Earworms 9 November 2015


Another unclassifiable selection for you this morning, compiled on an unclassifiable evening with Young Munday playing Christmas music – YM:”Sounds like “tumblewear””. Old Munday: “What’s that?” YM:(Sniggers). OM (threateningly): ” I’ll google it … leotards??” YM: “Yeah, she’s singing “no wear” or summat …” OM: “I think it’s NOEL …” meanwhile the dog breaks wind gently but effectively as if making a silent protest against playing Christmas songs in November. On that note, thanks for all the music and please keep the worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Joy Division – Colony – Albahooky: OK, this is a real earworm as opposed to the fabricated ones. It starts with Bernie’s guitar popping like a bubble on the surface in my napper and then comes the voice …

Ana Popovic – Sitting on Top of the World (Sheiks cover) – tincanman: Can a Serbian play the blues? Can a woman shred? Believe it. Ana is an oft-overlooked blueswoman who grew up with Stevie Ray and Ronnie Earle, then added jazz guitar, New Orleans soul and Serbian folk to the mix. This is from “Comfort to the Soul”, a great blues album.

Mark Lanegan Band – No Bells On Sunday – DsD: Too wired to sleep on the Thursday evening of RR Organ songs, I was random-searching my music collection and tried this.  Obviously I realised/was reminded that it’s plain ol’ keyboard rather than an organ, but I ended up abandoning my RResearch, played this five times straight, then took myself directly to bed.

Bembeya Jazz – Wouloukoro – goneforeign: In the aftermath of the Guinean Independence in 1958 and through the cultural policy of “authenticité”, which encouraged cultural pride, numerous bands were created throughout the regions of Guinea. Guinea’s President, Ahmed Sékou Touré, disbanded all private dance orchestras and replaced them with state-supported groups, such as Keletigui Et Ses Tambourinis and Balla et ses Balladins. The most popular was Bembeya Jazz National, formed in 1961.

Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker – Land of plenty – glasshalfempty: Chicago based guitarists Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker have recently released a wonderful instrumental album. I really like the raga-like ‘Land of Plenty’. Mesmeric.

N.Ramani – Bagayenayya – Ravi Raman: This is by a man who started an academy that has nurtured hundreds of musicians. The composer too is a man of note, Thyagaraja, one of the Trinity of Carnatic music. The tala or beat structure is called Aadi or primary.

Image courtesy of http://www.123rf

14 thoughts on “Earworms 9 November 2015

    • A bit of lovely noodling near the end, Ali, but, for the most part, I hear it as a beautifully played and well-rehearsed pre-arranged piece with some interesting rhythm shifts (hence the audible counting!). Excellent stuff.

  1. Colony is great, but I cannot call it a new fave because I’ve been listening to it since I bought “Closer” way back in 1980. Ana Popovic was great. Yes, it would seem that blue women can sing the whites. I loved the Mark Lanegan track too, bags of atmosphere and, in some strange way, a distant cousin of Joy Division too. There was an appealing late-night wooziness about the Bembeya Jazz track that I liked a lot.

    There was some lovely playing on the Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker one too. The tone was gorgeous and the cascades of notes reminded me of kora music a bit. Finally, I really enjoyed the peaceful and deceptively simple-sounding Carnatic piece from N.Ramani. There was more going on there than it seemed, I think.

    It seems invidious to pick a favourite though, but the Balkan Blues of Ana Popovic was just what the doctor ordered this morning.

  2. Nothing I didn’t skip, though I’ve never really gone back to reassess my original teenage aversion to most of Joy Division’s work. They don’t even make Volume 1 in my TTD list, which is now an enormous body of work!

    Cheers all.

      • D’OH! Thanks, GHE.

        ‘Scuse the double negative, folks. All I can say in my defence is that I kinda changed my mind half way through typing what I was going to say.
        To set the record straight …
        Nothing there that I needed to skip. Have never felt much joy for Joy Division, and would be automatically suspicious of anything “state-supported”, but in the event, everything was fine.

  3. I have a vinyl copies of Unknown Pleasures and a cassette of Closer but it’s a long time since I’ve played either of them all the way through at one sitting.
    In fact, I’d actually forgotten what a powerful piece of music Colony is. Nice to hear it in an unexpected context.
    Not always a great fan of blues bands but I did like that Ana Popovic track a lot. Mark Lanegan, again, not my usual cup of tea but quite atmospheric, even hypnotic in its way.
    I know virtually nothing about Guinea or its music but I did like this piece of nationally approved jazz, whether its “authentic” or not. Laid back and quite sensuous in its way.
    I think Bill Mackay and Ryley Walker were my favourite this week, at least of the ones I hadn’t heard. Lovely chiming guitar sound. N Ramani not far behind it. Both were the kind of peaceful,meditative sound I need right now (noisy upstairs neighbours) and very welcome.

  4. My fave this week, unsurprisingly, is Ana Popovic. tincanman: did you say you had more of her music? Please spread the love.
    I almost sent a blues song myself, one that had been rattling in my head for 3-4 days. And then I read glasshalfempty’s post last week and went with Dr Ramani who I had been listening to at the time.
    Some (maybe) interesting context: The song, like all of Tyagaraja’s compositions, is written for singers. The lyrics are just about 8-10 lines and normally tends to go for well over 12-15 mts.
    There are three people I’d like to talk about here. One is Dr Ramani, who as I said founded and ran an institute for music. He nurtured and trained hundreds of youngsters and three of today’s top class performers come from this school. A gentle soul, who’d go to great lengths to explain anything about music to nosy laymen like me, he passed away very recently, just as RRSA Scandals ended.
    He is the polar opposite of his uncle and guru Mahalingam who is kown as Flute Mali. A true genius and eccentric Mali was a one of a kind. He was famous for his tempers and at the same time sublime music he’d turn out. Totally revolutinised the flute’s role in Carnatic music, both by bringing in the lengthier version and in the way one gripped it. He’d walk out of a show after 15-20 minutes or sometimes when the mood was on him turn a 30 minute show into a 2 hour long concert. He’d tease his sidemen mericlessly by playing extended and complicated pieces and challenge them on stage. Worth noting that all the top notch musicians would vie to play with him.
    On his erratic timing It was famously said of him: Mali says he sees god within five minutes of playing – he thinks it is meaningless to continue after that and stops.
    Tyagaraja is one of the three musicians who resuscitated Carnatic music and he wrote hundreds of compositions. Every year at Tiruvaiyaru, the place where he is interred (a rarity for Hindus who prefer cremation as the final and meaningless goodbye) musicians from all around the world will gather to honour him. Pros and amatuers, experts and novices alike. Thousands of musicians will get together and sing or pull out their instruments and perform together. Jam- South Indian style. If ever you plan on visiting South India that is the time to plan your travel. A truly one-off experience. I’ve included a clip which shows one such jam.
    The tala is the same Adi and the song is one of the Pancha Ratna (five gems) of Tyagaraja.

  5. Another good week – thanks to all contributors, and of course our Worm Charmer. I think this week’s joint winners in my earholes are Ana P in raunch mode, and Mark Lanegan’s louche and languid bit of after-midnight poetry. No wait, that Bembeya Jazz thing is wizard – lovely voice, and stinging guitar in the highlife style. So that’s three joint winners. No, no, hang on, the mesmerising N Ramani track is summoning cobra-sized earworms from a grass woven basket. That’s four equals. And the chainsaw chops driving Colony. I…give up. Great stuff gang…

  6. I don’t like Joy Division, this has not changed. I enjoyed Ana P, Mark Lanegan and Land of Plenty most, but the last one was lovely and Wouloukoro was fun too. Thanks all.

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