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

Spillyear 2012

Cast your mind back to the bygone age of 2012.

It was a more innocent time back then. There were Liberal Democrats (remember them?) in the government. We celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee, not knowing she was a child Nazi. Instead of cowering in fear of plagues of marauding immigrants, we cheered on Mo Farah. Ah, those were the days…

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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

Remembering Jerry

All I know is something like a bird within him sang
All I know he sang a little while and then flew on

That’s how Phil Lesh sings Bird Song these days, changing the song’s subject from Janis Joplin, as originally written by Robert Hunter, to Jerry Garcia, who died 20 years ago today, having just turned 53 years old.

Hunter wrote the lyrics soon after Joplin’s much more premature, heroin-related death and they are little more than an amazed reflection on a mercurial talent – a more articulate version of ‘Wow, man, she sure could sing!’ Their application to Garcia’s playing (and, to a lesser extent, singing) is entirely appropriate.

Look and listen:

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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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