Earworms of the Week
“F.E.A.R.” – Ian Brown
As is commonly known, Ian Brown couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. I've seen him live on several occasions, once with the Stone Roses back in the day, and I think the nicest thing you can say about him is that he tries. Well, sometimes he does. It seems that our man isn't really at his best when he's the support act on someone else's bill, and he often seems a little bit pissy about the fact that his audience aren't really there to see him at all. Trying (and failing) to light the Manx flag onstage at Glastonbury one year when he mistook it as a statement of English nationalism must have been something of a low, to be fair. Still, he's got some tunes and always has done. Nevermind the Stone Roses debut, this is a properly good song.... as good as anything on "Second Coming", I should say. He looks and behaves like a strutting pillock, but he's also generally always seemed like his heart was in the right place too. Did anyone see the Stone Roses this time around? How did he hold up? This is a good song though, eh? He would never have done this with the Stone Roses. Forgive Everybody And Remember.
“Hurt Feelings” / "Petrov, Yelyena And Me" – Flight of the Conchords
I genuinely and properly love both records by Flight of the Conchords. They're comedy, of course they are, but they are also very satisfying on a musical level too. And funny. After all, who hasn't been told that they look like a llama? This week, I've been particularly stuck on "Petrov, Yelyenya and Me". Boy, is this a peculiar record. I seem to remember that it even seemed a bit stuck on in the tv series too, not especially relating to anything that happened before or afterwards... even more than the songs normally are, I mean. The happy tale of some Russian sailors who are shipwrecked and adrift and slowly eat one of their colleagues alive? Macabre? Much? It's brilliantly weird and I love it. Bret is currently working with Kermit the Frog to put together the soundtrack to the next muppets movie, and that makes me very happy indeed. Life's a happy song. Bring the rhymes!
“Jesus” – Velvet Underground
“Queen Bitch” – David Bowie
David Bowie famously stood on a street corner trying to give indifferent passers-by in New York copies of the Velvet Underground's debut album. To my mind, although Bowie has blazed brilliantly across the musical firmament for decades, the Velvet Underground burned shorter but brighter. The eponymous record that features "Jesus" is just a magnificent record: full of vulnerability, hurt, wounded beauty and tune after tune after tune. It's a simple record, with a repeated refrain, but it's delivered with such quiet desperation that it is quite heartbreaking. Musical chameleon that he is, "Queen Bitch" is apparently Bowie attempting to "do" the Velvet Underground, and he makes a pretty good fist of it. I have no idea what a "bipperty-bopperty hat" is, but it sound AMAZING.
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes
Because sometimes, when you're sat in front of your computer on a Sunday morning hitting refresh for approximately 87 minutes, you really, really need to listen to the Fleet Foxes.
“Bats in the Attic” – King Creosote & Jon Hopkins
I only discovered these guys when I wandered my way into a spare ticket for their gig at the Glee club in Nottingham. They were spellbinding, and so was the album they were touring. I love this song in particular, mostly because of the beautiful lilt in Kenny's accent and the clearly very personal turn of phrase in his lyrics. Still sounds so fresh.
“Jackie” – Scott Walker
I love Scott Walker, but knowing that he's covering a song written by Jacques Brel, and suddenly all those references to why people might be calling him "Jackie" suddenly start to make a little more sense. Oh, but by the way Jacques Brel, it seems pretty unlikely to me that you would ever be called "Handsome Jack". If you had looked like Scott Walker, then perhaps.... but as things stood, I don't think so. Incredibly, this song was Scott Walker's debut solo single in 1967. Given Walker's star status in the biggest boy band of its time, can you imagine what the equivalent would be? Harry Styles covering Tom Waits, perhaps?
“Another Girl, Another Planet” – The Only Ones
I don't know another record by this band, but frankly, this one is good enough. What a tune. Great intro, brilliant solo. Perfect.
“The Intense Humming of Evil” – Manic Street Preachers
"Welcome welcome soldier smiling
Funeral march for agony's last edge
6 Million screaming souls
Maybe misery - maybe nothing at all
Lives that wouldn't have changed a thing
Never counted - never mattered - never be"
I really, really like the new album by the Manics, but my goodness.... The Holy Bible remains their masterpiece for me. It's not an easy listen, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's challenging and complex and wordy and utterly brilliant. This song does not exactly have a sing-a-long-a chorus, but it's been caught in my head and in my imagination all week. I've also been thinking about "4st7lb" and the incredible documentary that inspired it. I shouldn't think that the girl who uttered the words "I want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint" is still alive, but those words have stayed with me, echoing in my head for the last twenty years.
“Rock Your Body” – Justin Timberlake
It takes a certain amount of confidence, with barely 60 seconds of the record remaining, to boldly exclaim that, "I'm gonna have you nekkid by the end of this song". Oh, how well you know me Justin Timberlake. After all this time, how well you know me.
And that's your lot. Have a good weekend, y'all.