Friday 4 September 2009

oooh, we can eat cereal...

Earworms of the Week

> "Roadhouse Blues" - The Doors

I've not listened to The Doors in absolutely ages. There was a time, when I was around-about sixteen, that I used to listen to them all the time - often in the company of friends as we whiled away the spare time between lessons at school. This wasn't one of my favourites (I love "Riders on the Storm"), but given that I'd spent much of my adolescence up until then listening to heavy metal, listening to anything at all by The Doors made me feel a little bit sophisticated. C. was schooled in France, and she told me once that she used to hang around with her friends in cafes drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and generally being pretentious. Well, we used to sit around listening to the Doors, talking shit and eating Jaffa cakes. Same thing, innit?

> "That's Not My Name" - The Ting-Tings

Inescapable last year, but I hadn't heard this for a while when I heard it twice on the same day. Naturally, it stuck. Actually, I still quite like this. It's aged pretty well and I find that the pointed humour in the lyrics is just enough to stop that tune and her singing from becoming annoying. I think they've got a new album coming out, haven't they? Are they in danger of having a career, do you think?

> "Frayed Ends of Sanity" - Metallica

I really need to put together a new running playlist before next week's half-marathon. Mind you, this is good running music, so.....

> "Crying Lightning" - Arctic Monkeys

I'm not sure if I like this song or not. I loved "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" from the very first listen, and it was the same with much of their other stuff too. I can't make my mind up about this one. I'm not too sure about the tune, but I love that running lyrical motif about a bag of pick n' mix. It's not a grower, exactly, as I'm not sure it's catchy enough, but somehow it's hanging on the playlist inside my head. The album is much the same too. More time required before a definitive judgement is given, I think. (Hats off to the lyric "What came first, the chicken or the dickhead" on "Pretty Visitors" though. Brilliant.)

> "Lilac Wine" - Jeff Buckley

Have I told you the story of how I only saw Jeff Buckley live because he was playing in the Melody Maker tent at the Reading Festival in 1994 just before Gene? I have? Every single time anyone mentions him? Oh, right..... well he was good, and I'm very glad that I got to see him (I knocked back the chance to see Nirvana at the same festival on another year). Gene were superb too, mind.

> "The Bucket" - Kings of Leon

Speaking of the Reading Festival, I watched the KoL set last weekend on the BBC. They seemed pretty good to me, and I was quite impressed at how many of the songs the crowd knew all of the words too.... even the ones where Caleb is really mumbling.... when all of a sudden they cut back to the studio, and Reggie Yates was telling us that they KoL didn't want the BBC to broadcast the end of their set as they weren't happy with their performance. Well, they sounded alright to me, but since they've become such big stars, perhaps they've become a little more perfectionist than they were in the old days. They were a better band in the old days too. "Sex on Fire" is alright, but it's no "Red Morning Light", is it? There aren't enough songs about losing your hair, either.

> "Holiday in Cambodia" - Dead Kennedies

Nana worked her Bontempi magic this week, and although I failed to recognise this track in the LeftLion quiz on Wednesday night, it's been stuck in my head ever since. I'm obviously not playing Guitar Hero enough.....

> "A Cloud of Mystery" - Maximo Park

Maximo Park's new album didn't grab me at first, but it's really grown on me with each listen. It's perhaps not a massive stride forwards for them, but they're good at what they do. Saying it's a grower though, this song was the one that impressed me the most on first listen, and it's still my favourite. Paul Smith still seems suspiciously attached to his hats though...

> "A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours" - The Smiths

"Strangeways..." may just about be my favourite Smiths album (if you don't count "Hatful of Hollow" as a proper album). I especially love the growls and yelps that are so prominent in Morrissey's voice on the first four tracks. In the context of his sometimes dubious lyrical imagery ("Asian Rut", "National Front Disco", "Bengali in Platforms"), I am somewhat suspicious of what he's driving at here, but I do love his sssssibilant, grrrrrowling delivery.

"A rush and a push and the land that
We stand on is ours
It has been before
So why can't it be now ?
And people who are uglier than you or I
They take what they need and just leave.

What a brilliant band. Please never reform ("so phone me, phone me, phone me...."). As always, time has increased my respect for how much Johnny Marr brought to the band.....

> "Jiggery Pokery" - Duckworth Lewis Method

A concept album based around a love of cricket? Done by Neil Hannon? A distinctly unpromising proposition for an earworm indeed, but amazingly an absolute gem of a record. Every song is good, but it's this little ditty about Mike Gatting's dismissal by Shane Warne in the 1993 Ashes Test at Old Trafford that sticks in the mind. How many songs have been written on such an arcane and specific topic? I love it. I don't where or how they recorded the album, but it sounds beautiful through headphones too. You should try it. And, praise be, for a Neil Hannon record, it actually sounds nothing at all like Scott Walker-lite..... even if he does nick that line about the cheese roll from Graham Gooch.

Thanks Fiery!

> "Carol Brown" - Flight of the Conchords

OK, OK... another week another Flight of the Conchords earworm. This one is from the episode in the second series where Jermaine accidentally sleeps with an Australian. It's a brilliant episode - directed by Michel Gondry - and actually features two brilliant songs ("Too Many Dicks (on the Dancefloor)" could easily have featured here too). This song is a riff on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and sees Jermaine telling us of the many ways in which he has been dumped, accompanied by a choir of his ex-girlfriends saying where it all went wrong. Very funny, not least because of the ridiculous instruments that Bret and Jermaine are playing.... (seriously - watch the clip)

Carol Brown? She took a bus out of town....


And that's your lot. I've got one last 60 minute run to negotiate this weekend before a taper down leading up to the half marathon next Sunday (we're up to £1540 now, but still time to sponsor us!). After this weekend, I'm actually going to try to cut out the booze and to start to take on board lots of pasta and water and stuff. Just call me the new puritan.

Well, after this lovely bottle of Chilean Carmenere anyway.....

Have a good weekend, y'all.


  1. In an attack of Dead Kennedys pedantry (never will those words be seen again in that order) it was California Uber Alles that Nana played, I believe.

    And they used to think Carmenere was Merlot, you know. Apparently the grape varieties are almost identical.

    Yeah, am going now.

  2. I think you're right about the Dead Kennedys song - but it's definitely holiday in cambodia that I've been earworming, and have been since wednesday night. Funny things, brains, eh?

    I was not aware of that quality wine fact either.


  3. ou know that song by the Ting Tings has been making my head hurt I've heard it so often the last few weeks. Then again, its popular here and the radio station in the kitchen at work is set on a station that plays the top 10 songs non-stop throughout the day. I heard it 6 times in a 7 hour shift last Saturday.

    Incidentally, I have a friend who has a default earworm - or that's what we're calling it. She always hums "Centerfold" by J. Geils Band when she isn't thinking of anything else. And she doesn't even like that song. Weird, eh?