Friday 28 October 2005

and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you forever....

This has been an excellent end to the week: in a bid to use up my leftover holiday before the end of October, I've had to have the afternoon off. Shame. And how have I chosen to spend my spare time? Get to work on the plot for my 50,000 word NaNoWriMo novel? Nah..... I've bought a sandwich, some garlic and some saucisson from a French market, made a cup of tea and made some idle plans to watch a DVD or two; perhaps Lost in Translation, followed by The Return of the Jedi, I think.

This spare time also affords me the opportunity to pay an early visit to the temple of Earworms to lay the latest offering. I'm really, really pleased that this week's guest editor has chosen to take up his invitation to have a go at this. As he says himself in his profile "My Modern English is damaged beyond repair (as is my outlook on life) by obsessive study of medieval literature". Amen to that brother, although, I think it's fair to say that my grasp on Old French is probably a bit rusty compared to yours. [Ahem].

Definitely not your average blogger

Anyway. Ladies and Gentleworms.... Without further ado.... it is my great pleasure to present for your Earworming pleasure:

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #23 - Le Moine Perdu from Þæs ofereode, Þisses swā mæġ

Well ST, here's your earworm -- copy it whenever and wherever you see fit! I've done it now while I've got a bit of spare time, because otherwise it won't end up being done at all! [ST's note - ah... the prestigious Earworm guest slot, eh?!]

1. David Kitt – Strange Light
I like it because it’s mellow and seamless, it just flows just like the subject matter of the lyrics. The structure of the song very much echoes the impression of somebody sitting and thinking, thoughts flowing one into another, quite minimalist, not overdone at all. Just enough parts in the arrangement to make it feel complete, but not too many so as to make it feel crowded.

2. Ben Harper – Pleasure and Pain
I just love Ben’s voice, it’s such a comfortable range for me to sing in, and his accoustic songs aren’t deliberately made to be hard to figure out or play, unlike many. It also makes me wonder, the lyrics. I mean, we all experience things and see things, and yet only some people ever seem to really learn or change from it. I always think it’s peculiar how some people can seem to be completely unaware of simple human principles that they’ve no excuse for not understanding, because you know they’ve had plenty of experiences that ought to have taught them. They go through all kinds of things and see things, but don’t ever seem to really change or evolve through them, while others, with every bit of pleasure and pain they experience, change, grow and learn a little.

3. Leon Redbone – Up A Lazy River
Nobody can be unchilled by this song. It reminds me of my father, because he used to play clarinet, and the times in my childhood when he had his lucid moments and would sit in the garden on a summer’s day in his Panama hat, with the record player on, really into his jazz. These times sort of somehow seem to manage to shine out, despite all the dark times they were sandwiched between, and listening to this song reminds me that there is and always was good in my father, despite the years in between.

4. Louis Armstrong – Basin Street Blues
If you ever listen to it, no explanation is necessary. If you don’t like it and it doesn’t get you moving, you’ve a hole in your soul, that’s all I’m saying.

5. Idir – Fable
Once, Salim and I went out on a sailing trip, down the river Witham, out into the Wash and out further into the North Sea. When no land was visible any more, and it’d been dark for a while, we dropped anchor and chilled out, just chatting. We both had our guitars and he taught me to play this song, and we played it together, me only singing the Spanish chorus and him taking care of the verses. he did the clapping too, because I couldn't do it, not having the advantage of being a flamenco musician like him. It was great.

6. Manu Chao – Merry Blues
I just love the way he uses the gun-click as a percussion instrument. I love the way it starts out so messy, you can’t make sense of it, but it resolves itself into a familiar rhythm, and the lyrics are so oxymoronic, together with the tune and in themselves. I like things that sit side by side that aren’t expected to.

7. Fleetwood Mac – From 4 Until Late (Robert Johnson cover)
The old line-up, Peter Green et al, from a live CD some person (whom I bless forever!) gave me a while back. I just love it. I love Robert Johnson anyway, and I love early Fleetwood Mac blues stuff. They don’t really do much original to the tune, but it’s just obviously a better quality recording – the poor recording technology Johnson had access to is the only real shame about his music.

8. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – White Palms
It’s just going round in my head, especially the last part where the accoustic stuff comes in as the distortion fades out. Just got it buzzing round my head all day yesterday.

9. Hildegard von Bingen – O quam mirabilis est and O virtus sapiente
Just a beautiful melody, frankly, as are all of hers. Sort of peels music back to its bare bones and soars like a lone cloud. Sorta. Followed by something that just inexplicably 'reminds' me of home.

10. Thomas Tallis – If Ye Love Me
Sung by one of the Oxford choirs, I think. I just like the tune, and it reminds me of St Thomas More, who’s one of those friends I hang out with in my head. I like to see if I can pick out each voice and sing along with a different one each time.


Thanks LMP. An altogether different type of list to the ones we usually end up discussing round these parts. Still you never know though, we might be seeing a lot more of Hildegard von Bingen in future Earworm lists, eh? What's that? Crazy Frog has a Christmas single coming out? Chris Martin is threatening to do a duet with wee Jimmy Krankie? Right. As you were then. Sorry Hildegard, I suspect you will have your work cut out competing with that toss for earworm space in my head... after all, I've spent a good deal of this week playing air-trombone to the theme from Johnny Briggs....

Whenever I think of next week's Guest Editor, I think of music. Well, I say that. Actually, although I do initially think of music, that thought is quickly followed up by thoughts of centipedes in jars and squashed scorpions....Oh yes, next week we'll be tuning into the brain of that notable desert dweller and Oasis fan - clm from to do #121: insert clever title here.

[previous guest editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah]

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