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

Friday, May 16, 2008

sunshine in her eyes, but moonshine made her blind...

We have a bonus Guest Editor this week. I was all set to inflict my earworms on you this week (which mainly seem to involve the Ting Tings, since you ask) when Cody Bones, a long time reader around here, managed to persuade his other favourite blogger to put a list together. Now, I'd never claim to be a music blogger in a million years. I like music, I like listening to music and I like talking about music, but I don't really think that's what this blog is all about. It's just a part of the rich tapestry that is my life.... [cough]. Well, this week's Guest Editor is a proper music blogger. He's one of those blokes who goes out and finds rarities and makes them available for other people to enjoy. He's passionate about his music and he's keen to share that passion with other people. I looked over the list of earworms that had been sent to me. I hadn't asked for them, but there's no denying that a great deal of thought had been put into it, and I decided that I was more than happy to put them up here for everyone to enjoy.

Plus it basically saves me having to write a post myself.


Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is my great pleasure to present for your earworming pleasure......

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #87 - Joe the Troll from Under the Bridge

My initial intention was to make this post as unlike my usual music posts as possible. The posts I do at Under the Bridge under the titles Trolling the Underground and Trolling the Studio are based exclusively on my ever-growing collection of unofficial recordings. This means pretty much anything that is not and never was available through any legitimate commercial outlet. I've come to the realization that creating such a sharp distinction is impossible, however, simply because this music accounts for 99% of what I listen to and has these past few years, and because it is the preparation of a Trolling the Underground post that help creates the earworms in the first place. The fact that I will post a few commercially available songs in this post will be a first in itself, so here are the strongest earworms of the past few weeks.

Because of this hobby, I tend to hear many different treatments of the same song. As a result, the one running through my head may not be any one particular performance of it, but an amalgam of several that I've heard over and over again. In a situation like that, I'll post what I consider to be the best one I have handy, or at least a good substitute in the vent that I've already posted the same song elsewhere.

I'd like to thank Swiss Toni for letting me do this, and Cody Bones for facilitating matters.

The most recent TtU post I wrote went up just a few days ago, and it involved six different songs that were based on a real murder that occurred 113 years ago in St. Louis. I listened to several versions of many of these songs in preparation for the post, and of course I've been humming a few arrangements for most of a week as a result. The most common earworm relating to that post is the Dr. John version called Stack-A-Lee. I chose a solo version for the other post, so here I'll share a different version with accompaniment. It's the same arrangement with the same lyrics, though, so as an earworm they are, too me, interchangeable.

Pink Floyd has been my favorite band since I was first introduced to their music in 1978, and the underground has re-awakened my amazement with them by making a stunning array of performances available. My favorite era for these recordings is from 1969 to 1972. They were a far more improvisational band at that time, being able to change and recreate their songs, as they had not yet become saddled with the interweaving conceptual matter that began to dictate their work from 1972 on. I have several earworms from this era of Floyd that haunt me on a regular basis, and recently it's been this song's turn. This is not just because it's a catchy tune, but also because I've been noting the huge differences between various versions of it. This version in particular has been an earworm lately because it's absolutely unique. In texture it is more like the studio version than any other live version I've heard, but the drumming sets it apart from the album version, as does the fact that this is the only version at all that features harmonies instead of a solo vocal, as well as the musical interlude in the last half where it would normally segue into another song.

Beck is simply my favorite guitarist. God's voice comes through Jeff's guitar. He can rock like few else, yet has a subtlety and control of his instrument that no one else can claim. The various sounds you will hear in this track are not the result of electronics, but purely in the way he handles and manipulates the strings. It seems to be his goal to make the listener forget what instrument he's playing. Beyond that, however, is his gift with arrangement. I truly admire someone who can take a classic, well known song like this and make it truly his own, and that is why this version is the one that's been running through my head for years now.

Several years ago, I heard this song on a commercial for some car. I didn't know the song, but I immediately decided that it HAD to be Marc Bolan because no one else could come up with that riff and make it sound like that. A little research proved me right, and this has been a weekly earworm ever since.

This has been running through my head since last week when I saw that Keb' would be playing in downtown Albuquerque next week. I've admired his style for years but manage to miss him every time he comes around. Once again, I love this song because of the creative way he takes an Elmore James classic that's already been covered dozens of times and makes it a Keb' Mo' song.

This has always been my favorite Beatles tune, and would run through my mind on occasion. Recently, I discovered an alternate version of the entire album, produced by rock veteran Glyn Johns. This version was rejected and Lennon called Phil Spector in to work with the tapes and produce the album we've known all these years. I wonder what John would think of "Mr. Separation Anxiety" now. It's the same recording we already know, but with a little studio stuff tossed in at the beginning.

This is also the result of a recent TtU post, although it was a song that would run through my head anyway. Making the post and listening to all the songs I was considering just made it happen more regularly. This is probably the earliest recording of this song ever made.

In the same vein, this is a bit of country blues from the lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. This was a regular earworm from a few years ago when I got the Blue Country Heart CD, but started up again the other day when I downloaded a Doc Watson show with this song in it. Since it's the version I know best, it's the one that becomes the earworm.

I'm not a fan of the 3-man Genesis but the earlier stuff is some of my favorite music. In the days of Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett's involvement in the group, they were the epitome of the progressive rock movement that created a lot of my favorite music. Trust me when I tell you that having a 10 minute progressive rock opus like this one running through your head can be very distracting. This song tells a story from Ovid's Metamorphosis about Hermaphroditus, which is summarized here, and really adds a lot to the enjoyment of the song.

Jazz at its finest. For two old guys my generation considered to be squares, they sure could rock out a party tune. This is from their album The Great Summit.

This has been running through my head for a couple of months now, not only because of a recent post, but also because I've been downloading a slew of Led Zeppelin soundboard recordings lately. Unlike most people I know, I prefer the latter-day LZ, when they were becoming less of a blues band and more of a hard rock band. This is strange because on a whole, I like blues more than hard rock. This band, however, was a fairly run-of-the-mill blues band but were exemplary rockers. This song, with its driving beat, is perfect earworm fodder.

Well, those are the songs that have been haunting my mind recently. I hope one or two will catch on in yours as well.


Thanks Joe. One of the most comprehensive earworm posts ever, I reckon. Certainly more so than any of the ill-thought through cobblers that I would normally post, anyway. Thanks for playing.

Right. I'm on the lookout for other volunteers. Interested? Email me at the address in my profile.

This week dragged. Time for the weekend.

[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, RussL, Lizzy's Hoax, Ben II, Earworms of the Year 2006, Sarah, Flash II, Erika, Hen, Pynchon, Troubled Diva, Graham II, Cat II, Statue John II, Sweeping the Nation, Aravis II, Olympian II, C, Planet-Me, Mike, Michael II, Eye in the Sky II, Charlie III, The Great Grape Ape, asta, Ben III, Earworms of the Year 2007, Cat III, JamieS & Wombat, Pynchon II, Briskate, Craig Cliff, Fiery Little Sod, Cody II, J, Yoko II, Rol, Lisa, Pollstar II]



  • At 4:05 am, Blogger Cody Bones said…

    Not that i have anything to do with it, but that Zeppelin song ROCKS, People listen up, you have to download it. Thanks Joe and ST for getting together, a match made in heaven I say.

  • At 2:51 pm, Blogger red one said…

    Hello Swissie, hope you're doing OK.

    You made a good choice of guest editor here. It's a great post - and Joe's post on his own site about Stack-a-Lee and variants is a fascinating read too. Recommended.

    Now I am earworming "It hurts me too" - but the version in my head is the Tampa Red one...

    red (no relation)

  • At 10:42 pm, Blogger Jerry said…

    I have always felt that the Glyn Johns version of the "Let It Be" album was superior to Spector's.

  • At 5:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed my worms!

  • At 6:31 pm, Blogger Natsthename said…

    good, good worms, Joe.


Post a Comment

<< Home