Archive for September, 2009

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Letters to the Editor

September 29, 2009
Yanni prepares for a hard-charging Creed cover.

Yanni prepares for a hard-charging Creed cover.

[Note: It is the policy of this paper to edit letters for length, clarity and to generally make the letter-writers appear more ignorant.]

To the music editor of the New Bedford Gazette:

This letter concerns your recent review of the Yanni concert, which you gave a 3 out of 5 star rating. While I realize that Yanni’s blistering sexuality and limp-wristed piano stylings are an acquired taste, I have to wonder whether your reviewer saw the same spectacular concert that I did.

I’m sure we all felt that the St. Jude School for the Blind’s auditorium was hardly the most majestic setting for musical royalty such as this. However, it did hold a certain amount of quaint charm and metal folding chairs. The promoters made the most of the limited space and I’m sure the returning students will appreciate what was done to the venue even as it wreaks havoc on their spatial awareness.

The reviewer states that the “unretracted basketball hoops” detracted from the setting. I realize that not every venue can be as breathtaking as the Acropolis (as documented in his best-selling DVD). At times the arena struggled to compete with even lesser-known performances, such as his appearances at the Apollo and the second event tent at Glastonbury (which found his gig sandwiched between Vampire Weekend and a re-formed Haircut 100).

The reviewer also referred to Yanni’s “bland stylings” and “watered-down New Age ivory-tinkling.” While his music will certainly never compare to the “hard rock” and “hard rap” that the reviewer is no doubt used to, I think it was a low blow for him to point out the unfortunate moment when a clearly exhausted Yanni urinated on the piano.

There were so many electric moments that would warrant at least an extra star or two:

  • His fantastic selection of covers, including Nick Cave’s Curse of Millhaven, Weezer’s Hash Pipeand John Tesh’s Theme from Entertainment Tonight (Slight Return).
  • Late in the show, an obviously inebriated (and exhausted) Yanni “dropped trou” and gave us all a tantalizing glimpse of “Little Yanni” and some magnificently coiffed pubic hair.
  • His terrific Jerry Lee Lewis impression, in which he broke free from his usual repertoire to bang his piano and 14-year old cousin, roughly in that order. The inadvertent electrical fire that threatened to consume the threesome (Yanni, piano, cousin) was just icing on the cake.

We all know that Yanni put in a performance for the ages that night, one that cannot be smeared by a middling review or his string of insults and slurs that closed out the evening. Fortunately for Yanni, he will continue his incredible career, despite doubting journalists and as for the slurs, they would only offend those familiar with thousands of years of Greek history. And homosexuals.

Sincerely,

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 16 – One More Edition

September 27, 2009

Got to love a weekend. A chance to kick back and relax. Enjoy what’s left of the decent weather. Brings to mind a favorite quote of mine from noted philosopher and nature lover, Rick Ross:

It’s time to spend my thrills cuz I’m spinnin’ wheels
I ain’t drove in a week them bitches spinnin’ still
Talk about me because these suckers scared to talk about me
Killers talkin’ bout me, there ain’t no talkin’ about me
It ain’t no walkin’ ’round me, see all these killers ’round me
Lot of drug dealin’ ’round me goin’ down in Dade County
Don’t tote no twenty-twos, Magnum cost me twenty-two
Sat it on them twenty-twos, birds go for twenty-two
Lil’ mama super thick, she say she twenty-two
She seen them twenty-twos, we in room two twenty-two

Hell yeah. Ross knows. Ross recommends the back catalog available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

oto_cd_back

Fluke – Bullet
A couple of weeks back, I was giving some respect up for Syntax, which is comprised of a couple of former members of Fluke. They said Fluke just wasn’t dark enough. I begged to differ. Here’s the case in point: Bullet. It’s a slow builder but once it gets up and running, it’s an actual banger, as they say across the pond.

 

the-death-set

Death Set – Negative Thinking
Nothing like a good-natured kick in the teeth courtesy of Baltimore’s finest electro-punksters. The f-bombs make it fun for all ages and the polaroid conceit of the video allows it to confuse some ages. The power of fuckin’ positive thinking.

 

s.central

South Central – Higher State
Nothing like a ill-tempered kick in the teeth courtesy of Brighton’s finest electro-rockers. A blistering cover of that old rave fave, Higher State of Consciousness by be-dreaded house producer, Josh Wink. Featuring the old-timey acid sounds of the Roland 303 and tons of distortion and strobe lights. Everything you would want in a batch of brown acid.

 

Glasvegas2

Glasvegas – Geraldine
Scottish shoegazers with a crippingly beautiful ode to social workers. I know you don’t believe me so I’ve attached a video with lyrics. So there. Anyway, this comes recommended by a certain whipsmart pup (and his crotchety owner) I know, as well as by the genius over at The Lost Turntable (who referred to them as “Jesus wrapped in awesome”).

 

theknife

The Knife – We Share Our Mother’s Health/Silent Shout (William’s Acidic Circuits Mix)
I’ve got a two-fer going on here. I spent several minutes bouncing back and forth between the two tracks and their accompanying videos. After several minutes of indecision, I decided that fuck it, bandwidth’s cheap.

Not to overuse a word, but some more electro here, but in an altogether more disturbing fashion. Featuring some pitched-down vocals, some pitched-up tempos and some seriously strange videos. You won’t be able to tear your eyes or ears away. Some brilliantly fucked-up Swedish weirdness. Those Nordic countries and their bizarre musicians. Must be the constant cold.

We Share Our Mother’s Health

Silent Shout

All tracks bound and zipped into one downloadable folder of rockin’ good times (link opens in new window):
Heavy Rotation Vol. 16

-CLT

[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.]
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Fancy Plans Guide to Homicide Investigation

September 26, 2009
Homicide detectives are particularly proud of their special-issue "Mickey Mouse" gloves.

Homicide detectives are particularly proud of their special-issue "Mickey Mouse" gloves.

Hi. I’m Detective James Morniwheg, Homicide.

I have some information to pass on to the newest members of our precinct. As you know, we field our fair share of homicide investigations. The world is not a pretty place and you’ll need to get used to it real soon. As quickly as I can, I would like to hand out a few pointers on how to handle a homicide investigation.

First of all, you need to have the proper tools. Every detective should be prepared for a homicide call. Here’s a list of items you should have on you at all times:

  • Gloves
  • Evidence bags
  • Ballpoint pen (for picking up empty casings; occasional writing)
  • Notepad
  • World-weary cynicism
  • Desire to help people (rookies only)

Optional

  • Unlit cigar
  • Sunglasses
  • Pet theories
  • Desire to hurt people

Evidence
Every crime scene you deal with will contain all matter of evidence. Some criminals, especially drug dealers, will have thoughtfully pre-bagged some evidence for you.

Mark any evidence appropriately, for easy identification. For example:

  • “Ditch weed”
  • “Black tar”
  • “B.C. chronic”
  • “Ragweed”
  • “Baby laxative”
  • “To be planted”

Most forward-looking police departments have realized that it is most efficient to have individual policemen secure evidence in their own homes, storage units or bus station lockers. This leaves the evidence in an area where it can be easily accessed as needed, rather than at a central location staffed by an officious and nosy prick.

If you find yourself with a surplus of evidence, especially during Internal Affairs’ investigations, feel free to ditch some of it at your current crime scenes. The other responding officers will appreciate your generosity and it may help take the case in a surprising new direction.

The Smoking Gun
The most famous form of evidence, the smoking gun can often refer to other things metaphorically. We will be dealing only with the literal interpretation.

If you find a gun on the scene, pick it up and sniff the barrel thoughtfully. Has it been fired recently?

If it hasn’t or is still “undetermined,” go ahead and fire a few shots into the wall or available corpse. Try out some creative angles to confuse the boys in forensics. Mark gun as “recently fired.” Place in evidence bag. (Allow time to cool.)

Be sure to indicate, when asked, that the gun was fired “circa the time of death,” rather than, “shortly after I got here.”

Officer McCloskey prevented anyone from entering the rent-controlled apartment until his deposit check cleared.

Officer McCloskey prevented anyone from entering the rent-controlled apartment until his deposit check cleared.

Shell Casings and the Importance of Pen Selection
Choose your pen carefully as it will be serving a greater purpose than dressing up your shirt pocket or staining your shirt pocket.

The main purpose of your pen will be to pick up empty gun shells at the crime scene. You’ll want to have a thin pen with a low center of gravity. This act is harder than it looks. You may want to practice at home, using any of the “evidence” guns you have secured. Fire a few rounds into the wall or available corpse. (This will also help you get the sense for the “recently fired” smell.)

Once proficient with this maneuver, you should be able to pick up casings in one smooth move.

(Important note: never use your hands to pick up shells, gloved or not, as this will probably “tamper” the evidence. It is a serious crime scene faux pas. This is a “rookie mistake,” and you will be the butt of jokes in the precinct for months to come.)

Dealing with the Coroner
As someone who deals intimately with death, day in and day out, your average coroner will often be a pasty, emotionless, wise-cracking weirdo who will insist on eating something no matter how gruesome the homicide.

He will often use phrases and ask questions full of words you won’t understand. Just nod and ask occasional leading questions, such as:

  • “Any signs of foul play?”
  • “What do you think for a time of death?”
  • “Would this ‘recently fired’ gun have anything to do with it?”

If stuck for words, you can always defer to the responding officer. A second tactic is to remove your sunglasses and chew on them thoughtfully while gazing over the scene, perhaps guesstimating the wholesale price of the Persian rug that is now completely ruined. I know this tactic sounds ridiculous, but do it in front of a mirror a few times and you’ll see how “thoughtful” it can make you appear.

Distracted by some rowdy urban youths, Officer Carlington was unable to remember whether she was on the outside or the inside of the crime scene.

Distracted by some rowdy urban youths, Officer Carlington was unable to remember whether she was on the outside or the inside of the crime scene.

Dealing with Responding Officers
Your normal, workaday cop will most likely be the first responder to a homicide call. They are often unimpressed with your position and will try to undercut your authority at every opportunity.

Send them out to “knock on doors.” This will keep them out of the crime scene and thus unable to show you up with their “attention to detail” and “logical conclusions.” Also, their street smarts will clash badly with your world-weary cynicism/desire to help people.

Motives & Suspects
You will often be called on to draw a bead on a most likely suspect and motive. In order to get the ball rolling, observe the crime scene, victim and neighborhood. You should be able to get a “jump” on some conclusions by following these simple guidelines:

Black victim/Lousy neighborhood “Gang-related”
Possible suspect: Gangbanger

White victim/Mainly black neighborhood“Possibly gang-related;” “Wrong place at the wrong time”
Possible suspect: Gangbanger

Black or white victim/Drug paraphernalia“Drug deal gone bad”
Possible suspect: Tony Montana

White victim/Upscale neighborhood“Crime of passion”
Possible suspect: That guy whose wife you’re banging; local retard

White victim/Influential parents“Accidental”
Possibly due to: “Ingestion of two .38 bullets in the back of the head”

The First 24 Hours
90% of homicides are solved in the first 24 hours.

Whether this is actually true or not doesn’t matter. Everyone already believes that it is, so act accordingly.

This would seem to indicate that you will have a hectic day (and night) beginning with the homicide call. Look at it this way: you only have to look busy for 24 hours before you can return to your normal schedule of playing computer solitaire and ticketing your ex-wife’s vehicle.

If you can make it past those critical hours, you are out of the woods, so to speak (even if your victim hasn’t even made it out of the woods yet). Label the paperwork “Cold Case” and throw it in the precinct fridge for some cheap laughs.

Coming up:
Advanced Taser Techniques – Your Quickstart Guide to Subduing the Handicapped and Elderly
Your New Partner – How to Deal with These Goddamn Conscience-Ridden Little Go-Getters
The Last 24 – Making it to Your Retirement Alive

-CLT

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Minutes from the Fancy Plans Employee Meeting

September 25, 2009
Before we adjourn this meeting, I'd like to show you all this doodle of you all in very compromising positions.

Before we adjourn this meeting, I'd like to show you all this doodle of you all in very compromising positions.

September 23, 2009

In attendance: CLT, Edna Morton (Research), James (Art Dept.), Meredith (Secretary).
Not in attendance: RF Interference (currently heading the House Committee on Un-American Sports Activities)

CLT: Alright. We’ve had a pretty good month, so far. Just a couple of things to note:

1. While readership is up, out leading incoming search is “Richard Simmons,” meaning we have made some inroads into a very fucked-up demographic. I don’t want to point fingers, James, but it’s all coming from the low-angle shot you took of him in his shortiest shorts.

While I’m sure we can all appreciate a nicely-toned ass, I’m not sure we need the kind of readership that is looking for sweaty shots of Simmons’ Ken-doll anatomy.

2. We need to work on our quality control. The New York Times Review of Blogs posted what some might consider to be a “devastating” review. They said we “lack any sort of cohesive theme or focus,” and that we only “occasionally show any sort of insight, mostly limited to rare moments when RF Interference can squeeze a post in edgewise.”

It goes on… at quite some length… let’s see… “caustic windbag CLT…” “amateurish cynicism…” “not real journalists…”

So, some room for improvement. Especially you, James.

And not to point fingers again, James, but your photo selection has slipped. I need concise, devastating pictures that can be easily used again themselves. If I have to spend more than 30 seconds thinking up the perfect caption, then that’s another This Week’s Featured Soaps that won’t make the publishing deadline.

James: Can I speak freely?
CLT: Sure. This is the good old U.S. of A., despite RF’s best efforts.
James: Most of the vague requests and posts leave a lot to the imagination. I’m not really receiving concise direction from you.
CLT: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m the talent. I thought with your fancy degree in… what do you have a degree in?
James: Middle Eastern architecture. I minored in Numerology.
CLT. Jesus Christ! Really? Who the hell is doing the hiring around here?
James: WordPress suggested me using their search engine. I was under “Humor” for no discernible reason.
CLT: Correct me if I’m wrong, but your diploma has calligraphy on it?
James: Yes. I suppose it does…
CLT: Well, Mr. Pompous Jackass Degree Holder, for the rest of this meeting you’re going to use your imagination and pretend that you are now living in a third-world dictatorship and anything derogatory you say will be punished severely.
James: [sulks]

CLT: Moving on. We recently ran a full page of retractions leading me to believe that our fact-checking is not up to spec. Edna?
Edna: I’m sorry, Mr. CLT, but I don’t have much to work with. You banned me from the internet after the fourth crippling virus I downloaded and the encyclopedias you’ve been picking up from the grocery store are short several volumes. Many of the pages contain nothing but coupons.
CLT: Let me cut you off there. And please, call me “Sir.” Your lack of resources is not really my problem. Or maybe it is. Either way, we’re going to simplify: this is your problem. Are you banned from the library computers, too?
Edna: I have one strike left, but it should be gone after they reboot tomorrow morning.

CLT: Alright. I’m going to call a quick recess and go have several shots. You wait here.

CLT: What the fuck? There’s nothing but Triple Sec and Cointreau in here! Where the hell did all the booze go? Edna?
Edna: [snores]
CLT: James! Smell her breath.
James: Why do I have to—
CLT: Because you are the unpaid and abused intern. I’m not going anywhere near her mouth. She eats black licorice all day and apparently drinks a lot of booze. When she opens that thing, it looks like the gateway to hell. Only with less teeth.
James: I’m not going to do that!
CLT: James. I’m going to start writing some numbers on the whiteboard. Stop me anytime… 23…
James: [screams and heads over to Edna]

James:Oh… god… oh god. She’s been drinking.
CLT: Thank you, James. I’m leaving that number on the board for the remainder of this meeting. Try to focus.

Meredith, take a letter. “To the estate of Clive F. Cussler…”

James: I believe Clive Cussler is still alive.
CLT: Really? How the fuck do you know? Flip through a sudoku book? Leave the facts to the pros. Edna? What do we have on Cussler?
Edna: [belches quietly, continues snoring]
CLT: Well, I’m calling that 2 vs. 1, James. Do the math.

To the estate of Clive F. Cussler,

Thank you for your letter dated September 3rd, 2009. In response to your request for the removal of the offending Cussler interview, I have decided to continue running the post. Until you have conclusive proof that Mr. Cussler is not an insufferable prick and that his son can operate an automatic door without assistance, the interviews stays as is.

I will accept time-stamped video accompanied by a signed affadavit. You have my sympathy over the loss of Mr. Cussler, etc. etc. Go fuck yourself.

Sincerely,
Capitalist Lion Tamer

Meredith, read that back to me.

Meredith: [reads letter]
CLT: Good lord! Do I sound like that? All overbearing and profane? Did you add something?
Meredith: No. I transcribed it exactly.
CLT: Hmm. Try to soften it up a little. Throw in a few “prithees” and a couple of F-bombs.

Meredith: [retypes letter]
Meredith: Would you like me to read back the edited letter?
CLT: No. I’m sure it still retains my famous quiet dignity. James, check the file cabinet for some anthrax and toss it in the envelope.
James: Jesus. You actually have some of that?
CLT: I picked some up in early 2002. Everybody had some. Scarcely a letter went out without a heavy dusting of it. It should be in the first aid kit.
James: It’s all gone.
CLT: Nothing? Not even a small but deadly amount?
Check out the box marked Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits. There should be some coke in there. Unless Edna got there first… Toss some of that into the envelope.
OK. Run that to the post office. And James?
James: [exasperated sigh] What?
CLT: When they ask you if there’s anything “flammable, hazardous, perishable, etc.,” try not to say something instinctive like, “It’s not anthrax. It’s cocaine.”

[James heads to post office.]

CLT: Anyone have anything? No? Edna? Edna!
Edna: [snores]
CLT: Alright. We’ll see you all next month, with the possible exception of James.

RF: What a night. Did I miss anything good?
CLT: We have lousy employees. Meredith is the only one worth keeping and I’m sure she’ll e gone once her first paycheck bounces. And thanks to Edna, the liquor cabinet is now about as useless as a fridge full of condiments.
On the bright side, James can be intimidated by writing nearly any number on the whiteboard.
RF: Right-o. Well, I’m off to exchange my greenbacks for British pounds and hit the pub for some football and unintelligible accents. You in?
CLT: American football?
RF: [glares pointedly]
CLT: Fine. Go Tottenham. Rue Britannia. You’re buying the first round.

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 10 – All F-ed Up Edition

September 22, 2009

Volume 10. Has it been 10 already?

Time for an anthology. If any of you have time in your lives for approximately 12,000 words containing approximately 0 facts, please let me know. I can send you the appropriate links via horseless carriage. My manservant Riley will be pleased to dictate these to you in his unplaceable Continental accent.

Tip well. Riley has a hot temper and a driver’s license. When he says he’s about to “lay a bitch out,” you can rest assured he means it.

Without further ado, whatnot and misc. bullshit, here it ’tis: Volume 10 – All F’ed-Up Edition.

 

Faith No More: they clean up real nice...

Faith No More: they clean up real nice...

 

Faith No More
Charged by absolutely no one to draw up the funk-metal blueprint, Faith No More charged onto the scene in 1985 with the heavily rotated single We Care a Lot. After priming the pump with a track that name-checked Transformers, Garbage Pail Kids and the police departments of various major U.S. cities, a band usually has only one way to go.

Not so with Faith No More. Following a long-running rock tradition of replacing lead singers, FNM shattered expectations (and a few hotel TV sets) by getting rid of the shitty vocalists first (Chuck Mosely, Courtney Love) and bringing in the stud (Mike Patton).

Expectations duly shattered (and repair bills passed on to label execs), the new Faith No More hit the ground rapping with their huge single, Epic. The accompanying video’s live fish execution scene shook up a stagnant metal scene in ways no one could have predicted. Suddenly everyone wanted more funk in their metal, rap in their lyrics, peanut butter in their chocolate and keyboard players in their band.

Stagnant metal scene duly shook up, Mike Patton gazed upon this wreckage (that’s a Numan reference) with a mixture of contempt and bemusement. Rather than crank out Epic v.2, the band delivered Angel Dust, a roaring disfigurement of an album which left their label heads shaking their collective heads in contempt and, presumably, musement. Or bewilderment.

The band reached their peak with a nearly note-for-note cover of the Commodores’ Easy. With their metalhead crowd left to puzzle out this inscrutable move (and scurry for their dictionaries), Mike Patton served notice that he was no ordinary lead singer, perfectly comfortable with shredding your eardrums and his vocal cords or laying you down by the fire to make sweet, sweet love at you. (And I stole that one from Zap Brannigan. But as the old saying goes, “If you have to steal, make sure you tell everybody about it.”)

At this point, the Faith No More story becomes vague, another in the multi-volume set (from the Time/Life Series Diminishing Returns). Patton split from the band to pursue side projects that ranged from “unlistenable” to “potentially brain damaging.” Keyboardist Roddy Bottum went on to form the incomparable Imperial Teen. The other guys went on to do “other guy” stuff, presumably.

Lionel Richie continued to crank out regrettable product. Like Nicole.

 

Welcome to the fifth dimension. (Not pictured: The Fifth Dimension.)

Welcome to the fifth dimension. (Not pictured: The Fifth Dimension.)

 

Fifth Dimension
A group that was always “a little bit soul; a little bit hippie bullshit,” the Fifth Dimension are best known for their pioneering work done in a dimension that was two past where most bands were willing to go.

Often performing their entire tour in the fifth dimension, the band would draw huge crowds despite there being hardly anything visible on stage. Die-hard fans would claim to see brief glimpses of the band members between bright flashes of light and faint snatches of otherworldly voices. Those in the audience who were not psychotropically enhanced often claimed to have “not seen a damn thing” and that the whole “experience” was “bullshit.”

During one of their brief forays into a third dimension studio, the Fifths recorded their massive hit “Age of Aquarius,” which soundtracked a key nude scene in naked-hippie musical Hair. Hair’s producers wisely reasoned that a fair amount of nudity would be a box office draw, but theater-goers found the nudity was far less than gratuitous. In fact, because this was the Sixties and the performers were hippies, the advertised “sexy bits” were left to the imagination due to the incredible amount of hair. Said one theater-goer: “Dear God. It’s everywhere! And the smell…”

The Fifth Dimension faded into obscurity as fans flocked to bands more readily visible on stage and less likely to spin watches backwards or leave the audience members covered in ectoplasm and artifacts.

There was also the matter of the class action lawsuit filed against the band by the city of Pomona, CA. The suit alleged that the Fifth Dimension were “dicking around with forces they can’t possibly comprehend,” thus cataclysmically opening “a gateway to hell.” The court found in favor of the city as the Fifth Dimension were either unable or unwilling to attend in any sort of visible fashion. The members were ordered to pay for any damages incurred by Satan’s minions and to “cease and desist from making music and fade into obscurity.”

 

mark-e-smith

The Fall's Mark E. Smith - His voice sounds every bit as good as he looks.

 

The Fall
Anybody who knows me knows I have a weakness for Manchester natives who can’t sing for shit (hello, Happy Mondays). Mark E. Smith, he of the inimitable Mancunian drawl, has combined with various iterations of his band to produce over 1,200 albums. This includes nearly 4,500 singles, 300 live albums and 150 or so one-offs, released on anything from 45’s, cassette-only and wax cylinders. If you are new to the band, you can’t go wrong starting out with any of over 200 greatest-hits compilations.

As you make your way through the treacherous back catalog that rivals the legendary vaults of Prince or the drunken productivity of Guided by Voices, there is also the shifting band dynamic to consider. Various styles and influences will crop up as the band continually experiments with their sound.

A lot of the shift also comes from Mark E. Smith’s on-again, off-again relationship with his sometimes wife and guitarist, Brix Smith. This can also be said about his relationship with the rest of the band, although probably with a lot less sexual contact. Hence, a lot of comparison just within the Brix and non-Brix albums.

Which brings us to the pinnacle of their career: a cover of disco favorite Lost in Music by Sister Sledge, proving yet again (see above) that great bands are at their best when they cover classic pop without irony.

Of course, much like above (see also: Faith No More), this set a precedent that was followed by shitty bands whose careers never really had a pinnacle (Limp Bizkit – Behind Blue Eyes [the Who]; Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal[Michael Jackson]; the Ataris – Boys of Summer [Don Fucking Henley])

One final note: Mark E. Smith’s singing can be an acquired taste and should actually be prefaced with quote/enquote. It’s not so much singing as it is a rambling drawl with extra ending syllables. But before you start talking shit about lack of vocal talent, ask yourself this: who would you rather listen to for an extended period of time: Bob Dylan or Celine Dion?

The prosecution rests.

 

It was the early '80s. Mirrors and restraint hadn't been invented yet. Or color, apparently.

It was the early '80s. Mirrors and restraint hadn't been invented yet. Or color, apparently.

 

A Flock of Seagulls
The quintessential ’80s band, A Flock of Seagulls were truly a snapshot of their place and time, so tied to the brief “new” wave of music that they spent several weeks in the Top 40 Wishing (They Had Taken A Better Photograph). Epitomized by their stupid hairdos and overuse of parentheses, AFoS were charter members of the Haircut 100, a group of New Romantic groups whose cross-country runs were immortalized in AFoS’ greatest hit, I Ran (a 10K for Charity).

As music progressed, bringing with it hair metal and ridiculous hairdos of a different kind, AFoS remained in a creative holding pattern, doomed (as with so many other bands) to fade into obscurity, only to be harshly marginalized by smartass “blogger personalities” such as myself.

Godspeed, Seagulls. And take these fucking things with you: ( )

-CLT

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And Now a Quick Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

September 21, 2009

IMG_8790_wp

Happy 3rd birthday, stud. That’s my youngest up above, doing his impression of Macaulay Culkin’s career. There are more photos over at Tetra Master.

I wish I had a ton of wisdom to impart to you but a.) someone has already beaten me to it and b.) I mainly play the class clown on the internet.

I am certain of very few things in life, but here are a few:

1. I will always be happy you’re a part of my life.
2. No matter how brief the glimpses are, I always get a thrill from seeing the world through a child’s eyes.
3. You are going to be trouble. Someone who is 2-going-on-3 shouldn’t be working so many angles.
4. Listen to music. Read. A lot. Get a hobby. Follow what interests you, no matter how unpopular.

Some advice:

Don’t hate irrationally. Racism, sexism, etc. is for cowards.
If you need a large group to hate, take aim at the politicians. You’ll just be returning the favor. They have contempt for the public, whom they feel are too stupid to live their lives without a million rules and too ignorant to properly spend their money.

Think before acting.
This sounds like a cliche, but if you find yourself rationalizing a lot of your actions, you’re doing the wrong things. Make good decisions. Act with confidence.

Use slang judiciously.
Either use very sparingly, so it’s a refreshing surprise; or use it completely out of context.

Love your brother and sister.
At times they may be the only friends you have. And at some point, you may have to borrow money from them.

Listen to your mom.
You can safely ignore about half of what I say. Just choose the right half. Don’t do this to your mom. She’s done all the hard parenting and she actually knows what she’s talking about.

Raise the bar.
Find out what others expect of you and exceed it. Aim higher. It’s not so much about impressing them as it is about staying hungry. Complacency is a monster. The greatest danger to your potential is the limits placed by others.

A general note about school:
School is important, but for all the wrong reasons. It preps you for an 8-hour workday. It teaches you that it’s easier to punish everybody than it is to hold people responsible for their own actions. It shows you how easily the system can be “gamed.” It shows you the futility of throwing good money after bad. It makes you aware of how dangerous it can be to voice your opinions. It teaches you how to stand in line. It sands the corners off square pegs so they can fit in round holes. It shows you how to run with the pack.

This will be the toughest place to retain your individuality. Take only what is important from the experience. Fight it. We’ve got your back.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 15

September 20, 2009

Speaking of big numbers… Here’s number 15 in another, more regular series. Every Sunday (except for that one Sunday a couple of months back) the best music available becomes even more available (like your sister at a wedding reception) at Fancy Plans. Previous hot mp-on-3 action can be found in the self-explanatorily named Heavy Rotation Archives.

Nevermind the parentheses. Here comes the music:

Slowdive

Slowdive – When the Sun Hits
Padding softly onto the music scene in the early ’90’s, Slowdive dropped into the shoegazing scene with the amazing dreampop album Souvlaki. I can wholeheartedly recommend about 80% of the album, and this blissful blast of lushness is one of the highlights.

 

crocodiles

Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill
Out of San Diego by way of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Crocodiles pile a lot of influences into one shit-hot track. Echoes of the best late-80’s alterna-rock echo within the 4-1/2 minute running time (think Echo & the Bunnymen, Love & Rockets, Ride). Awesome stuff.

 

evilnine8

Evil Nine – Crooked
Back when breakbeats were the “next big thing,” the Evil Nine were due to be one of the “next biggest.” Spicing up their breakbeats with live drumming and, in this case, live rapping, the Evil Nine dropped this single as their letter of intent (addressed to Fucking Shit Up University). It bangs along nicely and the wordplay of Aesop Rock adds rather than subtracts, which is a really refreshing change from most electronic artist guest shots. The video is a lot of fun, too.

 

My+Life+with+the+Thrill+Kill+Kult

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult – A Daisy Chain 4 Satan
The world’s first Satanic dance group, the TKK were always a band in search of a movie. Originally formed to make a movie, they got all caught up in the soundtrack and ended up in the studio all high on life and banged out this dance-floor monster.

Featuring a bassline as big as the outdoors and three times as funky, the Kult dispenses with verse-chorus-verse bullshit, preferring some tasty samples about drug use and a little restrained howling from frontmouth Groovie Mann. (Yeah. I know.) Fun for all ages above 18 (17 Canadian).

 

mbv

My Bloody Valentine – Soon
Another beautiful shoegaze track to properly bookend this week’s Heavy Rotation. Perhaps the most straightforward track on the godlike Loveless, Soon features an unlikely dance beat, buried vocals and multiple layers of so-called “glide guitar” from noted insane man, Kevin Shields.

The last beats and chords from an album that killed a label. But what an epitaph. Highly recommended.

All files in one kickass little folder (link opens in new window):
Heavy Rotation 15

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its 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.]

-CLT