Earworms 16 May 2016


More goodies for you this week – well, two of them are mine, so I would say that, wouldn’t I? To prevent any further indulgences on my part please send all your lovely worms to earworm@tincanland.com. Many thanks to all contributors.

Tom Waits – Face to the Highway – CaroleBristol: Bad As Me was Tom Waits’ most recent album, released in 2011. I don’t own a physical copy, but I do have it as a bunch of MP3s, sent to me by a sadly-deceased friend. I was listening to it last week and this tune got stuck in my head. I like the lazy, bluesy, loping riff and the guitar work, which I think is by Marc Ribot.

Eric Johnson – Paperback Writer – Ravi Raman: Last week somebody suggested this Beatles song and this cover popped into my head. His take actually starts about midway. From one of those rare and wonderful Internet releases that make sense for a long time.

John Lennon – John Sinclair – tincanman: In America in the ‘60s The Man could sling you in jail for 10 years just for holding two fatties, as happened to poet John Sinclair. Decriminalization/legalization is completed or underway in much of the US, Canada and the UK though, so you can all exhale now. Or inhale. (The UK? Where??! Ed.)

Donovan – Catch the Wind – goneforeign: A pop hit from the mid ’60’s, I remember thinking at the time that he was trying to emulate Dylan. If you really listen it’s not very good, lots of room for improvement particularly the harmonica. (Thanks to bethnoir for reminding me that it was Donovan’s 70th birthday on 10 May – Ed).

Disturbed – The Sound of Silence – AliM: Disturbed is an American heavy metal / hard rock band from Chicago. This Simon and Garfunkel cover is from their 2015 album Immortalized – my friend posted it on FB and I thought I would hate it, but David Draiman’s vocal is superb, swelling towards a dramatic climax. See what you think.

Crippled Black Phoenix – Echoes pt.1: AliM: Earworms seemed a bit short this week so I am indulging myself with 19.19 minutes of this cover version of  Pink Floyd’s Echoes part 1, incorporating all sorts. It shouldn’t work, and yet …

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


13 thoughts on “Earworms 16 May 2016

  1. Eric Johnson – Paperback Writer I only really know Eric Johnson from his performance with the original G3. He is undoubtedly a top quality plank spanker. I rather like his work on this, it sort of reminds me of Randy California in places, but only a little bit. I think it is all the phasing and other FX that does it.

    John Lennon – John Sinclair I will admit to never having heard this before. All I know about John Sinclair is that Abbie Hoffman was trying to make a protest on his behalf when Pete Townshend clouted him with his guitar at Woodstock. John’s voice is a bit at odds with the country blues guitar work.

    Donovan – Catch the Wind Poor old Donavan, who I always thought was a gentle soul, used to cause eruptions of anger from my father whenever Donovan appeared on the radio or telly. This is definitely sub-Dylan, but it evokes my childhood, so I like it.

    Disturbed – The Sound of Silence His voice is rather good, isn’t it? I was wondering how many bars it would be before it started to ramp up. The strings came in right on cue when I expected them to. These epic Rawk ballads all seem to follow the tried and trusted “Stairway To Heaven” pattern in that respect. Symphonic metal usually seems to have a Scandinavian quasi-operatic soprano in heavy eyeliner, a gothic frock and rib-crushing corset on vocal duties, so this was a nice departure.

    Crippled Black Phoenix – Echoes pt.1 I approached this with some trepidation, because “Echoes” is my absolute favourite piece of Floyd music bar none. I needed have worried. It was rather good, and very respectful of the original material. It sounds like versions of the song as performed by David Gilmour’s touring band, more than it does actual Pink Floyd. I’m not knocking it, though, I really enjoyed it.

    OK, what was my favourite, though? Argh! Not easy, but I’m going with Eric Johnson because his fretboard pyrotechnics actually enhanced the song rather than overwhelming it. He just edges out Crippled Black Phoenix.

  2. Just the other day a couple of us were discussing Sound of Silence. One of the best songs lyrics wise in my eyes. Lines like “people bowed and prayed/ To the neon god they made” and “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls” just elevate it to another level. So easily this and Echoes are my favourites.
    But have to say one of the best weeks Earworms wise. Thanks Ali and all Spillers.

  3. I have an uneasy relationship with Tom Waits voice and recordings. When I first saw/heard him on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976 I thought he was awful. Hated his image and his vocal delivery both of which struck me as contrived. Well, time passes and one (or both) of us has changed. I suspect it probably is both. Now I quite like his stuff although I’ve never really loved any of his “proper” recordings as much as I did his version of “Hey Ho” on that Disney covers album.
    Anyway this one I liked. Nice and bluesy and insinuates its way into your consciousness.
    Eric Johnson, I did enjoy his way with the guitar and liked the track more after the first couple of minutes when that skill was more on display. Not so keen on the treated vocal I think. Good stuff just a minor quibble.
    “John Sinclair” is sometimes named as the best of the original songs on “Sometime In New York City” which means it’s still not really that good. Good cause to be supporting of course but this wasn’t John Lennon’s finest hour musically.
    Love old Donovan. Not Dylan by a long chalk but he’s very good at being himself and this song is a lovely ethereal thing.
    Sound of Silence is a song with some great lines and one really terrible one. “Hear my words that I might teach you”. No thank you, Paul. I prefer the general mood and feel of both the S&G recordings to this cover but yer man does have a good voice and I enjoyed the ride. Glad to have heard it.
    Echoes is also my favourite Pink Floyd song/track. This version was great although I must admit I occasionally wanted them to be a bit less respectful of the original and make it more their own. That said it was a hugely enjoyable listen.

  4. Worms are boxed. I enjoyed them all this week, even the John Lennon which I really like (although I’m not usually very keen). The Eric Johnson twiddly bits were great and I liked the laid back delivery of Tom Waits. Donovan – much slated, but I really like “Catch the Wind”, I’ve been singing along all week. Which reminds me, saw a pub singer a week or two ago, he was good, did a wide variety of excellent covers but topped it all with the encore – “Postman Pat”. The whole pub joined in, it was a masterstroke to end on. For the uninitiated, here’s the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiFNt8nGffA

  5. I always think I’ll like Tom Waits more than I actually do, but I’ve really loved his performances in the films I’ve seen him in. Anyway, “Face to the Highway’ very atmospheric and what I would expect, didn’t change my opinion, nothing I don’t like.

    I’m even less excited by the cover of the Beatles song sorry. Didn’t like the John Lennon song, but I love the Donovan track. I’m not disturbed by the Bob Dylan issues from the past, I really like his delivery and charming song writing, he went his own way and although this song is a bit overplayed he did plenty of other great ones.

    I one sang a choral version of the Sound of Silence with the school chamber choir, it took it apart in a way which made me appreciate the song more than I would have done otherwise. I liked this cover, shades of Radiohead for me at times.

    Carole, I am similarly attached to Echoes, but have liked what Crippled Black Phoenix I’ve heard so I wasn’t too worried. Not a patch on the original, but I respect their ambition to cover such a piece.

    Favourite is Donovan.

    • Beth, hearing their cover of “Echoes” has made me want to seek out more of Crippled Black Phoenix’s music.

      • They’re on Spotify if you use that. I found them a bit intimidating as they have 9 albums and I’m not sure what they’re all about, but I like what I listened to, which was Mankind (the Crafty Ape). I think SaneShane likes them, someone here is a big fan as well as Ali I think.

        • Thanks. I have a huge dislike of Spotify on Linux, because you are forced to listen to the adverts, but I’ll give it a go.

        • Although, I am listening to them now on Spotify and I haven’t been interrupted by any adverts yet. As to their music, it is a lot more post-rock than I expected. Lots of Mogwai moments. It is OK, I need to listen to more of their stuff to make my mind up.

        • I am seriously enjoying their version of “Echoes Pt2” I urge everyone to have a listen. I won’t say anything more, just give it a go.

      • I bought the “Echoes” EP on the strength of hearing them on Spotify. I think one of the band members was with Mogwai at some point.

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