Friday 12 June 2009

I dread, dread to think what the future will bring....

Earworms of the Week

> "Ruby" - Kaiser Chiefs

Released in February 2007 and still bothering my internal jukebox in spite of the fact that I intensely dislike both the song and the band. Tribute, I suppose, to just what an effective earworm this song is. Speaking of irritating bands with baffling levels of success and an addiction to lazy, common-denominator music, I heard the Stereophonics version of "Handbags and Gladrags" in the car this morning, and was reminded both how crap they are, but also of Rod Stewart's glorious dismissal of them at Glastonbury in 2002, when he opened his set with the same song that the Stereophonics closed theirs with the previous night. Is that all you've got? Frankly, yes. Rubbish earworms.

> "Shine" - Take That

Derivative, sure, but still a supremely sunny piece of pop music by a band that I used to actively dislike because of their sheer dominance of the charts and their ubiquity. I don't know if I've mellowed or if they have, but now I find myself rooting for them in their glorious, relaxed Indian summer. They seem like nice blokes, don't they? They've got some songs too, haven't they? I don't rate this one all that much, but "Patience" and "Rule the World" are just brilliant. They still look pretty good too, eh?

> "Big Spender" - Shirley Bassey

In common with most of the songs that drift across the badlands between my conscious and sub-conscious minds, I have no idea where this comes from. What I do know is that I found myself sashaying across the kitchen as I cooked a beef and mushroom stroganoff, with this track providing the silent accompaniment as it played in my head. I shudder to think what anyone passing the window might have thought. Then again, if I had actually been playing the song, they might have thought even worse.... Another Glastonbury connection in this week's earworms. A monsoon is forecast, apparently.

> "To Lose My Life" - White Lies

Along with Jay-Z, White Lies have just been added to the bill of the Coldplay / Girls Aloud gig I'm attending later on this summer. If Jay-Z is anything like as good as he was at Glastonbury (another link) then he'll be worth watching, but White Lies are a band that I'm actually quite keen to see. They've just announced a date at Rock City actually, and if they haven't already sold out, then I might just pop along to check them out in a smaller venue.

> "Strutter" - Kiss

A "Guitar Hero" classic, of course. Although I'm keen to get my hands on the Metallica special edition of the game, I haven't actually been playing it at all this week. This appears on the list courtesy of appearing on my iPod twice in fifteen minutes when I was out running. How random is shuffle meant to be again. It's a silly song, like all Kiss songs, but even when our jogging, I can't resist doing a little bit of air guitar at the chorus.....

> "When the Sun Goes Down" - Arctic Monkeys

How can a band be this good so early in their career? Both this and "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" popped up on the same run as "Strutter", and both songs made me realise how talented a band the Arctic Monkeys were, even so early in their career. It's like they emerged fully formed. Speaking of bands getting it right almost immediately, I also heard "Mr Brightside" in the car this afternoon. I know I keep saying this, but the Killers wrote that song in their first 10 minutes together as a band, and I sincerely doubt that they will write another song better than this in the rest of their time together. What a brilliant record, and it sounded great played loud on a sunny day too. Killers and the Arctic Monkeys? Both bands I've seen playing at Glastonbury, you know.....

> "A-Punk" - Vampire Weekend

Speaking of songs that sound of summer.... can you get much better than this? Vampire Weekend are a band that make me think of summer even in the depths of winter, and they made the whole crowd wear sunglasses in the pouring rain at Glastonbury too. That festival again....

> "Brass in Pocket" - The Pretenders

For the longest time, I loathed Chrissie Hynde. I'm not sure why I did, but I hated her, and it had nothing to do with her music, either. In fact, about the only songs of theirs that I know are this one, the ones they did with UB40 and the one they used on Guitar Hero II. I think I must have mellowed in my old age as I now think that Hynde is okay; tolerable at least. As a result, I've also opened my ears up a bit more to their music, and picked up a hits album for buttons. How good is this song though? Instantly recognisable and another song to play when the sun is shining.

> "Gangsters" - The Specials

I haven't given the Glastonbury line-up a close study, beyond deciding that I'm not going to miss Spinal Tap and the Eagles of Death Metal double-header.... but I have seen that the newly reformed Specials are on just before Neil Young on Friday night. I'll have some of that, thank you very much. I was listening to their hits album the other day, and was struck again by how atmospheric their music is, and quite how much punch they try to get into their lyrics. They're also a lot of fun. Another band who have just announced a Rock City date, although I'm extremely doubtful whether there will be any tickets left for that one. Still, watching them from a farm in Somerset after a few pints of organic cider could be really special.


Right. That's it. With that, I'm actually going to treat my poor aching body to a day off, and instead of dragging my sorry arse down to the gym for a swim, I'm going to head home to cook myself some tea and treat myself to my first drink since Monday (thanks to the possible effects on my liver of the injections I do on Tuesday night). And the sun is still shining.


Have a good weekend, y'all and STAY CLASSY.


  1. I went to see Take That last weekend at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland with a friend much younger than myself who was a big fan back in the day. They were absolutely brilliant, it ranks among the best shows I've ever seen and I've seen a few in my time. When the enormous metal elephant emerged from the pitch.... well,let's just say I was gobsmacked.

    And that Jason is well fit.

  2. Not sure what to giggle at most: ST's earworm comments or the image of Tina boogying to Take That with lusty eyes for Jason! (did i miss any irony?!)

    Seriously though, thanks for these earworms. You've nailed the problem with the Kaisers perfectly and yes: rubbish earworms but very entertaininly written about and thats what we love you for!

    Anyway hope you survive the oncoming monsoon.

    PS utterly agree about 'When the Sun Goes Down' and Mr Brightside (though the latter mostly just shows up that the Killers have been downhill since then whereas the Artics have proven themselves far more versatile)