Friday 6 February 2009

they were born and then they lived and then they died....

Earworms of the Week

Weekend's here. Hurray! I've managed to maintain a reasonably good humour in my first week back at work after a week in the Alps, but it sure is nice to kick off my shoes, open a bottle of decent wine and contemplate the weekend ahead........

Earworms first? Whaddaya say?

> "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" - The Beatles

Hardly the best song that The Beatles ever wrote, but certainly one of the most naggingly catchy. This is one of those songs, like "Yellow Submarine" that help to explain the band's apparent universal popularity. You or I might prefer some of their other stuff, but everybody of almost any age can bounce along to this one. I haven't listened to The Beatles in a little while, so I can only assume that this has popped into my head as a result of reading in "Hide & Seek" about Rebus having an old cassette of The White Album stashed around all of the obscure jazz in his collection. Rankin is good, isn't he? I'm not sure quite why it's taken me so long to get to his most famous creation, but I'm certainly making up for lost time now.

> "When Will I Be Famous" - Bros

Ah, a band I absolutely loathed when they actually existed. I wouldn't say they've exactly grown on me now, although time has enabled me to at least watch Luke Goss in things like "Hellboy: The Golden Army" and "Blade II" without wanting to kill anybody or even to destroy the tv. Perhaps I'm growing up. I don't recall hearing this song recently either. In fact, the last Bros song I think I heard was "Cat Amongst the Pigeons", which featured on TOTP2 and sounded absolutely shite. Does anybody still wear bottletops in their shoelaces, incidentally?

> "Grace Kelly" - Mika

The plane on the way back from Grenoble last week was determined to infect me: as I walked on, they were playing "Ruby" by the Kaiser Chiefs, and then they followed it up with this little number. Luckily, the playback was interrupted by takeoff, but sadly they resumed the tape exactly where it had left off when we hit the ground at Gatwick, ensuring there was no escape from it for the entire duration of the drive home. I'm not sure it's aged very well, and I'm increasingly finding it not so much charming and catchy as intensely irritating.

> "Animal" - Def Leppard

Another song from nowhere, this classic of one-armed drumming and synthesised 80s rock popped into my head as I moved around meetings in the office this afternoon. I have to say that it wasn't an entirely unwelcome visitor.

> "Bend & Break" - Keane

A legacy of their gig last Sunday night. I can never understand why the usually close their set with "Bedshaped" when I'm sure there are loads of better songs in their catalogue. I'm not suggesting that they close their set out with this one, but it sounded great live in the arena last week, bolstered by the addition of some bass and an actual guitar. They're much criticised, obviously, but I reckon they're a pretty good live act... they always have been, but they're even better now. The boy can sing, too, even if he still does have the rosy cheeks of a chorister.

> Theme from Paddington

From the backwards round in the quiz this week. LB got it just before it became fairly obvious, too, which was quite an effort as we often really struggle in this round. Great little tune. I'm not convinced he's a marmite eater though, to be honest. It's marmalade, innit?

> "Centrefold (My Angel Is)" - J Geils Band

Good grief. I don't own this record and I haven't heard it played anywhere in at least a decade, I would say. Quite why it's in my head, I don't know. Answers on a postcard. It always makes me think of being about 14 years old and listening to a fairly dreadful compilation album called "Life in the Fast Lane", which featured.... you guessed it, "Life in the Fast Lane" by the Eagles and a number of other "soft rock classics". Hmmm. I wouldn't swear to it, but I suspect the Footlose theme may have been present too, and a bit of John Parr, maybe even some Huey Lewis. Apologies if the mere mention of any of that conjures up more earworms for you, especially the Loggins.....

> "I'm Not OK (I Promise)" - My Chemical Romance

I'm in the early stages (well, the first play, actually) of listening to the Shuffleathon CD that I have received from Mandy. It's in the form of a soundtrack to a book, and although I have yet to read any of the supporting material that she sent to illuminate her choice of tracks, it's hard to get away from quite how catchy this song is. Since I heard it in the car this morning, I've been struggling to shift it. He's not O fucking K, apparently.

> "New Rose" - The Damned

Sounding surprisingly good on the bontempi organ, this was the first UK punk single to be released apparently. It still sounds pretty good today, actually. For some reason it makes me think of "Another Girl, Another Planet" by the Only Ones, which I was listening to on my iPod the other day. Another great record from the era that has really stood the test of time (unlike the band - have you seen them recently? Heavens). The poor old Ramones always tend to get left out of the history of punk though, as told by the British anyway, even though they got together in 1974, were gigging extensively in 1975 and released their debut album in February 1976. But oh no, it's all about the Sex Pistols, innit? ("New Rose" was released in October 1976)

> "Cemetry Gates" - The Smiths

Another one from my Shuffleathon CD, and what a track one, side one to pick. I love the band, of course, but this one really put a smile on my face as it kicked in as I backed the car out of the street and set course for the office this morning. Who else by Morrissey could write a song like this?

"You say: "'Ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
And you claim these words as your own

But I've read well, and I've heard them said

A hundred times (maybe less, maybe more)

If you must write prose/poems

The words you use should be your own

Don't plagiarise or take "on loan"
'Cause there's always someone, somewhere

With a big nose, who knows

And who trips you up and laughs

When you fall

Who'll trip you up and laugh

When you fall

You say : "'Ere long done do does did"

Words which could only be your own

And then produce the text

From whence was ripped

(Some dizzy whore, 1804)

I can't say I'm exactly looking forward to the man's new release (although there are plenty of gems in his solo back catalogue), but the genius of The Smiths is surely undeniable?

So. That's your lot then. I promise that I'll try a bit harder to line up a few guest editors for the weeks to come. Honest I will. I know I keep saying this and then not doing anything about it, but if you want to have a go, then drop me a line.

Right. Busy weekend ahead: younger brother is coming up for a visit and I need to replace my laptop due to logic board failure. I'm rapidly discovering, now that it's gone, that a laptop connected to the wireless internet is a very cool thing indeed. I've been reduced to sitting in a room upstairs on an antique PC that is physically connected to a router by a wire. Imagine that!

Have a good weekend, y'all, and stay classy.


  1. Morrissey's new album's had some decent enough reviews, so I'm keeping an open mind. I've had a few tracks sent to me, and while they're never going to be as good as the greats, they've been pleasant enough. I can't wait to see him in May.

  2. Ah, Hugo's Life In The Fast Lane CD. Many an hour did we while away listening to this in his study back in the day!