Earworms of the Week
To be perfectly honest, some of these earworms have been kicking around for a couple of weeks now. Still, waste not want not, eh?
> "Remedy" - Little Boots
She was many people's pick at the start of the year to be the sound of 2009, but to be honest, Victoria Hesketh hasn't made all that much impact on me. I also get the distinct impression that her whole electro-pop 80s schtick (one of the tracks on her album is a duet with Phil Oakey, for heaven's sake! How much more 80s can it get?) has been somewhat upstaged by the 2009 Mercury Music Prize nominated La Roux. Still, this one has managed to worm it's way into my head.
> "Secret Lemonade Drinker" - R Whites Lemonade advert
I've no idea how this got into my head, but was astonished and dismayed to discover that C. had no idea what I was talking about. Obviously, I dashed directly to YouTube to show her what she'd been missing out on by growing up in France. She tried hard to look interested, but all she really wanted to know was how the advertising agency came up with that particular idea to sell lemonade. She wasn't even that bothered to discover that it featured Elvis Costello's dad either. Dear oh dear. It was, and remains, a classic advert. At least she knew who the Smash robots were.
> "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" - Aerosmith
I think this is fallout from the shocking discovery that their asteroid monstrosity is apparently the most popular choice for wedding first dances. Surely this number would be far more appropriate? Good song too. "Permanent Vacation" was the first album of their comeback from the drug addled oblivion that had followed (well, overlapped) with their 1970s pomp. From there, I went back through their back catalogue and discovered some real gems in albums like "Toys in the Attic" and "Rocks" and songs like "Mama Kin", "Sweet Emotion" and "Dream On". Better was to come, too, with "Pump" coming out shortly afterwards. The "comeback" is still going strong, but they're not quite the force they once were, even if Joe Perry and Steven Tyler still look preposterously youthful for their years (Tyler is 61 now, amazingly).
> "I Swear" - Boyz II Men [WMG appear to have stamped on all the YouTube clips to this song, so it looks like you'll be spared at least....]
An awful record and a weapons grade earworm. I spent almost all of Saturday last week in the pub in Birmingham town centre after the cricket at Edgbaston was rained off for the day. It wasn't the nicest pub in the world - I think it was a Wetherspoons - and as soon as this song came on over the PA, within seconds I knew I was doomed to have this rotating around my head for at least the next few weeks. Drivel.
> "Three Times a Lady" - The Commodores
You might have already gathered that I'm not the biggest fan of slushy songs. In the main, I find them impossibly contrived and often quite cynical and cliche ridden. This song may be all of those things, but Lionel Richie is a legend of course, and that makes all the difference. Plus, of course, I can't quite shake the image of the band, with their silver flared jumpsuits and massive afros, from my head when I hear the song. I'd love to see R Kelly dress like that and manage to be taken int he least bit seriously.
> "The Great Escape" - We Are Scientists
What better band to listen to when running up and down a hill for half an hour than We Are Scientists? Usually I run listening to something a touch heavier (run to Metallica and it's as if you have Satan himself on your tail), but this week I just fancied something a little different. Mind you, it's hardly folk music, is it?
"They're breaking both my hands
They're breaking both my hands
And telling me to
Take it like a man
And take it like a man
Well fuck that"
Good stuff. Anything to take my mind off the fact that I still have a few more circuits of the hill to go before I'm done....
> "My Girl" - Madness
I was rescued from my despair at the nation's supposed favourite first dance records by the heartening news that the readers of this blog, at least, have somewhat better and less predictable taste. Between us, we've chosen records by the likes of The Cure, The White Stripes, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Depeche Mode. Hels opted for this song, and it's hard to argue really. They're one of my all-time favourite bands, and this song managed to bring a tear to my eye when I saw them at Glastonbury at the back end of June. What man doesn't know the feeling expressed here? I like to stay in and watch tv on my own every now and then. Who doesn't?
> "Lola" - The Kinks
Another potentially brilliant wedding first dance. I saw the Kinks at Glastonbury in 1993, and even though they were plugging a new album ("Phobia"), they still managed to be brilliant, with this song as a predictable highlight. Ray Davies is, or at least was, a lyrical genius. C.O.L.A. cola.
> "Viva la Vida" - Coldplay
> "Leaving on a Jet Plane" - John Denver
A happy memory of our recent houseguests was their tendency to burst into song and to sing in nice family harmonies (I also have a very fond memory from our last trip to Vienna of them all bursting into song as "Africa" by Toto played on the radio). Vienna is a city with a tremendous musical heritate (Falco, for starters....) and the two kids have music in their blood. Their talent can easily be discerned either by watching them take to "Guitar Hero" like ducks to water, or when Lilli discovered that C's guitar was in her room, and almost immediately picked it up and began to play some Coldplay. Our last meal together came to an end on Wednesday night when Lilli played us a lovely version of "Leaving on a Jet Plane", with the rest of the family joining in on the chorus. It actually works very well when approached in the style of a female singer-songwriter in the Joni Mitchell mould, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time she'd finished.
> "Darts of Pleasure" - Franz Ferdinand
Lilli and Pauli spent much of the week trying to teach me how to speak German. I'm not much of a student, but they very much seemed to enjoy the attempt. My lasting memories will be learning the German for "cheeky monkey" (frechdachs) and the persistence of this song as an earworm... driven entirely by those lines at the very end of the song:
Ich heiße Superphantastisch!
Ich trinke Schampus mit Lachsfisch!
Ich heiße Superphantastisch!
Champagne and salmon? Hmmm nice.
It's been a lovely week. What a shame I have to end it back at work and with England struggling in the cricket.
Have a good weekend y'all and stay classy.