Friday 19 June 2009


It's been a long week, and as I drove away from work a little after 8pm this evening, I saw a crow picking at something on the road. I stopped and had a look: it was a rat. I suppose all the others must have got away okay before rush hour.....

Earworms of the Week

> "Rock And Roll All Nite" - Kiss

Two weeks running I get an earworm by Kiss? And neither of them are "God Gave Rock And Roll To You"? Where's the justice in that? I ask you. I'm not even an especially big fan of the band. In fact, I happen to think they're a bit ridiculous. No... they're a lot ridiculous. Still, not many bands make this list two weeks running, so they must be doing something right.

> "Magic Moments" - Perry Como

Weapons grade earworm. Awful, syrupy nonsense, but absurdly catchy. Perhaps the quintessential earworm.

> "The Boys of Summer" - Don Henley

This is something of a guilty pleasure for me. I'm not really a big fan of The Eagles, and I'd be hard-pushed to name another song that Henley (as a solo artist) has done.... but this song is just great, isn't it? Even an appalling cover version by DJ Sammy couldn't quite ruin this for me. Not quite. Right up there with Phil Collins in the pantheon of singing drummers, in my humble opinion.

> "Midlife Crisis" - Faith No More

Recently reformed in the classic Mike Patton line-up and headliners at the Download festival last week. Faith No More will always remind me of two particular moments in my life: "From Out of Nowhere" was the song we used to play to psych ourselves up before we sat each of our GCSE exams back in 1990. I was also lucky enough to be present at a gig at the Birmingham NEC in about 1993, when the band played their cover of "Easy" and the audience showered the stage with the velvet coverings on their seats. Brilliant band. I'm not sure why this song in particular has popped into my head, but I was thinking of the band during the week and this is the tune my internal jukebox was playing. Good song.

> "Superstition" - Stevie Wonder

Well, you can't argue with this one, can you? Quality song. No idea where it came from, but I'll take it all day long........ wouldn't you?

> "Blinded by the Light" - Bruce Springsteen

I'm sort of distantly aware of Springsteen's career, but I've never really been interested enough to buy any of his albums. He's headlining Glastonbury next week, of course, and a friend of mine - a big fan of The Boss - was kind enough to get me the 2 CD Greatest Hits album for my birthday back in March. We have gone to the festival together for many years, and I would have been delighted to stand and watch Springsteen with him, not least because he's supposed to be a legendary live act. Sadly, said friend is not able to attend this year, but I will be there next Saturday night, and will raise a pint of enamel-stripping organic cider or a plastic beaker of shiraz to absent friends. This, incidentally, is a cracking record. You're probably familiar with the Manfred Mann version of the song, although Springsteen enunciates the lyrics better, so it's harder to pick up a mondegreen like "wrapped up like a douche" instead of "revved up like a deuce". I did wonder why you would want to be wrapped up like a douche bag, to be honest..... although part of me prefers that as a lyric.

> "New Rose" - The Damned
> "Career Opportunities" / "Garageland" - The Clash

I went to watch a play called "Garageband" last night at the Nottingham Playhouse. It's about a bunch of middle-aged guys (and one girl) who form a punk band and try to recapture some of the enthusiasm of their youth. It was quite good, I thought. Not superb, but pretty good. It also featured lots of live music, which was very nicely done, even with the singer's thick Devonian accent. I'm not sure if they actually played "Career Opportunites" (too hard, perhaps... the Clash were deceptively good musicians), but I think it was played between scenes, along with loads of punk classics, along with "Garageland", which I thought they might have made more use of, but perhaps avoided as being too obvious. They did, however, play a pretty good version of "New Rose". The play was a reminder, if nothing else, of just how good some of those punk singles were. During some of the dialogue, it was suggested that "Anarchy in the UK" featured some of the most incendiary lyrics ever put to record. I'm sure NWA and others might disagree, but I was thinking about it, and - in the context of the times - they were pretty inflammatory. They're also surprisingly good, too. Johnny Rotten may have set out to shock, but he did have a way with words (although I remain unconcinvced by "Holidays in the Sun". New Belsen? Do we have to?)

> "All Sparks" - Editors

I don't really like Editors. The first album is pretty good, but the second one I can take or leave. I'm also not a big fan of the singer, although I don't think this is anything to do with his relationship with Edith Bowman (you left lovely Guy for that?). This is a cracker though. Simple lyrics and riff, but it's stood up pretty well, I reckon. I think the band themselves perhaps have the potential to go the same way as the Stereophonics and settle for the easy option of middle-of-the-road, lowest common denominator rubbish, but I hope not. I've seen them live a couple of times, and they are the only band I can think of who made more sense on an Arena stage than they did in a much smaller venue like the Rescue Rooms. Most bands I prefer in the more intimate surroundings, but somehow Editors sounded better bigger.

> "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - Tight Fit

It's the first Test match tomorrow between the World Champion Springboks and the British and Irish Lions, and I'm starting to get very excited indeed. Lions tours are special: they only happen once every four years and see the very best rugby players in the British Isles come together to take on the very best of the Southern Hemisphere. For the South Africans, it's perhaps even more special: the last time the Lions were here was in 1997, and for most of the players, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Rugby is a proper game, and rugby matches don't come much bigger than this, and I'll be wearing my 1997 replica shirt with pride tomorrow and cheering our boys on. The song? It's a classic, isn't it? All the way from 1982, you know...... Before I go, though, here's a question that's been bothering me: who would win in an imaginary fight between a lion and a tiger. I have a feeling that most people would plump for the lion as the king of the jungle, but I've a feeling that the tiger would take it. Hmmm. What do you reckon? (check out the muppets doing this song, incidentally....)

Right. That's your lot. Have a good weekend, y'all and stay classy.


  1. Superstition always reminds me of 'The thing'. Great movie, great scene, great song.

  2. Don Henley and Bruce Springsteen are two artists I enjoy enough, but have never been rabid about, although I really loved last year's Springsteen CD Magic which is really worth a listen.

    The only Eagles song I can stand is "Lyin' Eyes", but several of Henley's solo songs are winners: "Dirty Laundry", "All She Wants to Do is Dance", and the heart-breaking "The End of the Innocence" which was my own earworm following the Polytechnique Massacre in 1989.

  3. You know, I had someone earlier this week sing Superstitous at work and she was really good. We shared an earworm this week then, because I've been singing it ever since. Now that I am constantly working with music i seem to wake up to some seriously strange ones. Its always the one first thing in the morning that startles me the most. Tells me what was on my mind the most the night before, usually.

    Yeah, Superstious was a good one. Some of my worst this week include "If You Seek Amy" by brittany spears and "I'm on a boat" from the SNL digital short/lonely island soundtrack. Painful.