Earworms 28 September 2020

Good evening, it’s a cloudy outlook this week, but a good long list to get lost in.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme, suggested by ghe, is songs with, or referencing, sitars.

Stay safe everyone, and many thanks to all contributors.

Charanjit Singh- Raga Megh Malar – Ravi Raman: Legend has it that musicians would use this raga to bring forth clouds and rain to the sun parched skies of the sub continent. Megh – clouds, malhar – rains. Presented here by an early visionary of acid house.

Ozric Tentacles – Dissolution (The Clouds Disperse) – LongTallSIlly: Psychedelia meets dance, maybe what e’s were invented for?

Protomartyr – Dope Cloud – vanwolf: A different sort of cloud.

The Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud – Suzi: He’s in a flat on the 99th floor – could it be above the clouds? Or is he referring to some other kind of cloud, literal or metaphorical? Whatever, he doesn’t welcome intruders.

Boy Hits Car – I’m A Cloud – AliM: A loud cloud. I have shared this before, it used to be my go-to after a frustrating day at the office.

Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper & Steve Stills – Fat Grey Cloud – glassarfemptee: It’s hard to believe the Super Sessions were as long ago as 1968. I lapped them up, having become hooked by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in ’65 and ’66. The Kooper/Stills/Bloomfield album set off the “Super Group” wave. But this was not actually a ‘super group’, but a couple of duos. Kooper booked two days of studio time to record with Bloomfield, and they cut the first side on day one. The second day Bloomfield failed to show up, so Kooper called in Stills and they cut the second side. This instrumental track was not actually on the original album, but added to a re-issue, from a live set by Kooper and Bloomfield, following the success of the album. Ignore the stage banter at the start.

Long John Baldry – Jubilee Cloud – tincanman: I’m not sure what a Jubilee Cloud is but Long John sure sounds jubilant about it. Elton John adds some boogie woogie to this 60s’ Johnny Kongos rave. If they’d practiced this they’d have ruined it.

Western Centuries – Cloud of Woes – tincanman: This started out as a lighthearted spoof. Somewhere along the way songwriter Cahalen Morrison realised he’d taken a dark turn but carried on anyway.

J.J. Cale – Cloudy Day – Ravi Raman: A guitar enhanced by a beautiful sax line. From his album Shades, which bristles with talent. Dozen or so guitarists lining up to back Cale as sessions artists.

Mark Lanegan – Big White Cloud – glassarfemptee: Mark Lanegan came from the Seattle crucible that included Nirvana, and has collaborated with a huge rollcall of talent. Here he is on a 2014 anthology, with his trademark sandpaper voice.

Toy – Clouds That Cover The Sun – vanwolf: I’ve been lax of late. Child and work busy.

Beach Bunny – Cloud 9 – severin: I suspect that their new(ish)album wasn’t made with my demographic in mind but I love it anyway. The lyric treads a narrow line between true love and unhealthy dependency. I think (hope) that’s intentional.

The Seekers – Cloudy – severin: One of the Paul Simon/Bruce Woodley songs recorded by both Simon and Garfunkel and Bruce’s combo. But is it Art? No it’s Judith. (gong)

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides, Now – Suzi: ‘Rows and flows of angel hair/ And ice cream castles in the air/ And feather canyons everywhere/ I’ve looked at clouds that way/ But now they only block the sun/ They rain and snow on everyone.’ Memorable images which become metaphors for uncertainty and confusion about life and love. ‘It’s cloud illusions I recall/ I really don’t know clouds at all.’

Ambrose and his Orchestra – The Clouds Will Soon Roll By – severin: An optimistic message from 1932. The singer is Elsie Carlisle

Julian Cope – A Crack in the Clouds – shoegazer: The epic closer from Saint Julian.

Pink Floyd – Obscured by Clouds – Maggie B: From Floyd’s underrated album of the same name. PS.I hope everyone is keeping safe and reasonably sane.

The Orb and Steve Hillage – Little Fluffy Clouds – AliM: Keeping the slightly psychedelic vibe alive …

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Earworms 21 September 2020

Good morning – is it top of the morning or bottom of the morning? Happy Monday or don’t like Monday? I don’t know, I’m all betwixt having listened to your songs about emotions, presented here for your delectation. Or not.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Clouds, as suggested by glassarfemptee.

As always, many thanks to all contributors.

Nídia – Emotions – severin: Final track of a CD called Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes which was released this year. It’s an instrumental so you have to decide what the emotions actually are.

Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon – Sweet Emotion – Ravi Raman: I have touted this unlikely duo’s music before. This cover of Aerosmith was my introduction to their collaboration. They have tried their hand at quite a few more, I’m happy to say.

Robert Forster – I’m So Happy For You – glassarfemptee: Former Go-Between Robert Forster sounds genuinely happy on this track from 2015 solo album ‘Songs to play’. I get emotional about the fact there will never be another Go-Betweens album …

Gabrielle Aplin – Dear Happy – severin: “Dear Happy, don’t go/Not there but I’m close/I just always thought I’d never win/ Dear Happy, you see/It’s not easy for me/But I know that I’m close“. Final track of a CD also called Dear Happy which was released this year. Addressed to a person or to happiness itself? I don’t rightly know.

The Beths – I’m Not Getting Excited – severin: I think they are a bit. Opening track of their CD called Jump Rope Gazers which was released this year. It’s another winner I would say.

Ewan MacColl – The Joy of Living – AliM: The snow and the wind and the rain of hills and mountains/Days in the sun and the tempered wind and the air like wine/and you drink and you drink till you’re drunk on the joy of living. An old man says goodbye.

The Beths – Happy Unhappy – tincanman: I chose this to highlight their terrific young drummer, Ivan Luketina -Johnston. He’s gone solo and their touring drummer, Tristan Deck, has taken over without, ahem, skipping a beat. Good show, Auckland.

Grateful Dead – The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion) – Chris7572: Ron McKernan acquired the moniker Pigpen due to his appearance but, underneath all that, there was a sweet, sensitive soul who could write an emotion-packed song like this. Pig was fading on this tour, and was dead a year later, but he delivers this straight from the heart. Garcia and the rest of the band do it justice by keeping it honest and simple.

Sparklehorse – Sad and Beautiful World – glassarfemptee: Sparklehorse was led by Mark Linkous, who suffered from depression and sadly took his life ten years ago. This track is one of my favourite songs by anyone, ever. It takes its title from a line spoken by Roberto Benigni in Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 film ‘Down by law’, in turn lifted from a Walt Whitman poem. It has that aching happy/sad feeling that we all have at times …

Eliza Gilkyson – Beach Haven – tincanman: Your anger poisons everyone and everything around you, a frustrated Woody Guthrie wrote to his landlord, Fred Trump. Yes, that Trump. Proud slumlord of Beach Haven and many similar New York buildings. Eliza used the letter for this song on her new album, 2020.

Richard Thompson – Crawl Back – Suzi: Angry song. He’s furious with his ex and he lets her know it with biting sarcasm.

Bitter Boy – Kate Rusby – Suzi: A song expressing grief and loss – ‘the saddest song’ she calls it. Inspired by a beloved uncle, who died young.

Mount Eerie – Real Death – shoegazer: Raw stuff from Mount Eerie.

Show of Hands – The Preacher – Suzi: Emotions – Guilt. A preacher falls in love with someone else’s wife. He prays that something will happen to tear the couple apart – and it does. ‘All my prayers were answered / And I was the one to blame…’

Led Zeppelin – Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Live at Knebworth 1979) – LongTallSilly: Is acceptence an emotion? Every time I listen I feel calm and in control. My actions dictate my world.

The Clash – One Emotion – wyngatecarpenter: Give ‘Em Enough Rope period outtake, originally inspired by Strummer and Jones’ low opinion of Roger Moore’s acting.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Rondo Alla TurcaAmadeus: Maggie B: This belongs in the Happy category: A musical expression of sheer joy.

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Earworms 14 September 2020

Good day to you all; I hope you’re all enjoying safe six and sticking rigidly to Government guidelines, if you can work out what the hell they are. To take your minds off it, here is your fine selection of songs about parts of the body.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust. Or whatever. Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 20 August.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Elvis Costello – From Head to Toe – severin: His cover of a Smokey Robinson number. Released as a single in 1982 and later included on Out of Our Idiot: his second album of singles, b-sides, alternative versions and other non-album recordings.

Oysterband – My Mouth – Suzi: It’s almost as if his mouth has a life of its own, and is to blame for his wants and desires, as well as his tendency to talk a lot! My mouth gets me into trouble / my mouth / has got a lot to do / my mouth is always firing at the double / my mouth / has got a taste for you / it wants a kiss like whisky / a breath of spring / it wants a taste of freedom / it wants everything.

Nick Cave – Into My Arms – Suzi: This a very sweet love song – the protagonist doesn’t share his beloved’s faith but if he did… I don’t believe in an interventionist God / But I know, darling, that you do / But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him / Not to intervene when it came to you / Oh, not to touch a hair on your head / Leave you as you are / !f he felt he had to direct you / Then direct you into my arms.

The Michael Schenker Group – Armed and Ready – IamIan: Welcome to another new contributor, IamIan, who is already bending the theme like a pro.

Mary Coughlan – Elbow Deep – severin: Metaphorical elbows. My second favourite sort. She is elbow deep in the mess he made of her, the rotter. From her new album, Life Stories, of which we have spoken. Hopefully not too autobiographical – although I suspect it probably is.

Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands – glassarfempty: Bill Withers is one of the many losses the pop world has suffered this year. Like most of us, Bill had a deep affection for his grandma. He sings: “If I get to heaven I’ll look for grandma’s hands.” Now he can.

Chris Squire – Hold out your hand – Alfiehisself: Chris Squire from the solo Fish Out of Water album.

Jools Holland And Dr. John – The Hand That Changed Its Mind – Ravi Raman: One of my first interactions with another Guardian reader was about Jools Holland. “Talentless impressario” I believe was the term he used and I objected to. Five years of miffed silence has ensued.

Nick Cave – Red Right Hand – Suzi: This about a tempter, a villain, maybe the Devil himself, who will promise you everything and lead you astray so far that you can’t find your way back.

Gwenifer Raymond – Bleeding Finger Blues – glassarfempty: Gwenifer Raymond hails from Cardiff but is now based in that haven for musical talent, Brighton. She is a finger picker extraordinaire, as demonstrated on this track from her 2018 debut album.

Paul Simon – Hearts and Bones – Suzi: This about his on-off relationship with Carrie Fisher – ‘the arc of a love affair’ as he calls it. Very typical Paul Simon, very beautiful and poignant. At the end, although the lovers have parted there’s still a bond between them: You take two bodies and twirl them into one / Hearts and bones, yeah yeah / Hearts and bones.

10cc – The Sacro-lliac – LongTallSilly: The greatest dance that never was.

Simone Felice – Your Belly In My Arms – tincanman: From The Violent Banks Of The Kaaterskill (2015), which I play through my headphones in a quiet still place often. Originally a Felice Brothers song; this was recorded live in studio a few years after he went solo.

John Lee Hooker – Crawlin’ King Snake – tincanman: I don’t think it was a real snake. That’s all I am comfortable saying in mixed company.

The Cufflinx – Trick Knees – severin: They stop you dancing, you know. That’ll be my excuse from now on.

King Creosote – Ankle Shackles – AliM: “Nothing good can come of ankle shackles and ball and chains.”

Joe Tilston – Different Feet – AliM: From his album Embers (2013). Joe Tilston is the son of Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle; his output isn’t always folky, he spent some years on the “punk” scene as bass guitarist of Random Hand.

Fat White Family – Feet – Shoegazer: FWF being subversive or offensive, like they do.

The Rolling Stones – Shake Your Hips – MaggieB: Congratulations to The Stones for no.1 albums across six decades. Here’s a track from one of them. (Exile on Main Street).

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Earworms 7 September 2020

Good evening, rather belated Earworms this week. Not to worry, because here (finally) is your selection of songs about coming of age – perhaps not literally, but more in the sense of making a life-changing decision or discovery.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be an easy one – parts of the body. Go for it! Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 13 September.

The Who – Pinball Wizard – LongTallSilly: A moment of realization – “I thought I was the Bally table king, But I just handed my pin ball crown to him.”

Green Day – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – AliM: That moment of moving on …

boygenius – Souvenir – tincanman: I was a big fan of the raw, sparse songs of Julien Baker before this side project with Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers and isn’t it a coming of age for music when we talk about them as a bright, young supergroup rather than a bright, young, all-gay, all-female supergroup?

Elbow – Buttons and Zips – shoegazer: Remembering friends and fumbles.

The Grascals – Me and John and Paul – Ravi Raman: From a rather excellent album called The Rounder Records Story. A bluegrass gem.

Mary Coughlan – Fifteen Only – severin: Recalling her first time and how it changed her. From her second (1987) album, Under The Influence. The one I heard playing in the HMV London Superstore and bought on the spot. I was 29 back then and it changed me too. Her new album, Life Stories, is magnificent I want you to know.

Lupe Fiasco, Ghostface Killah & Mike Shinoda – Spray Paint & Ink Pens – tincanman: Memories of growing up in the hood. I’ve had this on repeat for a couple of days now. The use of words for cadence and rhythm is really impressive to me.

Tasmin Archer – All Grown Up – severin: Tasmin sings Elvis Costello. A song from his Spike album, about the pains of growing up and finding that you don’t always like what life throws at you. I much prefer this to Declan’s own version.

Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton & George Harrison – My Back Pages – MaggieB: Check Neil Young smiling! This made me come over all nostalgic…

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Earworms 31 August 2020

Good morning on this strange Bank Holiday Monday; the stage is set for your songs about theatre, actors, plays and all things remotely connected. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to new ‘Spillers, Suzanne Saxby and LongTallSilly, who join our little company this week.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it.  Next week’s theme will be coming of age – perhaps not literally, but in the sense of making a life-changing decision or discovery. Interpret it how you will. Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 6 September.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Royal Crown Revue – Walkin’ Like Brando – Ravi Raman: Shoe-in from Ravi.

Ali Ollie Olson – Drama In the Bedroom – severin: Well, it says “drama” in the title. Definitely not on the stage though. The singer was briefly the lead singer of The Temptations in the mid eighties.

David Bowie – Cracked Actor – LongTall Silly: From Aladdin Sane, great album and dark lyrics.

Auteurs – Starstruck – tincanman: No one here needs telling that Luke Haines is a restless eccentric. This story would have required him to be born a generation earlier, but time and place are but manmade artifices to him. (His latest foray, with Peter Buck, is rather good btw. Classic Lukisms and crunchy guitar. Recommended.)

Al Stewart – One Stage Before – Suzanne Saxby: The singer feels that he’s linked to all performers who have ever appeared on stage over the centuries, and wonders if he’s a reincarnation of one or more of them. One of my all time favourites.

Jethro Tull – Skating Away – AliM: A song for our times. And as you cross the wilderness, spinning in your emptiness / If you have to, pray / Looking for a sign that the universal mind / Has written you into the passion play … Well, do you ever get the feeling that the story’s too damn real / And in the present tense? / Or that everybody’s on the stage / And it seems like you’re the only person sitting in the audience?

Decemberists – I Was Meant For The Stage – tincanman: I’ve always loved the sudden uturn from finding his home in the theatre to being cursed by it. Be careful what you wish for, etc.

Luxúria – Redneck – shoegazer: Howard Devoto (Buzzcocks, Magazine) & Noko, who provides some nifty guitar on this one.

10cc – The Film of My Love – Long Tall Silly: From The Original Soundtrack album, 1975. Love the lyrics on all the tracks on that album.

Tír na nÓg  – Come and See the Show – AliM: From A Tear and a Smile, 1972. One of my all time favourite albums, not a bad track on it.

Peter Hammill – After The Show – severin: “Where do the actors go?” To the nearest bar in my experience. I suppose the cafe on the corner is an option though. From his 1986 album, Skin.

The Fantastic Four – The Whole World Is A Stage – Ravi Raman: Some great R&B/ Soul from this overlooked harmony group’s early single.

UK Decay – Stage Struck – wyngatecarpenter: Goth pioneers get appropriately theatrical.

The Oldham Tinkers – Charlie Chaplin – MaggieB: It’s about one of my favourite actors and it’s anti – war. What’s not to love?

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Earworms 24 August 2020

Oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper … welcome to your songs about clothes, and extra ‘Spill points to severin for finding a rather lovely song about socks. Who knew?

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be plays, actors, stages – anything connected with theatre. Worms should reach me by midnight on Sunday 30 August.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Barry Adamson – I Got Clothes – shoegazer: Barry doing his Jazz-noir thing.

Thunderbitch – Leather Jacket – glassarfemptee: Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes is a force of nature. She branched out as lead singer in Thunderbitch a while back (teaming up with, would you believe it, Clear Plastic Masks). More recently, she has done a solo album. Here she is with her leather jacket.

ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man – Ravi Raman: Great guitar, growly singing and so not me as I dress for comfort. Still a long time since we had them on the ‘Spill.

R L Burnside – Jumper Hanging Out On The Line – AliM: OK, Ravi sent this as a spare, so I stole it. More info about Mr. Burnside, here.

Lisa Hannigan – Funeral Suit – glassarfemptee: Irish songstress Lisa Hannigan released her last album, At Swim (presumably a reference to the magical book “At swim two birds” by Flann O’Brien). In this track she muses on the delicate and ordinary way in which love can progress, with her man dropping in wearing his funeral suit. Dressed to impress!

Fairport Convention – White Dress – severin: Rather lovely Dave Swarbrick song, sung by Sandy Denny. From their 1975 album Rising For the Moon. Or from a more recent compilation album in my case.

The Hollies – Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) – Ravi Raman: Channeling their inner John Fogerty as it were, a shoehorn more about an FBI raid than about clothes.

Beyoncé – Freakum Dress – severin: I’m still not clear whether the term “freakum dress” is a phrase used by anyone except Beyoncé but it’s short and backless and she’s got it on so mind how you go.

Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans – AliM: From her 2012 album Born to Die. Or, perhaps, dye.

The Unthanks – Socks – severin: Musical setting of a WW1 poem by Jessie Pope. A woman sits at home knitting socks for the young man who has joined up and is now far from home.
“Wonder if he’s fighting now, What he’s done an’ where he’s been;
He’ll come out on top somehow – Slip 1, knit 2, purl 14”.

Infa Riot – Five Minute Fashion – wyngatecarpenter: This doesn’t go into detail about clothing but sums up something about growing up in the early ’80s – following subcultural dress codes rigidly, only to swap them for another dress code overnight. It reminds me of a mate at school who went from “greb” (metalhead in today’s parlance) to mod to punk. Last time I saw him he was training to be a brain surgeon!

Pinetop Perkins – Hi Heel Sneakers – MaggieB: So many versions of this one, including those from the Stones, the Beatles and Elvis; but this is my favourite.

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Earworms 17 August 2020

Good afternoon, and welcome to your selection of songs about secrets and lies, which seems an appropriate topic in these times. Starting off with a song from Maroon 5 (above), Maroon 5 being my secret pleasure.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s subject will be clothing, and worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 23 August.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Built To Spill – Liar – shoegazer: Built to Spill is an American indie rock band based in Boise, Idaho, United States. Perfectly named for this blog.

Frightened Rabbit – Backyard Skulls – tincanman: Skulls=secrets, and none are ever buried so deep they’ll never be found. I’m going to keep my views on the second verse a secret but I the rest I really like. And, without a word of a lie, I love the band. (Thanks Blimpy!)

Mammut – What’s Your Secret? – severin: Artificial aids to conventional beauty is probably the answer to that question “Now that you’re here, I can disappear” meaning the real person disappearing behind the mask, if I have understood correctly. Which is always open to question.

John Fairhurst – Lies and a .45 – Ravi Raman: From his last year’s album The Divided Kingdom, which is a bluesy blast of anger at various things from Brexit to Trump. An extra special Ali-share.

Joe Bonamassa – Lie – AliM: With thanks to tincanman for the share.

Leonard Cohen – Got a Little Secret (Live at Auckland Soundcheck, 2013) – glassarfemptee: I’m pleased to have seen Lennie several times on his comeback tours, after his life savings were embezzled by his manager. And as I slide into my seventies, I’ll share a secret with you: there’s a certain empathy with this song, as he sings “I’ve got a full-length mirror/and it’s not a pretty sight”!

J.J. Cale- Lies – Ravi Raman: Understated and intense, casual and relaxed, this album, Really, was my introduction to J.J. Cale. It was a totally new sound and made me an instant fan.

Frances Black – All The Lies That You Told Me – glassarfemptee: I have troubled earworms before with the songs of Frances Black. I first heard her superb album ‘Talk to me’ when it came out in 1994, as I was travelling the Ring of Kerry. This was before her descent into – and out of – alcoholism. She is now an Irish Senator, and campaigns to help alcoholics. I cannot lie to you – this song was not written by Black, but by Christie Hennessey.

Annette Hanshaw – Little White Lies – severin: The Personality Girl again. Incredibly popular back in the 1930s. Hardly mentioned now but from 1928-34 she sold over 4 million records both under her own name and, at least, seven pseudonyms.

Ray Charles – You Don’t Know Me – tincanman: It is often hard to appreciate music from another era unless you were there, but secret love and peerless songwriting is timeless. Eddy Arnold came up with the idea, Cindy Walker wrote the hell out of it (as usual) and Ray Charles sang it like it was the last song he’d ever sing. Orchestration is a little cheesy 😦

Punishment Of Luxury – Secrets – wyngatecarpenter: Proggers in new wave disguise. I bought this 7″ because of the minor punk classic Brain Bomb on the B-side. A mate warned me the A-side was crap. I completely disagree!

In My Secret Life – Leonard Cohen – Maggie B: “I smile when I’m angry, I cheat and I lie” – so Lenny has covered all the bases here?

Earworms 10 August 2020

Good morning, and welcome to this week’s songs about Angels, in tribute to our friend Mitch Mitchell, of The Wild Angels. The video above was sent in by Maggie B, who says: “Given why the topic was chosen, there had to be a rocker included as well.”

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be secrets and lies, and worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 16 August.

Many thanks to all contributors.

In Memorium – glassarfemptee: Mitch would be the first to accept that he was sometimes more wild than angelic. He had been in prison, and was a revolutionary communist, after all. But in my experience of him, he was such a gentle and caring man, and as happy in an art gallery as bopping at the Nightingale. And his activism for the causes he cared about was inspiring. Mitch played in many bands over the years, and like many musicians, he also took other work to supplement his earnings. But he stayed the course, and was due to do gigs this year with the latest version of the Wild Angels had Covid not intervened. He was using lockdown to write his story, but sadly that will now not be completed.

Mitch Mitchell – I Remember Eddie – glassarfemptee: Here’s a track that Mitch wrote and sang lead on, remembering one of the many greats that he saw perform. His knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll, and music generally, was generously shared, not least through RR and his facebook page. And here are two more tracks: Wild, Wild Angel and The Wild Angels Ride Again.

Nazareth – Broken Down Angel – Alfiehisself: Blast from the past, a bit of glam, not a patch on Joni’s original.

Limiñanas – Angels and Devils – shoegazer: Bunnymen cover found under my pea low.

U2 – Angel of Harlem – AliM: A tribute to Billie Holiday; I think Mitch would have agreed with the sentiment, if not the fact that it is sung by U2. I was fortunate to see Mitch and his band play at Daddypig’s birthday party one year. I wandered into the main room where the band was still setting up, Mitch said; “Where’s everyone else? Oh well, instead of introducing the band to the audience, I’ll introduce the audience to the band”, and proceeded to do so!

Grateful Dead – Stella Blue – Chris7572: I wouldn’t normally do two consecutive earweeks but this song, with its first verse describing a broken angel singing from a guitar and its echoes of a peripatetic life, seems fitting, even though I know Mitch was not a fan. And it is a beautiful song.

B.B. King – Sweet Little Angel – Alfiehisself: One of many variations of this song.

Sidsel Endresen – Angel – severin: She often improvises lyrics in the studio so they tend not to be exactly linear or literal. Which is to say, I’m not sure what kind of angel this is about. Love the soundscape and her voice though, and that tends to be enough for me. This is from her Undertow album (2000). She’s Norwegian, you know.

Nina Simone – Angel of the morning – AliM: I know Mitch liked Nina Simone, because she featured in some of his eveing sign-offs on Facebook. A last goodnight, Mitch.

Frente! – Ordinary Angels – severin: You don’t have to have wings, you know. Most missed Australian indie band who only recorded two studio albums before splitting in 1997. This is from the first of them: 1992’s Marvin: The Album.

Jimmie Vaughan – Six Strings Down – Ravi Raman: Strictly speaking this is isn’t about an angel. More about a musician whose life was cut short. Hopefully Mitch is rocking it and turning up the volume to 11.

Luciano Pavarotti – Panis Angelicus (César Franck) – Maggie B: “Bread of Angels” : “The heavenly bread becomes the bread of mankind.”

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Earworms 3 August 2020

Good morning everyone, and welcome to your songs about water. I should probably have done a live stream (oh haha, is that the best you can come up with? – Ed.)

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme, as suggested by ghe, will be Angels, wild or not, in fond memory of our friend, Mitch Mitchell. Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 9 August. 

Many thanks to all contributors.

Little Feat w. Bob Seger – Something In The Water – Ravi Raman: From their Join The Band album that was a set of collaborations with a bunch of star musicians. Brad Paisley lends a hand in this track as well.

Led Zeppelin – The Ocean – Alfiehisself: Whole Lotta Water.

Masters of Reality – Gimme Water – tincanman: Chris Goss named his Syracuse metal/hard rock band for a Black Sabbath album and has produced Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss and other desert/stoner rock outfits. But he’s flexible enough that when Ginger Baker asked to join the band, he said sure. The result, 1992’s Sunrise on the Sufferbus, is somewhat Creamy (and collectable mostly as an oddity, if I’m honest.)

Spencer Davis Group – I Washed My Hands in Muddy Waters – glassarfemptee: The British R&B boom in the sixties did a lot to turn people like me on to the authentic US bluesmen and women. But this Spencer Davis Group track was actually a cover of a country song by Cowboy Joe Babcock. Out of the same ‘corrupted youth’ stable as House of the Rising Sun.

Grateful Dead – Let It Grow – Chris7572: No clouds in this one but it does contain rain, river and sea. And shouting thunder. This version is from 1974, before it floated off from the rest of the Weather Report Suite.

Leo Kottke – Cool Water – Ravi Raman: The much covered song about a man, his mule, and the cool waters of a mirage.

Diana Krall – Let It Rain – glassarfemptee: Here’s an explanation for why it rains, from Canadian songstress Diana Krall.

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset – Troubled Waters – severin: Nothing to do with the Simon and Garfunkel song. From the Cruel Sister album, before they transformed themselves into The Unthanks.

Wendy and Bonnie – By The Sea – AliM: This is rather impressive, given that Wendy and Bonnie Flower (sisters), were 18 and 15 when this was released in 1969. You can read all about them here.

Steve Howe – The Nature of the Sea – Alfiehisself: Steve Howe and his multi guitars.

Shari Elf – Tenderness Versus Watering The Lawn Backwards – shoegazer: Also makes art out of junk.

The Stone Roses – Waterfall – AliM: This song just makes me feel happy. And anything that makes me feel happy is welcome. From 1991.

Joe Henry – The Gospel According To Water – tincanman: Title track of a late-2019 release that deserved more attention, set on a beach but about a wee bit more. Henry, diagnosed with cancer in early 2019 and told he had less than a year to live, sought solace in his home studio. The doctor was wrong, and Henry left his demos unpolished.

Neneh Cherry – Across the Water – severin: From 2014’s Blank Project album. About her mother, who died in 2009. Lots of water imagery. Rain falling, crossing over to the other side etc.

Paul Robeson – Old Man River – MaggieB: Originally written for the film Showboat, but in 1947 Robeson changed the words from “I gets weary an sick of tryin’, I’m tired of livin’ but feared of dyin”to the lyrics you hear on this clip. He sang it to miners, and workers all over the world. He was active in civil rights and was blacklisted in the McCarthy era and denied a passport. But he kept singing – human rights mattered. What a hero.

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Peter Green 29th October 1946 – 25th July 2020: by Maggie B

This is the first time I’ve written anything like this.

It’s not a biography, there are plenty of those around, it’s just a subjective piece about one of the best blues guitarists there has ever been.

I first heard his playing on a Bluesbreaker’s album which my friend’s big brother had just bought. The track was The Supernatural -“Oh! that’s something special” I thought, so I bought a Bluesbreaker’s album as well. Then I heard Out of Reach … I danced at the time, and even now I am one of those who cannot keep still while listening to music, if I can’t dance I nod my head or tap my feet or just sway – but that track froze me in my tracks. Chills all down the spine and I couldn’t move. I had to agree with B.B. King that Peter Green’s playing gave him the chills.

Then he was in Fleetwood Mac and had big hits, and Albatross passed the Old Grey Whistle test (not my favourite track btw.)

And then he attended a party in Munich… There is an account of that event on YouTube, (it was originally on BBC). He dropped out of sight for many years and in the ’90’s I read that he was back and playing again.

I went to see the splinter group – Peter did Man of the World as an instrumental. I wept. There he was after years of god knows what antipsychotics and ECT. Standing up and playing with all the old fluency and virtuosity. Wow. But there was something different, I just couldn’t put my finger on it until hours after that gig, then I realised – he was happy. Happy to be there and playing in his group to an adoring audience. He passed peacefully at home with those he loved and who loved him.

So long Peter,
we will never forget you …

Earworms 27 July 2020

So, so you think you can tell / Heaven from hell? / Blue skies from pain? / Can you tell a green field / From a cold steel rail? / A smile from a veil? / Do you think you can tell?  I hope so.  Anyway, here is your collection of songs about masks and veils.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be songs about water – rain, clouds, rivers, seas … there’s a lot of scope, even if we’ve covered it before. Suggestions for new themes are welcome.

Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 2 August. Many thanks to all contributors.

Terrace Jams feat Kurangan – Mugamoodi – Ravi Raman: Stripped down performances on the terraces of some flats here. Kurangan (Mr Monkey) is a couple of guys who have gotten tired of the vapid lyrics in most of our music. Song’s about the masks we wear including the one we put on for ourselves.

Thee More Shallows – The White Mask – shoegazer: A trip to the underworld.

Billy Bragg – The Man In The Iron Mask – glassarfempty: Billy Bragg (now a sort of neighbour here in Dorset) sings of the desperation that love can drive us to, keeping up appearances in the face of infidelity.

Weakerthans – Elegy For Gump Worsley – tincanman: A colourful hockey goalie in the 1950’s and 60’s, the Gumper was the last National Hockey League goalie to play without a mask. “My face is my mask,” he’d say.

Joni Mitchell – The Silky Veils of Ardor – AliM: “If I’d only seen through the silky veils of ardor / What a killing crime this love can be / I would have locked up my heart / In a golden sheath of armor / And kept its crazy beating / Under strictest secrecy …” From her 1977 album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.

Susanne Sundfor – The Silicone Veil – severin: Her lyrics are always a bit opaque. Her voice and music are always a joy.

Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask – Ravi Raman: Couldn’t find one with Peter Green so this will have to do. Written by Christine McVie and the title track of the album.

The Band – Long Black Veil – glassarfempty: The Band recount the ultimate sacrifice to conceal a love affair.

Eric Clapton – My Father’s Eyes – tincanman: Looking into his father’s eyes is about getting right with God, but lately I’ve been associating it with how we’re all having to relearn how to communicate while wearing our niqabs. We are all wearing them, right?

Mask – Free – severin: That’s “Free” by Mask, not “Mask” by Free. Is that cheating? Sonja Kristina (of Curved Air) is the singer. I met her once, you know. Processed her library membership. Like you do.

The Dark – The Masque – wyngatecarpenter: I know these were my earworm a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t care. This was the Damned-influenced band’s final single from 1982. Close your eyes and they could almost be a goth band.

Van Morrison – Who Was That Masked Man? – MaggieB“No matter what they tell you, there’s good and evil in everyone.” Stay safe all of you. Continue reading

Earworms 20 July 2020

Good morning – We’ve had a whip round, and managed to collect a selection of unexpectedly fairly tasteful songs about whips and furs, without including The Velvet Underground. Not that there’s anything wrong with the VU.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be masks and veils. Or masques, if you prefer. Be inventive. Earworms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 26 July.

Many thanks to all contributors.

The Vibrators – Whips and Furs – wyngateccarpenter and severin: Originally called Dance To The Music which makes a lot more sense but I guess they thought a slightly risqué title would be better for the punk audience. (wyngate)
I wasn’t actually thinking of this song when I mentioned the phrase but I could hardly neglect to send it in. Even though the title isn’t really a big part of the lyric! (severin)

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – The Legend of Xanadu – AliM: A whip-cracking No.1 from 1968. I can remember seeing them perform this on Top of the Pops (I was impressed). Easily pleased.

Adam and the Ants – Whip In My Valise – glassarfempty: Adam and the ants would like to tickle your fancy – with a whip. “Your sadistic suits my masochistic…Your cat has nine tails” they croon, in this 70’s track, which has aged rather better than many.

Hawkwind Zoo – Kiss of the Velvet Whip (aka Sweet Mistress of Pain) – severin: Before they were famous. before they were Hawkwind, in fact. From 1969 so the VU still got there first.

Alex Harvey and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Next – Alfiehisself: From the Whistle Test with a tale of a quiet night in with a nice book – or something like that.

Wevie Stonder – Gagged and Bound – shoegazer: Taking S&M too far.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat – AliM: An amoral tale about the strange power of a rabbit fur coat.

King Creosote – Ankle Shackles – glassarfempty: I’ll see your whip and furs, and raise you ankle cuffs. Classic KC. And a shoehorn …

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice – Jesus Christ Superstar – Trial Before Pilate (including the 39 Lashes) – Ravi Raman: This is by the 1996 London cast. My favourite version remains the one from the 1973 movie, which was banned here. A friend smuggled in the video from Singapore. Blew my mind.

Grateful Dead – Hell in a Bucket – chris7572: This rather misogynist tale of an ex with her black leather chrome spiked suspenders and her chair and her whip and her pets does have a good tune, and the video is well worth a watch. Garcia tries to rise above it all while his bandmates and assorted associates mug for their lives. Whether or not you can believe you’re seeing the reincarnation of the ravenous Catherine the Great is probably a moot point.

The Deadwood Stage from Calamity Jane (1953) – Doris Day – Maggie B: It couldn’t be anything else for this topic except Venus in Furs, and I expect someone has already thought of that. 😉

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Earworms 13 July 2020

Good morning, and welcome to your songs about record players – stereos, gramophones, decks, dansettes, etc (and a few other things). I’m so tired this morning that I poured oats into my coffee mug instead of the saucepan, so I hope the playlist will wake me up, or failing that, that the (eventual) porridge will make me feel human.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme, as chosen by severin severin, is whips and furs. Should be interesting. Worms should reach me by close of play (midnight) on Sunday 19 July.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Richard Thompson – A11- severin (see above): Old Buck Owens/Johnny Paycheck country classic given the DIY treatment by RT and friends as part of his 1,000 Years of Popular Music set. A11 is a song’s number on the jukebox. It’s the song that reminds the singer of her…

The Parlor Vinyls – Phonograph Blues – Ravi Raman: Band out of South Africa that released an album with songs that seemed to be covers of Blues standards, like this one. The lyrics are very different from the Robert Johnson song though.

Teddybears w/Daddy Boastin’ – Little Stereo – shoegazer: A Swedish punk ensemble who evolved to mixing and matching different styles with various collaboraters.

M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up the Volume (12″ remix) – severin: Put the needle to the record etc. Not referring to your home equipment obviously. I still think of this as “rather modern”. It was 33 years ago.

The Cars – Moving in Stereo – AliM: From their eponymous first album (1978). Played this a lot – must admit it’s a shoe-in, but the first thing I thought of. Dare I say it was quite innovative for its time.

Blue Oyster Cult – Marshall Plan – Ravi Raman: A shoehorn without a doubt because I don’t seem to have more on record players. Thus one on amplifiers …

Jeffery Lewis & The Voltage – LPs – tincanman: He used to listen to whatever the radio DJ played. Then he caught Record Store Disease.

Laura Borealis – Turntable – glassarfempty: Montreal based Laura Borealis (great name!) has this delicate musing on a love of music. Any song starting “I love your record collection” has got me – but it is not enough to lure her into his arms. Sadly for music lovers, Laura is now more ‘mother of three’ than recording artist.

Western Centuries – Own Private Honky Tonk – tincanman: I can’t relate to this guy at all. The only fella in his town who prefers playing records at home to going out.

Robert Johnson – Phonograph Blues – AliM: A classic, and very different to The Parlor Vinyls, as Ravi says. Capricious things, these phonographs. “Now we played it on the sofa, now / We played it ‘side the wall / My needles have got rusty, baby / It will not play at all.”

Jenny Lewis – Do Si Do – glassarfempty: “Turn up the stereo until everything rattles” exhorts Jenny Lewis on this track from her super 2019 album, ‘On the line’. “Life is a disco…”

Gilbert O’Sullivan – Dansette Dreams and ’45s – MaggieB: This is only song I can find that mentions a dansette.There are songs about victrolas, phonograhs and juke boxes but not a dansette. In my early teens everyone I knew had a (mono) dansette in their room. Down stairs was a Spanish galleon sized gramophone complete with the “Sound of Stereo” discs that were often sold with them. Rock and pop singles were only to be played on it at parties.

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Earworms 6 July 2020

A marbleous good morning to you, whether you raised a pint at your local yesterday or took the safer option and had one at home, here are your songs about glass. I still have my brothers’ old marbles, though having two cats and a dog it’s pretty much impossible to play with them anymore. So the marbles are stuffed into an old whiskey bottle, which doubles as a lamp-holder – very niche.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme, as suggested by GLASSarfempty, is songs about record players – stereos, gramophones, decks, dansettes, etc.  I leave it to your febrile imaginations.

Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 12 July, for inclusion in the Monday Earworm post. Many thanks to all contributors.

Gentle Giant – The Runaway – Alfiehisself: From In a Glass House and with another obvious connection.

Dean McPhee – Glass Hills – GLASSarfempty: The guitarist Dean McPhee had this lovely track on his ‘Fatima Mansions’ album from 2015. He is on my list for when gigs resume. (Makes me think of Jan Akkerman – Ed.)

Radiohead – Glass Eyes – AliM: From their 2016 album, “A Moon Shaped Pool”. Feelings of alienation, to which we can (probably) all relate.

Massive Attack – Spying Glass – severin: From their 1994 Protection album. Lyrically similar to Jacob Miller’s Tenement Yard, I think.

The Velvet Underground & Nico – I’ll be Your Mirror – AliM: An uncharacteristically toned down and tender performance from Nico on vocals. From their debut album (1967).

Lambchop – A Day Without Glasses – shoegazer: Sad, but pretty one.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – As I Sat Sadly By Her Side – tincanman: Nick and his wife are looking through the window at a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty world. Guess which one Nick is.

K T Tunstall – Made of Glass – GLASSarfempty: This song, inspired by a glass vase she was given by her dad, was on her 2013 album “Invisible empire/crescent moon”. She reflects on the fragility of life, as all do right now. The tune seems to have echoes of McCartney’s ‘Live and let die’. And I love songs with whistling!

Old Time Swingers – Sunset on Empty Glasses – Ravi Raman: Another YouTube suggestion, though the band however has the dreaded ‘easy listening’ and ‘smooth jazz’ as descriptors.

Bud Powell: Glass Enclosure – Abahachi: There are different stories about what’s behind the title, from the innocuous (the announcer’s booth next to the stage at the jazz club Birdland) to the disturbing (the appartment in which his manager, his legal guardian after a mental breakdown, kept him locked up to ensure he would play at the aforementioned club) to the disturbingly metaphorical (his fragile psychological state). Either way it’s a haunting, unforgettable piece.

The Sound – Glass and Smoke – severin: From their 1982 All Fall Down album. WEA told them to write more commercial songs but didn’t give them the financial backing they felt they deserved. So they wrote and recorded not very commercial things like this. And WEA sacked them. What did they know?

Weeknd – High For This – tincanman: Canada punches way above it’s weight in the music world. There’s the gabagillions of records Justin, Bryan, Celine, Drake and Shania et al have sold and we all know who Neil, Joni, Leonard, Gordon and Oscar et al are. Which group does Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (as The Weeknd is known when he’s at home) belong with? His Grammy’s say the first; his songwriting says the latter. (‘This’ is the glass, a proxy for ……..??)

Naked Detroit Jazz Band – Your Glass Is Empty – Ravi Raman: From a very good album called Swinging Back to Bossa. YT’s recommendation.

David Bowie – Breaking Glass – Alfiehisself: Bowie live in ’78, Breaking Glass.

Mott the Hoople – Through the Looking Glass– Maggie B: I love this song. The only other music I could think of on the subject was Phillip Glass and his however many minutes it was of silence – and that just wouldn’t do at all!

The Dark – Shattered Glass – wyngatecarpenter: Brooding b-side from one of my favourite obscure ’80s bands. I’ve no idea what this song is about , or what the shattered glass has to do with anything.

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Earworms 29 June 2020

Shiver me timbers! Here we are in the 100th day of lockdown in the UK – I think – poised somewhere in the middle of the plank, with Blackbeard on one side and the deep blue sea on the other. And while we’re thinking about it, we’ve just about got time to listen to your selection of songs about pirates and smugglers.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be glass, and worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 5 July. Many thanks to all contributors, and stay safe.


Alele Diane – The Pirate Gospel – glassarfemptee: Yo ho ho! Alele Diane offers an alternative gospel for us to live by (ghe also sent the pic.)

Tom Russell – And God Created Border Towns – tincanman: Tom took a break to get his Master’s in criminology when it looked like his career wasn’t going anywhere, so he often writes about things like the two-way smuggling between the Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, USA. Drugs go north, guns slide back the other way.

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over – alfiehisself: I’m sending three songs that have nothing to do with pirates, but which I’ll smuggle in on dubious grounds.

The Aristocrats – Smuggler’s Corridor – AliM: From their 2015 album, “Tres Caballeros”.

The Blessing – Hurricane Room – DsD:  Lots of William Topley’s lyrics are inspired by the pirate myth, and his love of the Caribbean. But this one – now 30 years old, scarily – is probably still my favourite from him.

Mountain Goats – International Small Arms Traffic Blues – shoegazer: Don’t seem to have many songs about pirates.

Little Feat – Willin’ – Ravi Raman: Smuggling via a truck. Very cool song about a long haul driver. Weed, whites, and wine are all he wants. (What are the whites? Cigarettes? Nose powder?)

The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Smugglers – severin: From the Waiting For Bonaparte album. In the mid eighties I saw TMTCH live on the same bill as The Pogues (supporting Elvis Costello) and at the time preferred this lot.

Alestorm – Keelhauled – DsD: Don’t have much to contribute this week, and this is one that’s been around the RR block a few times, but it’s still great fun.

Norah Jones – Chasing Pirates – glassarfemptee: Lovely song from Norah Jones, so who cares that this is not the most swashbuckling pirate shanty on the Spanish Main?

Hanne Hukkelberg – The Pirate – severin: Atmospheric song from her 2008 album Rykestrasse 68. The song is a metaphor for (er) something I expect. “A dive into water, the rocks pull him down”.

Weather Report – Barbary Coast -alfiehisself: The sort of place that pirates may have roamed ( can you roam at sea ? )

Nina Simone – Pirate Jenny – Ravi Raman: Heard it first when it got A listed on the Song Bar. One of three versions that got picked that week! This is my favourite. (Ed: What with one thing and another you forgot to drop the files, so hope I downloaded the right one).

Bob Dylan – False Prophet – alfiehisself: Nothing at all to do with pirates, but has ‘ship’ in the opening couplet, plus ‘gold’ and ‘burial’ elsewhere in the lyrics – close enough

Édith Piaf – Le Chant Du Pirate – AliM: From the 1946 film Étoile sans lumière. Stella Dora, a star on the decline, tries to make her way in the talkies. Her manager and lover discovers Madeleine (Piaf) and decides to use her voice, without the credit.

George Harrison’s Pirate Song (from Rutland Weekend Television) – severin: George loved pirates for some reason. He was also friends with Eric Idle. So they wrote some comic dialogue for Eric’s Rutland Weekend programme where George keeps insisting he wants to do a pirate sketch instead of singing any of his songs. This culminates in the musical feast attached here.

East Town Pirates – Ship Ahoy – wyngatecarpenter:  Ipswich based purveyors of “pirate rock n roll” , i.e. grown men wearing fancy dress and shouting “Arrr”!

Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht – Pirate Jenny (Sung by Lotte Lenya) – MaggieB: This is probably the second favourite song from The Threepenny Opera ( Mack the Knife being No.1). It seems that every chanteuse on the planet has sang it, l couldn’t decide which version to post , so stuck a pin in a list and Lotte was the winner. Shilpa Ray and Nick Cave’s version is well worth checking out as well.

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Earworms 22 June 2020

Good morning, hope this finds you all well. To mark Fathers’ Day here in the U.K. yesterday, I asked for songs about fathers – and here they are, warts and all. My dad would be coming up for 107 if he was still with us. Goodness knows what he would have made of it all.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Pirates and Smugglers – Arrr – and earworms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 28 June.

Many thanks to all contributors, it’s nice to see Chris and saneshane here too. Stay safe everyone.

Pip Blom – Daddy Issues – saneshane: You said you’ve tried / Like you’ve never before / You said you never wanna die / Now you don’t care anymore. Perky joy from the Netherlands.

Diagram Brothers – Hey Dad – shoegazer: Andy Diagram last seen in Michael Head’s Red Elastic Band.

Gil Scott-Heron – Your Daddy Loves You – DsD: In ejaydee’s continued absence, I’m not sure who else will send this in. It needs to be here.

Simone Felice – Angel by My Side – tincanman: His father isn’t up for Dad of the Year.

Daryl Kellie and Jon Hart – Father – AliM: From their album “Set Adrift”, recorded on a boat, on the Thames. As you do.

Unthanks – For Dad – severin: No Rachel or Becky singing on this one. It’s an instrumental written by their violinist Niopha Keegan who is playing for her dad. We hear his voice and hers at the beginning and end of the tune.

Over the Rhine – My Father’s Body – glassarfemptee: Over the Rhine’s tender lament makes me think of my dad’s grave, in a field in Dorset.

Manfred Mann’s Earthband – Father of Night, Father of Day – Alfiehisself: Claims to be a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song, but I can’t image he’d have included the amazing guitar solo or keyboard wizardry … this is the odd track from their concept album of doing Holst’s Planet Suite as prog rock but they were refused permission – so think this was included to fool the estate and also skip Mars ‘cos Crimson had blasted that out already.

Jesu / Sun Kil Moon – Father’s Day – DsD: Potentially I had loads of songs for this, but decided I would take out all the ones with ‘negative’ father/child relationships. I lost over 90% of the possibles! What does THAT say?!?!? I might do a ‘Bad Dad’ playlist at some point. But in the meantime, a Mark Kozelek lyric set somehow survived the cut.

De Rosa – Father’s Eyes – saneshane: I was wearing a De Rosa t-shirt the day my eldest was born.

Joe Cocker – My Father’s Son – Ravi Raman: Well I’m not actually. My dad was a very precise man, reserved, and very particular about a great many things, from food to the creases on his clothes. I’m the exact opposite in all those. Still, a good topic for Mr Joe C.

Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs A Drink – DsD: You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? More relevant now than ever, sadly.

Ian McNabb – If My Daddy Could See Me Now – DsD: For all of you whose father isn’t with us any more. Mine still is, and fighting back both with and against his chemotherapy.

Phil Campbell – Hope, Faith and You – DsD: Possibly to Ali’s surprise, I haven’t sent you a song from Phil’s Daddy’s Table LP (the album he performed in full when we saw him last October). Instead, here’s the first song I ever heard from him, 23 years ago.

Jesse Dayton – Daddy Was a Badass – glassarfemptee: My daddy was not a badass, but Jesse Dayton sings an interesting life story in this rocking obituary of a good ol boy.

Johnny Cash – Daddy Sang Bass – Ravi Raman: From the complete set of his Live at San Quentin show with Carl Perkins, who actually wrote the song, on stage too.

Emmylou Harris – Bang The Drum Slowly – Ravi Raman: Her elegy to her father from the 2000 album Red Dirt Girl. Rather moving, no?

Megson – Dance To Your Daddy – saneshane: My parents watched ‘When the boat comes in’ as a kid, all I remember is this song (not by Megson) and that James Bolam bloke who played the main character.

Seeed – Papa Noah – saneshane: First heard in a squat party after watching St. Pauli play football in Hamburg around 2004. I had a good day.

Wynona Carr – Ding Dong Daddy – severin: It is possible I suppose that young Winona is not singing about her actual dad. Good though, eh?

Anthony John Clarke – I’m My Own Grandpa – AliM: Someone has to lower the tone, so it may as well be me. (I saw him do this live, which was probably a lot funnier. But we all need some light relief, so here it is).

Camila Cabello – First Man – tincanman: Critics said this Grammy’s performance was cheesy and maudlin, and they’re probably right. Made me cry, though. Still does.

Grateful Dead – Brown Eyed Women – Chris7572: The story of Jack Jones through the pre-WWII years in Poorsville, USA, as told by his son, bonding over the illegal liquor still. Rather than the 1972 version I usually use, here’s one from 1978.

Montserrat Caballé – O mio babbino caro – MaggieBO Mio Babbino caro ( Oh my dear father) is probably one of the most performed arias ever. It’s from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicci. Lauretta is pleading with her father not to separate her from the man she loves. Here is the sublime voice of Montserrat Cabballé – Freddy Mercury’s favourite soprano -singing it.

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Earworms 15 June 2020

Some of you will have seen Steenbeck’s excellent video above, which she has kindly let me share on Earworms this morning, as it fits so well with the topic – Lockdown (and/or how you feel about it). Personally I have conflicting feelings, one minute it’s all fine – sort of – and the next it feels lonely and weird, like suspended animation. The songs that follow suggest that most of you are as bemused as me. Anyway, your friendly support bubble, the ‘Spill, is here to kickstart your day. (My own support bubble looks remarkably like two wine glasses fused together at the rim).

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Fathers. Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 22 June (Fathers’ Day in the UK).

Many thanks to all contributors.

Malcolm Middleton – Blue Plastic Bags – DsD: I’ll be surprised if I’m the only one who sent this in this week. If I were wrangling these into a playlist myself, this one would be the lead-off song. (I can take a hint. Ed.)

The National – Not In Kansas – DsD: I wanted to post a snippet of the lyrics in support of this, but I couldn’t decide which; they’re almost all perfect! THAT’S when you know a song’s on-topic. So have this verse – “If the sadness of life makes you tired, And the failures of man make you sigh, You can look to the time soon arriving, When this noble experiment winds down and calls it a day” – and listen to the rest yourselves.

J.S. Ondara – From Six Feet Away – tincanman: This guy is amazing – a Kenyan who writes and sounds like Tracy Chapman meets Julien Baker. He’s just released Folk n’ Roll Vol. 1: Tales Of Isolation, and I don’t know if it’s bedroom noodlings or a proper sequel to last year’s debut, Tales Of America. Whichever – I’ll have Vol. 2 too, please.

Dave Griffiths & Tim Renwick – Dawn Returning – glassarfemptee: One of the absolute joys of the full lockdown was the clean air and the peace and quiet, so that we heard birdsong in our towns like never before. Dorset musician Dave Griffiths celebrated this with a track released during lockdown, with guitar added remotely from Tim Renwick in Cornwall.

Mike Zito – Quarantine Blues – tincanman: Mike doesn’t like to sit still. So when covid abruptly halted his European tour he reached for the guitar, slipped the slide on his finger and roughhoused over some unfinished songs. He has a tendency to fret over songwriting (without improving them) and isn’t known for really letting go, so this Mike Zito is a surprise. Dig out your cowbell and head over to bandcamp, for a free download – or pay for it and Mike will give the money to a band in need.

Jack White – Lazzaretto – AliM: A Lazzaretto is a quarantine station for maritime travellers. He’s bored silly,  “quarantined on the Isle Of Man, … I’m trying to escape any way that I can.”

Shriekback – Accretions [Monstrous Dance Mix] – shoegazer: Tricky one. “Work At Home” and some of the other words in this Shrieks word salad seem to fit.

Cure – In Between Days – severin: I don’t feel the way described in the lyric, although I’m sure some people do. But these days do feel like in between days. Not like real life at all somehow.

X-Press 2 feat David Byrne – Lazy (Norman Cook Mix) – severin: This is how I feel when I see all the people on social media who have spent lockdown learning crafts, building garden sheds, baking bread from wheat they grew themselves, teaching their children trigonometry etc. I have done my physio exercises and ordered my dad’s shopping online. Bloody exhausted, me.

Ryan Adams – Idiots Rule the World – DsD: Do I need to explain? Really?

Damien Jurado – Bad Dreams – DsD: Yes, I’m one of the ones who can’t sleep, and when I do eventually go, I’m absolutely plagued by the weirdest multi-episode nightmares, all in crystal-clear HD.

John Prine – Hello In There – glassarfemptee: Covid has stolen many great music talents, among them the wonderful John Prine. This song is from his debut album, and reminds me of the flowering of community and neighbourly concern brought about by the pandemic. I myself regularly check on my 90 year old neighbour, Brenda, and I take turns with others to deliver her a newspaper each day as she is shielding, and values the newspaper puzzles.

Bob Dylan – Everything is Broken – AliM: Ali chooses a Bob Dylan track – quick! Where’s the thermometer? “Streets are filled with broken hearts / Broken words never meant to be spoken, / Everything is broken / Seem like every time you stop and turn around / Something else just hit the ground.”

Ginger Wildheart – Drinking In The Daytime – DsD: I may have submitted this one before, but it’s probably more relevant now than then.

Mannfred Mann – Tired of Trying, Bored with Lying, Scared of Dying – Ravi Raman: A pop song written about something else though the title is pretty apt(ish) to what I think, especially the lying part.

Yes – And You and I – Alfiehisself: Jon doing an intro about having to dream of a better world for our children, but where those dreams are in the music is anyone’s guess. “There is no mutant enemy we shall certify, Political ends as sad remains shall die.” It is a nice wish.

Sky Valley Mistress – Paranoid – Ravi Raman: From around 300 cases before a total lockdown to over 1500 now. That’s each day! In Chennai alone! A rather good cover of the Black Sabbath classic from a band hailing from Lancashire or Yorkshire or some such phoren land across the Kaala Pani (Black Seas).

Paranoid Visions – Back to Normal – wyngatecarpenter: I’m doing fine, it’s what comes next that worries me, which coincides nicely with this new track, Back To Normal, written and recorded in lockdown by Paranoid Visions.

Iron Maiden – Virus – Maggie B: Hello, It’s Download weekend – (or it would have been). You can tell by the weather. So for metal heads, here’s a snippet of Maiden fitting the bill with Virus. 😉

Squirrel Nut Zippers – La Grippe – Ravi Raman: A slightly weird offering from this offbeat band. Originally published in 1995 and re-released with a weirder video just before the lockdowns started. Continue reading

Earworms 8 June 2020

Good morning! We’re still here on WordPress for the time being, so that’s a stay of execution, at least. Hope everyone is well, haven’t heard from Maggie or Alfie this week, so hope that’s just a sign that they are busy with other things. Today we’re all about native mammals, some great songs and (unusually) they seem to go together pretty well. Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve purloined my son’s old headphones (makes a big difference).

Ravi wondered whether worms are mammals. Worms definitely aren’t, but Earworms? I’m not sure. Do they have limbs? Do they catch hold of the little hairs on the inside of our ears, just to ensure we can’t dislodge them? That would explain a lot. Thoughts (or illustrations) welcome …

I’ve gone back through WordPress and made a list of the themes we’ve used to date – not quite The Marconium but useful, nonetheless, as I run out of ideas. Before Christmas, my credits were due to expire on 123rf (where I get most of the royalty free images), so instead of wasting them, as I usually do, I thought up about 40 themes, downloaded appropriate pictures and accreditations and listed them in my diary (at least I have something in my diary). This was preternaturally organised of me and driven, mostly, by fear of losing money for my unused credits (I was a Civil Servant, after all). Anyway, I digress. I will get the list of themes together and post it, then if you are really bored you can have a look at it and suggest some that we haven’t had. Getting difficult, I know, and I try not to overlap with Songbar, but sometimes it’s inevitable.

Anyway. If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be Lockdown – you can choose songs about restrictions, or curfews if you like, but I’m more interested in how you feel about it. Scared? Lonely? Overwhelmed? Or perhaps grateful for some peace from the normal run of things, grateful for time with your family, optimistic for communities coming together, or optimism for a more environmentally aware future? It could go either way …

Mr. Fox – Mr. Fox – AliM: Very early ’70s folk/rock band with links to Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, amongst others. Sounds much better on headphones, there’s an eclectic selection of instruments. Drums, but no electric guitar. (This came to me from Fuel, on a weird and wonderful compilation album called Milk of the Tree).

Boy Least Likely To – Summer of a Dormouse – glassarfemptee: The Boy Least Likely To (duo Pete Hobbs & Jof Owen) had this lovely indie single in 2009. You gotta love a dormouse. Even in his pyjamas.

Otis Taylor – Blue Rain in Africa – tincanman: He sees a white buffalo. (Which ironically what blacks in Buffalo were protesting this week).

Mike Zito – Too Much Monkey Business – Ravi Raman: A monkey song from a tribute album to Chuck Berry. Luther Dickinson is the featured artist on this track.

Chemical Brothers – Otter Rock – AliM: From 2003. Doesn’t have any lyrics; could be about Otter Rock in Oregon. Or otters rockin’. Or neither.

Stump – Buffalo – shoegazer: Show me a home, where the buffalo roam (& I’ll show you a house with a messy carpet).

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats in the Attic – glassarfemptee: King Creosote and Jon Hopkins’ wondrous collaboration on ‘Diamond Mine’ included this song that touches on the protection given to native bats.

L Subramaniam – Jai Hanuman! – Ravi Raman: Our most famous monkey. This is from his aptly named album Global Fusion that features an eclectic group of musicians from Spain to China and Bali.

Gabby Young and Other Animals – Mole – severin: An extended and rather complicated metaphor which I’m still not sure I have understood. He feels like a mole. We all do sometimes.

James Yorkston – Tortoise Regrets Hare – glassarfemptee: James Yorkston’s song is allegorical, in a lament to love lost: the hare of his tale. From his excellent album “When the haar rolls in” (haar being a word for fog typical of east Scotland – also called hare!)

Bat For Lashes – Bat’s Mouth – severin: Bats are mammals, are they not? And the word bat occurs in the song title and the name of the artiste. And the lyric says ” find him in the bat’s mouth, he is singing in the bat’s mouth”. That’s good enough for me. Next week, songs about lashes.

Santana – Sher Khan, the Tiger – Ravi Raman: Here in his incarnation as Devadip Carlos Santana. From his severely underrated album called Swing of Delight that features Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams among others.

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Earworms 1 June 2020

1st June, the day when WordPress changes over to its new block editor system. The block editor does not support the playlists function; I have downloaded the “audio-player-with-playlist-ultimate” folder but unless I am missing something I cannot install it as a plug-in without upgrading to WordPress “Business”. At present there is still an option to switch to Classic Editor (i.e. the one we have been using up until now), which will still support a playlist. It should at least work for this week as it’s not June 1st for another hour.

If this is no longer possible after 1st June, our options are a bit limited (if Earworms is to continue). I could make YouTube playlists, if you send me a link, or Spotify, or something … but it’s all a bit of a faff. If anyone has any helpful suggestions I would be very glad to hear them.

This week we’re listening to songs about talking – something some of us will miss if we’re in lockdown on our own. I have always been accused of being taciturn, but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy talking, I just need something to say. And someone to say it to.

Subject to whatever happens with WordPress … if you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a paragraph about why you’ve chosen it. Worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday June 6. In honour of abahachi, whose marvellous Desolate Island Discs have kept us occupied for the last couple of months, next week’s theme will be native mammals (including his favourite stripey ones). They don’t have to be British mammals, just native to whatever country you live in.

Cabaret Voltaire – Talking Time – shoegazer: Electronic funk from their 1983 album The Crackdown.

Cindy Walker – I Don’t Believe a Word You Say – tincanman: Cindy is one of America’s great songwriters of yore, but kept a relatively low profile (or was kept to one) because women writing songs for the radio wasn’t a done thing back then. I’ve wanted to earworm her for ages but she recorded only once. Talk about patience.

Frances Black – Talk To Me While I’m Listening – glassarfemptee: From her excellent 1994 album “Talk to me”, here’s Frances Black, Mary’s sister.

KD Lang – The Mind of Love – Alfiehisself: For which it’s worth knowing the K of KD is short for Kathryn.

Joan Armatrading – Talking to the Wall – severin: A reversal of the usual meaning. Her wall is like “her rock”. Someone she can always depend on. And therefore someone well worth talking to. Released in 1985 so it only took me thirty-five years to realise this. The rather good bass playing here is by Pino Palladino.

Bert Jansch – Sweet Talking Lady – severin: Not much about actual talking here, The “sweet talking lady” is just a metaphor for his favourite guitar and how good it sounds. Or did before somebody nicked it.

J J Cale- Money Talks – Ravi Raman: Bit of a shoehorn and one that I find very apt for the times. “Money talks, It’ll tell you a story/ Money talks, very loudly.”

Eric Clapton – I Can’t Hold Out – tincanman: 461 Ocean Blvd didn’t have enough flash for his Clapton Is God flock and alarmed/confused others with it’s MOR vibe. Hidden in plain site is his masterfully languid adaptation of an Elmore James tune. In a couple of places you can hear him ahhh in contentment when his phrasing gets good enough even for him. Easily his best blues cover.

The Strokes – You Talk Way Too Much – AliM: Less is more.

George Thorogood – You Talk Too Much – Ravi Raman: I definitely know a few people like this. Exhausting just being around them. It’s a rocking good number though.

The Beatles – Within You Without You – glassarfemptee: George’s song on Sgt Pepper, very appropriate for today, talking about social distancing and the Prime Minister: “We were talking about the space between us all/And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion/Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late when they pass away”. I had the pleasure of seeing magicman sing this in Brighton a few years ago…

Peter Gabriel – Come talk to Me Live (Back to Front Tour – London) – MaggieB: This is just beautiful.

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Earworms 25 May 2020

Good morning, I hope everyone is well, and ready to listen to your selection of songs about Family. Many of us will be missing family right now, or spending more time looking after them and helping them out.

As a Bank Holiday bonus, I’ve added four extra playlists of songs from some of the ‘Spill family – carole, tfd and bethnoir and me, which we put together some five years ago. If you want ‘Spill points, or if you are so bored that you’ll do anything, you can guess whose is which (although it won’t be very difficult if you know our musical preferences).

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be talking, and worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 31 May.

Rolling Stones – Prodigal Son – Ravi Raman: Theme song to my life. The short version of the Rev. Wilkins gem.

Austin Lucas – Goat and Goose – tincanman: Neat concept: tell your family’s story as a Grimm (not grim) fable. That’s his Dad Goa, er Bob, on banjo and sister Chloe on harmonies. Austin is one of half a dozen punk rockers I know of who turned to americana and did Interesting Things with it.

Flanagan – Father Father – AliM: I know very little about Mark Flanagan except that he played, or plays, in Jools Holland’s band. This is from the album “The Chosen Few” (2002), which he released with two other musicians under the name “Flanagan”.

Michael Bloomfield – Death In My Family – glassarfemptee: I hoped to find something uplifting for these sad times, but I’m afraid all I can think of is Mike Bloomfield’s lament …

Merle Haggard- Daddy Frank – Ravi Raman: Country and Western seem to have a lot of songs on the topic. As do movies from here. But The Hag tells a tale without getting mawkish.

Julia Jacklin – When the Family Flies In – glassarfemptee: I know we can’t fly at the moment, but here’s a song about knowing things are serious if the family gather round. Oh! We can’t gather round either …

Advance Base – My Sister’s Birthday – shoegazer: More Advance Base on earworms – with some sad vocals this time.

Moddi – Oh My Father, I am Joseph – severin: Another of his “unsongs”. This one got the original writer/singer Marcel Khalife into trouble with Lebanese clerics because at one point it quotes almost directly from the Quran. The story is the familiar one about the “dream-coat” boy and his jealous brothers.

Otis Taylor – Mama’s Got A Friend – tincanman: Families come in all sizes and shapes and nowadays kids mostly don’t have to go to school and tell lies for us, like young Otis pretending his mother’s lover is his older sister.

The Undertones – My Perfect Cousin – AliM: Thought Shergal Farkey might cheer us up.

Judith Durham with the Hottest Band in Town – Sister Kate (I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My) – severin: Originally released in 1974, this is the kind of music Judith performed live for quite a few years after she left The Seekers. In fact it is the kind of music she originally wanted to make before she joined The Seekers. It still takes a bit of getting used to though. That familiar voice and that familiar song.

Van Morrison and The Chieftains – Irish Heartbeat – MaggieB: Has to be this one, it reminds me of last summer when we held a housewarming /welcome back party for a cousin who moved back to the area after a long absence. She had just had her Ancestry DNA done and it turned out surprisingly Irish – so, much to our old aunt Mary’s delight we played and sang a few old sentimental tunes (as you do) Better still, the new place was only half a mile’s staggering distance from my gaff for when the party ended. 2019, those were the days eh?

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Earworms May 18 2020

If I had a hammer … well, it seems that many of you do, not to mention other varied and sometimes psychotic tools and household appliances. Microwave dinner, anyone? You can listen to this week’s pick of songs while you’re thinking about it.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme, as suggested by ghe, is Family. Very apt, as many of us are missing folk (and a few of us are seeing too much of each other). Suggestions for future themes are also welcome.

Many thanks to all contributors – stay safe.

Staple Singers – Hammer and Nails – Ravi Raman: A beautiful song full of soul and a dash of gospel. From a compilation called Faith and Grace. What a voice!!

Betty Hutton – The Sewing Machine – severin: I trust this counts as a household appliance. My mother had an ancient treadle Singer which she hated and the kids loved. At one stage she sang this song at my dad incessantly until he agreed that they needed to buy an electric one. Of course if they’d kept the ancient Singer too it would probably be worth a few bob. The song is from the 1947 film The Perils of Pauline since you ask.

YesBodyElse – Washboard Blues – tfd: Nepotism alert – this is my son’s band doing a Hoagy Carmichael song, which I must confess I’d never heard (the Hoagy one, I mean) until I nominated both of them for Songs About Spring-Cleaning and Household Chores on the Song Bar… and much to my surprise, they were quite different and I liked Matt’s version better. So go, YesBodyElse!

Dub Miller – 21st Century Cowboy – tincanman: This is for all of y’all been made redundant by tech change (as opposed to because of politics or greed or incompetence). Dub is a rancher/cowboy doing the same job he always did but with better tools. Kinda like Dub’s music career.

Tindersticks – The Hungry Saw – glassarfemptee: Tindersticks occasionally get together at Stuart’s studio in a French farmhouse and knock out an album. This is the title track from the one before last.

Albert Collins – Deep Freeze – glassarfemptee: My deep freeze is full of stuff to get me through lockdown. And tracks like this humdinger from Albert get me through, too…

Keith LeBlanc w/Andy Fairley – Taxcider – shoegazer: Murder by Microwave.

Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate – Take This Hammer – AliM: From their wonderful 1999 album, Kulanjan.

Mystery Jets – Screwdriver – severin: From 2019. It’s not really about a screwdriver of course. More the politics of bigotry. But I found I had few songs that were actually about tools. Or appliances.

Budgie – Hammer & Tongs – Alfiehisself: Starts a bit slow and probably ends with a long drum solo, ‘cos those were the days. Good riff tho’ clears some cobwebs.

Clamavi De Profundis – When the Hammer Falls – MaggieB: I have been re – reading LOTR during lockdown also some Terry Pratchett, so… Well it’s better than Hi Ho Hi Ho ?

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Earworms 11 May 2020


Good morning, and welcome to your choice of music about extra-terrestrials. I thought it might be an uplifting subject to take our minds off worldly stuff … The way we look to a distant constellation / That’s dying in a corner of the sky / These are the days of miracle and wonder / And don’t cry, baby, don’t cry / Don’t cry … here’s hoping.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be tools and household appliances. I leave it to your fertile imaginations.

Many thanks to all contributors.

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Space Captain – tincanman: It finally occurred to Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks it would be easier to balance marriage, parenthood, music and a some semblance social life if they weren’t each running their own touring bands. I was a fan of Tedeschi’s solo stuff so Trucks had to earn his way in, as accomplished as he was. I’m glad I finally let him in because these guys let it rip. (Dunno what the song is about. It has space in the title.)

Ry Cooder – Poor Man’s Shangri-La – Ravi Raman: Both my contributions this week are from his album about developing a baseball stadium, Chavez Ravine. I’ve just copied from the album liner notes. “A traveling Space Vato (which Google translates as cowboy) is trying to get oriented over LA, honing in on a local radio signal … He sets his little spacecraft down, and steps out to have a look around. What does he see?”

Kuricorder Quartet – Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) – severin: He stomps around the Death Star lecturing children about the Green Cross Code. Eccentric Japanese blokes whistle his happy tune. The world turns. (Can’t stop laughing. Ed.)

Stranglers – Just Like Nothing On Earth – shoegazer: Dave Greenfield having fun with his new toys in 1980 [RIP].

Prosthetic C__t – Brain Smokin’ Bones – panthersan: Alien Porngrind (yes, it is a real genre!) anyone? Thought I would throw this in for a bit of fun!

Art Attacks – I Am A Dalek – severin: Almost forgotten punk band fronted by Sounds magazine’s then resident cartoonist Edwin Pouncey (aka “Savage Pencil”). Art Attacks didn’t record much but this single is something of an early punk classic. Not sure if the bloke in the song is literally one or just an odd sort of person.

Ry Cooder feat. Don Tosti/Juliette Commagere – El U F O Cayó – Ravi Raman: The Space Vato returns on a mission of prophecy. … he speaks to the folks in Calo, an L.A. slang variant. “Your time is up; the Gabachos will build a big stadium here. Come with me, you’ll be better off.” They reply, “You’re mistaken, sir, we have rights, it can’t happen here,” … They don’t want to go, why would they, life is good, que sera, sera.

The Imagined Village – Space Girl – glassarfemptee: We all eventually take delight in disobeying our mother. The space girl takes it to another level, by shacking up with a Martian. “My mama told me I should never venture into space. But I did, I did, I did. She said no terran girl could trust the martian race. But I did, I did, I did.” I had the pleasure of seeing Imagined Village perform this live. Eliza Carthy was 8 months pregnant at the time, and as she danced with her fiddle, I thought the band might be one person larger by the time the gig was over!

Yes – Arriving UFO – Alfiehisself: Anderson of Yes wasn’t a party animal, so after gigs on one tour him and another member would go back to a hotel room with acoustic guitars and write the next album. A couple of tours later the band were hardly on speaking terms, so to wind down after gigs he’d go to all-night cinemas. Perfectly timed for Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This track is pretty much Close Encounters in song form.

Grouper – Alien Observer – glassarfemptee: Grouper (Liz Harris) has an extraordinary talent, as displayed in this delicate and dreamy song about becoming an extra-terrestrial – “Going to take a spaceship/Fly back to the stars/Alien observer in a world that isn’t mine”.

Stackridge – Purple Spaceships Over Yatton – AliM: I was reminded of this track a while ago when someone remarked on my choice of ring tone for my phone’s alarm call. Now he’s an ex, and I’ve changed the ring tone. (I know there’s not much love for Stackridge around here, but it was the first thing I thought of).

CCR – It Came Out of the Sky – MaggieB: I love these lyrics, If you swap the line “Ronnie the popular said it was a communist plot” for “Donnie the popular said it was a Chinese plot” – it could have have been written yesterday rather than 1969?

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Earworms 4 May 2020

Good morning, I hope this finds you all well. Welcome to this week’s selection of songs about old age, which seem pertinent at the moment. For some reason, Nick Cave’s version of Cosmic Dancer made me think of the seven ages of man – Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.’ But surely it doesn’t always have to be like that? Here are your songs of experience.

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be extra-terrestrials, and earworms for inclusion should reach me by close of play on Sunday 10 May.

Many thanks to all contributors – stay safe, everybody.

Dave Van Ronk – The Old Man (Dylan) – tincanman: John Prine’s signature Hello In There is about being so old you just hope to be noticed every once in awhile. Well, Covid has shone a bright, shameful spotlight on how invisible the elderly are to us. Almost as inconsequential as Dylan’s old man on a New York sidewalk. (Last May I did a playlist of songs about aging. I think it’s aged well 😉 ). (I can’t upload this to the playlist, I downloaded another version but it still won’t work, hence the link. Ed.)

Katzenjammer – My Dear – severin: Remember them? Of course you do. This one was a kind of hoedown in which Turid enquires about whether s/he will still kiss her neck and various other duties when they are old and grey.

Ralph McTell – Naomi – AliM: A tender love song about growing old – with Naomi.

The Who – My Generation – Alfiehisself: Got the original but my thought is of any recent live show with the 70 year old writer and singer, still doing ‘hope I die before I get old’ , also with the very fine Zak Starkey on drums, who’s worth the admission alone. (Well not the actual admission as that’s gone crazy nowadays – wonder if tfd remembers what the Charlton gig cost)?

Mark Knopfler – I Used To Could – Ravi Raman: I’ve driven a bus never an 18 wheeler truck but there are still some things that I could do but can’t nowadays. Well lotsa things to be honest.

Anna Atkinson – Old Man Song – glassarfemptee: Anna Atkinson hails from Montreal, and reminds us that we pass on music from generation to generation.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – I Need Never Get Old – shoegazer: Opener from the 1st album by Nate with the Sweaty Knights.

Pink Floyd – Free Four – severin: The memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime. A cheerful singalong ditty from Pink and his band.

Wings – Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People – AliM: Rather a fine song from Mr McCartney. Venus and Mars was released in 1975 and there were some excellent, and seldom heard tracks, including “Love in Song”, “Listen to What the Man Said”, and “Letting Go”. And this one, of course.

John Prine – Hello In There – Ravi Raman: A very moving song about the lonesome lives old people have and their desire for human contact. So apt for today.

Swamp Dogg – Please Let Me Go Round Again (w John Prine) – tincanman: From the eccentric, self-nicknamed Jerry Williams’ new album Sorry You Couldn’t Make It. Prine, we know now, was on his last trip around.

Tindersticks – Old Man’s Gait – glassarfemptee: Stuart Staples is not that old, but already feels he has developed his father’s walk!

Zevious – Gradual Decay – Alfiehisself: An instrumental could be about anything really, but slowing falling to bits sums up ageing for me. There’s a hole in my head that names keep dropping out of.

Elvis Costello – Veronica – MaggieB: I doubt that most of us could still be dry-eyed by the end of this song. I love how the tempo belies the pathos of the subject. Thoughts and prayers to all those in care homes; residents or staff.

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Earworms 27 April 2020

Here we are again, this week celebrating saints and sinners in music (although I note that we seem to be rather short of saints). And talking of saints, we welcome Panthersan, who starts us off with a rousing wake up call this Monday morning. 😉

If you have an Earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. Next week’s theme will be old age, which seems pertinent right now.

Take care and stay safe, everyone. Many thanks to all contributors.

3 Inches of Blood – Deadly Sinners – panthersan: I’m not usually a Power Metal fan, but I love the combination of the high-pitched metal yelp and the gruffer grunt underneath. Also, metal songs that reference Metal are always a winner!

Greta Van Fleet – Lover Leaver – alfiehisself: Not sure the lyrics mention a specific sin, but think it sounds sufficiently sleazy.

Joe Bonamassa – Who Killed John Henry – tincanman: “The Battle of Sinners and Saints” is an earworm of mine from Joe’s 2013 album An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House. Joe is unusually warm and intimate on this, which exists in many forms but usually attributed to Mississippi John Hurt.

The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun – glassarfemptee: The early Animals were raw and powerful, especially in this traditional song of a sorrowful sinner. I love Alan Price’s organ playing as much as Burden’s vocals. A hit both sides of the pond in ’64, so it wasn’t all about Beatles then…

Gabby Young and Other Animals – The Devil Has Moved In – severin: The corrupting power of money and fame. Sounds quite celebratory to be honest.

Hozier – Take Me to Church – AliM: This song always sounds deliciously sacrilegious to me: “No Masters or Kings / When the Ritual begins / There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin / In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene / Only then I am human / Only then I am clean / Ooh oh. Amen. Amen. Amen.”

Little Axe – Another Sinful Day – shoegazer: Predates Moby’s repurposing of old Blues tunes by about 5 years.

Bob Dylan – What Good Am I? – severin: Possibly a shoehorn. Bob basically asks if he’s a good man and doesn’t come up with very comforting answers. At least not if he does all the things decried in the song.

Neil Young – Yonder Stands the Sinner – glassarfemptee: Neil Young wasn’t singing about Donald Trump when he cut “Yonder stands the sinner” for a live album in ’73. But he sure seems prescient: “Well, you heard about the great pretender/I went to see him and he’s not the same/ Down by the club on the parking lot cinders/I was to meet him and play his game”.

David Bowie – All Saints – alfiehisself: Saints and Sinners makes me think of the parties of years gone by, Vicars and Tarts. Obviously chosen for people with limited costume choice, just a strip of white cardboard for a vicar. I always went as a tart. Odd, meeting up in a pub pre-party, complete strangers at the bar couldn’t resist squeezing my oranges. Must have been a tartier looking tart than I’d intended.  If I’d had a copy, but I don’t, I might have chosen Hugh Laurie: St James Infirmary, which is nice.

Anju Brahmasmi – Endaro Mahanubhavalu – Ravi Raman: Part of the Tyagaraja “Five Gems” and perhaps the most famous of his compositions. A salute to all the saints and musicians down the ages. Anju Brahmasmi is a musician who blends rock, jazz, and carnatic into a unique style.

U Srinivas – Dudukugala – Ravi Raman: Here’s another Mandolin Srinivas share. Also one of the famous “Panchratnas or Five Gems” by Tyagaraja. Sort of like a sinner’s lament. Sins listed include aimlessly wandering around, giving sermons to people who are not interested in listening or who do not have the capability to understand, self-styling oneself as a great person, and mistaking the dross for the real thing.

Sukumar Prasad – Intha Chalamu – Ravi Raman: One of the handful of tracks left of this genius musician who disappeared into an ashram in the late ’80s. Sukumar was a gifted percussionist (mridangam) who later turned to the electric guitar and pioneered its use in carnatic music. Here he takes the three line (“Why are you neglecting me like this?”) plea to god and turns it into a 11 minute exposition of talent.

Warren Zevon – Dirty Little Religion – MaggieB: A statement about hypocrisy or just a song about sinning happily?   Great either way.

Marlene Deitrich – Naughty Lola – AliM: I have this, but the sound is much better on this YouTube video. “At home my pianola / It works for all it’s worth / Now I tell you a secret / Don’t hammer on the keys / For a little pianissimo / Is always bound to please.”

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Earworms 20 April 2020

Hands up, those of you who grew up with a radio something like this one. Despite all the technical and aesthetic improvements, radio hasn’t changed much over the years. It still boils down to a presenter, playing music, sharing stories, talking about stuff. I love it, and here is your choice of songs to mark its significance.

If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3, .m4a or a link to adempster73@gmail.com, together with a few words about why you’ve chosen it. As St.George’s Day is coming up, next week’s theme will be saints and sinners, and worms should reach me by close of play on Sunday 26 April. Many thanks to all contributors.

Bhundu Boys (With Latin Quarter) – Radio Africa – glassarfemptee: Sadly, 25 years on, Radio Africa is about to be playing only bad news again…

Buddy Guy – DJ Play My Blues – tincanman: Buddy’s kind of a DeNiro of blues; such a caricature of himself you forget he was really good once. I saw him a few years ago around and it was a good show for an 81-year-old. Here he is at a youthful 45 still showing off that deft, sly touch that made him synonymous with Chicago electric blues. (This was on a playlist of songs about radio DJs I did last year).

Benjamin Zephaniah – Rong Radio – shoegazer: Benjamin has a rant.

Rush – The Spirit Of Radio – Ravi Raman: A live version from their anniversary tour, about – well – the spirit of radio. There is magic at your fingers … it really was true.

Queens Of The Stone Age – God Is On The Radio – AliM: “You believe it, I know you do / You won’t admit it or say so / I know that god is in the radio.”

Rival Sons – Radio – Ravi Raman: A gift from one of the RR tribe. My introduction to this band too. Radioooooo…

Lou Reed – Rock ‘n’ Roll (VU cover) – tincanman: I imagine we can all remember turning on the radio and being smacked still by something new and great that we couldn’t believe what we’d heard at all. Our little town radio station was conservative and Christian but Saturday nights we could tune our transistor radios to WNBC in New York for the Cousin Brucie show. This song takes me back to being a rebellious early-teen discovering rock and roll at it’s feral, semi-organized best.

Ex Hex – Radio On – severin: From their first (2014) album Rips, which I loved. Then there was a five year pause. I still hadn’t heard the belated follow up, It’s Real, which came out last year but I have just (partially) remedied that via the Youtubes. Either not as good or not as instant is my interim conclusion.

Stereophonics – I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio – AliM: “I wouldn’t believe your wireless radio / If I had myself a flying giraffe / You’d have one in a box with a window / But you can have it all if you like…” (No idea what it’s about but I like it).

Mary Black – Late Night Radio – glassarfemptee: Mary Black covered this David Gray song on her excellent album, Shine. And don’t we all love late night radio…

Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra – Radio Times – severin: “Olden days had different ways, their pleasures then were fewer. Modern days will get my praise, our wireless ways are newer.”

Red Flag 77 – Look Mum I’m On The Radio – wyngatecarpenter: I very nearly chose their anti-vivsection song Lipstick for last week, but they lost out to Wire at the last moment, so by way of compensation here is their song celebrating the fact that John Peel had played them.

Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio – MaggieB: Joni, Love this album; It has been a best friend for many years.

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