Earworms 3 February 2014

Greetings – this is my 52nd week as Earworm host; some 320 songs have flown by and I’ve really enjoyed myself. I’m happy to continue but I don’t want to hog it; if someone else is anxious to have a go, let me know. Meanwhile, the chap in the kilt is busking for worms; please pipe them toot sweet to earworm@tincanland.com so that he can come in out of the cold.  And thanks to all for a marvellous ride.

Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace – Benedictus – glassarfemptee: We’ve had a few classical ones recently. Here’s one from jazzer and ex-Soft Machine (!) composer, Karl Jenkins. A song for peace, and real earworm, for me at least.

Sam Mangwana – Zengolo – goneforeign: Sam is one of my favorite Zairian musicians, he’s traditionally been the lead voice in some of the most sigficant African bands, TPOK Jazz, Tabu Ley’s African Fiesta and Afrisa International, plus he’s made many records under his own name. This is from an acoustic LP titled ‘Galo Negro’ and in it he investigates the Cuban, Mozambique and Cape Verdeian influences in Congo Music. The Malagasy accordian is unique and he’s joined throughout by Papa Noel Monswet, one of Zaire’s greatest guitarists plus a group of backing singers. A unique African sound.

Stevie Wonder – Love’s In Need Of Love Today – daddypig: I was on a break when RR did “Track 1, Side 1” songs.  I got Songs In The Key Of Life for Christmas when I was seventeen years old, and this – paradoxically because I don’t listen to it that often – still brings back the first time I put the record on and the music sprung into life.

Larry Williams & Johnny Watson – Too Late – bishbosh: Yes, it’s another pounding Northern Soul stomper, but as well as making me want to hit the floor, this one makes me chuckle with its back-and-forth ad libs. At least I assume they’re ad libs. Very droll anyway.

HK 119 – Celeb – Fuel: HK 119 is a Finnish artist who lives in London. Celeb is my favourite track of hers. Throwaway and escapist, which I rather like.

Bertolt Brecht – Moritat Von Mackie Messer – tincanman: A Kurt Weill composition for the 1930 Threepenny Opera, this is the original Mack The Knife.

19 thoughts on “Earworms 3 February 2014

  1. Don’t ever think of leaving, this is the highlight of the Spill’s week and the thing that keeps it going. Many happy returns on your first anniversary.

  2. Happy anniversary, Ali! As a former wormherder, I would just say to anyone tempted to have a go: go for it! I really loved listening to what everyone sent in and messing about putting lists together, etc. (That’s not to say I think you need replacing, Ali! You’re doing a great job.)

    Anyway, as for this week’s…

    Karl Jenkins: Not remotely the sort of thing I normally listen to, but I found this really powerful. And moving. Exactly what earworms is for, really!

    Sam Mangwana: Haven’t been disappointed by any of gf’s African offerings yet. This doesn’t change that. Another really moving piece of music. Such warmth and tenderness.

    Stevie Wonder: Confession time: I don’t like Stevie Wonder. Never have. I don’t like the tone of his voice. I do realise that makes me ‘wrong’. But I just can’t be getting on with him. And I know Jamiroquai isn’t his fault, but Jamiroquai is his fault. That said, this is nicely understated and perfectly listenable (if way too long).

    HK 119: Dirtily jazzy is my preferred version. This is pretty seductive. Slightly reminiscent of Siouxsie in Creatures mode. If more laid-back.

    Bertolt Brecht: Interesting. Think I prefer Lotte Lenya’s version, but really interesting to hear Bertolt deliver it. And like the last one, benefits from being dirty rather than smooth (like so many cover versions over the decades).

    Thanks all – some fun sounds!

  3. I’ll come back to the music in a bit but I just wanted to say that I have two versions of Mack the knife on my iTunes, Louis and this one. When I posted Ripple here some time ago I was tempted to offer this version to Earworms.

  4. Karl Jenkins – I was never a great fan of Soft Machine but this is quite beautiful. Elegiac.

    Sam Mangwana – Bliss. I know far too little of African music but I know what I like and this is it.

    Stevie Wonder – I do like Stevie’s voice though not all of his songs. This was a good one and follows on nicely from the previous track but it does go on a couple of minutes past its welcome for me.

    Larry Williams & Johnny Watson – A touch of the Four Tops “Reach Out” at the beginning there. A real belter and I do love the banter between the singers.

    HK 119 – Very reminiscent of Siouxsie I think. Slinky. What’s all this stuff about drugs? Just say no kids.

    Bertolt Brecht – Well I know Lotte Lenya’s version of course but never heard this before. It took me a while to adjust to the sound quality but a fascinating piece of musical history. Probably won’t be a Christmas number one.

  5. Boo! Just lost a long comment. Summary, I liked Malagasy accordians, HK 119 and it’s interesting to hear Bertolt Brecht singing. Thanks Ali for collating the worms, always worth a listen, sorry I don’t always comment. Night 🙂

  6. Loved Larry Williams and Johnny Watson: Top bantz! Stomper! KTF!

    I also liked BB a lot. I find I like the music of that era more and more after being exposed to it in songs by the likes of Caretaker and Grasscut.

    HK 119 usually has a more electropop sound than the tune I sent in. There’s a really good dry-as-a-bone humour remix of Celeb with a woman talking about how she overcame her problems that leads into HK singing, “I took heroin…” Due to the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, probably not a good week to offer that song as my first earworm.

  7. Soft machine? Long time since I heard their name.
    That was a lovely gentle piece, though with a few noisy interludes. The transition to Zengolo was very nice, they complemented each other, different degrees of relaxed music.
    Stevie: Another that takes me back, I have the LP but I haven’t played it in years but it all came back to me as it played, that was a number one hit in LA for weeks on end, you heard it everywhere.
    And then there was ‘Too Late’, noisy buggers!
    It reminds me of a lot of music that was popular many years ago, perfect length.
    Celeb, very intriguing. An interesting mix of voice and backing which had enough variety. Not a good subject choice for this week though.
    Brecht, I’ve always liked the Threepenny Opera in it’s many incantations, this one I’ve heard many times before.

  8. Finally got to these on Wednesday evening, and it’s a great set.

    I know what people mean about the Stevie tune, in fact I’ve read a fair few reviews of Songs In The Key Of Life, saying it would’ve been a great single album, needed someone to edit Stevie’s expression a little. But I love it for what it is, in all its soppy and carried away-ness.

    I suppose the HK119 isn’t for me, but I was glad to hear it, and loved all the others. I knew that Brecht original of old, it’s the ostinato bass – notes not changing with the chord – that does it. Appropriately scary and disconcerting, rather than the jazzed-up versions which are fun but don’t deliver the meaning of the song.

    Thanks to all, even where tastes may differ !

  9. Ali – a year gone & still going strong!

    Can’t be objective about this,it will always be Stevie for me, especially this tune which for some reason has me in tears. I think it’s the yearning in the vocals – peerless

  10. Late to the party as ever. You’ve done a wonderful job so far, Ali, and I would be delighted if you carry on (but would understand if you want a break). I liked all of these. Sam Mangwana was new to me, and I shall follow up. The vampish HK119 fit right in with the Brecht. Glad one to two liked the Jenkins track. He is, apparently, the most performed living classical composer in the world, with an annual love-in at the Albert Hall, like Show of Hands and Eric Claptout.

    • Thanks ghe. You must have caught them just before I deleted the cache ready for tomorrow! Perhaps I should leave the playlist up for a bit longer. I’ve really enjoyed collecting the worms, it has certainly broadened my taste. And many thanks for all the worms!

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