Earworms 5 October 2015


Another stimulating selection for you this week, and a warm welcome to kalyr who has sent a very lively worm to wake us all up at the end. On the subject of death discos, if you would like to send in a Halloween-themed worm, please let me have it by Sunday 25th October for an early “special edition” on the 26th. Please send your worms (of any kind) to earworm@tincanland.com, and thanks to all.

Bob Dylan – Can’t escape from you – goneforeign: I awoke one night recently still plugged into my iPod, there was something intriguing playing, I couldn’t place it. I switched on the light and lo and behold it was Bob, from the Bootleg series vol 8 from quite a few years ago.

Rodriguez – I’ll Slip Away – deanofromoz: Rodriguez’s first album “Cold Fact” is one of my all time favourites. I knew it before the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” exposed him to a bigger audience. Despite owning that album for a while (and I actually have an autographed copy of it too – long story that I think I might have told on RR before), I had never got around to purchasing the follow up album “Coming From Reality” until just recently. Its also a fine album, but nowhere near as good as “Cold Fact”. This is a bonus track that was added to the 2009 release of the album. Enjoy….

Eric Andersen – The Stranger (Song of Revenge) – tincanman: As an absurdist (https://goo.gl/aVnPKK), Camus would understand why an important but lesser-known 60’s folkie would seek meaning and value in setting interpretations of the mid-1900’s French philosopher’s work to music. From his new album, “Shadow and Light of Albert Camus”.

Christine and the Queens – Christine – abahachi: The solo project of one Heloise Letissier; reminds me a bit of Frou Frou and Imogen Heap’s solo records – not quite as quirky, but compared with most contemporary French pop this is really quite interesting.

Sidsel Endresen – Dododo – severin: A Norwegian singer/songwriter who often improvises her songs in the studio. Broadly in the same vein as Hanne Hukkelberg if you want a point of reference (and don’t we all?) I only heard about her when Olivia Chaney covered one of her songs – “Blessed Instant” on her own debut album. This original version of that song is from the 2009 album Undertow. So is this oddly atmospheric piece. Playing the album right through creates a mood of its own so I’ll be interested to see how it fares amid the other worms of the week.

Srinivas and Nityasri – Muthai Tharu – Ravi Raman: This duo has given a “modern” twist to this song, which despite learning in school I still stumble when saying out loud, let alone sing. A devout Christian teacher taught me, an atheist, the beauty of this Hindu hymn. How cool is that? Written by Arunagiri, a man who threw over 90% of his songs into the sea, Muthai Tharu is the jewel in the anthology of poems called Tiruppugazh.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arunagirinathar

PiL – Death Disco – kalyr: Now this is right outside my comfort zone, but I saw them live recently, and this was one of the highlights of the set. Lydon has still got it, but rather than his atonal howls it was the combination of that hypnotic bass riff and Lu Edmond’s demonic guitar you found yourself listening to here. The instrumental side is how Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” might have sounded with a far better rhythm section and Robert Fripp playing guitar. Unfortunately the original studio version doesn’t quite have the ferocity of their live take last night. But this recording from Glastonbury does:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P8cuygSNVg&feature=youtu.be

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

23 thoughts on “Earworms 5 October 2015

  1. Hmmm, a melancholy and bitter-sweet selection this week. It matched my slightly down-in-the-dumps mindset, which I put down to the return of rain and the inevitable passing of the year.

    Eric Andersen’s declaimed delivery kind of reminded me of the Blue Aeroplanes, which isn’t a bad thing, but overall, I liked the Srinivas and Nityasri and PiL tracks best, with an honourable mention for both Sidsel Endresen and Christine and the Queens.

    Sadly, my least favourite was the Bob Dylan track. I couldn’t get my thoughts away from his declining vocal powers. Sometimes his cracked delivery works, but not this time, I’m sorry to say.

  2. I’m OK with the controlled growl of Bobby’s later years – it’s better than the tune-murdering he often indulges in.
    Rodriguez reminds me of James Taylor. The groovy Austin Powers backing is rescued by the guitars.
    I very much like the dark drama of Eric Andersen’s track but the talk-sing is slightly too much talk for me. (Trivia note: Anderson supplied some of the lyrics for Bob Weir’s Weather Report Suite.)
    A bit of French pop that I can listen to! Yay! Yes, the drums are the usual soulless machine shite but I like the rest and her voice is très charmante. I’m not quite sure why she’s singing ‘Jump by the poo’ though.
    Loved the blurred wooziness of the Sidsel Endresen track. Rather a lot. Thankfully sub-Florence warbling.
    Muthai Tharu is my fave. That’s how you do rhythm!
    Is that Johnny Rotten wailing in front of a rock band jamming on E minor and quoting from a classical piece, like those prog-rock bands used to do? ffs….

  3. Chris: Re. ‘That’s how you do rhythm!’ , I was listening to this cut earlier today, another option on ; That’s how you do rhythm!’

    Desert Roots – Hamid Baroudi

  4. I think I’m in agreement with others that Muthai Tharu was the highlight of the week. Thoroughly enjoyable set altogether though.

    For some reason when the Rodriguez track started I immediately thought of Lesley Duncan’s “Love Song”. Only briefly though. Liked that and the Bob Dylan song very much. I’m used to the cracked state of his (Bob’s) voice by now so that didn’t bother me at all.

    Eric Anderson and Christine – Liked them both well enough. Perhaps not as much as the others.

    PIL – I think I prefer the single and Metal Box versions but good to see Lu in action. Excellent guitarist. Of course when this song was written John Lydon was trying to distance himself as far as possible from punk and all it was assumed to stand for. The guitarist at the time – Keith Levine – was a big fan of Yes and Rotten was starting to admit that he didn’t hate Pink Floyd really so no antagonism to prog there.

  5. Hello all. For me the pick was Bob Dylan. And I’m not a very big fan of Bootleg 8. I even prefer it to his Sinatra songs, which were also done with a cracked voice.
    If you folks liked that Muthai Tharu version, check out the other one I put up in my post with the back-story. I wrote that mainly for the Earworms group, since Ali said it was going up here and I’m pretty sure it is not going to make the cut.

    • Here’s Ravi’s RR post:

      Muthai Tharu – The back story that I threatened to tell you – the language, the poet and the song.
      If you have ordered curry (wink, wink) or mulligtawny soup, shunned someone as a pariah or something as taboo, or know what an anaconda is, congratulations. You are part of what we call “The Wonderful World that Speaks Tamil.”

      And now the man – Arunagirinathar or Arunagiri was a 15th century Tamil poet, who started off as a dissolute sod, sponging off his sister to spend on wine and women. At one point he had driven her to rags and depressed at his debauched lifestyle went to kill himself. For some reason, the suicide was not succeessful and myths have shrouded that turning point in his life.

      Like Rev Newton, he discovered faith and more importantly to my nom a literary streak, one so massive that it has dominated the linguistic landscape since then. Nobody has even come close to his level and he straddles our landscape as its peerless master. (Tamil literature has existed for over 2000 years and has a total of 247 characters. So for someone to be acclaimed as the peerless master of that language is something.)

      Apart from other works he also created a tala (beat structure) and we know from references by others of his age and later on that he wrote about 16,000 songs in Tiruppugazh, the work he is most famous for. For some reason he dumped the majority of those poems in the sea and the rest were lost for almost 300+ years. In 1871 a minor beauracrat heard one of those songs and captivated by its beauty he went on a mission to retrieve them.

      So apart from the poet’s self discovery we also have the discovery of the poems themselves. These are known for their lyricism coupled with complex rhymes and rhythmic structures, his eschewing the couplet or quatrain mode and settling on three line stanzas.

      And now the song: Muthai Tharu is the first song he wrote after his suicide bid. It is basically a praise song of Muruga, the diety that Tamil has adopted as its patron saint and embodiment of the language itself, the two aspects of his self-realisation or the more fanciful re-birth. The syncopation, beat time, rythym are all (incredibly) secondary to the literary qualities that form the prime discovery of Arunagiri.

      I’ve included two versions. The first is by Srinivas and Nithyasree, a modern twist to this song (now on Earworms) and one by Sudha Raghunathan in its tradiotnal form.

      #1 Muthai Tharu -Srinivas & Nithyashree (as above)

      #2 Muthai Tharu – Sudha Ragunathan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CstzY_Dmx6k)
      Full translation: http://www.skandagurunatha.org/works/thiruppugal/thiruppugal-0006-muthai-tharu.pdf
      On Arunagiri: http://carnatica.net/composer/arunagirinathar.htm
      Carnatic Music: http://www.medieval.org/music/ccc/aaaa971009.html

  6. Hello all. I’m with those who found Bob’s damaged vocals a little distressing. It is a house joke that I only like vocalists who can’t sing, but I listen to pre-motorcycle accident Dylan most and this rather world weary song seemed a long way from his best to me, still good, mind, but not my favourite.

    Rodriguez has a lovely voice and guitar style, but my country allergy flared up and I didn’t enjoy it entirely.

    The violin and piano instrumentation of Eric Andersen’s piece are delightful.

    Christine and the Queens appealed to me, like the sun coming out on a showery day, a rose amongst all these ponderous and serious men.

    Sidsel Endresen creates a contemplative mood, I liked it. Muthai Tharu is unfamiliar to me and has much beauty.

    • I love 1960s Dylan, I have absolute love for that music, and I also really like what he was recording up until around Street Legal came out and then after that I just stopped liking what he was doing and didn’t listen to any of his 80s and 90s albums (except for Oh Mercy, which I was given for a Christmas present) until he released Time Out of Mind which someone played to me and I liked (and bought). I’ve got a couple of the albums after that, but I rarely play them.

  7. Ah, I thought I’d lost my comments due to clicking on PiL, another reason to dislike John Lydon, but they survived. I’d rather not listen to him though.

  8. I saw PIL’s comeback gig in Birmingham a few years ago. Death Disco stood out as much for the intensity of Lydon’s performance as anything else. Given the subject matter (the death of his mother) he seemed to be reliving the experience.
    Got to agree with Severin, I prefer the original record to this version, mainly because of Jagh Wobble’s bass on the original. Youtube is bad for bass though.
    I’ve listened to a few tracks on the new album and it sounds terrible. Not what the world needs now!

    • A friend of mine saw them recently in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and commented upon what fine form Lydon was in. He mentioned Death Disco as a highlight and liked the new album tracks that were played, but he can cope with a lot more punk noise than I can.

  9. I left it a bit late this week, I had a cursory listen on Monday but not until today did I pay attention. An interesting set that I generally enjoyed, there was nothing there that I disliked which is a bit unusual. Bob, I’ve probably only ever played that cut about half a dozen times but it’s already a genuine ear worm, I find it intruding regularly. The voice doesn’t bother me, I’ll take Bob anyway he comes.
    234&5, I liked ’em all.
    #3, The Stranger brought back memories; in at the late ’60’s I taught a university course, ‘The Novel and the Film’ with my friend Augie Coppola in the Comparative Lit dept, One of the films was Visconti’s ‘The Stranger’, based on Camus’s novel. One detail sticks with me, the film was identical to the novel and listening to Eric Anderson’s words brought it all back to me.
    Though there was one that I thought was awful, that list thing on youtube, god help us!

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