Earworms 9 January 2017

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A bumper crop this week, starting in a very laid-back way, building gradually and finishing on a splendid up-beat number from Röyksopp. Also here’s a special mention for Ravi, who has been injured in an encounter with a drunken motorcyclist – best wishes Ravi, and I hope both you and the New Year get better soon. Meanwhile, thanks very much to everyone, and as ever, please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Grouper – Headache – CaroleBristol: I was listening to BBC6Music in bed last night and reading. I wasn’t paying much attention to the music but this came on and I stopped reading and started listening. I know nothing about Grouper but I was struck by the fragility and delicacy of the sound.

Shankar Mahadevan; U Shrinivas; John McLauglin – Giriraja Sutha – Ravi Raman: This was the third and more enduring of the Shakti line-ups with U Shrinivas and Shankar Mahadevan joining Zakir & McLaughlin. This is a Carnatic standard played at a speeded-up tempo. The first 5 minutes or so the two newcomers challenge and respond to each other till at around the 6 minute mark- magic! I’ve included this blogger’s post as it seems to have the only video on this particular performance. See the unalloyed joy in Zakir and McLaughlin’s faces. The latter even stops playing! Some other cool music links as bonus. https://musicthis.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/shankar-mahadevans-fusion-work/

Steve Mason – Hardly Go Through – tincanman: Produced by Elbow keyboardist Craig Potter, last year’s “Meet The Humans” sounds so much like an Elbow album that Mason’s (of Beta Band fame) intimate songwriting gets a bit lost. But this is a pretty good love song, and that Elbow sound IS pretty sumptuous.

Joe Turner – Piney Brown Blues – goneforeign: When I left England in 1958 bound for LA I brought with me a few LP’s, a favorite was ‘The Boss of the Blues’ by Joe Turner. I’ve played it dozens of times over the years, definitely one for the desert island. The backup band was comprised of a group of players from the Basie band, it’s the epitome of Kansas City style jazz. The cut is Piney Brown Blues. Lawrence Brown – trombone; Pete Brown – alto saxophone; Seldon Powell – tenor saxophone; Frank Wess – tenor saxophone; Joe Newman – trumpet; Jimmy Nottingham – trumpet; Freddie Green –guitar; Pete Johnson – piano; Walter Page – double bass; Cliff Leeman – drums; Big Joe Turner – vocals.

Herbert Pixner Projekt: Breaking Bad / Herbert Pixner Project: Gitanes – Abahachi: I’m conscious, from the reaction last time I posted some of their music, that news of a new album from Austrian Accordionmeister Herbert Pixner and his Project may not be greeted here with universal joy. Perhaps it will make a difference that the musical conception for at least some of the tracks appears to be to reduce the accordion element to subtle atmospherics while allowing the guitarist lots of space to show off on his new electric instrument, as in ‘Breaking Bad’. Not entirely convinced about this new direction meself, but thankfully there’s also plenty of more conventional fare, offering a modern take on traditional folk rhythms and melodies: ‘Gitanes’.

Röyksopp (featuring Susanne Sundfor) – Never Ever – severin: One of my favourite releases from last year. One that didn’t make my Festive Spill top three – or anyone else’s I think. Royksopp’s synth pop side – nothing ambient here – and Susanne Sundfor on vocals. It’s a hit, a palpable hit.

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11 thoughts on “Earworms 9 January 2017

  1. Well, first off, commiserations to Ravi and I hope that you aren’t too badly hurt and make a swift recovery. Get well soon, mate!

    By the by, I know it is my own ‘worm, but I like this Grouper song more and more every time I hear it. It has really got under my skin.

    Shankar Mahadevan; U Shrinivas; John McLauglin – Giriraja Sutha This wouldn’t play for me, so I played it from the link provided. Beautiful music. The voice becomes another instrumental texture, which is wonderful to hear.

    Steve Mason – Hardly Go Through I’ve seen Steve Mason a couple of times and he’s great live. I’ve not got “Meet The Humans” yet, but I’ve heard lots from it. This track is lovely, one of the best I’ve heard from the album. Sumptuous really sums it up perfectly.

    Joe Turner – Piney Brown Blues Oh yes. I’ve got this on couple of Blues compilations and it always makes me happy when it comes on. Superlative stuff.

    Herbert Pixner Projekt: Breaking Bad / Herbert Pixner Project – Gitanes These would be an interesting addition to the soundtrack of a remake of that classic film, The Third Man and I mean that as a compliment. The music lacks the claustrophobia of the Anton Karas original but has plenty of light and shade. I like this pair a lot.

    Röyksopp (featuring Susanne Sundfor) – Never Ever Yes, I liked this when I heard it last year. A disco floor-filler, I think. It has Kylie qualities, and that is a compliment too.

    What did I like best? Well, having heard most of them before it seems invidious to choose between the two that were new to me, so Shakti and the Herbert Pixner Projekt can share the triumphal quadriga this week.

    • Ha. Thought as much and even though the band has other videos with the same line-up doing the same song this is rather special. Weirdly the clip is deleted on You Tube though it is there on this blog post. HD quality too.

  2. Very sorry to hear about Ravi’s accident. I hope he is recovering well.

    I liked that Grouper track a lot. Hadn’t heard the name before. Just the one person apparently. I’m going to be a cliche and say “atmospheric” because it is.
    The Shakti track is also new to me. Very fine music indeed. Enjoyed that a lot. I liked the Steve Mason too and I can hear the Elbow-ness. And as with Elbow I’m not sure if I would listen to a whole album at one sitting even though I did enjoy this song.
    Can’t go far wrong with Joe Turner. Fantastic voice as ever.
    I liked the previous Herbert Pixner worm and I liked these two. In fact I think I would put them with the Grouper song as my picks of the week.

  3. Thanks all. Much better now. One wrist down and just knocked out for a couple of days. Lovely list as usual. Will have a closer listen but really like Royskopp.

  4. I’ll add my best wishes to Ravi for a speedy recovery.

    Lovely set this week. The Grouper was a terrific bit of dreamy pop, and my pick of the week. Despite abahachi’s attempt to put me off, I enjoyed both Pixner tracks, though the Breaking Bad was the more interesting. Then an uplifting and cheery smasher from Royksopp to play us out. Brill…

  5. I just saw this @Ravi. What happened? Where were you? Does this happen often there?

    I started motorcycle lessons this fall/autumn and it’s not onerous (you can be done in 4 weeks) but they like to know you’ll be safe on a bike. Where you go from there….

    • I was stepping off the pavement when this genius tried to take out his parked bike with a sorta donut. Knocked a couple of us over.
      To answer your other question: Yes there are far too many accidents, two, three and four wheelers. There are close to 3 vehicles per person on the city roads, not counting trucks, buses and out of state visitors.

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