February earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can never figure out what triggered them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my February earworms. Its more than one a day but I’ve been painting the house so I’ve had extra occasion for songs to occupy my head. Plus one song that stuck in my head because my beloved dog died on Feb 11. I’ll let you figure out which song that is. 

  1.  Rick James – Super Freak  This earworm is as much about the bouncy music as it is the lyrics. 
  2. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Don’t Come Around Here No More
  3. Weezer – Island In The Sun Just try to not chime in ‘hip, hip”.
  4. Offspring – Gotta Get Away Too fast or a bit too slow?
  5. MGMT – Kids Oh, that infrectious keyboard!
  6. Barbara Streisand – On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) There is always at least one Barbara song in every earworm year.
  7. Anne Murray – Snowbird God help me. 
  8. Crosby Stills Nash and Young – Our House is a very, very, very fine house
  9. Earth, Wind & Fire – That’s the Way of the World Hearts afire…
  10. Shakira – Ojos Así I have almost this whole song memorized… “Puedo vivir sin ellos yo…”
  11. Johnny Cymbal – Mr. Bass Man Ba bababa Ba, booboomboom … It’s like it’s sung by Porky Pig.
  12. Melanie – Brand New Key You can not, not sing this. Can’t be done. 
  13. The Animals – Please Don´t Let Me Be Misunderstood This song has applied to every one of us at some point.
  14. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn That’s whats going on ….
  15. Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Midnight Moses How great is it to have “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!” stuck in your head.
  16. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle Sha na na na na knees knees…
  17. Bobby Pickett – Monster Mash This is the obligatory childhood flashback earworm.
  18. Bobby Brown – My Prerogative I know, I know, but it’s so catchy …
  19. Willie Tee – Walking Up A One Way Street This comes from some obscure corner of my childhood my mother can take credit for. 
  20. Natalie Cole – Miss You Like Crazy
  21. Oscar Brand – Four Letter Words Ok, this one comes from a stint in my late teens spent in a English-style pub that featured a singer named Rusty Reed
  22. Three Dog Night – An Old Fashioned Love Song I don’t need to explain this one, do I?
  23. Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper I owe so many earworms to my uncles. 
  24. Carmen Miranda – Chica Chica Boom Chic Language is no barrier when the words are universal. Chica, chica boom.
  25. Ernest Tubb – Walking the Floor Over You I almost went Grand Ole Opry free this month. Almost, but not quite. 
  26. Carole King – It’s Too Late I wore a groove in Carole King’s greatest hits as a young teen. 
  27. Sham 69 – Borstal Breakout This is one of my favourite songs in my Punk playlist. 
  28. Gene Vincent – Say Mama Go ask your dad.
  29. Melissa Manchester – You Should Hear How She Talks About You This is just so catchy. 
  30. UB40 – Red Red Wine 
  31. Juice Newton – Queen Of Hearts I loved this song as a kid. 
  32. Howard Jones – Things Can Only Get Better I like to believe this is true …

 

Arts intersecting – songs about Vincent van Gogh

I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, because I guess it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.

Vincent's Chair with His PipeMusic and the visual arts, for example, find inspiration in one another, and the artists who create each inspire creative endeavors in other artistic fields. Visual arts and artists find their way into music a lot.

Probably the most well known example is Don McLean‘s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), about Vincent Van Gogh.

Less well known, McLean’s song Empty Chair was also about the artist Van Gogh.

Don McLean was not the only musician inspired by Van Gogh, however.

Bob Dylan also wrote a little known and never released song about Van Gogh’s work called Spuriously Seventeen Windows.

Then there’s Waiting For Van Gogh by Dan Bern, and Vincent Van Gogh by Edmond and Carol Nicodemi.

My personal favourite Vincent Van Gogh inspired song is by Johnathan Richman.

Well, have you heard about the painter, Vincent van Gogh
Who loved colour and who let it show?
And in the museum, what have we here?
The most soulful painter since Jan Vermeer

And he loved, he loved life so bad
His paintings had twice the colour other paintings had
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and he let it show

In the Amsterdam museum I was feeling bad
Been looking for a way not to be so sad
I felt the feeling from the paintings on the wall
And Vincent van Gogh was with me in the hall

And he loved, he loved life that way
His painting said things that paintings seldom say
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and let it show

Have you seen those last paintings by van Gogh?
Did the sorrow show?
Did it hurt you from the wall?
Did it follow you down the hall?

Because he loved, he loved life like that
You look at those last paintings and you’ll get kind of sad
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and he let it show

Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh

 

This is not an exhaustive list, Van Gogh is infamous enough to has ‘inspired’ quite a few musical attempts, but these are some crossovers worth noting.

 

Women classical composers – the February edition

Like most things historical, women have been underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them, women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are 5 female classical composers whose works I have on my iPod right now, with links to songs for each of them.

 

Grażyna Bacewicz
Grażyna Bacewicz

Grażyna Bacewicz (Feb 5, 1909) was a respected composer and violinist from with a Lithuanian father and Polish mother, and she chose to identify as Polish. She lived in Warsaw during the second world war and gave secret concerts.

 

 

Miina Härma
Miina Härma

Miina Härma (Feb 9, 1864) was a well known Estonian composer. She composed mostly vocal work.

 

 

 

 

Adela Verne
Adela Verne

Adela Verne (Feb 27 1877) was among the greatest woman pianists of her era and a composer. 

 

 

Pía Sebastiani
Pía Sebastiani

Pía Sebastiani (Feb 27, 1925) was a pianist and composer from Argentina. I can’t find any video or audio of her own compositions that I can link here, but I did find a video about her and you can find a few recordings of other composers works in iTunes.

 

 

 

 

Eugenia Manolidou (or Manolides) (Feb 27, 1975) is a current Greek composer.

Hymn To The Moon 

 

Classical composers – the February edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music. And that’s a shame. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 28 works of classical music composed by artists born in February whose works I have enjoyed – one for each day of the month.

 

Portrait of Felix Mendelssohn by the English miniaturist James Warren Childe
Portrait of Felix Mendelssohn by James Warren Childe

Emil Hartmann (Feb 1, 1836)  

Felix Mendelssohn (Feb 3, 1809)

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Feb 3, 1736)  

Émile Prudent (Feb 3, 1817)   

Ole Bornemann Bull (Feb 5, 1810)  

Wilhelm Stenhammar (Feb 7, 1871)  

Joseph Leopold Eybler (Feb 8, 1765)  

Henri-Joseph Rigel (Feb 9, 1741)    

Alban Berg (Feb 9, 1885)    

Hans Bronsart von Schellendorf (Feb 11, 1830)   

Jan Ladislav Dussek (Feb 12, 1760)    

French violinist Pierre Rode
French violinist Pierre Rode

Roy Harris (Feb 12, 1898)   

Leopold Godowsky (Feb 13, 1870)  

Robert Fuchs (Feb 15, 1847)   

Joseph Willcox Jenkins (Feb 15, 1928)    

Pierre Rode (Feb 16, 1774) 

John Corigliano (Feb 16, 1938)  

Henri Vieuxtemps (Feb 17, 1820)   

Leevi Madetoja (Feb 17, 1887)    

Johann Christian Kittel (Feb 18, 1732)     

Pencil drawing of Luigi Boccherini by Etienne Mazas
Pencil drawing of Luigi Boccherini by Etienne Mazas

André Mathieu (Feb 18, 1929)    

Luigi Boccherini (Feb 19, 1743)   

Charles Auguste de Bériot (Feb 20, 1802)  

Carl Czerny (Feb 21, 1791)   

Frank Bridge (Feb 26, 1879)   

Hubert Parry (Feb 27, 1848)   

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger (Feb 27, 1867)     

Artur Kapp (Feb 28, 1878)