Earworms 21 July 2014

Not sure that the worms are all going to the same party this week, but you can make up a love story from the titles … and there’s a poser from tinny – can you name the artist(s)? I shall be offline for a few days so you’ll have to make your own entertainment while I’m gone – meanwhile, please send more worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Thank you!

She Makes War – Butterflies – bethnoir: Gloom pop? Not sure about the label, but she’s a Bristol based musician who likes many instruments and an indie style of singing.

-??- Go On & Cry – tincanman: The participants went on to become quite famous in different musical ways, but the band itself disbanded before the results of this 1966 Motown recording session could be finished and released.

Spyder Turner – Stand By Me – tincanman: Do we really need to hear yet another ’60’s cover of this? When the singer imitates others who covered it, though – yes we do. (tx @popa2unes)

Viv Albertine – I Want More – abahachi: Reading Viv Albertine’s brilliant memoir Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys – candidate for Book of the Year – not only sent me back to the first Slits album, which I can’t have listened to in twenty years, but prompted exploration of her recent music. Which is brilliant, spiky, funny and sometimes (especially if you’ve read the book and know something of the context) deeply moving. This is one of the funny, spiky ones…

Seasick Steve – That’s All – AliM: “’Freedom’ for most, is just a word, like ‘toast’”. How could I resist?

Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again – goneforeign: This might seem an odd candidate for Earworms, but it’s absolutely not! For all of those who lived through WW2 in England it is the ultimate Earworm, almost everyone knew someone, family or friends, to whom the lyrics were appropriate, it’s a classic piece of propaganda music. It’s also perhaps the only piece of music I know that can make me teary eyed and I could sing along at the drop of a hat. I have a specific memory concerning it; my auntie Winnie had taken me to the LMS station in Sheffield for my first unaccompanied train journey, I was leaning out of the window and she was on the platform, she very quietly started to sing this song just for me, I was about 6-7. Indelibly burned into my memory bank.

20 thoughts on “Earworms 21 July 2014

  1. Tinny: During the war there was a feature at every cinema, they always had double bills and between the films there’d be a sing-along. Pop songs of the day would be played and the lyrics were shown on the screen, cinemas were always packed and everyone joined in, it sounded just like that section in We’ll meet Again, very emotional.

  2. She makes war pleasant enough but doesn’t really grab me.
    Mynah Birds O.K probably for the best that it was shelved.
    No, I do not need to hear another version of that song
    Seasick Steve- admire his attitude etc, can’t get on with the music though.
    Vera- Love it. I’m volunteering at the local army regiment’s museum at the moment and they play wartime tunes now and again. Just glad our generation hasn’t had to go through all that ( the war I mean, not Vera’s singing).

  3. This is going to read a bit like a rerun of what Ubu just said.
    I did like She makes War. A soothing ethereal sound and I was in the right mood for that. Mynah Birds of historical interest but not really enthralling.
    Ditto Spyder Turner. I liked the impersonations the first time. On a second listen it seemed a bit pointless. Like that Chris Spedding song where he impersonates other guitarists it’s very clever but wears a bit thin.
    Seasick Steve I quite liked ok although it’s not really my kind of thing. Didn’t like the Viv Albertine at all. Her voice got on my wick for some reason.
    Love Vera Lynn. I don’t think that effect could ever wear thin. Very uplifting even now. I was born in 1957 but it was still played quite frequently on the wireless when I was growing up. It was also used in the final scene of The Singing Detective back in the late eighties and that’s become a point of reference too – odd though it may seem.

  4. Here’s one I prepared ahead of time:
    Go On & Cry: Recorded by the Mynah Birds in Motown 1966 but never released because lead singer Rick ‘Superfreak’ James was arrested for being AWOL from the U.S. Navy. That voided their contract, so Neil Young and Bruce Palmer formeed Buffalo Springfield instead. That’s The Four Tops backing vocals

  5. She Makes War, a nearly song I liked the intro and then thought it was become ‘Ventura Highway’ at a moment or two. Ultimately, it was a bud that never made it to flower.

    Of course intrigued by the Mynah Byrds. There is a ton of great material that never made it all the way through the Motown machine but is fabulous (‘Smile’ by The Isley Brothers for instance) and I love discovering and listening. This I thought a bit too formulaic and really weak on production values, The lead singer’s issues apart, I can’t see it ever having got past the “hot dog” acid test applied before songs were released. Definitely, enjoyed the listen though.

    Spyder Turner – Just so wrong, decent enough voice heard to better affect on songs like ‘I Can’t Make It Anymore’.

    Viv Albertine – The Slits mean nothing to me, but this seemed like really sparky songwriting, sparky enough for me to try and locate the lyrics. The best listen overall.

    Seasick Steve – Like SS, and this was okay but very far from his strongest song.

    Vera Lynn – Difficult to be dogmatic, but even had I been going off to fight, I would have found the singalong section mawkish, not my favourite Vera.

  6. I do see everybody’s views on SheMakesWar, I think she has potential to be really good, but hasn’t quite found the song to show that yet, thanks for listening.

    I had no idea about the artists on the second track, but it was quite pleasant.

    I’m not familiar with Spyder Turner, but he has a great name and sings well, this song has never reached me, but it’s a well done version.

    I had another friend telling me how great and moving Viv Albertine’s book is, I will read it when I’ve finished Clinton Heylin’s “All the Madmen” about madness and creativity in 60s/70s rock musicians, this song is very upfront and admirable, I can’t say I love it, but I admire it.

    Seasick Steve seems like a good guy, this is fun.

    I do love the Vera Lynn song, my grandmother used to sing it when we were parting, so a thumbs up from me, my favourite of the selection this week.

  7. She Makes War is nice enough but sounds a bit like it’s the soundtrack to a glossy film of meadows and sunlight, possibly advertising something.
    NumberTwo could be what Lou heard before writing Sunday Morning. It needs strings and brass on the bridge and fade-out.
    Spyder Turner. severin said it all.
    Viv Albertine is the new talking head du jour. No problem with that at all, as she seems to be level-headed and intelligent. Musically and lyrically interesting, although I’m not a fan of talky-sing. The UK’s Maureen Tucker?
    [I’m sure Viv’s memoir is more interesting than Graham Nash’s. What a good life he’s had: lovely parents, friends, collaborators, lovers, children (although Crosby was a crackhead, Stills an egomaniac control-freak and Young just plain weird). He seems to be able to remember exactly when he wrote every one of his songs…. Snooze.]
    The world became a slightly better place when Jools put Seasick Steve on the telly. It’s a live experience, though, more than a sit-down-and-listen thing.
    I can’t buy into Vera Lynn. It’s my British sixties conditioning: the generation I was rebelling against valued her and the sentiment of that song (and the soft furnishing of its arrangement). But it could be worse: in the US they had to survive Bing syruping his way through endless Christmas-related goo. Profuse apologies, gf: it’s my bad.

    • It’s not the song and it’s not the singing, it’s the memories and emotions that it’s related to. All the negative comments are true musically but this isn’t about music, it’s about a time and a place and you’re lucky to have not been there so view it as an interesting archeological curio.

      • …..it’s about a time and a place and you’re lucky to have not been there so view it as an interesting archeological curio.
        It is, I am and I do.

        But the combination of beautifully-enunciated sentimentality and war still makes me queasy.

  8. I’m pleased I waited to post today after listening again as my view of the songs has changed from two further listens to them today.

    Unfortunately three listens haven’t changed my mind of fifth equal, which goes to She Makes War and Viv Albertine.

    Mysterious artist comes in fourth, not bad,

    Vera Lynn receives the Bronze medal, very uplifting.

    Spyder Turner, love the song and thought the impersonations were brilliant and didn’t tire of them after the third hearing so Silver for Stand By Me.

    This week’s Gold medal goes to Seasick Steve and begs one question why have I overlooked this artist for so long, sure I’ve been aware of him for a whole but after adding this tune to my library I’ve doubled the number of songs I have. Need to rectify that.

    Thanks again to Ali and this week’s contributors.

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