Earworms 12 February 2018

Thank you for responding to the call for Valentine Worms, what a soft lot you are. Back to normal next week with no particular theme – if you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3 or a link to: earworm@tincanland.com together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Happy listening!

Kadri Gopalnath – Amudum Thenum – Ravi Raman: a sax instrumental that I prefer to the OTT lyrics – “Why do I need milk and honey with you next to me”, etc. etc.

Black – Sweet Breath of Your Rapture – DsD: No need to repeat myself – you all know I love everything about this.

Dream Wife – Hey Heartbreaker – severin: A bit of a bloody valentine here. “I see you talking to your wife, and I see you holding your child, and I see you everywhere I go”. Makes a change from “Roses are red…” Their album’s out by the way. And very good it is too.

Ketty Lester – Love Letters – severin: I’ve posted this to Earworms before but another outing won’t hurt. The original version and, to my mind, still the best. And it’s actually about getting messages of love through the post. How on-topic can you get?

Henry Priestman – Valentine Song – tfd: Valentine Song by Henry Priestman: bit soppy, I know, but after all it’s Valentine’s Day. Henry’s playing Stony Stratford on Feb 24, so let me know if you’d like to come and I’ll get you a ticket.

Marc Cohn – True Companion – DsD: This was supposed to be my & Julie’s first dance at our wedding party, until doofus me forgot to put the CD in my pocket, and the DJ didn’t have it. (We settled for Black’s Wonderful Life instead).

Matching Mole – O Caroline – severin: Robert Wyatt singing, of course. Plaintive vocal and the most heart-breaking love song I have ever heard. Too late to properly be a Valentine of course but let it pass.

Son Little – Mad About You – tincanman: Young Philadelphian has the blues but sings soul to exorcise his demons, and I recommend an extended listen to last year’s New Magic.

Canned Heat – I’m A Hog For You, Babe – Ravi Raman: my first thought when I read the “you can be cynical” for Valentines worms was their Parthenogenesis. But at 20 minutes I would have to strain credulity to call it an Earworm.  Instead here’s a fairly straightforward number, at least for them.

Guillemots – Redwings – DsD: Another one you all know I love. Usually RRecommended using the phrase “one of the most romantic songs I know”, so a shoo-in here. And we all need more brass band music in our lives, no?

Placebo – Pure Morning – AliM: Valentines? Schmalentines. I’ll take what I can get.

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John Perry Barlow

I confess, I was sure Phil Lesh would be the next to go. But it was their ‘other’ songwriter instead, John Perry Barlow, who died yesterday.

Not a famous man but one who wrote the lyrics to some of the Grateful Dead’s best songs with his childhood buddy, Bob Weir. He was also a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, being a political libertarian, but I’m not 100% sure that was a good thing (although his efforts to increase voter registration certainly were).

Here is a short selection of some of my favourite Weir/Barlow songs: Cassidy, Estimated Prophet, Looks Like Rain, Mexicali Blues, Lost Sailor/Saint Of Circumstance, Throwing Stones, Let It Grow, The Music Never Stopped.

Here’s an item that gf sent me from US radio, made following Barlow’s death but containing a very interesting and clear-sighted interview about cyberspace from 1996, with a significant Dead connection dropped in at the end:

PAUL SIMON – with amended playlist

There’s one thing that constantly annoys me, a musical celebrity dies and the the Spill and all the the other blogs and music sources go into ‘grief mode’, there’s appreciative columns by the foot and playlists galore but what good does all that do for the artist? How about if we were to appreciate our musical hero’s whilst they were still with us? Let them know just how much they are appreciated?
Today it was announced that Paul Simon was retiring from touring, he’s still looking great but he’s now 76 and maybe that’s a good time to hang it up.
His fame and commercial success began as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, which was formed in 1964 with Art Garfunkel, that’s over a half century ago. He was responsible for writing nearly all of the pair’s songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water”.
In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music, which sold 14 million copies worldwide on its release and remains his most popular solo work, to my mind one of the great albums of the century and there were many more, all of which I’ve collected over the years.
So before he departs I’d like to salute one of my musical hero’s, Paul Simon, he’s provided me with more musical joy than most over the years, here’s a playlist of some of my favorite Paul Simon songs.

Earworms 5 February 2018

Some thoughtful worms for you this week, delivered slightly later than usual because I’ve been moon-gazing (as usual) and not concentrating on other things. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3 or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few lines about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Valentine’s Day, feel free to be as soppy or cynical as you like. In the meantime all worms are welcome and will be used, so thanks very much to all contributors.

Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente – He Fades Away – tfd: I was at Josie Duncan’s gig at the Towersey Festival last year and when I went up to her afterwards to say how much I’d enjoyed it she inveigled me into following her on Facebook. I remember doing that but I don’t remember the crowdfunding part (golly, I’m so old) but I must have participated, for here today came a CD and an EP by her. And this is the saddest song you’ll hear all year, written by Alistair Hulett and featuring Hedley Benson on flugelhorn.

Rufus Wainwright – Dinner at Eight – Magicman: We travelled intrepid to New Jersey a few nights ago and were rewarded by Rufus Wainwright singing this song for his father from 2004 alone at the piano. Quite quite stunning. His voice is extraordinary. The lyrics kill me.

Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White – Govinda – tincanman: If people thought George Harrison was weird for recording his Radha Krsna Temple hare krishna album in 1969, imagine what they said to Matthew E. White last year when he proposed covering a song from it, and with a little known partner to boot. Sorta seductively weird.

Spirit – Mr Skin – Ravi Raman: I’m convinced the song’s about shaved or bald heads. From a compilation that a friend got me, Raised on Rock.

Wray – Blood Moon – vanwolf: Meant to be a ‘blood moon’ visible somewhere today (Jan 31st) so here you go.

White Rose Transmission – Walking In the Opposite Direction – severin:
This was a band formed by Adrian Borland and others while he was living in the Netherlands. The title was used as the title of a recent documentary film about his life as I guess it pretty much summed up his philosophy. The film featured a later solo version of the song, which is sadly difficult to obtain but I have to say I rather prefer. See link.

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Earworms 29 January 2018

Well you’ve done yourself proud this week with lots of birdy worms (to plagiarise Ravi’s joke). I haven’t forgotten the non-birdy worms; these will be featured next week, when there will be no theme. Of course, the week after that is in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, so if you have any Valentine worms, please send them to me before Sunday 11 February and I’ll include them on Monday 12th. All worms are always welcome, if you have one you’d like to share, please send it to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Many thanks to all.

John R Baca’s Orchestra – Circling Pigeons Waltz – tincanman: Tom Waits recently described this to The Guardian as ” the most beautiful thing – kind of sour, like a wheel about to go off the road all the time.”

Simian – Mr. Crow – Vanwolf: I have plenty of choice for songs featuring birds, but this seems a good earworm. I’ve have tried unsuccessfully to date to get it listed – probably only a couple of fails as I’m not sure there’s a particularly range of subjects to nominate it for.

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Spill Awards 2017: The Results

Scene: an empty stage, lit by a single old-fashioned filament bulb without a shade, which every so often flickers balefully. Is this a clumsy metaphor for what the Oscars will look like when all the women boycott them and all the men have been disgraced? No, it’s the empty stage of my mind. I can’t go on. I must go on, or this will never happen. I can’t go on. Go on. Go on go on. Go on go on go on go on go on.

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‘Spillin’ The Beans – I bet you thought I’d gone for good…………

……………..But no, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is really back again.


This week, because something reminded me of a long-forgotten blast from the past, I am going to talk about one of the lesser-known (obscure, even) bands of the early 1970s and that band is Gnidrolog. “Who?” I hear you say, “Never heard of them!” and, I reply “No, and who could blame you, because they only ever got played by John Peel and they managed to avoid commercial success completely.

So, who were they? Well, they were a short-lived band formed by two brothers, Colin and Stewart Goldring (the band’s name is a slightly-amended anagram of their surname) in 1969 and who existed until 1972, the year in which they released two albums. The first had the enigmatic title “In Spite Of Harry’s Toe-nail” and the second was the less oddly-named “Lady Lake“. Neither title caused much upheaval in the album charts and the band went its separate ways. Despite the lack of success, various members of the band went on to perform with better-known and far more successful acts, drummer Nigel Pegrum joining Steeleye Span and bassist Pete Cowling played with Pat Travers for many years. The Goldring Brothers themselves went on to form a pretty awful (and probably joke) “punk” band called The Pork Dukes, over which I shall draw a discreet veil. Gnidrolog, inexplicably perhaps, reformed in 1999 and released an album called “Gnosis” in 2000, which proved to be quite popular in Europe. The band has a page on Facebook.

The original lineup of the band was;

Colin Goldring – lead vocals, guitars, recorder, tenor sax, horn, harmonica
Stewart Goldring – lead guitar, vocals
Peter “Mars” Cowling – bass guitar, cello
Nigel Pegrum – percussion, flute, oboe, piano

and they were joined by John Earle on soprano, tenor and baritone saxes, flute and lead vocals for their second album.

So, you wonder, why am I writing about this obscure band? Well, it is because despite their obscurity, they did make some quite interesting music. They fit into the same soundworld as the likes of Gentle Giant, Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson., and you can detect all sorts of other influences in the music too, even a touch of early Bowie in the main vocals, although Peter Hammill is a more obvious reference point. One oddity is that, apart from one track on Lady Lake, the band doesn’t use any keyboards.

Of the two 1972 albums, the later one, Lady Lake is the more successful and accessible, but the first is the more experimental and contains the seeds of the more-polished later work. The music is pastoral in places, with a lot of flute, sax and other woodwinds. It also features spiky angular passages and discordant singing and playing to dramatic effect. It is very much music of its time, the guitar work and bass-playing is very early 70s, (especially on the first album, which has a couple of “sub-Fripp mixed with blues-rock wig-out” solos for example, as is the overall production and dynamic. The weird thing though, is that I hear little flourishes of this oddness in some much more recent music, such as on the second album, “Hidden” by These New Puritans. Overall, though, they are a band who are probably always going to be seen as a footnote in the history of progressive rock and the music of the 1970s.

So, have I whetted your appetites? I know, probably not, but if you are curious you can find their music on YouTube;

Lady Lake is here

In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail is here