Earworms 17 February 2014

A funky and eclectic collection for you this week; many thanks to everyone who has sent in their worms; please keep them coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Dr John – It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing – daddypig: From the album Duke Elegant, in which Mr Rebennack takes Duke Ellington tunes and applies Hammond Organ and a funky rhythm section.

Farley Jackmaster Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around – bishbosh: Darryl Pandy camping it up in a spangly blue top while bellowing his way through this song is one of my favourite ’80s Top of the Pops memories. Still think the track sounds amazing.

Mogwai – Repelish – abahachi: Mogwai’s sense of humour is generally under-rated, but this track, complete with vocalisation of the famous (alleged) backwards masking on ‘Stairway to Heaven’, justifies the price of their new album all on its own.

Camille YarbroughAll Hid – Fuel: Camille Yarbrough is poetic, intense and funky.

Cuban Brothers – Ace of Spades – Shoegazer: Another ace from the Shoey archives, this one is from the ‘unexpected covers’ series.

Brent Dowe: Down Here in Babylon – goneforeign: Brent Dowe made his mark on Jamaican popular music as lead singer with the Melodians, one of the most consistently popular harmony groups of the 1960s and 1970s, he went on to a solo career and worked with almost every Jamaican producer of that period including Lee Perry, with whom he recorded the censorious “Down Here in Babylon”. Released as a 7″ single in 1975.

13 thoughts on “Earworms 17 February 2014

  1. Fuel: What a fabulous song, thanks for the turn on to someone I’d totally missed, I checked Spotty and found ‘The Iron Pot Cooker’ there, I’ll listen to that album today.
    She and Brent make a perfect combination.
    Re. Dr. John, I’ve always loved his music but here it seems he totally misses the point, he’s singing the words, ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing’, but he ain’t swingin’. Such a dull plodding arrangement. Sorry Daddy P.

  2. Mixed bag this week – have to agreed with Goneforeign re the Dr John track, normally a fan of his, but sorry DP, that version really ain’t got much swing to my ears. Similarly Farley Jackmaster Funk doesn’t do much for me. Like the dry humour of the Mogwai track.

    Camille Yarbrough is the absolutely outstanding track of the week, intense, gripping, suffused with righteous anger, I could imagine it being the sort of thing Nina Simone might be doing if she was alive and at her peak today – really can’t stress how good this is.

    Cuban Brothers is a lot of fun – I can rarely resist an unusual cover version and this one is top notch as it really does integrate the song into a full on latin vibe and does it with effortless class (it’s far better than the “over-knowing” Hayseed Dixie version that did the rounds a few years back), I think it’s always the sign of a top notch pop song if it translates across genres as easily as this.

    Brent Dowe – I know The Melodians but not his solo work – must rectify now, this is brilliant, true Lee Perry magic.

  3. Dr John: Yeah, it’s a bit plodding for me too (sorry!). Nice clean sound but I’d like it to swing a little more.

    Farley Jackmaster Funk: Dunno why I like this so much. It’s really not my usual sort of thing. I think it’s partly a nostalgia thing and partly (mainly) Darryl Pandy’s charisma. To me, he’s got almost a Louis Armstrong thing going on (despite the music being a world away of course). Anyway, I can understand why it doesn’t do a great deal for people hereabouts!

    Mogwai: One of those bands I’ve known about for years without being able to name anything by them. I blame a Glaswegian ex of yesteryear. Anyway, I quite enjoyed this without really loving it. I certainly would’ve lost interest without the voiceover – which is probably why I’ve never got into Mogwai, I suppose! Not got the attention span, innit.

    Camille Yarbrough: Her voice is a bit didactic ‘performance poet’ for me. I’ve never got into Patti Smith for a similar reason. I can hear the passion but it really doesn’t move me. (And of course there’s not a ‘tune’ as such and I’m far too in thrall to melody in my listening tastes.)

    Cuban Brothers: Oh this is fun from the off! Yeah, my favourite so far. Doesn’t outstay its welcome either.

    Brent Dowe: Lovely.

  4. Oh well, distinctly mixed reception for Dr John but never mind. I find the groove really infectious but if it doesn’t catch you right then other groovy songs are available.

    I must admit there are a lot of political songs I don’t really like, even if I completely agree with the politics and love the artist. Of the few I do like, two are written by Jerry Dammers. Mixed feelings about the Brent Dowe and Camille Yarborough.

    The generally grudging mood extends also to Farley “Ruskmaster”, 80s funk often didn’t work for me, probably because 70s funk and disco set the bar so very high. Mogwai I don’t know very much about and haven’t managed to cotton onto the humour, though I agree that “Stairway…” and those 70s artists deserve it ! Which leaves The Cuban Brothers, that cover is a lot of fun.

    I’m wondering if some if the tunes this week lose something from the MP3 format and my playing them through fairly small speakers. MP3 is the devil’s own file format really, 80% of the information is lost to compression, so it’s amazing that it sounds like anything. But sometimes, if a song relies on a certain warmth in the sound, or interplay between the instruments, it doesn’t do justice.

    Anyway, a mixed bag of earworms is still good, and good to try out things new to me. Thanks to Ali and contributors, as always.

  5. When I’m putting the worms together I listen through earphones as the sound is far better than on my laptop speaker. So even if I start out hating something I usually like it, or can at least appreciate it, after the 4th or 5th listen. What really frustrates me is that I can’t get all the playlist to work unless I borrow my son’s laptop, and I can’t work out why. Also, on mine, I can’t log into wordpress at the same time as I’m on The ‘Spill, otherwise my anti-virus blocks The ‘Spill and screams “MALWARE DETECTED”. I have an anti-malware thingy; I’ve updated everything; I’ve ‘allowed’ both sites but the problems persist. Grrrr, grrr.

    • I’ve found that I can only play all the songs on the player if I use Internet Explorer but for some reason the page constantly reloads itself and it plays merry hell with the comments box. I keep having to refind my place, Ma\ybe this is just my ancient computer though.

    • Are you using a computer that’s just a few years older than your son’s, or a different sort of device altogether ? Maybe the anti-virus software is just a bad fit for the computer. We shouldn’t be surprised when different programmes and codes used on websites clash with each other, because it’s complex and can’t ever be tested on the different combinations of things that people install. But we are surprised because computers usually just work OK.

      Maybe try a different anti-virus product. Maybe it would be OK just to do without ?

  6. Dr John – Liked it best when nobody was singing which is a funny thing to say about a Dr John recording. I just think it worked best when I wasn’t distracted by the thought of what the song “should” sound like. In itself the groove was fine and funky.

    Farley Jackmaster Funk – Wasn’t this the first ever House record or something? I do remember its existence but I don’t remember it being as good as this on TOTP. Really liked it.

    Mogwai – I only know of Mogwai because Part Chimp used to support them sometimes. This isn’t their usual sound is it? Liked the atmosphere of the music but but couldn’t really follow what the bloke was saying so the humour rather passed me by. Sorry.

    Camille Yarbrough – I like Patti Smith and I like Nina Simone so I should like this but after two listens I’m still not getting it. Maybe I’ll listen to this and Mogwai a few more times. I think I may just be in the wrong sort of mood right now.

    Cuban Brothers – Now this I loved. Sometimes a radically different musical style makes a cover sound like just a novelty but this works perfectly. Great stuff.

    Brent Dowe – Gorgeous vocal, lovely production.

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