Friday, 24 February 2012

the hollywood winds will howl....

Earworms of the Week

Champs Elysees” – Joe Dassin

Because everybody should have a song that’s a happy place.

The Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

I don’t know if I have ever heard a Manfred Mann song all the way through, and yet I’m more than passingly familiar with many of them. Blinded By The Light, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, 5-4-3-2-1… in fact, even thinking about those songs has started a whole new chain of earworms playing through my skull. Make it stop!

Carry on My Wayward Son” – Kansas

Guitar Hero classic. Impossible to listen to this song and not sing the guitar solos.

Inside” – Stiltskin

As ever, such a disappointment to see that the guys behind this great piece of music looked like builders who actually sang across the top of that hulking great riff… but all these years later and it’s still playing in my head, so they must have been doing something right.  Great advert, though.

I Love You Just The Way You Are” – Billy Joel

Not an obvious song to have you pick up your weary legs when you’re out running, but this one worked for me today. BJ is a bit of a sappy bugger, of course, although I imagine he also wrote some fairly acid songs in the wake of his divorce from whichever of his wives this one was about.  I do keep hearing this song in my head in the Vic Reeves Club Singer Style though, which isn't ideal (although it works very well, actually....)

Heavyweight Champion of the World” – Reverend and the Makers

There’s something about John McClure that I instinctively don’t like, and I can’t say that I’ve ever rushed out to buy anything else that they’ve ever recorded… but I keep coming back to this one. I’ve listened to it so many times over the years on various playlists that I’ve put together that, when it popped up in the car the other day, I actually skipped past it pretty quickly. The damage was done by then though. If you re not living on the edge, you’re taking too much room. I’m pretty sure that lyric isn’t as clever as I think it is, although I do like the one about Bruce Lee.

The Man Who Sold The World” – Nirvana

Specifically the Nirvana version is in my head. It’s not that I’ve got anything against the Bowie original or anything, it’s just that I’m in a Nirvana Unplugged kind of a mood and Kurt’s voice, with that slightly desperate edge, seems to work much better for me than Bowie’s more world-weary vocal.

Tequila” – The Champs

If Joe Dassin doesn’t cheer you up, then surely this does? Either the song or the drink. Whichever works.

Walk Away” – Franz Ferdinand

They seem to have disappeared, but back in the day Franz Ferdinand were a brilliant band, producing witty, snappy, sparkling songs that simply stomped along. Their debut album is my favourite, I think, but I found myself listening to “You Could Have it So Much Better” this week, and right from the beginning it’s pretty much as good. I think, as well as the new wave-y guitar work, I really like Alex Kapranos’s lyrics, and he’s on particularly fine form with this song:

Why don't you walk away?
No buildings will fall down
Won't you walk away
No quake will split the ground
Why don't you walk away
The sun won't swallow the sky
Why don't you walk away?
Statues will not cry

I also absolutely love the lyric “Radio Four is static” too.

Well, that’s pretty much your lot. Many thanks to @lazygal this week for drawing my attention to the website unhearit.com: “We created this site for those of you that have a song stuck in your head and you can’t get it out no matter what you do. Using the latest in reverse-auditory-melodic-unstickification technology, we’ve been able to allow our users to “unhear” songs by hearing equally catchy songs. So really all we’re doing is making you forget your old song by replacing it with another one….sorry

Brilliant idea. I always find that “Build Me Up Buttercup” is a pretty good cure for an earworm… but only if you want a more virulent one in it’s place. It’s like an earworm arms race. What works for you?

Have a good weekend, y’all.

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