Archive for October 25th, 2009

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 20

October 25, 2009

Twenty. There’s a nice round number. Well, not so much the first number but the last is nicely rounded, all curvy and ovoid, just like man’s first attempt at the wheel. They reasoned that it should be as strong as an egg and twice as large. Years later, someone discovered the “o” and history was made.

If you’d like to make a little history with us, please feel free to click away at the links below, which will trigger some ridiculously good tunes in semi-video form and possibly (if you click the southernmost link) a treasure trove of ridiculously good tunes for your very own computer, like a home version of the game you just played.

The previous 19 are here: the Heavy Rotation Archives

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Switches – Drama Queen
Simply put, the kind of song that makes you want to head down to the bar, pound back several ounces of booze and get in a fight. Straight ahead buzzsaw powerpop with plenty of swaggering and sneering from all involved, all wrapped up in a catchy-as-fuck tune with some unabashed backup vox woo’s.

Load up the drugs we’ll let the demons come in
Bring all the kids they won’t know where to begin
Shoot ’em a line they’ll lock you up in the pen
If you’re rating my life give it ten

 

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Robyn Hitchcock – Sleeping with Your Devil Mask
One of my favorite all-time tracks from my favorite absurdist. Although his music can sometimes be a hard sell because of his overall weirdness, this track in particular couldn’t get any catchier, and the lyrics couldn’t get much weirder.

As to what he’s on about? Who knows. Could be a dark, bitter relationship song. Could be a fatalistic parable of the ultimate death of us all. Could be a headful of acid committed to paper (and then instruments, I suppose). It could just be the sort of thing that drives certain people to yell inappropriately during Robyn’s occasional solo acoustic sets. Whatever it is, it’s worth listening to several hundred times.

It’s all compulsion, there’s no choice
My mother’s second name is Joyce
And once when she was very young
She saw a cellist being hung
Thirteen men with long black heads
All came and stood around her bed
And when the morning light came in
She saw their heads had all caved in
Their rotting brains fell to the floor
And crawled away towards the door

Sleeping with your Devil mask
Is all I wanna do
And when I stop it means
I’m through with you
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah

 

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HEALTH – Die Slow
From out of L.A. and sounding like m83 with Holy Fuck’s rhythm section (such as it were) and the Killing Joke’s guitars, HEALTH combine the airy, subdued vocals of a million shoegazer bands with the guitar/drum attack of Broken-era Nine Inch Nails (but running about half-speed). While the drums beat you into submission, the vocals and synth lines float above the fray, as if immune to the chaos underpinning them.

 

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A Place to Bury Strangers – Deadbeat
One of my all-time favorite bands despite having only been around since 2006. Picking up the shattered amps and eardrums of the Jesus and Mary Chain, New York’s “loudest band” is all about returning feedback to its rightful place as “lead guitar.” This particular track opens with a very Cramps-like intro before plunging neck deep into swirling drones and piercing feedback, all the while being shoved forward by the rhythm section like G20 protesters in front of a SWAT team.

Oliver Ackerman’s laconic vocals seal the deal, with his futile question to a heartbreaking lover: “What? What the fuck? Don’t mess with my heart.”

 

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Fuck Buttons – Olympians
Fuck. Yes. The Fuck Buttons return triumphantly with a new album, Tarot Sport. Building on their psychedelic and psychotic drums and distortion of their debut, the Buttons add some shimmering synths and build a more expansive and melodic groove from the claustrophobic psych-noise of Street Horrrsing.

The lead single is Surf Solar, which is incredible and the most immediately striking track on the album. But Olympians has been the grower, echoing back to their previous work (especially Sweet Love for Planet Earth). It builds from nearly nothing, just a fuzzed-out synth before the drums come rolling in. As you begin to feel that yes, this is nice and pounding but could get a little tiring after 4 or 5 minutes, the boys bring in an organ. As these tones begin to intertwine with the groove, some gorgeous synth pads pop up out of nowhere, like shafts of unexpected sunlight on a dark, cloudy day.

And then the distortion returns, calming our fears that the Fuck Buttons had gone all soft and synthy on us. The kind of cripplingly beautiful epic that comes around too rarely.

All mp3’s in a tightly-wound, emotional wreck of a zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 20

-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 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.]
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