Earworms 16 March 2015

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 I never know what to expect from Earworms, and today is no exception. Goneforeign’s contribution seemed an apt choice this week as the Sharpeville Massacre occurred on 21 March 1960, so we’re nearly at the 55th anniversary. Ian Dury kinda fits. The Precinct of Sound and Blacks/Radio are tenuously related as are The Furs’ A-bomb hairdo and the Cure’s Grinding Halt. And Neil Finn is just class. Enjoy! And keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com. Thank you.

The Cure – Grinding Halt – severin: I was reminiscing on Facebook recently about how obsessed I was with The Cure in 1979. I think I saw them four of five times that year before their first album was even out. Bought it on release, played the thing to death, then didn’t buy any of their subsequent recordings (apart from Love Cats) until around 2010 when I started the long process of catching up. Loads of great music since those days, of course, but this still sounds as startling to me as it did 36 years ago.

Ian Dury – Blackmail Man – tincanman: Ridiculing racists (how timely is this for British politics?) by assuming the role of a black male, man. Chocked full of rhyming slang that would make a fishwife blush.

The Psychedelic Furs – Blacks/Radio – AlBahooky: A band I’d forgotten about for many years, probably ’cause they were a kind of VU/Bowie-lite, BUT I am still partial to the 1st eponymous LP which this tune is taken from and was strangely omitted from the US version.

Dub Syndicate and Andy Farley – The Precinct of Sound – shoegazer: Another from the Dubtronica series.

The Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra – Sharpeville – goneforeign: In 1988 I wandered into a huge record store at the foot of Regent street and therein I came across an album by the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra: I’d never heard of ‘em but it was a wonderful surprise; classical reggae. The group were all young classical musicians who loved jazz and they decided to write and record an album, this is from it. If you’re not clear on the title, google it.

Neil Finn – Billie Jean – deanofromoz: Another unlikely cover (but from a different radio station compilation this time) with Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn giving a breathtaking acoustic take on the Michael Jackson track.

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Earworms 9 March 2015

 

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In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, we have a wealth of wistful women in this week’s line-up. ‘Spill points if you can guess who the first singer is (without cheating) and think of a better collective noun for wistful women – without offending anybody. My first thought was “a womb of wistful women” … but you can do better. Anyway, have fun and keep sending those worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Many thanks.

XXXXXXX? – Everytime – alim: If you don’t know who this is, see if you can guess, without looking it up. It’s stuck in my head.

Regina Spektor – Real Love – deanofromoz: Remember the Beatles Anthology series and how they uncovered two “new” Beatles songs? Well one of them was Real Love, which I always have felt superior to Free As a Bird. Here, Regina Spektor performs an amazingly haunting cover of it. Truly brilliant.

Shelly Poole – Don’t Look That Way – tincanman: Somewhat obscure British chanteuse lights her torch.

Karen Savoka – No More Songs – goneforeign: This was the last song on Phil Ochs last album just before he died by suicide, he had fits of severe depression.

Hannah Fisher – Liquid Silver – glasshalfempty: Continuing my infatuation with Scottish talent, piqued by Toffeeboy’s odyssey, here’s a new discovery – Hannah Fisher is from Dunkeld, and is a mean fiddler, though not on this track. She has wormed her way into my affections with this song, about our sense of time. Liquid silver indeed.

Bonnie Raitt – Not ‘Cause I Wanted To – goneforeign: I’ve wondered how Spillers primarily listen to their music, in cars, in bed, with speakers or with headphones, from their computers or from stereo systems? One of my favourite ways is with my iPod in the small amp on the kitchen windowsill set on ‘Shuffle’ whilst cooking or washing up.  Last time I checked there were 9000 odd tunes on there that have been installed over many years,  some I’ve never heard before so there’s often surprises. Like this one, my wife and I each liked it so much that we repeated it 3 times! By my standards it’s a new one!

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I Hope You All Had A Super Hina Matsuri ! ! !

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri is celebrated on the 3rd March.  I had hoped to post something about Hina Matsuri before the day, so I am so sorry I am late wishing all The Spillers a happy Hina Matsuri.

Hina Matsuri is one of the nicest festivals in Japan and it is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.  It is a day to celebrate daughters in families and to appreciate the joy that girls bring to a family and to pray that they have a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.

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A Year of Listening Scottishly – February

So that’s one sixth of the year gone already and another month of listening Scottishly behind me.

For the benefit of those of you who have not been following every post on Facebook, waiting eagerly for each successive day’s slice of Scottish pop heaven, here’s February’s list:

1 Danny Wilson Davy
2 Aztec Camera Stray
3 Twin Atlantic Brothers And Sisters
4 King Creosote You’ve No Clue Do You?
5 Idlewild Love Steals Us From Loneliness
6 Del Amitri Heard Through A Wall
7 The Blue Nile Downtown Lights
8 Altered Images Love To Stay
9 Belle & Sebastian The Boys Are Back In Town (Live)
10 Trashcan Sinatras White Horses
11 Camera Obscura Modern Girl
12 Aztec Camera Jump
13 God Help The Girl Funny Little Frog
14 Orange Juice L.O.V.E. Love
15 Teenage Fanclub Here Comes Your Man
16 Close Lobsters I Kiss The Flower In Bloom
17 Ballboy Donald In The Bushes With A Bag Of Glue
18 Franz Ferdinand Darts Of Pleasure
19 Cocteau Twins Musette And Drums
20 Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Come Undone
21 Eurythmics There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
22 The Pastels Up For A Bit
23 Trashcan Sinatras Weightlifting
24 Peatbog Faeries The Naughty Step
25 Roddy Frame English Garden
26 Big Country In A Big Country
27 Mogwai This Messiah Needs Watching
28 Belle & Sebastian Fox In The Snow

I particularly enjoyed ‘covers’ week which presented me with an additional challenge and led me to the discovery of Teenage Fanclub’s excellent version of The PixiesHere Comes Your Man – further themed weeks are in the pipeline.

It’s certainly no struggle finding suitable material and while of course the list is inevitably going to be skewed in favour of my own 1980s, indie-pop leanings, I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit, dipping my toe into the murky waters of folk music for example, and I intend to continue to push the boundaries of my comfort zone as the year progresses. I’m grateful for any suggestions (I’m not taking requests as such – yet!) but please don’t ask for any Nazareth as a Glesga’ Kiss offends…

One thing that’s become very apparent is the dearth of suitable Scottish music dating from before the mid-to-late 1970s and it raises an interesting question. Why did the 1960s pop revolution (apparently) not take hold in Scotland? Both Glasgow and Edinburgh (and Aberdeen and Dundee for that matter) seem like perfect breeding grounds for the sort of guitar-based rhythm and blues/pop bands which sprung up in their hundreds south of the border, but I’m struggling to find anything worthy of inclusion. It’s almost as if the entire nation spent twenty years listening to what was going on elsewhere, taking it all in and quietly, secretively perfecting its pop sensibilities, before handing Edwyn Collins a guitar and a microphone and saying, ‘Go on. You know what to do…’

Of course I may be wrong and there may be some excellent 1960s/early 70s material waiting to be discovered. But that’s for another month.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of highlights from February’s posts…

Earworms 2 March 2015

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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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GIL SCOTT HERON

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I’ve mentioned my recent obsession with listening to the air checks of my 1990’s radio show, such an interesting new late night interest. But, I’ve just started a new obsession, I’m reviewing my VHS collection; I have close to 600 tapes recorded throughout my working life and mostly related to music. This week I’ve watched 2 one hour documentaries about Duke Ellington and two about Bob. Today I pulled one from 1982 titled ‘Black Wax’, a documentary and performance by and about Gil Scott Heron and as I sat watching it I kept thinking ”I must find a way to share this with the Spill”, but the process of transferring and digitizing the tape was very off-putting so I checked youtube on the off chance that they’d have it and sure enough they do. My suggestion is that if you know how to record from youtube you should, this never went to commercial DVD and it’s invaluable to anyone who appreciates Gil. It’s a great piece, well worth watching, you see Gil at his peak in many aspects, if you can’t watch the entire thing at least watch from 1.04.30 ’til the end credits, about 12 minutes. He’s great.
There’s a couple of extras after the credits and I was present at the last one, it’s shot at Sunsplash in Jamaica and I was right in front of the stage, I remember it well.
So here’s a special treat, Black Wax by Gil Scott Heron with the Midnight band, enjoy.