Earworms of the Week
Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
Old school. Nice. Loved Aerosmith back in the day; initially with "Permanent Vacation", but they sealed the deal when they released "Pump", which remains brilliant to this day. Discovering their back catalogue was a sweet, sweet moment. "Rocks" in particular is an amazing rock album.
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks - The National
I love The National and this album is another slow-burning genius. I have absolutely no idea at all what Matt Berninger is singing about here, but it hardly seems to matter. Epic.
Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes
A song that will forever linger in my memory as my triumphant, top-scoring choice in a karaoke battle in Ho Chi Minh City. It's a song that involves more standing around as funky guitars get down than actual singing, but you know, a win is a win and I WIN! Lingering regret from all my trips to Glastonbury are that I didn't watch Hayes when he played. Not only did he do this one, but he did "Chocolate Salty Balls" too, dammit.
In My Life - The Beatles
Paint it Black - The Rolling Stones
Of the two bands, I VASTLY prefer the Beatles. Both were pretty good back in the day though, eh? Did you hear Ringo last week? Asked at a press conference what he thought George Harrison brought to the Beatles, he replied... in deadly earnest.... something like "Well, initially it was his guitar playing. But later on it was the songwriting as well." Brilliant. Well done Ringo. No autographs, right?
Orpheus - Ash
This popped on the iPod as I was driving a colleague to pick up a new pair of running trainers at lunchtime today (well, we can't go running together again until she's got them, so....). "Ah, old school. Reminds me of University", she said. Hmm. She's not that much younger than me, but she is definitely younger. I think "1977" came out when I was doing my Masters degree (it did, I got a free frisbee with it that I left in the common room), but I bought those first brilliant singles when I was still an undergraduate ("Kung Fu" = genius. Still). This song came out in 2004. Nah. She's bluffing. She wasn't a student then either.
Revol - Manic Street Preachers
As my friend Mark from University, a mature student of all of 25 years old, might have said, Welsh Heavy Metal. Listening to "The Holy Bible" has to be the breakfast of champions. C. may disagree, as she was in the car at the time.
Lippy Kids - Elbow
On balance, of the two new albums that I bought on the same day earlier this year, I still think that I prefer the Noah and the Whale. This one is really growing on me though, as Elbow albums are wont to do. This song is a lovely, typically affectionate take on life by one of my favourite lyricists.
Touch Me - The Doors
C. left to go to Berlin fairly early on Sunday afternoon. I went to Sainsburys, had a swim, and then plopped myself down on the sofa to wonder what to do with my evening. I idly flipped the telly on, and saw that Groundhog Day was just starting. Perfect. When that finished, I scanned around and saw that School of Rock was just beginning. Sunday evening: sorted. This song planted in my head courtesy of Jack Black and a geeky kid on keyboards.
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers)
When France beat England last week, my immediate thought was that I would be cheering for the French in the semi-final against Wales. Tough choice for an Englishman, but how could I cheer for the Welsh? And I've got a French wife. As the week has worn on though, my heart has made up its mind: I will be up tomorrow morning and hoping for a Welsh win. I know that, if the boot was on the other foot, many Welshmen would not be cheering for England under any circumstances, but I don't care. Another good anthem too, if not quite up there with the French.... both will be belted out passionately at kick off tomorrow, that's for sure. Whisper it, but I'm quite glad that England are out so that one of the weekend's games won't be ruined by our turgid approach to what can be a beautiful game. Should be a cracker. Picking "La Marseillaise" last week seems to have done the trick for the French, so let's see how the Welsh go now, eh? Can't hurt, right?
Rusholme Ruffians - The Smiths
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley
There's a thing on the Guardian today where the latest column in the "favourite album" series is "Meat is Murder". An excellent choice, even if it's not even my favourite album by The Smiths ("Hatful of Hollow" for me, even if it's not really a proper album). "Meat is Murder" has some amazing songs on it -- "The Headmaster Ritual", "Barbarism Begins at Home", "What She Said", "Nowhere Fast", "That Joke Isn't Funny Any More", the title track.... one of my favourites has always been "Rusholme Ruffians", although I did feel the need to post a comment to challenge the author's lavish praise of Johnny Marr's brilliant, inventive guitar on the track. Marr is an amazing guitarist, and his contribution to The Smiths is made clearer with every album Morrissey releases without him.... but this particular guitar riff is a shameless steal from the classic Elvis song. It's a steal acknowledged by The Smiths themselves, who used to medley the two songs together in concert, but it's not an example of Marr's creative talent. Actually, Morrissey lifted some of the lyrics are lifted from a Victoria Wood song too....
Have a good weekend, y'all.