Earworms 23 July 2014

Firstly, a very warm welcome to Brendan. Secondly, there is such a mix this week that I am at a loss as to what picture to head it with – so we have a sunrise, in honour of the longest day on the 21st June.  And thirdly, as always, please send any spare worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Thank you!

Phil Ochs – Rehearsals for Retirement – Brendan: Phil Ochs wrote songs of variable quality, but I think this special. Written when he was disillusioned with politics, depressed about the comparative failure of his career, and possibly running out of enthusiasm for life, I find this kind of bare testimony endlessly moving. http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=phil+ochs+rehearsals+for+retirement

Neneh Cherry and The Thing – Accordion – abahachi: Still on my Neneh kick; this one is not from her brilliant current album but from the equally brilliant previous album with Swedish free jazz trio The Thing doing left-field covers – here, turning a two-minute Madvillain track into a six-minute epic.

Come Sunday – Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington – goneforeign: In 1943 Duke Ellington wrote a suite titled ‘Black, Brown and Beige’, music dedicated to the struggles of blacks in America. It was performed at Carnegie Hall, fulfilling a lifetime’s aspiration for Duke. Part of the first movement was a gospel piece that Duke wrote specifically for Mahalia Jackson, it’s titled ‘Come Sunday’, here ’tis. For brevity I’ve edited out the orchestral segment.

Otis Rush – Your Turn To Cry – tincanman: Similar to prose, a musical phrase is a group of notes which stands on its own and cannot be changed without affecting a greater whole; a sentence or melody, verse or pararaph, chapter or song. Otis Rush’s phrasing here is about as good as it gets.

Louvin Brothers – Plenty of Everything – pairubu: There are a lot of bargains around at the moment, notably multi-disc box sets of older material. One such being a Louvin Brothers selection box that consists of 8 of their albums (for about a tenner!) Country harmonies at their best.

Givers – Up Up Up – Fuel:  Afropop from New Orleans via Talking Heads and Dirty Projectors.

10 thoughts on “Earworms 23 July 2014

  1. Otis Rush no qualms about that one, brilliant.

    With the exception of the quite exquisite Mahalia Jackson, which I think I nominated for a capella week over on the Mothership the others left me fairly non-plussed.

    The Phil Ochs kinda reminded me of Billy Joel, even down to the piano, perfectly alright.

    Louvin Brothers known to me but not a song that I felt was particularly ‘earwormy’ but that’s just me I expect.

    Neneh Cherry and Givers were a bit “meh” for me.

  2. Bit of a jamboree bag this week. Not one I didn’t like but wildly different styles. Right now I’m still recovering from Nena Cherry’s excellent gig at Meltdown so hearing something new (to me) by her is a real treat. Will try to post more tomorrow after another listen.

  3. Brendan: If you’re interested in Phil Och’s life and some of the factors behind his work there’s a book you might want to check out, it’s a shattering read.
    Schumacher, Michael (1996). There But for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs. New York: Hyperion

  4. Liked everything though I needed a couple of listens to Neneh to get fully on board and, being very picky, thought the Louvin Brothers a bit too jolly for the heartache they professed. The sincerity, simplicity and faith of ‘Come Sunday’ was striking; Otis uber cool; while Givers probably exemplified earworm and was perfect sunny sky listening. Wonderfully eclectic, thanks.

  5. Phil: Like the voice. Like the honesty of the lyric. Slightly less keen on the bravura flourishes on the piano. Seem a bit of a mismatch with the overall song. Something simpler and more plaintive might work better (for me anyway!).

    Neneh: A bit “discordant jazz” for me but nice to hear her voice again.

    Mahalia and Duke: Far too classy for me. And not obviously catchy enough worm its way into my ear on one listen. (Which clearly means I should give it another, more focused listen, doesn’t it?)

    Otis: Oh it’s bluesy. Hm. Again, classy but not really my thing.

    Louvins: Fun. Not sure I could listen to it over and over again but I’m enjoying it this once.

    Givers: My favourite this week, I think. Yeah, like this a lot. Good ending too.

    Thanks all – and sorry to sound so underwhelmed. I think I may just not be in receptive enough mode for new tunes.

  6. I’m very pleased I passed this way this week, what a fine set of songs, and good commentary too. Tinny, you do right to highlight Otis’s phrasing. Neneh earns extra points for the Dastardly and Muttley name-check.

    “Come Sunday” I knew and loved from the “real book…” sheet music before I ever heard it, and Mahalia is magnificent here.

    Thanks everyone and hi to Brendan !

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