Earworms 6 October 2014


Well, another week has hurtled by and here we are again, Earworms on a Monday morning. Hope they brighten your week, and please keep sending them in to earworm@tincanland.com. Many thanks. GF, I think you’ve sent me the Gilberto Gil version of Easy Skankin’ rather than the Bob Marley one, but I’ve included it anyway ‘cos it’s great.

Rose of Avalanche – Never Another Sunset – bethnoir: released in 1989 this ballad has stayed in my head for a long time, the Leeds band were usually less introspective and deserve to be more remembered.

Dantalian’s Chariot – Sun Came Bursting Through My Cloud – beltway: A beautiful bit of British 60’s Psychedelia (or proto-prog maybe), with the great husky voice of Zoot Money piercing through the sweet instrumentation. That’s Andy Summers from The Police on guitar there as well.

Mark Seymour – Legend of the Snowmen – deanofromoz: Another legend of Australian rock for you, Mark was the lead singer of 80’s pub rock band Hunters and Collectors, but I think he has really come into his own in his post band solo career. His ability to tell a story with his passionate vocal delivery is amazing. I just recently went to one of his gigs, and this track, which is about asbestos of all topics, really stood out to me.

Grateful Dead – Sunrise – chris7572: Apart from one flatulent line, this is rather lovely. The only song that Donna Godchaux wrote for the band is (almost definitely) a tribute to Rex Jackson, their iconic roadie who died in a car crash the previous year. His shamanistic presence entranced men and women alike, resulting in children by two different band ladies and a charitable foundation bearing his name. Donna’s evocation and the band’s restraint seems to come from a place of special reverence, and the continual minor-to-major modulations define ‘bittersweet’.

Thurston Moore – The Best Day – carolebristol: This track has been popping up on BBC 6Music over the last few days. Very catchy. What else do you need to know? Oh yeah, it’s got guitars and riffs, it is called The Best Day and it is by Thurston Moore. That’ll do for me.

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Easy Skankin’ – goneforeign: I’ve got at least a dozen books about Bob and not one of them mentions this song in their indexes nor does the album ‘Songs of Freedom’ from which it comes. Nor was I able to find anything via Google and Wiki. Strange. Skankin’ is dancing, Easy Skankin’ is self evident and the rhythm reinforces that. One detail, it was recorded in the ’70’s at the height of the police/army roadblock arrests, a la Three o’clock Roadblock. Tosh took a militant stand re. ganga, even confronting Manley and Seaga personally and directly at the One Love Peace Concert for which he paid a price, Bob took a much lower key approach, ‘Excuse me while I light my spliff’.


11 thoughts on “Earworms 6 October 2014

  1. A mixed selection here. Some tunes seem perfect for sunny days, but it is raining hard here today, so the Goth introspection of Rose of Avalanche is more suited. It was OK, but I’m not really a fan of the Goth vocal style generally. “Sunrise” was also OK, I am one of those Dead fans who Don’t Care For Donna, but she managed to avoid her usual histrionics here. Mostly, she sounds like a woman who has dropped a Le Creuset casserole on her foot, so this was a blessed relief.

    My fave was Mark Seymour. Not sure that Songs About Mesothelioma is a category I’d reach for that often but the song rocks along nicely.

  2. Worms! I enjoyed the languid cheeriness of Dantalian’s Chariot, I was unfamiliar with them, got a bit fed up with the tambourine after a while, but the rest was pleasing. Mark Seymour doesn’t sound very Australian to my ear, it zips along well though.

    I was in a traffic jam in the sunshine the other day listening to the Grateful Dead and they suddenly made sense completely to me, I must write down these thoughts and follow them up, I don’t like the female vocals much, but the song is a beaut.

    I’ve never got Sonic Youth, but I enjoyed Thurston Moore’s song, especially the banjo(?) break in the middle, it reminded me of Dinosaur Jnr, is that sacrilegious in some way?

    The last track is effortlessly relaxed, feel as if I should be on a hammock somewhere warm with the sea beside me. As Carole says, a mixed selection this week, but all have their good points. Thanks for the kind words about Rose of Avalanche, Carole, an acquired taste probably 🙂

  3. Ari: I must have been mildly confused when I scribbled those notes, I intended to send the Gil version but I wrote about the Bob version, I love ’em both but it’s nice to hear a change. Thank you.

  4. Rose of Avalanche do good doomy drama. I like the harmonics solo at the end very much.
    Dantalian’s Chariot: Ah, the tambourine off-beat! It does rather pin it on the music timeline. Psychedelia? Not really.
    Mark Seymour really sounds a lot like Status Quo to me. A lot of people like Status Quo.
    Donna is not everyone’s cuppa, I know, but I like the colour she added (when not trying to holler). I can’t wait to read about Beth’s epiphany on the road…
    I like the mandolins undercutting the rawk on the Thurston Moore track. I can live without the identikit guitar solo but I do like the way it ends.
    Easy Skankin’ is nice reggae, whichever version. Nostalgic, like today’s Mail front page headline telling us the ‘terrible truth about cannabis’, bless ’em.

  5. Haven’t had time to be able to listen and comment on the worms for a couple of weeks, but this was a nice distraction on a train the London this week, and a thoroughly enjoyable selection it is:

    Rose of Avalanche – Lovely stuff, nice and doomy with a very catch chorus – not sure if it is my crappy headphones but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of bass in this recording?

    Mark Seymour – wouldn’t normally be my sort of thing but this really captured me, particularly the subject matter – like a modern day Woodie Guthrie, he is highlighting a bloody serious issue facing ordinary people – it’s becoming increasingly clear that mesothelioma(the cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure) is one of the great creeping public health threats – interestingly, it’s not just the type of workers you would expect who are coming down with it – there are an increasing number of health care workers who are being diagnosed due to years of low level exposure from pipe laggings in hospital underpasses – this is one of those things that will live with us for years and take countless victims, so I am glad someone has seen fit to highlight it through music – and it’s a great tune too!

    The Dead – On first listen it sort of passed me by but a second listen with Chris’s commentary made me re-frame it – it does have a really poignant feel to it. Quite lovely.

    Thurston Moore – Don’t know his solo stuff, but I liked this, more melodic than I expected especially with the acoustic elements.

    Bob – well this confused the hell out of me at first, but then I read the explanation up top – what can I say, a glorious song, both versions lovely. How can you not love a song with the line “Excuse me while I light my spliff” (!)

    • You and Severin are right about the lack of bass on the Rose of Avalanche track, it’s taken from the record and hasn’t translated very well, I don’t think it’s available on CD and I’m no expert at capturing the sound well, sorry, but glad it was enjoyed despite my best efforts.

  6. Rose of Avalanche: I know the name well, but d’you know, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually heard anything by them before. This sounds a bit tinny on my computer speakers but I rather like the song.

    Dantalian’s Chariot: I like that voice a lot. It’s never all about technical perfection, is it? Blimey, how old is Andy Summers if he was around then?!

    Mark Seymour: Love the famous Hunters and Collectors song (Throw Your Arms Around Me, obvs*) but this is a bit chugga-chugga for me.

    Grateful Dead: Not big on her voice but this is inoffensive otherwise. I can’t imagine this would be the song to turn you Deadhead (it won’t be for me anyway) but it’s alright.

    Thurston Moore: Ooh I’ve suddenly perked up! Favourite so far – by quite some distance. There’s something rather Jean Genie-era Bowie about his phrasing on this, isn’t there?

    Bob (or Gil or whoever): I think I prefer this to the Wailers’ version. Perhaps just cos of familiarity not having bred contempt. Or slight boredom anyway. Very nice indeed.

    * Although – SACRILEGE ALERT – I prefer various covers (Crowded House, Luka Bloom) to the original.

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