Earworms 16 June 2014

“A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.” (Percy Bysshe Shelley). Discuss. And keep those bittersweet worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com, with a couple of lines to say why you’re sending them. Thanks!

Motel Blues – Loudon Wainwright – goneforeign: I think Loudon is one of the most sensitive and articulate songwriters around, he’s written more songs about real human issues than most. This is one of them, from his 1972 second album, it deals with the reality of the lonely life on the road, staying in cheap motels, eating in middle America coffee shops, night after night as a striving young musician.

Hobocombo – All Is Loneliness – abahachi: Another unusual cover version; here, an Italian trio inspired by the music of avant-garde composer and street musician Moondog (hence their name) tackle a song of his made famous by Janis Joplin…

Elbow – New York Morning – tincanman: The breakthrough Seldom Seen Kid refers to a man who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support the Manchester music scene. This is Guy Garvey’s tribute to a similar man in NYC.

The Teardrop Explodes – Soft Enough for You – beltway: From when everything Julian Cope touched turned to melodic gold, this is a hypnotic, dark little number with a lovely piano and string arrangement, and that “changing, changing changing” refrain will get stuck in your head for weeks…

Invisible Twin – Trouble – aliM: Another band who sent a sample of their music to Earworms. Dreampop from Mario and Rose Suau, a married couple from Detroit. Lovely haunting vocal (I’m getting soft in my old age) – I can forgive the synthesised sound.

The Hidden Cameras – Boys of Melody – bishbosh: Practically any song off any of their albums could class as an earworm, IMHO – they’re one of the most consistently catchy bands going. But this track from their debut, The Smell of Our Own, is possibly their most lovely.

16 thoughts on “Earworms 16 June 2014

  1. The Loudon Wainwright reminds me very much of a song by Steve Payne, called “Young Girl Made a Fool of the Older Man” – I have it on cassette but can’t find it on the web. Of course, Loudon’s would have come first. And the Elbow track reminds me not so much of Peter Gabriel but of Marillion – “A penny for your thoughts, my dear …” (Lavender?) Not a criticism, all good, and Elbow has been on repeat. Worms are boxed.

  2. A nice set there. Elbow are auto-winners, but I have to say I liked the Invisible Twin too, particularly once the guitar kicked in.

  3. Have downloaded to listen to in the morning when I’m out on my bike. Will submit my musings tomorrow at some point.

    Cheers for the great job you do feeding us new material each Monday.

  4. Went for a bike ride early this morning, hoping for something lively and Java like to wake me up. Have listened to them several times and in a various orders and my first thought is that they flow really well together so well curated Ali.

    However whichever way they are blended they’re just not my cup of coffee, far too light and frothy for my taste, though Invisible Twin has a hint of something stronger but doesn’t quite hit the tastebuds with the desired flavour burst.

    Back to my full strength Lavazza with a hint of AC/DC as I follow that alternate highway laid out by DsD.

    • We do seem to err on the side of laid-back on Earworms, which is a hint to anyone who likes it louder to send some worms – I know you’ve already done so, leavy. There’s no restriction on what gets chosen, I include everything eventually, even if I might wait a bit to see if I can get a list of tracks that sound right together. The only things I wouldn’t include would be anything with particularly offensive lyrics that might upset somebody (e.g. racist or overly sexist stuff). But no one has ever sent anything like that, thankfully.

  5. Anyway – liked the two book ends (Loudon and Hidden) best. No clunkers but for some reason the Elbow track made me think of Sting. Invisible Twin were intriguing. Might check out more.

  6. I don’t know if ‘laid-back’ is the right word, I think it might not be but whatever, I like this playlist, they all seem to fit and work with each other. I’m not sure if I even know what ‘laid-back’ means musically.
    Like Severin I liked the bookends and Steve Payne was an unknown so I checked Spotty and sure enough he was there. Young girl reminded me a lot more of Dylan than Loudon as did some of his other songs also. Hobo is the first song by Moondog that I’ve ever liked. Elbow was interesting and very pleasant. Ditto Teardrop and Twin Though Twin started getting old after the 3rd listen, the synth started being too predictable and he voice started to jar; to each his own.

    • I used to go and see Steve Payne in Bristol when he played the pubs with Keith Warmington – early ’80s, probably. Keith Warmington played harmonica, amongst other things – SP went off to the USA and KW got his own radio show. They released a couple of albums as The Parole Brothers; KW also played with people like Dave Evans and many others. It was always a good night out.

  7. Loudon Wainwright: I’ve been a bit prejudiced against him by the accounts given of him by wife and son and daughter (which is obviously unfair – two sides to every story, etc) but this is lovely.

    Hobocombo: Don’t know the original. Or the Janis Joplin version. (Or is that the original?) Intriguing sounds. Nice build.

    Elbow: First earworm in ages I’ve actually heard already. Not sure this is up with their absolute best (that “oh my God, New York can talk” line embarrasses me a bit), but it’s certainly listenable. And what a lovely man Guy Garvey is. Still can’t get over the fact he has a brother called Marcus. FOR REAL. Unless the Guardian were having a laugh in their recent interview with Guy.

    Teardrop Explodes: Another one I know. Not the most earwormy of their songs for my money. But maybe I’m cleaving too strictly to the trad meaning of the word. And Beltway is doubtless seeking to introduce us to one of their lesser-known tracks. Love it whatever.

    Invisible Twin: Oh I like this. I like the 80s-ness. Keener on his vocals than hers – not quite sure why as she has a perfectly decent voice.

    Thanks all – I enjoyed this lot!

  8. A nice set, agree that “laid back” is not the right description, there’s plenty of darkness ad tension in there – maybe contemplative is a better description?

    Anyway, I absolutely love LW3, have done for years, and having recently become a father for the first time, I’m finding so many more of his songs really resonate. Sure, his kids paint a pretty difficult picture of him, but his own songs are brutally honest to his own shortcomings and discomfort with himself, and that has got to be an admirable quality – this is a great example, a confessional to himself about an illicit motel bunk up. And beautifully written it is too

    Am also a big fan of Moondog and I like the original of this, though it really is a mere bagatelle -I really like what they do here with the source material, turning it into something really quite mesmerizing.

    Elbow I know and like, with bish in that am not sure if it is one of their best, but you can’t fault the performance.

    Invisible Twin was nice enough, though it hasn’t really lodged in my ear much, good vocals though

    I love the melodic pop of the Hidden Cameras, it’s just sweet and perfect like a peach, and this is a perfect example. I would urge anyone who is not familiar with then to hear some more, though given their name I would urge caution if searching on YouTube for them, especially if you are looking for the song about enemas….

    Lovely set, great sequence, thanks all!

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