Earworms of the Week
Well, I for one am glad that a day that included two shouting matches with my boss in one meeting,* and ended with my car alarm going off at 30 second intervals in the gym car park** is nearly over. One last task before I can don my cape and head to Gotham.... Earworms.
*Well, he did most of the shouting. I'm not really a voice-raising kind of guy at the best of times, nevermind in a meeting with other people. For once, I wasn't actually even trying to annoy him.
** I didn't even know I had a car alarm, FFS.
“Away From Here” – The Enemy
The Enemy are one of those bands who are a little caught up in the whole "lad rock" thing that we were talking about the other week as possibly being (accidentally) started by the Stone Roses. I've not seen them live, I don't think, certainly not outside of Glastonbury, but I can only imagine what kind of beer-chucking, swaggering chimp attends. That said, I really like their first album, and the band themselves actually seem alright to me. Well, you can't choose your fans can you? Anyway, and song that name checks Richard and Judy can't be all bad, can it? If you grew up in Coventry, you'd probably want to be away, away from there too.
“Shining Light” - Ash
First song I played on the first car I ever owned to have a CD player. The dealer recognised it, too and seemed impressed... I think that he knew what it was, not that Ash were particularly cool. He was well into his 50s and I rather think he surprised himself. Still my favourite Ash song and from my favourite Ash album too.
“The Age of Revolution” – Duckworth Lewis Method
Crickety folk, as C. would say. Oddly apt in a week in which money has been the cause of three Pakistani players being sent to prison for a few no balls in the Lords Test match last summer.
“Knights of Cydonia” - Muse
This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite songs ever. Certainly one of my favourite guitar solos. Absolutely bonkers, of course. Still reminds me of running past a man taking a ferret for a walk when I was out running down the canal and was 6 miles from home though.
“Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt” – We Are Scientists
Nothing the band have done since matches the majesty of their first album, With Love and Squalor. Well, maybe their cover of Hoppipolla. Still, I was listening to the album during the week, and I was reminded how good it is, with barely a let up in pace or a weak track. Their other albums are okay, I guess, but not a patch on this. Great live band too.
“Video Games” – Lana Del Rey
Jools Holland is an unctuous toad who insists on ruining many good songs on his show by adding his boogie-woogie piano noodlings (I still shudder at the memory of his contribution to "My Doorbell" with the White Stripes).... BUT.... I do see a lot of good new music on his programme around all the back-slapping and awful muso jams. Lana Del Rey was on a programme with a bunch of other people I wanted to see, and when she came on, I gave her the usual 30 seconds before picking up the Sky remote to wind on. Only I stayed, and instead reached for my laptop to download the single immediately. Brilliant, absolutely lovely record. 4m-odd hits on YouTube I see. Not likely to be unknown for very long.
“Saturn 5” – Inspiral Carpets
Listening to this always brings back memories of standing in the rain on a Friday morning in June 2002 in front of the Pyramid Stage, watching the Inspirals playing to a reasonable crowd right at the very start of the Festival (I think they were the second act on). They were brilliant, and it was good to be reminded quite how many good songs they did. I think "I Want You Back" featuring Mark E Smith is my favourite of theirs, but this song is amazing. It came on in the car as I was driving to work the other day, and it actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Surprisingly emotional, I thought, after all this time.
“Mountains” – Biffy Clyro
Speaking of emotional.... I only saw the last few songs of Biffy at this year's Glastonbury as I was there to see Morrissey performing next, but they were BRILLIANT and it was probably one of the best crowds I saw all weekend. I don't know much of their material, but I know this one, and it's been in my head so much this week that I actually just gave up and downloaded it directly onto my phone. It's a brilliant song; so emotional... hearing it on record doesn't quite have the same effect as seeing them doing it live at the end of their set at Glastonbury in front of a huge crowd, but it's still not bad.
“Dr. Kitch” – Lord Kitchner
Of all the records to hear played on BBC radio on a Sunday afternoon, this one is possibly the most unlikely, and yet Huey Morgan played this at about 4pm a few months ago. As the lyric unfolded before my ears, I became more and more disbelieving of what I was hearing. When I hear it now, I can only imagine the censor listening in the early 1960s and trying very hard to work out if there's anything specific enough in the lyrics for him to ban it. It's got it all: crude sexual innuendo, casual spousal abuse, references to sex and to anal sex.... all cunningly disguised in a lyric about a man who, it is made clear at the start of the song, is not a qualified physician, giving a lady an injection... although she seems to be scared by the size of his needle. It's brilliant. And wrong. All at the same time.
“Zombie Jamboree” – Harry Belafonte
I was listening to 6 Music again this week at about the same time on a Sunday afternoon, and Huey Morgan did it again: he played another calypso song that has taken up a seemingly permanent residence inside my head. Not quite so smutty this time: it's a simple song, about a zombie party in a New York cemetery, but it is ABSURDLY catchy. I defy you to listen to this and not be humming it for the rest of the day. We were singing it before the damn song had finished:
Back to back, belly to belly
I don't give a damn, I'm done dead already.
Back to back, belly to belly
At the zombie jamboree!
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Seasonally appropriate too, and I'm in the throes of an unlikely calypso phase thanks to the singer from the Fun Loving Criminals. Go figure.
Weapons grade earworm: handle with care.
Right. That's your lot. Have a good weekend, y'all. Another week done. Done, done and onto the next one.