Earworms 2 March 2015


I know I had a birthday last week but the senior moments are catching up with me. Since then, I’ve melted a box of chocolates, poured orange juice in my tea and trodden on the cat while upsetting more orange juice down the wall and into the plug socket. Perhaps I need more sleep – (pause for “corniest link of the year” award) – or less orange juice. Anyway, more goodies for you, enjoy and keep sending the worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Thank you!

Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra – Insomniac – glasshalfemptee: Toffeeboy’s wonderful survey of Scottish pop has reminded me of Kenny Anderson’s previous band Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra. I recently saw him in his King Creosote incarnation, and wanted to share this genuine earworm. Ironically, this track is actually quite soporific, despite the title.

The Barr Brothers – Come in the Water – CaroleBristol: A group new to me but who are getting a fair amount of airplay on BBC6Music. I love the sumptuous vocals here, it has a blue-eyed soul feel, especially in the chorus, that reminds me of early Hall and Oates a lot and there is a nice restrained guitar break at the end which gives me goose pimples when the voice comes in over the top.

Nenad Rajčević – Neću Da Me Lažeš Mila – Sweethomealabama: Okay, I don’t know a word of Bosnian, and I can’t find a lyrics sheet, so this song could be about a lost dog for all I know. What I do know is it’s a great slow burning, soulful waltz that I found on a crate digging blog and I can’t get enough of it.

Pixies – Velouria – bethnoir: I heard this used in a TV programme the other day and it reminded me that whereas I was never the hugest Pixies fans, they had some wonderful pop moments.

Hard Fi – Feltham is Singing Out – deanofromoz: So, the place where I buy my discount second hand CD’s sell them for $5 each, or 4 for $10, so often I find two things I like, and then might as well make up the numbers with something else that I am less sure on. So based on that, I thought I would give the album Stars of CCTV by Hard-Fi a go. Still haven’t listened to it yet, but I am already familiar with this track, Feltham is Singing Out. Its a powerful, all too believable, but depressing tale of how someone descends from party animal, to recreational drug user to addict, to criminal, to prisoner and then ultimately suicide … yes, a nice cheery one for you. I will be interested to hear the rest of the album.

Scientist – Spacetime Continuum – goneforeign: From the 2000 CD ‘Scientist Dubs Culture Into a Parallel Universe’, anything related to Culture deserves a listen. I’m not the world’s biggest Dub fan unless it’s incorporated into a ‘real’ song, a-la BMW but I do have a soft spot for Scientist, AKA Hopeton Brown. He started off as an apprentice to the great King Tubby and went up from there. This is the DUB version of Culture’s excellent Roots Reggae release “Payday” and lists several friends in the credits.

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Earworms 23 February 2015


A collection that includes sex, bullying, photography, and doing it for oneself – hope it grabs your attention. Thanks to all contributors, and please keep those earworms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Have a good week!

Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman – Kinky Boots – CaroleBristol: This is unfortunately a genuine earworm that I’ve had since last Saturday. It came out in 1964 and was a novelty cash-in from The Avengers TV programme. It is performed by Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman, John Steed and Cathy Gale in the series. Sorry, but if I’ve got it, you’ll all have to have it too.

Kate Miller-Heidke – Caught in the Crowd – deanofromoz: Kate Miller-Heidke is an interesting musician. Classically trained, she has moved into a quirky pop type career. In some ways, you could say she is in the mould of a Kate Bush, or Tori Amos, but then again, she is completely different to that. And then, just to really throw you, the song I have chosen for you today doesn’t really have any of that in it at all, it is more a conventional pop song. What I really love about Caught in the Crowd though are the lyrics, which I find really quite powerful and interesting. Bullying is a pretty serious topic, and this is a really interesting, thought-provoking song.

The Box Ticked – Corbijn – tfd: A lot of the Box Ticked’s songs are about being in a band – usually they’re about being in the Box Ticked, but since there’s no band member called Charlie I guess this one’s about a fictional band having their picture taken for an album cover. They claim they do know how to pronounce Corbijn really.

Meschiya Lake & Little Big Horns – Do For Myself – tincanman: Jaunty bit of New Orleans jazz about, erm, doing for herself until she finds a man to love her. That middle eight seems extra long :)

CSS- Alala – bethnoir: It’s so catchy and cute, I still love it. Cansei de Ser Sexy are Brazillian and Lovefoxx the sweet lead singer is a blast live.

Gregory Isaacs – Once Ago – goneforeign: Gregory’s another Jamaican favorite, possibly the most popular singer after Bob and Dennis. He splits his time ‘twixt lovers rock and serious social comment, early on he was smart enough to form his own record label and shop so it all goes to him. It’s called African Museum. He worked with almost every producer in Jamaica plus most of the islands major groups.

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Earworms 16 February 2015


Some more great music for you this week, eclectic as ever. Thanks for all the contributions and I hope you will join me in a collective ‘Spill hug for DsD. May this get the week off to a good start, and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Elbow – One Day Like This – tfd: My second favourite local band, Kobold, is mostly a covers band these days, unfortunately – but some of the songs they choose are just lovely. In fact, not being a fan of orchestral backing to rock songs, I prefer Kobold’s version of this but they haven’t recorded it so you’ll just have to listen to Elbow.

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Four Flights Up – deanofromoz: Ok, I have come to the party late with Lloyd Cole, and I realise that he is probably well known to most of you already, but a new discovery for me, recommended by several people. I was pleased to find the album Rattlesnakes in a discount bin that I was rummaging through just before Christmas (yes, you might have noticed a trend, that is pretty much the only way I get music these days). Really enjoying the album and here is something from it.

Wire – Outdoor Miner – bethnoir: I sort of missed out on Wire at the time, but their songs sound kind of perfect to me, little gems, all different and cool. Catchy too.

Lucero – Drink ‘Til We’re Gone – DsD:

“Life is short, despite all y’plans
So tell the girls they’re pretty while you can
‘Cause one day they’re gone
And all you got left’s
Some empty bottles and an old country song”

This song is one of a few I have on a short loop at the moment. As ever, Ben Nichols can nail heartache with surgical precision. I will get back to you all, my friends, but it’s still too hard at the moment. As soon as I sit at my PC of an evening long enough to start thinking …

Don Covay – It’s Better To Have (And Don’t Need) – CaroleBristol: This was a 1974 single by Don Covay, who is possibly not as well-known as he should be. Although he had hits in the 1960s, he is probably more famous as a songwriter than a performer – he wrote “Chain Of Fools” and “See Saw” which were hits for Aretha Franklin and his songs were covered by everyone from The Rolling Stones to Steppenwolf. Anyway, he died on January 30th at the age of 76. This song was played all the time in a pub I used to go to in East London, where I lived when I was 18.

Salif Keita – Tekere – goneforeign: From his 1995 album Folon. Recorded in Mali, Tekere means ‘clap your hands’, it’s a song about jealousy, about how too much jealousy is easily turned into maliciousness.

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Earworms 9 February 2015


Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, so I hope this gets you in the mood. Appropriately, our dog is in heat, she keeps jumping up to look out of the window, I’m sure she’d shout “Anyone fancy a shag?” if she could, but fortunately it comes out as “Woof”. Enjoy your week, and keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Love and mushiness from Ali. xx

F.S.K.- My Funny Valentine – Shoegazer: Valentine from the unexpected covers series.

Kate Rusby – The Playing of Ball – AliM: “The course of true love never did run smooth”, especially for poor old Willie.

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Is This Love – goneforeign: Bob’s best known love song, My favorite version is from the video of Bob at a children’s birthday party in Islington, London in 1978, If you haven’t seen it, it’s beautiful, check youtube.

The Gourds – Valentine – tfd: Max Johnston, Gourds fiddle player and brother of Michelle Shocked, goes to squeeze his Valentine. Awww.

ABC – Valentine’s Day – deanofromoz: ABC’s album The Lexicon of Love is probably a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I like this album way more than I would have expected to, but I do think that its well crafted new wave pop done quite well. It certainly shows its era, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it has aged.  Valentine’s Day is from this album.

Ash – Angel Interceptor – bethnoir: The sweet voice of Tim Wheeler gets stuck in my head terribly whenever I hear this. From 1995 and full of energy and youth.

Pearl and the Beard – You – DebbyM:  I just received this from one of my favourite bands, Pearl and the Beard. It’s a preview (prehear?) of a new track – not their typical sound as known to me, but I think its retro feel might grow on me! – and I can’t see a way to download it… but I thought the platform it’s on might be interesting. Probably it’ll turn out that I’m the last person in the (Spill) world to have heard of it … https://soundcloud.com/pearlandthebeard-1/pearl-and-the-beard-you

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Earworms 2 February 2015


And suddenly I woke up and it was freezing February. Not sure where jaded January went, but no matter, because here is a fresh batch of worms for your delight. Please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com, and if you’re feeling cheesy, feel free to send some with a (pro- or anti-) Valentine’s Day theme (for publication on February 9th).

C W Stoneking – Seven Nation Army – deanofromoz: C W Stoneking is an Australian of American descent who sings the blues, in a really old style. If it wasn’t for the quality of the recordings, I could probably fool you into thinking it is almost 100 years old. On this one, another from the “Like a Version” series, he puts a new spin on the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

The Mighty Diamonds – Reggae Street – goneforeign: The Diamonds are possibly my favorite reggae group, I got my start shooting for record labels with them. Their record company must have seen some of my work and they contacted me to see if I had anything they could use on an upcoming LP; of course I did, they used two. And that got me started, thereafter I sent proof sheets of examples to all the record labels and magazines. I wouldn’t say that the money flowed in but it at least covered my expenses, I always knew that I could redeem my plane fares and shooting expenses plus I got a lot of backstage access. I should do a playlist of my favorite Diamonds here, great vocal trio plus they always had the best backup.

The Unthanks – Starless – CaroleBristol: I’ve only recently really been getting into The Unthanks in any depth, late to the feast, as usual, and I am enjoying their music a lot the more I get to know it. This is a real curiosity, a cover of a 1970s King Crimson classic given a hugely sensitive and rather magical overhaul and interpretation. It is from their album “Last”. I find it spectacularly beautiful.

Nicoletta: Il Est Mort, Le Soleil – abahachi: One does hear some fascinating, unexpected things on French radio – not just the traffic reports, which regularly involve some most curious objects blocking one lane of the A26 (on just one trip, a wild boar, a sack of coal and a portaloo), but also some of the music. I know nothing about this song except that it is quite gloriously over the top in every possible way…

Micah Schnabel – In Pacific Time – LeaveitAllbehind: Tinny introduced me to Micah as the lead singer of Two Cow Garage; very reminiscent of Gaslight Anthem (Brian Fallon) vocally. Here’s a solo effort In Pacific Time telling the story of someone living in Ohio but longing to leave for the west coast.

Cream – Anyone For Tennis – bethnoir: Wouldn’t that be nice? One of their lighter ditties.

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Earworms 26 January 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Earworms 19 January 2015



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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