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Heavy Rotation 50

June 27, 2010

Welcome to the 50th installment of the Heavy Rotation. I don’t really have anything planned as this sort of snuck up on me, and if you really get technical (and we will), this is actually the 51st, thanks to the numbering system not really “catching on” until the third HR. This doesn’t even include the repeated number somewhere in the 30’s.

Long story short: we’re calling this 50, but we’re not making a big deal of it.

First the links, because we’re all just not using the internet enough already:
[All links open in a new window. Right-click on track names to download.]

http://copybot.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/the-50-most-interesting-articles-on-wikipedia/

http://copybot.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/50-more-of-wikipedias-most-interesting-articles/

http://snarkmarket.com/

Approximately 50 previous volumes here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

The Antlers – Kettering.mp3
We’ll build up this time around. Kicking things off is the Antlers and their dream/nightmare pop, delivering a haunting dirge detailing the frustration and futility of losing someone to forces beyond your control. The internal scream of someone dying on the inside watching someone dying on the outside.

The Delta Mirror – Going to Town.mp3
Former L.A. indie hip hop producers find a new life on the offworld colonies, returning to earth with their troubled take on post-rock/electronica via the shoegazey plugins of m83 and Ulrich Schnauss. Certainly more menacing than the bands listed above (although m83 does go darker more often than US), Going to Town rides a mildly fucked-up beat deep into the shadows while bright synth tones alluringly drag the listener down with them.

How could something so pretty be so full of pain? And why the hell does it remind me so much of the following track that my brain nearly broke trying to put 2 and 2 together around 4 in the morning early last week?

Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them.mp3
Germany’s least expected import, Ulrich Schnauss writes love letters to My Bloody Valentine and Chapterhouse using his newfangled software and racks of electronics, rather than the tear-stained quill and paper they’re used to. Much like m83 and the recently discovered Incubator, Schnauss builds emotional moments from a collection of bits and bytes and creates cripplingly gorgeous soundscapes from files and folders.

This track sounds a fair bit like the previous one. And vice versa. Actually, more vice versa than not, what with Schnauss hitting the scene first.

m83 – Teen Angst (Death to the Throne Mix).mp3
Now the beats are starting to kick in. Death to the Throne dresses up Teen Angst for the dancefloor without pandering to the club kids, allowing blasts of m83’s white noise to break through before sending the 4/4 beat in to restore order, most memorably in the stutter-step-stagger bursts that lead into the 2nd chorus.

Tame Impala – H.F.G.W. (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 result?

A loping beat meets gently weeping guitar licks before the bass kicks in with the intonation, “You leave me no choice but to plot my revenge.” As the vocals loop the song starts to strut, muscling its way into your ears and heading straight for your ass, mutating into a veritable rock fucking monster that Led Zeppelin woud have been proud to call their own.

[Need a track removed? Tired of all this shoegaze-tronica? Need some money wired to an ailing relative in Kenya? Contact me at 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

-CLT

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22 comments

  1. I was familiar with the Kardashev scale, eternal flame, the Wow! signal, Fabergé eggs, self-immolation, and of course the Taman Shud case (courtesy: an earlier post of yours. There is nothing quite like starting your Sunday off feeling like a moron! This bolsters my argument as to why we need machine intelligence augmentation.

    The Antlers — hauntingly beautiful

    Delta Mirror — Sounded like one of those antiquated vibrating exercise machines from the 60s gone awry (C.L. Tanager will know what I am referring to)

    I could groove to Schnauss (make that a Schnaussy/Schnappsy/schtupty kind of afternoon)

    Cryptomnesia – Aha, an explanation! This may explain my repeating myself in blog comments and utilizing material I have read/written before (now, explanation for declining cognitive capacity…).


    • Sounds like you didn’t need too much enlightening, Elizabeth. Most morons aren’t familiar with the Kardashev scale and vibrating exercise machines and any experience they’ve had with self-immolation probably was accidental and involved beer.

      Schnauss makes some great mood music, no matter which way you (and your mood) swing. And as for the Delta Mirror rattling away like antiquated exercise equipment? They’d probably consider that a compliment.

      Thanks for the visit, elizabeth.


  2. Antlers- I’m not going to lie, I’ve been putting off downloading the Antlers’ Hospice for months now. I heard rave reviews, but I figured it could wait. I was wrong. This song is one of the best I’ve heard in months. It’s literally perfect. The dreamy quality, the vocals, the perfection of the instrumentation, everything. Unbelievable.

    The Delta Mirror/Ulrich Schnauss- They truly do compliment each other nicely, which is why I’m combining my commentary. I like how the Delta Mirror touches on sad themes while not sounding gloomy and I like how the Ulrich Schnauss song brings the first song to a close with its beautiful simplicity.

    M83- A great song turned dancey and club-appropriate. Except I’m not sure too many clubs have the balls to play M83 (or at least here in Las Vegas.) The music they play usually sounds pretty crappy whenever I walk by. This has undoubtedly shaped my decision to never go clubbing.

    Tame Impala- How do I even begin to describe how much I love Tame Impala and their perfect-return-to-the-60’s-unbelievable-goodness? I’ve been obsessed with Innerspeaker since the day it came out and it’s one of the few albums I anticipated long before its release. Of course, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m extremely pleased that you posted this song since I don’t have it. Amazing! And yes, I agree that Led Zeppelin would approve.


    • Rachel –

      Thanks for listening and extra thanks for the insightful and beautifully composed comment. I’d like to add a few things but I don’t know what’s left to say.

      I guess I’d just point you in the direction of Ulrich Schnauss who has an amazing body of work. And I’m glad you dug the Tame Impala remix, which hit my ears just right.

      Thanks again for listening.


  3. Before I say anything else, I wanted to thank you immensely for including one of the greatest emerging bands in the contemporary music scene to your blog post (Tame Impala, but isn’t that obvious? Heh heh). I don’t think they’ve come out with a single track that hasn’t impressed me beyond verbal and literal expression.

    As for the first track- I definitely appreciated it and could recognize its musical quality, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to it again. Is that terrible? I feel like slow and solemn music doesn’t hook me unless it has some sort of epic build-up. Not sure. I feel ashamed dismissing the Antlers. They’re incredible.

    As for the second track- I found it favorable. Another great track for my summer playlist. It’s not too loud, doesn’t demand too much of me, and had some ‘awesome effing lyrics’. I love the vocals. Music like that almost always appeals to me.

    As for the third track- Oh my Godspeed, I really loved this. I can see someone possibly calling it ‘trendy elevator music’ but since when is elevator music a bad thing???? It’s calming. Gets WAAAAAY too much negative criticism. I’m a huge fan. Ask my mom. I made her buy me a Paul Hardcastle album for my 14th birthday.

    As for the fourth track- It’s M83. Need I say more? Of course I liked it. They’re one of those rare bands that actually deserves all the hype they receive (yes, that does mean I think the world’s infatuation with Radiohead is just a little out of bounds). What I really liked about this track is Death to the Throne’s interpretation of the track. I am a HUGE fan of turning mellow, dreamy music into electro bangers.

    As for the fifth track (FINALLY)- Canyons did a really unexpected rework of this song (which is one of my favorites of all time). And I like it a lot. They slowed everything down, allowing the listener to concentrate more on the structure of the song than the ‘overall jammability’. I know for certain that I am often so lost in the original that I fail to appreciate all its tremendous components. Thank you Canyons, for giving me the opportunity to do so.

    Just wanted to end this comment by saying that I was shocked to see my mom hadn’t included the world ‘brilliant’ ONCE in her most recent comment. WHAT? This is a first. I guess I’ll have to say it for her then, Capitalist. BRILLIANT POST! I know that’s what she was thinking, but perhaps she hasn’t been feeling well and forgot to mention it? Seems really out of character. I’ll have to check up on her later. 😉


    • Bebe –

      Between you and your sister I’m feeling a little speechless (typeless?). It’s great to see fans of music who have the ability to express it so eloquently.

      I’m sure you must be the only teen in America who has ever demanded their parents buy them a Paul Hardcastle album. And I’m very attuned to remixes, especially of bands that don’t seem to lend themselves to one. If done right, it’s like having the best of both worlds: one for the brain and one for the feet/ass.

      Good point (although I see she’s rectified it, and with hearts even), there wasn’t a “brilliant” in there. Must have been all those self-immolations.

      Thanks again for the incredible comment, Bebe. We’ll see you next week.


  4. ♥♥♥ brilliant♥♥♥


    • Haha, so finely tuned minds run in the family…brilliance squared.


    • Thanks very much for the belated “brilliant,” although no one should really feel obligated. I’ll take it anyway because I love compliments.


  5. This was a great Heavy Rotation CLT (and so it should be seeing as thought it is celebrating “approximately 50 posts” what an ‘almost’, ‘give or take’ landmark!) it had an excellent flow to it

    I particularly loved The Antlers – really beautiful!!! (and loved your description too, which rolled right off the tongue). My other favourite moment was reading “stutter-step-stagger” and not having a mental stutter while doing so!


    • Thanks, Ruby. I kind of had something lined up and then a fresh batch of tunes forced me to reshuffle at the last minute, so I’m kind of amazed it still flowed.

      The Antlers are the best kind of dark: elegant. It’s so much darker than the growly, angry kind. And I’m glad that description worked out. It’s kind of hard to evoke electronic wizardry without resorting to made-up words and hyphens.


  6. Nice stuff CLT, I admit I dug the Schnauss song and listened twice. Thanks DJ-CLT.


    • Thanks, FJ. Schnauss does some brilliant things with lifeless electronics. There’s somewhat of a water to wine conversion going on when he’s in charge.


  7. Well maybe you won’t make a big deal out of it (50-ish!!) but it is a big deal. I just went out (to another website) and ordered you a golden turntable. They said to allow 2 or 3 years (until I hit the lotto) for delivery.

    Although I did enjoy The Antlers I enjoyed your review of the song more. Yea, it sucks. I had to sit back and watch both of my parents die in my 20’s. My father as he was doing it to himself with cirrhosis and my mother through no fault of her own through cancer. Frustration and futility for sure. But as I’ve mentioned somewhere or other, death is simply a part of life. A sucky part but a necessary part nonetheless.

    I expected the Ulrich to have a little more of a whiney, “somebody just cut my fucking royalty check by 13 percent by illegally fucking downloading myyyy shiittttt!” sound, but I was happily surprised to see that I liked it.

    And also enjoyed the Teen Angst as well. Thanks for the tunage my brother!


    • Scott, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to receiving a golden turntable. I would imagine the shipping on that will be a bitch, so try to include that with the end that you’re paying for (read: all of it).

      I haven’t gone through any of those experiences, Scott, but I would I imagine I will at some point in my life. I lost a few grandparents but it was when they were on the back nine of 70, so it’s not like it was unexpected. They also lived miles from me, so there was that disconnect as well. Still sucks though.

      Ulrich (I think) isn’t one of those whiners. He seems to be fairly “ok” with the downloading. Glad you dug the tracks, Scott. Thanks for the comment.


  8. *sigh* Another Heavy Rotation with no Bobby Goldsboro. The man just can’t catch a break.


    • I’ll have to look into this Goldsboro character. Minimal techno DJ, perhaps? Or is he doing some sort of retro-looking post-rock with a disco vibe?

      I’ll get back to you.


  9. CLT,

    I just wanted you to know that while I can’t technically hear these songs right now (I’m visiting family and sadly my Mom’s Commodore 64 has seen better days), I’m still giving each of them five thumbs up (three of which aren’t even mine!).

    I will update as soon as I have access to a computer with sound. Which reminds me…do you wire money to non-ailing relatives who aren’t in Kenya but are too cheap to buy a computer that doesn’t require floppy disks?


    • Bschooled –

      Even though you can’t hear the songs (technically or otherwise), I’d like to thank you for your wholehearted five thumbs up, which I believe averages out to one thumb per song.

      I’m awaiting your return to the present day computatational power. Until then, please accept this Amiga, whose processor and other electronic thingies is easily 1.3x the power you have now. Sorry about the manual, though. It was only available in Kenyan.


  10. I ordered the Antler’s CD today due to your featured track (along with a Son House album, a Bogie & Bacall DVD set, and a Raymond Carver book), so you’ve done your part to stimulate the economy today. I’m sure you’ll get your cut.

    Have you listened to Unkle’s (no longer an acronym, apparently) new album? If so, is it any good?

    And while we’re on the subject, why did DJ Shadow’s last album suck so bad? Did he change drugs?

    Have a good 4th, CLT.


    • Yep, I’m sure the referral fees will come rolling in any day now, leading to my retirement and a trip to Vegas. I’ll probably get my cut in the form of a shovel-ready mob style execution from the major labels.

      I haven’t heard the new (sans periods) Unkle yet and as for Shadow? I don’t know. Could just be no drugs. That tends to stop a lot of great artists from producing great things. I’ve also heard chatter here and there about his complacency, especially in comparison to Unkle, who keeps pushing things forward.

      You try and have a good 4th as well. I’m going to get the boys something flammable and allow the local insects to feast on my blood while I supervise.


  11. […] In other words, quite a bit different than the dreamier pop we caught them doing last time. […]



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