Earworms 8 September 2014

Thanks to everyone who has helped to top up the worm bank, much appreciated, although there’s always room for more. I hope those of you with offspring have survived the first week back at school; it has been a strange week in earworm land and we seem to have acquired a dog. Unprecedented in family history and the cat may never forgive me. Anyway, to the worms!

Miriam Makeba & the Skylarks – Uile Ngoan’a Batho – goneforeign: She recorded this in 1959 just prior to going into exile from South Africa knowing that she would not be allowed to return, it was her ‘Farewell to Africa’; the traditional pennywhistle is played by Spokes Mashiyane.

Ute Lemper – Surabaya Johnny – bishbosh: I’m sure it’s sacrilege to listen to any version other than Lotte Lenya’s, but I love Ute’s recording of this Brecht-Weill song. She really takes us on a journey. Or makes the song her own. Or one of those X Factor-esque clichés!

Zoe – Sunshine On A Rainy Day – DsD: This popped up when I found a ‘blank’ CD-R whilst tidying up the office. Turned out to be an unlabelled compilation I did for one of the girls years ago. An absolutely MASSIVELY sticky earworm on release, I’ve never grown tired of its unashamed pop.

Ry Cooder – How Can You Keep Moving (Unless You Migrate Too) – chris7572: Written by the daughter of an Okie sharecropper, teacher and political activist Agnes ‘Sis’ Cunningham’s words tell of the harsh times of the Dust Bowl era in the USA. Ryland’s music – as it has done so many times throughout his career – provides the authentic background.

Thiago de Mello & Amazon – Meu Boi-Bumbá – beltway: The recent World Cup in Brazil has had me re-evaluating some of my favourite Brazilian records and here is a catchy little number. Just love the punchiness of this, big bold brass and flailing percussion, magic stuff!

J Mascis – Every Morning – carolebristol: This track is the single from the new J. Mascis solo album “Tied To A Star”. It isn’t as rocky as his Dinosaur Jr stuff but it is clearly old J himself. I got the album last week and it is good, a grower, I reckon.


12 thoughts on “Earworms 8 September 2014

  1. Cheers Ali for curating the worms, appreciated as ever. Trust the arm is on the mend?

    Great selection of songs, remember Zoe and as I had the worms on shuffle this came up first and a great start to this morning’s sunny drive to work.

    Ute came up next and whilst fine, would have been better listened to with a glass of wine in a dimly lit bar somewhere.

    Miriam came next and my that is catchy, good tune goneforeign.

    Ry Cooder, kind of slipped by, must have been distracted, came back and listened to that again and it’s alright.

    Thiago next and the brass is very uplifting.

    Saved the best for last as it happened, loved J Mascis, great voice, great guitar, brilliant. Might have to investigate that album Carole.

  2. Miriam Makeba – Great stuff. Love her voice and the penny whistle.
    Ute Lemper – Well I do love Lotte Lenya but this sounds pretty good to me. The song needs to be acted as well as sung and she does.
    Zoe – Had to play it twice before I remembered it from the 1990s. On the second listen it came flooding back. Yes a real earworm which I think I’ll be playing a few more times.
    Ry Cooder – Like him in small doses. This jogged along nicely.
    Thiago De Mello – Good funky tune which seemed to get better as it went on.
    J Mascis – I was never a great Dinosaur Jr fan and this didn’t knock my socks off but will give a few more listens as you say it’s a grower and (for me) this seems to be a week for them.

  3. I already knew the Ute Lemper because I have it on a CD of her singing Weimar period cabaret songs. Excellent stuff.

    The Zoe song is great, especially when the sun is shining as it is today. She is a classic one-hit wonder, isn’t she?

    I liked the Mirian Makeba, also because it worked nicely in the sunshine.

    You can’t go wrong with a bit of Ry Cooder and “Into the Purple Valley” is one of his best albums. This is my fave this week, but I will say that “Meu Boi-Bumbá” ran it close.

  4. not long ago I heard the band Mama (I was seating for mothers day tracks) – and found out it was the same zoe gone folk:

    mamaSunshine On A Rainy Day

    I’m getting into the J Mascis album – I might even get time to listen all the way through now the boys are back at school/nursery.

    I had fun with Brazilian music while the world cup was on.

    • Shane, that mama version is ace, particularly when it goes very Calexico-ish at the end. ¡Muy mariachi: me gusta!

      Cheers. . . . Oh. Swedish vodka . . . . oh well! 😉

  5. Miriam Makeba: Surprisingly joyous sounding for a goodbye. Lovely.

    Zoe: Remember it well. Can’t have heard it in at least a decade. It’s a right choon, innit? Uplifting. If I were to have a criticism, it’s that her voice is perhaps a little strident. But that’s me picking nits. For some reason (presumably similar era), I bracket it in my head with Blue Pearl’s Naked in the Rain, another dance-pop tune I’ve not heard in years but rather like.

    Ry Cooder: Yeah, it chugs along nicely. Slightly feel with unearthed songs like this that I’m being educated as much as entertained, but no harm in that, I shouldn’t think!

    Thiago de Mello & Amazon: Funky. Like it a lot.

    J Mascis: Really like the guitars on this. And it’s always good to hear his voice. Love this. Pick of the bunch for me too, I think.

    Thanks all – some lovely songs here! And thanks Ali for curating despite your ongoing incapacitatedness – hang on in there! x

  6. Oh, where does the all the time go. Have only really just got to this now, and still haven’t really done a proper listen.

    So the first thing I have to comment on is something a bit embarrassing. I am familiar with “Sunshine on a Rainy Day”, but by Australian singer Christine Anu. I had no idea that Anu’s version was a cover and just assumed that it was her song. I think I prefer Anu’s version, but I think its just a case of you being more familiar with the first version that you hear. Its on youtube if you want to hear it – I would post a link but everytime I do that it seems to want to embed the youtube video rather than just providing the link – still learning this caper.

    In terms of the rest, I didn’t dislike any of them, but nothing really wowed me…favourite of the bunch was probably the Ry Cooder.

    • deano – I just write in the guardian comment box (using their system for adding links) then cut and paste it over here… making sure I delete it over there!
      Saves working out all the brackets yourself and embedding the video.

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