Earworms 14 April 2014 – Hoppy Easter

You can’t have Easter without a bunny, and you can’t have earworms without music, so thank you very much for your contributions. Another eggclectic mix to get you hopping around; don’t be chicken! Please keep sending your worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Reverend Gary Davis – I am the Light of This World – Steenbeck: I can’t stop listening to this. I love everything about it, particularly the lines, “I’ve got fiery fingers, I’ve got fiery hands, and when I get to heaven I’m gonna be in that fiery band.”

BINTA – One Mistake Too Many – debbym : Our neighbour’s daughter, a couple of years older than TheBoyWonder, involved in a local hip-hop project. I prefer it when she sings gospel, but I thought, why not give the kids an international audience when you can?!

The Tempos – See You In September – daddypig:  The American Graffiti soundtrack album has been a family car journey favourite for a few years now.  This harmonious ode to teenage uncertainty seems to have a vacancy for a “cha-cha-cha” at the end, that we feel compelled to fill.

Tshala Muana – Tshikunda – Zaire – goneforeign: After some  early success in the 70′s Tshala moved to Paris where she championed the Mutuashi rhythms and Tshiluba language which limited her popularity at home where the rumba and Lingala ruled. But her choice mattered little to International audiences, unschooled in Congo’s ethnic politics they embraced her music and sustained her popularity.

Sidi Bou Said – Twilight Eyes – beltway: A lovely track from a vastly underrated, very literate 90′s all girl indie pop trio Sidi Bou Said, ace pop, needs to be better known!

Dream Bitches – Maniacal Mechanic – Shoegazer: From the funky females of post-punk series.

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Earworms 7 April 2014

Thanks to everyone for topping-up the wormbank, please keep ‘em coming – we have an arresting selection this week. It includes a track from Coldplay which seems appropriate for a spot of conscious uncoupling – sad really, but I suspect I’m holding the minority view here. May we indulge in a warm group hug for debbym, please. Anyway, take it away, Eric the orchestra leader, and please send your spare worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Everything but the Girl – I Must Confess – Albahooky: It’s the 30th anniversary of their first LP ‘Eden’, 30-odd minutes of musical perfection that I’ve recently got reacquainted with. Here’s a nice bossa from it which has everything you could ever want or need from a 3 minute song. Sublime.

Joan As Policewoman – Holy City – CaroleB: I’ve not ever really followed the music of Joan As Policewoman, but BBC6 Music has been playing this new single a lot and I think it is hugely catchy. It is so good, I need to share it, even though it sounds like a tribute to the BBC TV series, Holby City.

The Beach Boys – Summer’s Gone – daddypig: The last song on their 50th anniversary reunion album, from 2012, That’s Why God Made The Radio.  There are whispers in the surf that we’re getting old, and Brian Wilson, disregarding Dylan Thomas, is going gentle towards that good night.

Any Trouble – Playing Bogart (slow version) DsD: I’m fairly sure it’s tfd I have to thank for this. Can’t remember how it came up, but having “meh”ed the faster version of the song that I heard first, I was informed of the existence of this one, which is more  to my [late-night] liking. 

Tito Paris – Otilia Otilio – goneforeign: I’m always amazed by artists from Cabo Verde. It’s an African island nation 400 miles off the coast of Senegal, the language is Portuguese and the music is unique, unlike anything else anywhere in Africa.

Coldplay – The Scientist – debbym: Life has been throwing things my way of late and in the moments I get really wobbly I have two lines from this song on permanent replay: ‘Nobody said it was easy/No-one ever said it would be this hard’ – and it’s particularly annoying that I have Coldplay in my head. This is YOUR cue to send in some kick-ass, don’t just sit there moping worms ;-)

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Your Earworms Needs You! 31 March 2014

I prepared this in advance when the worm-bank was low, so I’ve included two tracks from artists who’ve sent in samples of their music. There’s also a ‘compare and contrast’ pairing from Debby. We still have some juicy worms from goneforeign, debbym, zala, daddypig, claire and ghe, but we can make room for more! If you haven’t sent one for a while, please dispatch any willing recruits to earworm@tincanland.com. Many thanks to everyone.

Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake – debbym: I was surprised when TheBoyWonder told me ‘Cry Me A River’ had been recorded by Justin Timberlake. It is, of course, a completely different song to the Julie London standard, but I can understand why the young’un’s like it. I’m not too keen on the sound effects at the beginning, but I find it grows on me.

Cry Me A River – Julie London – debbym: The original and best!

Changes – Nancy Tucker – goneforeign: A Phil Ochs song, one of his best I think. It’s the story of all of our lives, like Ripple and The Circle Game and quite a few more.  I don’t think that Phil Ochs got the appreciation that he deserved in his life which ended so tragically and far too soon.

The Mary Onettes – Naive Dream – Ali: “Indie dream pop” band from Sweden, according to Wiki., which says their influences include The Stone Roses and The Cure. This is a single from their recent album, “Portico”.

Neko Case, Ragtime – Zalamanda: I suppose that it snows quite a lot in Canada, and maybe the snow always does go sideways in the city (why only in the city, though?). Ms. Case seems to have put the song together from a few impressions and, while it doesn’t actually make much sense logically, it certainly sticks in the mind – and, I dare to suggest, makes a lot of sense artistically.

Cosmo Sheldrake – The Moss – Ali: according to The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/mar/20/cosmo-sheldrake, Cosmo Sheldrake is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist (he plays about 30 instruments) and producer. He is very young and very talented; this is his first single. Warning: it’s catchy.

Earworms 24 March 2014

Only in the mysterious Land Of Earworms could we go from the tender and beautiful Birdy to Mario Lanza, in one sitting. It’s a strange journey, but enjoyable nonetheless. To help us embark on the next, please send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Birdy – Strange Birds – glassarfemptee: Birdy is a local (to me) songstress, great-niece of Dirk Bogarde. Whilst she has charted in the UK, she seems better known in Oz than here, but can do some great pop, like the anthemic Wings. Here she is with Strange Birds (another song with a ghost connection).

Neneh Cherry – Dossier – Abahachi: I’m currently finding all but one or two of the songs on Neneh’s new Blank Project album to be thoroughly earwormy. This is one of of the jollier numbers; no depressive metaphors, no strange bleating noises and no angsty songs about menstruation, just a heart-warming tale of boy shyly meets girl, to tempt you in for the harder stuff…

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Akosua – Albahooky: Here’s an uplifting tune from the wonderful Georgia Anne helping us to a higher level of consciousness  - you gotta get it in ya soul!

Kodachrome – Paul Simon – goneforeign: I’m not a huge fan of Kodachrome even though I’ve shot a few hundred rolls, much prefer Ektachrome or Agfachrome of which I’ve shot thousands! But I am a fan of Paul Simon who just doesn’t get enough airplay hereabouts. From 1973 and I’ll drink to “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” None of that helped me with Ektachrome. Did you know that Kodachrome was invented and patented by two NY high school chemistry teachers, Kodak had been working on it for years.

Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit – Ali: This is another one of those worms that has been around for a while but passed me by, until I heard it in the Co-op … sang it all the way home and subsequently downloaded it. “Tum ti tum … Fill your water tank …”  Soon, you’ll be humming it too.

Mario Lanza – The Drinking Song (from The Student Prince) – beltway: This is a song I’ve know for ages mostly through a Joseph Locke album that my mum had in our house, but a few months back I heard this Mario Lanza version played by John Lydon (of all people) on a Radio 6 show he was presenting and it really grabbed me as a top notch pop song, a proper sing-a-long at the top of your voice thing – and you have to remember, this was premiered when America was in the middle of prohibition, so it’s even got an element of punky defiance in there too.

Earworms 17 March 2014

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray). Discuss. And please send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Absentee – We Should Never Have Children – DsD: When I gurued RRSA Faces, I had a handful of songs I was definitely going to grant a Guru’s Pet A-Pass to. Trouble is, only one of them was actually nominated! I subsequently mentioned most of them (Creed, DCFC, Sass Jordan) post-deadline, but this one just flat refuses to leave my head. I dare say you all know it, but if I don’t find a way to tip it out of my ear soon, it’s going to drive me crazy. I’ve already caught myself singing the opening line when in the same room as DsMam … the consequences of her jumping to the wrong conclusion don’t bear thinking about!

Dollshead: It’s Over It’s Under (Brothers in Rhythm remix) – Abahachi: There was a time when my only exposure to contemporary non-jazz came from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Been re-watching it recently as a means of relaxing a bit, and it was good to be reminded how good some of the music was. Had forgotten this one, as it failed to make it onto the soundtrack album…

Space – Magic Fly – beltway: The near universal adulation that Daft Punk received for their releases last year made me long for the days when French Electropop had a classier, more mysterious edge and revisit some 70′s classics – here’s the fantastic Magic Fly by Space (not the scouse band) – amazes me how fresh and modern this sounds – not sure if it is ahead of its time or that things just haven’t moved on as much as much as I feel they ought to have!

Olivier Libaux & Emiliana Torrini – Go With The Flow – shoegazer – A totally brilliant QOTSA cover from (you’ve guessed it) – the unexpected covers series.

Matt Stevens – Ghost – glassarfemptee: I ‘collect’ ghost songs, and recently added this instrumental from Matt Stevens (after a tip off from tfd). Whenever I see someone ‘live looping’ I am astonished and delighted at the sheer ingenuity of it.

Milonga Del Angel by Astor Piazzolla – goneforeign: Milonga could refer to a style of tango or a place where tango is danced. This is the great classic Piazzolla quintet, I think they’re fabulous. It’s from the 1987 NY Central Park Concert, Astor plays lead on bandoneon, Pablo Zeigler on piano, Fernando Suarez Paz on violin, Horacio Malvicino on electric guitar and Hector Console on bass. Close your eyes.

Earworms 10 March 2014

Feeling a bit fruity this week? Or maybe just nuts? Well, this little selection might help you decide, one way or the other. Many thanks to all our generous contributors; please continue to send your wonderful worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

The Crystal Method v The Doors – Roadhouse Blues Remix – Shoegazer: A welcome flash from the Shoey archives, this is another from the ‘unexpected covers’ series.

Desperate Journalist- Organ – Bethnoir: Desperate Journalist are from North London, they’re a bit post-punk, a bit goth so no surprise that I enjoy their female vocals with noisy backing sound, this is their single from Nov 2013.

The Clint Boon Experience – Do What You Do (Earworm Song) – glassarfemptee: I came across this in my iTunes today – the only song I know that actually calls itself an earworm. Not convinced myself, but have a listen and see what you think…

Francis Bebey – New Track – Albahooky: Here’s a tune from the late Cameroonian artist of whom I know very little about, but seems to have a firm grip on what was wanted & required: “Bananas, more freedom and dance on the new track”. No change there then.

Lloyd Price – Coconut Woman – beltway: This is one of the greatest and catchiest pop records ever made, a perfect bit of Calypso – once heard never forgotten and you will be singing it for a month.

Ayamafele – Kandia Kouyate – goneforeign: From her album Kita Kan which in her native Maninka language means “the voice of Kita”, a historic town in western Mali. Kandia Kouyate is one of the foremost voices of Mali. Basing herself on the tradition of the “griot”, she has created her own style, she is a “jelimuso”, a female griot. She’s a ‘praise singer’ and in the early ’80′s, to show his appreciation, Babani Sissoko, a very wealthy Malian,  gave her a Lear Jet, a Nissan car and about $35,000; she’s one of the wealthiest women in Africa.

Earworms 3 March 2014

We’re breezing into March with another eclectic set – you lot never cease to surprise me with the variety of worms you send in. Thanks to all, and keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime – Albahooky: Alright we all love the original, but I’m always partial to a re-edit when it can keep the groove going like this.

Beastellabeast – The Final Mistake -Shoegazer : Another stunner from the funky females of post punk series.

We Major – Kanye West– Magicman: This is from Kanye’s 2nd album “Late Registration” and is a wonderfully produced slab of punchy pop with a celebrated verse by Nas. “High over the ground instead of skyscraper, too low making you local, c’mon homie We Major, We Major”.

David Fenton – Fresh Air – DsD: I was reminded of this song -  Fenton was the lead singer of The Vapors – when guruing RRSA Faces. Hadn’t heard it for years, decades even! 7″ single is in the pile on the shelf above my head as I sit at my desk, so I blew the dust off, played it, and now have the wormy snippet “…aqualung, aqualung…” stuck in my head. D’oh!

Andy Stott – Luxury Problems – Fuel: I love Andy Stott’s “Luxury Problems” because of the hypnotic undertow to the song and the way it develops and never gets boring due to its constant shifting of sound and beat.

Lee Perry – Dreadlocks in Moonlight – goneforeign: Originally from the 1970′s film “Countryman”, directed by Dickie Jobson and structured around a St. Anne’s Bay fisherman called of all things – Countryman! It’s almost like a documentary of his life. It features my old mate Basil Keane playing the bad guy and is full of reggae. This film is dedicated to Bob Marley and the Wailers whose words and music inspired it, it must be on YouTube, go and see it.

Earworms 24 February 2014

Some thought-provoking music for you this week, and a welcome return from beltway who has taken time out from caring for a new arrival to send some earworms for our delectation. Many congratulations to the beltways! Hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Mirabai Ceiba – Guru Ram Das – DebbyM: My little sis sent me this mantra for compassion and healing at one of the more stressful times in my life. I don’t often pay too much attention to her yoga obsession, but when I gave this a listen I was astonished to find it soothing rather than irritating. Wanna give it a try?

Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats – AliM: Debby’s track is pretty hard to follow but this sprang to mind – “Ten days of perfect tunes” – cover of original by The Knife.

Dobet Gnahore – Abiani (Ivory Coast) – goneforeign: In sub-Saharan Africa, music is an essential social activity for all members of the community. Women have always played an essential role in the preservation of African culture. From lullabies sung to sleepy children to chants of celebration, women are important bearers of tradition.

Moon Taxi – Morocco – glassarfemptee: The incessant foul weather means I was grabbed by the first line of this song from Moon Taxi – “So sick and tired of the pouring rain,  I took a train to Morocco just to kill the pain”.

John K. Samson – Cruise Night – Fuel: John K Samson is the main man in The Weakerthans. Cruise Night is a bonafide earworm for me. Indie pop with a singalong chorus.

The Pale Fountains – Thank You – beltway: Another one from my extensive collection of early ’80′s Scouse New Wave bands, but aurally and spiritually this one steps straight from the glory days of ’60′s pop with it’s big sentimental melody, lush strings, choral backing and sympathetic brass and woodwind. Such a sweet and lovely song, anachronistic maybe, but an unjustly neglected classic.

Earworms 17 February 2014

A funky and eclectic collection for you this week; many thanks to everyone who has sent in their worms; please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Dr John – It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing – daddypig: From the album Duke Elegant, in which Mr Rebennack takes Duke Ellington tunes and applies Hammond Organ and a funky rhythm section.

Farley Jackmaster Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around – bishbosh: Darryl Pandy camping it up in a spangly blue top while bellowing his way through this song is one of my favourite ’80s Top of the Pops memories. Still think the track sounds amazing.

Mogwai – Repelish – abahachi: Mogwai’s sense of humour is generally under-rated, but this track, complete with vocalisation of the famous (alleged) backwards masking on ‘Stairway to Heaven’, justifies the price of their new album all on its own.

Camille YarbroughAll Hid – Fuel: Camille Yarbrough is poetic, intense and funky.

Cuban Brothers – Ace of Spades – Shoegazer: Another ace from the Shoey archives, this one is from the ‘unexpected covers’ series.

Brent Dowe: Down Here in Babylon – goneforeign: Brent Dowe made his mark on Jamaican popular music as lead singer with the Melodians, one of the most consistently popular harmony groups of the 1960s and 1970s, he went on to a solo career and worked with almost every Jamaican producer of that period including Lee Perry, with whom he recorded the censorious “Down Here in Babylon”. Released as a 7″ single in 1975.

Earworms 10 February 2014

A little tenderness; a little funkiness; a little frollicking and some passive-aggressive behaviour – it must be Valentine’s week! Hope you all have a happy Valentine’s day on Friday, and for those who don’t subscribe I’ll see you in the King’s Head at Friday lunch time – mine’s a pint. Thanks to all and please send LOTS more worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

The Miserable Rich – Boat Song – BethNoir: The first is by a Brighton chamber pop quintet who I’ve only just noticed, written for the vocalist’s mother who was worried about getting older, it’s quite lullaby-like, I think.

Kiila – Viisi Hirvasta – Fuel: Kiila’s Viisi Hirvasta (Five elk) is freak folk music from Finland. Standing tall and proud at the edge of a forest before frollicking away and disappearing from view.

Kim Churchill – Coded In Concrete – severin: I saw this Australian guy last year supporting Billy Bragg. Just him and a guitar but what a sound. Absolutely blew the crowd away. I chose another faster track of his called “Season’s Grind” as my Festive Spill number one track of the year. This is by way of contrast but still earwormy imho.

Bush Tetras – Can’t Be Funky -Shoegazer: Cleaning up my tune archives (3 months so far, & I’ve gotten through A-C). Anyway, saved a few tunes that may be worm worthy for some.  Will try to save a few more as the epic quest through the alphabet continues, but don’t hold your breath. Here’s 1 from the funky females of post punk series…

Etta James – I Just Wanna Make Love To You – AliM: You can keep the washing and the baking but the love-making sounds cool.

Louis and Ella – Cheek to Cheek – goneforeign: Louis and Ella recorded this in 1956 for the Verve label. Verve was founded by jazz impresario Norman Granz who was also Ella’s manager. They are backed by the Oscar Peterson quartet, Oscar  on piano, Ray Brown [Ella's husband] on bass, Herb Ellis guitar. and Buddy Rich on drums and Louis quietly plays his horn behind Ella. This was probably the album that introduced me to Ella and made me a lifelong fan.

Earworms 3 February 2014

Greetings – this is my 52nd week as Earworm host; some 320 songs have flown by and I’ve really enjoyed myself. I’m happy to continue but I don’t want to hog it; if someone else is anxious to have a go, let me know. Meanwhile, the chap in the kilt is busking for worms; please pipe them toot sweet to earworm@tincanland.com so that he can come in out of the cold.  And thanks to all for a marvellous ride.

Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace – Benedictus - glassarfemptee: We’ve had a few classical ones recently. Here’s one from jazzer and ex-Soft Machine (!) composer, Karl Jenkins. A song for peace, and real earworm, for me at least.

Sam Mangwana – Zengolo – goneforeign: Sam is one of my favorite Zairian musicians, he’s traditionally been the lead voice in some of the most sigficant African bands, TPOK Jazz, Tabu Ley’s African Fiesta and Afrisa International, plus he’s made many records under his own name. This is from an acoustic LP titled ‘Galo Negro’ and in it he investigates the Cuban, Mozambique and Cape Verdeian influences in Congo Music. The Malagasy accordian is unique and he’s joined throughout by Papa Noel Monswet, one of Zaire’s greatest guitarists plus a group of backing singers. A unique African sound.

Stevie Wonder – Love’s In Need Of Love Today – daddypig: I was on a break when RR did “Track 1, Side 1″ songs.  I got Songs In The Key Of Life for Christmas when I was seventeen years old, and this – paradoxically because I don’t listen to it that often – still brings back the first time I put the record on and the music sprung into life.

Larry Williams & Johnny Watson – Too Late – bishbosh: Yes, it’s another pounding Northern Soul stomper, but as well as making me want to hit the floor, this one makes me chuckle with its back-and-forth ad libs. At least I assume they’re ad libs. Very droll anyway.

HK 119 – Celeb – Fuel: HK 119 is a Finnish artist who lives in London. Celeb is my favourite track of hers. Throwaway and escapist, which I rather like.

Bertolt Brecht – Moritat Von Mackie Messer – tincanman: A Kurt Weill composition for the 1930 Threepenny Opera, this is the original Mack The Knife.

Earworms 27 January 2014

Swan day my prince will come … until then, I’ll make do with some more worms – if you haven’t sent any in the last couple of months please replenish supplies by sending them to earworm@tincanland.com. The more the merrier.

Jon and Vangelis – State of Independence – AliM: This floated  into my head the other day, prompted by last week’s London Grammar track, and now I can’t stop listening to it. It’s joyous, so I hope you like it. To prevent further self-indulgence, please send more worms.

Eric Schaefer – Lohengrin – abahachi: Considering that he was a half-crazed revolutionary genius, the celebrations last year of Richard Wagner’s bicentennial have been remarkably sober and conservative. The “Who Is Afraid of Richard W?” project of Berlin-based drummer Eric Schaefer (featuring ex-pat Brit Tom Arthurs on trumpet and flugelhorn) redresses the balance, giving some of Wagner’s greatest themes a dramatic makeover, to bring him “down from the Hill [the location of the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth] and into the club”.

Palle Mikkelborg – Glass Painting – beltway: A favourite track of mine from Danish jazz trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, the elegant simplicity of the main riff gives it an airy elegance with a lovely synthy backing with complex overlapping percussion. Guitar is a touch cheesy, but I find myself whistling that riff for hours after listening to this …

Pauline Paris – X – debbyM: My choice on Tinny’s alphabet game, but I couldn’t find a video to share. Modern French chanson, she’d probably have been the darling of her generation had not Zaz appeared on the scene to overshadow everybody.

Gigi D’Agostino – I’ll Fly With You (Bla Bla Bla Remix) – tincanman: Its nonsense and sounds like an old British Air commerical. But you can dance and flay limbs in the air incongruously so… play it again and flay away. No one’s watching.

The Heptones – Book of Rules – goneforeign: The Heptones,  Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn, a 1960′s group from Kingston, They had a big hit with “Book of Rules”  in 1973. It was one of the group’s few songs not sung by Sibbles lead. Barry Llewelyn sang lead and co-wrote “Book Of Rules”. In this beautiful song, the Heptones express the conviction that ultimately it is the spirituality of the common people that makes history.

Earworms 20 January 2014

Another fine selection this week. Strong black sheep in possession of silver threads and golden needles? No wonder they’re left outside alone – but don’t think twice, it’s alright. Thanks to all and keep sending your worms to earworm@tincanland.com, we could do with a top-up.

Alela Diane – Black Sheep – DebbyM: Was very surprised that no-one else (barbryn?) chose a track by Alela Diane for the Festive Spill – and that’s the main reason she didn’t make my list!

London Grammar – Strong – AliM: No idea what it’s about. Don’t care. Love the voice (Hannah Reid) – the overall sound reminds me of Renaissance.

Sarah McLachlan – Possession – DsD: I was reminded of the TV show Due South recently. That set off a few trains of thought. One of them ended up Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and my favourite McLachlan tune. I love her voice, and there’s a cracking little guitar solo sandwiched in the middle of this song.

J C Lodge – Don’t think twice, it’s alright – goneforeign: In the early 80′s I met J.C.Lodge in Kingston, she was a young and struggling singer plus she was an artist with several gallery shows to her name, we became friends. I would shoot pictures for her records and she’d give me her singles plus one of her paintings, which is now hanging at the top of the stairs. She went on to have a big international hit with Telephone Love in 1988 and since then she tours regularly in the US and Europe. Here’s her reggae version cover of Dylan’s ‘Don’t think twice, it’s alright’ .

Honey Ltd. – Silver Threads And Golden Needles – bishbosh: The Light In The Attic label have been digging out and reissuing (or issuing for the first time in some cases) music from Lee Hazlewood Industries. I’ve currently got my eye on the “There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving” boxset but it’s SOOO expensive… In the meantime, the Honey Ltd. album is ace, with this song in particular getting me a-groovin’.

Anastasia – Left Outside Alone – tincanman: No one does hard rock vulnerability like Anastasia. She doesn’t feel safe, it is not ok, and we’re head butting.

Earworms 13 January 2014

You want eclectic? We’ve got it from dawn ’til dusk this week. With a little faith and resurrection thrown in. Many thanks to all contributors, and keep sending those worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Benjamin Britten – Dawn (from Peter Grimes – Four Sea Interludes) – daddypig: Not so much an earworm as a “moodworm”. I saw two of Opera North’s Britten productions for his centenary celebrations, and this is an atmospheric piece that sets the scene as the sun rises on the Suffolk coast. (Having trouble getting this to play in the playlist, so try this if necessary):


Matthew E White – Big Love – debbyM: My Festive ‘Spill choices were all of a similar ilk this time around (sorry, listeners!) – this is the one that JUST missed out on being chosen for the Top Three. I love the big sound of Big Love, but I mostly love its timelessness – without having been told, would you have KNOWN what decade this song is from?

Spacehog – Zeroes – DsD: Probably too straight-ahead sprawling heavy-rock for many of you, but that “zerozerozerozerozero” falsetto refrain is a PROPER worm: if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself singing it in the supermarket checkout queue.

Jah no Dead – Burning Spear – goneforeign: Friedrich Nietzsche originated the phrase ‘God is Dead’. In the mid 60′s Time magazine propagated the idea and it became accepted world-wide, except that is, by Rastaman Burning Spear in Jamaica. He wrote this simple song to express his faith, ‘Jah no Dead’. It was used in the film ‘Rockers’ in a beautiful scene where he’s standing knee deep in the ocean in the moonlight singing it acapella.

Edwyn Collins – Baby Jean – ghe: After his near death experience, Edwyn Collins’ comeback album in 2013, “Understated”, is understandably about survival. This is a standout track.

Tom Jones – Dimming of the Day [Richard Thompson cover] – tincanman: Some songs are too painful and personal to listen to. This is as close as you dare get to this one.

Earworms 6 January 2014

Image credit: elvinphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Here are three kings for you, followed by a right royal collection of earworms to start your week. Hope it’s a smooth start, particularly if it’s the first day back at work after the holiday. And remember, your worms are most welcome to join in – send them to earworm@tincanland.com.

Busi Mhlongo – Izinziswa. English title – ‘Young Men’ – goneforeign: Busi is from South Africa, she mixed very traditional African styles with contemporary styles – jazz, reggae, gospel etc. She was very popular throughout S. Africa, she died in 2010. It’s from her CD Babhemu & Twasa on Munich records.

Kev Russell with the Gourds (or some of them) and Debra Kelly - Imbibing My Prescriptions – tfd: this is a live version of one of my favourite Kev songs, which is on his solo album ‘Buttermilk And Rifles’, but this is downloadable from archive.org. Featuring (as does the record) backing vocals by Debra Kelly of Damnations Tx.

Eliza Carthy – Willow Tree – debbyM: This is quite possibly my favourite song ever ever ever; it makes me homesick for an England that probably only exists in my imagination. I love the brass, I love the ‘simplicity’ of the song, but it’s the tall ships at the end that really grabbed my attention.

The Frank and Walters – After All – beltway: I bought far too many 12 inch singles in the ’90′s and was rummaging through a box of them and came across this little gem that I’d not thought about for a long time, such a sweet and innocent little love song and an infuriatingly catchy little guitar riff from the third best Irish Indie pop band of the early ’90s. Ian Broudie’s production is stamped on it with a sledgehammer, and that is no bad thing.

Bon Jovi’s Blame It On The Love Of Rock And Roll – DsD: Do you ever feel the need to just lose yourself in a big, dumb, cliché-ridden, dad-dancing, riffola of a song? No? Oh … oops! OK, just me then. The rest of you: hit SKIP and as you were. Me? I’m spinning round the office gurning & air-guitaring even as you read this!

Ivory Joe Hunter – Since I Met You Baby – Fintan: In 1956 my friends who were paying any attention to music were going around singing ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Rock Around The Clock’ or, more likely, ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett’.  I was singing this and it cemented a lifelong love of the blues. I was a happy 7-year old.

New Year Earworms 30 December 2013

I was going to do a “guess who” this week, but it’s too easy. So I thought I’d spell out “PEACE x” with the first letter of the song titles but that failed too; instead they spell “SNWBBB”, which is “ALI”en for “Have a wonderful New Year and keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com”. Hope these get you dancing!

Aretha Franklin – Spanish Harlem – Fintan: I’ve always felt Aretha Franklin doesn’t so much cover a song as much as she just inhabits it to the point it has no choice but to be an Aretha song. Case in point – on her version of Ben. E. King’s gem she chases the rhythm, it chases her and Lord doesn’t everyone have fun.

Sidney Bechet – Nobody Knows the Way I Feel – goneforeign: This is the sort of music that in the 1940′s grabbed me by the throat and dragged me into a lifetime of jazz appreciation. Bechet is one of the founders of New Orleans jazz, by 1920 he was touring Europe playing professionally. In London he found a straight soprano sax, unknown in jazz but used in classical music. He became a master of it and influenced every jazz saxophonist since then, his two key students were Johnny Hodges and John Coltrane and they were followed by every jazz saxophone player since. Be cautious listening to this, you could wind up like me.

Gary Walker & The Boogie Kings – Who Needs You So Bad – AlBahooky: Two episodes into the final series of ‘Treme’ and this fabulous tune was playing in the background. I haven’t a scooby about the band and due to the location of the series would think they were from Louisiana if not New Orleans but who cares when a tune is as good as this …

Snarky Puppy – Bent Nails – Nilpferd: A youthful Texas jazz-funk collective with some amazing chops. Bent Nails never misses a beat and ends with a classic funk “build”.

LaBrassBanda – Bierzelt – debbyM: A choice inspired by an Earworms pic back in the day (September? October?) These lads never fail to cheer me up, which is a bloody good reason for playing them, let me tell you ;-) A heartfelt Prosit! to the ‘Spill Collective!

Yo Yo Ma - Brasileirinho – beltway: An uber catchy one that just induces the biggest grin on my face every time I hear it, this is from an album made by noted cellist Yo Yo Ma called Obrigado Brasil, where he worked with the cream of Bossa Nova and Samba, blending the sensibilities of those musical styles with the classical world – the Brazilian sound world is winning out in this one though, with a furiously virtuoso performance that may leave you breathless…

Christmas Earworms 23 December 2013

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and any ‘Spillers whose names didn’t scan … or perhaps to those whose did … thank you so much for all the Earworms, merry Christmas and a hap-hap-happy New Year to you all.

The Prologue

The Butties – Joy to the World – beltway: This one has been a favourite for the last few years, The Butties are an all Beatles cover band from Vermont fronted by Sam Lloyd (aka Ted from “Scrubs”) – a while back they cut an album featuring mash-ups of Beatles songs and Xmas carols, which is fun, and this track is the standout one, a track that I always pop on when putting the decs up to get me in the Xmas spirit.

Nick Lowe – Children Go Where I Send Thee – debbym: (from his Xmas album ‘Quality Street’) – This is the only new Xmas track I’ve heard this year that I’ve actually liked!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ‘Spill
Not a creature was stirring, moderators were still.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that more earworms soon would be there.

Continue reading

Earworms 16 December 2013

Some beautiful sounds here, in a gentle run up to Christmas. Don’t forget to keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com – still time to send a Christmas worm for next week’s bumper edition, if you feel so inclined. Meanwhile, keep warm!

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lodi – Pairubu: That little riff ! How great is that ? A simple, choogling number, as you might expect. So very effective when done properly.

Lindi Ortega – Songs About – ghe: It’s hardly an ear worm (yet) as I only got the new album from Canadian songstress Lindi Ortega today (well, a week or two ago – sorry ghe – Ed.).  But a track called ‘Songs About’ seemed so apt for the Readers Recommend crowd. Enjoy.

Dave Von Ronk – Last Call – tincanman: True story: Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Van Ronk went out pubbing one night in NY and Dave scrawled stuff down in a notebook as they went about. He disclaims any ownership, despite it being in his handwriting.

Denez Prigent/Liza Gerrard – Gortoz a Ran (J’attends) – bluepeter:  Not a lover of war films, especially American ones, but this track was used by Hans Zimmer, whose music I do like, for the film  “Black Hawk Down”. Never seen the film – but have listened to this many times.

“One day I will come back over the land, over the seas. So will come back the green wind and bring with it my wounded heart”.

Sun Kil Moon – Ocean Breathes Salty – DsD: I’ve mentioned it often enough over on the mothership, so here it is as a ‘worm. At the risk of inviting ridicule, I think Mark Kozelek’s acoustic version blows Isaac Brock’s out of the water, highlighting the tenderness in the lyrics that the jagged Modest Mouse original buries.

The Grateful Dead -Terrapin Station – Chris7572: Rather than dedicate an entire post to this song, its genesis and the importance of chelonians in supporting the Earth (as I had considered), I’ll just present it here as a collection of delightful melodies supporting Robert Hunter’s meta-lyrics. The studio version is too prettied-up for my taste; this May ’77 live version is imperfect but enchanting. And, despite its length, contains no additives (or a conclusion – that’s the start of the next song).

Earworms 9 December 2013

“All I want for Christmas …” Well, half a million quid would be nice, but failing that, send me some Christmas worms to earworm@tincanland.com. In the meantime, here is an aural helter-skelter of plumbouncifulness to keep you going.

Belly – Sad Dress – Chris 7572: “I’m so tipsy I can’t seem to walk” is the opening line, which is probably why it sounds so woozy. It ends with “I’d chew my foot off/To get out of this dress.” I’m not 100% sure why; maybe it’s a female thing. Or a drunk thing?

Dear Eloise – What a day – Pairubu: “China’s answer to the Jesus and Mary Chain, actually a couple who don’t tour but record rather fine little blasts of noise in their home studio. This has a fine bass line, I think.

Benjamin Damage – 010x – Nilpferd: An ex-pat Welshman working in Berlin, creating finely textured electronic dance music. 010x is simple, direct, and irresistable, my favourite dance track of the year to date.

Melt Yourself Down – We Are Enough – Beltway: From one of the most thrilling albums I’ve acquired this year, don’t know how to classify this music, it’s almost a bit of all forms of modern afro/jazz/funk but with a frantic driving dance beat and a sax hook that will bludgeon your brain into submission – I just can’t stop playing it!

Parchman Farm – Mose Allison – goneforeign: The Mississippi State Penitentiary is called Parchman Farm, it ain’t a farm, it’s more like a slave plantation. There’s been quite a few blues recorded about it,  Alan Lomax went there for the Library of Congress. This is Mose Allison’s version, from his first album in 1957.

Darts – Boy From New York City – tincanman: It’s earworms! Dance! Be funky! Come on, lets get jiggly with it.

Earworms 2 December 2013

Doodle

A fine set of ballads for you this week, none of which have any connection to each other but I guess it doesn’t matter any more … Thanks to all for your contributions; don’t forget those Christmas worms and keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Linda Ronstadt – You Won’t Matter Any More – goneforeign: Those recent comments about Linda Ronstadt sent me off on the the vinyl and I chose this one from long ago. ‘It doesn’t matter anymore’  from her 1974 album “Heart like a Wheel”. It was written by Paul Anka in 1958, the year that I left the UK, and recorded that same year by Buddy Holly.

Jepp – Parson’s Green – Barbryn: If you know this, you probably have the same late-90s Big Issue compilation CD as me. I don’t remember anything else on it, but I’ve never forgotten this song. Despite that voice, Jepp’s career apparently never took off, but she seems to have uploaded her album onto YouTube. It’s well worth a listen.

Lorde – Bravado – Abahachi: So, just how annoying is it going to be for me to claim that I much prefer the songs on the original EP rather than the good but slightly-disappointing-in-comparison-to-the-hype album? A teenager old before her time, with tunes to kill for…

Rachel Zeffira – Star – Shoegazer: Here’s a bit of chamber pop (as opposed to chamber pot, which probably wouldn’t be very nice at all).

Clean – Dunes – Nilpferd: The kiwi post-punkers started out in the late seventies. This is from their wonderful debut album, Vehicle, which has just been re-released by Captured Tracks records.

Ben Folds – Still Fighting It – Toffeeboy: We were doing a bit about bullying at school recently and the teacher I was working with had chosen a video to accompany the session.  The video was a film showing how an ordinary, relatively popular boy, can become the target of bullies and how devastating the effects can be.  One of the most powerful aspects of what turned out to be an exceptionally moving short film was the use of this track as the soundtrack – lyrically, it isn’t particularly relevant to the theme but somehow it struck a chord and led me to revisit the song.

Earworms 25 November 2013

There’s an extra-terrestrial tinge to the worms this week, and a welcome return from ejaydee. Give yourself some “space” and have a listen – where else could you find Les Sautrelles, Yapoos and Sister Sledge, all in the same place? Many thanks and keep the worms coming to earworms@tincanland.com – don’t forget to send a Christmas worm to feature on 23 December, assuming I’m still coherent by then.

Kitchens of Distinction – From Japan to Jupiter – ghe: For reasons I don’t understand, I’m partial to songs imagining being an astronaut (OneEskimo – Astronauts, Stones – 2000 light years from home, Bowie – Space Oddity, Imagined Village – Space Girl, and loads more). Now the excellent new album from Kitchens of Distinction adds another – although ‘Japan to Jupiter’ is really an anthemic wallow deep in the trough of nostalgia.

Les Sauterelles – The Heavenly Club – beltway: I make little secret of my love for 60′s Europop, and this is a real gem from Zurich Beat group Les Sauterelles, who apparently were known as “The Swiss Beatles”, which may be over-egging it a bit, but it’s a suitably heavenly melody with obligatory clunky lyrics conflating a near death experience with a visit to a nightclub – how can you not love a song that has the opening gambit “One time when I was drunk and I was going to die…”. Splendid production on this and some great hooks.

Una – Angels At My Door – Shoegazer: Not many trip hop worms, so here’s one by Una. It’s a cover: ‘Spill points if you know the original. If you like this one (from “One” in ’07) they have a new “The Laughing Man EP” & an album of remixes which includes some other takes of this here tune.

Thinking of You – Sister Sledge – ejaydee: Slightly later than I had planned I have an earworm, and I have to go with the first dance of our wedding. I’ve loved this song since I first heard it at a fancy cinema party my friend and I crashed into. As the string-laden bridge (or is it middle eight?) played, I spun my head trying the read the label trying to follow the spinning vinyl. One of my favourite intros ever, with that shimmering guitar and piercing, teasing bass, it’s probably my top Chic produced song. Luckily my wife loves the song too and the lyrics fit so it was an easy choice for our first dance. Now I’ll mostly remember it for the great moments a wedding provides. P.S. During the build-up to the event, I kept thinking about the weddings that were mentioned on here, DsD’s escape to the Bahamas, Tracy’s engagement and subsequent wedding in Hawai’i, Steenbeck’s cicadas and cassette player, the songs you all played … I joined the club!

Yapoos – Not Dead Luna – Pairubu: Featuring the unsurpassable semi-operatic voice of Jun Togawa, this is very, very “80s”, in feel , thought it dates from 1992, I believe. Jun’s lyrics are often rather “gothic”, she was closely associated with the “Ero-guro” scene, a Japanese art scene that focuses on eroticism, dismemberment, snakes and stuff like that ( I’d advise against Googling it).

Never Going Back Again – Fleetwood Mac – goneforeign: Now I know that probably everyone here will know this song by heart but that doesn’t stop it from being a great Earworm, it is for me. I remember that I bought the album, ‘Rumours’  based solely on the photo on the cover, I didn’t know FM, but as soon as I put it on I realized they were all great cuts. This one in particular grabbed me, I love the guitar/voice interaction.

Earworms 18 November 2013

kitten in teacup

I couldn’t find any fluffy bunnies for DsD, so I hope this week’s photo doesn’t give anyone nightmares. A lively and diverse selection for you today; many thanks to all contributors. Hate to say it, but Christmas is coming … don’t forget to send some seasonal worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Dick Dale – Hava Nagila – Beltway: Surf guitar legend Dick Dale takes the ever popular Jewish folk melody and turns it into a thrashy stomper that is a proper treat to listen to or play along with …

Diblo Dibala – Amour et Souvenir – goneforeign: Often known simply as Diblo, he’s a Congolese soukous musician, known as “Machine Gun” for his speed and skill on the guitar. He was born in Zaire in 1954  and at age 15 won a talent competition which led to him playing guitar in Franco’s TPOK band. He went on to play in every major Soukous  band in Zaire and also formed his own group, Loketo. I love this style of playing, very stylised and  traditional, very Cuban also.

Christian Scott – The Eraser – Nilpferd: Scott reworks the plaintive and desperate ballad from Thom Yorke’s solo debut, introducing a note of urbane rhythmic urgency and smoothing out the rough edges with his muted trumpet.

Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy Ya – Shoegazer: Like buses these earworms – Prince Fatty & Horseman at a Brooklyn Dancehall with the late ‘Ol Dirty Bastard.

Chili Mac – Preston Love & Shuggie Otis -Fintan: stirring up a big ol’ pot of comfort food.

Zap Pow – River-River Stone – Albahooky: Here’s one from ’77 from the reggae band Zap Pow under the majestic guidance of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at the Black Ark giving it that dense, swirling ethereal sound – mesmerising.

Earworms 11 November 2013

I was on top of Mam Tor in a hailstorm yesterday, and I’m still feeling slightly pebble-dashed – it was “cold, cold, cold”.  Hope you find something to rock out to in the following selection, and keep those worms shivering along to earworm@tincanland.com.

Dean Friedman – Company – Toffeboy: I went to see Dean Friedman when he played in London in October this year and this was the song (now 35 years old) that he opened the show with.  It was a great evening, particularly as I was there with the entire Toffee family – we used to play Dean Friedman in the car when the girls were little and now, aged 21 and 19, they’re both big fans.  Sometimes, as a parent, you do something right…

Wazimbo & Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique – Nwahulwana [electric version] – goneforeign: One of the most famous works of this artist is the ballad Nwahulwana (‘night bird’), released in 1988. Wazimbo expresses some sadness about the lifestyle of a wonderful young lady who he refers to as “his sister – Maria” wasting her life having a different man every night. Some years ago we played the acoustic version here on the Spill.

Nunco Band – Sami Gone to England – Pairubu: “From Korea, a very early 70s feel to this one, I think, don’t be fooled by the pause in the middle. I think “Sami” is a person rather than the people from Finland !

Wilson Pickett covering “Hey Jude”- CaroleBristol: OK, so the main reason I like this is the brilliant guitar work on the outro. The whole thing, however, is a fantastic soulful cover version of, in my opinion, one of The Beatles’ lesser songs. The horns are great, the rhythm section pushes along in a nice funky style and The Wicked Pickett is in fine vocal form but, when that guitar kicks in, it goes to a whole different level. The guitarist? It’s Duane Allman, back in his session-playing days.

Motel Motel – Coffee – DarceysDad: From the RRSA Coffee week, a DsD nomination that has driven me insane ever since. Just who does the singer remind me of? (The Waterboys’) Mike Scott? (Secret Machines’) Brandon Curtis? (Remy Zero’s) Cinjun Tate? (Band Of Horses’) Ben Bridwell? Grant Lee Philips, even? I’m alternately convinced it is, then isn’t, any and all of the above. WHO THE F……. IS IT? Help me out here, folks.

Little Feat – Cold, Cold, Cold – Chris7572: A band still inexplicably missing from The Marconium, this 1972 track is gloriously ramshackle funk, with Lowell George on top form (before he drowned in the snowstorm). This should heat up any woman with red blood in her veins, shouldn’t it?

Earworms 4 November 2013

A sparkling collection to get things off with a bang this week – just missing Explosions in the Sky. Thanks to all for your contributions – and don’t forget to light the blue touch-paper and fire off those whizzing worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

The Other Europeans – Goldene Khasene/ Hora de la Cahul – ghe: I love Romany/Manouche music (especially the Django strand) and Balkan wedding bands. In a similar league for the feel good factor is the Jewish klezmer tradition. Get your dancing shoes on …

L’Arpeggiata - Pizzica di San Vito – beltway: you know that thing that occasionally happens when you are driving and a piece of music comes on the radio that is so intense and exciting that you just have to pull over to give it your full attention? Well this almost happened to me, I’d actually just pulled up outside the house, but I still had to sit listening transfixed to the amazing song blasting out my speakers – turned out it was a live session on Radio 3′s In Tune show by Austrian early music group L’Arpeggiata, with their mad interpretation of a Salentese tarantella, a frantic dance supposed to be so intense it could cure victims of the bite of a tarantula. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard in ages, hence straight to the iPlayer to hear it again and straight onto Amazon to order their new album Mediterraneo, which I can’t wait for. Hope you find it exciting too…

Zaz – Le Long de la Route – Fintan: A couple of years ago Debby M. turned us on to Zaz and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Here’s an earworm hard to resist.

Lutricia McNeal – Ain’t That Just The Way – severin: Originally a hit for the Playboy model (and star of the film “Hospital Massacre”) Barbi Benton. This is a far far better thing imho. It’s also an earworm if ever there was one. Lutricia Mcneal lives and records in Sweden these days. Barbi Benton doesn’t.

Maria de Lourdes – Huapango Torero – goneforeign: She’s a wonderful young Mexican woman singing traditional songs in their regional styles. This is from an album ‘La Cancion de Mexicana’ with mariachi vargas de tecalitlan.

Four Tet – Angel Echoes – magicman: from the shimmering beauty of his 2010 album “There Is Love In You”, Keiran Hebden’s opening track.

Earworms 28 October 2013

Some atmospheric and possibly creepy songs for you this week, with a “Compare and Contrast” example from Blue Peter. Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate such things – for those who don’t, lock the door and eat the treats yourself. And keep the worms crawling to earworm@tincanland.com.

D.I.L.E – Garstang – wilemena: Not surprising that a group from Hyde in Manchester – the town that spawned Hindley and Brady, and the place where Dr Shipman had his practice – would find sinister things going on in the sleepy Lancashire market town of Garstang. For example, did you know that Tupac Shakur was born and killed in Garstang, and is buried next to George Formby in Garstang Cemetery? You do now.

Nina Simone – Don’t let me be misunderstood – goneforeign: This song popped up recently on my iPod and I realized that even though I’d had the album going on 40 odd years the lyrics had never really registered with me. Long time Spillers might remember a post I did some years ago that related to an interaction ‘twixt Nina and myself when she was very confrontational. When I listened to the lyrics I thought that she must have written them, they fit her perfectly, but Wiki tells me that it was written specifically for her, presumably by someone familiar with her temper.

Teitur – The Singer – tincanman: The words are disarmingly confessional, but it’s burlesque. He reveals all, but shows nothing.

Laurie Anderson – O Superman – AliMunday: This is from a live album recorded in New York in September 2001, shortly after “9/11”. The sleeve notes say: “singing lines … like Here come the planes … felt like I had written it yesterday. In fact, I wrote that song in 1980 during the Iran-Contra affair … this war was still going on …” You can sense the atmosphere.

Cream – Sunshine of Your Love and Mother’s Lament – BluePeter: The 1967 album ‘Disraeli Gears’ had Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker together as one of the first supergroups. Most of the tracks on the album have become classics and the playing performances of the trio are legendary. “Sunshine of Your Love” is a prime example of the powerful sound they could produce. They obviously had some spare capacity at the end of the recording session and plonked a “Traditional” song on as a filler. Why on earth they chose “Mother’s Lament” remains a mystery to me to this day. It is also sung in a style that is nowhere near the image they had created for themselves.