Friday 24 October 2014

you can hear her hum softly....

Earworms of the Week

"Do I Wanna Know?" - Arctic Monkeys

AM is an absolutely fantastic album; it rumbles with both menace and with melody.  They've come a long way as a band since their smash-bang debut album, but the Arctic Monkeys are also still completely recognisable as the same band.  This song is almost primal and it's absolutely brilliant.  C doesn't often express a like for music from my collection; she tolerates much of it, but can take or leave it in the main.  She likes the White Stripes, and I think she's a fan of early Kings of Leon.... and she loves this song.  

"Wonderful Christmastime"- Paul McCartney

I'm sorry, but here it is.  I don't know where it's come from, but it's a highly toxic earworm.  Approach with extreme caution... not least because it's only bloody October.

'Bootylicious" - Destiny's Child

I may have voted with my feet at Glastonbury and watched Queens of the Stone Age when Beyonce was headlining the Pyramid, but that doesn't mean I'm not ready for the jelly

"Gangsta's Paradise" - Coolio

My team found it a little hard to believe that I knew the lyrics to the start of this song.... but, to be honest, doesn't everyone?

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there's nothing left

Of course, we were all thrilled to discover that, when we tried to find out what had happened to Coolio since this record, apparently he's branched out into cookery.  Cookin' With Coolio.  As the man himself says:

"Everything I cook tastes better than yo' momma's nipples."

Who could argue with that, or with the replacement of normal measures like tablespoon and teaspoon with "dimebag" and "nickelbag"?

"Rivers of Babylon" - Boney M

Impromptu team sing-a-long to a song that was released in 1978 before most of them were born and before I was really old enough to listen to music?  Why the hell not?  It was Friday, after all.

"Human Again" - Young Knives

The Young Knives popped up on my shuffle this week and, as happens every time I listen to them, I was struck by how good they are.  Their tunes are punchy and melodic and why they haven't been more successful beats the hell out of me. I suppose I should just be grateful that they're still finding ways to make and release music at all in the face of indifference.  Still, I imagine they're still pretty much the best thing to have ever come out of Loughborough.

"You Better You Bet" - The Who

Perhaps not from their golden era, but a cracker nonetheless.  I can never quite escape the feeling that Roger Daltrey is a shouty man who bellows a lot and basically just got lucky, but I suppose you can't argue with the record sales, can you?  I'd rather have a pint with him than Townshend, anyway.

"Man Smart, Woman Smarter" - Harry Belafonte

Listen Mike Read, you ignorant cockwomble, this is what a calypso is supposed to sound like.  Honestly,  you couldn't make UKIP up and making jokes at their expense is like shooting fish in a barrel.  It's just a shame they have a seat in Parliament and may win more at the next election.  I'm ashamed and embarrassed that apparently casual racism is okay now in this country.

"Big Louise" - Scott Walker
"Brando" - Scott Walker and Sunn 0)))

Superficially, you might think that there two songs from opposite ends of Scott Walker's career have very little in common beyond the singer.  The first is from Scott 3, pretty much at the absolute peak of Walker's golden years when his honeyed baritone was singing achingly beautiful, lushly orchestrated ballads.  The second is from his new album in collaboration with experimental drone metal band, Sunn 0))) and is very much at the avant-garde end of the spectrum, albeit without a percussionist slapping a side of pork.  Actually, if you listen to the lyrics of "Big Louise", you'll see that already it was clear that Walker wasn't just another just-starting-to-fade teen idol:

She stands all alone
You can hear her hum softly
From her fire escape in the sky
She fills the bags 'neath her eyes
With the moonbeams
And cries 'cause the world's passed her by

Beautiful.  Alright, so perhaps "Brando" is a bit more of a challenging listen, but you can hear the roots of where Walker was going very early.  It's not such a big leap from "Big Louise" (1969) to "The Electrician" (from Nite flights in 1978) and from there through to Walker's most recent albums, "Tilt", "The Drift" and "Bish Bosch".  A couple of listens in, and the new album seems a little more accessible than perhaps Walker has been recently, and is really very interesting indeed.  My favourite artist.  More than 70 years old and still endlessly interesting.

That's your lot.  Have a good weekend, y'all.

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