Heavy Rotation

May 31, 2009

Heavy Rotation is back, and it’s about goddamn time. Am I right?

The selections this time are some old favorites. Not necessarily “old” old, but some of my own personal classics, if you will. But, confusingly, some of these tracks are actually “old.” Like late 1970’s – early 1980’s “old.”

Ah, well. Age is in the eye of the beholder, much like these presumed classics would be to your beholding ear. Now, while you diagram that sentence, here’s today/this week’s/this month’s selections:


Magazine – Permafrost.mp3

From Howard Devoto’s post-Buzzcocks band, Magazine. This is the last track on their synth-driven, semi-critically reviled album Secondhand Daylight. Slower-paced but edged with a misanthropic menace. The punchline is in the chorus, as Devoto tells you the real reason for all the previous meandering:

As the day stops dead
at the place where we’re lost
I will drug you and fuck you
on the permafrost

Like every early spring rave in the upper Midwest!


Happy Mondays – Hallelujah.mp3

Shaun Ryder takes what ostensibly is a club pop hit and makes it unsafe for listeners of any age. Most of the lyrical content deals either directly or obliquely with Shaun’s favorite pastime: heroin. He reaches his moral nadir at this point, with this lazily ugly threat/invitation:

Hallelujah, hallelujah
I’m Shaun Willie Ryder
I’ll lie down beside ya
Fill ya full of junk


Clinic – Distortions.mp3

Clinic is a band that really sounds like no one else. Lots of syncopated drumming, heavy organ usage, a lead singer who relies on meaningless syllables and archaic slang. This song sounds like nothing in their catalogue. There is an organ, but the pace is much more funereal and wouldn’t sound too much out of place in someone’s Leonard Cohen collection, at least musically. Lyrically, however, we’re going a little darker:

It saved me once too often
You’d never know how often
I’ve pictured you in coffins
My baby in a coffin
But I love it when you blink your eyes

Oh I, I want to know my body
I want this out, not in me
I want no other leakage
I want to know no secrets yet


the Mekons – Dancing in the Head.mp3

As one of the most prolific and longest-running punk bands, the Mekons have covered all sorts of ground in the last 30 years. This particular song deals with voodoo rituals and zombies, all narrated over a propulsive guitar and drum shuffle. The Mekons take the high road and avoid tripping over any reggae cliches.

Possession is called dancing in the head.


P.I.L. – Flowers of Romance.mp3

John Lydon’s post-Sex Pistols project, which was at least twice and interesting and a million times as skillful. Ostensibly a kiss-off song to departed bassist Jah Wobble, it can, of course, be interpreted as a bitter sendoff to anyone’s ex. Featuring Lydon on vocals and violin and godawesomely powerful drumming of a pre-Ministry Martin Atkins.

This one’s for Alan.

Now it’s summer
I could be happy or in distress
Depending on the company
On the veranda
Talk of the future or reminisce
Behind the dialogue
We’re in a mess
Whatever I intended
I sent you flowers
You wanted chocolates instead

The flowers of romance
The flowers of romance

I’ve got binoculars
On top of Box Hill
I could be Nero
Fly the eagle
Start all over again
I can’t depend on these so-called friends
It’s a pity you need to defend
I’ll take the furniture
Start all over again

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]



  1. The Chocolates of Romance!

    Nice! Thanks. You said it best in the fine print. “kick ass and too awesome to be contained”

    (I was blasting the Magazine LP “Play” yesterday, funnily enough…)

    I have to say, I’ve been trying to find a complete version of “Oooh” online forever. “Hate is the New Love” is one of my all time favorite songs.

    Although for the life of me, I have no idea what the line is after “Dangerous bibles” I checked the lyrics online and that didn’t help me either…

    Dangerous bibles
    all oving for you

    …”oving” ????

    (Ram and I once spent a most enjoyable evening watching Mekon frontman Jon Langford and his Three Johns perform live.)

    • Perhaps it’s cockney for something. Which would mean it probably rhymes with some other word. That doesn’t even get spoken aloud.

      Those Brits are some tricky people. Who needs an Enigma machine when the rhyming slang mangles English into something unrecognizable?

    • That’s whatever the hell you were talking about for you. Guv.

  2. They really are oving aren’t they?

  3. I always felt the two things missing from the medical profession were top hats and open fields. I love you Clinic! Sign my man-boob!

    • They sensed the emptiness left behind by other bands’ refusal to explore Kansas whilst top-hatted.

  4. Gawd luvvus, me old china!

    It’s bad enough living over here with real cockneys, without you lot banging on about them as well.

    Luckily, I’m a couple of hundred miles North of the buggers.

    Near Manchester, as it happens; which links nicely to Howard Devoto and Magazine, who I once saw playing the Russell Club in Hulme (the rough bit of the rough bit of Manchester). The place later went on to be bought by Tony Wilson and renamed The Factory – home of factory records.

    Happy Daze….

    • Much as I hate replying to my own posts……

      Have a look at this if you need(?) an insight into cockney rhyming slang, adn all that goes with it.


      You will notice a few pearls of absolute wisdom including ‘C for Yerself’from some notable wit and raconteur.

    • I did need an insight, but it somehow raises more questions than it answers. Still, I’m sure I’ll refer to it whenever I wish to say something completely inscrutable.

      Thanks for the pointer and the great comment, Nobbly.

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