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

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ain't nothin' goin' on but history...

Right. At the risk of confusing everybody, I'm going to put this up a bit early this week as I'm going to have to scoot off down to Oxford tomorrow evening for the annual Christmas Party. Needs must and all that. I know I usually put this up on a Friday evening, but I think you'll survive the shock.

I initially stumbled across this week's guest editor over at SilentWordsSpeakLoudest, where he was sympathising with Ben over band members taking gig reviews badly. As a gig reviewer myself, I followed a link and read the comments with some interest. A gig review is just the expression of an opinion, right? If you're in a band and you can't take the bad (or even indifferent) reviews with the good, then you should probably be looking at a different hobby... or at least stop ego surfing.

The next time I ran into this week's editor though, it was me who ended up locking horns with him... over on the Art of Noise in the debate about R'n'B, which wasn't really a debate about R'n'B at all. At first I was amused. Then I was cross. Then I got over myself.

Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is with particular pleasure that I am able to present for your earworming pleasure.....

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #50 - RussL from Oh.

Beverly Knight – Gold

Since my eternal e-blood kinship (or whatever-have-you) with Swiss Toni was forged in the fires of a furious internet struggle that was ostensibly about R’n’B but actually wasn’t, there was only really one type of artist with which I could have started this. I’ve been a long time fan of Our Bev, Super-Singing She-Champion Of The Black Country, but a gig of hers a couple of weeks ago saw me realise for the first time just how much I love ‘Gold.’ The thought occurs that break-up songs that are assertive without actually being nasty are a rarity and should be treasured. Catch me in the slipstream, baby.

Mik Mak Mok – Reach For The Sun

Alright, so it’s an absolutely terrible band name. I’ll give you that. This is a corking bit of freaky-fried psychedelia, though, with an underpinning of clangy blunt guitar-strummin’ bits acting as a basis for electronics that go “Squiddllybiddlybiddlyblalalalalalabiddlybiddlybiddle” while swooping all over the place. And that’s a good thing.

Municipal Waste – Terror Shark

Two-in-a-row for retro, which in many cases I wouldn’t normally approve of but the songs in your head obey no rules. This is as 80s as the Mik Mak Mok song is 60s, presented a heartening gallop of DRI-worshipping thrash metal. Involuntary neck-movements may be unpleasant for shellshock victims, but I welcome them here.

Christina Aguilera – Candyman

Lips like sugar cane, she says? And that’s supposed to be a positive factor? All green and sticky? Well, her fetishes are her own. Who am I to judge?

Jesu – Tired Of Me

Combining crushing slabs of sheet-metal guitar and haunting organ, this is the sonic equivalent of a green plant bursting out through a crack in an otherwise barren stretch of concrete. It’s beautiful.

Dangerdoom feat. Ghostface The Mask

Any song that has the line “Now what in tarnation did I go and do that ferr?” in it deserves to be an earworm for everyone in the world with ears, from now until eternity.

Scott Walker – Jolson And Jones

Somewhere after ol’ Scotty has finished ululating about “The grossness of spring” and we’ve got through the bit that sounds like a rhino being speared, he takes the opportunity to repeatedly announce the fact that “I’ll punch a donkey in the streets of Galway.” In the manner of the greatest of his latterday music, it’s ludicrous yet beguiling, and faintly disturbing but completely unforgettable.

Beyonce – Irreplaceable

We all love Beyonce and I'm no exception, but she can be so bloody frustrating at times. Her heights are high indeed (that's not a euphemism for anything, you dirty buncha...), but neither of her solo albums are anywhere near as consistent as those of fellow Destiny's Children Kelly "Needed to do a lot of groveling to Miss Knowles after having the nerve to have a big hit" Rowland or Michelle "Doesn't really seem all that bright" Williams. This song would be a perfectly pleasant album-track-y sort of number were it not for that benighted "To The Left, To The Left..." hook, once heard never left un-hummed for more than a five minute stretch. Little can displace it from the mind once it takes its insidious root. Little, but not nothing. Dear readers, I give you...

Basement Jaxx – Red Alert


Ahem, sorry. But, y’know…

~ Russ L


Thanks Russ. A Scott Walker song as an earworm? In the same week that I go and see Morrissey? Wow, it must be Christmas! Pretty much anyone who earworms Scott Walker is okay in my books. What a great way to chalk up the half century of Guest Editors in this slot.

Don't forget to make your voice heard by submitting your 5 nominations for Earworms of the Year 2006. I'm just going to keep asking you until you vote, so you may as well give in now....

Next Week: Lizzy
Forthcoming attractions: Ben, Sarah

[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold, bedshaped, I have ordinary addictions, TheCatGirlSpeaks, Lord B rides again, Tina, Charlie II, Cody Bones, Poll Star, Jenni II, Martin, Del II, The Eye in the Sky]


  • At 11:19 am, Blogger red one said…

    Nice read, Russ.

    I have so far avoided comment on the R'n'B debate, and it's probably best to keep it that way. Let's just say I was pleased to see Russ's intervention...

    Swissie - you are a proper open-hearted host, though. I'm glad you have kissed and made up, at least virtually.

  • At 4:15 pm, Blogger Cat said…

    I thought you'd boxed the Christmas party off in a gesture of defiance against the men in suits?

  • At 4:31 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    different Xmas party. This is the 8th (perhaps 9th?) annual Juxom Street party that a couple of my mates have been holding in Oxford every year since they started house-sharing. One of them is currently in Australia, so my attendance record is bizarrely about to overtake his....

    Nothing to do with work at all. That was last night, and I went to the flicks instead.


  • At 5:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That guest columnist looks dodgy. I wouldn't trust him.

  • At 9:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In honour of the picking of Ultimate Earworm Champions for 2006, may I just share the utter joy experienced recently of being trapped in Mexico City rushhour on a bus playing, at full volume, the ENTIRE CRAZY FROG ALBUM. Didn't realize they could sample "brrrr rumbumbumbum" in so many different ways.


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