Earworms 23 November 2015


Monday again, and another unclassifiable selection of great music for you. I hope everyone is okay out there; best wishes to Ravi who is off on his travels shortly. Thanks to all for the earworms and please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

C S Jayaraman – Kaa Kaa Kaa – Ravi Raman: You know how a crow seems to call others when it spots food? This song is ostensibly about that but takes a hefty swipe at the inability of humans to share and help each other. Sung by C S Jayaraman, who went against the grain in so many ways. Unconventional voice, very humble beginnings and insistence on mentoring others with leftist leanings … He made it big as did many of his protégés. I’m off to Muscat till January, so am not sure if I’ll be contributing any more this year. I’ll sure be listening though. Earworms has been one of my best finds this year. Cheers all and thanks for all the lovely music.

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Rich Woman – glasshalfempty: A recent sampler CD from Rounder records, celebrating their 45th anniversary (download from Rounder.Com) had this gem from the acclaimed 2007 album ‘Raising Sand’ by the unlikely pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Paragons – On The Beach – tincanman: Listening to 60’s Jamaican vocal group The Paragons (The Tide Is High) is a lot like listening to Northern Soul; the songs sound familiar but you can’t decide if it’s a cover or an overlooked treasure.

M’Bilia Bel – Mmae Ta Vi – goneforeign: We’ve had M’Bilia Bel here before, this one’s a change for her, I don’t have any others where she sounds like this. She’s with Tabu Ley Rochereau here which was not uncommon. A very different Soukous sound.

Pablo Lubadika Porthos – Madeleina – CaroleBristol: While I was digging out the Gun Club earworm, I took the opportunity to revisit the rest of the NME mixtapes I’ve got. I know nothing at all about Pablo Lubadika Porthos but this track “Madeleina” is a nice jolly toe-tapper with some rather nice horns punctuating the soukous guitar riff.

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real – A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop – tincanman: Anger at big business inspires some catchy and crunchy guitar from Neil and Willie’s son Lukas Nelson (the band is his). The lyrics are either forthright or trite, depending on your world view, and the video https://goo.gl/cWwnu0 is Neil at his confounding best – having a laugh, firing darts. From his latest, “The Monsanto Years”.

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Earworms 16 November 2015


In a weekend of bad news and bad weather, here are six reasons to be cheerful. “It’s Monday / Slither down the greasy pipe / So far, so good no one saw you /Hobble over any freeway / You will be like your dreams tonight …” Thanks to all for the contributions, and please keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. BTW, we’ve used up 86% of our 13.0GB free upload limit; if there’s anyone out there who feels like deleting some of their elderly uploaded .mp3 files, that might make a bit of space (but don’t delete the pictures as it makes the blog look weird).

Albert Collins – Frosty – Ravi Raman: Albert Collins, one of the great electric blues guitarists, used to have a long lead cable to help him wander around and interact with his audience. One story goes he went playing to a store next door and bought candy, playing all the time! He’s even supposed to have ordered pizza midway through a song! I’ve included a YT link showcasing his outrageous skills. Even genius should have some limits right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr5-9UImcTE

Gun Club – Ghost on the Highway – CaroleBristol: I was listening to BBC 6Music a week or so ago and this popped up on one of the Sunday afternoon programmes. It is “Ghost On The Highway” by the Gun Club, the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s band. I knew that I had it somewhere, but it nagged around in my head until I realised where. It was on one of the NME’s compilation tapes from the early 1980s. Luckily I found a website a few years back from where you could “acquire” them. So, here it is.

David Bowie – Joe The Lion – Albahooky: Here’s another one that came after watching Lynn Barber’s Artsnight on BBC2 about risk, which had a sample of the intro of this tune as background music and had me listening to ‘Heroes’ for the following week.

Thunderbitch – Closer – glasshalfempty: Not content with an Alabama Shakes album released earlier this year, Brittany Howard has a solo side project, Thunderbitch, that has spawned an album with this dark pounding track ‘Closer’. One of the band members is ThunderMitch. Wonder if he’s the bassist?

Otis Williams – Unchain My Heart – tincanman: Bobby Sharp wrote this in a desperate plea for release from drug addiction, not about puppy love. It was sanitized by Otis in 1960 and even further by Ray Charles in 1961, but no one loves a woman as much as an addict loves his drug. Listening again knowing it’s origins, God bless the Mad Englishman Joe Cocker for binning the doo wop 26 years later.

Johnny Hartman – Dedicated to You – goneforeign: Here’s one from another era, remember Sinatra and all that jazz? This is a guy who very few listened to back then but those that did thought he put Sinatra in the shade; his name is Johnny Hartman. And if I quizzed you and asked ‘who do you think the pianist is?’ Would you ever guess McCoy Tyner? How many would guess Coltrane as the tenor player? ‘Tis true, Coltrane and his quartet held Johnny Hartman in such esteem as a fellow artist that they volunteered to perform with him as did many other jazz artists. This is from the 1963 Impulse album ‘John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman’.

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Earworms 9 November 2015


Another unclassifiable selection for you this morning, compiled on an unclassifiable evening with Young Munday playing Christmas music – YM:”Sounds like “tumblewear””. Old Munday: “What’s that?” YM:(Sniggers). OM (threateningly): ” I’ll google it … leotards??” YM: “Yeah, she’s singing “no wear” or summat …” OM: “I think it’s NOEL …” meanwhile the dog breaks wind gently but effectively as if making a silent protest against playing Christmas songs in November. On that note, thanks for all the music and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Joy Division – Colony – Albahooky: OK, this is a real earworm as opposed to the fabricated ones. It starts with Bernie’s guitar popping like a bubble on the surface in my napper and then comes the voice …

Ana Popovic – Sitting on Top of the World (Sheiks cover) – tincanman: Can a Serbian play the blues? Can a woman shred? Believe it. Ana is an oft-overlooked blueswoman who grew up with Stevie Ray and Ronnie Earle, then added jazz guitar, New Orleans soul and Serbian folk to the mix. This is from “Comfort to the Soul”, a great blues album.

Mark Lanegan Band – No Bells On Sunday – DsD: Too wired to sleep on the Thursday evening of RR Organ songs, I was random-searching my music collection and tried this.  Obviously I realised/was reminded that it’s plain ol’ keyboard rather than an organ, but I ended up abandoning my RResearch, played this five times straight, then took myself directly to bed.

Bembeya Jazz – Wouloukoro – goneforeign: In the aftermath of the Guinean Independence in 1958 and through the cultural policy of “authenticité”, which encouraged cultural pride, numerous bands were created throughout the regions of Guinea. Guinea’s President, Ahmed Sékou Touré, disbanded all private dance orchestras and replaced them with state-supported groups, such as Keletigui Et Ses Tambourinis and Balla et ses Balladins. The most popular was Bembeya Jazz National, formed in 1961.

Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker – Land of plenty – glasshalfempty: Chicago based guitarists Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker have recently released a wonderful instrumental album. I really like the raga-like ‘Land of Plenty’. Mesmeric.

N.Ramani – Bagayenayya – Ravi Raman: This is by a man who started an academy that has nurtured hundreds of musicians. The composer too is a man of note, Thyagaraja, one of the Trinity of Carnatic music. The tala or beat structure is called Aadi or primary.

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Earworms 1 November 2015


Earworms is back to normal this week, I’m not even going to mention fireworks … but hope you all have a good time and find some light to brighten the darkness. We are overwhelmed with autumn colour and beauty in my neck of the woods, it’s unseasonably warm, too. I wish we could kind of absorb all the colour and warmth to get us through the dark winter months. Many thanks to all contributors for another splendid set of worms, and please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Raghuvamsa Sudha Kadanakuthuhalam (Aadi – Patnam Subrahmania Iyer) – Ravi Raman: U Srinivas was a child prodigy who started performing publicly at age 7 and by his early teens was named Musician Laureate of my state. He was innovative in many ways, not least in using an electrified mandolin for playing Carnatic music, unheard of until then. Raghuvamsa is a Carnatic standard and has been played by many musicians, including Shakti who reworked it as “Come On Baby Dance With Me”.

Chilly Gonzales – Advantage Points – tincanman: The chameleon-like Canadian genius/egotistic asshole wrote this with Wimbledon 1980 in mind and it is dedicated to John McEnroe (who Borg beat in the final). It combines, according to one critic, Stravinsky-like strings with the melodrama of Hall & Oates. It’s from his latest, Chambers, for string quarter and piano.

Sandra Carrasco – Hojas de Otono – abahachi: Obviously there is never an unwelcome cover of ‘Autumn Leaves’, especially one in Spanish, and sung by the wonderful Sandra Carrasco – who has clearly been listening to my prayers, and become steadily more ‘jazz’ since Maki introduced me to her music …

Astor Piazzolla – Leonora’s song – goneforeign: Long time since we had any Tango so I thought a taste from The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango Apasionado) would be nice. I chose Leonora’s song for it’s simplicity and that it incorporates all the Tango elements.

Mercury Rev – Rainy Day Record – Fuel: Sometimes you hear a new record that’s perfect for an RR topic that has been done. Here’s Mercury Rev with Rainy Day Record, which references lots of other bands and songs. From the same album Are You Ready name-checks The Rascals, The Pretty Things and psychedelic blue-eyed soul.

The Scott4 Free Rock Orchestra – I Am Mental – DsD: I rediscovered this album recently. It was sent to me in error as an online order some years back. It would’ve cost more to return than to re-order the album that should’ve come, so I kept it. Ignore the title; it’s chill-out, not chilling!

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Earworms 26 October 2015

14250271_s A small but perfectly formed selection of spooky tracks for you, save them up for Halloween next Saturday. Many thanks to everybody as usual and don’t forget to keep those earworms coming to earworm@tincanland.com (normal service will resume next week).

Bohren & Der Club of Gore- Skeletal Remains – abahachi: Given that their chosen genre is Doom Jazz, you might expect this lot to have some suitable songs for Halloween, and so it proves: their Black Earth album is full of cheery numbers like ‘Maximum Black, ‘Constant Fear’ and ‘The Art of Coffins’. This, I think, is the spookiest, with some nice atonal stuff that reminds me faintly of Krzysztof Komeda…

Blue Oyster Cult – (1) Godzilla and (2) Lips in the Hills – Ravi Raman: I’m sending two numbers for your Halloween playlist. Both hard rock and both kinda creepy. I really don’t know much about this tradition apart from what I’ve read. The first is obviously about Godzilla and the other is about vampiric love.

Jason Steel – Lycanthrope Stomp – AliM: I know very little about this folkie singer- songwriter but he apparently grew up in a northern ex-pit village, and somehow got into banjos, Nirvana, Leadbelly, Ann Briggs and other folkie influences. Here’s a song about werewolves. Kind of.

Michael Bloomfield – Blue Ghost Blues – glasshalfempty: Here’s my one for the pot (hubble, bubble).

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour – Scarecrow – AliM: Haunting song of a bride who died on the night before her wedding. Bummer.

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Earworms 19 October 2015


 A very varied selection for you today, what a wonderful, cultured lot you are. Thanks as always for the contributions; don’t forget if you want to send in some Halloween worms, please do so by Sunday 25 October. The address for contributions is earworm@tincanland.com.

Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come – goneforeign: Delroy Wilson was popular in Jamaica during the Ska era, he had an ongoing series of Studio One hits throughout his career ’til booze did him in at age 46. In 1972 Michael Manley’s People’s National Party chose Wilson’s “Better Must Come” as their election campaign song, and of course they won. That was the year that there was also an attack on Bob’s life, also politics related.

Yellowman – Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt – tincanman: American youth lock arms and chant “Hell no, we won’t go” but Yellowman chose a slyer method of protest in Jamaica.

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free – DsD: Lordy, but I’m knackered! I seem to be doing nothing more than driving from [day]job to [sports]job to [taxi-the-kids]job to [day]job to … ad infinitum. This is my current theme tune:”And I don’t think on why I’m here or where it hurts, / I’m just lucky to have the work. / Sunday morning I’m too tired to go to church, / But I thank God for the work. / My back is numb, my hands are freezin’, / But the day will come when I’ll find a reason. / What I’m working for is something more than free”.

Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Moçambique – A Va Safy Va Lomo – goneforeign: This song has haunted me for years, it keeps recurring, it comes out of the blue – a real ear worm. I have it on two CD’s and neither has any information about it plus neither does Wiki or Google. All I can say is that it’s by Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique, a group we’ve played here before. One thing intrigues me, it’s unlike any other African music, it’s unique, just like the music of Cape Verde; the one thing that they share is their language, Portuguese, I wonder if that’s the key?

Chinnaponnu, Kailash Kher – Vethalai – Ravi Raman: This is a very old Tamil folk song where a village belle is acting coy telling her friends, I won’t go out of home, I won’t chew betel leaf (or vethalai) coz everyone will gossip about my love. In this modernised version Kailash Kher adds a Punjabi twist, saying if you won’t come out I’ll come to your home. From Coke Studio India – Season One.

Jon Gomm – The Weather Machine – AliM: One from the (many) new music promos received. Jon Gomm is an English singer-songwriter and gifted guitarist. This song is about the way Western politicians use crises in the Middle East as an excuse to sell weapons. It’s from his recent album “Live In The Acoustic Asylum”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kph8r0Rh6M8

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Earworms 12 October 2015


I had a strange day yesterday. Went to the book launch of a friend of a friend, in Pontefract. The book is a novel, the premise of which is that D H Lawrence’s wife wrote the erotic bits of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. It takes in Birmingham Council, the New Statesman’s lonely hearts column, Wolverhampton Wanderers and the ethics of car boot sales, amongst other things (sounds a bit Tom Sharpe-esque). I’m only on page 14 so far and I’m not quite sure what to expect. Anyway, here’s another unexpected selection of earworms – hope you like them, and please continue to send your worms to earworm@tincanland.com (Halloween ones by Sunday 25 October). Many thanks to all.

Royal Crown Revue – Hot Rod – Ravi Raman: I picked a couple of this band’s albums just over a week ago and have been listening to them almost everyday. I love the thrumming bass line in this instrumental, a drummer who knows when not to use the high-hat or snares and above all the two saxophones and a trumpet. I’ve also added one more song and asked Ali to box that as well – called Barflies at the Beach, which includes these memorable lines: Now the moral of this story/ There’s more to life than jazz and bars … really? Another admirer fondly calls this “Gangster Jazz”. Hope you all enjoy these.

Royal Crown Revue – Barflies at the Beach – Ravi Raman: (It seemed churlish to leave it out. (Ed.))

The Guess Who – American Woman – AliM: This popped up on shuffle the other day, I didn’t even know I had it. The Guess Who were a Canadian band, this was recorded in 1969 (although it sounds fresher to me). I love the guitar.

Iris DeMent – From an Airplane – tincanman: Austere, but passionate.  From the singer and pianist’s latest, The Trackless Woods, on which she set to music a collection of translated poems by Anna Akhmatova (Russian 1889-1966).

Alt J – Hunger of the Pine – Fuel: Alt J, also known as ∆ (from the Apple keyboard shortcut) are an indie band from Leeds. Apparently this song samples the words “I’m a female rebel” from Miley Cyrus‘s 2013 song “4×4“, but don’t let that put you off. (Ed.)

The Flamingos – I only have eyes for you – goneforeign: This song was recorded by the Flamingos in 1959, becoming one of their most popular hits; it was included in the film American Graffiti. There were many original versions which were also very popular on radio during the ’40’s & ’50’s.

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