Earworms 6 August 2012

1: Big Joe Turner – Boogie Woogie Country Girl ~ RockingMitch

Joe had found himself cast as an unlikely rock and roller, thanks largely to his “Shake, Rattle ‘n’ Roll” being covered successfully by Bill Haley and his appearance in a couple of knock-off movies. This track, with Pete Johnson on piano, really rocks. I have a vinyl 45 of it which I picked up in 1968 for £1 and is now valued at over £750 (and I ain’t selling!).

2: Crabby Appleton – Go Back ~ Treefrogdemon

This toe-tapping number is the one hit of LA one-hit-wonders Crabby Appleton (called after a cartoon character I gather), from 1970. Rather good lead guitar from Michael Fennelly, but they’re another case of rave reviews, rubbish sales, I’m afraid.

3: Frazier Chorus – Dream Kitchen ~ Zalamanda

And if you make a wish in this dream kitchen

It won’t get you anywhere

Make a wish.

Chilled out, subdued, surreal, rooted in a version of mundane reality that knows there is no such thing as a dream kitchen. But there is this: great pop music without the usual trappings.

4: Ike and Tina Turner – Ya Ya ~ SpottedRichard

Among the various (and variable) covers of Lee Dorsey’s great song was this one made in the 70s but only released by Ike Turner on an album of previously unreleased Ike & Tina material in 2002.

5: Gangstagrass – Long Hard Times To Come [From Justified] ~ Shoegazer

Why not take some Bluegrass & mix it with Hip Hop (Hipgrass? Bluehop?)? This got picked up as the theme tune for Justified; Timothy Oliphant as an old school US Marshall returned to his home state of Kentucky, now in 3rd season & well worth a watch. If you want more, Gangstagrass have a couple of albums out & a new one due soon.

6: Vera Queen – Small Balloons ~ HoshinoSakura

Vera Queen is an ex-Indie rocker from Taiwan, but when she went solo she surprised every one by releasing an album which was just her and her acoustic guitar.  The songs are simple but somehow really honest.  She really proves for me that less is more ! ! ! This is called Small Balloons.  I hope you like it ! ! !


A big Thank You to everyone who contributed worms to this playlist and/or has sent them in to the wormbank.  Do you have more to share?  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either earworm@tincanland.com or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

48 thoughts on “Earworms 6 August 2012

  1. Another fine set, Stanley.
    Crabby Appleton – I like this. It has a feel of Jefferson Airplane & other West Coast psychedellic bands about it. Appeared to skip a beat at the start, but still my “discovery” of the week.
    Frazier Chorus. Nicely laid back. Reminds me of the sort of stuff I was listening to on the late (and much lamented) GLR in the 90s.
    Ike & Tina. Not, for me, up there with their “classic” tracks, but it is good, nonetheless.
    Gangstagrass. – Interesting!
    Vera Queen – Very pretty sound. All squeaky guitar strings and all….

  2. Of the rest, Big Joe, Crabby and Ike & Tina very enjoyable in a similar way; Frazier Chorus were indeed very good at that sort of thing and this has transported me straight back to the 80s with a nostalgic smile on my face (waving at Breathe, Fiction Factory, It’s Immaterial etc on the way). Vera Queen is the odd one: I’m going to come back to that song in the wee small hours to see if it gets past my defences then, because for some reason it isn’t at the moment.

    Cheers all.

    Back to trying to “do a Lazarus” on the office PC . . . it looks like it’s finally died!

  3. Big Joe Turner: Yeah, lots of fun. Can’t think of a great deal to say about it, but clearly well executed stuff.

    Crabby Appleton: I might rename myself Crabby Appleton. Nice rich, warm sound. Ooh, I like this very much.

    Frazier Chorus: Obviously I’m more than familiar with this. Love it. I never understood why Frazier Chorus didn’t have any hits. This was played lots on the Chart Show, I seem to remember, but never, er, charted. Great stuff. “Sloppy Heart” is possibly even better. (And their cover of “Anarchy in the UK” – performed in much the same style as “Dream Kitchen” – is v entertaining.)

    Right, better get back to work. Will listen to the other three later!

    • Ike & Turner: For years, I thought Tina was dreadful because my first experience of her was at best Private Dancer, at worst The Best. All that big hair and strutting/pawing of the ground… What a lot of time wasted not listening to her work with Ike that was! For me, this doesn’t quite seem to get going – and it rather sounds like Tina is giving the material more respect (or at least more soul) than it deserves. But still great.

      Gangstagrass: Add me to the list of fans. This is ace! What a compelling sound. My favourite of the week (so far) – thanks for joining in, Shoey.

      Vera Queen: What a sweet sound! I feel very grinny now. Lovely.

  4. I thought Vera Queen was lovely on first listen through – and I do believe small balloons can be circular …

    Frazier Chorus (I’m guessing it’s a toffeeboy nomination – oh – names supplied – wrong again) did what they did really well with their really definitive sound, and I think that was the problem – unlike the Cocteau Twins, people got ‘sloppy heart’ and never went for anything else – I often nominated them in the early days – always believed Dream Kitchen was a Richard Hamilton style title like: ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’

      • Here’s Vera

        For some reason her name gets translated as “Miss Mushrooms” sometimes.
        Which is nice.

      • The track Mr P shared is called Today It Is Raining and it is really lovely ! ! !

        I was going to send it in but I posted the video before a few weeks back and wanted to send something new.

        You can search using her name in Hanzi


        But even so there is not very many things by her as she only has made this one album so far. I have put it in “The Box” for you.

  5. Big Joe Turner – ditto what Bish said. Not quite my style, but enjoyed it.

    Crabby Appleton – Love the guitarwork!

    Frazier Chorus – Pleasant enough, but a bit dull to me i think.

    Ike and Tina – ditto what Mitch said. Not up there with their best, but still rocked.

    Gangstagrass – Hmm. Nice to see a worm from Shoey. This should be right up my alley as i love both bluegrass and hip hop, but on first listen something didn’t quite gel for me there. It may be something as simple as finding the combo of a heavy NY accent with fiddles a bit too jarring, dunno. Will have to give it, and some of their other stuff, more of a listen.

    Vera Queen – Pick of the week for me, loved it.

    Thanks all and SpottedRich!

  6. As fully paid up member of the “Vera Queen is wonderful and a totally hot babe to boot” club there’s no prizes for guessing my favourite this week.
    Of the others
    Crabby – Yes, perfectly decent West Coast rock
    Ike and Tina – Not their best but serviceable
    Big Joe Turner- Fine but doesn’t really ignite my lugholes.
    The others not for me, I’m afraid.

  7. 1) Big Joe Turner – I can’t imagine disliking anything he did. This was great.
    2) Crabby Appleton – You what? Never heard of them but this is a belter. For some reason I kept wishing I could hear Magazine covering it.
    3) Frazier Chorus – Quite enjoyed this. I think I’ve heard it before. It was good but didn’t bowl me over.
    4) Ike and Tina – I always have the same dilemma. I’m glad she got away from him but I’ve never enjoyed any of her solo stuff as much as what they did together. I do like the song in all its incarnations, This one is good but not great I think.
    5) Gangstagrass – Opened like Beck. Intriguing but hasn’t grabbed me yet, Worth more listens though. I would like to hear some of their other recordings too.
    6) Vera Queen – Enjoyed this very much. Quirky and soothing which doesn’t happen often enough I feel.

  8. I discovered that Frazier Chorus track during Songs About Rooms week back in the Maddy era, when I remember there was a lot of love for it. It’s taken up residence in my head ever since (in a very unassuming way, somewhere in a back room, just occasionally popping up to say hello). It’s lovely, anyway.

    Sakura (or Pairubu) posted something by Mademoiselle Champignons a few weeks ago, right? Liked then, liked now.

    Hipgrass – yep, that works.

    The rest didn’t do much for me in the present mood and moment, but no disrespect to artists or nominators is intended or should be inferred.

  9. Big Joe was a big thumping, rollicking sound. His accent tickled me. “Shoit”. Lovely.

    Crabby Appleton. Superb guitar work. Great name, great song. Sorry to hear that they never made it.

    Didn’t know Frazier Chorus and Dream Kitchen. I liked the sparseness and sarcasm. A very pleasant and warm voice too.

    Now, I know this Ike & Tina isn’t their best, but I had a devil of a job finding something to go before the next song.

    I love Gangstagrass! [Editing this – didn’t read right] There are people (who like country) who don’t like bluegrass. Somehow mainstream modern-day country (in general) seems to have taken a bad turn along the way. If fusion of bluegrass with hip hop, ska, reggae, cubop, kwela or whatever, works, then I’m all for that, especially if it leads country music lovers and people who can’t abide country or bluegrass to an appreciation of bluegrass.

    Vera’s singing accompanied only by an acoustic guitar is delicate, pure and delightful. The squeaky strings slightly irritated me after about the 30th listen until I realized that she probably has quite small hands and it’s hard work moving up and down the frets. What a sweet sound.

    • Confession time: I fell on Gangstagrass like a starving mutt when Shoey sent in the song. I was compelled by a force beyond my control to nominate a song by them on RR last week. Luckily, Fuel was the only one that noticed it, so it didn’t ruin the playlist this week.

      I faithfully promise not to do that again.

      And thanks, Shoey.

  10. Big Joe – liked this very much,jumping around the kitchen
    Crabby Appleton – pleasant, need another listen
    Frazier Chorus – Zala, you are a lovely person but I had to skip this half way through. Sorry.
    Ike & Tina – not bad, not bad, Nutbush is better …
    Gangstagrass – Superb! Shoey! Love it. Beck meets Frank Zappa meets Doc Watson meets Charlie Daniels. Pick of the year.
    Vera Queen – pleasant, though slightly bemused by the accordian.

  11. It is really great list this week as always. I really enjoyed them all.

    Big Joe Turner really starts the play list in cheerful way ! ! ! I loved the boogie piano very much ! ! !

    Crabby Appleton was great it had a really great 1960 psychedelic feel to it which I really enjoyed. I never heard of them before so it was great to discover this great track ! ! !

    Gangstagrass was really great, it reminded me of Big and Rich a little but that is a good thing ! ! !

    Frazier Chorus is a classic 1980 pop track and if I did not know I would think that Bish would nominate it ! ! ! I liked it a lot actually. I really like the guys voice. Actually I started in my stupid job promoting dream kitchens when I was still in university when I was 20 years old. Dear me I really need to change ! ! !

    Ike and Tina Turner is simply wonderful ! ! ! I just love her voice so much. And I love the beat and arrangement of this track so much. Wonderful

    Vera Queen is my suggestion and I pleased people seem to like it ! ! ! I think she is a great song writer actually. She will release another album later this year which willI am låooking forward to very much ! ! !

    Well doen SR as always and thank you so much for your hard work in putting the list together. It is a great one as always ! ! !

    • Big & Rich? Yes, that’s what was lurking in the Association shadows in my brain. Thanks, Sakura chan. Yup, if I was now asked for a one line synopsis of that Gangstagrass song, I’d say “Big & Rich fronting Alabama 3 at a Kentucky State Fair”

  12. WordPress just ate my comment…I was saying isn’t it great when you like all the earworms, and blah blah blah…

    Big Joe Turner: I love country, and I love rock’n’roll, so this is pretty much a shoo-in for me. Hooray!

    Crabby Appleton: this is another from that great source of earworms, the TP radio programme. I’m pleased to see lots of people like it – I have the whole album, so I can box it if anyone wants.

    Frazier Chorus: I’ve heard of them, but for some reason thought I wouldn’t like them. I was wrong!

    Ike and Tina: know this well, love it lots.

    Gangstagrass: whee! Now I’m going to start liking hiphop! Obviously it was the backing music I didn’t like…

    Vera Queen: very sweet – reminds me of Melanie a bit.

    Lovely set well assembled, SpottedRichard!

  13. Liked Big Joe – especially PJ on the ivories and Ike & Tina – can’t go wrong with a bit of Toussaint.
    I always think that the rap in Gangstagrass mentions ‘Obama’ – I really need to get my ears tested …

  14. Oh, I love Sakura’s one! Vera Queen is so sweet, is it about balloons or is it metaphorical? Good list again SpottedRichard, thanks for compiling it.

    • Hi Beth ! ! !

      Can I copy and paste from my justification onRR ? ? ?

      “The track is about desire and mourning, but it is also about having courage to accept freedom and looking forward from the darkness into the light so it a complicated song emotionally which is a really big contrast to the simple and almost childish style of the song.

      Actually the literal translation of the title is Small Eye Balloons, but I translated it as Small Balloons as in English it makes more sense I think. Xiǎo yǎnjīng qìqiú – small eye balloons – are small balloons with eyes painted on them and they are used in festivals in Taiwan to decorate stalls and things like that and also they are used by farmers to scare away birds, so there is an ambiguous nature to the image also of cheerfulness and scariness.”

      If I can find tie I will translate the lyics.

      I am really happy you liked it ! ! !

  15. Big Joe Turner: yeah, nice, no frills. Great piano.
    Crabby Appleton: interesting, perhaps a bit too bitty/tricky. Plenty of sixties musical memories in there (particularly the minor-to-major change and the guitar tone).
    Frazier Chorus: like the bass/vocals; not keen on the ‘handclaps’ & strings. Loved the clarinet. Might have preferred a ‘dirtier’ production…..
    Ike & Tina: ….love the dirty bass(es)! Her voice really is something. Groovy, baby!
    Gangstagrass: like the music but still don’t find the speakysong at all attractive. Do country folk swagger in the US? Do they have hoes? Are their John Deeres pimped?
    Vera Queen: lovely. Unless the lyrics are awful/embarrassing/offensive, this is my favourite of a generally attractive set.

    • If you liked the Gangstagrass music, Chris, visit the box. The speaky stuff was feat. T.O.N.E.z. There are other “feat. artists” on the album. Two of them are women with very pretty voices.

      Have you been thumbing through the gangstathaurus?

  16. Back when I have time to listen properly (the women’s omnium is on today ffs people. Hmmm? No, I have no clue either).

    But I had to log in and not admire the wispy good looks of Shakira and congrat SR on another unusual idea.

  17. Really late this week. Sorry about that. I enjoyed all of these (even my own morose pick).

    Big Joe Turner – Boogie Woogie Country Girl
    Can’t beat a bit of good rock’n’roll.

    Crabby Appleton – Go Back
    TFD almost always picks stuff I like, and this is no exception. A pity that it seems to have been a one-off.

    Ike and Tina Turner – Ya Ya
    Ike. Tina. Bad marriage, good music. Not a recording I’m familar with, but jolly nice regardless.

    Gangstagrass – Long Hard Times to Come
    And why not? I like hybrid music forms – folk-rock, anyone? – not least because I reckon that they are excellent forums for innovation. It’s knid of nice to see race-specific music forms coming together, too.

    Vera Queen – Small Balloons
    This is really, really lovely. I quite like that acoustic guitar-string-squeak, too.

  18. I’m late, I know, but I just found accidentaly this blog and this post and I really liked it.
    Big Joe Turner – Boogie Woogie Country Girl
    Simply WOW. Miss those 50’s music. But I think Izzy and the Catastrophics – a band I recently discovered – sometimes are able to let us live again those sonorities and those times.

    • Hi giulia
      Glad you liked what you found – RockingMitch is our authentic Rock&Roller with a record collection to die for and an encyclopedic knowledge, so stick around and I’ll see if I can get him to post a playlist. Meanwhile, his contributions crop up on earworms regularly – watch out for about three weeks time in particular. Will check out Izzy and the Catastrophics.

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