBoyWonder last summer. This is actually the Tom Klose Band, with percussion and cello (I love the cello). I wish I could share the live version of this song with you, it starts with some great roaring! Debby(M)
The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun!
This strikes me as just the archetypal ‘Spill tune: an alt-countryish delivery, a Dylanesque vocal, an intriguing narrative thread… I particularly love the singer’s petulance (“I think I know the bloody way by now, Frankie/Turn the goddam radio down, thank you…”). Oh and the yodelled ending. Shouldn’t every song end on a yodel? bishbosh
Karine Polwart – Can’t Weld a Body
Almost orphaned as the only original, only modern-themed song on Karine’s collection of traditional ballads (Fairest Floo’er), this is worthy of more attention. It’s about shipbuilding on the banks of the Clyde; about the relative fragility of a human body in comparison with a ship. Zalamanda
Laura Cantrell – Sam Stone (John Prine cover)
Cantrell’s delivery of this heart-wrenching John Prine song shows why she is one of the best young(ish) country singers. It’s not the stereotypical country though; more country-tinged folk. Whatever the label, she’s poignant and emotionally probing. tincanman
The Inspirational Choir – Abide With Me
As I was a little unkind to tincanman’s selection in Zala’s first week at the helm of the good ship Earworm, I figured it was time to put-up-or-shut-up about my response. The transfer from vinyl has left the sheer presence of this version a little subdued & fuzzy, but hopefully you’ll find it as, um, inspirational as even the commitedly agnostic DsD does. DarceysDad
Aswad – Hey Jah Children
The Wisconsin dub pop couple that form Peaking Lights have masterminded a series of blinding mixtapes – check Gorilla vs Bear. Most is stuff you’ll never have heard of, but here is our very own Aswad, with a nice whiff of weed (and sampling Manuel Gottsching unless I’m mistaken!) glasshalfempty
Please send your lovely earworms to email@example.com; don’t forget to keep the blurb short! Thank you!
Next week: Earworms 100 - the 100th Earworms since Tinny’s official launch.
The Witches of Elswick – Bring Us a Barrel
The ladies go a capella boozing. I love that you can hear their accents, and they certainly sound like they are having fun. This always reminds me – in spirit – of the scenes involving Falstaff and young Hal in the hostelry in Shakespeare’s Henry IV part 1. Zalamanda
Rykarda Parasol – Drinking Song
From my 2011 album of the year, ‘For Blood and Wine’, this has a touch of Siouxsie-Sioux-meets-Patti-Smith about it. Many more dark and mysterious lyrics on the album, but I know nothing about Ms. Parasol and am hoping someone (Fintan maybe?) can enlighten me… Debby(M)
Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
Proto-thrash metal? Freddie’s gauntlet-throwing response to the punk explosion?? A one-chord throwaway demo/jam promoted to full release to hide a dearth of new ideas??? No idea which of these theories (if any) is true, but by ‘eck I still love the rush this gives me! DarceysDad
Atari Teenage Riot – Sick To Death
The reformation of ATR this year has had me listening back to old 12″s. I bought this when it came out in 1997 and thought it was the most extreme and just plain best thing I had ever heard. It still sounds pretty full-on 15 years later! (Aficionados of underground 70s punk – that’s you Wyngatecarpenter! – may recognise the appropriation from the Users.) Panthersan
YUI – Never say die
YUI is my all time favourite singer songwriter but she does do a lot of pop rock type tracks as well as the typical acoustic guitar singer song writer stuff. This is such a positive track and as soon as I hear it I want to start to dance ! ! ! It was released in 2009 as a double A side with “It’s All Too Much” and was her 5th consecutive number 1 single. Hoshino Sakura
Warren Zevon – Don’t Let Us Get Sick
Absent a lifelong phobia of doctors, Zevon’s cancer might have been caught before it was too late. He spent the year between diagnosis and death doing what a true artist would do – record a last album. It is a mightily poignant work from one often dismissed as lightweight because of his earlier wittier work. tincanman
Please send earworm contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Everly Brothers – Baby What You Want Me To Do
Looking back (a long, long way) I’ve realised that, coming from a music-indifferent family as I did, this must have been the introduction of my junior self to the blues. It’s a Jimmy Reed song and it featured on the Everlys’ 1961 album A Date With The Everly Brothers. Bit different from the rest of the album, though. Treefrogdemon
The Cardigans – Iron Man
Swedish knitwear tackles Ted Hughes via Ozzy Osborne. It seems that the twee popsters had a penchant for Black Sabbath; on their first album they turned Sabbath Bloody Sabbath into a sugary confection. Here, they do a much better job, with just the right amount of chilled vocoderiness. Zalamanda
Dizzee Rascal – That’s Not My Name
The original by the Ting Tings was given an almost feminist aggressive slant in the way it was performed. Dizzee, known for his own somewhat ”in your face” presentation, gives this track a more lighthearted (and ‘Laddish’) slant, as well as making a point about the use of the ‘N’ word. It was recorded in 2008 as part of the Radio 1 ‘Live Lounge’ sessions. Bluepeter
Garcia & Grisman – So What
Even jazz haters know this Miles tune. After a 20-year gap, Garcia and Grisman started playing together again in 1990 and, as you can hear, they really enjoyed each other’s musical company. It may be noodling, but it’s damn fine noodling. Chris.
As ever, please send your lovely tunes and write-ups to email@example.com. Thank you!
The Mekons – Heart of Stone
In which the one-time punks tackle an early ‘Stones single. Low romance quotient, but chillingly effective, with female vocals to twist things about a bit. Zalamanda
Agnes Obel – (I Keep a) Close Watch (John Cale cover)
It befuddles me why the usually adventurous John Cale performed (I Keep A) Close Watch like an Elton John ballad. Nothing wrong with Elton, but his ballads are all kind of the same. Now this, with the interplay of the Danish Obel’s piano and breathy voice fully realizes the majesty of what is, at heart, a beautiful composition. tincanman
Nelly Furtado – My Love Grows Deeper
From the Whoa Nelly! Album. Nice little song with some unexpected influences from a pop diva, which as we know, is not the sum of our Nelly’s musical vocal talents. SpottedRichard
Roddy Frame – Reason For Living One I turn to when I need reminding that things aren’t always so bad… I just find this euphoric – and love that it’s actually sung in a register I can (just about) holler along with!
Julieta Venegas – Eres Para Mí
Singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas brings long drawn out Mexican phrasing and vowel sounds to more modern genres with remarkable success. Her lyrics mix poetic imagery with a hint of mischievousness – here she tells us “The wind has told me – you’re the one for me.” Mrs Maki
Linda Lyndell -What A Man Salt-N-Pepa sampled this & polished it into an irresistible hit in the 90s. When it was first released in 1968, Linda Lydell received so many death threats from the KKK that she soon retired from the scene. Damn shame, ’cause she really could growl (maybe that’s what scared those crackers).
If you have a suitably earwormy song you’d like to share, please send it, with a few lines describing it, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The earworm guru likes a full inbox…
This, dear ‘Spillers, is the 100th post to be categorised as “Earworms”.
It is not the 100th Earworms post.That was five weeks ago. Oops.
However, because of the complicated way in which these things occur, the official Earworms-100 has been designated as “The 100th Earworms post to have been categorised as Earworms.” This post will appear – all being well – in 5 weeks time!
Do you have any extra special earworms that you’ve been hanging on to? Do you have any “ordinary” earworms (no earworm is truly ordinary; if it was, it wouldn’t be an earworm, would it?) that you’ve been meaning to send but haven’t got around to doing so?
Earworms-100 needs you! Yes, YOU! (Especially you at the back. What do you mean you’ve never sent an earworm in before?) Please send your submissions to the address at the bottom of the post.
Anyway. As you were. Story time.
Lee Ann Womack – Time For Me To Go
A sweet country ballad from a gal with a sweet voice, who first came to my attention the night I heard on the radio that “Lady Diana” had died (as they announced it in Texas). Nice bit of mandolin in there. SpottedRichard
Mecano – Aire
A hangover song. I dreamt one night my tummy button came undone and I deflated like a balloon. I tried to make sure in my new element – as the air that fizzed out of me- I would only be breathed by the right people. Nacho Cano was a fine composer with a wild imagination. You have to admire his pop sensibilities, however and, what’s more, Ana Torroja’s ability to sing the lyrics he wrote without a hint of irony. A beautiful song that works despite its pretentious lyrics and captivates both those that understand them and those that don’t, mainly for the voice that deserved (and occasionally got) better at times. Mrs Maki
Tigran Hamasyan – A Fable
Heard this today on the Gilles Peterson show from September, a beguiling solo piano piece that goes with the season. Window-gazing music. AlBahooky
R Dean Taylor – Gotta See Jane
I’ve long been a fan of R Dean’s “There’s A Ghost In My House”, so imagine my excitement to come across this somewhat similar Motown curio. I love the sound effects, the slow build, the fact that he sounds like he’s singing outside at the start… Bishbosh
Labi Siffre – I Got The Blues
You know him for Something Inside So Strong and probably know Madness covered his It Must Be Love. This is probably the next port-of-call if you were journeying further into his music. He’s largely knocked the music on the head now and concentrates on poetry of which I prefer the relationship stuff to the politics, but in all forms he’s a courageous artist, and slightly undervalued British treasure. May1366
Vetiver – You May Be Blue
Something about the chugging rhythm and dreamy sound gets stuck in my head like a little jumping record and it goes around and around forever. Catchy.
Please send your earworms to email@example.com along with a short description. Thank you!
Alela Diane – Elijah Anna Calvi seems to have been this year’s fave songstress for many, but I’m sticking with Alela Diane, who also had a new album in 2011 (AD & the Wild Divine). There are many hooky songs, but this song, Elijah, is real earworm territory. Get bitten…
Prefab Sprout – Pearly Gates
The Sprouts are a band who are never too far from the top of my iPod listening list (not that I have such a thing) and this track is one that I can never tire of listening to. I heard it earlier tonight and now can’t get it out of my head (not that that’s a bad thing) particularly because of the lines; “See the smile on her young face, watch life casually erase it”, which, as the father of two girls who are now aged 17 and very nearly 20, struck a rather big chord. Please, girls, never let go of those smiles…
Curtis Mayfield – Keep On Keeping On
From Curtis’s 2nd solo LP,’ Roots’, 1971, this song speaks to everyone who has ever tried to transcend the trials and tribulations that life sets before them. It’s my own mantra, I suppose, and it’s beautiful music … Webcore
Michel’le – No More Lies
Bish’s gutsy Shannon earworm inspired me to send this blast from the early 90′s past – somewhere between disco, funk, hip-hop and R&B. Whatever you call it, I still love it. AmyLee
Feargal Sharkey – Listen To Your Father Feargal’s post-Undertones career started out brilliantly, didn’t it? The Assembly’s majestic “Never Never” (possibly Vince Clarke’s finest hour) and this, which is to all intents and purposes Feargal fronting Madness. A marriage made in heaven. Shame he subsequently maxed out on the worst 80-isms. (I’m sure Chris will back me up here!) bishbosh
Beau Jocque – Don’t Tell Your Mama, Don’t Tell Your Papa Beau Joque aka Beau Jacques – which is swamp talk for “Big Guy”, was a powerful 6’6” 270lb zydeco artist who made big music, and who died of a heart attack at the young age of 42. If you can stand zydeco and love the accordion this is a great song to stomp around the kitchen to when you’re frying catfish and making hushpuppies. If this doesn’t float your canoe, it’s mercifully short. SpottedRichard
Please send your lovely earworm tunes and blurbs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep ‘em coming!