Earworms 31 August 2015


Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, and what better day for YoungMunday to be celebrating his thirteenth birthday? We have an extra earworm by way of celebration, chosen by the teenager himself, and very lovely it is too. Happy Birthday our kid! Nepotism aside, here’s a great laid-back selection for you this week, and a very welcome return by Toffeeboy. Thanks to all for the worms, and please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Bob James – Westchester Lady – glasshalfemptee: Jazz purists probably hate ‘smooth jazz’ but there is a time and a place for everything. Here we have a prime exponent, keyboardist Bob James. He has proper credentials in bop with Quincy Jones before committing the ultimate sin of commercial success. I disapprove of the song title – I can hear my mother now, saying “She’s a woman, Paul – a lady is the wife of a Lord”. But I approve of the earwormy riff.

Aztec Camera – Let Your Love Decide – toffeeboy: One of the joys of my Scottish escapade has been the discovery of new music by bands that I’d somehow failed to explore – but equally, the discovery of music by bands that I’ve loved for years has sometimes set my pulse racing. This track, from Aztec Camera’s largely-forgotten fifth album, Dreamland, is a case in point. It’s almost too beautiful to bear…

Gabby Young and Other Animals – We’re All In This Together – severin: She has a lovely voice, she supported K*tz*nj*mm*r at the Scala and this is one of her best songs. That’s it really.

Joan Baez – One too Many Mornings – goneforeign: From Joani’s ‘Any Day Now’ album. Sept 1968, Gold album! That made my guilt at buying Dylan’s songs by an intruder tolerable, But I simultaneously loved Joani as much as Bob, so I had to have the album. I loved it and played it to death, particularly ‘Sad-Eyed lady’. So they all became ‘Earworms’ ’til this day.

Milk and Bone – Pressure – YoungMunday: Milk and Bone are a duo from French-speaking Canada. This track is from their 2015 debut EP “Little Mourning” which you can read about here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/15/new-band-of-the-week-milk-bone-no-53 (it’s very earwormy).

Ryan Bingham – Nobody Knows My Trouble – deanofromoz: Ryan Bingham won the Oscar for best song for his contribution to the movie Crazy Heart. His “Mescalito” album is really great. My CD purchasing habits have moved from brand new stuff to rummaging through second hand cheapie bins, but I recently had a discount coupon for a store, so was able to buy up some that I had wanted to get, so I picked up Bingham’s “Fear and Saturday Night” album. This is the opener, and the real highlight on what is a really solid album, better than his “Junky Star” album in my opinion, although probably just a little behind “Mescalito.” I love the songwriting here, you can just tell it’s a very personal tale, but he doesn’t give much away, and that aura of mystery really makes the track.

Brad Paisley – Cluster Pluck – RaviRaman: Here’s a catchy tune that has earworm written all over it. Cluster Pluck by Brad Paisley featuring Vince Gill, Albert Lee and James Burton.

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Earworms 24 August 2015


A varied and very-difficult-to-spell-correctly selection for you today. Next week, songs by Fred Jones. Hope you enjoy, many thanks for the contributions and please keep sending your spare earworms to earworm@tincanland.com. Happy listening.

Kadri Gopalnath – Kanne Kalaimane – Ravi Raman: This is a song called Kanne Kalaimane by a classically trained musician – Kadri Gopalnath. He pioneered the use of the saxophone in Carnatic music. I’m kidded for liking this by highbrow types coz this is a film tune composed by Ilyaraja. Kadri himself plays this album down while secretly admitting to an extreme fondness for it, and one that I share.

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole – ʻUlili E – deanofromoz: Some Hawaiian folk music, just Israel’s vocals and the ukulele. I picked up a compilation album of his, because his brilliant cover of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (if you haven’t heard it, look it up) has been getting a lot of airplay over here, particularly on the easy listening station that I tend to listen to of a morning. I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the best of. I was hoping for ukulele music, but a lot of the tracks had orchestral backing which I didn’t think quite worked for me (maybe I was just looking for cliched Hawaiian sounds, I don’t know), but this track sort of fitted with what I was hoping to get … it’s quite lovely. I think its about a bird, but I might be wrong.

Jocelyn Pook – Upon This Rock – AliM: As far as I can work out this amazing song is a fusion of ancient Persian poem and classical orchestra. Jocelyn Pook is a film music composer (e.g. Eyes Wide Shut) who also works for TV and dance (e.g. the National Ballet at Glastonbury, a couple of years ago). She has worked with the Communards, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Laurie Anderson and others. Why have I never heard of her before?

Anna von Hausswolff – Move On – Fuel: Anna Michaela Ebba Electra von Hausswolff is a Swedish singer, songwriter and pianist. This is from her debut album, “Singing from the Grave” (2010).

King Crimson – Sleepless (dance mix) – CaroleBristol: Back in 1984, King Crimson had a strange thing happen, they had a dance-floor hit (for about five minutes) with Sleepless, a track from their ‘Three of a Perfect Pair’ album. There are several remix versions of the song around, this one is by François Kevorkian, a French DJ who started out on the New York underground club scene, later worked at Studio 54 and was one of the pioneers of House music. Anyway, the bass line by Tony Levin is all kinds of brilliant.

Herbie Hancock – Rockit – severin: Written by Herbie and Bill Laswell and released as a single in 1983. I only own an MP3 of this because I ordered the “Best of…” album from Amazon for somebody else several years ago. Some time afterwards the digital version appeared on my computer. It’s magic I tell you. Probably over-familiar to many but it was entirely new to me and I liked.

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Earworms 17 August 2015


Another mixture for you. Can anyone tell me what the guitar in the Lijadu Sisters track reminds me of? The Claude Francois reminds me of “Going Back to my Roots” or “I’m Moving Up”, both of which I have been humming tunelessly all week. Anyway, thanks to all and please keep sending your stray earworms to earworm@tincanland.com. Have fun.

Odetta – Pastures of Plenty – goneforeign: Another by Woody Guthrie, written in the 40’s and describing the travails and dignity of migrant workers in North America, we still have migrant workers and not much has changed. Recorded here by Odetta, the voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

Tyler Farr – A Guy Walks into a Bar – Ravi Raman: I caught this song quite by accident. I first thought it was a novelty number. Pleasantly surprised.

Tobias Jesso – How Could You Babe – glasshalfempty: Male singer songwriters seem ten a penny at present. Tobias Jesso makes it eleven a penny. Plinkety plonk piano – check. Slightly falsetto voice – check. American accent – check. Inane lyrics – check. So, good pop then? You decide. Here he is channelling Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

The Lijadu Sisters – Danger – Fuel: Of all the songs I forgot to nominate on RR, this is the song I regret most.

Claude Francois – Alexandrie Alexandra (live) – abahachi: People who hate disco will hate this, so I’d suggest just skipping the track altogether. Anyone who likes or loves disco may be intrigued by the idea of a slice of late 70s French disco-funk by the co-writer of the song on which ‘My Way’ was based, posthumously released after he was tragically electrocuted when he tried to straighten a light fitting while in the shower…

Cookie Crew – Got to Keep On – severin: British girl rappers from 1989. They made quite a splash at the time but disappeared from the scene around 1992 when their record company wanted them to record more “pop oriented” material. They didn’t want to go down that road and quit recording altogether.

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

Earworms 10 August 2015


I am indebted to Ravi this week for choosing one of my favourite artists and one of my favourite songs (not that I’m biased, you understand). Hope you enjoy this laid back selection, which should take you wafting gently into the new week. Many thanks to all, and please keep sending your worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Richard and Linda Thompson – Hokey Pokey – severin: A sexy folk song about ice cream. I think. From the album after I want to See the Bright Lights Tonight and sometimes overshadowed by it. Whenever I do play this one it’s an instant earworm so …

Rory Gallagher – Barley and Grape Rag – Ravi Raman: One of the regularly overlooked guitarists. Rory Gallagher’s Barley and Grape Rag.

Ibeyi – Stranger/Lover – Fuel: Ibeyi are French/Cuban twin sisters who sing in English and Yoruba. They look, and sound, very beautiful and have an impressive musical pedigree. “Ibeyi” means “twins” in the Yoruba language. (Ed.)

Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Berlin – abahachi: My discovery, courtesy of MrStepAbahachi, from Minimalism week. Piano. Electronic effects. Nothing in excess.

Malouma – Char’aa – goneforeign: Malouma is from Mauritania, she grew up in the rural Trarza region of South West Mauritania, that long strip between the Sahara and the Atlantic. Malouma is also known as a militant singer, a spokeswoman for women’s rights in a Muslim Country. In 2007 she became one of Mauritania’s senators. She writes her own songs and sings in Hassania – Mauritanian Arabic.

Pure Phase Ensemble 4 – Morning Rise – AliM: An interesting new promo from their new album, Live at Spacefest – PPE4 is a project involving Mark Gardener of RIDE, Ray Dickaty (ex Spiritualized) and a group of musicians from Poland’s top indie groups.

Image courtesy of 123.rf.com

Earworms 3 August 2015


We start off with some “doom jazz” for you today, a completely new genre for me. I love it, it’s like Bladerunner meets Trueblood where Rick Deckard gets it on, very slowly, with Sookie Stackhouse, or perhaps Eric Northman seduces Roy Batty and / or Sean Young. Fabulous. Anyway, that’s enough of that. Many thanks for your top-ups to the worm bank and please keep sending them in to earworm@tincanland.com Here we go:

Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Komm zurück zu mir – abahachi: Whatever Colin Powell says, Thucydides never actually wrote that “Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most.” But if he had done, he could have been describing the magnificent oeuvre of this German doom jazz group, in which not much happens very slowly but extremely atmospherically. Most of you are going to hate this…

FKA Twigs – Lights On – severin: FKA Twigs was so critically acclaimed last year I think there was a bit of suspicion about whether the music merited it. I think it did and made Two Weeks one of my three tracks of the year. Nominated this track for R/R songs about danger. Totally off topic and unsuccessful of course. Still I think it’s earwormy enough for this column.

DELS (feat. Rosie Lowe) – Burning Beaches – Fuel: DELS is Kieren Gallear, a rapper, recording artsist, graphics designer and filmmaker from Ipswich in Suffolk. John Peel gave him an early break on Radio 1 and he never looked back. This is from his second album, Petals have Fallen. (Ed.)

Sleaford Mods – Face To Faces – tincanman: Brits still have lots to rant about – or perhaps even more – so cheers to London duo Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn for picking up the torch lit by Ian Dury, The Streets et al. From their latest, Key Markets.

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey – Miliki Ojeje – glasshalfempty: I love the juju-highlife fusion of the wonderfully named Nigerian musician Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. He’s been around forever, and I was very pleased to get him A-listed a while back (Austerity).

Franco and Sam Mangwana – Co-operation – goneforeign: I usually don’t submit songs much beyond about 4-5 mins. to Earworms. But with this one I had no choice: 9 + minutes of the most amazing Zairian music ever, a perfect example of Congolese Soukous from the 1980’s. It’s with Franco’s group, OK Jazz. OK Jazz originally meant ‘Tout Puissant Orchestre Kinshasa” (or “All-powerful Kinshasa Orchestra”), it was Franco’s band in Zaire from June 1956 until December 1993.

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Earworms 27 July 2015


A warm welcome to Ravi this week, who has boxed some Stevie Ray Vaughn for your enjoyment. Meanwhile, amongst the new music promos there’s a plug for the three volume “Rock Back for Nepal” in which around 60 artists from different genres and countries have joined forces to raise funds for the Nepal relief efforts. I’m not qualified to review it but what I’ve heard sounds interesting, and it’s for a good cause, all money raised will go towards helping the earthquake victims: https://pateticorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/rock-back-for-nepal-vol-1. Meanwhile, please keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Thanks!

Natalie Prass – My Baby Doesn’t Understand Me – Fuel: Natalie Prass is an American singer-songwriter from Virginia. This is from her debut album, released through Spacebomb and Columbia records. (Ed.)

Penguin Café – Black Hibiscus – glasshalfempty: I recently had the great pleasure of seeing Penguin Cafe, and this was a super number when played live, with it’s blend of Mexican and Chopin! This keeps up the high standard of quirkiness set by the current bandleader’s dad, Simon Jeffes, who founded and led the Penguin Cafe Orchestra before his untimely death at 49.

Decemberists – The Singer Addresses His Audience …tincanman – The band’s latest collection of mighty fine songs includes this follow up to I Was Meant For The Stage. It’s a tribute to their fa…yes, I know what sarcasm is. In theory. Why do you ask?

The Cadillac Three – Peace, Love And Dixie – DsD: From this month’s Classic Rock covermount CD, this is so redolent of the American South that I can almost taste the bourbon and smell the chicken frying through my speakers. Makes me want to grab the first flight over there. Holler if you’re with me!

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Positive Vibration – goneforeign: If you never had the pleasure of going to a BMW concert here’s a taste, Bob at the Hollywood Roxy in 1976, of course I was there, I’m about 10ft in front of him, if you listen carefully you’ll recognize my dulcet tones doing the screaming. Absolutely the BEST musical performance I ever attended and there were literally hundreds!

Department M – Bleak Technique – AliM: Another music promo, this is from Leeds duo Department M., a stripped back version of their new single to be released on 7 August (performed by Owen Brinley). They are playing in Manchester on 5 August, Leeds on 6 August and a free-entry London gig on 10 October. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXiphR7mWRk&feature=youtu.be

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Earworms 20 July 2015


I couldn’t resist Tiger Eyes this week, it’s what my sister-in-law used to call my brother. He certainly has unusually amber eyes, and quite a bit of facial hair, though (disappointingly) no stripes. I digress, as usual. Here’s this week’s splendid selection for you. Many thanks to all and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Grrr!

Vintage Trouble: Another Man’s Words (acoustic version) – DsD: I’m currently obsessed with VT’s 2011 debut album, having discovered it after reading a feature on them ahead of next month’s release of their new LP. Two Christmasses in one summer! Here’s a stripped back version of AMW, so you can take in their quality at a more leisurely pace.

The Staves – Black & White – DebbyM: There’s currently an ad campaign over here where all the billboards at the station are pasted over with squares of black and white. I think of this song every time I’m waiting for the train!

Bop English – Trying – Fuel: Bop English is in fact a Texan called James Petralli, who leads a band called “White Denim”. Read all about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/12/bop-english-constant-bop-review-deliriously-easy-to-listen-to. His voice reminds me of Gerry Rafferty (Ed.)

Peaking Lights – Tiger Eyes – glassarfemptee: I am not the only Peaking Lights fan in these parts, but we have never got Aaron & Indra into the Marconium. Here’s a lovely piece of the duo’s ethereal stoner loveliness from deepest Wisconsin. And judging by their occasional mix tapes, their record collection is to die for.

Steve Earle & The Dukes – The Tennessee Kid – tincanman: Steve takes on the blues with his latest album, Terraplane, including this paean to the Faustian myth of Robert Johnson’s Crossroads.

Country Joe McDonald – The Ballad of Tom Joad – goneforeign: If you haven’t read “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, you should. It’s a great novel that accurately describes the conditions of working people in the US during the great depression; in addition to the depression there was also a drought similar to what we’re having now, in fact it all seems so real and the conditions described all still exist. Woody Guthrie took the story and made it into this song, what’s amazing is that he hit every major storyline detail in such a short piece. Country Joe of the ‘Fish’ does it right.

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