Archive for November, 2009


Heavy Rotation Vol. 25: CLT Goes to Outer Space Edition

November 29, 2009

Space Rock.

This is one of my love/hate genres (along with electro) because the tendencies of its performers is to accentuate the aggravating traits. In the case of space rock, this means bypassing the lyrical content and swooshing guitars in favor of some 18-minute rundown of the last D&D session over a flute and dulcimer digression.

When it works, it nears the worlds-away sound and escape-velocity transcendence the creators were aiming for. Hawkwind spends a lot of its time divided between the two, mainly depending on which revolving cast member was helming the songwriting.

Chrome/Helios Creed can be fun, as they eschew the 8 and 9-minute epics for 3-5 minute speed runs through waves of distortion. Of course, they also spend too much time dicking around with malfunctioning reel-to-reels making scary noises and stoner in-jokes.

And so it goes with the remaining genre practitioners. You take the good, you take the bad, etc. Monster Magnet, Pressurehed, Nik Turner’s solo work, Dinowalrus, etc. There are some bands out there that grab a small portion of the “space rock” dynamic and run with it. You’ll find hints of it in Holy Fuck, Muse, A Place to Bury Strangers, Lightning Bolt, the Fuck Buttons and Spiritualized.

But enough about me… Here’s the fucking music.

Previous volumes (with shorter intros here):
Heavy Rotation Archives

That Fucking Tank – Stephen Hawkwind
“Tell me only the good things you remember about… Space Rock.”

This is what Leeds duo That Fucking Tank does. Trimming all the excessive prog and psychedelia fat off the bone and reaching cruising altitude in mere moments. Just a guitar and a drum set surging skyward, bringing to mind everything anyone loved about Hawkwind, Chrome, Monster Magnet or even Kyuss, without the attendant wankery and occasional flute solo.

Hawkwind – Spirit of the Age
Speaking of Hawkwind… The godfathers of the space rock genre. Formed in the late ’60’s by flautist (you read that right) Nik Turner and featuring the lyrical and instrumental input of Lemmy Kilmeister (Motorhead), Hawkwind was the embodiment of all things space rock.

Conjuring up visions of time travel, alien abduction, wormholes and intergalactic travel, Nik Turner and co. engaged the imagination of a million forward-thinking hippies, who wouldn’t look out of place at a Dead show except for their excessive use of tin foil and amphetamines.

In this particular track, Hawkwind addresses the effects of cloning and cryogenic sleep on the average long-distance relationship.

I would’ve liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let’s see you’d be about 60 now, and long dead by the time I return to earth
My time-held dreams were full of you as you were when I left, still underage
Your android replica is playing up again it’s no joke
When she comes she moans another’s name
But that’s the spirit of the age, that’s the spirit of tha age

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brother’s voice
And there’s no choice between us
If you had ever seen us you’d rejoice in your uniqueness
And consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen
Has just been written by another twenty telepathic men
Word for word it says:
“Oh, for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen”.

Alien Sex Fiend – Silver Machine
One of my all-time favorites with a stripped-down but incredibly effective cover of a Hawkwind classic. ASF spent a lot of time moping around with the goths in London’s Batcave scene, but they were always too, I don’t know, “madcap” to wander the darkened streets pondering the futility of existence.

They loved the Cramps and took a bit of their twisted humor, added a few pounds of pancake makeup and some deadly flashpots and called it their own. Call them “goth” if you must, but keep in mind they have praised various parts of women’s anatomy and the occasional fast car in song, which just doesn’t mesh.

Here they grab ahold of a space rock classic and send it soaring, all driving bass, searing guitars and some loverly echoey vocals, courtesy of Nik Fiend and his partner in crime/life, Mrs. Fiend (who adds some electronic wizardry of her own).

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Get Ready to Fly
Previous Heavy Rotation favorites BTWS return with a low-key take on Pressurehed’s Silver Bird.

Pressurehed were a short-lived L.A. industrial space-rock band that put out three killer albums before splintering into a million shards of noise, resurfacing as Anubian Lights Destiny (featuring Nik Turner and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, among others). They were always more Chrome than Hawkwind, with their layers of blistering, howling guitars and tape loop experiments. But this isn’t about them, although they may get their moment in the reflected glory of Heavy Rotation later.

This is about Erol Alkan and his studio wizardry, which turns the superheated guitars of the original into a shimmering psychedelic journey, without all the usual pointless “jamming.”

Spacemen 3 – Big City (Erol Alkan Mix)
Speaking of Erol Alkan… Mr. Alkan puts his hands all over drone-rock antagonists’ Spacemen 3’s ode to Suicide. While the original version dwelled on repetition and post-punk antagonism, the remix gently coaxes something approaching transcendence from the drones and reverb, proving that not every meditation on a single chord needs to be disorienting and strobelit.

All files in one fully-contained zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 25
(link opens in new window)


[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 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.]

Heavy Rotation Vol. 24 – Awful Travelling Metaphor Edition

November 22, 2009

Prepare to take a journey through sound. We have many (well, five) destinations picked out for you today. This musical tour will take you to places unexpected. There is no unifying theme and your proxy-DJ grabbed these at random, or so it would appear.

So grab your bags and your Adderall and climb aboard. Your bags go in the overhead compartments or wedged under the jackass in front of you. Go ahead and toss that Adderall all over the tarmac. Where we’re going you won’t need an attention span.

Previous versions available here:
Heavy Rotation Archives

Mighty Dub Katz – Keep On Truckin’ (Streetlife DJs Remix)
Yet another face of the prolific Fatboy Slim. This single was originally released in 1995, but was plucked from the back catalog and given a huge rerub by the Streetlife DJs. Retaining the silky smooth DJ chatter (“Your funky DJ… in touch with your needs…“) and all of the original funk, Streelife adds some chopped up samples, punched up bass and some noisy retro videogame sounds. Included in both the original and remixed forms below.

This…is…soul. Keep on truckin’.


Original version:

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Bubble Burst
Interesting stuff, this. Erol Alkan, a well-known DJ and remixer, joins forces with Richard Norris (former label owner and NME writer) to make some vintage-sounding psychedelia. Unexpected to say the least, but also very, very good.

This track runs some 60’s garage-rock guitars over a rolling Balearic beat, which is topped off with vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place two sections over in the “R&B” section, right next to Ray Charles and James Brown. All the stuff that shouldn’t work together sounds so good you’re left wondering why nobody threw all this shit in the blender before.

Imperial Teen – Pig Latin
The best pop band to never sell a million albums. Imperial Teen was founded by Roddy Bottum, who formerly keyboarded with Faith No More. No one makes a better 3 minute song. Catchy as fuck, layered with attitude and never afraid to let their psychosexual tensions take the reins, Imperial Teen are what we in the musical matchmaking business call a “keeper.”

This is one of their more downtempo tracks, dealing with the whole “relationship” thing.

I don’t mind looking at you
Your hair sticks straight up well
This spray can is my favorite
Vonnegut to William Hell
I don’t want to be happy
I want to mess around
But these drugs have made me sappy
I do love feeling down

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids
Does what it says on the tin, to the confusion of nearly everybody. Recorded live in 1971 for Radio Bremen, this audio anomaly features the icy keyboard automatons taking a noisy stab at making metal for the masses.

Using only their Teutonic attitudes and a shitload of electronics, the Werkers kraft (see what I did there?) a metal dirge worthy of Black Sabbath’s formative years. It takes about 1:30 before the groove kicks in, so stick around. The whole experience contains high levels of WTFness, so consider yourself warned. Oh, and also look out for the tempo shift around 4:30, which takes it all to another level. Headbanging for the pocket calculator set.

Yo La Tengo – Here to Fall
Yo La Tengo’s back and they brought their heartbreaking sagas, incredible songcrafting skills and some strings with them. First of all, this is no weeper. It’s actually a pretty straightforward rocker, utilizing a large amount of fuzzed-up, wah’ed-up guitar. It’s the string stabs that really bring the noise, accenting the guitar and playing off the piano’s contribution. It all sounds so amazing and yet so familiar, thanks to the strings which are just begging to be attributed to some novelty single from the late ’70s.

Don’t ask me why this all works so well. It’s just Yo La Fucking Tengo. It’s what they do.

All files zipped into one cacophonous folder:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 24
(link opens in new window)


[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 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.]

The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Vol. 3

November 20, 2009

It’s time for Volume 3 of the prestigious and greatly overrated Fancy Plans’ Biblical remixing series. In this edition, we tackle a passage from the book of Joshua (chapter 5 to be exact) in which we find that being the leader of the nomadic Jews wasn’t all about laying siege to Jericho, but it was also about the tedious detail of running a well-organized tribe. It involves knives and other unmentionables.

Previously on The Bible:Fancy Plans’ Edition:
Vol. 1 – Revelations 22
Vol. 2 – Leviticus 5

A victorious Joshua claims Jericho for his people, setting them up for a lifetime of near-constant circumcisions.

Joshua 5

1 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. They cried to the LORD, what the fuck, dude? Our water is gone and our hearts are melted. Morale is like, way low. The last pep rally sucked. Harsh.

2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. And next time, measure first. It’ll save you a whole lot of trouble.

3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. This is down by Jerry’s place. The guy who has the sign posted in his yard and the windowless van.

4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. And nothing turns boys to men faster than a good old-fashioned wiener chopping. Be sure and chop one high and tight, because you can’t sing “The End of the Road” without an alto.

5 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. And Joshua said, really, what the fuck? How many people are here total? Because I had taken the earlier number to mean that I was done with the “unpleasantness,” but now it’s a regular bris-a-thon.

6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD. They all had their reasons, mainly that it had been four decades without being able to sign anything more than a month-to-month lease. Oh, and all the dick chopping. Unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey, which is all well and good, I suppose. But it does seem a little weak in return to forty years of aimless wandering and crotchal knifings.

7 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. And Joshua complained, For the love of LORD, can a day go by without me having to get all stabby in people’s crotches? I mean, I love the work but a day off now and then would be fantastic. It’s been forty years of this and I can’t even throw hot dogs on the grill without wanting to head to the back to the tent and decapitate myself.

Joshua, fresh from a "double-header," charges into battle. Not pictured: Foreskin Hill.

8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. Well, mostly whole. They were missing a little foreskin but everyone was free to head up to Foreskin Hill and grab one. Just steer clear of Jerry.

9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. And Joshua stared at his knives and said, “Whatever.”

10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. Because you just can’t be Jewish without Passover. Or circumcision. Bi-weekly Passovers and near-constant circumcisions.

11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And thus began the tradition of brunch, which was used to get rid of last night’s leftovers at a “reasonable” price.

12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. Goodbye, manna. Hello, old corn. Could things get any better? (No. Hey, get that knife away from me! I’m grandfathered in!)

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? Or are you one of the members of the twice-circumcised club? Heehee. “Member.”

14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?

15 And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. And hurled it at the captain, swearing vengeance for forty long years of nomadic existence, crappy food and endless foreskinning.



The Stabbing Knife Vol. 3: Steve Dahl

November 18, 2009

Roberto prepares to "cut a bitch," Chicago-style.

The Stabbing Knife is back after a brief resting period. [Wait for applause to die down.]

We’ve stabbed before here on Fancy Pants. Here’s a very brief list of the previous victims, whose asinine remarks made their stab wounds mainly self-inflicted:
Garth Brooks

Things must have been going too well. All was quiet and rather orderly until this jackass decided to take his frustration with his dwindling career options to take a shit on the entire Internet.

Ladies and gentleman: Steve Dahl, noted radio personality and columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Steve Dahl: all the fun of NA beer with twice the water retention.

So what’s his problem?

Apparently, he hates the fact that due to Twitter, blogs and comment threads, ordinary people are allowed to voice their opinion.

“These days, a person only needs a computer to spew opinion across a variety of platforms. Healthy doses of outrage and narcissism are also helpful.”

This is unfair to Steve, although it is difficult to tell why. He doesn’t hold a degree in journalism as one would expect, based on the self-righteous bullshit he’s spewing. Let’s read a little further and see what entitles him to his opinion but not us to ours:

“Don’t get me wrong. I am also an outraged narcissist, but I had to work six-hour shifts in Bakersfield, Calif., to earn my stripes as a communicator.”

Holy fucking shit! Six hours! The man’s an animal!

How does he do it?

Who here works more than 6 hours a day? Yeah, that’s pretty much everybody. However, since you don’t work in the hallowed halls of a dying format like radio or newspapers, your opinion means fuck-all.

He goes on to insert his massive foot farther into his massive mouth by calling CNN out for reading viewer Tweets:

“Nowadays, having a Twitter page qualifies a person to give commentary on CNN. I am not interested in the take of @stinky on the Fort Hood shootings or any other current events. I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion.”

So, boneheads: how’s that feel? A dinosaur of the cable news industry is recognizing the shifting playing field and trying to connect with their viewers. Sure, not every opinion is going to be mind-blowing gold, but at least they’re trying. As compared to Stevie here, whose sense of entitlement is currently going at his brain like an enraged tumor and devouring anything useful.

Steve’s not content to stop there. Here’s a swing at Facebook:

“With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and texting, now almost any fool can set up his or her broadcast hub.”

You hear that, fools? Your own broadcast hub! It’ll be like the heyday of pirate radio, only staffed with fools and boneheads!

This seems way, way more than hypocritical from a guy who admits to using Facebook and Twitter nearly constantly.

And, of course, he used it to send out photos of bikini-clad women whose pictures were taken unknowingly.

“I even started including bikini shots via Twitpic with my Tweets.”

Oh, and he has a blog.

For someone so connected with his readers, he sure knows how to marginalize them all in just a few paragraphs. This is why your average Internet user hates your average journalist. They all consider themselves to be better and more informed than the readers they cater to. But now there are too many options and rather than try to connect, they condescend.

Unfortunately, no one has any pity for all these small fish in a rapidly draining pond. No matter how much they splash around like big fish, they’ll still fit down the drain.

This is America, land of the running mouth. We all have opinions and we all like to state our case. For those who think a degree or a certain line of employment makes yours the only opinion that counts, prepare for a short lifespan of soul-sucking disappointment.

Your field has already been marginalized by the Internet, and all you can think to do is pour gasoline on your death pyre.

Of course, great thinking and open-mindedness is not to be expected from the “DJ-personality” who presided over one of the most celebrated public displays of racism and homophobia ever: Disco Demolition Night.

Well, it's no "God Hates Fags" but it does have a kickass lightning-y font...

So long, asshat. Enjoy the brief spike in readers from your troll-baiting bullshit.

From the blogosphere’s black heart, I stab at thee.



Heavy Rotation Vol. 23

November 15, 2009

No particular theme here today other than the usual theme of shit-hot music with earworming characteristics. Some bouncier tunes than usual, but it’s probably just water weight. Enjoy.

Previous volumes here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives


Sunny Day Sets Fire – Brainless (Baron Von Luxxury Remix)
These London indie-poppers weigh in with an extremely contagious tune whose contagion level is only made worse by the mysterious Baron Von Luxxury’s production work. Flanging the hell out of the vocals is always a nice touch as is the dirtied-up synth work. Recommended for all tomorrow’s parties (and that includes today’s).


Black Hollies – Gloomy Monday Morning
Sounding like they escaped from someone’s garage in the mid-60’s with Phil Spector in tow, the Black Hollies throwback sound evokes a simpler time when drug busts only happened to bikers and truckers. This track takes an enjoyable spin around the “corner of 39,” scattering echoing, spacious drums and gorgeous harmonies all over the place.

Never in a million years would anyone believe something this good has come out of New Jersey. Believe it.

human people

Human People – I’d Run Just Like You (Demo)
I think I’ve featured them before on the Heavy Rotation but what the hell, let’s do it again. Everything you’ve always loved about synthpop jam-packed into a 2 minute exercise in icy, new wave brilliance. Like Gary Numan with a beating heart.


Groove Armada – Warsaw
Holy shit. What happened here?

These guys used to watch everyone shaking their ass (I See You, Baby) or lying around soaking up salty air on the sand dunes (At the River). They’ve spent a majority of their career entertaining the slower tempoed side of house. Now, without any warning, they have decided to slash your tires and set your lawn on fire, musically speaking. This rocks harder than it has any right to, given the pedigree. Enjoy.


Divide & Kreate – Little Bitch (Britney Spears vs. Death From Above 1979)
Nothing like a great mashup to wrap up the day. Divide & Kreate add Britney Spear’s winsome bitching to the thunderous drum and bass combination of Death From Above 1979 to create the most kickass track Britney Spears never released. If someone can make Ms. Spears bearable, D&K can. They can most likely put a man on the moon as well.

All files in one easy-to-download zip file:

Heavy Rotation Vol. 23


[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 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.]

The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 4 – The 20th Century and Beyond

November 14, 2009
Harvard Football

Harvard's football team cherishes its proud recruiting tradition of "taking whoever they can get."

Welcome to the last installment of the Fancy Plans mini-series Presidents of Harvard. As we roll through the 20th century and into the 21st, we continue to wish Harvard the best of luck in all their endeavors, such as cranking out spoiled children with Presidential aspirations and paying lip service to any sport that doesn’t involve a coxswain.

Previous volumes here:
Vol. 1 – The First One Hundred Years
Vol. 2 – The Next Volume
Vol. 3 – The One Before This One

As the turn of the century brought about exciting new changes, Harvard remained steadfast in its refusal to change with the times. Voting women, legal alcohol, smallpox vaccines; whatever it was, the proud Crimson wanted no part of it. The men of Harvard soldiered on, heads and hearts sworn to years past, dying of smallpox left and right.

22. Abbott Lawrence Lowell 1909-1933
As America’s fascination was captured by the “motorcar,” Abbott Lowell took to the halls of Harvard to protest this modern achievement by highlighting the dwindling fortunes of blacksmiths, horseshoe manufacturers and marketers of carriages and buggies. Taking his fight all the way to the halls of Congress, Lowell testified in front of a House Subcommittee with a carefully prepared feltboard presentation that indicated the motorcar’s destructive force on the economy.

He was rebutted by various motorcar manufacturers and their union representatives. Several “rebuttings” occurred, each one more violent than the last. But none was more violent than the last, which hospitalized him for a period of 21 years, a stay that was increased by his frequent bouts with smallpox.

With Lowell out of the picture, the motorcar companies took to the streets in a noisy, smoky black celebration of machinery’s triumph over the common horse. They were joined by representatives from several leading glue factories, early adopters and local musicians Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Vince Clarke.

Lowell emerged from the hospital into the heart of the Great Depression, which led directly to his depression and several remarks of “What’s so fucking great about it?” He was asked to leave Harvard after three straight weeks of “mellow harshing.”

Affectionately known as “Bud.”

23. James Bryant Conant 1933-1953
Running an elitist school in the middle of the Great Depression was no easy task and J.B. Conant clearly wasn’t up for it. As admissions dwindled and various executives were forced to mortgage their third houses (especially those on St. Charles Place and Kentucky), Conant was frequently asked to come up with some sort of desperation plan to stem the hemorrhaging cash flow.

His first plan, “Passing the Hat,” was met with student riots, often composed of up to five extremely wealthy upperclassmen. His next plan, “Fee For All,” which added surcharges for such student services as “oxygen above the third floor” and “hot water on Tuesdays and Thursdays” was met with more rioting, completely contained in Alfie Moorehead’s dorm room.

By the time his last plan was enacted (1947), the nation has long since pulled out of the Depression and fought a major war. His final effort, titled “Admissions Are Up For Some Reason,” won him the attention of competing schools, who were dealing with dwindling student bodies.

Conant jumped ship to Rutgers for a lucrative two-year contract and spent his final months wildly vacillating on the retirement issue. After several stop-and-start sessions, Conant was finally put out of everyone’s misery by a back alley lobotomy performed by Harvard and Rutgers alumi in a rare display of cross-academic cooperation.

Affectionately known as “Senor Droolcup.”

24. Nathan Marsh Pusey 1953-1971
Already well past his prime (and burdened with an unfortunate surname) by the time he took office, Pusey was unprepared both mentally and physically for the upheaval his country was about to go through.

Other board members would often find themselves cornered at the local country club by an irate and bombed Pusey, who would rant about how “he didn’t get shot in the back by his own platoon in Iwo Jima just to see a bunch of scraggly potheads start rewriting the rule books.”

Pusey spent 19 long years being offended by everything, including (but not limited to) peace marches, bra-burning, the Symbionese Liberation Army, M*A*S*H* (the movie), M*A*S*H* (the TV show), the oddly exciting piano stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis, the oddly exciting marriage of Jerry Lee Lewis to his 13-year-old cousin, “that shirtless and godless Igward Pop,” public displays of affection and the unchecked rise of progressive rock.

Pusey responded to these perceived threats by shuttering his windows, tuning his wireless to the Paul Harvey Show and glaring thru slitted eyes (and shutters) at the “future of America,” most of whom were making love not war right out there on the lawn.

He spent his self-imposed exile penning angry letters to the editor and composing his 1,500-page screed against everything. He retired in 1971 to spend his twilight years as a self-appointed authority on the many wrongs perpetuated by today’s youth.

Affectionately known as “Don ‘Puppy’ Mills.”

25. Derek Bok 1971-1991
Already well past his prime, etc. but without quite as unfortunate a surname as his predecessor, Bok was throughly unprepared for the upheaval ahead of him, and indeed, his country.

Riding out the Vietnam Years as the head of “Draft Dodger U.,” Bok applied his expertise in the business field to found Harvard’s MBA program, which continues to produce overpaid executives to this day.

Having dodged a bullet with the Vietnam situation (along with a majority of his students), Bok made the first of several missteps when he took the position of Goodwill Ambassador to India for Union Carbide. Having survived this unfortunate event, Bok swiftly returned to Harvard’s angry mod-free halls only to be near-fatally wounded during the first inaugural “Jodie Foster Appreciation Day.”

Bok wisely decided to lay low during the rest of his term, often malingering at the local hospital with claims of “hypochondria” and “sucking chest wounds.” He retired in 1991, citing fears of a “coming upheaval in rock and roll, once which I am wholly unprepared to deal with,” adding “No wonder they call it ‘grunge.’ They can’t rightly call it music, can they?”

Affectionately known as “The Angel of Death.”

26. Neil L. Rudenstine 1991-2001
Following in a long line of privileged insiders, Rudenstine took the helm at Harvard during what was no doubt a tumultuous time. Neil made several overtures to his students in an effort to “rap” with them about their fears and doubts. These were rebuffed via the usual protests and riots, most notably the furor over the brief change in Harvard commencement gowns towards a more fashionable plaid.

Rudenstine spent many long hours and great deal of alumni donations attempting to win the hearts and minds of the student body with little to no success. Undeterred, he continued to spend money and ingratiate himself, which earned him the scorn of the student body and their parents.

Forced to rethink his efforts, Rudenstine tackled the problem head-on, utilizing market research and large quantities of booze. Using the “correlation=causation” theory, Rudenstine rationalized that most drunks are happy and a drunken student body would be a happy student body.

He was asked to step down when it became clear that a “drunken student body” more often equalled “paternity suits” or “violent police actions.” His final statement issued a final, drunken “fuck you” to both students and faculty alike, and closed with vaguely worded threats. He was last spotted plying the University of Kansas student body with grain alcohol and waiver forms.

Affectionately known as “Bob and.”

27. Lawrence H. Summers 2001-2006
Summers took the position of president in 2001, vowing to “stay indoors” and “lay low.” He followed through remarkably, showing up for the occasional commencement or formal dinner.

In addition to signing purchase orders and vacation requests, Summers took control of the most-under-control purchasing department. His even hand and temperament soon led to unchecked spending and the eventual dismissal of most of his staff for embezzlement.

His lesson learned, Summers attempted to take the hard-line against future abuses. He soon found his heart wasn’t in it. In fact, he soon found his heart wasn’t really in it for nearly any position or activity, and died of early-onset monotony during a long, uneventful drive to his summer home in the Hamptons. He expired behind the wheel and coasted to a quiet stop well within the lines of the shoulder, where he was found nearly immediately and buried during a small, but respectfully quiet ceremony.

Affectionately knowns as “The President, Whose Name Escapes Me.”



The Fancy Plans Emergency Room Survey

November 12, 2009

"Please plan your emergency accordingly."

Across the U.S., the Emergency Room has become the go-to service for anything from “lightheadedness” to compound fractures. As many, many people continue to use this as an Urgent Care center whose bills you can ignore, the list of ailments and injuries associated with E.R. visits has grown exponentially, from the expected (sucking chest wound) to the ridiculous (really painful hangnail).

This list is culled from the logs of emergency rooms across the nation, in an attempt to educate the public as to why their medical insurance no longer covers a trip to the E.R.

  • Kneecapping
  • Rectal insertion (animate)
  • Rectal insertion (inanimate)
  • Aqua Net poisoning
  • Explosive hypochondria
  • Sticker shock
  • Tricky dick
  • Grandmother’s taser wounds
  • Tasered by grandmother
  • “Accidental ingestion of pepper spray. In the eyes.”
  • “Trick knee acting up.”
  • Hooker’s gash
  • “Old rap battle wound acting up.”
  • Boredom
  • Complications from informal eating contest
  • Stubbed toe
  • Dislocation of self
  • “Overdosed on… um… life!”
  • Scurvy
  • Complications from botched bank robbery
  • Masturbator’s wrist
  • Axe Body Spray-related mauling
  • Soccer game (attendee)
  • Intestinal knocking
  • “Grill” repair
  • somnambulism
  • Vapor lock
  • Jodie Foster-related shooting
  • Scheduled internal organ balance and rotation
  • Broken heart (“Awwww… Clear!!!”)
  • Carradined
  • “Fell down a sack of doorknobs.”
  • Forgot safety word
  • “Fucked with bull. Got horns.”
  • “Recessive gene acting up.”
  • Insurance fraud
  • Teenager’s lament
  • Lonely
  • ‘Rhoid rage
  • Blog material
  • “Felt the need to be ignored/misdiagnosed.”
  • Blown mind
  • Irritable asshole syndrome
  • “Wasn’t actually ready for some football.”
  • Complete cyborg rebuild.
  • “Drew short straw.”
  • First-period period.
  • “Always thought rock beat scissors until I was stabbed with scissors.”
  • “Rock does beat scissors, especially when you get beaten with a rock. You should see the other guy! Oh. You are seeing the other guy.”
  • Combination of stab wounds, abrasions and paper cuts



An Internal Memo from Your Cable Company

November 10, 2009

"Those of you unable to receive email in this day and age, for god knows what reason, will receive your memo in 6-8 weeks via horseless carriage."

To our “valued” employees:

As you may know, the cable industry is going through some trying times. We have been unfairly maligned as callous abusers of customer goodwill and tools of the entertainment industry. We have dealt with unfounded complaints about “bandwidth throttling,” “usurious rates” and “piss-poor response times.”

In an effort to get the public back on our side again, we are going to implement some sweeping policy changes that will affect everyone from the corporate offices on down. Although we are including ourselves in this “improvement,” rest assured our yearly raises will still be in place and necessary cuts (and we believe there will be a lot of those) will be made further down the line.

The following is the list of policy changes that will be implemented immediately, and in the case of some of our lousier employees, retroactively:

Executive Level

  • Publish fewer photos of executives lying around on piles of $100 bills while being service by hookers. Also, blur out or remove any Congressmen that may be in said photos.
  • That delightful Rachel Ray should have her own channel. Look into this.
  • Make an effort to look extremely doleful when speaking about “government interference and deregulation,” even when it works out in our favor.

Customer Service

  • New tiers of Internet bandwidth usage are: Surprisingly Limited, Very Limited, Limited and Unlimited* (*Surprisingly Limited).
  • Change recorded message for incoming calls. It currently is: “For retaliation purposes, this call may be monitored by customer service goons.
  • Present a friendlier image at our service centers. Maybe some more flowers and shit in the waiting areas.
  • Smile when you put someone on indefinite hold. The person on the other line will be able to tell and be less enraged when finally connected.
  • While it is important to smile, try not to laugh or giggle when placing someone on hold.
  • Refunds are to be handed out before the Better Business Bureau gets involved.
  • More color and inspirational posters in customer service areas; fewer “Higher Cable Costs Are Your Fault” signs, unleashed pit bulls.
  • Customer service phone center personnel are now only allowed to impersonate two levels of management.
  • Explanatory notes for unexpected service charges need to be more detailed than, “Sorry, that was supposed to be hidden,” or “Because fuck you, that’s why.”

Field Personnel

  • All service and installation appointments to be handled within a fortnight of originally scheduled date.
  • Service technicians are to limit themselves to one (1) meal and one (1) two-hour (maximum) nap when in a customer’s home.
  • All technicians should take care to only disable one (1) computer per Internet install.
  • Company vehicles used to transports drugs, stolen goods or illegal immigrants must be returned cleaned, vacuumed and with a full tank of gas.
  • Vehicles used for kidnappings should be torched or dumped in the lake.

Thank you in advance for your close attention to these items.

The Executive Branch

(An additional note: Clicking “Reply All” to this email will result in immediate termination.)



Heavy Rotation Vol. 22

November 8, 2009

In honor of all the twos featured in the post title, here are three (!) sets of two songs that either complement each other or bookend the albums they appear on. I won’t ramble too much in the intro as I have plenty of rambling (and some damn fine tuneage) below.

Previous versions found here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives


Vitalic – See the Sea (Blue)/See the Sea (Red)
Vitalic’s latest album, Flashmob, features these two companion pieces, with both follow the same melody to very different conclusions.

Here’s what I love about Vitalic. He doesn’t fuck around. He’s an electro producer who’s been around since the early 2000’s. As one of the forerunners for the short-lived and over-hyped “electroclash” movement, Vitalic put in a little time making his name in that scene with the assistance of the “vocals” of Ms. Kitten.

Once everyone got tired of electro mixing with rock and dumping monotone monologues full of “shocking” subject matter (Drugs! Blowjobs!! Drugs and blowjobs!!!), the scene disintegrated into a million shiny shards. Most were trampled under the fleeting shoes of a million bandwagon-jumpers.

Vitalic stuck to his guns and his true calling: electro. Freed of the deadpan vocal schtick, Vitalic hit the bedroom studio and perfected his niche. His last two albums (including Flashmob) have been solid, with only a few misses. They also operate well as albums, a rarity in the mp3 world.

But here’s the key: he does it without pandering. He does it without attempting to court the mainstream with a ton of guest stars. He does it without attempting to broaden his spectrum by introducing change for the sake of change. He just cranks out track after track of amazing, confident electro.

Obviously this makes it a tougher sell than, say, “hard rock” or “old standards.” But if you’re good at what you do, why dilute it by flirting with the mainstream or other people who are never going to give a shit anyway?

See the Sea (Blue) starts slowly, building on some low-key synths and vocoded-into-thin-air vocals before tangling with a 303 in a nightclub parking lot.

See the Sea (Red) starts out bruising before suddenly dropping the bluster and showing its sensitive side.



front 242

Front 242 – Serial Killers Don’t Kill Their Girlfriend/Serial Killers Don’t Kill Their Boyfriend
Out of Belgium, which is close enough to Germany to fall under the “you can’t throw a rock in this part of Europe without hitting an industrial band.” Progressing from the chanting and martial beats of their earlier work, which often gave them the feel of a deeper Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 dropped two incredible albums in 1993: 06:21:03:11 Up Evil and 05:22:09:12 Off. (The numbers stand for letters…)

Off is their masterpiece. Full of stylistic experiments, sound collages and even occasional female vocals, Off transcends the “industrial” label. These twin tracks appear six songs apart on an album filled with variations on themes. The song Animal appears four times with the subtitles Cage, Gate, Guide and Zoo, while Modern Angels progresses from an aggro stomper (original) to pulsing techno (Happiness [More Angels]) before concluding the album with a hardcore raveup (Speed Angels).

If these songs are serial killers, Boyfriend is the swaggering misanthrope, heading down dark alleys, all knives and chains. Girlfriend is the shadow in the bushes and the creak on the stairs.

But you can leave
Your mother home
You know how much I like to be alone
And when I hear the sound of your voice
It leaves me no choice…




Jesus and Mary Chain – Reverence/Frequency
Taken from the Chain’s last good album (Honey’s Dead), these track echo each other and actually bookend the album, with Reverence (and its attendant blasphemy) setting the tone and Frequency providing a coda in half the time with all the blasphemy and a set of chords (and a refrain) jacked from Greg Kihn’s Roadrunner.

I wanna die just like Jesus Christ
I wanna die on a bed of spikes
I wanna die just like Jesus Christ
With the radio on



For comparison:

All files loaded into an Archive, two-by-two:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 22
(link opens in new window)


[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 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.]

Upcoming Sequels

November 6, 2009

If there’s anything Hollywood loves more than counting money and pandering to demographic groups, it’s pandering to a known demographic by cranking out a sequel. Here’s what the major studios are reheating for us in the upcoming months.

val kilmer

For the sequel, Kilmer has asked for "better hair;" "more expressive mask."

Heat 2: The Robbening
With most of the principal characters dead, the sequel focuses on Val Kilmer’s character, who was last seen ditching his wife and daughter for a life of not going to prison for several years. Al Pacino is back, obsessed with hunting down the “one that got away.”

Directing duties have been passed on to Lars Van Trier, whose unconventional filmmaking and confrontational style saw Val Kilmer participate in some improvised (and often, completely nude) bank robberies, for which he is currently serving 20 years at Lompoc Correctional Facility.

Lars Von Triers hails it as “provocative, dangerous cinema.”

Costner considers "better hair;" laying groundwork for "Expression C."

Kevin Costner briefly considers "better hair;" first attempts at planned "Expression C."

They Still Call Me “Dances with Wolves”
After a nearly 20-year stretch of failed vanity projects and forgettable roles, Kevin Costner returns to the welcoming arms of his most successful vanity project. He reprises his role as Dances With Wolves, the sole enlightened white man in existence.

The story follows his purchase of a failing business in South Dakota and his unflinching battle with decades old anti-gambling laws. Costner grants himself ample screen time to explore his character, including several topical monologues which recall Steven Segal’s triumphant work in On Deadly Ground. Written and directed by Kevin Costner. Additional screenplay work by Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas.

Time Magazine calls it “a triumphant retread, full of Costnerian hubris.”


Carrie Fisher's requests for "better hair;" "non-related love interest" vetoed by George Lucas. He did, however, turn her character lesbian.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Twilight of the Revolution
Picking up where episode six left off (and skipping two more episodes, presumably to be retconned in later), with the Death Star destroyed (again) and the Empire defeated, Episode 9 rejoins the characters as they live out their remaining years.

  • Watch Han Solo makes an embarrassment of himself in an Aldreraan retirement community, as his randy exploits never manage to make the ladies forget that he shoots first.
  • Chewbacca returns to his home planet, only to be set upon and dismembered by his own species, who react violently to the alien smell of “human” on him.
  • Luke Skywalker is faced with the realization that the rebellion never had a solid severance package in place and is forced to perform Jedi “magic” at birthday parties and bar mitzvahs to make ends meet.
  • Leia never gets over being unable to conceive and spends her remaining years banging random helmet-wearing freaks in an effort to confront her “Daddy” issues.
  • Lando finds himself profiled into a 10-year sentence for a liquor store holdup.
  • R2-D2 and C-3PO are finally married after leaving Tatooine’s restrictive political climate for the relatively more relaxed Endor. Things end badly for the married couple when C-3PO catches R2-D2 fellating (?) a power washer.
  • On a brighter note, Jar Jar Binks is also dismembered due to his “human” smell shortly after the opening credits.

FOX-TV says “full of Lucas’ patented heart and razor-sharp dialog.” CBS-TV says “Big Chill meets On Golden Pond in a fanboy’s basement.”


Cameron offers to trade three Oscars for "better hair;" "artistic merit."

Titanic 2: The King of the World
James Cameron returns to the icy, money-choked waters of his greatest success, Titanic. Borrowing liberally from Clive Cussler’s Raise the Titanic (and being sued in the process) and his own dementia, Cameron presents the story of an eccentric billionaire who wishes to prove that the Titanic, with the proper level of sobriety and nude paintings, could have made that voyage successfully.

Cameron freely admits that the main character (Jim Camber) is loosely based on himself. Camber’s abrasive ego and Scrooge McDuck-esque piles of money soon find him several thousand feet below the surface, raising the Titanic for another maiden voyage.

Camber raises the Titanic and follows the fateful route. Tragedy strikes when the drunken Irish stowaways manage to rip through the hulls during an out-of-control party/car bombing. Ironically (or not), the Titanic returns to the depths at nearly the same spot as the original catastrophe.

James Cameron tops his last outing by using a combination of green screen and depression sufferers to simulate the sinking ship’s last moments. Viewers will be unable to escape the haunting images of the many extras clinging to the nearly vertical deck for life, which suddenly seems bright and livable when cold, icy death is staring you in the face. Listen closely for screams of “Fuck you, James!” and “For the love of God, where are the stuntmen?”

Entertainment Weekly calls it “a tour de force of cinéma vérité, proving just how many lives Cameron is willing to sacrifice for artless commerce (883, at last count).”