Earworms 8 May 2017

We swing from the sublime to the ridiculous this week, with three contemplative tracks and three to wake you up. Not sure how the sixth blends with the first if you play them on a loop, but have fun… Don’t forget, if you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3 or a web link to earworm@tincanman.com, with a short paragraph about why you’ve chosen it. Many thanks to all contributors.

F J McMahon – The Spirit of the Golden Juice – glassarfemptee: In keeping with my love of echoing twang, here’s F J McMahon on the pedal steel guitar, with a late sixties bit of downbeat Americana, from the days before that was what it was called. This is the title track from his only album, a ‘lost’ treasure.

Jens Thomas: If You Want Blood – Abahachi: Okay, I’m not sure whether or not I’m actually recommending this curiosity from German pianist and singer Jens Thomas, with Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, but it is ‘earwormy’ in the sense that you’re unlikely to forget the experience. There’s an entire album’s worth, if you happen to like it…

Daryl Kellie and Jon Hart – Ripples – AliM: This is from their excellent newly released album, “Set Adrift”. The album stemmed from the idea of writing a few songs on a houseboat, which resulted in a 5-day tour of the Thames and a whole album of material.

North Mississippi Allstars feat. Mavis Staples – I’ve Been Buked – Ravi Raman: Stand out track from the movie on Delta Blues, Take Me To The River, that features a mixture of well-known musicians and some who are new. Don’t know much about the Mississippi Allstars, picked this up specifically for Mavis Staples. What a singer!

Buzzcocks – Moving Away From the Pulsebeat – severin: Like the Banshees, the Buzzcocks were formed relatively early in punk terms but didn’t release an album until 1978. This was so unexpected at the time. Some people even denounced the bit where the other instruments drop out as (gasp) a “punk drum solo”. Anyway I played it recently for the first time in ages and it still sounds fresh to me.

The Osmonds – Crazy Horses – DsD: This popped up on Shuffle on the DsD Walkman the other day when I was in need of some frustration-venting volume. I’d forgotten just how damned heavy it is. The band might be a ‘bullet’ when you’re playing iPod Roulette, but the song fully deserves its place between Apollo 440’s Crazee Horse & Ozzy’s Crazy Train in the 1800+ songs on there.

Image – author’s own

15 thoughts on “Earworms 8 May 2017

  1. A German jazz piano noodling AC/DC cover? Really?! This I’ve just *got* to hear!!

    [Pssst! Hey Prof, am I gonna hate this…?]

  2. Oh, it’s an AC/DC cover. I had no idea. I did quite like AC/DC in the mid seventies but I don’t own any of their albums. I quite liked this track so D’sD may well hate it.
    Need another listen through of the others.

  3. F J McMahon – The Spirit of the Golden Juice Cor! This was good, wasn’t it? An early contender for my Pick Of The Week.

    Jens Thomas – If You Want Blood Yes, this is an AC/DC cover, which is weird enough as a concept, but it sounds kind of like Chet Baker for depressives, I think, and I rather enjoyed it. It is what Nick Cave might have sounded like if he’d been a 1950s West Coast jazzer.

    Daryl Kellie and Jon Hart – Ripples I was wondering what we would get when it started, but it became quite jolly when the instruments kicked in. It has a lovely immediate sound and reminds me of something that I cannot quite bring to mind. Some lovely playing, though.

    North Mississippi Allstars feat. Mavis Staples – I’ve Been Buked I knew that I was going to like this the moment I saw this on the list of ‘worms. Mavis Staples is a musical giant. What a voice! Apparently, the North Mississippi Allstars are two brothers, Luther Dickinson (guitar, lowebow, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, keyboards, vocals). http://www.nmallstars.com/home/

    Buzzcocks – Moving Away From the Pulsebeat There was always something endearing about The Buzzcocks when they started out. Clearly not musical wizards, many people thought that they wouldn’t survive after Howard Devoto quit, but they surprised everyone. Their scratchy, tinny sound was more authentically “punk” than most of the big names of the period, who all soon mutated into bona fide rock and roll bands (like The Clash) or pop stars (pretty much everyone else). Not sure I’d listen to this very often, but it is a great example of what punk was really like before it ended up inside the Belly of The Beast (a.k.a the Music Biz)

    The Osmonds – Crazy Horses Sorry DsD, I have hated The Osmonds from the moment I first heard them on “One Bad Apple” back in 1971. Nothing will ever make me listen to them voluntarily, so I skipped this.

    Well, despite my early espousal of F J McMahon‘s track, I am going to make the North Mississippi Allstars and Mavis Staples my pick. Superb! Impeccable gospel-tinged country blues.

  4. Daryl Kellie and Jon Hart – I’ve been following them on YouTube ever since Ali posted about them. My pick of this week’s lot. F J McMahon and Buzzcocks closely following. The melody lines in the latter are excellent. Never heard punk like this.
    Jens Thomas – not my cup of tea at all, even though or maybe because I’m a fan of AC/DC. And while not very special The Osmonds were a nice loud end to the play list. Thanks all/ Ali.

  5. I think my fave is the North Mississippi Allstars but surprised to find I really liked the Buzzcocks too. Liked the others as well, except the Osmonds (sorry DsD).

  6. Just had a second listen and I do like the twangy guitar in the F J McMahon song. Liked it generally in fact. With the Jens Thomas, I can’t do better than “Chet Baker for depressives”. That’s more or less what crossed my mind when I was listening to it. Actually liked it more the second time around.
    Daryl Kellie and Jon Hart – Lazy, hazy, summery sound. I wish I had the weather to go with it. Yes, a lovely sound.
    I love Mavis Staples’ voice but for some reason I wasn’t bowled over by the track the first time around. Sounded fantastic the second time so maybe I wasn’t awake enough earlier. Love the way it builds.
    I actually preferred The Osmonds when they were not trying to play rock. Possibly due to having a flat-mate in the late eighties who played Love Me For a Reason and The Proud One so often, there was simply no future in not liking them. Or at least admiring the skill of whoever did the arrangements and production. Crazy Horses is quite good fun in its way – especially that horsey noise – but it wasn’t really their forte I reckon.

    I’ll give my gold stars to Mavis Staples and Jens Thomas. For which they will undoubtedly be truly grateful.

  7. Strong, if disparate, field this week
    Jens Thomas – Definitely up my street, and has the advantage that I don’t know the original. Languid, atmospheric, tuneful and dark – what’s not to like?
    Kellie and Hart – Lovely changes of pace, like passing clouds turning the sparkle on a babbling brook on and off. Gorgeous.
    North Mississippi Allstars feat Mavis Staples – Effortless liquid backing, with Mavis on top form despite her age.
    Buzzcocks – Thin, muddy, thrashing sound, more punk than most, yet surprisingly musical with great, almost middle eastern guitar solos, sounding reminiscent of Paul Butterfield’s East West, then drums presaging the following year’s ‘Tusk’. Weird ending. Really enjoyed this.
    Osmonds – Well I’d never have guessed this was the Osmonds unless told. Partly because I’m not sure I have ever actually listened to anything by them before! Passable.
    Pick of the week for me was Mavis and the Allstars, by a short head from the Buzzcocks, and Kellie and Hart.

    • I should have mentioned that the weird ending of the Buzzcocks song is strictly speaking a different track.The started the album with a reprise of the two-note guitar solo from “Boredom”. Then they ended it with a more elaborate variation on the same theme. The series of notes at the very end went into the run off groove of the vinyl version.

  8. Only had time to listen to the Jena Thomas, and only once so far. But I tell you what: I don’t hate it! There is a distinct possibility this could get under my skin. The vocal reminds me of Tim Bowness on first listen.

    More later, but got to go pick up Darce from Guides.

  9. The more I listen to Jens Thomas – and, as I mentioned, there’s an entire album’s worth of these rather moody AC/DC covers – the more I like it. Yes, definite touch of Nick Cave – and the sort of thing one can imagine PJ Harvey doing. On reflection, his versions of TNT and a touchingly romantic You Shook Me All Night Long are even better; I am simply sorry there’s no Whole Lotta Rosie…

  10. Finally got around to listening to these!
    I like the FJ McMahon very much.
    I think I like Carole’s description of the Jens Thomas track more than the track itself, although I’m sure it will grow on me…
    Buzzcocks generally always good.
    My fav this week is the Allstars with Mavis – great tune and her laugh at the end is infectious.

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