Earworms 26 May 2014


Apparently we’re a bit stressed this week, I suggest you turn up the volume and get it all out of your system. Failing that, come and have a Bank Holiday beer or two with me. Please keep the earworms coming to earworm@tincanland.com, otherwise I’ll get stressed too.

Liars – Grown Men Don’t Fall In The River Just Like That – panthersan: I’ve been going back to Liars’ first album this week in anticipation of their new one and rediscovering how I felt 13 years ago when I sauntered into Edge World Records in Brighton one Saturday morning and asked to listen to the import LP with the cool artwork and ridiculously long name that I had spotted in the racks.

Scarfo – ELO – severin: Scarfo were a 1990s British band who never really got the recognition they deserved. They featured Nick Pryor who later joined Part Chimp and Jamie Hince who went on to form The Kills (not The Killers). This was released as a single in 1997 and is rather good.

Gun – Long Road – Darcey’s Dad: Hands up everyone who heard that riff intro and immediately thought ” Thatsh a Cher shingle, shoorly!” Well, no it wasn’t, but there is a famous female singer on the backing vocals. A Spill pint a’heavie if you can identify her.

Kate Bush – Get Out of My House – debbym: I wanted to include something by Kate Bush now she’s announced the (static) ‘tour’. I was thinking of ‘Get Out Of My House’, the last track on ‘The Dreaming’, It’s got all the ingredients I love about Kate Bush, silly voices, screaming et al!

Billy Joel – Pressure – beltway: My ongoing attempts to rehabilitate the reputation of Billy Joel amongst the musical cognoscenti continues with putting this great tense song of his forward for earworm consideration – it really is a quality number – I always thought that if an angry “Plastic Ono Band” era John Lennon teamed up with a gloomy “Visitors” era Björn Ulvaeus, this is the sort of song they might come up with. Pressure!

Scotty – Draw your Brakes – goneforeign: Some of you may remember Scotty from a reggae tune I posted here some time back, ‘Skank in Bed’, a reworking of Dusty Springfield’s hit, Breakfast in Bed, he recorded it with Lorna Bennett. It was typical of his style as is this one, ‘Draw your Brakes’, it was featured in the film ‘The Harder they Come’.


26 thoughts on “Earworms 26 May 2014

  1. Worms are in the box – thanks to all. I think Scotty is my favourite this week, got it up loud but I can still hear the cat snoring. At least someone is chilled out.

  2. It’s a wet start to the bank holiday here so I need something a bit different to forget the dull damp dreary day outside.

    Liars, yep that goes in the really long title playlist but not my thing.

    Early Mr. Kate Moss hey, not a great fan of The Kills but this early tune from Scarfo is pretty alright.

    Gun – nope didn’t cross my mind about Cher but another decent tune.

    Kate Bush, yep everyday of the week.

    Billy Joel appreciate I far from the musical cognoscenti but that’s a fine tune, not his best but definitely listenable.

    Change of scene with Scotty at the end.

    Decent set of six for a spring bank holiday.

  3. Oh dear, not my thing at all this week, apart from Scotty, which is a long time favourite, and the Kate Bush track, which wouldn’t play for me here and which I had to go to YouTube to hear.

  4. I’m not 100% sure I’d like either of the first two as earworms (some brain crockery might get damaged) but, as a one-off injection, I rather like them.
    Gun and Joel I can live without (“It’s the drums, Captain Mainwaring!”) but Scotty is obviously part of the on-going cosmic reggae loop, and so cares not a jot for my opinion.
    Kate B, as has been noted, doesn’t actually play. But here it is anyway:

    It’s quite Bush-y but not overly so. Eeyore? Really? Hmmm….

    • Kate Bush played for me but on checking I see I’d imported it as .m4a and not .mp3. I’ve now altered it to .mp3 so that should fix the problem, I hope? Apologies.

    • It is indeed the bloody drums, nothing gets me reaching for the mute button quicker than some so called musician battering a bass drum as loudly and consistently as possible throughout a song, and it seems almost universal in much popular music. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve never latched on to Springsteen though I’m generally sympathetic to his ideas.
      Obviously I’m seriously outnumbered on this one so I’ll accept it and keep the mute button handy.
      I didn’t find it objectionable in ‘Pressure’, actually I’ve become something of a Billy Joel fan since beltway introduced me to him with ‘The Downeaster’. I’ve now got 35 BJ’s in my iTunes file.
      I liked the images in the Kate Bush video more than I liked the audio.

      • Delighted to have won Billy at least one more fan GF!

        I wonder if the arrival of the unpopular “big drums” sound is coincident with the advent of CD technology, the increased dynamic range making it possible to master for this sort of drum loudness? It’s certainly quite a dated sound.

        Right, these are loaded up and ready for my drive in tomorrow, looking forward to it!

      • Still away at the aforementioned wedding (update to come later on my 80s thread), so haven’t listened to these yet.

        I completely accept what Chris & GF say about the drums in regard to their own tastes, but thought it might be worth joining debate about the rise of the bass-drum beat:
        I’d have said it definitely pre-dates the rise of the “everything louder than everything else” digital recording technology [CDs], but may well be related to the level of amplification used live. The bass drum, much more so than the bass guitar, is surely easier for the rest of a live loud band to pick out and hang on to. Viz the birth of heavy rock at the end of the 60s – WALLS of Marshall stacks behind bands plying their trade a full twenty years before CDs arrived on the scene.

        Promise to listen later. Back to chasing lost room keys, late wedding presents and boxes to carry flowers in …….

      • It’s not the bass drum that irks me. It’s the predictable snare-thump (often with added reverb) that makes me reach for the ‘Next’ button (and which, imho, is what ruins Springsteen records). If you want a metronomic, regular thump to remind you when to shake your head or tap your foot, use a drum machine. If you let a human (OK, moot point with drummers…..) sit behind a drum kit, let it drum like a sentient creature with a personality who can support the song, not just lay a standard tongue and groove floor for any old song to sit on.
        I’d counter DsD loud live argument by looking at Hendrix, The Who, the Dead and Led Zep. All very loud live but rarely resorting to the dull snare backbeat.

  5. I enjoyed everything without really being shaken or stirred by anything.I’m a bit too addicted to melody (and story probably) for any of the songs to insinuate themselves deeply into my consciousness, though Scotty might have come close had the lyric had a bit more breadth. But a nice way to accompany a first mug or two of Earl Grey and thanks therefore to contributors, it’s very engaging to hear the kinds of things that hook others.

      • Hello Ali. I have plenty of thoughts, but was a bit fogged (easily done) on my first journey through the guide to linking music, but I’ll get there.

  6. You know something? I can’t write about music.
    Every week I try to think of some way to say “I liked it a lot”, “I didn’t like it much”, “I thought it was smelly” and end up deleting several attempts before posting something equally asinine.
    So anyway…………….

    Liars – I liked it a lot. Every week I scratch my head after hearing one of the worms and think “who does it remind me of?”. This week it was Liars. Hope it’s someone I like.
    Scarfo – Honestly thought this would set the place alight and be greeted with joy and rejoicing throughout the land. Life’s a learning experience isn’t it?
    Gun – I didn’t like it much but I did a bit. Reminded me of Adrian Borland when it started. Then it went on a bit too long and, well, just seemed a bit ordinary really.
    Kate Bush – “Eyore Eyore ‘e orter know better.” I only know her singles so this was quite new to me. I’ve never felt as strongly pro or anti Kate as some folks do. This was jolly good I think.
    Billy Joel – Again I’m quite agnostic about Billy so no axe to grind. I can hear exactly what Beltway means by the Plastic Visitors Band thing. I thought it was less than the sum of the hypotenuse though. Not bad. Quite nice.
    Scotty – Bliss. Loved it. Excellent.

    Great playlisting though as ever.

    • I sympathise, every week I try to think of something other than “Love this” or “Can’t stand this”, but never seem to come up with anything. And by the time I’ve listened to them half a dozen times I usually end up liking them anyway, or at least not actively disliking them. See what I mean?

  7. Well put Chris, total agreement as usual, I didn’t differentiate ‘twixt the bass drum and the snare but took offense at their combined output which I suspect is stylistic rather than technological. I’ve spent a good portion of my life listening to jazz which is propelled by some of the best in the business, typically you have piano, string bass, drums and sometimes rhythm guitar, that’s more than enough to drive a large group without resorting to the sound at issue, if you want an example check anything by the classic Basie or Ellington bands.
    They used to say ‘rhythm driven’.

  8. Just a quick peek in to nod my general approval of all. I usually listen to all the Worms every week, but always seem to get called away for something before I can comment.

    Knew and liked a lot both the Scarfo (I think I might have had the single…maybe…) and Scotty.

    You know, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum…..!!

  9. Howdy all. Been a bit absent from Earworms recently – apols!

    Liars: Bit lo-fi for me. It might grab me more in a live context.

    Scarfo: Don’t remember this lot at all. Yeah, it sounds a bit 90s/Britpoppy, but no harm in that. Catchy. Good energy. Intriguing lyrics. Well, ‘unequilateral’ keeps leaping out at me as I do other things anyway.

    Gun: Now this is closer to my ‘doomy eighties’ comfort zone (not my only comfort zone obvs, but certainly one of them). I don’t remember them sounding quite this ‘alternative’/gothy. Could almost be The Mission (in a good way). Like it (although now that Chris says it, I can hear that snare thump thing and how it could irk). No idea who the lady singer is.

    Kate Bush: I’m not familiar with The Dreaming but this is thrilling in the way only Kate can be. Love it. It takes talent to be this bonkers-sounding without being unbearably irritating. (Although I’m sure she is to some!) A bit long but she doesn’t run out of ideas so it probably merits that.

    Billy Joel: Ooh synth-y! I’m not sure the vocal matches the backing (for me). I want him to sound more Gary Numan/Midge Ure detached/strident rather than McCartney melodious. Good tune though.

    Scotty: Nowt wrong with this. Chilled. Nice.

    Thanks all!

  10. Certainly a tense selection this week, maybe not the best thing to listen to on the way into work!

    Liars was ok, sort of washed over me, think Bish is right, probably more fun live than on a car stereo.

    Scarfo was great – very invigorating and catchy.

    Gun wasn’t really my sort of thing, a bit cheesy and overlong, it doesn’t really feel like it has enough ideas to sustain the length.

    Kate Bush is the opposite – there’s almost too much crammed into a single song, it’s quite overwhelming – like a lot of Kate Bush, I think it sometimes feels almost as is she is putting a bit too much into a single space, it’s hard to latch onto the key ideas but I think I need to listen many more times, and that is a good thing of course, love music that takes many listens to open up (but can such a piece truly be an earwormmm?)

    Scotty was probably the pick of the lot though, just the thing to wind down the list – nice programming Ali!

  11. If anyone ever wants to send in a worm for the first time, it’s quite straightforward, just email the .mp3 file (or whatever suffix it is) to earworm@tincanland.com. Put a line or two in the email to say why you like it, or why it’s stuck ion your head. Or if you need any help just ask, there are lots of friendly people on the ‘Spill.

  12. Don’t like the Liars: too spiky for my tastes. You’re not coming in dressed that roughly, son.

    Scarfo v. similar, but a bit smoother. Gets past the DsD doorman, but he’s got his eye on it suspiciously.

    Apologies for those who don’t like the Gun song. Singer Mark Rankin’s cousin is on backing vocals, one Sharleen Spiteri. The family connection automatically puts the name on the guest list at ClubDarce.

    And that Kate Bush looks such a nice girl too! But blimey, let her near the dancefloor with an alcopop inside her, and just look what happens! 😉 Seriously though, I blow hot’n’cold with KB, and this is definitely cold. Oi you, get out of my house.

    I love only half-a-dozen Billy Joel tunes, but suspect that’s because I don’t know enough. I’ve owned the Storm Front CD ever since release, but haven’t investigated much further. This one is sitting so quietly in the corner with its mates, the bouncer hasn’t even noticed it.

    “‘Ere, what’s yer name? …. Scotty? You can’t smoke that stuff in here, pal. I’ll have to confiscate it. Pssst! See me when we’re closing, and me’n’you can kick back and enjoy some more choons like this in peace. Cha’?”

    Scotty wins this week for me by a country mile. Ta, GF.

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