Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, November 2009

And the theme for this month appears to be comedy, what with the Firesign Theatre, the Bonzos, Eddie Izzard, the Coasters, and those wags in the Mod-Est Lads (in their alter-ego band, Danger Can, who show that they should have been commissioned to score the new Astro Boy movie), as well as reggae DJ star Trinity, who brings a whole battalion of chipmunks with him to pay tribute to Ali, and Zal Yanovsky, who infuses an old doo-wop great with a touch of Spike Jones looniness.

Topping the chart is the stately, stomping "Baby Come Rock" by the Wailing Souls, followed by an early T-Rex hit that shows yet more evidence that Marc Bolan copped his whole sound and persona from "Barabajagal" by the ever-underrated Donovan. From the astounding Eccentric Soul series comes a heartfelt piece of community criticism from Marion Black. We get the sole single by 1978 Canadian Patti Smith fans the Poles, who salute the tallest manmade structure of their day to a rocking groove. The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle emerges from the low-fi fuzz to ask the musical question, "Is that the most delicious thing you ever tasted in your life?" Hell yeah.

Neo recalls hearing, on 70s FM radio, a very rough, primal-sounding record of the old spiritual, "Travelin' Shoes". We never found that, but we did find a much sweeter and propulsive version by the great a capella gospel group the Golden Gate Quartet. Remember, the Devil can't take you if you're not wearing the right shoes. We hit a manic vein with the 13th Floor Elevators and the Cramps, Chris and Cosey throb and coo sexily, Chumbawamba bring back the a capella with one of their English Rebel Songs, and Bill Callahan returns to continue meditating on his void of faith and faith in the void.

As always, we tip our hat to non-dour multiculturalism, this time out with Joe Strummer's ballad of world cuisine on the high road and finally, with the mighty virtuoso warble of Yma Sumac.

20 more reasons to keep listening! We also have a widget on this very blog, so you don't need to stop reading.

1. Wailing Souls - Baby Come Rock - Inchpinchers
2. Tyrannosaurus Rex - Elemental Child - A Beard of Stars
3. Marion Black - Listen Black Brother - Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label
4. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - By A Waterfall - Tadpoles
5. The Poles - CN TOWER - CN Tower / Prime Time 7-inch
6. The Mountain Goats - Orange Ball Of Pain - Nothing for Juice
7. Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet - Travellin' Shoes - Rock My Soul
8. Firesign Theatre - W.C. Fields Forever - Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him
9. Eddie Izzard - Great Escape - Dress To Kill
10. Danger Can - Jet Turbo Theme - Let's Get Clecky!
11. The Coasters - Shoppin' For Clothes - The Very Best Of The Coasters
12. 13th Floor Elevators - (I've Got) Levitation - Easter Everywhere
13. The Cramps - I Was A Teenage Werewolf (With False Start) (Original Mix) - Songs The Lord Taught Us
14. Trinity - Mohammed Ali - Three Piece Suit
15. Chris & Cosey - This Is Me - Heartbeat
16. Chumbawamba - Poverty Knock - English Rebel Songs 1381-1984
17. Bill Callahan - Faith/Void - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
18. Zal Yanovsky - Little Bitty Pretty One - Alive And Well In Argentina
19. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Bindhi Bhagee - Global A Go Go
20. Yma Sumac - Chicken Talk - Mambo!


Davis Jones said...

Cool! Yma Sumac' Chicken Talk made the list this month! I love her audacity! And sense of fun. ... not to mention her incredible vocals!

IanSchultz said...

How do you decide on the top 20?

Ear Candle Productions said...

It's based on the listeners' responses. If they click the "thumbs up", it's worth one point, if they click the "buy" link, it's more, depending how many times the song's been played. Conversely, if people stop listening in the middle of a song, it brings the score down, and if click the "thumbs down", even more so.

We post the 20 songs that got the most positive responses in the last 30 days in the exact order of their popularity, no matter what. It ends up being a very revealing picture of the mood of the listeners.