Archive for November, 2009

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The Bible: Fancy Plans’ Edition Vol. 2

November 4, 2009
Leviticus

Due to the atonement rush, burnt offering scalpers are rolling in shekels.

As you may recall, our first edition of the Fancy Plans’ Bible dealt with the final chapter of the final book of the Bible. It was all doomsday and J-Dog/Dawg. Oh, and there was a fine Crystal Pepsi reference about 12 words into it, so that was pretty awesome. (If you don’t remember, click here for Volume One.)

For this week’s selection in heretical re-writing, we’re flipping way back to the third book of the Bible, wherein we find God handing out rules left and right. Apparently the flood didn’t straighten everything out and the Man himself feels it’s time to lay down a few hundred guidelines.

The Ten Commandments is pretty far behind us at this point, but with only 10 of them, some gray areas and loopholes are now being closed by the legal team of Yaweh & Bernstein. Let’s join today’s pre-judgement already in progress…

Leviticus 5

1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and says, “Good lord! Is that my kid?” and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it, we really don’t care. Circumstantial evidence is cool with us, because nothing says Friday afternoon like blood running off an altar. If he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity, like an iniquitous monkey of his back, for a length of time to be determined at sentencing.

2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcass of an unclean beast, or a carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, or your mom’s underwear drawer, or that corpse floating in the drainage ditch and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty, and possibly contagious.

3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. And he shall show us on this doll where the uncleanness was touched and for how long and with a whole lot of detail.

4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him. In fact, it’s kind of a crap shoot. Remember when we had ten commandments that were pretty cut and dried? Those days are over, bitches. Prepare to have the fuck judged out of you with a shifting set of rules not unlike that drinking game we played earlier this morning. When he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. Probably “Failure to alphabetize goats by sundown on every third Tuesday.”

5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing. We’ll hear the phrase “I’m guilty of ‘that thing'” a lot, because nothing here is set in stone (well, except for the Ten Commandments). This is all a work in progress. A punishable-by-death work in progress.

6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin, by touching the goat in the “uncleanness.” Repeatedly.

7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. Better make it three. These ceremonies are time-consuming and we could always throw one on the Foreman altar. Chips and soft drinks will be provided by the priest, if not otherwise detained with goat-touching duties.

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Spying his mom in the line outside, the high priest works quickly to cover up the pot smell.

8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder. Now, we will want to go back and re-word this as news has reached us of a rash of self-inflicted near-decapitations. To clarify: the priest (x) shall wring the head, almost but not completely, from the body of the offering (y).

9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. Keep in mind that during Mardi Gras and following Christmas/New Year’s Eve office parties, the blood will be running about calf deep. Oh, and bring a calf. You may not remember the three-way in the supply closet, but Ms. Dalton and the toner cartridge sure do.

10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. (Note: forgiveness does not come with a lifetime release of guilt or guilty feelings. Keep your receipt. And drink heavily.)

11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. You got that, tightwad? All you need to bring is a tenth of whatever the hell that is. A handful, I guess. And don’t be spicing it up either. The last guy tossed a ton of rosemary in it and a little goes a very long way.

12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering. By the way, today’s topic is: The Sin Offering: The 1,001 Do’s and Don’ts of Sin Offerings.

13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering. And thus began the great tradition of priests inappropriately touching “sin” and abusing “meat” offerings.

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From ad on Craigslist: "... middle item does have unfortunate 'bug," in which it peels the faces off of non-Christians who look inside of it. No refunds."

14 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

15 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering. Don’t be bringing us those ugly-ass pimpled rams. You know we hate those and everyone of you has tried to ditch these awkward, nerdy rams with us over the past couple of years. And it bears repeating: nothing says atonement like handfuls of cash. You just cannot go wrong there. That would be about the only place that “thou” cannot go wrong.

16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him. And the priest will make the same joke about whether or not the ram has a “hemi” in it, and you’ll force out a laugh that says you’ve never heard that before, good one, which you had better do, because at this point you’re on his turf.

17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity. This has been left deliberately vague as a catch-all for anything we may overlook. Like “public nuisance.” Or “being black.”

18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. Once in awhile, everything will work out. And if I may subtly hint again, shekels, my brothers. Shekels make the flat world go round.

19 It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD. You see those caps? That means we’re serious.

-CLT

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The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 3 – Wrapping Up the Nineteenth Century

November 2, 2009
Harvard continues to exclude outsiders through their use of a made-up language.

Harvard continues to keep information from outsiders through their proprietary made-up language.

This volume (3, for those keeping score) takes us through the last half of a tumultuous century, which saw a civil war, the rise of the railroad, the advent of opium addiction, the blaming of said railroad workers, the “railroading” of said opium-addicted railroad workers, various land grabs, tangles with Spain and Little Spain (Mexico) and the peak of beard popularity.

Harvard, of course, was not affected by any of these things. The hallowed and insular institution continued to crank out upper class snobs and privileged twits like no other college in America (and I’m including Ole Miss).

Let’s take a stroll into the turn of the century with the presidents of Harvard, whose tenacity and shortsightedness allowed them to circumvent the “progression” of the rest of the United States.

16. Edward Everett 1846-1849
Everett’s four-year term was most noted for his introduction of “panty raids.” The first several attempts were aimed at Yale who, much like Harvard, were still only providing men with higher education. Despite this hurdle, the imagination of the Crimson allowed them to return from each raid with hundreds of pairs of “man panties” or “Yalie thongs.”

Everett attempted to spice up these same-sex raids by introducing various bills to Congress (through his well-endowed lobbyists) suggesting that some major schools be forced to allow women to enroll. Needless to say, these efforts failed (although not for a lack of endowment) as Congress, and indeed the rest of the country (including the railroad workers) viewed women as second-class citizens who could not be trusted with an education, living wage or even childbirth, considering the infant mortality rate.

Everett’s term came to an end after a panty raid on Vanderbilt resulted in the capture of female undergarments. These never-before-seen items caused severe mental trauma in those who had seen them and life-threatening psychosis in the few who had actually touched the items. After the fourth sniper attack in as many weeks, Everett was asked to step down and run (in a zig zag pattern) across the quad to his waiting buggy.

Affectionately known as “Sniper Victim #23.”

17. Jared Sparks 1849-1853
Jared Sparks is credited with introducing a successful line of weight loss programs into the normal curricula of Harvard. Sparks would often entertain his fellow officers with thrilling tales of weight loss through careful sandwich selection. Although very popular (and inspiring) at first, Sparks constant reminders and detail-heavy anecdotes about which sandwich he had eaten and how many “fat cells” were contained in each resulted in a massive backlash which heavily damaged the local food cart economy.

Sparks was finally asked to step down when his normally long-winded diatribes on meatball subs and other anti-masturbatorial foods began to arrive in the form of short sentences which were hand-written and delivered at random intervals to whomever happened to be close by. Close associates were overheard muttering about his incessant twittering and overused “fat pants” visual metaphor.

Affectionately known as “Fuck You, Sandwich Boy.”

18. James Walker 1853-1860
To know James Walker was to love him, or rather, be “loved” by him. An ego-centric womanizer until his deathbed conversion to the Symbionese Liberation Army, Walker aided and a-bedded (sorry) over 8,000 women in 8 years. As his constant scoring began to eat into his time as president, JW would often let his second-in-command, James Walker Jr. VII run the place, much to the dissatisfaction of the other Harvard officers, who saw their money being blown on candy bars and hookers and their daughters being knocked up left and right.

Walker would have lost his post much earlier if he hadn’t exercised Harvard’s “privileged insider” clause, which allowed him to live life by a different standard than the enrollees and at least some of the officers. He also used a 120-year old typo to grant himself “eminent domain” in matters related to the wives and daughters of all Harvard students and employees.

With so much going for him, Walker’s abrupt retirement came as a surprise. While Walker issued a statement referring to his “desire for a quiet life of banging random chicks, away from the day-to-day pressures of running Harvard (and banging random Harvard-related chicks),” but many of his contemporaries speculated that perhaps his “dick” had “just fallen off.”

Affectionately known as “Wilt.”

19. Cornelius Conway Felton 1860-1862*
Felton presided over an era that came to be known as “The Shortest Era Ever.” As the figurative head of Harvard, Felton spent most of his time fulfilling ceremonial duties such as groundbreaking, large novelty-check signing, baptisms, circumcisions, Hot or Not tie breakers, pancake breakfasts, mass burials and the occasional Live Aid concert.

Though Felton’s stay in office was brief, he spent each moment as if it were his last: by begging forgiveness from various deities and sobbing inconsolably. As his private sobbing and praying began to intrude on his more public duties, the Harvard officers began to work on an “early retirement” plan.

Things came to a head at a groundbreaking ceremony for the above ground pool. Felton seized the oversized ribbon-cutting scissors and attempted to slash his wrists. He was wrestled to the ground by his fellow board members and remanded to the state, which soon remanded him to the local crazyhouse, at which point the staffers remanded him to his surviving family, which bequeathed him, still alive, to Harvard University. He lived out his final years as a living statue of himself.

Affectionately known as “Three-and-out.”

*Died in office as a result of statuefication. See also: Goldfinger.

20. Thomas Hill 1862-1868
A tireless opium addict and eccentric inventor, Hill spent a majority of his seven-year term trying to perfect his “gravity bong/scientific calculator” prototype. Most historians point to his concentration on the first half to be the reason the second half was never able to get its ass of the couch or come up with rent money.

As Hill continued to chase the double dragons of drug paraphernalia (Billy Lee) and scientific calculation (Jimmy Lee), the Harvard board members acted quickly to revoke his severance pay and change the locks. He was finally ousted during an 18-hour marathon intervention in which the board members pretended to care about his health and whatnot. Hill responded by vomiting and passing out in the hall closet. He awoke 4 hours later to find his belongings (including himself) on the lawn. The rest is history. Boring history.

Affectionately known as “C. Thomas Howell.”

21. Charles William Eliot 1869-1909
Eliot lived to see the turn of the century, much to the dismay of several local bookies. An inveterate gambler and loudmouthed braggart, Eliot so ired the local townspeople that the remaining board members retired and changed their names. Indeed, the hallowed halls themselves were tainted by his filthy habits, as local thugs repoed the above ground pool, second billiards table, the K-M sections of the bleachers and the letters “R” and “D.”

After one close call with a lynching party, CW took to hiding himself in the lower levels of the undergraduate library, subsisting on hardtack and book binding. After 22 years in seclusion, Eliot returned to the surface to find the campus nearly deserted. Rather than let the proud metaphorical ship Harvard continue to drift listlessly, CW took the helm (metaphorically) and proceeded to rape and pillage Yale (not metaphorically).

At the behest of yet another lynching party (working in conjunction with local mobsters), Eliot was lynched. Due to a lack of proper tools or measurements, Eliot was suspended only four feet off the ground and was unable to properly asphyxiate.

Given a mulligan by the angry townsfolk, Eliot returned underground, eventually resurfacing to party like it’s “1899.”

Known affectionately as “Goddamned Lucky.”

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 21 – Sunday Chillout Special Edition

November 1, 2009

Winter’s here for most of us. (I said “most of us,” Claire and Overconfident.) Time to enjoy those lazy Sunday mornings. Only venture outside the covers long enough to grab some cocoa, the Sunday paper (if available) and curl up in bed with your main squeeze. Maybe throw in an old movie or tenderly get your fuck on.

Make a day of it, starting with this week’s very special Sunday Chillout Special Edition.

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Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them
Germany’s answer to m83, Ulrich Schnauss has been mixing My Bloody Valentine/Cocteau Twins beauty with racks of electronics for nearly 15 years. His tracks are long on “pretty” and short on “boring,” producing the kind of blissful ambience that just dares you to demean it with the left-handed compliment “chillout.” (Which I already did. See above. Apologies all around.)

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Whitey – Made of Night
Fucking Whitey. How does he do it? Let me just state something right out front:

This the best fucking thing I have heard in a long time.

That is not to cast aspersion (nifty word, huh?) on anything else I’ve heard recently. I have heard a ton of great music lately. A ton.

This is just saying this track is that fucking amazing. The sound of quiet desperation. Existing rather than living. Letting a lifetime of bad choices carry you into the dark. It’s all in there. And it is done so well. Just listen. I lack the proper adjectives.

This reviewer doesn’t. All you need to read is the last line.

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One Dove – White Love
Scotland. Is there any place like it? Between the weather, the poverty and the unintelligible accents, it’s a wonder anyone ever gets out of there alive. Featuring the impeccable production of Andrew Weatherall and the airy vocals of Dot Allison, White Love glides gracefully towards the dancefloor. Just enough kick to keep your heart rate up and enough layered vocals to curl up in and stay warm.

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Mogwai – Tracy (Kid Loco Mix)
Scotland. Is there any place like it? Apparently not, but that doesn’t stop great bands from popping up all over the place like some sort of impeccably tasteful kudzu. Mogwai, another of the Scottish greats, have been working their particular brand of post-rock for over a decade, eschewing lyrics for guitars and propulsive drumming for more guitars.

Building layers and layers of texture out of some quite strumming, the Glasgow quintet create some of the most amazing noise ever laid down on wax. (Records, kids. They’re like mp3s, except that you would need a couple of sherpas and some pack mules to transport a gig or two anywhere.)

Mogwai gets reworked by French electronica producer Kid Loco, who adds his trademark downtempo touch in a deft bit of addition through subtraction, adding ample breathing room that allows the track to ebb and flow.

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Spiritualized – Shine A Light (Unreleased Mix)
Someone had the notion that the only thing missing from space rock was soul. And not just any soul, but a shattered soul, wrapped in bruises and numbed with heroin. That man was J. Spaceman, a refugee from drone-rock antagonists Spacemen 3.

This is an unreleased version of a track from Lazer Guided Melodies. It breathes a little heavier and approaches the crescendo a bit noisier than its “proper” version, but that’s what makes it better. It has more of a cathartic feel, as if bringing the noise would drown out the pain. J Spaceman is most likely in the business of killing himself to death, intertwining his despairing smack lust with the rock-bottom hopefulness of old spirituals and last chance prayers to a god that won’t save him. He won’t because he knows that deep way down, J doesn’t want salvation: he just wants to feel something different.

All files in one easy-going zipped up folder:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 21

-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.]