Archive for May, 2010

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I Survived!: True Stories of Human Survival Vol. 2

May 6, 2010

Welcome back! It’s been a couple of  (long) weeks but here it is at last: the next volume in what is hoped to be a series for the ages.

Brace yourself for the unkempt horror that is: I Survived! V.2

Also recommended:
I Survived! Vol. 1

Above is the last known photo of the field recording equipment still alive.

Jason Brune
While capturing some field recordings for his upcoming concept album A Gaian Distress Call of Distress, Jason lost his footing on an incline when the rain-weakened ground gave way below him, sending him tumbling 120 feet to the gravel road below.

Severely wounded and unable to move, Brune briefly wondered as to the condition of the recording equipment, which he had borrowed (without permission) from a friend (who was currently out of town). His answer came less than second later when the reel-to-reel joined him on the gravel, smashing itself (and most of Brune’s arm) into hundreds of pieces.

Brune attempted to retrieve his cell phone from his pocket, but the severity of the pain prevented him from doing anything more than microscopically shifting his weight and vomiting, somewhat less microscopically.

Realizing that he would die if he didn’t receive medical attention quickly, Jason began to pray. The relative painlessness of the silent prayer was soon disrupted. An unlikely answer arrived in the form of a speeding Lexus, which ran over both of his exposed legs before screeching to a halt.

Alerted by the unexpected speed bump, Mike O’Connor (and his wife) sprang into action. (Beth waited in the car as instructed.) Said O’Connor: “At first glance it seemed pretty serious. But after some closer inspection, we only found some light scuffs on the rocker panel.”

The O’Connors brought Greil to the emergency room, putting him in the care of some of the finest self-medicators in northern California.

O’Connor: “I’m sure the trunk wasn’t the comfiest, what with our roll of chicken wire and some lovely loose agate from our earlier rock hunting in there, but I’ve got a genuine leather interior.”

Adds Betty: “We would have sent him something during his recovery, but Hallmark doesn’t carry a ‘Hope You Recover from Your Horrific Injuries and Agate Cuts’ card, and I won’t buy off-brand.”

Jason has yet to speak negatively about this experience, something doctors attribute to his “indomitable spirit” and his “struggles with re-learning the English language.”

This artist's depiction of Longwell's ill-fated jump fails on every conceivable level.

Jake Longwell
Longwell, a self-styled “extreme” sportsman, found himself in very different sort of “extreme” situation one fateful August afternoon, when his “routine” 30,000-foot skydive became anything but routine.

Says Jake: “When I saw all the quotation marks, I should have known something was wrong.”

Something was indeed “wrong” wrong.

At 5,000 feet, Jake’s parachute fails to open. He deploys his backup at 1,500 feet but it becomes tangled in the main chute. Jake heads toward the ground at nearly 80 mph, his descent only slightly slowed by his tangled chutes and his screams of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Longwell’s body slams into the ground at a very “extreme” speed of 85 miles per hour, instantly pulverizing most of his “extremities.” Fearing that it will be several hours before his baked pilot even realizes that he’s missing, Jake consults his mental map and determines that he will have to crawl nearly 12 agonizing miles to reach the nearest town.

His progress is slow at first, as Longwell uses his chin to pull himself forward and his sole unbroken toe to help push. Sixteen hours later, Longwell suffers a setback when his soul patch blows out, dropping his usable chin surface by nearly one-third.

Running dangerously low on MTN Dew, Longwell regroups and gets his bearings, doing some quick mental arithmetic with his mental abacus. After mentally sliding the beads this way and that, Jake angrily hurls the mental abacus across the brain room and mindreaches for his mental digital calculator.

He is not happy with the answer. (5318008.) Jake determines that his rate of travel is around 18 inches per minute. He attempts to pick up the pace.

He presses on, using the 1.5 degree downslope to his advantage and attempts to make up for lost time by keeping his lapses into unconsciousness to less than 30 minutes per “spell.”

Around the 30-hour mark, Longwell gets another break as he find some relatively smooth pavement on which to drag himself along. No longer held up by uneven terrain and underbrush, he begins to pick up speed, occasionally troubled by irate ground squirrels and local teens, who pelt him with taunts, beer bottles and inane, indecipherable chattering.

At this time of this writing, Jake has still not reached the nearest town.

-CLT

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The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Vol. 7

May 4, 2010

A long-delayed welcome back to an old favorite: the Bible. As usual, the sugar-coated teachings of the elders have been undercut with the saucy impertinence of today’s cynical bloggers. While many of you may find this to be “just fine,” rest assured someone, somewhere is busily putting together a chain email, full of grammatical errors and exclamation points, decrying today’s lack of morality and respect.

Before you finish adding the last few bits of ALL CAPS, why don’t you read a bit. And contemplate.

Previous heretical texts stored safely here:
The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Archives

The crew of "To Catch a Predator" sets the bait.

1And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi, much to Levi’s surprise and instant outrage.

2And the woman conceived, less than two months after a hasty wedding, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months, as his incessant goodliness made dinner conversations awkward. And boring. And don’t even mention the “marital relations.”

3And when she could not longer hide/put up with him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. When Social Services arrived to investigate a “slimy, pitchy baby,” they found themselves stymied by the archaic term “flags” and turned the whole case over to the Sheriff’s office.

4And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him, because she was nosy. And somewhat barren.

5And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side, uttering sycophantic nonsense; and when she saw the ark among the flags (whatever the hell they are), she sent her maid to fetch it.

6And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. So did the pitchy, slimy baby. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children, which reminds me, could you maidens run down and make sure they’re still enslaved? Thanks, you’re a dear.

7Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharoah’s daughter said, shouldn’t you be back in your slave hut or whatever?

8And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And try to act more “enslaved.” And the maid went and called the child’s mother.

9And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, for I am incredibly busy. And spoiled. And I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it, saying something under her breath about a “ridiculously circuitous plan.”

10And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son and was tattooed with the Egyptian hieroglyphic for “adopted.” And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water. Or rather, my maidens did, but I take the credit around here.

11And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren, and Moses felt a tag guilty about his general “unsmittenness.” He did, however, begin to feel better about his “adoptedness,” which was pretty much burden-free.

Unfortunately, Moses' privileged life had made his shanking skills a little rusty...

12And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man (and only a couple of women whose eyewitness account would be immediately discounted), he slew the Egyptian, just to watch him die, and hid him in the sand.

13And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together (which is not nearly as dirty as it sounds): and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And Moses said, What the hell was that? English, motherfucker. Do. You. Speak. It.

14And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? (Um, the princess did. Duh.) Intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? Moses said, well, not originally but you’re starting to pissedst me off. And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known, and regretted handing out the t-shirt emblazoned with “Moses: Kills Egyptians Dead.”

15Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. With extreme prejudice. [Musical sting.] But Moses fled from the face (and other more damaging parts) of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian (Egypt’s “Mexico”): and he sat down by a well, feeling very grateful that he was not in Bruges.

16Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters(!): and they came (!!) and drew water(!!!), and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. (…)

17And the shepherds came and drove them away in their finest pimpmobiles: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And fertilized their crops. (+4 EXP)

18And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to-day? I was expecting you later. And this thing with the vacuum hose… well… it’s really not what it looks like.

19And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the “shepherds,” and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And fertilized our crops. And rescued a baby calf. (Check gifts.)

20And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? seriously, what the hell, women? call him, that he may eat bread. And watch “Egypt’s Top Model.”

As he struggled to contain his nauseousness, Moses pondered Zipporah's fascination with her bag of feces.

21And Moses was content to dwell with the man (seven daughters being a lot of contentment): and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter, who was well-known for her catchy name and infectious… laugh.

22And she bare him a son, and on the first try, sending her father (he of the “women-only” swimmers) into a spiralling depression, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

23And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage, which had gone well past what could be considered arousing.

24And God heard their groaning (and bitching), and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, which apparently was right at the tip of his tongue for the past several generations, but now… NOW YOU REMEMBER IT??!?! WTF???

25And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them and their bondage, and gave them a safety word.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 42

May 2, 2010

You’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today. Well, I will cut to the chase. Mrs. Farnham passed on late last night, under the most suspicious of circumstances. At first it appeared to be nothing more than natural causes.

Closer inspection showed that her window had been opened from the outside. I also noted that the third finger of her left hand had been removed and used for a doorstop. I found trace amounts of ether and clown makeup on the adjacent pillow. Her Gideon Bible had been opened to a passage in Revelations and a cryptic note stating “Pick up drycleaning” could be made out when rubbed lightly with a pencil.

I will need a statement from each of you, going from oldest to youngest in reverse alphabetical order. Those of you with hypenated last names will need to choose one or the other. No more “keeping your options open.” I’m a little tired of watching line jumpers game the alphabet in this fashion.

It seems obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway: no one is to leave this room under all inquiries are finished. In the meantime, Jeeves will play some hand-selected tunes from his massive collection of 78s. Those of you with heart conditions are advised to lie down or curl into the nearest bassbin.

Jeeves, be a good man and bring the funk.

Leaving the room? Stop by here for more tunes and rock-solid alibis:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Holy Fuck – Lucky.mp3
Holy Fuck steps things up on their second album, bringing more focus to their psychedelic percussive workouts. Lucky is a prime example of this: a scratching riff melds with a some darting electronics, doing their best impression of a robotic Tom Morello jamming with the Parliament Funkadelic.

All of this combines with some half-buried (and mostly obscured) vocals and a driving, building rhythm section to creat a tune that sticks a foot in your door, asking for no more than 5 minutes of your time. By the time it’s all over, you’re the proud owner of a ridiculously expensive vacuum and a new religion.

Dave Wrangler – Bow Down to Latin America (Holy Fuck vs. Westside Connection).mp3
Within what seemed like mere hours of Holy Fuck’s album release, producer/mashup artist Dave Wrangler delivered this previously unimaginable combination. Say hello to these new best friends: the gangster posturing of Westside Connection and the muscular near-title track of the Fucker’s latest.

As the elements jostle for position early on, you may feel that 2+2, while not actually stretching to “5”, is definitely riding the outer edge of “4.5”. But by the time the first chorus hits, the unlikely couple is locked into the same groove, getting along like Crips and Canadians. (They’re the peanut butter and chocolate of the gangster/nationality world.)

Young Boys – Bring Em Down.mp3
You know all that noise I make about A Place to Bury Strangers taking up the Jesus & Mary Chain’s “Joy of Feedback” cookbook and setting up shop at the local earbleedery? Well, the Young Boys (voted Most Likely to Google You Right Onto the NAMBLA Mailing List) take the fuzz and wah of the JAMC and run with it, making sure to pour on healthy amounts of burnt-out nihilism. (It’s like butter for music – makes everything instantly better.)

The Dylans – I’ll Be Back to Haunt You.mp3
Surfacing during the early-90s Madchester baggy scene, the Dylans released an album full of Beatles-aping psychedelia, which helped them go nowhere fast, albeit in a rather pleasant fashion.

Something fucktacularly bad must have happened shortly thereafter. Their sophomore effort stomps all over the good vibes of their debut like a jackbooted biker “securing” a hippie at Altamont. Bitter, hard charging, feel-bad music to send out to the ones you used to love. Let them know how much their life will suck without you. How much they won’t be able to stop thinking about you.

Let me be
I’m not included
Not aware of any feelings
See confusion
I see changes
Empty words on endless pages

I’m not alive
I’m dead I’m dead I’m dead I’m dead
But I’ll come back to haunt you
I’ll be back to get you
I will not forget you

Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks (Sidney Frost’s Redneck Mask Mix).mp3
Let me just say this: I would highly recommend this track even if I didn’t know this remixer personally. But in the interest of full disclosure, this righteous remix is courtesy of my brother, one Sidney Frost of Minneapolis/Moab.

Showing what our dad would call “intestinal fortitude,” Frost briefly forsakes his minimal techno stylings for something that unabashedly forsakes the grey matter and heads right for the ass, which will soon be headed to the nearest dancing surface, with no regard for your better judgement/dancing ability. The beefed-up thump would make Bonham proud, if only he weren’t so busy rolling in his grave. Coverdale/Page, indeed.

Oh, and in a bit of blogging singularity, young Ulysses of Hidden Leaves dropped the unremixed classic during his Friday musical presentation. Odd, that. In another bit of full disclosure, I would like to say that we have never met before and therefore, there is no way that he could have foreknowledge of the clumsy magic trick we are about to perform, what with his being pulled “randomly” from the audience and all. (Note to self: remove suspicious quotation marks before posting. KTHX.)

-CLT