Earworms 20 February 2017

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More eclectic Earworms for you this week. The wormbank is getting low again, and so I have included two new releases, which were sent courtesy of Shauna McLarnon (shamelesspromotion@haulix.com) – and very good they are, too.

If anyone out there is new to Earworms, the concept is very simple – just send an .mp3 of something that has caught your ear recently, and that you’d like to share, to earworm@tincanland.com. It doesn’t have to be new, in fact we don’t usually include new music here, that’s reserved for “Sounds on Sunday” or other individual posts. If you’re reading this on Hype Machine, these other posts aren’t currently being picked up, so take a scroll through our blog and see for yourself. Meanwhile, thanks to all contributors, and hope you enjoy the music.

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Earworms 13 February 2017

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Earworm time again, and I hope all you music lovers have a happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow, even if you’re in the “humbug” camp (like me). In the meantime, thanks to all contributors, and please keep sending those lovely worms to earworm@tincanland.com.

Rob Shipster – Beleave me – glassarfemptee: Several friends have offspring in the music biz. Rob Shipster scrapes a living composing, DJ-ing, producing and making music live and in the studio. His ‘jack of all trades’ approach is necessary to earn a crust in the digital age, and he is an accomplished African drummer. So his music is eclectic to say the least, from reggae to classical, African roots to Django jazz. Here’s a track I especially like – “Beleave Me”, and you can find more of his music on Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/search?q=rob%20shipster

The Groovemaster – Tangle Locks – severin: A track taken from a Trojan dub compilation I bought recently. Bought in fact because of another track (Butter fe Fish by Skin Flesh and Bones) which was nominated on Songbar recently. This one is (for me) another standout.

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Earworms 6 February 2017

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Good morning … another luvverly bunch of worms for you – many thanks to all contributors … please keep calm and carry on sending your worms to earworm@tincanland.com, a small patch of continuity in a topsy-turvy world.

Sonic Youth – Superstar – CaroleBristol: I never knew that this even existed until about a week or so ago. It is Sonic Youth covering Superstar, which was made famous by The Carpenters, but was originally written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell. This version was for a Carpenters tribute album, but is apparently disliked by Richard Carpenter. I say “Meh” to Mr Carpenter, because I think it is rather good.

The Orioles – Teardrops on My Pillow – severin: A doowop oldie from one of my Jubilee and Josie compilations. Popped up on iTunes shuffle recently and sounded rather earwormy to me. Hope it does to you too.

Marcus Carl Franklin – When the Ship Comes In – Ravi Raman: As I said on the Films on Musicians thread, I really enjoyed the film on Dylan, especially the songs.  This is one of the many lovely covers and is by the actor/singer who played “Woody Guthrie”. 14 years old!

Kauan – Ommeltu Polku – glassarfemptee: Kauan are a Russian post rock band that do a lot of stuff in Finnish. Ali posted a track recommended by Fuel last year, with a link to an excellent album on Soundcloud, of which this is the first track.

Kevin Morby – Singing Saw – tincanman: Both the title track of last year’s album and one of the instruments it is played on, Morby fashioned his suitably somewhat ominous soundscapes after daily twilight and midnight walks in the hills northeast of LA.

Brent Dowe – Down here in Babylon – goneforeign: From a Lee Perry session. You probably know Brent as the lead voice on  “The Rivers of Babylon”. (This is a different version from one used previously – Ed.)

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Earworms 30 January 2017


Good morning, a wonderful bunch of worms to start the day and to take your mind off world events for 30 minutes. Hope you enjoy the music; thanks to all contributors and please keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Tom Speight – Willow Tree – AliM: Released on 26.01.17, this is the lead track to be lifted from his new EP of the same name, due for release 10.03.17.  Joining forces with Jessica Staveley-Taylor from The Staves, their voices compliment each other well. Speaking about the track, Tom says: “We recorded around 11pm at night … all huddled around playing live next to each other … there was something really special about it because it felt so human. I was listening to a lot of Laura Marling and Damien Rice around the time and I think their methods definitely help shape this EP.” https://soundcloud.com/tomspeightmusic/willow-tree/s-YnzfN

Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile – Tarnation – Ravi Raman: Standout cut of the album called Bass and Mandolin. Don’t know anything about the two musicians, as I accidentally discovered them while browsing for some RR/SB topic.

Sleeping at Last – Taste – glassarfemptee: “Sleeping At Last” is the moniker of Chicago-based singer-songwriter, producer and composer, Ryan O’Neal. This track is from the soundtrack to a film about a charity bringing sustainable clean water supplies to developing countries. I hope you find it as beautiful as I did.

Samaris – T3mp0 – severin: I saw Icelandic combo, Samaris, at Camden’s Jazz café recently. Despite some sound problems they were fantastic. This is from their third album – the first to have lyrics sung in English. Previously the singer had sung the words of old Icelandic poems. Comparisons have been made with Bjork (of course) and occasionally Portishead but, I think, they have a sound of their own.

Nightwatchman – Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine – tincanman: All the poop going on in political circles these days cries out for ass-kicking protest song replies, and Tom Morello is just the man for the job. “Mick Jones of The Clash referred to his main guitar as a ‘heart attack machine’ and I named my new jet black acoustic axe ‘Black Spartacus’. And [we] have each others’ back, so foes of justice better start trembling in their boots.”

Lee Morgan Quintet – Sidewinder – goneforeign: The Sidewinder is a 1964 album by the trumpeter Lee Morgan, recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood, New Jersey, It was released on the Blue Note label. The title track, “The Sidewinder“, was one of the defining recordings of the soul jazz genre in the ’60’s, it became a jazz standard and it was on the air constantly on the fm jazz stations, consequently by January 1965, the album had reached No. 25 on the Billboard chart. It was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his parents’ house in Hackensack, New Jersey, where a control room was built adjacent to the living room, which served as the musicians’ performing area. The dry acoustics of this working space were partly responsible for Van Gelder’s inimitable recording aesthetic. Bob Cranshaw, bassist, died at the age of 83 on November 2, 2016 in Manhattan, Van Gelder died in August 2016. I think the rhythm section creates a wonderful drive throughout and the three soloing musicians interactions are amazing.

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Earworms 23 January 2017

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Just four tunes for you this week, and some interesting info about “Give a Gig Week” on 24 – 31 March, a fund-raising Youth Music charity initiative with the aim of having 100 gigs happening in one week. Sounds like fun.

On the admin side, I’ve just renewed the annual subscription for WordPress Premium, which allows us to continue to post music on The ‘Spill. It’s $99, which is about £80, so if anyone wants to chip in (a fiver or a tenner at most), please email me on earworm@tincanland.com or message me by one of the many other means available.

Meanwhile, many thanks for the earworms this week, and please continue to send them to earworm@tincanland.com, should you have any you want to share.

Sujatha Majumdar – Genda Phool – Ravi Raman: This is an A R Rahman tune composed for a movie called Delhi 6 (an part of Old Delhi). Genda phool is the Indian marigold, which doesn’t have an arresting aroma like the jasmine or rose. One sort of gets accustomed to it. And that’s what the song’s about.  A mother telling her newly wed daughter “your in-laws are like genda phool. You may not like them at first but you’ll find out that soon they’re an integral part of life”. A prime example of what I call folktronica. https://youtu.be/d0RCVX1Wgw4

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – High Castle Rock – tincanman – No one told him this kind of psych fusion experimenting supposedly died in the 70s. Good thing, too. (Love this. Ed.)

Procul Harum – Whiter Shade of Pale – goneforeign: This cut has a special memory for me; My friend Augie Coppola had his office on the 6th floor of the faculty tower, one day about 5pm I popped in for a chat. When I entered his office this was playing quietly on his radio, we chatted a bit. Then a student knocked on his door, she was young and beautiful but she had the most amazing pale green eyes, I couldn’t stop staring at her. When she left I asked Augie, Did you ever see eyes like those? And that’s all we talked about all the while Procol Harum played on, her gorgeous green contact lenses.  It must have been 1967; you had to be there.

Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance – alimunday: WtM are an American rock band from Ohio, who had a hit with this song in 2014. I keep hearing it on the radio lately – it’s a great pop / rock song, bouncy, upbeat and very earwormy.

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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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