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

Friday, June 13, 2008

Have some more chicken, Have some more pie...

Evening all. I've just had a splendidly productive day working from home, catching up on all the documentation and other assorted nonsense that it's seemingly impossible to complete in an office environment. I love working at home: it's a ten second commute, so I get a bit more sleep, I drink my own tea from a proper mug, I get to assess the new Coldplay album and to listen to Interpol and British Sea Power on my iPod through proper speakers and without anyone having a fit.... and I get to pop out to a decent deli and have a properly tasty sandwich for lunch instead of the usual processed crap they sell at work. A good day then.

Well, for a work day, anyway.

... I mean, if given a choice I'd have just played Guitar Hero and read that new Sebastian Faulks James Bond book all day....

Anyway. Earworms time.

This week... a volunteer! Now, I'm happy to let anyone have a go in this slot. I'm much more interested in what other people have got floating around their heads than what I've got floating around mine... I'm sure you probably feel the same way too, and I reckon you certainly would if you had to read a list of my 'worms from this week, which mainly consist of silly songs by Flight of the Conchords - especially Hiphopopotamos vs the Rhymenocerous - and a bit of Coldplay (and frankly I haven't got the energy to defend them from all the ridiculous levels of hatred that they seem to attract whenever they're mentioned. Not today, anyway.)

So. Stevious asked if he could have a go at being Guest Editor, I said yes... and here he is. It's that simple. If you want a go, all you have to do is ask.

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

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #90 - Stevious

Well hello there. Want to read about my earworms? Well, you'd better, because here they are:

1 - inní mér syngur vitleysingur - Sigur Rós.

Since seeing their road movie Heima at the end of last year I've been mildly obsessed with Iceland's finest - barely a week's gone by without a spin of Takk, and even the ceaseless use of Hoppipola on TV hasn't ruined it for me. This is a track from their imminent album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (yes I am copy/pasting these titles, Icelandic keyboards must have a zillion keys), which is being touted as their most commercial release yet. From what I can tell, that means there's some shorter songs and a bit less reverb, but for me they still seem to be able to capture those indescribable emotions and fit them into a few minutes of brilliance. The song I've chosen here (track 2 on the album) is a rush of pure joy, and if it doesn't make you smile then you're probably not well.

2 - I Will Possess Your Heart - Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab are another band who are apparently making a break for the mainstream on their own terms, which is beautifully illustrated by the lead single from their new album. The first four-and a half minutes don't really go anywhere, but the bassline is irresistable and that's what keeps you hooked. When the vocals finally arrive, you're greeted with typical Death Cab lyrical brilliance:

How I wish you could see the potential/The potential for you and me/It's like a book elegantly bound/But in a language that you can't read...yet.

It's an almost terrifying song about obsessing about a girl who doesn't fancy you! It's eight-and-a-half minutes long! See you at the top of the charts, Death Cab!

3 - 20000007 - Modeselektor feat TTC.

I love this. It's manic electronica with chopped up French rapping all over it - what's not to love? The problem with it being in French is that in my head all the lyrics are replaced with words from my limited French vocabulary. So it's a song about Ibuprofen and grapefruit then. To be honest the earworm in my brain is probably closer to this than the original. Baguette!

[ST's note: hey! Flight of the Conchords! Binary solo: 0000001 00000011 0000001 00000011 0000001]

4 - Black and Gold - Sam Sparro

Radio 1 have played this a lot recently, and my hatred for it has grown with every listen. It's bad enough that it's a desperately mundane and average slice of electro-pop on the surface, but what really gets me is the content of the song. He's pushing the idea that a universe without God is meaningless, as if some sort of magical importance flows through us all because of his imaginary friend. The fact that 'a bunch of matter' has randomly assembled itself into the incredible world that we live in is pretty cool in itself, stop ruining it with your silly made-up stories about a man in the sky who controls it all. If there is a God, I'd hope he hates pish like this.

[ST's note: did you hear the Guillemots' version of this on the Live Lounge? I'm no fan of theirs, but it was a distinct improvement on the original]

5 - There is Only One of Us - Bikeforthree!

More electronica/hip-hop cross over, this time courtesy of a collaboration between Buck 65 and Greetings From Tuskan. I'm a huge fan of Buck - I love the fact that while what he does is still hip-hop, it bears almost no resemblance to what you'd expect hip-hop to sound like. Here he tackles the loss of a lover with his usual heartbreaking clarity whilst Greetings...'s sparse production builds almost into a dancefloor banger. Probably my favourite non-Icelandic song at the moment.

6 - A Tender History in Rust - Do Make Say Think

It's post-rock meets acoustic folk. To me it's the sound of sitting on a rock in the middle of a river in the middle of Glen Rosa on Arran, watching the birds, insects and clouds go about their daily business. I almost always have to hold a tear back when the horns kick in.

7 - My Year In Lists - Los Campesinos!

I usually hate bands who are as twee as this. It's possibly because I suspect they'd get beaten in a fight even by a weakling about me, so I have no respect for them. Either way, this is a perfect pop song.

8 - Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic

Fall Out Boy have been polluting the airwaves with their version of the original, which has forced this from memory. It's far better. I identify with Weird Al because I have a pathological tendency to replace the lyrics of songs in my head with things I find funny (for me Rhianna's chart-topper from last year is about Salmonella) and he saves me the effort. Not sure if I could listen to a whole album of his though.

[ST's note: his version of "smells like teenspirit" is nearly as good as the original.... Nearly. I had a whole album of this stuff when I was 13. It seemed alright then, but I imagine it might wear a bit thin now]

9 - Low - Flo Rida

I don't really like this song very much, but I do like singing the Chorus in the club style.

10 - Mogwai Fear Satan - Mogwai

Mogwai recently re-released their debut album Mogwai Young Team, which arrived in my flat on four slabs of beautiful vinyl. I remember first hearing this song live back in '97 and deciding there and then that I had found what I was looking for in music. There's no words, no real melody, just three chords thrashed to bits at various volume levels (and at one point on the album, a flute), but when you're stood in the crowd and the waves of noise crash into you there's no purer, more complete feeling. I'm pretty sure I could listen to this on loop for the rest of my life and be happy.

Right, that's yer lot from me. Thanks Mr Swiss for letting me squat on here for 10 songs ,and I hope the occasionally awkward links haven't put you off listening to some of this stuff.

Smell you later!


Thanks Steve - nicely done, and a fine example of how some earworms are good, and others are very, very bad. Either way, you're stuck with them, I suppose..... so I guess as there's more good than bad, you've not done too badly this week. I'm still struggling to shake off REO Speedwagon, to be honest. That's weapons grade earwormery. EMD: earworms of mass destruction.

"I heard it from a friend who...heard it from a friend whoooo...."


Anyway. Thanks for playing.

If anyone else fancies having a go at this and exposing their internal jukebox for our inspection, then please drop me a line at the email in my profile, or leave a comment here.

Have a good weekend y'all.....

[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, Joe the Troll, Eye in the Sky III, Jerry Cornelius]



  • At 12:46 am, Blogger Michael said…

    Weird Al has actually gotten more talented since back in the day's of eat it. While, I can't listen to a full disc, there's always 3-4 songs on each CD that are just classic.

    White and Nerdy, Do I Creep You Out, The Saga Begins... all classics...

    Well... at least for music freaks/nerds like myself.

  • At 1:11 pm, Blogger Cody Bones said…

    Damnit ST, I had just gotton that REO song out of my head, and you put it right back

  • At 3:55 pm, Blogger Rol said…

    Glad you're enjoying the Conchords offering, ST... even better than Stevious' Weird Al...

  • At 2:09 pm, Blogger steve said…

    Just letting you know the link for "Do Make Say Think" is wrong, its the same as the previous "Bike for 3" link. But cheers for the tunes.

  • At 3:00 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    well spotted - corrected.


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