Earworms 29 July 2013

This week’s set comes with an “ALI ADVISORY” message: there are some strong songs here and you may need a box of tissues or a large glass of something at hand. When you’ve recovered, send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com … I’ve got some cracking music here but I need more! More, I tell you! Mwha-haha!

Lori McKenna – Leaving This Life – tincanman: This is about a little girl losing her Mum, and is going to be cabbage-throaty for parents. You are forewarned, and – no joking – I recommend skipping it entirely if that sounds at all close to the bone.

Hazel O’Connor – Rebecca – Zalamanda: A song to a missing friend. Someone, I think, who was a nicer person than the titular character of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel…

Rodriguez – I Wonder – glasshalfempty:  Watching Rodriguez perform at Glasto, was like seeing a man back from the dead. After an undeserved failure in the music biz in the seventies, he gave up. He was rescued from the wilderness by the slow growth in his fan base outside his native US, and the movie ‘Searching for the Sugarman’. He is now enjoying his belated day in the sun – and another timely opportunity to plead the causes of peace, and the poor. His most earwormy song, in my view, is the quirky, but still political, ‘I wonder’.

Brad – Through The Day – DsD: Darcey was messing about on her keyboard, and accidentally played something approximating the piano motif on this. It’s been lodged in my head ever since.

Johnny Cash – Hurt – CaroleBristol: This is one of the most stunning and insistent pieces of music I have ever heard. The sheer intensity of the performance is almost painful in its honesty and bleak confessional tone. The song was surely made for Johnny to sing.

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now – AliM: My friend told me to listen to this the other night, “When you go to bed”. He said he can’t stop listening to it. It’s powerful stuff and, in my view, all the better for being recorded in her fifties,  when her voice is deeper. It won a Grammy for best accompanying arrangement, according to Wiki.

25 thoughts on “Earworms 29 July 2013

  1. B@||*£+s!

    This comment could not be posted

    I finally spend some time engaging with the ‘worms, write a long response, click on Post Comment, and … Gone!

    Don’t have time to retype. Cross now; mood ruined. GAH!

  2. A quick session with the emotional wringer today! Strong stuff indeed. Some surprising things in the playlist, not least the Hazel O’Connor track.

    For me, the real stand-out was Joni’s cover of her own song. Stunning.

  3. Noodling along means paying less attention to the words, so I rather enjoyed most of these tracks. I thought the Rodriguez a bit less fun (and a little ungallant from some of the words I heard) and Brad went on a bit.
    Robert Wyatt was on some TV prog in which he compared Joni’s rendition of this now with the original. He said it sounded like she finally understood what she’d written all those years ago. True, and remarkable that she wrote it when she did.

  4. Another good set – none I disliked, but as you warned, Ali, some heartstrings got tugged. Lori McKenna was very effective, well observed and poignant. Rebecca was a good follow on, too. Cash’s Hurt was harder to take, and there are all too many in this world for whom Hurt would be painful reminder – the line ‘I hurt myself today’ goes to the jugular, so to speak. Brad just happened to suit my mood today, so I really enjoyed it, even though on another day I might have thought it a bit pedestrian. And yes, agree with Chris on Joni’s reinterpretation of her own song.

  5. Well, I have no kids but, as a person who comes close to tears listening to Abba’s “Slipping Through My Fingers”, I approached the Lori McKenna song with caution. The whole set, in fact. Lori was poignant as has been said. Without being maudlin. Which is quite an achievement when all is said and done.
    I never liked Hazel O’Connor but her track was rather good too. I once went out with a girl who was the spitting image of Shirley McLean. Complete strangers used to shout “hello Shirley” at her. I met her (and her husband) for the first time in ten years at my work leaving party this March. Great lyric that. Funny what songs remind to of. In this case, the visitors.
    Rodriguez I only know by repute and Brad I don’t know at all but this was a good introduction to both of them. Not as intense as some of the other songs but worked together well. Two for the price of one.
    The Johnny Cash song I know well and it’s a heart stopper. Almost too much for one listen. It’s a Nine Inch Nails song isn’t it? I can’t believe they make it sound as desperate as this. Knocks you for six. Head over heels.
    I agree with Chris, GHE and Robert Wyatt about the Joni track. It’s from a stupendous album. Tells the story of an affair. Half covers of classics and half her own songs revisited. Sends shivers down my spine. Like an angel passing through my room.

  6. Lori McKenna: Lovely voice. I’m a sucker for weepy songs (in fact, I have a self-indulgent iPod playlist of them for when I’m feeling particularly morose), but this isn’t really moving me. Maybe it’s too blatant a tearjerker – I’m not blindsided. Or maybe it’s just a bit too ‘country’ for me. Anyway, I’m finding it pleasant but not heartbreaking.

    Hazel O’Connor: I got dragged to see her a few years back by a friend-of-a-friend who ran her fanclub. Or something. She was good. Don’t remember this one. She’s got quite a mannered voice, hasn’t she? It’s rather effective on this though. Like it.

    Rodriguez: Meant to see Searching For Sugarman. Didn’t. “I wonder how many times you had sex”?! Well, that piqued my dirty-minded interest. Jaunty track, lovely voice, interest lyric. My toes are tapping. Gently.

    Brad: Never heard of them. (Him?) Really like the voice. Not sure why as it’s a bit odd. (Maybe that’s why!) And oddly, I’m finding this the most emotive song so far. Something about the awkward, shy-sounding voice perhaps. It sounds to me like singing is a painfully revelatory experience for him – but something he’s compelled to do. Now I’m fantasising. But I do like this very much.

    Johnny Cash: I know this well of course. Coupled with the video, it’s almost unbearable. On its own, it is still pretty bloody powerful. Such an unshowy singing performance, such painful honesty. This one does reduce me to a jibbering wreck. Is this a different version from the Man Comes Around album? I don’t remember the spoken-word bit.

    Joni Mitchell: Another one I know of course, but not this version. And what a version it is. Gorgeous.

    Thanks all. That was a lovely set.

    • Welcome back Bish, and thanks for the comments. I’m picking something cheerful for Tinny’s ‘letter of the week’ slot.

    • Yes, the JC is ripped from the video, because someone has got my copy of the album and I cannot remember who it is.


    Bish’s comment made me reply, and what the hell, retype everything I tried to say earlier, and the F**KIN’ comment came up “could not be posted” AGAIN!!!!

    • DsD, if you use Firefox there is a fantastic add-on called Lazarus that helps you recover lost text. I use it all the time.

  8. @ Bish

    I suspect the JC version here is an audio rip from the video. That spoken bit is from a film made by mid-life Cash, which is woven into the memory bits in the video to Hurt.

  9. Re Brad
    This is a Seattle-based “supergroup” of sorts. Members of Pearl Jam, Satchel, Malfunkshun got together twenty years ago and recorded an album they intended to release under the name Shame. They found out some miserable sod had some sort of copyright/trademark claim on the name (but no band to go with it) and refused to give/grant/sell them the name.
    Miserable sod’s name was Brad Something-Or-Other, so they called themselves Brad in revenge and the LP was entitled Shame instead. I’ve posted opening song from that album (Buttercup) as an earworm before now.
    Brad then turned into a long-term, but still part-time band, releasing five studio albums in 20 years. I love ’em dearly, mostly due to singer Shawn Smith’s oddly-beautiful voice, and the vibe that tends to pervade their recordings. If you search your iTunes for Shawn, Brad, Satchel or Pigeonhed, you may find old RR noms from me with SS singing.
    Brad played some UK shows earlier this year for only the second time in two decades, and I COULDN’T GO!!! At the moment, that hurts as much as surrendering my ticket for Zep @ Knebworth in 1979 did. THAT’S how much I love listening to Mr. Smith.

    * Highlights, Select/Copies, crosses fingers and hits Post Comment again *

  10. I enjoyed all the tracks this week, it is very powerful list ! ! !

    Lori McKenna – Leaving This Life
    Gosh I could hardly listen to this track after Tinny’s description ! ! ! It is a wonderful track but I really do not know if I will ever listen to it again ! ! !

    Hazel O’Connor – Rebecca
    I have never be a big fan of Hazel O’Connor, but I enjoyed this track and I really liked the folk motifs and the arrangement . . . . is that a harp ? ? ?

    Rodriguez – I Wonder
    I had never heard of Rodriguez before, but I really enjoyed this track and maybe it is even my favourite of this week if I really had to pick one ! ! ! I loved the retro 1950 feel. I will definitely check out more from him ! ! !

    Brad – Through The Day
    I agree with Bish that this his voice is really evocative and the arrangement is really great, the repetitive piano part gives the track a haunting feel. Another band I will definitely explore more ! ! !

    Johnny Cash – Hurt
    Gosh, this is a hard track to listen to ! ! ! I know it of course, and I really love Jonny Cash and his honesty and integrity come through every word he sings. I really admire this song and appreciate it, but . . . . I find it too much to really say I like it . . . does that make sense ? ? ?

    Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now
    I know and love the original for the 1960’s decade and I always loved it, so it was really interesting to hear this version. It is actually a really powerful version of the song that really brings out new meanings in the song as she sings it from a completely different prospect to the original.

    A really great set of Earworms as usual ! ! !

  11. I loved “Searching for the Sugarman” – highly recommended if anyone hasn’t seen it.

    Seemed like a top bloke and this is a top tune too – best of the bunch for me!

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