Earworms – November 21

“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.”
Leopold Stokowski

Peaking Lights – Amazing and Wonderful
Panthersan was recently extolling the wonderful dub pop of the Peaking Lights duo. They are so good that here’s another earworm from their 936 album. Definitely in album of the year territory for me

John McLaughlin – Extrapolation
Classic British jazz from the late 1960s, before McLaughlin crossed the Atlantic to join in Miles Davis’ electric experiments; a great guitarist, who appears at his best when he’s *not* playing a million notes a minute in 13/7 time in the Mahavishnu Orchestra…

Marc Moulin – Music Is My Husband
One of my first postings on “Earworms” was a Marc Moulin track called “What?” that went down well with many ‘Spillers. This is from his 2007 album “I Am You” and features the vocals of the wonderful Christa Jerome. Hope you enjoy this one as well.

Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Banana Meltdown
The totally bonkers result of the meeting of two indie outfits for a recording session. A bluesy, funky lo-fi jam.

The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
Not a curio, nor an obscurity, but this slice of 80s white soul is certainly an earworm.

Dusty Springfield – Breakfast In Bed
Dusty is one of those 60s artists who has been rescued from Light Entertainment Hell. Unlike others, she deserves it. Almost terminally insecure about her talent, Dusty was the greatest white female soul singer this country has produced. If she had been black and American, she would have been as celebrated as Aretha. “Dusty In Memphis” is a classic album, produced by Atlantic soul and blues royalty Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin and engineered by the great Tom Dowd. From it, “Breakfast in Bed” really should have been a single but was only ever a B-side.

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

39 thoughts on “Earworms – November 21

  1. My tumtabs are now finished, I really liked all the tracks especially the jazzy stuff, and my total besties was Dusty.

    The “music is my husband” reminded me of CSS’s “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” which has the lines

    Music is my boyfriend
    Music is my girlfriend
    Music is my dead end
    Music is my imaginary friend
    Music is my brother
    Music is my great-grand-daughter
    Music is my sister
    Music is my favourite mistress

  2. another great set!

    Yay ! more love for Peaking Lights, a great track GHE and definitely one of my top albums of the year too !

    Loved the John McLaughlin too. I’ve been listening to some Joe Harriott tracks on Youtube over the past couple of days after hearing about him on Radio 4’s Front Row and was in a British (kind of!) 60s jazz kind of zone, so this was very timely. There’s a book about him that sounds really interesting and I would love to get my hands on some of his stuff on vinyl !

    DNSS and Jon Spencer was great too, right up my street !

    I knew the Blow Monkeys track well and like it a lot, didn’t know it was by them though.

    Cheers all!

  3. Ah, so we’re kinda jazzy this week are we? One never knows with bish (a compliment).

    I thought a bonkers result of the meeting of two indie outfits would be a bit of a mess but it’s actually the one I like the most, or at least the one that suits my mood best today.

  4. I’m afraid the only track here that moved me was Dusty. She was one of those artists who, for me, could do no wrong I have been a fan of hers since her days in the Lana Sisters. I think she was one of the finest singers these islands have ever produced.
    The others this week, were not my cup of coffee. I am sorry.

  5. Peaking Lights: and? I prefer my two-chord noodles to have a little more to them.
    John McLaughlin: it’s a pity that the Fast Show sketch is the immediate response to stuff like this. It is brilliant music: inventive, daring, clever, thoughtful. I just wish I could love it more. Ironically, given McLaughlin’s spriritual questing, I always find his playing slightly lacking in soul.
    Marc Moulin: a few more (intelligent) words would have been a bonus but this is a good, solid groove, doing something a little more worthwhile with the two-chord noodle than PL.
    Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: yeah! Love it! The edge of chaos is a great place to make music.
    The Blow Monkeys: a classic, sure. Great sax. It’s my fault that I find the repetitive drumbeat dull here yet joyous in DNSSMTJSBE.
    Dusty Springfield: I can see her doing the alternate-foot-stretch-behind dance whilst singing this. The arrangement fits her better than the UK chart hits ever did. Not my favourite music but a great talent.
    Once again, thanks people.

  6. Peaking Lights: Nice! Liked it.

    John McLaughlin: Not really my cup of chai latte, but I wouldn’t turn it off.

    Mark Moulin: The tune is great, but the lyrics really got up my nose. Sorry.

    The Blow Monkeys: I had no idea that they sang this. I remember this and liking it very much at the time.

    Dusty: Ooh. I love everything about it except… except it’s sort of a Codepents Torch Song, which can’t be helped. It’s beautiful in every respect. My pick this week.

    Great selection, Bish. 🙂

  7. Hmm, and interesting set, rather than one full of hook-laden choons.

    I rather liked the Peaking Lights. They kind of reminded me of Warpaint, who I love..

    The John McLaughlin was OK. I can appreciate the skill of the thing but, like Chris, it left me unmoved. I think I prefer his stuff with Miles and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to be honest.

    I liked the Mark Moulin track musically but, like others, the lyrics annoyed me.

    I kind of enjoyed the Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion one but I found it a bit too unfocused for it to be really enjoyable.

    The Blow Monkeys brought back a lot of memories, great pop song.

  8. Hmm, I’m a bit curate’s egg too. I liked Peaking Lights, a bit like Pink Floyd being chased by cowboys and injuns – humming it already.

    John McLaughlin – liked it up to the sax, then too much for me.

    Marc Moulin – very earwormy, though not my thing.

    Dub Narcotic Sound System etc – yep, love it. Find of the week. Thanks Spotted Richard.

    The Blow Monkeys and Dusty – sorry, very talented and all but leave me completely unmoved.

    Meanwhile, back to Taio Cruz and Dynamite (young Munday keeps playing it and DAMN!! It’s so catchy, I need to inflict it on you too. Don’t click if you want to retain your sanity:

  9. A slightly underwhelming list for me, this week (with a few exceptions); it’s not that I dislike anoy of the tracks, it’s just that… um… well…

    Peaking Lights – Amazing and Wonderful
    was kind of nice. It reminded me slightly of an early Everything But the Girl track:

    Not sure why. The understated vocal? The “You are …” line? Similar phrasing? But there you are.

    John McLaughlin – Extrapolation
    I do quite like trad jazz instrumentals, but I can rarely get into them properly. I tend to need vocals to hang my ears on. This was nice to listen to, but it left no lasting memory.

    Marc Moulin – Music Is My Husband
    Ah. Nice elements. The bassline. The lovely voice. A nice jazzy instrumental break. But somehow it doesn’t quite exceed the sum of its parts. Not helped, I fear, by the curse of the dance song – not enough lyrics!

    Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Banana Meltdown
    Really silly, but genuinely earwormy nonetheless. I got reminded of INXS (probably just me, though. Not sure which song… probably one of the Kick numbers). The banana-iness puts it kind of in the novelty box, but pretty close to the top.

    The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
    Oh, the memories! I quite liked the Blow Monkeys, back in the day, but it has to be said that they were one of my sister’s favourites, and sort of rising-above-background-noise for me (elevated further by her partiality, of course). Took me right back, that did. Very redolent of the lateish 80s.

    Dusty Springfield – Breakfast In Bed
    Complete and utter classic. Who, I ask, could not like Dusty? That catch in her voice – exquisite. Nice song, too, completely unruined by the UB40-Chrissie Hynde cover.

  10. A good list that fits my current task (making chili). I loved the surf vibe of Peaking Lights. Even the muffled recorded in a memorial auditorium bass was dead on. And just when I was afraid they would try to stretch it too long they hit the fadeout. Liked it a lot & probably my fav this week. John McLaughlin was not my cuppa I guess but interesting none the less. I note Chris’ lacking soul comment & I’m reminded of a friend’s palpable dislike for McLaughlin. He always says he’s the man who nearly robbed Carlos Santana of his soul. Hmmm. Marc Moulin – great groove & I’m not bothered by the lyric at all. Wouldn’t be listen while I dance anyway. The Blow Monkeys? sSme thing. This is make your own movie on the dance floor music. All about feeling your body & it totally works. Ahhh Dusty In Memphis. Just wonderful start to finish. Amazing voice.

    • Ooh – Forgot to mention Banana Meltdown. Kinda update Kingsmen thing going on there & it made me smile & again they didn’t try to stretch it too long. Great fun.

  11. Just me in the house this morning, as I’m ‘resting between engagements’, and MummyP is out doing her school governor thang. So, a rare luxury to have these finest Earworms through the speakers at home !

    The Peaking Lights isn’t the kind of thing I’d usually listen to, which is a Good Thing about our earworms. Lovely atmospheric moody thing, though at one point made me think someone was ringing our doorbell.

    I’m with Abahachi on the John McLaughlin, I’ll nod and say “Nice !” and really mean it. This is catchy and above all playful free jazz. I’m not saying the great man has never noodled, and noodled much too fast at that, but this is great.

    Marc Moulin is catchy and tuneful but ran out of steam a bit for me, and I’m another who’s fussy about lyrics – rhythm being one principal ingredient of the musical recipe, rather than a distinct entity ? It also dug up a very old memory ***BAGGAGE ALERT*** of a teenage house-party and being told by a girl that I was a “husband not a lover”. But I never fancied her anyway. So there.

    Dub Narcotic Sound System…. was fun, it would’ve fitted the Christmas earworms too; I liked the slightly sinister Santa section of the lyrics and challenge John Lewis to build next year’s seasonal advertising campaign on it.

    The Blow Monkeys – I’d not heard it for a long time and having quite liked it in the 80s, loved it this time. I can’t disagree more with Chris on this, the drumming sounds to me like a good, soulful underpinning of everything that’s going on in the mix, and which keeps the feet moving to the end. Tony Kylie is a real drummer, and a good one, who played rhythm and blues in pubs before getting the better-paid pop-soul gig; whereas the Marc Moulin sounds like it might be a drum machine at work ?

    Dusty Springfield – she is indeed one of our great singers, from these islands or elsewhere. I’m with SpottedRich in having a quibble about the lyrics – there is a magnificence and pride in her voice and in the music, that feels like a mismatch for the opportunistic ‘clean-up woman carrying a torch’ story ? Having said that, maybe it’s right for the character to assert herself, rather than singing anything too wretched and miserable. Hmmm, making me think…

    Really well put together as always by Bish, and thanks to all.

    • I once read Lucy O’Brian’s biography of Dusty. In it, she asserted that Dusty always recorded songs which could be androgynous, i.e. she never directly used words which could be about a boy/girl relationship. I’m not so sure, but I see what she meant…..

      • Yes, there’s some truth in the statement, but those talented Memphis people certainly had her singing gendered soul. I think the dress for drying tears on is an example (nothing to stop men wearing anything we want to of course, but that’s how the song is intended).

  12. hmmmmmmmmmmmm………………..

    Peaking Lights – I liked this a lot more on the third listen. First time I thought it was too minimalist. It seemed to gain something on repeated listens. It’s not music I would seek out but it would be perfect as a film soundtrack. Something indie featuring dark alleys shot in black and white.

    John McLaughlin – Again, I liked this more the third time around. I certainly preferred it to his more manic, Mahavishnu, stuff.

    Marc Moulin – I liked the music but didn’t take to Christa Jerome’s voice and the rather irritating lyric wore thin very quickly. I don’t suppose there’s a dub version?

    Dub Spencer Narcotic Explosion – Interesting but I can’t say it moved me in any way.

    Blow Monkeys – I remember quite enjoying this at the time. I enjoyed it a bit more now. It’s one of those tracks that I like when I’m hearing it but don’t feel a need to return to.

    Dusty – Love her. The lyric does make me feel uncomfortable though. Go on Dusty. Make him/her choose dammit.

    Sorry to those whose choices I was luke-warm about. I do always find these play-lists intriguing and well put together.
    Also I think it’s fascinating to hear the range of music that the various spillers want to share with the rest of us.
    Even when it’s not to my taste I do like to hear what the rest of you have been listening to.

  13. This is a very different but great list.

    Unfortunately my stupid job is really busy now and I am going away for a short holiday tomorrow so I have not had time to comment as I would like.

    But I really enjoyed this play list very much.

  14. Boots Till – Run Along http://favorite45.blogspot.com/2011/11/run-along.html

    When I was crate digging I encountered lots of indie country 45s from the ’60s through ’80s. They seemed to be churned out like popcorn and while other musical genres have been extensively researched and catalogued, indie C&W from those decades commands little collector or historic interest today. The colourful and attractive labels were often the only good thing about them: off-key warbling, drippy sentimentality, misguided covers of pop songs, pitiful production, you name it.

    But every now and again…You would stumble across a real gem and I’ve been loving the living daylights out of this forgotten c.1965 country song (on a Mobile, Alabama label!) that I discovered on one of the blogspot music blogs I’ve been following. Just something about the almost girl-group style double-tracked lead vocals I find irresistible!

    Boots (whoever she was) had one minor national hit that scraped the bottom rungs of Cashbox’s C&W chart, and later recorded this murder-suicide ballad that has to be heard to be believed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGcNaBnhuzo

    (One of y’all has got to show me how to embed a YouTube or divshare link.)

    • I liked the song, SHA but you know I like country! To embed you type don’t forget that close square bracket afterwards. Easy peasy.

      • that didn’t show up. Its open square bracket youtube equals then paste your link then close square bracket.

    • Like that a lot, SHA. Why not send some more ‘worms in to the email address at the bottom of the post, together with a brief blurb? We’d love to hear ’em!

      • Yes, I have to spend some more time here. I’ll figure out all this embedding stuff the more I play around with it. Maybe even get my dancing teeth in place of the funky origami pattern. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  15. Gutted – I get round to the Earworms and find Sakura’s not had time to give her responses, and not only that but she’s cleared the stationery cupboard of all the exclamation marks. Just found this – ¡ – among the ring binders and there’s not even a selection from Mrs Maki to use it on…ah well, ploughing on:

    Peaking Lights – I think I liked the minimalist intro and the dub break of this more than the vocal sections, though they had an appeal of their own, put me in mind somehow of a sweet ten-year-old Ian Curtis.

    John McLaughlin – Yes, what Chris said, really. I appreciate this more than I enjoy it. It does seem incongruous to be relatively lukewarm about such fantastic playing but, as noted above, I’m no alone in this response.

    Marc Moulin – reminded me of old (not that old, early 90s, but it’s an era for which I hold a great deal of nostalgia) Mo’Wax/DJ Shadow stuff, even down to the frankly shoddy attempt to channel the lyrical feel of Gary Bartz’s 70s soul jazz classic Music Is My Sanctuary. Liked the groove a lot, though.

    That bunch of people, can’t be arsed typing the name – Good fun, yes, but pathetic though this may seem as musical appraisal, it ended up just filling my head with the thought of bananas, to which I’ve been averse ever since I got nobbled by a banana custard on my last day of infant school and had a banana meltdown for the whole afternoon, so I’m afraid I was pleased it ended.

    Blow Monkeys – my choice. On the drumbeat discussion, I’m with Chris more broadly about that 80s synthesised bass drum sound that was the only fixture of 80s light entertainment more permanent than Judge Reinhold, but less of an engaging presence. I think this track has enough going for it (including the overall drum pattern, as DP pointed out) to overcome that aversion, but I agree it’s a case-by-case consideration.

    Dusty – Well, with due respect to the others, including my selection of which I’m very fond…footy fans, you remember when Ronaldo – not Cristiano: the Brazilian one – was at the height of his powers? Sometimes I’d watch him dribble past, or career through, a bunch of defenders and the thought struck me that he played football like a dad – you know, a competitive one who’d step onto the pitch where the little ones are toiling away, and just cut swathes through them for fun. That’s Dusty and this tune here. Not a completely new one to me but one I’m very happy to be reminded of – glorious.

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