Earworms 22 April 2019

We are having a fabulously sunny Bank Holiday Weekend here in the UK, so what better way to celebrate than by listening to songs that make you happy? If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few lines about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be geometric shapes (circles, squares, triangles, parallelograms … lots of songs about parallelograms, I’m sure). Many thanks to all contributors.

Kate and Anna McGarrigle – Kiss and Say Goodbye – glassarfemptee: I thought about this theme a long while, as a lot of songs make me happy, so it was hard to chose. This song from Kate and Anna McGarrigle is from a time of love and happiness and reminds me of it whenever I play it, and rekindles that feeling. Also, I was lucky enough to see them play this live, which also makes me happy. And, of course, its a cheery upbeat song in itself.

The Stone Roses – Waterfall – AliM: I never knew anything about The Stone Roses when they were popular, but having heard this since, I love it – if it’s played on the radio I immediately turn up the volume and could quite happily have it on repeat.

Gary Clark Jr. – Gotta Get Into Something – tincanman: Previously an “amazing live, but…” guy, his latest, This Land, vaults Clark into the rarified company of the likes of Prince and Curtis Mayfield; Black Americans who used their prodigious talents to make activist earwormy music. The unbridled enthusiasm of this Ramonesian rave up even makes me happy. Go ahead – try and sit still. Woooo!

Yello – Who’s Gone? (“Who’s Groove”) – shoegazer: Eccentric Swiss synth-pop makes me happy.

Kuricorder Quartet – Nellie the Elephant – severin: I sent this in to Earworms once before, many years ago. Four Japanese blokes who play ukulele, melodica, recorder, basic percussion, tuba, guitar and other instruments. Not all at once. Only four in each song. When I saw them playing at the Festival Hall, this one was the clincher. Daft and sublime.

Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men – tincanman: Guilty pleasure. ‘Nuff said.

Los Lobos – I Wan-na Be Like You – Ravi Raman: ‘King Louie’ never fails to lift my spirits. Especially the original clip. I have added the Los Lobos cover for the list.

Katzenjammer – To The Sea – severin: The lyric is actually about somebody’s beloved being lost, probably drowned, at sea. But the music makes it sound like a celebration. And when they played it live, Anne Marit would lead us all in doing the actions. “The wind” was my favourite.

The Cure – Close to You – AliM: So many catchy little repeated phrases in this, particularly the one that first comes in at 1.04-1.11. It just keeps building into a joyous jumble of sound.

Rare Earth – I Just Want To Celebrate – Ravi Raman … another day of li – – – fe. First rate soul rocker that’s another lifter upper for me.

Continue reading

Earvermin 15 April 2019

Good morning. Another good selection of songs, this time about rodents. I was waiting for someone to nominate “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Vermin”, but fortunately no one tried that; unusually it was left to ghe to lower the tone, which is very out of character (but amusing). Not to mention Fuel’s video link. Anyway, if you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, m4a or link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be songs that make you happy. Thank you for the mouse-ic.

Jethro Tull – One Brown Mouse – Ravi Raman: My first thought on seeing the topic. From their acoustic set.
*First couple of lines may need translating 🙂

Max Romeo and the Upsetters – Three Blind Mice – severin: Nursery rhyme metaphor for a police raid and a frantic escape. With added Lee Perry.

Slocan Ramblers – Groundhog – tincanman: Serendipitous topic! This is the first song these Canadian youngsters played for us Sunday evening in a small community hall near here. Their show is a mix of traditional bluegrass, their own compositions and a few covers (Tom Petty? Really?), and it’s quite a lively affair. For a treat, tune out the twangy bits and listen carefully to what Adrian Gross is doing with that mandolin. Outstanding.

Les Claypole’s Duo De Twang – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver – glassarfemptee: Wiki tells me that Les Claypool played base in Primus, and then formed his country music Duo de Twang. This is the tale of a girl’s beloved beaver – and I think it really is about a rodent!

America – Muskrat Love – AliM: From their 1973 album, Hat Trick. Very laid-back muskrats.

Boy Least Likely To: The Summer of a Dormouse – glassarfemptee: Buckinghamshire’s finest indie duo came up with this quirky and lovable ode to the joys of being like a dormouse.

Ry Cooder – Cat and Mouse – Ravi Raman: Buddy the cat meets Lefty the mouse and learns a valuable life lesson. The whole album talks about the world as seen by a cat. Remarkable.

Blur – Country House – Fuel: Blur’s Country House is a perennial earworm in my household – my daughter’s favourite. A song about the rat race and a video featuring a human version of Mousetrap. Also the line about Balzac made me think of the two rats in the Young Ones discussing which books they had eaten.  It’s what you would’ve wanted!

The Stranglers – Down In The Sewer: Falling/Down In The Sewer/Trying To Get Out Again/Rats Rally – shoegazer: Epic prog-punk closer from Rattus Norvegicus.

X-Ray Spex – I Can’t Do Anything – severin: “Freddy tried to strangle me with my plastic popper beads, but I hit him back, with my pet rat.” Like you do. Quite a simple song apart from that bit. I like singing along even if it is bad psychology.

Rat Boy – My Name Is Rat Boy – tincanman: Jordan Cardy’s Essex classmates said he looked like a rodent. Now they’re buying tickets to hear his hip (at least he says it is) street patois. This is from Internationally Unknown, which came out in February. So far I like it almost as much as his 2017 debut, Scum.

Continue reading

Earworms 8 April 2019

Ahh, that Monday morning feeling. I have spent a disproportionate part of my life in bars, pubs and clubs and intend to continue doing so for as long as possible. My son has instructions to chisel: “She died with a pint in her hand”, affectionately, on my tombstone, preferably after I’m dead, whether it’s true or not. Anyway, an intoxicating selection of songs for you this week, Leonard Cohen takes the prize for wonderfully summing up the hope, promise and ultimate futility of many of my evenings, and the other songs are jolly good too. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be rodents.

Jessica Lea Mayfield & Seth Avett – Between the Bars – shoegazer: Elliot Smith cover.

Les Sauterelles – Heavenly Club – AliM: Probably the sort of club where they only serve holy water. 😦 Suitably nutty video here.

Koko Taylor – Hey Bartender – Ravi Raman: one of my very favourite Blues singers. My first A Lister is from her too.

Fats Domino – Whiskey Heaven – Ravi Raman: it rains Jack Daniels for him and his friends! Wouldn’t that be nice? (Like the Big Rock Candy Mountain – where the little streams of alcohol come tumbling down the rocks – Ed.)

Katzenjammer – A Bar in Amsterdam (live studio version) – severin: From the Gearbox Sessions album. No overdubs or conventional producing. Tracks recorded live and directly onto vinyl. Not really about a bar, obviously but – it’s Katzenjammer.

Ted Hawkins – Happy Hour – AliM: Ted Hawkins was a bit of an enigma. Another strange thing is that I think my ex- husband (whose musical taste is mainly thrash metal and Mahler) introduced me to this song. I’m not a total convert to country music either, on the whole, but this is great. If not very happy.

Semisonic – Closing Time – glassarfemptee: There’s something very sad about closing time – the bar shuts, the lights come on, the fun ends, and you are faced with going out into the cold night. This anthemic hit from 1995, by Minnesota’s finest, just nails it.

Hayes Carll – Chances Are – tincanman: If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, a bar is where you’d start. Or finish if you’re lucky. Hayes’ tender, world-weary love ballad leaves it to us to choose whether his beer glass ends up half full or half empty at the end of the night.

Spandau Ballet – Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) – Fuel: Spandau Ballet referencing Soho and Le Beat Route in Chant No. 1 seemed so hip and funky back then. It still has me feeling 15 again.

Puppini Sisters – Soho Nights – severin:  Divine decadence.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time – glassarfemptee: I really miss Lenny Cohen. Here he captures the end of a woozy evening in what sounds to me like an Irish bar, with a fiddler and dancing on the sawdust floor. As you would expect, there are lovely bits of lyric writing – “The Johnny Walker wisdom is running high” “The place is dead as heaven on Saturday night” “The gates of love they budged an inch, I can’t say much has happened since”. Then the blinding lights come on, and that’s it. (Also nommed by Maggie B who sent this link to a live performance. Ed.)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – O’Malley’s Bar – tincanman: A sick and twisted tale that, in the right light and at the right angle, make Nick Cave such a genius songwriter.

Tom Waits – I Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You – Maggie B: From his album Closing Time.

Continue reading

Earworms 1 April 2019

April Fools’ Day, no nasty surprises here though, just your excellent pick of songs about trees. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be pubs, bars and clubs. Many thanks to all contributors.

Forest City Lovers – If I Were A Tree – tincanman: The Toronto indie folk-pop collective didn’t really go anywhere (which these things tend not to), but they did leave us with the only song I know about dendrophilia (sex with trees).

Holly Macve – Sycamore Tree – AliM: No apologies for plugging Holly Macve’s music again, from her album Golden Eagle. She is currently working on a new album, which I am looking forward to. Or to which I am looking forward.

Olivia Chaney – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – severin: Based on the book I still haven’t read and the film I still haven’t seen. Olivia likes to point out that Ray Davies encouraged her to write a song based on these. Also that it’s not about her real dad. She does sing the “alive alive o” bit on stage btw and I always want to join in. Not really about a tree but it does have a tree metaphor.

Alela Diane – The Alder Trees – glassarfemptee: The enchanting Alela Diane sings of elder, alder and pine. ‘And the wind blows the tiny green helicopter seeds… The alder trees were listening to songs been sung before’.

Mountain Goats w/Kaki King – Black Pear Tree – shoegazer: From their eponymous 2008 EP.

Rab Noakes – Branch – AliM: Rab Noakes is one of those talented musicians who pops up un-noticed supporting many others. He has performed with Lindisfarne and Stealers Wheal, amongst others, and became senior producer for music programmes on BBC Radio Scotland. This track was released as a single in 1974, but didn’t chart.

John Fairhurst – Dance in the Pines – Ravi Raman: From his excellent Saltwater album. Growly voice meeting superb guitar work. One of the many Ali-shares. Special thanks for this Ali. (Most welcome. Ed.)

Bob Marley & Wailers – Small Axe – tincanman: In plantation days slaves were forced by “evil men” to deforest great swatches of Jamaica (and other countries). In addition to a defiant warning to colonial masters, the song wags a finger at music industry execs. Timothy White reports in his biography, Catch A Fire, that Marley and Lee Perry’s working title was “The Big T’ree” in reference to Jamaica’s Big Three record labels. Bob wasn’t takin’ shit from nobody.

Bunny Wailer – Fig Tree – severin: A strange metaphor about being where you belong. “Jump little figs into your tree”. I’d quite like to see that.

Lead Belly – Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Ravi Raman: another song with pines though it is more about cheating (and a decapitation thrown in for good measure) I guess.

Alt-J – Hunger of the Pine – Ali M: This came to me via RR (thanks Fuel) – love it.

ジャー・パンファン (Jar Pan Fan) – Maryvonne’s Cherry Tree – glassarfemptee: It is sakura time in Japan, so here’s a tune to go with your sake and bento box picnic under the cherry blossom. (Translation from Google – can’t vouch for accuracy. Ed.)

Continue reading

Earworms 25 March 2019

Good morning, it’s a perfect day for heading off to the local beach … unfortunately we don’t have one, but here are lots of wonderful songs to make up for it. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Trees. Feel free to branch out. Many thanks to all contributors!

The Tennors – Ride the Donkey – afictionhabit: Everyone’s favourite beach activity, surely?

Iyer’s Filter Coffee – Beach – Ravi Raman: Garage rock band out of Bangalore (where there are no beaches) and massive indie/alternative rock fans. Released earlier this year.

REM – Beachball – severin: From their Reveal album. A recording I return to infrequently but always find rather beautiful when I do.

Wave Pictures – Tiny Craters In The Sand – tincanman: Jonathan Richman meets Morrissey meets Weakerthans; I guess every country needs someone like this: catchy, whimsical, barbed. (Also nommed by ghe, who said: “Bonkers song from The Wave Pictures. But after spending the day digging my toes into the warm sand on a glorious day in Bournemouth, this was a no brainer. Sing along now…”)

Boz Scaggs – On The Beach – Ravi Raman: A bluesy cover of Neil Young’s song. From his last year’s album Out Of The Blues.

Isobel Anderson – Flint Shingle – AliM: I have shared this before, because I love it. A true earworm. Like Sam Baker, Isobel Anderson suffers from tinnitus; this doesn’t prevent either of them from making wonderful music.

Sam Baker – Waves – tincanman: Baker has that spare, deceptive simplicity that John Prine and Towns Van Zandt excelled at. And Baker is similarly philosophical about life, which one would tend to be after surviving a terrorist bomb exploding in the luggage rack over your head. https://n.pr/2Htqc4l

Mary Coughlan – The Beach – severin: Three scenes. All involving embarrassment. Only the first is actually set on a beach but Mary calls the song The Beach rather than The Show so I offer it to the committee for approval.

Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach – Shoegazer: On holiday with the Fat White Family.

Johnny Jenkins w. Duane Allman – Down Along the Cove – Ravi Raman: Ravi sent this in as an extra but I like it so it’s “in”. (Ed).

Steve Tilston – Normandy Day – AliM: One of my favourite songs ever. “What good’s a sky when you have no days to watch it by?”

Patti Smith – Redondo Beach – severin: I nominated this recently for the difficult “suicide” topic. A deceptively catchy tune which I took some time to realise was not as happy as it seemed. Far from it in fact.

Continue reading

Earworms 18 March 2019

I’m feeling glassy eyed looking through your bumper crop of windows this morning, so thank you very much. If you have an earworm you would like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be beaches. Sand between your toes, pebbles in your sandals, the smell of seaweed … you get my drift. And for bonus ‘Spill points this week, see if you can guess which RRer laid claim to the above window.

Seldom Scene – Open up the Window, Noah – tincanman: There were windows on the ark! Who knew? It’s hard to make a living playing modern bluegrass – even if you’re all near virtuosos on your chosen instrument. The lads all had regular jobs in Washington and couldn’t perform often, hence the name.

Oleta Adams – Window of Hope – severin: More upbeat and optimistic than most of my recent offerings. Don’t worry, it won’t last. Anyway, she has a great voice and is only ever remembered for that song about getting here if you can.

Ella Fitzgerald – Open Your Window – Ravi Raman: From her album Ella. “Open your window/ Make a deep sigh”… What a singer!

Angel Olsen – Windows – vanwolf: Off her 2014 album which is pretty good.

Bonnie Dobson – Rainy Windows – Ravi Raman: more about Chicago I suppose. But it’s a good song and her voice is excellent.

Kim Churchill – Window to the Sky – severin: It’s that man again. In fact I sent this same track in to Earworms a few years ago. Well worth a listen if you missed it that time – or even if you didn’t. It’s about a window to the sky and it soars.

Spirit – Topanga windows – glassarfemptee: I was very taken with the first Spirit album in 1968, not least this dreamy number. I particularly like the line ‘the cat lies sleeping, waiting for the night’.

Manfred Mann Chapter Three – One Way Glass – shoegazer: Oldie from 1969.

The Shamen – Through My Window – vanwolf: From their indie album Drop – I think I mp3d this quite a few years ago from the vinyl so if the quality is dodgy blame me. I saw them before it was released – always liked their stuff before they split and went a different direction.

Pete Atkin – Ballad of an Upstairs Window – AliM: This song just cracks me up, it’s like my life in microcosm. Lyrics by Clive James.

Leonard Cohen – The Window – Maggie B: The only song possible for this topic. Those beautiful lyrics and that violin!

Continue reading

Earworms 11 March 2019

I’m writing this on a cold, dark and rainy night, an appropriate time to listen to your excellent collection of songs about shadows. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next weeks theme will be windows.

William Fitzsimmons – Gold in Shadow – AliM: I have probably shared this before, a beautiful and tender song.

Jason Isbell – Live Oak – tincanman: Plays (intended or not) on the Arabic proverb “Better a shadow of a man than a wall” that suggests a woman is better with a bad husband than none at all. Jason worries his wife may not love him now that he’s reformed.

Adrian Borland – Past Full of Shadows – severin: Metaphorical ones, of course. Or maybe it was about The Doctor and Donna in the library.

Clan of Xymox – Back Door – vanwolf: I’ve nominated this many times and it’s one of my favourite songs by them. Lyrically as miserable as you’d expect from me, with the protagonist living some half existence, unable to move on with his life, feeling paranoid, seeing shadows and seemingly becoming one himself. despite the misery the song steps up a notch towards the end and finishes on a high, well sort of.

Lee “Scratch” Perry – Your Shadow is Dub – shoegazer: From The Black Album (2018).

Third World – 96 Degrees in the Shade – severin: A bit of a shoe-horn. Shade only mentioned to emphasise that it was “real hot” when the British troops put down the Morant Bay Rebellion led by Paul Bogle . The original title was 1865 (when this happened) and the one given here was a subtitle.

Duster Bennett – Jumping At Shadows – Ravi Raman: Performed here as a one man blues band. This song was later given a big boost by Fleetwood Mac, Gary Moore and others.

Flying Saucer Attack – Crystal Shade – vanwolf: I used to put this stuff on low volume to go to sleep to. Sweet.

David Cross & Robert Fripp – In the Shadow: From their beautiful album “Starless Starlight”.

K.D.Lang – Shadowland – Maggie B: One of K.D’s best I think.

Continue reading