Earworms 16 January 2017

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It’s all a bit wibbly and touchy-feely this week, so polish your wind-chimes, get out your loons and have a dance around the nearest park in the dawn. Duke Ellington will restore your equilibrium at the end (or failing that, a night in the cells should do the trick). Many thanks to all contributors, and please keep the earworms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Haiku Salut: Things Were Happening And They Were Strange – Abahachi: I have two main methods of discovering new music: one is the ‘Spill, and the other is the occasional review in the Grauniad where I’ll suddenly think, yes, that sounds like I might enjoy it. So, how could I resist a group described in a concert review as “if Kraftwerk had been an English demi-folk band”? This sounds to me more like Boards of Canada collaborating with the Herbert Pixner Project for Ghost Box, but either way it’s great.

Brendan Landis / Hey Exit – Gymnopedie No 1 (Satie) – glassarfemptee: Brendan Landis of Brooklyn cooks up the most exotic ambient and noise stuff – probably in his bedroom. Here he has taken all the recordings of Satie’s “Gymnopedie No 1” that he could find, and stretched them all to fit the longest and overlaid them. Genius. He hangs out as Hey Exit on Soundcloud if you want to hear more.

U Shrinivas; John McLaughin; Zakir Hussain; Shankar Mahadevan – Luki – Ravi Raman: Nearest to scat singing you’ll find in Carnatic fusion with mutual admiration society members Shrinivas and McLaughlin joining Shankar Mahadevan.

Jim Moray – Sounds of Earth – tincanman: Here’s one from last year for the science geeks among us: a song about American aerospace engineer Gary Flandro and the making of the Golden Records (sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth) launched in the Voyager explorers in 1977. Hopefully ET has a turntable.

Cat Stevens – Into White – AliM: Had this stuck on permanent earworm for a couple of weeks now, so I downloaded the album (which I used to have – Tea for the Tillerman). It’s still an excellent album and I love this track.

Duke Ellington Orchestra with Al Hibbler – Good Woman Blues – goneforeign: Duke Ellington was without doubt the most prolific song writer in the history of American music; he wrote for his orchestra every day from the early ’20’s ’til his death in 1974. There’s a list online that runs to 16 pages of his titles! I’ve collected his music throughout my life and one thing amazes me is that I can find that he wrote only one song titled as a blues; ‘Good Woman Blues’ which is here, sung by Al Hibbler from the 1940’s. Much of his orchestral music is based in the blues.

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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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Earworms 2 January 2017

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We had a soft start to the New Year with Sounds on Sunday yesterday,  but now it’s back to reality with a wake-up call from Metallica, amongst others. Thanks to everyone for the earworms, I hope you all have a happy new year, and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Metallica – When A Blind Man Cries – abahachi: The Grauniad’s little piece recently on “How we made Master of Puppets” prompted me to listen to it again for the first time in, what, twenty-five years – and searching for it on Spotify I came across this rather good cover of a relatively obscure Purple track (they do a good Rainbow medley as well…). Starts fairly straight, gets heavier.

Brix E Smith – Hurdy Gurdy Man – CaroleBristol: This popped up on my Facebook timeline. It is Dovovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man as covered by Brix Smith of Fall fame, with her then partner Nigel Kennedy on electric violin. It apparently remained unreleased because the record label dropped Brix. Whatever the real story behind it is, I think it is rather nicely done.

Al Kooper – Season of the Witch – goneforeign: I was browsing through my iTunes yesterday and I came across this one, I hadn’t played it in years and I thought it deserved an airing.  It was on the radio all the time in the late 60’s in LA. Originally by Donovan, it was quickly recorded by everyone and this version’s by Al Kooper from an album titled Super Session which I still have. I recall reading an article about the idea of a ‘Supergroup’, this was to be the first, they were followed by CSN and Blind Faith and others. Every musician in the group was a star in his own right and they were brought together by Al Kooper, who had just left Blood, Sweat and Tears, he had met Mike Bloomfield when they recorded Highway 61 for Dylan. Stephen Stills was in the process of quitting Buffalo Springfield, so he was also invited. He recruited keyboardist Barry Goldberg and bassist Harvey Brooks, both members of the Electric Flag and with the addition of Eddie Hoh on drums, they were ready. The cut is ‘The Season of the Witch’, enjoy.

Bohren & der Club of Gore – On Demon Wings – glassarfemptee: Abahachi has delighted us in the past with Bohren & der Club of Gore. From their stunning 2000 album ‘Sunset Mission’ here is a another masterpiece of doom jazz.

The Comet Is Coming – Slam Dunk In A Black Hole – tincanman: An Economist (http://goo.gl/PTTs03) article on new jazz tapped this UK six-electronica-percussion trio, and I did find it captivating. But is it any good? This is from the album “Channel The Spirits”, a cosmic journey released this spring with tracks ranging from under a minute to 5ish.

Snarky Puppy – Brother I’m Hungry – RaviRaman: I somehow overlooked this for The Spill lists. Snarky Puppy is a jazz ensemble or collective with about 40 musicians and a revolving door policy. Their album, “Family Dinner Volume 2”, released earlier this year has some brilliant songs like this.

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Sounds on Sunday 11 – Happy New Year!

“Good mornin’, good mornin’
We’ve danced the whole night through
Good mornin’, good mornin’ to you

Good mornin’, good mornin’
It’s great to stay up late
Good mornin’, good mornin’ to you …”

Hope you’re all compos mentis this morning and ready to listen to some new music, starting off gently with some Indie folk. Please leave your comments below, let me know what you think, and mention any new music you’d like to share. Also if you have any tips for a hangover cure I’m sure they would be very useful. Read on for more details of the featured artists:

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Earworms 26 December 2016


There is a wealth of music on the ‘Spill at the moment so I thought I would do a reprise of some bygone Earworms, on the grounds that the worms might get lost in the throng (and the fact that I’d forgotten it’s Monday tomorrow). I hope they permeate the festivities and that you enjoy hearing them again – if you’re feeling energetic, have a guess at who submitted what. ‘Spill points will be awarded where appropriate, and answers will appear later in the week. Normal service will be resumed in the New Year, meanwhile please send any spare worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Thank you!

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