‘Spill Game: Vote One (or more) Out (or in) Week 4

Well, I am not going to pretend that this week’s list represents either the best 11 songs I own, or even the best 11 songs by my favourite artists.

What it is, though, is 11 songs by artists that I like but who I generally don’t rave about. One or two might be a surprise to regular ‘Spillers who know my tastes run to vintage prog, 80s alt-rock, post-rock and other exotica.

The rules are pretty much as before; you must vote one or more of these songs off the list and say why. I’d like to add a refinement this week which is this; if you could only vote to keep ONE tune, which one would it be and why?

Amazingly, I note, this is my first ‘Spill post of 2012. Memo to self: Must Do Better.

And here are the tracks;

King Sunny Ade – Ja Funmi
Frank Zappa – I’m The Slime
Man – Back Into The Future
Daft Punk – One More Time
The Doobie Brothers – What A Fool Believes
Laura Nyro – Eli’s Coming
St Etienne – Wilson
Spiritualized – Stay With Me
Todd Rundgren – Sometimes I Don’t Know What To Feel
Groove Armada – Song 4 Mutya
Seals and Crofts – It’s Gonna Come Down

45 thoughts on “‘Spill Game: Vote One (or more) Out (or in) Week 4

  1. Loved that list.

    What to keep, first off the bat – Zappa, hands down. Little bit of everything in that one, and first rate axework of course.

    The Spiritualized was new to me – heard of them but not heard them. I really loved it, so nicely Floydian. I’m off to explore more, that’s the kind of thing i’m listening to these days as i’m so smacked with work. The Groove Armada was new to me too (again, heard of but not heard), and i loved it. Liked the Daft Punk too, but went on maybe a bit too long. And the St. Etienne i liked too.

    I love Seals and Crofts. A quick check of the Marconium says that they’re still unzedded. Criminal, along with James Taylor and Yes. Maybe one of our guest gurus will change that. Todd and Laura were nicely soulish. Only knew the 3 Dog Night version of Eli’s Coming. Liked King Sunny – i listen to a fair amount of that sort of thing while i’m working too.

    The Man i’m afraid didn’t do much for me. That was saved from the axe only by the Doobies, which gets it. I have never been a huge fan of theirs (except for Black Water which i do love), and that one really kind of irritates me, it probably overplayed over here, and seems to be on drugstore playlists too.

    Thanks Carole!

    Next week is Severin, followed by GF on the 18th. I think it’s open after that week.

    • @amylee we both identified Spiritualized as sounding like PF, we must be right (I was listening as a typed so didn’t read your comment)!

  2. I am not familiar with King Sunny Ade, it reminds me of Can, surprisingly, it’s gets into a lovely groove, very appealing.
    I have tried Frank Zappa before and whilst I am glad he made the music he did and his facial hair was admirable, I’m happy to not listen to it.

    I meant to check out Man, but haven’t before, this is interesting.

    Daft punk, now I didn’t expect that, it does go well with the Doobie Brothers, afraid I can leave both.

    Apparently I don’t like Laura Nyro, have I just offended half of the ‘Spill?

    This is certainly a varied and unexpected playlist.

    I’m going to change approach and just mentioning ones I like now. Spiritualised reminds me of Pink Floyd so that’s good.

    Seals and Crofts, I liked bits of, but to my ears it changed styles too much in different parts of the song.

    Thanks for a really different playlist, Carole, I’d have to keep Ja Funmi as long as the words are not worrying, because it confounded my expectations and was quite mesmeric and I’d leave out, um, Groove Armada because I couldn’t make it to the end.

    • btw Beth, i know Tfd did a post for you before. If you want to do one of these but have tech issues, i’ll be happy to post it for you like i did for Severin. It’s a piece of cake for me to do it.

      • thanks very much Amy, I don’t think I have 11 appropriate songs in mind at the moment, plus I reckon I might be too thin skinned for this game, but if I do get inspired, I appreciate the offer.

      • Thin-skinnedness is making me waver too. Well, that and knowing that I can either post a load of songs I unreservedly love or a load of songs that I quite love that I think might appeal to Spillers too. And somehow the latter would rather feel like cheating. (Which is why I think Carole deserves particular plaudits for this list – it doesn’t feel like she’s tempered it at all out of fear that her choices won’t be universally admired. She’s ploughed her own path. Props for that.)

      • Dunno, maybe i have a thick hide. But i never expected anyone to love Husker Du, or even not be appalled 🙂 Or the Stones either, for that matter. But as i suppose i have a (well deserved) rep as a rock / metal / punk / etc lover, you could have hardly expected anything otherwise. Like somehow all of a sudden my list would be a bunch of tasteful classics and unearthed jewels.

        But see, i think this is the problem with the worms too. Thin skins coupled with not wanting to offend sensibilities, and somehow it’s all so tasteful and we’re a bit bored now.

  3. Hm, I think this playlist is what’s known as “out of my comfort zone”. Except for the Groove Armada, which I think is one of the best pop rekkids of the last decade. So that can deffo stay.

    King Sunny Ade has a nice, laidback groove. Even if it goes on a bit. Wonder what he’s singing about.

    Confession time: A bit like Beefheart, I’ve never knowingly heard any Frank Zappa before. (I know, shocking.) Not really my thing, but I was sufficiently intrigued to listen through to the end of what he was intoning. Twice. So he can stay.

    Man: No, doesn’t do it for me. Sounds like my idea of the over-indulgent, proggy bits of the seventies that punk cleansed us of. Sorry. It’s probably not even a seventies record, is it?

    Yeah, the Daft Punk is fun – that can stay. Although I’m not sure it needs to be over five minutes long.

    Know the Doobie Brothers song well of course. I am sure I rather unfairly catalogue it alongside Hall & Oates’s “Maneater” and other such drivetime classics. Bit too blue-eyed funk-soul for me, basically.

    Laura Nyro starts off intriguingly. Bit Kate Bushian, isn’t it? (Or Bush is a bit Nyro-esque.) Like it best when it’s quieter. But yeah, this can stay.

    Weird little St Etienne number. The sort of track I would skip to reach the hits, I’m afraid. But it raises a smile, so it can stay.

    The Spiritualized is lovely. I hear the woozier, blissed-out bits of “Screamadelica”. Perhaps unsurprisingly.

    Todd Rundgren’s another of those names… Yeah, this bears repeated listening. He sounds like he means it. Stay.

    And finally Seal and Crofts. Had no idea what this would sound like. I had in mind Captain and Tennille. Or Ashford and Simpson. Thankfully, it’s preferable to both. Stay.

    So, rather surprisingly, my choice comes down to the same two as Amy. I’ll opt to save the Doobies and jettison Man. There’s something comforting about a drivetime classic after all.

    • Bish, i’m sure you know Seals and Crofts. Summer Breeze, Hummingbird, Diamond Girl, We May Never Pass This Way Again. Early 70’s chart hits, but maybe not as big in the UK.

    • Bish, the Man track is very 1970s, 1973, I think. I used to go and see them a lot, because they always seemed to be playing somewhere in London.

  4. I am really rather pleased with the replies so far. It would have been easy for me to pack a playlist with lots of Fripp, Radiohead, Mogwai. MBV, Pixies and Zeppelin, but I really wanted to see what people thought of these artists.

    I think I knew that some tracks would be pretty divisive and that others would get people going “Eh? She likes that? Wow, who’d have thought it?”

    It will be interesting to read a few more responses.

  5. Hi Carole.

    Only just starting to listen now, and not sure how far I’ll get at I’m on 0600 starts this week. King Sunny Ade lovely and blissed-out, just what I needed after taking a handful of 10/11y.o girls out for Jess’ frantic birthday meal. I own quite a bit of Spiritualized stuff, so know I like that. Doobies & Groove Armada songs I also know well, but am more ambivalent about.

    I saw Man twice around the 1980-1982 period: they didn’t do a lot for me then, other than help me get laid!!!!!! (That, as they say, is another story entirely.) 😉

    I like your selection comments too, so I’ll volunteer for the next available open week. (May need your help to post it up, Amy: is it OK if I ask if I can’t manage it?)
    Would someone please confirm in the comments or by email when that’ll be, please?

    • DsD –

      I’d be happy to. As it seems no one has signed up after GF yet, you’ll be on the 25th then if that’s ok.

      All you have to do is send me the 11 songs, a list of them in the order that you want them in the player, a written blurb, title, and image. You have plenty of time.

  6. What a fantastic list of tunes Carole. Respect. I love Man, King Sunny Ade, Todd Rundgren, Spiritualized, Groove Armada, Daft Punk and Seals & Crofts but wait….
    which version of Man is this ? Where’s the guitars ??? Deke Leonard ?? hmm
    oh is that him on the slide solo ? Recovered just in time. Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day was a mighty LP (songs about wanking anyone?)
    Didn’t really like this one half as much, but they’re not going to be bottom. Too much musicality for that.

    Zappa can make me cheer or puke and this one got a cheer. Small doses for me though.

    What A Fool Believes is one of the great Michael McDonald lead vocals of his whole career – and a great song.

    Laura Nyro : I’ve heard the motown LP and one or two others. She’s good.

    St Etienne : I’ve never knowingly heard this band for some reason. Not my friends taste ? No reason really, one can’t hear everything…contender for OFF though

    Spiritualized track is a stone cold classic. Saw them do that LP at RAH.

    Todd’s the keeper if I gotta choose ONE. LOVE HIM. Saw him doing A Wizard A True Star at Hammersmith a while back. GENIUS.

    Groove Armada is groovy, and armadaesque. I really really like At The River but this one isn’t in that class. Still like it though. And I do like the Sugababes too cos I gotta sweet tooth innit.

    Finally a beautiful song from Seals and Crofts. Lovely atmosphere.

    One off ? Really ?? ugh. OK – Groove Armada I guess.

    well done. your tast overlaps considerably with mine !!

  7. King Sunny Ade – lovely, lilting, hypnotic, happy. I think this is the one that has to stay above all the others, because it lifted my mood.

    Frank Zappa – unexpectedly listenable for Zappa, can definitely stay.

    Man – takes me back to Clifton bedsits so it can stay for nostalgia’s sake.

    Daft Punk – didn’t get very far with this, it’s the sort of thing I hate … but there may be worse.

    Doobie Brothers – not my favourite track but I like the Doobies and (ahem) bought their Greatest Hits (forgot to mention it the other week when we were talking about greatest hits albums).

    Laura Nyro – lovely intro, strong voice; she can stay.

    St Etienne – slightly irritating but better than Daft Punk.

    Spiritualized – thought this was a bit dull, although I expected to like it. It can definitely stay, though.

    Todd Rundgren – meh. There is only one of his songs I ever liked – “When I Saw the Light …” – my friend had all his albums and I could never see the appeal, sorry. I think I prefer Daft Punk because it is kind of honest about what it is. If that makes any sense at all.

    Groove Armada – yeah, like this a lot. Bouncy and fun.

    Seals & Crofts – again, not my favourite but very pleasant, I like Seals and Crofts. Humming Bird is probably the track I would pick but it’s not my turn.

    So … King Sunny Ade stays and Todd Rundgren goes bye bye.

    Thanks Carole, I enjoyed listening, though should be revising for a test tomorrow. Oh well.

  8. I think the only way I could really play this game would be to give you eleven tracks of avant-garde jazz and see if you could stand any of them; any attempt at offering a mixture of the different musical genres I like would, I suspect, be a bit too predictable.

  9. Intriguing list Carole…

    King Sunny Ade – never heard of, liked a lot – stays.

    Frank Zappa – like Beth says, I’m glad he made the music he did, but I don’t need to listen to it – I’ve heard a couple of his songs I really liked, but this didn’t do much for me.

    Man – OK – not really my thing though.

    Daft Punk – This brings back memories of my (brief) Ecstasy days. Definitely keeping.

    The Doobie Brothers – worked rather well after Daft Punk.

    Laura Nyro – I’d like to get more into Laura Nyro, though I wasn’t blown away by this.

    St Etienne – genuine question: why this? Foxbase Alpha is a wonderful, wonderful record – I can’t imagine why you would choose this skit over “Nothing Can Stop Us”, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, “London Belongs To Me”, “Spring”, “Like The Swallow”…

    Spiritualized – funnily enough, this was on my longlist last week, and I felt bad about not including them in my 1992 post too. So this definitely stays. I saw them touring when this album came out and was absolutely blown away (and I still have the souvenir mug). Jason Spaceman has spun out a long career on very few ideas and even fewer chords – but he does what he does like nobody else. Keep.

    Todd Rundgren – I’ve listened twice, and it didn’t really make an impression.

    Groove Armada – Noughties mainstream pop doesn’t come much better than Groove Armada and the Sugababes. I like the way that she’s sensible enough to concentrate on her driving. Keep.

    Seals and Crofts – Never heard of them. I really liked the backing, and I almost loved this – but it started leaning into being a rock song, when I wanted it to be more of a country song, preferably with Emmylou Harris on backing vocals.

    So – Spiritualized to stay. St Etienne to go, for not being a better St Etienne song.

  10. Nice mix. Always loved King Sunny Ade, so he stays. St Etienne holds no charms, but Daft Punk irritates with the computer-treated vocals, so they go.

  11. The list started wonderfully with King Sunny Ade but then……
    I didn’t actively like anything else, I’m afraid, Carole. The Spiritualized track was quite pleasant but the others all contained musical and/or lyrical irritants of one form or another (guitar wank, lifeless drums, clever-cleverness, lazy lyrics – please don’t tell me that Ja Funmi contains moon/June rhymes). Although the St Etienne track seems rather pointless, it has the virtue of brevity. On the other hand, I simply could not keep listening to Daft Punk: utterly dreadful. When the vocoded grunts started, I just couldn’t takes no more. Take it away, seal it in a soundproof container and dump it in the depths of the ocean (or give me the appropriate drugs?).

  12. King Sunny Ade Is definitely the keeper here. Wonderful groove needs no words so lucky for me. Canna handle the autotune whateveh thingy Daft Punk threw at me. I reeeally don’t like that so it’s a tosser. The Doobie Brothers is damn near elevator music now but it still makes me feel young and on the move. Was always on wherever I went seemingly. Funny that. Probably would have been my keeper but for King Sunny.

  13. The 1973 Man lineup for Back Into The Future was;

    Michael Jones – guitar, vocals
    Terry Williams – drums, vocals
    Phil Ryan – keyboards, vocals
    Will Youatt – bass, vocals

    Foxbase Alpha is a great album, agreed. The reason I chose Wilson was because it is a kind of oddball, psychedelic sort of thing that really doesn’t have any focus or point. It reminds me of the odder songs that Syd Barrett recorded after Floyd left him behind. I could imagine him making tracks like it if he had had access to samplers, loops, etc.

    Daft Punk, well, what can I ay? It brings back memories of more hedonistic times for me.

    I’m still enjoying the range of responses my tunes have provoked.

  14. Almost a 3 way tie for who to keep: Like a bit more beat with my Afro, King Sunny & a bit more spirit in my Spiritualized. Groovy Amanda is the winner – bit too poppy for me, but have to admit it’s catchy.

    There was a Zappa in the box (Webcore?) that I liked, but he’s up to his usual over egging the pudding on this one.

    My finger can’t point to what I don’t like about Laura & Todd, but I don’t.

    The Man keyboardist reminded me of Dave Greenfield. Alas the rest of The Stranglers were missing & so was the tune.

    That Daft Punk has been so overplayed, it’s in my 20 year quarantine vault.

    Sorry Carole, I usually really like your playlists.

  15. I’ll join the chorus in support of Sunny Ade, Juju Music was probably the first record of African music that I ever bought and I was hooked. He visited LA shortly afterwards with his group the African Beats and I suddenly realized what ‘talking drums’ were all about. I still have the album. And the magazine that I contributed to at that period changed it’s name to The African Beat.

    Zappa, remember him well but I never became a huge fan but he can stay.

    Man, an unknown name for me. Definitely has a 70’s sound in the vocals, not in love with the rhythm track. They can stay.
    Daft Punk: Another unknown. They may leave.
    Doobies: remember them well from radio airplay. sounds good, they can stay.
    Nyro: Too noisy, too much going on, let her go.
    St. Etienne: another unknown. Don’t quite know what to make of it. It gets noisy. maybe a keeper.
    Spiritual; unknown and I don’t know what it’s all about. If Amy likes it I’ll give it another go.
    Todd; Not a keeper. The title summarizes how I respond to a lot of contemporary music.
    Groove: Unknown, definitely not a keeper.
    S&C: Haven’t heard them in a long time, not unpleasant, a bit of James Taylor in there, they can stay.

    • Oh, that was sweet, GF. Just so happens that i have to listen to a lot of mellow music, post rock and instrumentals while i work, the usual rock is not conducive. So i’m always looking for more of that. Lately it’s Tony Scott (the jazz guy, not the late director) and Kokin Gumi, not the sort of stuff that would pass muster with usual jazz / world fans.

  16. I wanted to like the King Sunny Ade track more than I actually did. It was a good rhythm though and I think it’s going to grow on me.

    Zappa I have never learned to love. He’s very clever and a talented musician and a friend of Captain Beefheart but……..
    Just too cynical for me I think. That’s my reject.

    That Man track, I really enjoyed. Which puts me in a minority. I don’t know their stuff at all but this one sounded great to me.

    Daft Punk – seemed like jolly good fun at first but wore out its welcome a bit.

    Doobie Brothers – I can’t dislike them but I can’t anything them really.

    Laura Nyro – I hear a song by her once in a blue moon and always enjoy it. This was no exception.

    St Etienne I have heard before. Like. Were those samples from The Woodentops?

    Todd – didn’t grab me at all. Nice enough.

    Groove Armada – Loved it to bits – that’s my definite stay.

    Seals an Crofts – A nice summery sound as ever. Good one to end on.

  17. St Etienne was my surprise reject. Surprise because I like them and this album. Everything else was enjoyable, even the Zappa, which I can usually skip.

    Particular favourites were Laura Nyro and Spiritualized.

    I liked the originality of the playlist. A well thought out and quirky offering, Carole. Thank you.

  18. Ok, a recap here, and to keep it straight, this is the lineup to date so far –

    Sept. 11 – Severin
    Sept. 18 – GF
    Sept. 25 – DsD
    Oct . 2 – Bish

    If anyone eles wants to do a turn after that – post it here for now.

    DsD – Let me know if you want me to post it for you. You just can’t let me know like the night before, give me a couple of days befor the time anyway.

      • My daughter’s wedding & another obligation will be my prime focus till mid October. Put me down for Oct. 16th & I’ll be contacting you for help with the mysteries of the player.

      • Yay! But is the 16th too soon after the wedding?

        The mysteries of the player are explained in detail in Maki’s guide in the tab at the top. But if seems too overwhelming, i’m happy to do it for you. All you have to do is email me the files, an ordered list, your blurb that i can paste, and an image. Takes me 15 minutes max to post it.

  19. Awesome list Carole. I’m reluctant to name a ‘winner’ and ‘loser’ because I’ve only had a chance to listen to the playlist three times and they’re all songs that need a dozen listens at least to really get into the meat of them. Which is a good thing.

    Zappa goes for me because, as someone said upstream, he’s so cynical. I have difficulties with people who take potshots from the sidelines in any medium and don’t offer any ideas of his own.

    The keeper for me is St Etienne, which may come as a surprise. I think what they are doing capturing the soundscape and moods of London is quite unique and artistically inspiring. Some of the older stuff you’ve posted is quality, for sure, but pop is a disposable medium and I tend to favour current expression over nostalgia.

  20. I’m aware that I often preface any comments here with “another new name for me’ and the significance is that I’m often listening to a piece stone cold, I have no preconceptions and no knowledge of their history or place in the scheme of things; I can only judge them on that first hearing which I think is not a valid test. Plus I usually have to google ‘lyrics’ to understand the vocals. Consider, if I were to post a playlist of obscure African groups what do you think your first reactions might be? Similar to mine I suspect, I mention this only because I’ve just had a second listening to most cuts on the playlist and I’m surprised how my assessments have changed. This, I’m sure, is as a result of going back armed with having read the comments of all the Spillers and suddenly it starts to make more sense. Case in point, Zappa, first time through I probably spent more time thinking about his days in LA rather than hearing the piece, second time through I gave it a serious listen and a couple of thoughts occurred, one, he’s like a ‘theatrical’ version of Gil Scott, this piece was similar in some ways to Gil’s work from the same era, second, there’s a strong influence from LA’s Firesign Theatre which is maybe why I say ‘theatrical’. On second listening – a definite keeper.
    Groove didn’t improve with aging and I’m confused by the number of fans here.
    Spiritualised; definitely improved, I could learn to love ’em, off to Spotty for some more.
    Ditto St. Ettienne, still don’t know what it’s all about but I’m more intrigued.
    Carole: Thank you for an interesting list, you’ve caused me to start over with the list I was preparing for the 18th.

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