Earworms 22 February 2016


Those of you who take an interest in such things will notice that Earworms is late today. Apologies for that, life seems to be getting in the way at the moment – half term; builders; mess … I smell of methylated spirits and the dog has been sent on a doggy holiday until order is restored. Anyway, first world problems and all that, hope you enjoy this week’s selection and please keep those earworms coming into the bank at earworm@tincanland.com. Thanks all.

Moondog – Bird’s Lament – CaroleBristol: I suppose that most people know Mr Scruff‘s track Get A Move On with that incredibly hooky sax riff. It is an earworm in its own right. It is also a motif that I have always known I knew from somewhere, but I couldn’t place it. Anyway, I was looking for loads of old tracks because I am trying to reconstruct the playing order of an old CBS sampler album called “Fill Your Head With Rock” and I stumbled over the original track that Mr Scruff sampled for his hit. It is on the 1969 album “Moondog” by Moondog (look him up, he’s interesting), which someone I knew as a student used to play all the time. And here is the original track.

The Wainwright Sisters – El Condorpasa – glasshalfempty: One of the gigs I have fondest memories of is Kate and Anna McGarrigle in the early seventies. The Wainwright/McGarrigle clan have now led on to The Wainwright Sisters. Here’s a taste of Martha and Lucy channelling their folky heritage.

Robbie McIntosh Band – Dadi – severin: Raynes Park High School. Class of 1976. My life with the stars … As I posted a while ago, members of The Sound and the Honolulu Mountain Daffs were in my year. And so was Robbie McIntosh. Not the bloke from the AWB although they are always being confused in the media. This guy was lead guitarist with The Foster Brothers and later with Filthy McNasty. Oh and then he was with The Pretenders for their third and fourth albums. And Paul McCartney’s band for his world tour and all recordings from 1989 to 1993. And he was (for what it’s worth) Douglas Adams’ second favourite guitarist after Mark Knopfler. This is from his 1999 solo album, Emotional Bends. It’s the album closer and the only instrumental. It’s also by far the best track but don’t tell anyone

The Mamas and The Papas – California Dreamin’ – goneforeign: The song starts with those few ordinary words, then the whole number drives forward relentlessly, always sweetened and strengthened by Cass Elliot’s million-dollar trick of sustaining a lyrical overtone even when she was belting the melody like a blues-shouter. Her untimely death was like losing the music of happiness.

Colleen – Holding Horses – YoungMunday: Colleen was born in France and composes ambient / electronic music, using loops but also acoustic instruments played through pedals. YoungMunday and I like this a lot.

Mogwai – What Are They Doing In Heaven Today? – DsD: Who needs a hug? Here’s one from Mogwai. Warm’n’fuzzy yes, but if you listen more than twice, it’ll burrow into your lughole and stay there all day.

Image Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_kasto’>kasto / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

12 thoughts on “Earworms 22 February 2016

  1. The Wainwright SistersEl Condorpasa – This is rather lovely. I like Martha Wainwright a lot, but I know nothig of her sister’s music.

    Robbie McIntosh BandDadi – I have vague memories of having seen Filthy McNasty, probably in 1978 at somewhere like the Red Cow in Hammersmith. Loud and punky. This was nothing like what I expected, fortunately. Still, people change and develop musically. Nice playing.

    The Mamas and The PapasCalifornia Dreamin’ – This is so gorgeous. One of my favourite songs from the heyday of Flower Power.

    ColleenHolding Horses – I loved this one. Very nicely done ambient stuff. I’d happily hear more of this sort of thing.

    MogwaiWhat Are They Doing In Heaven Today? – I’ve always thought that this track was Mogwai channelling Jason Pierce, and I don’t mean that in a negative way.

    Seeing as I already knew both Mogwai and The Mamas and The Papas I really have to pick a fave from the other three. It is a tough call, but YoungMunday’s excellent earworm by Colleen just shades it for me.

  2. California Dreaming, if memory serves, was originally recorded by Barry ‘Eve of Destruction’ McGuire with the Mamas & Papas crew on backing vocals. One listen (perhaps 3) and the label had John Phillips come back in and record the lead, which they dubbed in over McGuire’s. It is said, although I can’t hear it, that a very short bit of McGuire at the start of the song.

    I do have a recording of the McGuire with the M&Ps, but whether the story of it is as above or something else, I have no clue. I once also heard they happened to be in the studio and the backing of McGuire was a spur of the moment thing. Regardless, it’s a Phillips song and both versions were released a few weeks apart.

    • Tinny: That’s an interesting tale, Of course I remember BMG and ‘Eve’ but I had no idea about the possible connection, I just liked Dreamin’ from day one. I haven’t listened yet but I look forward to El Condor, I think I have either the original or Paul Simon’s version on vinyl somewhere here.

  3. A recent episode of Fargo had a Bobby Womack version of California Dreaming. Good but nowhere near this classic’s quality. I remember it more for a blues and jazz singer from Calcutta called Usha Uthup would perform it at Omega, our blues bar in the 80s, because she knew how much I liked it.
    And as for El Condor Pasa, casclc gave some insight during RRSA Mountains. Apparently it is an old Peruvian track. Really missing such discussions. Oh well if not there …

  4. Always love California Dreaming. That version of El Conda Pasa is lovely too.
    Never heard that Mogwai before. I thought I knew what they sounded like. Beautiful track. Enjoyed the Moondog song too. Is that the best album of his to buy?
    Colleen was fab. Reminded me very much of a 1970s Tangerine Dream track which is a very good thing indeed.

  5. Severin: I must have missed that Tangerine Dream track: Colleen sounded to me to be very heavily influenced by Steve Reich and there’s a section in the middle that owes much to Terry Riley’s ‘Come Out’.
    None of my Tangerine Dreams sound like that.

  6. I had no idea that I knew so many of these songs already! I think I must have sung different words to El Condorpasa as the song is extremely familiar to me. I liked it, a nice earthy tone.
    I feel the Moondog track is well known to me although I’ve never consciously listened to it. So I like that one too.

    I think everyone must know California Dreaming, it’s a lovely tune. I spent the weekend dreaming of weather I could go outside in and today I’ve put washing out on the line in the sunshine and planted some purple gladioli and begonias so my dreams came true 🙂

    The Robbie MacIntosh Band song is gorgeous too, reminds me of several good players, but I hadn’t heard this band before. My grandfather used to live in Worcester Park the train stop before Raynes Park I think, Severin so I feel I kind of know your area.

    Colleen is very pretty. I like it too and after seeing Mogwai on the red button of the BBC live recently I’ve bought 2 of their albums so this track is very welcome. Thank you everyone.

  7. The “Fill Your Head With Rock” sampler was the first record I purchased. Recently I reconstructed a playlist on Spotify but could not find this brilliant Moondog track. I did the same with two other early samplers “El Pea” and “Bumpers” vinyl copies having disappeared years ago.

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