Earworms 31 October 2016 – Happy Halloween

13351961 - human skull with eye and music headphones. illustration on white

Happy Halloween to you all. This week’s new single is from San Francisco based band The Y Axes, called, appropriately enough, “Monsters”. https://soundcloud.com/the-y-axes/monsters They say: “‘Monsters’ is about losing your sense of self over time. Everything from your ability to move and speak to how you are able to process fear and love has slowly atrophied. In this state, you can either slip out of existence or take the opportunity to rewrite the rules of who you are. In the song, I imagine a group of people holed up in a hideout, trying to avoid an insidious ‘monster.’ I imagine that during this hibernation, the group evolves into a pack, and over time the monsters they fear start to look and sound no different from them.” I hope you enjoy it; meanwhile thanks for all the earworms and please keep them coming to: earworm@tincanland.com.

Lisa Hannigan – Prayer for the Dying – glassarfemptee: The album title ‘At Swim’ caught my eye, as I love “At swim two birds” – both the marvellous dreamy book and the band. And Lisa Hannigan is of course Irish, and I’m a sucker for Irish singers, from Frances Black to Colin Melloy (if we count Irish descent). And then it turns out the album is a delight. So here’s a sample for your delectation.

Dinah Washington – You’d be So Nice To Come Home To – Ravi Raman: This is Dinah Washington aka Ruth Brown. Discovered her when searching for a song for Song-Bar. Long live You Tube!

Virginia Rodriguez – Afrekete – goneforeign: From the Brazilian creative team of Virginia Rodrigues, Caetano Veloso and Celso Fonseca this is admirable for its dynamism and power-with-restraint. Virginia is a deep, powerful alto, the sparse arrangements, notably some great Afro-Brazilian percussions, let her voice take centre stage.

Juan Gabriel – No Tengo Dinero – tincanman: Mexico’s greatest modern pop singer, so I have just read, died Aug. 28 age 66. He was apparently sappy, sentimental and revered. In this 1971 breakthrough hit he has nothing to give except his love, but he wasn’t broke long; his albums sold over 100m worldwide.

Tiny Dancers – Ashes & Diamonds – DsD: This popped up on shuffle in the car during yet another near-thousand-mile commute week. I was in traffic at the time and couldn’t see the Walkman screen. Surprised because I didn’t recognise the song AT ALL, so I let it play. WOW! I may have forgotten it for a while, but it’s been on heavy rotation ever since. Full of all those DsD-pleasing elements. Yummy.

Muse – Psycho: From their album, “Drones”. Because it’s Halloween. And earwormy. Sorry Carole. (Warning for the sensitive – contains bad language).

Image Copyright: dvarg / 123RF Stock Photo

19 thoughts on “Earworms 31 October 2016 – Happy Halloween

  1. I have heard the Dinah Washington before and she did indeed have a wonderful voice. Excellent stuff. Juan Gabriel was great fun too. Really enjoyed it.
    The others were – just OK for me except:
    Lisa Hannigan, which was bloody marvellous. Absolutely loved that one.

  2. Lisa Hannigan – Prayer for the Dying This was rather good, in a laid-back, floating away kind of way. It doesn’t sound gloomy enough for the subject in the title, though. The instrumental part sounds something like old Pink Floyd, circa 1970. Nice track.

    Dinah Washington – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To Ah, Dinah Washington, sheer class. I know this one pretty well. One of the great female jazz vocalists. I wonder whose band she is fronting on this?

    Virginia Rodriguez – Afrekete Fantastic voice! I rather liked this one too.

    Juan Gabriel – No Tengo Dinero Not really my kind of thing. It reminds me of dreadful things that used to clog up the charts back in the past, or the sort of thing you might hear in a disco on a package holiday to a Costa.

    Tiny Dancers – Ashes & Diamonds – I was expecting some countryish soft rock, and that is what I got. OK and workmanlike, I’d say, but I can see the appeal. The growing intensity took it out of mediocrity. It should have done one of those Diane Warren minor to major key shifts, though.

    Muse – Psycho To be fair, I did listen to this, despite my Muse aversion. People always derided The Darkness as a mere pastiche band, but Muse, to my ears anyway, are just as bad. This just sounds like glam rock to me. Maybe they are just being ironic?

    The Y Axes – Monsters Hmmm, I didn’t expect this at all. I was expecting something a lot more gloomy and atmospheric. This is a bit too jolly to my ears for the stated subject matter. Having said that, I quite liked the song.

    Of the ones I didn’t know, i.e. most of them, I liked the Lisa Hannigan one the most.

    By the way, music aside, I like this week’s illustration so much that I’ve downloaded it.

  3. Thanks Carole, I’ve sorted the formatting. I don’t think I’d ever heard Muse until I saw them at Glastonbury in the summer (via TV, obvs.) – they played most, if not all of the album “Drones” – I can see it’s overblown pompous rock, and has many influences from Floyd to Radiohead to The Sweet, to name but 3. But I really enjoyed it, and the final number (“Drones”) was a choral masterpiece IMHO. I was impressed by their versatility – so much so that I bought the album and it’s currently my “go to” when I need cheering up at full volume. Sadly the choral track seems much shorter on the album than when they did it live (and of course, you don’t get the light-show or the crowd). As for the picture, glad you like it – not sure how you’re going to use it, but be aware of the Image Copyright: dvarg / 123RF Stock Photo (I pay so much a year for royalty free photos from 123rf.com). I think it should be OK if you’re not using it for profit.

    • Thanks for tidying up my HTML, Ali. I am not going to use that image for anything except for the music filetype icon on my PC filesystem.

      As for Muse, I think that I don’t like them mainly because I don’t like Queen and Rush, and I went off U2 around the time they released “Rattle And Hum”. I suppose that Pomp Rock isn’t my thing. I used to have the first Muse album, it was a blind purchase, bought on the strength of reviews, but I never liked it and it went to a charity shop years ago.

      Still, it would be boring if we all liked the same things.

      • Yes it would. TBH I’m surprised I like it, ‘cos I don’t particularly like Queen, Rush, or U2 either. I did see Rush when I was about 16, and was horrified by all the girls waving scarves and suchlike, I’d never been to anything like that before (such a sheltered life). It was embarrassing! Thought I’d wandered into a Bay City Rollers gig by mistake.

  4. Forgot to say Happy Halloween / Happy Diwali to all, depending on your persuasion (is “Happy Halloween” a thing? Discuss.) Anyway I’ll go and put the worms in the box before I start rambling again.

  5. Lovely set. Sort of divides into two halves. Somebody put up Lisa Hannigan at RR, though not this song. Beautiful and ties for my weekly fave along with Virginia Rodriguez. Juan Gabriel and Tiny Dancers are both okay and I’ve already been listening to Muse a lot. (TD is also the handle of an online friend who introduced me to this band).
    And it is Dinah Washington aka Ruth Jones not Ruth Brown. I’ve confused myself with the latter whose album Late Date with Ruth Brown I bought and downloaded at the same time.

  6. Ravi: That’s not Dinah Washington, I don’t know who it is but it’s not Dinah. I’ve got half a dozen of her LP’s and I think I know her voice/music well enough to say that’s not her. You might be right re. Ruth Brown, she recorded this song in ’59 with a studio group that runs 1min 54sec. I’ve not found any evidence that Dinah ever recorded it..
    Actually I just checked Spotify for Ruth Brown and there it is from an album titled Late date with Ruth Brown. Check it.

    • Yes you are right. This is the Ruth Brown version. The Dinah Washington song is 2:55 minutes long. It appears on a compilation album and On The Very Best Of Cole Porter. Sorry for the mix up. I downloaded both and a 7 minute instrumental by Jim Hill around the same time.
      Apologies all around.

      • Oh blimey and I was sure I’d heard it before. Maybe it’s just the power of suggestion. The only Ruth Brown recording I’ve actually got is Hello Little Boy which is quite different.

      • Ravi: I’m curious because I checked Dinah’s entire discography and there was no mention of ‘So nice’.
        There’s an excellent reference book that anyone interested in this stuff might enjoy, it’s ‘Jazz Singing’ by Will Friedwald, very comprehensive and very readable.

      • GF: I picked it up from a compilation called Divas, through my music service called Wynk. It’s also there on The Very Best Of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and on Cole Porter – A Great American Songwriter, volume 2.

  7. Nice set, as ever, gang.
    Standout for me was DsD’s Tiny Dancers track. A band that had passed me by, so I will research further. So many attractive discoveries from the RR hive mind have disbanded by the time I catch up with them. Oh well.
    I have a soft spot for Muse, because you gotta love anything that makes it out of Teignmouth! It’s not all pompous stadium rock like Psycho either. I really love Undisclosed Desires off The Resistance for example.

    • OK Ravi, I see it. It must be because it’s not under her name, it’s listed under Cole Porter. Couldn’t understand that at first, live & learn.

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