Archive for March, 2010

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 37

March 28, 2010

In lieu of a clever introductory paragraph, I instead offer this link for your entertainment. (It’ll open in a new window.)

Escape Motions – Flame

Just a little something to play with while listening to the tunes. Prepare to say goodbye to the next couple of hours.

Hours of fun here as well:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

The Cure – All I Had to Do was Kill Her (Live – Germany, 1982).mp3
A staple of the Cure’s live shows during the early ’80s, All I Had to Do… is an epic piece of near-gothic darkness. As the song expands and picks up the pace, Robert Smith bleeds all over the track, draping his distinctive voice over jagged shards of guitar and a very powerful rhythm section.

Fuck Buttons – Rough Steez.mp3
The glorious unharnessed electro-psychedelia that is the Fuck Buttons returns, with a track from their latest album. If their initial single Surf Solar was the finesse and current single Olympians is the stamina, then Rough Steez is the brawn, all swaggering id, an unstoppable force in search of an immovable object.

Late of the Pier – Space and the Woods.mp3
Produced to sparkly perfection by Erol Alkan (one-half of previous Heavy Rotation favorites Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve), Late of the Pier are all tomorrow’s parties as visualized by synthpop pioneers. With all that hindsight behind them, the future is now. Like what Gary Numan sorely wishes he was doing now.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Shopper’s Paradise.mp3
Nothing new about these bitterly smart pop deviants. Carter USM (as they were frequently abbreviated, especially in front of their mums) released this track 19 years ago on their 30 Something album. Taking on everyone’s favourite symbol of capitalism, the shopping mall, Carter USM sets guitars to rave, drum machines to stun and right eyebrows to permanently arched.

A satirical celebration of all-in-one shopping, where you can pick up “knuckle dusters, glass jaws and wooden hearts” while your better half picks up “sprays and lipsticks/tested on bunnies, girls, strays and misfits.” A thoroughly enjoyable poke in the eye.

Frank Black – The Hostess with the Mostest.mp3
Frank Black (late of the Pixies and, oddly enough, currently of the Pixies) takes a different take with his ode to the excesses of your average shopping mall. As befitting an album titled Teenager of the Year, Black peers through nostalgia-tinted glasses to the days when he “hit the mall on every Friday/When it was biggest in the world,” but still manages a warning shot across the bow a few lines into the song:

I hear surf on kazoo
And I march with the militia of the mime
…”

-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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Who Loves Whitey?

March 26, 2010

You know you do. Say it loud and proud.

A nearly-anonymous tipster informed me in the Heavy Rotation Vol. 36 comment thread that Whitey is back. And blogging.

http://njwhitey.wordpress.com/

Needless to say, he’s been added to the blogroll. Stop by and give the man some love. And free up April 1st. His new album will be up for listening and purchasing over at his MySpace site:

http://www.myspace.com/hellowhitey

-CLT

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Clive Cussler Remixed Vol. 1 – Douglas Adams

March 25, 2010

"Have the printers add 20% more boat and shove it on the shelves."

As many of you are aware (or will be, once I finish this sentence), Clive F. Cussler has a bevy of cowriters, all working diligently to ensure he is credited for their work. While the names Paul Kamprecos and Jack DuBrul are hardly household names (thanks to their 10-pt appearance on book covers, sandwiched between a boat and CLIVE F. CUSSLER), some other authors have been approached for possible co-author duties.

This new series will deal with some that never made it off the cutting room floor, to mangle analogies. Presented below is a small section of Clive Cussler’s work and the resulting piece.

This volume features sci-fi humourist Douglas Adams’ contribution to the Cussler canon. Enjoy.

The original work:

“Sandecker flashed a barracuda smile, but an icy coldness crept into his authoritative blue eyes as he prepared to rip Tingley to shreds.”

From Douglas Adams:

As Sandecker stepped into the hall, the lights came on automatically, a positive sign that meant things were indeed Working, in a way that most things he had encountered so far were not. He continued down the extremely lengthy hallway as did the lights, brightening as he approached and dimming as he passed.

At the end of the hall was a door covered in indecipherable symbols.

Sandecker flashed a barracuda smile that edged briefly towards “wolfish” before jumping completely out of the animal kingdom and into “puzzled.” This is where it stayed.

He gazed at the door, regarding the strange symbols, odd smoothness and lack of handle or hinges, roughly in that order. He shifted his weight as he puzzled over the impasse, and the lights shifted with him in equal puzzlement, attempting to guess his next movement.

Soon a popular tune crept through the air, synched to the now strobing lights. Sandecker hummed along, despite his puzzlement and even began to dance a little.

The door opened briefly, assaulting Sandecker’s ears with the cacophonous wails of a million damned souls seeking relief from their torment. Sandecker screamed too, although it was not until the door slammed shut that he realized it. He kept it up for another minute or two just to assure himself that he was the only one still screaming. The door remained closed.

He felt something behind him and froze. Sandecker struggled to contain his fear and panic, finally subduing them with promises to let them run wild in the near future, quite possibly in the next few seconds.

He turned around and levelled an icy glare at the interloper. Or rather, he attempted to level it. His icy glare which, despite years of intermittent practice in the bathroom mirror (frequently after watching gangster films), had failed to coalesce into something intimidating.

In fact, rather than conjure up images of a frosty demeanor and preternatural calm, the gaze reverted to its usual form, which tended to remind those on the receiving end of a cold mist or the type of heavy, slushy snow that, within moments of touching the ground, absorbs its weight in auto exhaust, soot and the surrounding dirt and soon resembles nothing more than a weak and possibly rheumatic stone that would erode to nothing during the next rain or be hurled casually into the street by passing schoolchildren.

Sandecker’s slushy gaze went unmet. There was no one there.

He blinked heavily, trying to dislodge the remains of his icy glaze, which had dissolved nearly immediately into pools of tepid and non-threatening water and the beginnings of a headache. He weighed his options slowly, taking into account his fear and panic, both now pacing in the foyer of his psyche and threatening to urinate right on the expensive Oriental rug of his better judgement.

On one hand he had a million damned souls with only a door between them. On the other, he had an unknown, invisible force and the hollow comfort of a strangely familiar pop tune and the now-irritating strobing lights.

He mentally flipped a coin, called it in the air and promptly forgot whether he had chosen “heads” or “tails.” He flipped again. Heads. Through the door.

He reached out to touch the symbols, feeling the sudden warmth of fear and panic relieving themselves before heading to the living room to tear up the expensive leather sofa of his instincts.

The door opened and the screaming began. As he stepped forward, the nothing behind him promptly tore him to shreds.

-CLT

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History of Music Media Vol. 2 – The Analog Age

March 23, 2010

Despite all the naysayers (mainly myself, and Richard Branson), the hotly anticipated Volume 2 has arrived. It looks to be in pristine condition. Perhaps a grammatical error here or there, but the extraneous “k” has been stripped from the word “music” (and quite unceremoniously, too, I might add).

From its humble beginning as the musical ravings of an insane harpsichordist to its present day use as audio wallpaper, interstitials and salesperson, music has come a long way in a short time. We catch up with the ever-evolving music media, already in progress…

The History of Music Media Vol. 2 – The Analog Age

Somewhere out there, an audiophile has just suffered a snobbery-induced heart attack...

Records
The invention of the phonograph by multiple people (and its resulting patent suit) proved to be the “death blow” for the music industry, with its ability to reproduce the sound of a miniature, tinny band playing in your anteroom. No longer could people be expected to leave the house to simply hear music and the resulting struggle for market share saw tours bloom into full-blown juggernauts of light, sound and outdoor toilets.

The record brought music to the masses in a handy 12″ or smaller package, which most males found non-threatening and women found non-overwhelming. These flat discs could hold more than 20 minutes of music per “side” and were played via a “stylus” or “needle” when not being used to sort seeds and stems.

Due to its multiple formats and speeds, the record had something for everyone, from Jethro Tull 4-disc opuses to Flexi-discs from local punks bands whom no one other than the band members ever cared about. The record seemed to be unstoppable and the zenith of home audio. However, a change was coming, much like the prophet Bob Dylan warned, and the musical media landscape would never be the same.

Audiophiles still cite the media’s “warmth” and “crackliness” as preferable to those formats that don’t make your music sound like it’s being performed in a fireplace.

Fun Fact: Despite being shoved to the corners of most chain music stores and often removed altogether, the record is still purchased to this day by audiophiles (who have shown the willingness to pay $10,000+ for anything containing a vacuum tube), neophytes punks wishing to grab ahold of a subculture nearly 40 years too late and certain DJs who still haven’t figured out how to program their VCRs.

 

The advent of this new format meant that girlfriends could now be annoyed by up to 90 minutes of music at a time.

Cassettes
Highly touted by everyone (but audiophiles) as more “portable” than records, if slightly less useful, the cassette soon proved to be the “medium of the people.” Blank cassettes, in particular, had universal appeal as even novices could record their bulky records or capture “streaming audio” via the radio. They could then give these “tapes” to anybody, including friends, family and that chick they were trying to score with.

Widely hailed as the “death of the music industry,” cassettes soon became a ubiquitous feature of shoulder-mounted boomboxes, which were subsequently replaced with slightly less spine-injuring Walkmans. The Walkman’s portability also had the added benefit of a headphone jack, thus allowing the user to keep their shitty music to themselves while blocking out your stream of obscenities as they repeatedly roller-skated over your foot.

Despite cassettes and home taping having been fingered for “killing the music industry,” (usually in the form of t-shirts, bumper stickers and PSAs), the music industry enjoyed the monetary reward of having two “horses” in the race, not to mention the blanket royalty fee levied on blank cassettes (aka, The Hissing Killer).

Fun fact: Cassette usage among DJs helped originate the Dancehall/2-Step cry of “Bo, selecta! Rewind!” whenever a particularly great tune (“choon”) is played. The DJ (“selecta”) was then prevailed upon to rewind (“Rewind!”) to the beginning of the track and replay it.

The DJ would comply, leaving dancers in the company of the hissing bassbins as he first rewound too far, playing a snippet of the preceding track; then fast-forwarded just a bit too far, giving the crowd a few notes from deep into the intro; back again a bit too far and into the fadeout of the previous track; and then forward again, slightly too far; and so on, for three or four minutes before cueing correctly and triumphantly pressing “Play” only to have the tape deck eat the cassette.

The recording industry further exploited this “industry killer” with the release of the “Cassingle,” which gave the purchaser the album version of the track along with a truncated “Radio Edit” of the same song all for around $2. Cassingles were particularly popular with untalented “selectas.”

The common 8-track, seen here switching to side B and preparing to tear the dashboard a "new one."

8-Track
During the mid-’60s, the music industry added another “horse” to the race: a three-legged Shetland pony called the 8-Track. Although the name would seem to refer to the recording process, it actually refers to the eight-track limit of the format itself. Its limitations resulted in may truncated albums and hit progressive rock concept albums the hardest. (So… what did happen to Kilroy? Mrs. Pink?)

Its peculiar formatting and general hideousness did nothing to endear it to the general population and its reputation was further harmed by its performance in auto-reverse decks, where changing from Side A to Side B resulted in a violent action that registered in the low 5’s on the Richter Scale and frequently left small children and pets dazed and bleeding.

Perhaps sensing that this format would never achieve the success of vinyl or sheet musick, the music labels altered their distribution scheme and began shipping 8-tracks directly to swap meet vendors and pawn shop owners.

Coming up next:
A History of Music Media Vol. 3: The Digital Age… and Beyond!

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 36

March 21, 2010

Another week, another set of stone classics. Of course, musical taste being subjective and all, you may find these to be near-classics or perhaps ultimately forgettable. But how often have I steered you wrong? (Thanks for not answering honestly.) Prepare to have your socks (and delicates beyond) rocked off. Welcome to Vol. 36.

Here’s where the other 35 are:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Evil Nine – All the Cash (DJ Version).mp3
When people talk about rappers “spitting” and their “flow,” this is what they mean. El-P (originally of Company Flow and producer for Cannibal Ox and Aesop Rock) fires out bitter lyrics, punctuating the rise and fall of Evil Nine’s patented dark and fuzzy breakbeats. Everything intertwines so amazingly that the song would only be half of what it is with either contributor taking the day off.

Televison Personalities – Eminem Song.mp3
As one of the hardest bands to pin down stylistically, the Television Personalities have revolved around Dan Treacy’s personal vision, which follows muses into dark alleys like fey ’60s-era pop or psychedelic-tinged post-punk wandering.

This, however, is a complete piss-take. Treacy borrows a beat from Marshall Mathers and spends the next three minutes riding a mastodon made of irony all over the legend of Eminem and fires a few warning shots at Moby and P.Diddy along the way. Treacy knows who’s back and could care less, riding his sloppy approximation of modern hip hop into the ground and punctuating it with both a death wish (“Apparently there was a hooker was sucking his cock/and he was smoking a rock/That’s the way to go!”) and a throwaway kiss-off (“We can’t all be Franz Ferdinand…”). Kickassic. (Hat tip to Alan Truitt’s amazing music collection.)

The White Panda – Got Some Stratosphere (Obie Trice vs. Junkie XL).mp3
White Panda, comprising of mashup producers Procrast and DJ Griffi, grabs ahold of Obie Trice’s 2004 minor hit and makes it play nice with some rather bouncy electro-house from Junkie XL. More fun than a barrel of ecstasy and a hell of a lot easier on your gray matter.

Bounce along as Obie Trice runs down his list of female standards as he enters the club (no fat chicks, no silicone, no kids), but by the end of the long, drunken night, he’s just hoping that “she got some teeth.”

DSL – Stupid Bitches (DatA Remix).mp3
Not a whole lot of info on the artists here, other than they are originally from the West Indies and claim the twin muses of rum and ecstasy. Distributed by Ed Banger and featuring the remix talents of the godawesome DatA, Stupid Bitches may be misogynistic (and the artwork above certainly doesn’t help) but since Google Translate won’t let me shove the tune into their dialog box, I’ll never know.

Either way, it travels along so amiably that you’ll probably find yourself singing the infectious chorus out loud, earning you the eternal hatred of passing strangers.

DJ Le Clown – In Da Black (50 Cent vs. AC/DC vs. the Scissor Sisters).mp3
Another week, another high-quality mashup. This time it’s DJ Le Clown and it’s got everything you need to devastate the next party you attend. 50 Cent for the hip hop crowd. AC/DC to grab the rockers. And the Scissor Sisters to snag the indie kids who have been leaning against the wall all night bitching about the music choices.

-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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The History of Music Media Vol. 1

March 18, 2010

We here at Fancy Pants are proud to announce yet another series, to follow in the footsteps of so many other series that were introduced briefly and even more quickly abandoned, like so many wordy babies on the doorstep of WordPress.com. Behold, the History of Music Media, and its attendant Vol. 1, which, if nothing else, indicates that our optimism will nearly always exceed our reach. 

The History of Music Media Vol. 1 – The Formative Years 

A trio of Neanderthal mariachis prepares to annoy the ever-living shit out of some tourists.

Formative Years
Ever since the early cavemen looked for ways to “punch up” their stories of the Coelacanth that “got away,” man (and very occasionally, woman) has expressed himself through music. 

As these tales evolved (along with the tale-tellers), the grunting became more rhythmic. “Hype men” were added, along with backup “grunters” and 60-piece orchestras. 

Progress was minimal during the next several thousand/million years.* It was not until a young composer named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart burst on to the scene that music was finally invented. 

*Depending on your religious beliefs/last grade attended.

A young Mozart works on one of his earliest pieces, "Chopsticks (Too Many Notes Mix)"

Sheet Musick
No sooner had Mozart invented music than he began to reinvent it through inappropriate hairstyles, setting his harpsichord on fire during live performances and marrying various 13-year-old cousins. His wild behavior and manic giggling led to him being credited with “singlehandedly destroying the music industry,” thus undoing all of the groundwork laid by him just earlier that afternoon. 

After destroying the music industry, Mozart began to rebuild it, only with him safely on the “inside.” After another manic, flaming performance, Mozart gazed into his piles of money and made an eerily prescient remark — “If ever there dost become an effortless way to perform these musicks at home, I am truly fuckt.” 

Due to his endless campaigning, sheet music was horded by royalty and traded with only other royals, so as to protect their patronized income stream. However, as prices of paper, ink and quills continued to drop, an underground group of transcriptionists began distributing “copied” sheet music. 

 This was met with a legislative effort to build royalty fees into the prices of these items. This, of course, had little effect. Mozart was often seen hawking waistcoats embroidered with the inscription, “Verily, home transcribing is killing the musick industry.” 

Fun fact: Emperor Joseph II was an avid home transcriptionist. His famous remark that Mozart’s music had “too many notes” was not a critique of the piece but rather a complaint about the pending transcription, as he was suffering for a case of “pirate’s elbow.” 

Fun fact II: His rivalry with Salieri (whose work was universally hailed as “competent” and “adequate”) was the precursor to many musical rivalries, including: Beatles vs. Rolling Stones, Blur vs. Oasis, Jack White vs. Jason Von Bondie and Pickle vs. Nickelback. 

A "home composer" prepares to tear the music industry a new one, with his own version of "Chopsticks."

Bedroom Composers
Flash forward 50 years: innovations in mass production make musical instruments more affordable than ever. Soon every saloon, bawdy house and tenement has a minimum of one piano. And it’s not just piano companies that see a boost. Manufacturers of harpsichords, claviers, pipe organs and fiddles see exponential growth. 

Advances in moveable press technology allow sheets of music to be reproduced faster than ever and trims the error rate to a Six-Sigma Blackbelt level of 3 notes per 100. 

Early ASCAP pioneers bemoan these developments and attempt to collect performance royalties from bar owners and burlesque house pimps. Even homeowners are subjected to handwritten missives declaring them responsible for “rights and royalties for performance of popular musicks.” The singing telegram industry folds after crippling fees are levied against them. 

Among the early cash cows for ASCAP are Camptown Races (Stephen Freakin’ Foster) and Chopsticks (Some Annoying Bastard). 

Little known fact: Most player pianos could be rigged to take "upskirt" daguerreotypes.

The Player Piano
As the 19th century wound itself down, another breakthrough in musical entertainment surfaced in the form of the Player Piano (or Auto Pianist), a piano that amazingly “played” itself using perforated paper. (This form of “musick” would later resurface in dot-matrix printers, although audiophiles will point out that the “technology” removed the “soul” of the music and made it unbearably screechy. A quick note: whenever an audiophile refers to “soul” or “fidelity” or “warmth,” they are actually referring to a vacuum tube.) 

Bawdy house proprietors and saloon owners benefitted from this invention the most, firing their drunken, incompetent piano players and replacing them with slightly less drunken and dimwitted paper-loaders. This new position was often filled by the nearest unattended child. 

The tireless, dulcet tones of the Mechano-Piano were the soundtrack of the “Gay ’90s” and the less-unfortunately named “Nondescript Aughts.” As usual, this new invention, with its user-friendliness and low-cost was saddled with the burden of “destroying the musick industry, starting with the extraneous ‘k’.” 

Coming up next:
Volume 2: The Analog Age 

-CLT

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Attack and Decay

March 16, 2010

French, noisy and full of capitalized "A's"

SebastiAn, French electronica producer and premier dancefloor wrecker, has thrown down the gauntlet with his latest track, Threnody (go ahead and look it up; I had to), which is 13 minutes of buzzing, grinding build.

But why? Why this, rather than his patented stop-start, bump-n-grind roughhousing? A statement of intent? A celebration of electronic tweakery? The key beginning piece for a cohesive whole?

Or is it just a contentious audio “fuck you,” disguised as an artistic statement? A test of your limits as an electronica fan?

There’s a lot to be said for confrontational art. When done well it can change people’s outlooks or remove barriers. Too much of it, though, is rarely a good thing.

I may not know art, but... I have no idea how to finish this sentence...

Check out Andres Serrano of Piss Christ infamy. Does anyone even care what he’s doing now? (Wikipedia says: “His most recent work uses feces as a medium.” Hmm.) You cause a bit of stir, fuck with the moral majority and… what? If “confrontation” is all you have, it quickly changes from “art” to “gimmick.” And just because it doesn’t offend me doesn’t mean I think it has more artistic merit than a Normal Rockwell painting.

"Just a word of caution to those in the front two rows: you WILL be forced into my crotch."

Or take G.G. Allin, the death of rock and roll personified. An evening in the company of his band (which contained J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. at one point) meant you were taking a chance at being showered with any combination of feces, urine, semen and blood before the night was over.

It’s tough to tell what his motivation was. He liked to say something muddled about making rock and roll “dangerous” again. But all he really seems to do was show every aspiring punk rocker just how low the bar could be lowered.

Oddly enough, this is one of the few times where I welcome the censor's black bar.

Then there’s Bob Flanagan, a self-mutilating performance artist. Feeling betrayed by his own body (thanks to cystic fibrosis), Flanagan took to abusing it violently in public. (And in private: he married a dominatrix.) While I have no idea what his headspace was filled with, it does make me wonder who would pay perfectly good money to watch a man hammer a nail into his penis.

And perhaps more importantly, when does self-mutilation become “art?” When it outgrows My Chemical Romance?

Artistic statement. Artistic Intent.

These phrases seem more like excuses when it comes to genital mutilation or jerking off into the crowd. If it’s defined as “art,” does it suddenly make normally inexcusable behavior excusable? Do you draw the line somewhere or have we only got another decade or so before the Palm D’Or graces a snuff film?

I’m not trying to sound alarmist or even expressing some vague concern for today’s morality. I honestly don’t consider this fringe entertainment to be somehow indicative of the whole. I’m just wondering whether the word “art” is being abused too frequently.

Ironically, due to a printing error, the poster itself is reversible.

Another example: Irreversible, directed by Gaspar Noe, which was declared one of the most “difficult to watch” films by none other than the Onion A.V. Club (among many other listmakers).

The film includes brutal and lengthy scenes of rape and violence. It makes some good points about the futility of revenge (most of which would be undone if the story were told in chronological order) and obviously stomps all over the sensitivities of its audience.

To sum up: a film that I will never watch.

For the most part, I tend to watch films that I will enjoy, rather than regulate my DVD player to the role of impartial observer (observee?) in a battle of wills (me vs. filmmaker). I have read extensively about this film and come to the conclusion that I’d be better off not viewing it. I have no urge to watch something that’s going to make me want to shower for three hours, ask for a brain transplant and exterminate what little faith I have left in humanity.

Well, the Dandy Warhols are on it, so it's probably an all-ages film...

Another film I Will Never Watch: 9 Songs, directed by Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People)

Ostensibly a love story crossed with a concert doc, 9 Songs is the first “mainstream” motion picture to feature non-simulated sex. I’m not sure what Winterbottom was hoping to achieve here, but it still ends up looking like chin-stroker porn.

At least in real porn, everyone knows where they stand. The performers are paid to “perform” and the porn consumer pays to watch it and get themselves off. Or buy it for the “bachelor party.” Or whatever.

To sit back and claim that this is “art” asks your audience to ignore the fact that you (and your studio, producers, etc.) paid two people to have sex while you filmed them. You can dress it up with a storyline, but so can Vivid. And at least Vivid doesn’t pretend it’s anything more than jack-off material.

Somehow I doubt that the presence of a “real” director and “real” actors will take away from the hollowness this project presents. Sex by proxy is always hollow. Calling it “art” makes me feel as used as I perceive the two principals to be. With porn, you can be a voyeur. With art, you’re just intruding.

It just seems very disingenuous to present a film that features two people fucking for most of the runtime and then dare your audience to cheapen your effort by getting an erection.

Sorry to bother you, but I'm dragging you back into this exceedingly long post...

So…

What does all this have to do with SebastiAn?

It all comes down to what each person is willing to put themselves through. Granted, no matter how grating or self-indulgent a song is, it will never have the impact of nine-minute long rape scene or a man pounding a nail through his dick, but I still think you have to question the intent.

Everything listed here seems to presume an unhealthy amount of masochism in its audience.

Is this all “art?” Is it nothing more than pushing just to be pushing? Has it become better to be hated than ignored?

I don’t know.

I do know this. I like the full version of Threnody but I’m already predisposed to lengthy electronic fuckery, thanks to a major in Techno and a minor in Industrial.

Other people may be able to find what they like in Piss Christ, Irreversible or a handful of Allin’s feces. That’s not something I’m willing to look for.

Maybe, when it’s all said and done, the transgressive nature veers more towards “artifice” than “art.”

Here it is – all 13 minutes of Threnody:
(Give it a little time on the player. It’s a 30 gb file. 320K.)

SebastiAn – Threnody.mp3

If you’d prefer a condensed version, which veers dangerously close to danceable, try this:

Threnody (Capt N Cooked Mix).mp3

[Unused tags: You Call That “Art”? My Kid Can Piss Better Than That!; You Call That “Music”? I’ve Got More Feces in this Little Finger Than You’ve Got in Your Entire Hand; “Performance Art,” Eh? Maybe It’s Just Me, But I “Perform” Better When My Dick isn’t Nailed to Something] 

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 35

March 14, 2010

Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends, thanks to funding (in whole or in part) from the Hallmark Corporation (who would like to remind you that purchasing only one card for Valentine’s Day is like cheating on your loved one with their ex) and some fine legal negotiations by our retained law firm which have allowed us to achieve Fernando!!!!-esque adulation in exchange for our souls (which were mostly used up anyway).

Fancy a trip back to a more innocent time?
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Fischerspooner – A Kick in the Teeth.mp3
For a couple of performance artists who swear they hate synthesizers, Fischerspooner sure do make some pretty music with them. Another of their pulsing fits of depression, which builds to the singalongiest of choruses.

It’s all about the elegantly stated ennui, ladies and gentlemen. Ennui with a strangely forward-looking twist. Kickstart your headspace.

Zombie Nation – Mas De Todo (Rodelledo Mix).mp3
Zombie Nation (you may remember him from the impossible-to-avoid Kernkraft 400 single from the early-2k’s) has returned with something completely unexpected. Instead of riding the glitch-bandwagon or giving ravers something to “sing” along to, he instead drop this masterful piece of dance floor madness.

So what’s the fucking what? Horns borrowed from a 70’s cop show theme song, riding along to what sounds (to my untrained ears) like a 6/8 beat, topped with fun noises, pitch shifting and shouts of “Mas!”

Peepholes – Lair (E*Rock Mix).mp3
Another day, another UK electro duo, banging KAOS pads and various instruments in an attempt to out-Lightning Bolt their competitors. Only, you know, good.

Sounding like Daft Punk’s Aerodynamic having its way with the soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange while a shouty student demonstration marches past the windows and directly into a distorted wormhole.

Beat the Devil – Shine in Exile.mp3
Like a languishing Stevie Nicks fronting Clinic while the Fiery Furnaces call out requests. Where else but in New York could a 5-foot 2-inch lead singer combine with a 6-foot 5-inch bassist and produce something that sounds nothing like anything else out there at the moment.

It’s probably the harmonium-as-focal-point. Or the distinct lack of guitar. Either way, it’s knock-you-on-your-ass good. Oh, and Kathie Lee Gifford’s name gets taken in vain about halfway through.

Liars – The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack.mp3
Via Los Angeles by way of Nebraska(?) and finally coalescing in New York, it’s experimental punk/rock/noise/art band, Liars. This particular track travels down the quieter side of their catalog, with predictably fantastic results (he said, carelessly tooting his own horn with one hand while scratching his own back with the other).

Sung low and slow, over a pace that could be generously described as “langorous,” The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack adds yearning to hopelessness and comes up with something transcendent.

-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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Platitudes for a New Millenium Vol. 2

March 9, 2010

And, of course, all the best spots are taken.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”  

This phrase stems from the belief that the key to a fulfilling life is holding onto a grudge well past its sell-by date, leading to situations like the following:  

Man: Jake? Is that you? Man, it’s been like… years! How’ve you been?
[BLAM!]
Man: Jesus Christ! My eye! You shot me in my eye!
You: Remember junior prom? When you told Cindy Johnson I had syphilis? And she ditched me and fucked you in the bathroom? I told you I’d make you pay!
Man: Oh, god! Oh, my god! I thought you had syphilis! You were blind in one eye!
[BLAM!]
You: And now you’re blind in both. Oh, and you owe me $77.50 for the tux rental!
  

Or this, more recently:  

You: Are you Salman Rushdie?
Salman: Yes, yes I am.
[BLAM! BLAM!]
You: Huzzah! The Islamic faith is avenged and its fanaticism totally justified! Let’s see you write something heretical with no eyes!
Salman: [faints]
You: Oh, yeah. Stay the fuck away from Cindy Johnson.
  

As you can see, delayed gratification is still gratification. And while the reward money for capping Salman Rushdie will help you pad your legal defense fund, sometimes randomly shooting people in the eyes is its own reward.  

But is bitter and syphilitic any way to go through life? Sure, it worked for Van Gogh and Hitler, but why hold on to all that anger?  

Why not get some of that sweet sweet revenge now?  

Here’s a “for instance:”  

It’s a shitty day. Raining like hell. You decide to head to the mall, perhaps to stock up on ammo. You spy someone backing out of a choice parking spot near the entrance. You turn on your blinker and wait patiently for them to pull out.  

Despite your clear statement of intent via the turn signal, some random asshole in the oncoming lane steals the spot.  

What do you do?  

Your immediate response may be to deploy some reliable stand-bys: the “finger,” the “horn,” the “string of obscenities,” or the “gypsy curse.”  

Unfortunately this will have no effect on this person. Calling him an “asshole” won’t phase him as he probably doesn’t restrict his “dick moves” to mall parking lots. There’s also no real benefit to calling him an asshole in front of his family, either, as they spend every day with him and are well aware of that fact.  

So, now what?  

I suppose you could key his car but I’m guessing that his general assholishness has already seen his vehicle deflowered by multiple keys, both foreign and domestic.  

Here’s what to do:  

Trail him into the mall. Make your move when he is being helped at a service desk or otherwise has several people (in addition to his family) gathered around in earshot. And then… drop one of these on him:  

  • See you at the “thing” tonight. Wear protection.
  • You said you’d “fix it” and now they’re dredging the lake? How’re you going to fix THAT? (Start sobbing hopelessly.)
  • Do they know? How could they not know? (Affect a combination of shock and dismay.)
  • See you at the “thing” tonight. Bring something to sacrifice. Or someone.
  • You pyramid-scheming son of a bitch! It’s all gone! All of it! (Start sobbing and acting “penniless.”)
  • I should violate your ass right now! (Try to sound like a parole officer or this may have unintended consequences.)
  • You’re married?!? How long were you going to keep THIS from me? (Start sobbing inconsolably.)
  • I urinated on your car seat.
  • Sir? I think you left your car on fire.
  • See you at the “thing” tonight. You should be able to find a sponsor at this meeting. You know, for when you’re feeling “gay.”
  • The power of Christ compels you! (Sprinkle liberally with water.)
  • Beware the Ides of March. (Stab liberally.)
  • I urinated in the holy water.
  • See you at the “thing” tonight. Ralph got a 2-for-1 from the local pimp!
  • Nice parking, cockface. (Start sobbing.)

With this time bomb set, you are free to wander the mall. Maybe pick up that Beretta you’ve had your (perfectly good and non-shot) eye on. Or maybe a smaller backup piece, in case something goes awry during your daily face-shooting.  

Your freshly-minted nemesis will suddenly have a lot of explaining to do and no earthly idea where to start.  

To sum up:  

Revenge is dish best served.”  

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 35

March 6, 2010

**Links for selections 2-4 are now fixed.**

Another go-round in our nearly-weekly feature, Heavy Rotation. This 35th edition brings with it the promise of a better life on the offworld colonies and black market ocular implants. Just be aware of those around you, especially those with superhuman strength and hypersensitivity to questions about their mothers.

Looking for more great tunes and terrible introductory paragraphs? Search no further than:
The Heavy Rotation Archives 


Sidney Frost – I Miss Mpls.mp3
Normally I wouldn’t recommend minimal techno to the unwashed masses (or the freshly scrubbed, either), as the masses generally tend to point out that “nothing’s happening” or “is that it?” or “still nothing, not even when I do this.” 

This, however, is different. There is indeed a time and a place for minimal techno (specifically: any time in this past decade; Germany), if done well. While this may be short of the hard-banging cheap thrills I normally foist upon you, it does have a lot going on, mainly in between the notes. Listen, if you will, to the distorted and delayed vocal sample. Take an ear gander at the build and release, tastefully appointed and nowhere near garish. 

Perhaps some of this will be lost on your average computer speakers, as music of this genre really demands a nice set of cans and occasionally, mind-altering substances. Barring that, just give it a good listening and see what you think. 

If you like, great! I know where to get more of it and what’s more I know the producer. Personally. Go ahead and step past this velvet rope and ‘roid-raging bouncer. Behold: Sidney Frost, aka my talented DJ/Producer brother. 

Younger than me by far and with the skills that would pay the bills were they able to nail down a solid day job, Sidney Frost has entertained thousands with his minimal techno stylings and tasteful hairdos. He’s become everything I thought I would be back when I consumed my weight in alcohol nightly as the DJ at the local dance club in Midwest Town, USA. 

However, rather than play music he doesn’t like to entertain drunks, Sidney Frost plays music he actually likes to entertain druggies. Which would you prefer to do? Sidney currently splits time between the Twin Cities and Moab, Utah, perversely summering in the South and wintering in the North, like some deranged migratory animal who prefers to have the worst of both worlds. 

This song was his ode to the city he left behind to climb rocks and other such nature stuff in Utah. When summer ended and Sidney returned to his beloved MPLS, he released I Miss Moab on a very-limited 12″ Facebook post. Oh, well. DJs. What can you do with them? 

(Hint: go listen to them and buy their stuff!) 

Also: Sidney Frost on Facebook

Disco of Doom – In Effect.mp3
While I still have you out on the dancefloor… 

Here’s Disco of Doom, the teaming of producers Tom Real and the Rogue Element, with a dark banging track full of electronic goodness, the likes of which you see rarely these days, as everyone is too busy copying everyone else or filtering perfectly usable (and danceable) tracks through some sort of dismantling process and daring you not to respect the mess they’ve made. Four on the floor all the way, save for the killer drop and build. It wants nothing more than to get your ass up and moving. 

Dinowalrus – Nuke Dukem (Mae Shi Remix).mp3

The incredibly titled Dinowalrus, a drum-and-drone duo from Brooklyn, get the re-rinse from experimental punkers and noted Los Angeleans Mae Shi, who turn DW’s athletic space rock into something that sounds like the better downtempo moments of Hybrid or Underworld. Except with more vocals. Blissful beat-based psychedelia that makes a serious play for the role of “driving music.” East meets West and everybody wins! 

Pigface – Chikasaw.mp3

I’ve featured this before, but no video exists for this fine track, which is a nice change of pace from industrial supergroup Pigface’s normal brand of grinding heroin rock. Featuring the female vocal talents of Lesley Rankine (of Ruby, a collaboration with Skinny Puppy member Mark Walk) and features a slow-building, nearly dub-like pace. It’s all about fending off complacency and changing the world around you, which would be doubly inspiring if it weren’t performed by a squad of drug-addicted reprobates. 

Still, it’s a hellaciously good song and a fine addition to anyone’s collection. 

Ennio Morricone – L’Estasi Del Oro (from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) [Bandini Remix].mp3
Sounds a whole lot like Morricone collaborating with Massive Attack or Juno Reactor. Bandini’s low-key remix toughens up the sound with some tasteful drums and occasional delays and drops. Makes you feel like throwing a poncho over your shoulders and swaggering down the middle of the street, which will preferably be unpaved and searing hot. Squint a bit. There you go.

-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.]