Heavy Rotation 46

May 30, 2010

Since writing about music is so much “dancing about architecture,” why don’t we all just check out the real thing?


More white boy shuffling re: building and such here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

K-X-P – 18 Hours (of Love).mp3
Emerging from Helsinki, Finland armed with a stack of Spacemen 3 and Suicide records, K-X-P mine a more restrained vein of space/drone rock than their influences would indicate. This track rides an amped-up bluesy groove not a million miles removed from Spirit in the Sky, which is accented with blankets of reverb, bursts of distortion and very occasional bits of electro-drumming.

Grave Babies – Eating Babies.mp3
Grave Babies – Graves.mp3

The Grave Babies (whom I’ve featured before) have been heavily rotating around my skull for the past several weeks. The entire album (which can be found here [right-click to download]) is a washed-out masterpiece, built of waves of static and distorted instrumentation suggesting the last broadcast of man’s intangible humanity, slowly disintegrating as it rides a decaying signal.

These tracks (the first and last songs on the album) are both works of severely fucking damaged beauty, exploring the minutia of the post-apocalypse as it stands in contrast to omnipresent death and destruction. In other words, there’s nothing like an epidemic of death and undeath to make every small human interaction all-important while simultaneously completely irrelevant.

Like a heartbreaking conversation that plays out with someone saying “I love you” only to hear in reply, “Does it matter?”

(Note to listeners: Graves, from about 3 minutes on, is nothing but static, distortion and disembodied talking. You can move on at that point. It’s great in the context of the album, but a bit much when sampling a single track.)

Eating Babies


We Were Promised Jetpacks – It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning.mp3
Like classic Echo & the Bunnymen/James fronted by the cast of Trainspotting. In addition to sounding just kinda fucking awesome, how about that band name? Can I get a “hell yeah” or closest Scottish equivalent? Man, it’s worth hearing just for that.

On the actual “musical information” side, the song deals with domestic violence, which the Scottish have a lot of experience with apparently… (See also: Glasgow Kiss. And also: Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Sealed with a Glasgow Kiss.)

Rotovibe – Become.mp3
I won’t lie to you. This is going to sound like a million other lovelorn songs for about a minute or two. I thought the same thing. I was about to hit “Next” on the mp3 player when some nice backing vocals kicked in at the 45-second mark.

I gave it a stay of execution. It started to dive back down and my finger hovered over the kill switch… Then the crafty bastards brought in an organ. And you know how I feel about organ tones. Plus, the chiming, reverbed guitars were wearing down my resistance.

So, I’m still holding. It builds a little. A little more. The vocals reach a peak. Then the other guitar(s) join in (2:30). And holyfuckingshit, we have a Heavy Rotation entry. The perfect storm of distortion, wah pedal and some skilfully wielded feedback.

To sum up: sounds like a head-on collision of Classic Girl and Up the Beach by Jane’s Addiction, which leaves behind shards of resplendent destruction and the most exquisite corpse you’ve ever seen/heard.

Dum Dum Girls – Bhang Bhang I’m a Burnout.mp3
Well, let’s hit the road with a smile on our face. Nominally a band, but more a roadshow for lead singer Dee Dee punk fixations, the Dum Dum Girls (nod to Iggy Pop) hit the ear like an all-female Ramones, a comparison aided greatly by the lead singer’s name.

Somewhere between one-chord punk and free form garage rock, the DDG experience is as much fun as a barrel full of nitrous. Enjoy. (And of course, many thanks to the oddly omnipresent MEK for pointing me in their direction.)



  1. Based on the power of what I shall call the ‘word art’ of descriptions such as “severely fucking damaged beauty”, I wanted to like Grave Babies the most, but the Note to Listener soon changed that seeing as I cant do static and distortion any more than I can stick my head in a microwave – and so instead Dum Dum Girls became the runaway hit for me

    ps – l like the new play button things built into the post, much easier listening!

    • Static can be sort of a turnoff. I like it, generally, but it’s no good if all you’re looking for is a song.

      I suppose I could recommend it as so much minimal techno/Phillip Glass has been recommended to me: “It’s what’s between the notes/static that counts.”

      However, there are no caveats for the Dum Dum Girls. They just rock amiably and tunefully.

      Glad you dug the tracks and I’m a fan of the play button as well. Makes it much easier to share great music without having to trawl the depths of Youtube in hopes that someone has cobbled together a video for whatever it is that I’m pushing this week.

  2. That first track reached right out and grabbed me by my temporal lobes and swept me up in a vortex of ecstasy (it was the “18 Hours of Love”…). Listened to it twice. Luved it!!

    Grave Babies? I liked the static the best!!

    We Were Promised the Jetpacks…Hell, yeah (or hell, aye)!!

    Rotovibe — this song was much more interesting due to your accompanying narrative (and I would not have noticed the subtle organ!).

    How in the world do you come up with sentences like “…leaves behind shards of resplendent destruction and the most exquisite corpse you’ve ever seen/heard.”


    • Thanks for all the compliments and for listening, e3h. You’re definitely a star pupil, no matter what TL says. (And this comes from a man who still recommends Bob Seger.)

      How do I come up with those phrases? I’m not sure. It all starts with a crash and ends with a mental thesaurus. “Exquisite corpse” is nabbed from a couple of sources, Bauhaus (the band) being one of them.

  3. I’m sorry I haven’t been around but I was internetless for an entire week. The horror.

    This was another fine selection CLT. Especially, like you said the name of We Were Promised Jetpacks. I totally feel that vibe because, you know..WTF? Where are all the cool toys I thought would be readily and cheaply available to a New Centurion such as myself?

    And why the hell are there no new super amazing drugs? I thought by now they’d have a pill you could take in replacement of a meal, a pill you could take in replacement of sleeping (and I don’t mean speed, I mean one that made you actually rested, a pill for everything…especially that all important euphoria inducer! The last good drug invented was X and that was years ago.

    I also loved the Dum Dum Girls!

    • Scott! You’re alive!

      Internetless, eh? That is “the horror” personified (well, not actually, seeing as the internet is not a person, but the words kind of ran together nicely…) I had just assumed you were taking your quarterly break to run down some more trunkfuls of hookers to Spain’s Mexico (Portugal?) and start a new life as Sr. Scott Moreno, troubleshooter to the stars.

      Either way, welcome back and thanks for listening. We were promised jetpacks, among other things. It’s so disappointing. On the other hand, I can’t imagine today’s drivers being given the opportunity to move around in a third dimension without it all ending badly.

      The drug issue is basically the same. Disappointing. Every kid with a Hasbro lab set and a set of Wikipedias was supposed to be cranking out the best thing since sliced black tar heroin. What the fucking fuck.

  4. Sweet stuff, CLT. True story, last week I went through the last 10 of your HRs, just so I’d have some kickasstic tunes for my new iPhone.

    Sadly, half of them weren’t available on iTunes. And even more sadly, I got suckered into getting an iPhone.

    • Yes. iTunes is lacking in artists without labels or steady release schedules. In fact, a lot of these songs I’ve featured are available free from the artists themselves as a “listen to this and then come see us live” item.

      Just right-click on the song titles to download. You’ll need some sort of mp3-iPod converter, but that’s usually as simple as a visit to zdnet.

      Thanks for the comment, b. Happy tune-hunting!

  5. Hi,what a nice pants,thanks for sharing.I will get one like that.bill

    • Lucien-

      I was just talking to Omar about socks and the strange fact that you both like to be called “Bill.” Thanks for sharing the nice socks information. I will get some like that, Bill.

  6. Hey Capitalist, it’s me, Bebe Zeva. We exchanged a few emails a while back in which I depicted you on Microsoft Paint as a ‘cool alt dad’ wearing a trendy flannel button-down and toting a macbook-friendly messenger bag. Well, here I am, tuning into your mp3s and leaving my own two cents. I don’t know nearly as much about music as you evidently do, but I at least know more than my radio-happy mother. My favorite genres of music include chillwave (a fusion of shoegaze, electro, and nostalgic 80s looping), disco (of the more recent variety, none of that garb from the 1970s), and indie rock/ indie twee pop (The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, etc).

    I enjoyed most of the mp3s you posted here, but I must warn you; I’m not the kind of music connoisseur that appreciates music without a distinguishable melody. I like music that is audibly evocative. If it requires excess interpretation and is more art than it is sound, I’m probably not a fan. But for the most part, I think we’re on the same page.

    I just wanted to leave you with a great music recommendation; Tame Impala. They’re an up-and-coming buzzband from Perth, Australia known for their psychedelic rock jams. You should download their new album, ‘Innerspeaker’. It just came out and is already one of my favorites. There’s no way you won’t enjoy a listen or two!

    • Hey, Bebe.

      I remember it well. It was a much cooler representation than my actual self, who tends to be dressed in a non-button down t-shirt and totes an analog 5-Star notebook from place to place.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed most of the weekly picks here. I’m a huge fan of shoegaze and electro and the recent resurgence of both has been making my ears ring happily (and lucratively, if you ask my otologist).

      I can appreciate not being asked to leap mental hurdles just to enjoy a track. I’ve heard several different bands discussed as “rewarding repeated listening,” but I don’t really have the time to punish myself over and over again in search of enlightenment. (I’m looking at you, King Crimson. I’m also looking at you, most of math-rock.) I’m not some sort of musical monk.

      I’m on my way to check out Tame Impala. The Australians have been kicking out the jams with incredible consistency these days. (Faux Pas, Midnight Juggernauts, Shocking Pinks, PNAU, Late Nite Tuff Guy, more I’m sure I’m forgetting…)

      Thanks for the tip! Hope to see you again amongst the commenters.

    • Hahaha!

      You’ll be happy to know I’ve expanded the color palette of my oversized shirts and jeans, RF. I now dabble in the darker end of the rainbow on occasion. I just can’t see myself in the Cosby sweaters and extra facial hair you tend to sport.

      However, you’re right about my wife. I married way above my station looks and fashion-wise.

  7. […] (Canyons Drunken Rage).mp3 Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala (described to perfection in a previous comment thread) allow their Half Full Glass of Wine track to be beaten about by the mysterious Canyons. The […]

  8. I’m guessing this has something to do with the World Cup. Fuckin’ weegies.

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