Earworms (Aug 24)

The last decade has been pretty good for female singer-songwriters (as a whole, quite superior to their male counterparts’ output, in my opinion). I’ve come across Sharon Van Etten’s work very recently, and I’m already hooked. This a slow song has an intense subject matter, the kind of song where every cymbal, every organ flourish counts.

The Peru native and her husband  Ricardo Pereira are responsible  for the recovery of harmonies and rhythms of the music of the almost forgotten Afro-Peruvian culture. The lyrics of some of her songs are based on poems by Pablo Neruda and Cesar Vallejo.    –  goneforeign

And what does young Tarrus want to be when he grows up? Parables, 2006 (debut); cheeky, boy full of himself pop/reggae. Challenges, 2008; mature, respected reggae album. Contagious, 2009/2010; Playful style disguises real meat. This lad could sell a lot of records, could touch a lot of people…and he’ll even do both if he wants.   –tin

This Paul Simon-produced debut album, like Frank himself, disappeared from view for several years. I’m sure the story and music will be known by some of you but for those, like me, who are new to it, this is his best known track and, so far, it’s the one that wormed its way most deeply into my consciousness.
When you break up you’re supposed to say ‘let’s stay friends’ and yada yada yada. I say, pffft to that!    – tin

A wonderful group I saw several times in the 50s. Arranged by Neal Hefti, tenor solo by Eddie Lockjaw Davis, piano by Basie and the best rhythm section in the business. Even on a gentle low key tune like this they still swing, they used to call this band ’16 men swinging’.    –  goneforeign

This was due to auto-post Aug 24 a.m: Time for the Earworms mod to change on a 6-month rotating basis (sort of like the presidency of the EU, but without the staff car). Maki, who has been helping with the technical end here, takes over starting next week. Earworms email is now earworm@tincanland.com (which Maki will redirected to the new suckerBACKSPACEvolunteer when the time comes).

Well done everyone for making this into an ace feature. I look forward to being surprised every week now! – TCM

30 thoughts on “Earworms (Aug 24)

  1. Slightly daunting list for me because all of these tracks (and most of the artists) looked to be new to me. Like buying an album on spec without having heard even the singles and therefore having no point of entry… But that’s the joy of the Spill – all this new music, discovered for you by folk with taste!

    Love lambi’s choice: first listen and it didn’t make much of an impression (thought it was a bit of a drone, to be honest) but it’s well worth persevering with and is worming its way into my ear(s) and brain now. Does she sound a bit Beth Orton vocally, or is it just me? (Not me that sounds Beth Orton – I really don’t.)

    Like gf’s first choice too – nice opening and interesting sound effects going on there. Feel like I’m on me ‘olidays. Oh yeah, I am. Sort of.

    The Shop Assistants bothered me at first because I couldn’t work out why I recognised the singer’s voice (I knew the band’s name and assumed I must have heard another track by them in my days of listening to John Peel/Janice Long), but wikipedia tells me the singer went off to form The Motorcycle Boy, who were responsible for an old fave of mine, “Big Rock Candy Mountain” (not that one). Phew! Glad that’s cleared up.

    Think May’s choice might be my favourite this week so far (yes, I know it’s not a competition), perhaps because it turns out I do know this song after all: I’ve got a version by Eddi Reader (on her Simple Soul album). So it’s got that reassuring familiarity to it. This version is lovelier though, so thanks May!

    And thanks all – lovely selections as ever.

  2. Just browsing thru the submissions (I’m at work, no time to listen to them right now), and I’m speechless: May1366’s Jackson C. Frank’s recommendation is currently my earworm of choice! I’ve been listening to it a lot for the past couple of weeks. Spooky or what???

  3. Thanks and praise to tin for building the church and great to see the white smoke signalling Maki’s succession.

    bishbosh – I had the same experience when, after first hearing Jackson C. Frank’s life story (which is like a blues lyrics come to life) having never known of his existence, I decided to check out the music and it turned out to be faintly familiar. But every track on the album sticks with you and I’m not surprised to see lambre similarly taken with this one.

    Looking forward to the rest, especially the Basie.

  4. Will listen later – but just wanted to remind people to send in submissions (thanks gf and fintan) ’cause right now the lady below and I have a little too much in common!

  5. What kind of a crap list is this??????????

    OMG it was so much better when ………oh, sorry, that’s next week’s post.

    maki I’ll send you a couple for your cupboard but I’ve had one in most weeks so give priority to other people’s inferior..er, um, I mean.

    Thanks for the thanks and for the support for Maki. I’ve enjoyed the voyage.

  6. That Sharon Van is a first for me, such a wierd song, not just the lyrics but in the performance, it has earworm potential.
    Tarrus Riley I loved, I don’t keep up on contemporary reggae so I’m happy to see new talents like his, Tin’s comments applauded.
    Jackson C. Another new name, nice voice, nice gtr, nice tune, what’s more to say.
    Not crazy about shop assistants, I don’t want to be friends with them either.
    Love Basie.

    Good for you Maki, you’re off and running.

  7. I liked all of those, but I loved the Count Basie. One of those pieces where it felt like every note was in exactly the right place.

  8. Great stuff etc. etc. Will certainly be looking out for more Sharon Van Etten.

    I too had a similar experience with Blues Run the Game. I heard a contemporary cover of it recently – I can’t remember who by, although the Interweb tells me that Laura Marling and Colin Meloy have both recorded versions, as have Nick Drake and Bert Jansch. Don’t think it was any of them though. I was sure it was familiar – finally realised it’s on my Simon and Garfunkel compilation. Anyway, it’s right up to Paul Simon standards, so must seek out Mr Frank.

    Thanks again to tin – Maki, I’ll send you something.

  9. I’ve finally had time to listen now, and, apart from Basie’s (who’s in a different league, to be honest!) I think Frank’s is my favourite. It’s odd, because it does sound a bit dated, but it’s a very, very powerful song (too bad Tim Buckley never got to cover this song, he would have done wonders with it, it was perfect for him)
    All the others are interesting, but, among the rest, I’ll go with The Shop Assistant, I quite like that one.

    Thanks for all the trouble you took in putting Earworms up, and for editing down my ramblings, tin. And congratulations, Maki, you have some big shoes to fill…

  10. The Baca and Riley were the stand out tracks for me, thanks for those. The Jackson C. Frank is the most troublesome earworm though as I know this from a cover version on Sir Vincent Lone’s ‘When The Bridegroom Comes’, which takes its title from the Judee Sill track which is also covered on the album along with Donovan’s ‘Ballad of Geraldine’. Sir Vince played this live when I saw him at London’s Troubador a few years back, on the strength that he’d seen Clark play it there many years before and had made a mental note to knick it at some point, it being an excellent song.

  11. I liked the Shop Assistants best, plus the Count Basie.

    I couldn’t really connect to the Sharon Van Etten one, not really my thing.

  12. Blues Run The Covers …. seems there might be lots out there. I’ve put Sir Vince’s in a temporary folder over at Box Hill. Any more out there? I only know this and the original and wondered how this well structured but fairly simple song might be stretched.

  13. Well, listening to numerous versions is one way to guarantee its earwormness – I imagine it’ll be running thru my head all night now! Enjoying Nick D v much…

  14. When women sing this it has something of Wichita Lineman about it, why is that?

    Catch a boat to England, baby,
    Maybe to Spain.

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