Friday 15 June 2012

don't you know your times tables by now?

Earworms of the Week

Zombie Jamoboree” – Harry Belafonte

I should probably start earworming this again a little closer to Halloween, right? Well, a passing glance at an advert for a programme about Harry Belafonte was all it took to bring this song flooding back. Well, at least it’s a good song, right?

Jiggery Pokery” – The Duckworth Lewis Method

I consider it a personal triumph that my wife, who has absolutely no interest in cricket, knows the words to this song and thus, inadvertently, knows most of the details about one of the most famous and celebrated deliveries in the history of Test cricket. This pleases me.

Blueberry Hill” – Fats Domino

Look, I know that this song is performed by Fats Domino, but every single time I hear it, thanks to the Dennis Potter drama, “Lipstick on Your Collar”, I can only imagine it being performed by a young Ewan McGregor. To me, this is what Ewan McGregor sounds like singing. Yeah, I know he was miming, but still. Also, of course, I remember Dennis Potter dramas fondly for the gratuitous nudity that they displayed to my impressionable teenaged eyes.

Dosed” – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Much of the RHCP’s recent stuff I can take or leave, but I love the “By the Way” album and this is my favourite song on it. It was around about here that the band forgot about their slightly ludicrous funk metal roots and began to create some absolutely beautiful harmonies. I absolutely love the way that this song takes off in the chorus, and there’s not much I like more than belting this out when I’m driving playing this in my car. Lovely record. They like to cultivate a slightly ridiculous frat-boy image of themselves – socks on cocks and all that nonsense – but at times and at their best, their music could be transcendent.

(It’s Not War) Just the End of Love" – Manic Street Preachers

They have this on one of the playlists at the gym, and although I don’t really listen to the album this is taken from, every time I catch this song, it jumps into my head. For my money, the best stuff that the Manics did was from their “Holy Bible”, but they’ve been a remarkably consistent band over the years. National treasures, too. If my memory serves me correctly, this song dates from around the sort of time they went to Cuba. Sounds like the sort of thing that Castro might say too. Actually, now I think of it, I read the most amazing story in the New Yorker the other day about the American drifter who ended up as a commandante in Castro’s revolutionary army. It’s an absolutely incredible story, and something I knew absolutely nothing about. Be sure to look it up.

Night Train” – Guns n’Roses

He might be a tubby, consistently late idiot, but you simply cannot argue with the quality of some of the songs that Axl Rose has produced. A friend of mine went to go and see them in Amsterdam a few days ago. He had to leave before the band had finished, obviously, as they were playing well past the time of his last train home, but he did say that it remains a visceral thrill to be welcomed to the jungle.

Too Drunk to Fuck” – Dead Kennedys

I really need to change my running playlist, don’t I? It seems like the last few weeks have been packed full of earworms from a small selection of rock and metal bands (and I could easily have picked Probot or Iron Maiden again this week… Phantom of the Opera is a great running song). I only actually have 3 songs by the Dead Kennedys on my iPhone, but all three of them are on this 40 song playlist, and thus I hear them all quite a bit and they’ve been pretty well-represented here recently. Great songs though, eh?  In the interests of full disclosure, I should also say that the Nouvelle Vague version of this song is in the mixer here too....

Them Bones” – Alice in Chains

I bought this album back in the middle of my teenage heavy metal years. I know that this song appears on Guitar Hero and everything, but for me this is a great lost classic of an album. Yeah, so they had problems with drugs and all that, but jiminey cricket this is a fantastic album.

Carol Brown” – Flight of the Conchords

My favourite song by the Conchords and an excellent example of why you would be wrong to just think of them as a comedy duo. This song is funny, yes, but it’s also quite lovely. Would you like a little cereal? (love the video here too....what the hell is he playing?)

A Fortnight’s Time” – Maximo Park

Five times Five equals twenty-five, don’t you know you’re times table by now woah-a-woah-oh-oh? I really must get around to buying their new album this weekend. Love their work. First two albums especially, mind.  Still love that story about the guitarist and his He-Man dolls though.  Beautiful.

Look. I love you all dearly, but I’m writing this from my desk at work at nearly half past six and I want to go home. I nearly left at 4, but got caught up in something, then before I know where I am, a fallen tree causes traffic chaos all around me and I’m stuck here for the foreseeable. Dangnabbit! (got out at 19:45.  On a Friday that's just rude...although, to be fair, the people in the bus the tree fell on that caused the road closure are probably having a worse evening than me).

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