52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chasing voices he receives in his head

It's not quite that time of the week yet, but as I'm heading off to the hopefully rather sunnier climes of Toulouse tomorrow morning, this week's earworms have been brought forward by a day. I hope that doesn't upset anyone's internal bodyclock or anything....


This week's editor is a mentalist of the highest order. I'm not sure that there is any other way to describe somebody who is planning to try his hand at all of the 136 Olympic events that he would be eligible to compete in... all before the start of the Beijing Games in 2008. He's already tried his hand at things like Badminton, the 50km walk, K1 Slalom Canoeing, and of course, the Triathlon.... All for a very deserving charity: The Sobell House Hospice (who will be my official charity of choice when I get fit for the London Triathlon next year).

Yup. Ladies and Gentleworms..... without further ado, it is my great honour to present a good personal friend of mine....

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #17 - John the UltimateOlympian

I suspect this will be tricky – earworms never get long in my head before getting driven off by something new. I listen to my iPod for most of the day in the office; at home, if there isn’t music on, I’m usually playing the guitar (or watching TV). If there’s one thing an earworm needs, it’s silence to infect. There’s not a lot of silence in my life. Despite that, here are the ones I caught in no particular order:

Peter Kay and Tony Christie - Is This The Way To Amarillo
I spent most of last Saturday hiding from the rain in a hospitality tent at the Blenheim Horse Trials. William Fox-Pitt’s horse was called Tamarillo. I had no chance. It could have been worse; Kitty Boggis was riding Five Boys. I’m not even going to finish that joke.

Belle and Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap
Found myself singing this in the shower in the way you do when you’re not quite sure whether or not your housemates have gone to work yet. The title track from a Belle and Sebastian album that I’m rather fond of, this one was used as the theme tune for Teachers (a show I really didn’t like when it first came out, but subsequently grew to love). The line that always sticks in my head from the song: “We all know you’re soft cos we’ve all seen you dancing. We all know you’re hard cos we’ve all seen you drinking from noon until noon again.”

James – Say Something
The Best of James is one of those albums I expected to know about three songs from, but ended up singing along with most of it the first time I listened. It has become a firm iPod favourite in recent weeks, especially at work. “More than a drug is what I need / Need a change of scenery / Need a new life.”

Leftfield – Phat Planet
It’s slightly worrying how many of these are derived from adverts or TV programmes – this one was used for the Guinness advert ‘Surfer’ (which was directed by Jonathon Glazer, who also produced this little masterpiece). When this album (Rhythm and Stealth) came out, I had just joined a gym for the first time in my life – I dread to think how many hours I spent listening to this track as I ran absolutely nowhere on a treadmill. Over the course of about six months, it must have been at least two, if not three! What a waste of money that gym membership was.

Radiohead – Go To Sleep
It was on my iPod while I walked home, then I sat fiddling about with my guitar trying to play it, and then I wandered around the house for the rest of the evening singing it. This one didn’t have to do much worming; I did everything short of offering it a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Arcade Fire – Wake Up
Currently being used by the BBC in their advert for their autumn season, this one was also used by U2 all summer as their walking-to-the-stage music. The first half of the song is apt for both purposes, but halfway through the song suddenly becomes a weird homage to Can’t Hurry Love / Lust for Life. I like both bits, but it was the first part that wormed its way into my head.

Gorillaz – Dare
I don’t have a car, and even if I did, I’d probably listen to Radio 4 or Five Live rather than music radio, so I seldom get the feeling of having a song following me around – but this one has been doing just that for the last few days. I think it was ST who once remarked in my earshot: “Gorillaz – genius or rubbish – I can’t decide.” Regardless of who said that, I’ll go along with it. This is a catchy number though, especially Shaun Ryder’s bits.

Sonic Youth – Sugar Kane
This has been on a playlist on the pod since I got back from Dublin a few weeks ago. Having spent the evening watching the Kings of Leon followed by the Pixies at Lansdowne Road, it was hard to believe the night could get any better, but it did when I walked into Whelan’s pub on Wexford Street and saw Irish and Lions centre Shane Horgan singing and air-guitaring along to my favourite Sonic Youth song.

The Divine Comedy – Gin Soaked Boy
On the same playlist (having spotted and sung at Neil Hannon at the aforementioned gig) this one keeps coming up on shuffle as well (at least four times this week). It’s not the most technically wonderful piece of music in the history of the earth, but it has to be in with a shout of having the best closing line: “I’m Jeff Goldblum in the Fly”

Pixies – Crackity Jones
A minute and twenty-four seconds of some top-class barking from Black Francis – just what you need to get through the monthly company meeting. You’re going ahead with the EU cereals project? Really? That is fascinating. I have nothing to add to that, except maybe the fact that he got friends like paco pico piedra…WOOF WOOF!

Thanks, ST. I’ll be sure to have you on as a guest editor when I start a similar feature over at the Ultimate Olympian – “Eventworms”: Olympic events you can’t stop imagining yourself doing.

Or something.


Ah John, the pleasure was all ours (I'm actually a little surprised that Tony Christie hasn't featured more often in these lists, but apparently it's less catchy than the Crazy Frog).

Next week's guest editor is the very patient Captain Damo from NOISE! Should be a good one kids (I'm predicting now that Clearlake might make the cut).

I will be back next Thursday... so until then children... au revoir. In the meantime, do enjoy this beautiful English weather (for those not lucky enough to be in England, it is dark, cold & pissing with rain - plus ca change).

I'll be thinking of you all as I sip on a Languedoc Rousillon and munch on a cassoulet.....

[previous guest editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin]


  • At 8:57 pm, Blogger The Num Num said…

    Sonic Youth - now there's a band I haven't heard in ages.

    I really liked them, a slightly different Grunge taste, but lovely nonetheless.

    Right, now where's that cd of theres.....(goes looking>)

  • At 9:00 pm, Blogger John McClure said…

    Me links are showing! (ST - always happens to me if I cut and paste from Arial font direct to blogger - it doesn't like the " marks so you have to re-do them in the post editor. Not that you will, you snail-eating smug git)

    Have a great holiday!

  • At 9:19 pm, Blogger Rufus fan said…

    mmmm Belle and Sebastian, Leftfield, Pixies, Gorillaz and of course the wonderful Divine Comedy.
    We likes your choices....

    (good job you put in an explanation for the blimmin' Amarillo song though - surely there must have been other tunes swirling around your head this week? Eh?)

  • At 9:30 pm, Blogger Michael said…

    Dare by the Gorillaz is just a way too catchy song. That one has been following me around since the CD came out.

  • At 11:02 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    what is it with people and their insistence on sending me stuff with html coding in it? Do they not realise I have better things to do with my life?

    I don't?

    Oh, carry on then. As you were.


  • At 12:18 am, Blogger Ben said…

    'Sugar Kane' = chuffing marvellous.

    And I'm glad I'm not the only one to think that 'Wake Up' turns into 'You Can't Hurry Love' towards the end. Another fantastic song.

    Shame about The Divine Comedy and James...

  • At 3:29 am, Blogger Di Gallagher said…

    'njoy your time away.

    This comment was brought to you by mozilla and the letters umrekqn.

  • At 9:06 am, Blogger Ali said…

    Amarillo - I am convinced that this is Hell's soundtrack.


    The Ultimate Earworm

    Will there be an 'Earworm of the year' contest in December, ST?

    Bonnes vacances mate! :)

  • At 10:05 am, Blogger adem said…

    Have a good holiday ST and don't worry about us in pissing Blighty while your sunning it up in your berret and stripey top avec string of onions.[I'm not jealous at all!]

    Au Revoir

  • At 11:29 am, Blogger Flash said…

    Hurrah for The Divine comedy!

    Happy hols, big guy!

  • At 1:56 pm, Blogger Statue John said…

    Int it nice to see Sean Ryder on top of the charts again...

  • At 5:35 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    Have a wonderful holiday...I hope we get some travel writing when you get back.

  • At 8:20 pm, Blogger red one said…

    Yes, hope you're having a nice time in Toulouse - fab place. I am jealous of you with your cassoulet. Not sure about munch, though... it takes serious dedication and lots of wine to get through a bowl of it. It is the ultimate in meaty, fatty, winter-warmery comfort food. With beans in so you can pretend you have a healthy diet really.


  • At 4:41 am, Blogger Jenni said…

    Have fun, ST! Can't wait to hear the fun stories!

  • At 3:48 pm, Blogger Toenex said…

    Tony, Tony, Tony....

    I gues, for you, listening to music is much like making love to a beautiful woman etc.

    Shaun Ryder eh. The man is a music legend. I don't know if it's just a myth, but I love this quote from him when he was/is (are they reforming?) in The Mondays - "All great bands need good chemistry and Bez was a f**king excellent chemist".

  • At 6:50 pm, Blogger Hyde said…

    I'd take cold and rainy as compared to hot and fucking humid--about to rain, but never does.

    (Can you tell I'm cranky this morning?)

  • At 10:05 pm, Blogger LB said…

    I'd say "Amarillo" was catchier than the Crazy Frog, clearly.



    Gorillaz? I totally agree. One day I'll think it is borderline genius, the next I'll think it's a load of old tat. Today is a "load of old tat" day as it's "Dare" I have heard...

  • At 8:41 am, Blogger Toenex said…

    I had a dream last night that Pete Kay phoned me on my mobile. I must have known him because his name appeared on my mobile not his number.

  • At 6:44 pm, Blogger the urban fox said…

    Are you back, fellow-me-lad? Hope you had fun.


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