Earworms of the Week
“I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
Ugh. Just ugh.
“Baba O’Riley” – The Who
Pete Townshend has been spending the last few days under attack by One Direction fans. His crime? Their latest song sounds remarkably like "Baba O'Riley". Not just passingly like, but very definitely just like. Why is this Pete Townshend's fault? It's not, but One Direction fans are as stupid and humourless about their heroes as legions of boyband fans before them for decades, but this lot have access to social media and can make themselves heard in all their tedious glory. Townshend's reaction, by the way, is gracious in the extreme.
"I like the single [and] I like One Direction," Townshend said in yesterday's statement. "The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music – not always. [Even] I'm still writing songs that sound like Baba O'Riley – or I'm trying to!"
Read all about the fuss and compare both songs here.
“We Are Young” – Fun feat. Janelle Monae
I first heard this song, I think, when it was sung in duet by two of my Austrian friends, Lily and Peter, in a Viennese garden a year or so ago. It was lovely. I quite like the original version too, it turns out. It's one of those songs that just doesn't seem to get old. I was listening to it the other day, and it's not really written in a traditional structure, but it just seems to work. Always welcome in my head. Either version (although, that party in Austria was a lot of fun and they're a lovely family, so on balance I'd like to see that version again).
“Cornflake” – Withered Hand
I saw this guy supporting King Creosote and Jon Hopkins a little while ago, and I was sufficiently impressed to buy his CD from him at the end of the show. I'd be lying if I said I listened to it a lot, but I put it on the other night as I was reading, and it really hit the spot. Very self-deprecating in his lyrics, to say the least, but it really hit the spot at a time when my usual go-to listening is Nick Drake. Great opening couplet too.
"So I broke another of the ten commandments
John Harvey Kellogg doesn't want me for a sunbeam"
“Burning Love” – Elvis Presley
I think I heard this in passing as I walked through the reception area in my office and this was playing over the PA. They've improved their playlists, over the years. It's now not unheard of to hear songs by people like the Cure, James and Noah & the Whale. Elvis is probably a bit more the demographic of some of our customers, but this isn't the worst song to have planted in your head by any means.
“Mac the Knife” – Louis Armstrong
A song that's been on my mind this week, for some reason. I don't think it was the Louis Armstrong version particularly as I think it was being sung - in my cerebral cortex at least - by a female vocalist. Armstrong's version is just absurdly jaunty and he seems to have taken most of the threat of the lyrics of the song away entirely. Ah well, listen to that trumpet work. Gotta love old Satchmo.
“Islands” – The XX
I've got both albums by the XX, but it's taken me a really long time to even start to give them a proper listen. They sounded pretty good on the Sunday night at Glastonbury, but I was listening to them from the sleeping bag in my tent... but I decided at that point that I should probably give them a fair go. So I did. I put them on when I was reading my book one night - just after Withered Hand, actually. I listened to both albums all the way through. Twice. They're really good these. You should look out for them. Well worth a listen.
“It Was a Good Day” – Ice Cube
Look. I'm not saying this is a good song. It's alright, but it strikes me above all as being a little bit silly. I'm not saying it's a good song, but I keep hearing it on the radio and the damage is done. I'd rather have this in my head than Whitney Houston, anyway. Bragging notwithstanding.
“Lullaby” – The Cure
I despised the Cure for no good reason when I was a teenager. I say no good reason, but it certainly wasn't because of their music, which I'd never really listened to. When I did - a copy of that compilation album with the old guy's face on the front - I found that I absolutely loved their really early stuff: Killing an Arab, 10:15 on a Saturday Night... stuff like that. Just goes to show what I know, eh? Still, I was an ignorant little shit when I was a teenager. Musically, at least. I liked Guns N'Roses, Aerosmith, Faith No More, Metallica and some appalling hair metal. In my wisdom, I rejected bands like the Cure, the Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays etc. etc. Because I knew better, right?
Guns N'Roses, Aerosmith, Faith No More and Metallica are still all ace though. Just so you know. Poison less so.
“Two Revolutions” – Band of Jackals
A Nottingham band. I've just reviewed these guys for LeftLion magazine, and you can read that review here. They're properly good though, and sound a bit like an East Midlands Queens of the Stone Age, if you can imagine such a thing. For the first time in my career reviewing the music of unsigned local bands, a song by a band I've reviewed popped into my head unprompted and caused me to reach for my iPhone to listen to the song properly. They really are that good. An absolute, fair dinkum earworm.
“Fashion is Danger” – Flight of the Conchords
L-L-L-Look look look
Where did this week's earworms come from? Search me. Same as always. Who knows what nonsense my brain is going to dredge up at any particular moment. That's part of the eternal mystery, right? This particular one may have come from hearing "Inner City Pressure" on the radio. I think. Somewhere in the bowels of my internal jukebox and over time, that became this. I'm not complaining. I like Flight of the Conchords. I'm just saying.
That's your lot. I'm away next week, staying in a pub and drinking local beer on Dartmoor. It's going to be hell. Pray for me.