Friday, 7 April 2006

She can ruin your faith with her casual lies

Earworms of the Week

Hello. My head has been on fast forward today, crazily lurching from song to song as I sit at my desk and try to avoid working.

Here's what I've managed to come up with.....

10. “Ça Plane Pour Moi” – Plastic Bertrand

A member of the exclusive “Famous Belgians” list, alongside such stalwarts as Enzo Scifo, Jean-Claude van Damme, Eddy Merckx, Adolphus Sax and Audrey Hepburn. It’s a really silly record, but what a great chorus.


9. “Dosed” – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

I’m both excited and slightly worried by the impending release of the new RHCP record. Excited because they have turned into a fantastic band, but worried because it’s a double album (is it me, or does that hint at a lack of quality control?) and because it rejoices in the truly terrible name “Stadium Arcadium”. No matter. I’ve travelled a long way with them since the release of “Mother’s Milk” and I’m not about to give up on them now. They’re less about muscular funk rock workouts these days and more about beautiful melodies and almost Beach Boys-like harmonies. John Frusciante’s guitar playing in particular is sublime. Best guitarist in the world right now? I'm seeing them live this summer for the first time in a decade... so looking forward to that....

8. “Protection” – Massive Attack

They’ve got a greatest hits out at the moment, and I should probably be earworming “teardrop” because that’s the song they’ve been using on the TV advert (great song it is too, and a brilliant video). This one’s my favourite though – the title track off my favourite Massive Attack. I love Tracey Thorn’s slightly melancholy vocal.

7. “The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore” – PJ Harvey

The seed of this particular earworm was planted when Spin asked me about P.J.Harvey on Wednesday. “Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea” is a fantastic album though, as I’m rediscovering in the office this afternoon.

6. “Where I End And You Begin” – Radiohead

I think it was listening to P.J. Harvey that got my mind started on this one. PJ duets with Thom Yorke on “This Mess We’re In”, and as I was listening to that, something about the guitar/bass made me think of this one from “Hail to the Thief”. I ummed and ahhed about buying tickets for their tour, but in the end decided not to bother. I’ve seen them many times – Glastonbury, in a big top near Newport, at a Student Disco, at a giant gig in South Park in Oxford…. But the last time I saw them was in the Nottingham Arena when they were touring their last album. I thought they were awful. They played for about two hours and barely once did any of them acknowledge their audience as they were so wrapped up in making atonal electronic music. The only song they played properly was “Just”, and Ed O’Brien looked thoroughly hacked off with the whole thing. They have a perfect right to make whatever music they like, but if they don’t want to have an arena audience, they shouldn’t book an arena. I can understand why they don’t play “Creep”, but that night I thought they behaved like spoilt brats. As I walked out, I said I wouldn’t bother next time. So I’m not. I still occasionally see people discussing this gig and how brilliant it was. I disagree. Brilliant band though – you only have to listen to “OK Computer” to know that – but they’re still capable of brilliance, as this song demonstrates.

5. “Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns n’Roses

This popped up on my iPod when I was out running the other day. I started to run a bit faster. It’s ace.

4. “The Flight of the Bumblebee” – as played by Douglas, the trombone playing Lurpak Butter man.

This is the little man made entirely of butter who (with Penelope Keith) used to advertise Lurpak on telly. I don’t know about you, but I find making trombone noises very soothing. I reckon it’s one of those things that everyone thinks they can do (like an impression of Frank Spencer or Michael Caine, or trumpeting like an elephant), and actually it never ever comes out sounding anything like a trombone. I don’t care though. I’m forever earworming the theme-tune to Jonny Briggs but this week it’s “The Flight of the Bumblebee”.

This hasn’t been on the telly in bloody years, so quite how it got in my head, I have no idea.

3. “Dear God Please Help Me” – Morrissey

This is what Morrissey does best: crooning to the accompaniment of lush orchestration. “Ringleader of the Tormentors” sounds good, but this is my favourite at the moment. It reminds me a little of “Now My Heart Is Full”, but lyrically it’s a whole new world for Moz – he has “explosive kegs between my legs” apparently.


Let’s hope he never wears polyester trousers.

2. “Naïve” – The Kooks

Insanely catchy, and deservedly at number 6 in the UK singles chart. Bad haircuts and poor millinery selection though.

1. “Always a Woman” – Billy Joel

Partly because I covered “Piano Man” in the Art of Noise A-Z this week, but also partly because the man himself is touring the UK for the first time in 12 years this July, and Lord B has just secured us some tickets.


I heart Billy Joel. In fact, if you don't heart Billy Joel, then I reckon you have no soul.


I might try for a guest editor next week. I've had a volunteer that I've totally failed to get back to.... I think it's time I made a bit more of an effort and started soliciting contributions. Here's a new idea. You guys get to nominate a blogger you think would be good at this, and I'll go and ask them.

What do you think? You reckon Paul Daniels would be up for it?

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