Earworms – November 14

Altogether now!

“The discovery of song and the creation of musical instruments both owed their origin to a human impulse which lies much deeper than conscious intention: the need for rhythm in life… the need is a deep one, transcending thought, and disregarded at our peril.”
Richard Baker

Blenders – Don’t Fuck Around With Love
Unbelievably, this was recorded in 1953 at the insistence of the label manager as an alternative version of “Don’t PLAY Around With Love”. I didn’t know that the ‘rude version’ practice went so far back, but maybe RockingMitch can enlighten us further. Anyway, here’s some sweary doo-wop, what could be better!

Robert Demontigny – Eso Beso
A peculiar mixture of French and Spanish for this 60s French pop version of the song. It makes me want to borrow a poodle, some sunglasses and walk purposely along the Seine dressed in 60s Coco Chanel (or a daytime version of that Paco Rabanne dress that Sakura raves about!).

The Dominoes – Have Mercy Baby
This was one of the last tracks with Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal before he went off to Atlantic to form The Drifters, his place being taken by Jackie Wilson. A few years later, James Brown did a remake of this, but I think this 1953 recording was better.

The Avett Brothers – Kick Drum Heart
I heard this song on the radio, I didn’t know who it was (despite Tin’s best efforts to educate me). At first I felt a little guilty for liking it, because it seemed so poppy. Then I loved how raggedy it was, and how it got more wild and raggedy as it went on…all the while being happy and poppy. And then I didn’t want it to end. And then I came home and bought it and now I can’t stop listening to it.

The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
Xenomania’s Brian Higgins recently named Brandon Flowers his favourite living songwriter in the Graun. This song gives a good indication why, bearing as it does many of the hallmarks of the best Xenomania tracks: a driving beat, a lyric that sounds good but verges on meaningless (“I got soul but I’m not a soldier…”) and four songs’ worth of hooks crammed into one. Favourite bit? Brandon’s hard-won howling from the four-minute mark.

Ling Tosite Sigure – Telecastic Fake Show
凛として時雨 is the name of the band but I am not sure how this is romanised. I have seen both Ling Tosite Sigure and Rin Toshite Shigure. Anyway the name in English means Dignified and Drizzle. They are a three-piece band with 2 guys and girl. I think having a female vocalist as well as a male vocalist makes them quite versatile. This track is from their 2009 album Just a Minute. It always gives me energy and puts me in a good mood!!! They played in London and Brighton in 2010 – maybe you saw them???
Hoshino Sakura

Please send submissions to earworm@tincanland.com – thanks!

Advance notice: Spurred on by a special submission from the ‘Spill’s favourite in-house rock’n’roller, Earworms on the last Monday before Christmas – 19 December – will be Christmas Earworms. (Stop bah-humbugging at the back!) If you have a festive Earworm, please do send it in by 12 December.

25 thoughts on “Earworms – November 14

  1. In answer to Panthersan
    Lucille Brogan’s X-rated version of “Shave ’em dry” dates back to 1935 and I think I may have an even older “rudie” ( will check later).
    I expect the main reason more weren’t done was cost.
    Recording was an expensive business BITD and time was precious.
    People, however, were rude and sweary even in the oldest of olden days.

  2. A lively set this week that should blow the cobwebs away!
    The Blenders. To answer Panthersan, it was unusual in 53 to make rude versions of songs. More common was the double-entendre type of thing, such as The Swallows “It Ain’t The Meat, It’s The Motion”. The Blenders were one of those journeymen vocal groups who produced some good stuff at times whilst never making the R&B or Pop charts. Good vocals on this.
    Robert Demontigny. My mum bought the Paul Anka version of this. I’m afraid it wasn’t my thing then and it still isn’t. Sorry.
    The Avett Brothers. My pick of the week! I loved it.
    The Killers – almost my pick of the week. I really liked this track.
    Ling Tosite Sigure. I really like the energy on this track. Great fun.

    Thanks again, Bish. A worthy lot this week.

  3. Right, down to business.

    Easy ones first, the Blenders and Dominoes tracks I know, both fine examples of their kind.
    Robert Demontigny, not really for me but pleasant enough
    Avett Bros, really enjoyed, I like a bit of “plinky”. Only criticism is that the vocals were, perhaps , a touch too “rock”.
    Killers…no..no..no……I have had to suffer the Kippers ( as I call them to annoy the young person responsible) for two years now. Branston Pickles may be the Graun’s favourite songwriter but he ain’t mine, that’s for sure.
    Ling etc….not bad, a touch too “metal” for me but chuggles along quite cheerily.

    Overall not a bad list. Oi’ll give it foive…

  4. For what it’s worth, I’ve listened to this set on my iPod more as I’ve pottered round over the last week than any other in recent months – I do love a bit of a cheery playlist! I know what you mean about The Kippers, ‘ubu, but there’s always one song per album that suckers me in: this one, “Read My Mind” from Sam’s Town, “Human” from Day & Age. He knows how to write a hook, that Pickles chap…

    • PS Far fewer of my own picks in the next few weeks, I promise. You’ve all been ever so good at responding to my request for submissions so I shouldn’t need to plug gaps/make up numbers quite so much! (But keep ’em coming, of course.)

  5. As others have said, a nice cheery, poppy set. I’d be hard pressed to choose between the Avetts and Dominoes as a favorite, but luckily I don’t have to. I just keep clicking Repeat on the whole playlist (except, sorry Bish, I can’t listen to ”I got soul but …” – I can’t even type it out – one more time. I will, however, put it aside until Annoying Lyrics week on RR.)
    @steen, the Avetts have had many different sounds over the years as they evolved through punk and country and all-sorts that I doubt anyone likes their entire back catalogue.

    Gotta take my hats off to the Blenders for realizing that throwing a swear word in does help if you’re a middling band who can’t shift records. The kids today have taken that a step further and put ‘fuck’ in their band name to get attention.

    Re favourite living songwriter in the Graun, I’m going to keep count next year of how many people are touted in the pages of the Guardian as ”the best/favorite living songwriter”. It’ll be a few dozen, at least.

    Far fewer of my own picks in the next few weeks, Killers aside, your picks are usually ace so don’t be shy.

  6. Sorry folks, I’ll have to keep it short this week.

    My juvenile shoulder-devil is telling me to sneak the Blenders tune onto a background music compilation for the likes of my mam, and see how long it takes her to twig. Enjoyed it.

    Eso Beso not my bag, sorry SR.

    The Dominoes got me desk-chair dancing; excellent.

    Didn’t like the Avett Bros tune as much as I wanted to, given that they were the subject of one of my own ‘Spill Challenges.

    I’m with pairubu on The Killers.

    Sakura chan picks another DsD-tickler.

  7. Blenders: an interesting novelty. But how would anyone hear it in 1953? No radio station in the English-speaking world would play it, surely?
    Robert Demontigny: really not my cuppa at all.
    The Dominoes: another quality Mitch-pick. Well-played and sung (but there are an awful lot of 12-bar blues like this around, no?)
    The Avett Brothers: I really liked this. Great, unpretentious fun (although I suspect repeated playing will make it less fun). I’m not sure the kick-drum heart should slow to a stop at the end either. Is he dead?!
    The Killers: doesn’t particularly offend me (apart from the soul/soldier nonsense), nor impress. The Guardian seems to be embracing pop to the exclusion of almost everything else in music these days. Since when did they revere the opinion of Girls Aloud’s producer?
    Ling Tosite Sigure: much the most impressive of this week’s offerings, although I can’t see myself playing it again. Energy, imagination and talent. And some understanding of dynamics. I just hope the lyrics are acceptable.

    Once again, thanks people.

    • Oh it’s been quite fashionable to big up Xenomania (particularly their work with Girls Aloud – but also Sugababes, Mini Viva etc) since at least the Aloud’s second single, No Good Advice. But the trend gained momentum when they started penning deliriously bonkers mini-opuses such as Biology.

      I think they’re hugely inventive – and a far more palatable proposition than their nearest equivalent during my adolescence, Stock Aitken and Waterman. If Kylie had released something as headily joyous as Call The Shots in 1987, it mightn’t have taken me until 1997 to start enjoying her!

      But I can see why they would have their detractors. None of their records strive for anything approaching ‘meaning’ for a start!

      • I know I’m an old curmudgeon, bish, I just find it rather depressing that the objective of most modern music seems to be to produce the perfect froth, rather than a well-rounded confection. And a drill to the forehead is more palatable than Stock Aitken and Waterman, so that comparison doesn’t amount to much.
        During my adolescence, pop music contained the Beatles, Beach Boys and Motown, which are very different yardsticks. The acts were still groomed and presented but the songs were of a much greater quality, on the whole.
        The Guardian did a blog about Justin Bieber recently and they had the cheek to post it under ‘music’. I’m beginning to despair.
        Grumble, whinge, mutter, gripe……

      • Aw Chris, I’m sorry – I seem to be constantly taking issue with you! But I enjoy the sparring so much… I do know what you mean. Very little these days matches the sublimity of the best Motown, fr’instance. The quality is all too often lacking. But I bet in the early 60s there was some hastily written, lazily produced, ‘will this do?’ lowest-common-denominator cack around too, wasn’t there? I also think it’s partly about one’s own personal context: when you get into pop music, what your frame of reference is, how old you are/how developed/formed your musical tastes are when a particular group hoves into view, etc.

        Girls Aloud have produced an awful lot of dross (mainly – weirdly – their cover versions) but I actually think their very best is up there with, if not the best Motown, then the second division. I don’t expect to convince you, but I would say that something like “The Promise” is a great pop record, irrespective of era/genre/performer, etc. It’s no “I Second That Emotion” or “Bernadette” or even “Love Child”, but it’s at least up there with “Please Mr Postman”, maybe even “Jimmy Mack”. But maybe that’s because it so clearly references/pastiches its predecessors!

        But in this case, I really just included that Killers song because I wanted something to follow that slowing drum/heartbeat and felt the single-note piano intro was a reasonable fit! If I hadn’t back in the mists of time done a post on the “Be My Baby” drumbeat, one of those tracks would have fitted even better… (Now why didn’t I think of that earlier?! Tsk.)

      • Please don’t apologize, bish! I always feel like I’m dissing the music you love, and you’ve never (in my earshot, anyway) said anything critical about music I like…

        Yes, that GA track was quite good (although with echoes of lots of other stuff and the cliche of all cliches, a key change!). I was not a Motown fan at the time, being in the ‘progressive rock’ camp, and have come to appreciate their craft over time. I don’t think the occasional song of second division status is much to boast about.

  8. What a peppy bunch of songs. I liked them all. Just the thing to ward off the doldrums after 2 stupid nights of insomnia. Thanks, Bish.

  9. Hi Bish

    I think this has been one of my favourite Earworms. It is so happy and cheerful. I have put this playlist ion my iPod already ! ! !

    Blenders – Don’t Fuck Around With Love

    Panther san ! ! ! I put play list on to play with out really looking at the post and I almost fell of my chair ! ! ! Ten seconds into the song we have a very naughty word ! ! ! But actually I really like it ! ! ! They really have the doo woop thing down ! ! ! The vocal harmonies are great ! ! ! The bass voice is so great ! ! ! Why do not more modern groups use that wonderful bass tone of the human voice ? ? ? I actually think the bass voice really suites the song so well. I also totally agree with the message of the song ! ! !

    Robert Demontigny – Eso Beso

    Oh Yes ! ! ! This is the perfect Chanel song ! ! ! I really know what you mean, actually I can even imagine the dress ! ! ! The 1960 decade was a great decade for music, but it would not have had the style and sophistication if it was not for songs like this, Coco Chanel and Paco Rabanne ! ! ! This is such a sunny and happy and romantic song ! ! ! The arrangement is wonderful with the really sophisticated and restrained Brass mixing with the strings and a really nice bass line. I think he sings this song with exactly the right mix of cheeky humor and romance. You wonder if he is serious and but you want him to kiss you again ! ! !

    The Dominoes – Have Mercy Baby

    Oh Wow ! ! ! This makes me want to dance ! ! ! Even I the words are quite sad, the song just has such a great rhythm and happy feel that I could not stop myself having a little dance in kitchen when I was cooking diner last night ! ! ! Before the song was over I was singing the chorus also ! ! ! I think all pop songs should be like this (but different of course) happy, you can dance to them, you can sing to them, and they make you want to play them again. When you have all that, and musical accomplishment, and a great link back to your roots, and a historical context, pop music like this, becomes art ! ! ! (in my opinon)

    The Avett Brothers – Kick Drum Heart

    I love pop songs ! ! ! I do not feel any need to appolgise for this. O course there are lots of really terrible pop songs but the best are really great – and this is one of the best type ! ! ! The words are easy and you know the hook after 5 seconds – but it transmits such happiness. I think in some ways it is easier to make a song about how sad you are, to capture happiness and transmit that is so much harder. I loved this track ! ! !

    The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

    This was the only song I knew (except my suggestion) I think that this track was released in Japan in my first year of university (maybe it was released earlier) but I really remember it at this time and it is such a great dance track and so motivating ! ! ! There was a hill I had to cycle upwards just before I arrived at university and I would stop just before going up and play this song on my iPod and really cycle up the hill at full speed, singing “I got soul but I am not a soldier” Hearing it again really brought those times back. Thank you for that Bish ! ! ! It is a classic pop song and I love it ! ! !

    Ling Tosite Sigure – Telecastic Fake Show

    I have an ambiguous relationship with this group. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I think they are just being too clever. For me the drummer is amazing in this group. They change tempo and time signatures during most of their tracks really without anybody notice and the drummer drives the group along really graat. They are all fantastic musicians and for a three piece band I am sure you agree they make a big sound ! ! ! When they forget to be clever and just have fun like in this track they are really fantastic. I saw them in their home town of Saitama which is like a satellite town of Tokyo in an arena there called the Saitama Super Arena which seat like 30,000 people and it was completely full and they were out of this world. They are really fans of the UK indie scene and really wanted to play in the UK. I read on their blog they played in a pub in Brighton last year – I wish I could have been there it must have been amazing!!! If they go again to the UK I will tell you all ! ! !

    A really great week ! ! !

  10. A busy day on the ‘Spill for me, I was going to leave this until tomorrow but MummyP has fallen asleep next to me on the sofa. She’s a bit poorly with a throat infection and needs her rest. I’m rock’n’roll, so I’m pushing on; as I think Tony Hawkes once said, No Sleep ‘Til Bedtime !

    The doo-wop appealed to me the most this week, both The Blenders (I felt the swearing emphasised an important message is an appropriate way) and The Dominoes. I enjoyed The Avett Brothers, and thought Eso Beso would be just right on the headphones walking through town or by a river, to make you feel you were in a film, even if one’s designer dress were in the wash.

    The Killers song is good, I reckon it would be even better if they took the soul / soldier bit out but I still like it; the Telecastic Fake Show was a bit much for me at the end of a long day, but I can see how I might like it, possibly at a different time or, impossibly, at a younger age…

    Good to hear them all as always, very many thanks.

    And I think The Promise is a fantastic pop song.

  11. You know how you turn on the radio on a car trip & scan stations. A song grabs you so you stay there & you get rewarded with a string of great music you’ve never heard & start to think you’ve done a twilight zone into a parallel universe? No? Well ya should ’cause that’s this list. Great energy to move you down the road & just in case you’re a little tired DJ Sakura throws a bolt of sun your way. Thing about this radio station is they don’t forget to shout the artist’s names. And on this Avett Brothers rule but only by the wee smallest margin.

  12. Donds to all of the above!

    Blenders was my choice and I do love it. At first it was the novelty of hearing swearing in that manner, and although i’m sure they were not the best at what they do, I agree with DaddyP that the swearing gives the message greater resonance. Also, to answers the question from Chris about who would hear it, I understand that it was supposed to be an under-the-counter type thing for those in the know. Knowing that there were elitist indie kids even back then is kind of comforting too !

    I’ve heard quite a bit of Avett Brothers but nothing that poppy, enjoyed it a lot.

    Sakura’s choice certainly had a lot of energy and sounded great.

    Thanks all

  13. An interesting selection, as always. I was only familiar with The Killers – who I happen to think are rather good (see, Bish, the mystical trans-dimensional record collection link still works!). But my favourite this week is The Avett Brothers, which has a splendid beat and a lovely self referential thing going on. I like the vocals, too, and I have no qualms whatsoever about its poppiness.

    I didn’t read the blurbs unil just now, and I share Panthersan’s incredulity at the dates of the Blenders track. I thought it might be a modern pastiche. Whenever it was recorded, it’s a fab little item.

    The Robert Demontigny song is lovely. It reminded me a bit of the ’60s Italian 45s my mum once had a penchant for (in the ’60s). She scarcely understood a word, bt it was her escape from the ubiquity of The Beatles et al. Thank you for reminding me of that, and thank you for this song, which I like a lot.

    The Dominoes one is splendid. Delicious vocals, as one might expect from Mr. McPhatter.

    The Killers. Is Brandon Flowers his real name? I mean, if you get saddled with a moniker like Brandon, yer everyday surname just wouldn’t sound right, would it? Brandon Smith. Brandon Jones. Hmmm. But Flowers is perfect! … Oh, I do like the song. Wonderfully meaningless, like you say.

    I really liked the instrumental intro to the Ling Tosite Sigure, but I’m afraid I don’t get along with the vocals. I think it’s that they’re a bit too shouty.

  14. Well, that was an interesting group of worms. None of them were up my particular alley, but overall i kind of surprisingly enjoyed them!

    Standouts for me –

    Blenders – I was hoping for a nice thrasher from Panther, and my heart sank slightly when i heard the intro. But it was totally ace! Would have loved to have thrown that one on the turntable for mom and dad. Who no doubt would have laughed their asses off.

    The Dominoes – Ace, really liked it!

    The Killers – I do like me a bit of Killers. Bish must have skipped over the comment section in that article (I didn’t!). And i liked that one too, if it wasn’t love.

    Ling Tosite Sigure – So it was left to Sakura to unexpectedly give me my bit of thrash! Ok, so the vocals were nails on a chalkboard. But the guitars more than made up for it.

    Thanks to Bish, and all!

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