Earworms – 30th April

“Well, that’s another guitarist gone.”

Patrick Duff – Refrigerator
This is not, in my opinion, Patrick Duff’s (formerly of Strangelove) finest moment, but it is quite catchy, I think you’ll agree. Come on RR, do white goods as a topic, it’s a shoo-in.

The Stranglers – Boom Boom
Still getting my head and ears round the new offering from what has to be my favourite group. This is the one I keep coming back to and I suppose that makes it an earworm. No relation to a far better known track of the same name but no-one owns copyright on onomatopoeia, I suppose. Besides, I love the idea of the Guildford Stranglers having a vocalist with a strong North Eastern accent.

The Moving Sidewalks – Joe Blues
This is probably the best thing that the Moving Sidewalks or ZZ Top ever did, and they did some pretty good stuff.  For me, it’s as way up there as blues-rock chill-out songs go.    

Retribution Gospel Choir – Maharisha
From the latest by the fabulously misnamed Low side project ( Alan Sparhawk, Steve Garrington and sometimes Mimi Parker). It isn’t gospel, there isn’t a choir (this time) and it’s not a full-time band. It’s poppy, it’s loud, and it rocks (a la Grand Funk, complete with cow bell!). Maybe this is retribution for Low’s subdued, moody pieces, but I like them too.

Mice – Pyjamadrama
In which the estimable Julianne Regan seems to be planning a sleepover with Roxy Music. Just as a friend. Hey, there’s chocolate cake involved – and who could resist that voice?

Mike Heron – Feast of Stephen
Wrong time of year, I know, but this came on the ‘Pod the other day and I just could not work out what it was. The intro is very Southern Accents, but I knew it wasn’t that, and then there were drums and all sorts. The structure’s kind of Roy Orbison, in that it doesn’t follow a conventional form, and it builds to a climax – but that’s followed by the chanting, which goes on and on till it gets all hypnotic. Turns out it’s got John Cale playing most of the instruments, and it’s from Mike Heron’s post-ISB solo album Smiling Men With Bad Reputations. Packs quite a wallop.

Please send those wormy songs and your wormy reasons to earworm@tincanland.com.  Many thanks!

29 thoughts on “Earworms – 30th April

  1. Hm, funny old list this week. None are really quite up my street, I’m afraid, although I can hear that they’re mostly well executed genre pieces.

    Patrick Duff: This wasn’t really grabbing me but then I reached “the sickening sadness in her eyes” and got a bit intrigued. I’m going to have to listen again.

    The Stranglers: Jaunty little number. I quite enjoyed nodding along to this but I’m not sure it’ll stay with me. Not an essential entry in The Stranglers’ catalogue, I’m thinking. But then, after this many decades, it might be a tall order for them to come up with one!

    The Moving Sidewalks: Not really my bag, this sort of bluesy thing, I’m afraid. Reminds me of Gary Moore in the guitar playing. It got better for me once the singing started!

    Retribution Gospel Choir: What an oddly inappropriate name. Yeah, another fun one.

    Mice: Nice backing – I had an “ah, that’s more my cup of tea!” moment as it started. Not so sure about the vocal (sorry, Zala!) – sounds a bit mannered. I would never have guessed it was Julianne.

    Mike Heron: Dunno what I think of this really. Another one that doesn’t quite do it for me. Sorry! Not bad, just not my thing.

    Sorry to sound so underwhelmed this week – I think the last couple of weeks may have set the bar too high for me!

  2. More of a playlist than a collection of individual earworms this week, which is fine in the mix. The MORishness of Retribution is more apparent in the company of Stranglers and Duff; such is the risk/reward of side projects, especially ones involving most of the band (how then is it a side project? If you can’t/won’t release it under your known name, perhaps that’s a red flag).

    Stranglers is probably the one with the most ‘legs’ for me, although Mice & Moving Sidewalks will reappear from time to time in the midst of a playlist for an evenong of Tin listening, and I can see throwing in the Duff for a quirky change of pace. Unfortunately the subject matter nudges it darn close to the novelty song area.

  3. * evenong is when (if) the weather gets so hot I spend the evening motionless in my chair wearing only a thong.

  4. Patrick Duff: It was a bit of an odd, quirky song, but very enjoyable for all that! A definite earworm.

    The Stranglers: I liked it. If The Stranglers have got a bit of a soft belly in middle age (can I say that, Maki?) it’s only the merest hint of a paunch. Great stuff! Another bit of fine earwormery.

    Retribution Gospel Choir: Liked it a lot.

    Mice: Very relaxing. Lovely voice(s) and quite complex in the arrangement.

    Mike Heron: Loved the instrumentation and the lyrics. Found the backing intrusive.

    A nice selection. My pick, The Stranglers.

    Thanks, Zala. Great job.

  5. I was just trying to find a lively earworm for Zala as she requested some a while ago, Refridgerator is quite catchy, in a slightly unhinged way, but I feel that I must add that his work with Strangelove and most recent solo album The Mad Straight Road is probably better.

    I would never have guessed that was the Stranglers, that is probably a positive comment from me.

    Liked Spotted Richard’s bluesy jam, need warmer weather and a beer to accompany it, I think.

    No one could ask for more cowbell in this one, not quite my kind of thing, but lively.

    Zala, you know I’m going to love anything by Mice due to the beloved Julianne, is there another album apart from …because I can? That’s all I have by them.

    That’s not what I expect from Mike Heron, pleasingly surprisingly.

    An interesting batch this week, something to like about all of the tracks I thought. Nice.

    • Re. Mice, there was an extended version of …Because I Can called New and Improved. I have the latter; according to Goony’s Web site, it

      “Features the first album plus 3 b-sides ( Tiny Window / Pyjamadrama / Martian Man ) and 5 previously unreleased tracks ( Star As Bright As You Are / Unborn Angel / Dumb Girl / A Dark Place / Hit Or Miss )”

  6. Enjoyed the list a lot.

    Was there a theme this week. Side projects/different bands/bands after line up changes maybe?

    Moving Sidewalks was the stand out for me this week.

    Pleased to see some love for the Stranglers.

    • Dead on with the theme, there, Maki. You know me by now (I expect) – can’t do a list without a theme, although one or two of them have been a bit nebulous.

  7. Another good set, Patrick Duff for me followed by The Moving Sidewalks. I’m not sure if I want to imagine Tinny in his evenong gear but somehow the image is now planted in my brain!

  8. Patrick Duff was fun – I have Strangelove’s Love And Other Demons, which has some great tracks on – oddly, the Stranglers reminded me a bit of them. Enjoyed Mice, and Mike Heron becomes rather hypnotic by the end. Overall, though, my boat is being floated in fairly shallow water this week. Sorry.

    Songs about white goods?

  9. Been busy early in the week for a couple months so I’m perpetually late to the earworms & challenges so sorry for not commenting. I do listen but it’s usually days after everyone has thrown in on the subject afore I get to listen. I had tremendous fun getting chores done to it a couple times through. Earwormy champ was Refrigerator. Was nearly ready to right off Joe Blues for a somewhat pedestrian vocal till it was totally rescued by some ace organ work & a tremendous harmonica effort. Easy to love that.

  10. As Maki so astutely and promptly spotted, these are all songs that mark a change in personnel – most often, somebody moving on. I’m rather fond of all of them.

    Mr. Duff‘s track was possibly something of a novelty, but it was rather good nonetheless (certainly not duff!) and I have been ordering bits of his back catalogue based on this and on another track that Bethnoir introduced me to. (No disappointments so far! – I think this makes him my pick-o’-the-week.)

    The Stranglers were nicely bouncy, The Moving Sidewalks were saisfyingly bloozy [sic!] and the Retribution Gospel Choir made a fantastic noise, even if I couldn’t quite work out what they were on about. Mice was mine, so ’nuff said, while Mr. Heron was quite out there for something that started out as a folky number. And I like folky numbers (as well as odder stuff).

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