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Heavy Rotation 53

July 18, 2010

5 tracks. 3 links. Synergistic.

First, the links.

[All links open in a new window. All tracks can be downloaded by right-clicking on their titles.]

Who do you write like? Drop in a few paragraphs and find out.

The “Rap Metal” paragraphs from the last Music Genre guide gave me this incredibly pleasing result:

[Full disclosure: three paragraphs from the post you’re reading gave me “Dan Brown.” And their badge code doesn’t play nice with WordPress.]

Golden Ages’ website, We’re So Future. (Check out their track and come back to this.)

A periodic table of swearing. And you can buy one for your wall. (Via kottke.org.)

Previous versions not numbered 53 available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Felix & Volcano! – Shaadows.mp3
I don’t care what you’re listening to or what you’re doing. Drop all of it and listen to this. This is best fucking thing you will hear all day/week/month/year. I don’t say this lightly or routinely throw around hyperbolic statements, so fuck all the genre bullshit about who this sounds like or what their influences might be or how the rest of their catalog doesn’t really resemble this.

It’s the kind of track that kicks you in the head and makes you want to sing along even though you don’t know the words yet.

It starts out slowly, riding a low key bassline that wouldn’t seem out of place in quality R&B/soul track, accompanied by some sort of buzzing, synthetic organ. The lyric obliquely detail the turning point in a relationship. A fight. An ultimatum. A release.

Hey
Let’s not make up
Let’s just leave it alone…

The hardest thing to do sometimes is just… let… go. But then the levee breaks. And you’re free.

Because when we surface
With our minds intact
We’ll finally be home…

They follow this melody for a few moments, singing wordlessly. The chorus returns, its original form sung underneath a slight rewriting:

Because when we slow down
Let go my hand
Don’t you worry…

3:23. Wind howls past, blowing away the past. Clarity is acheived. The weight is removed. All you had to do was let it go.

The song picks up pace, racing away, weightless and triumphant. A soul unanchored.

Check them out.

Golden Ages – It Doesn’t Mean Shit.mp3
Like the previous track, impossible to pinpoint and steeped in the same sentiment. Fuck all the genre bullshit. It’s as though Golden Ages decided to make some electronica and cobbled it all together using only instinct and enthusiasm.

And when the tastemakers showed up with the All Knowing Guide to Electronica Standards and Guidelines, they were horrified to find this distorted, jovial mess rattling along like a circuitious Rube Goldberg contraption, whose very existence was the only ends that justified the looping means.

Oh. It’s fun alright. Name that influence. Find the title (spoken once). Is that running water? Why does this add up to great music when all the components feel like they would cancel each other out? Who knows… enjoy.

UNKLE – Natural Selection (featuring the Black Angels).mp3
Like the bluesy-psychedelia of the late-’60s Rolling Stones crossed with UNKLE’s electronic sensibilities. Moves along with a confident swagger, as I imagine UNKLE themselves must, what with their impeccable production and godawesome catalog.

It’s the effortless cool that David Holmes projects. Or Death in Vegas. Or the Stones themselves, back in their heyday. The Black Angels classically-rockist vocals aid greatly as do their tasteful insertion of huge, distorted riffs.

†‡† – goth bb.mp3
Google-unfriendly †‡† (a.k.a. ritualzzz) take to the airwaves with a darker-than-darkwave collection of killer bass and disembodied screams, all moving at a menacing, zombie-esque pace.

Some people have bandied about the term “witch house” to describe this sort of post-gothic, post-industrial electronica that dwells at the deeper, deadlier end of the genre pool. It’s a terrible term, conjuring up Blair Witch sequels and weekend Wiccans dancing around candles and incense. But what would you call it? Goth-tronica? Death disco? Nightmare pop?

SALEM – King Night.mp3
Returning to their signature death disco sound after a dalliance with chopped and screwed hip hop, SALEM dial up the evil in this audio rendition of an apocalyptic midnight mass. The suffocating sounds of a black celebration as hell reigns on earth, summoned by ritually abused drum machines and overdriven amps.

Those who manage to pull themselves from the primordial sinkhole will be haunted by a Hallelujah chorus of the damned. It’s enough to make the living envy the dead. All hail King Night.

[Need a track removed? Looking for a glimpse of daylight? Goth-tronica? Seriously? Email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

-CLT

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22 comments

  1. On occasion (frequently), when I read your posts, I am endowed with a sense of perspective. The “clarity” you write of is a glimpse into an intellectual ‘pecking order’, one which puts me soundly in my place. I may feel like haute shit amongst the moronic denizens of Las Vegas (of which we lead the nation), but compared to you, I am a mere mortal, whereas you are some sort of literary and artistic god doing what you do best:…unfettered and unanchored souls, primordial singularities, and a Hallelujah chorus of the damned…yes, indeed, you do write like David Foster Wallace!!! Still waiting for the ‘book’ (the CLT book) which I would like autographed, and I promise not to sell it on eBay when I finish reading it.

    P.S. Rachel and Bebe had wisdom teeth extraction (doped up on narcotics and covered with ice packs) and said to tell you they would be commenting on your next post.


    • As soon as I have that book finished, elizabeth, I’ll autograph, place it on eBay and finish off the night by live-blogging my furious attempts to outbid you for the item. It will be pointless but entertaining and will hopefully drive the price into the stratosphere, at which point I will click the “Buy It Now” button and then screw myself by refusing to pay.

      It’s all in Paypal’s hands now, which means we can all move on with our lives. It’ll be decades before a satisfactory resolution is achieved. Or you can click on Paypal’s “Screw Me Now” button and be told that the other party has vanished with your money and that includes the change in the sofa cushions.

      Say hi to Rachel and Bebe for me. Narcotics are fun and I would imagine ice packs are OK, too, although I’ve never tried that particular combination. I have done the narcotics and iced-down alcoholic beverages and that’s fun. It also tends to leave me in a somewhat comatose state, most recently on the front porch.

      Thanks for the compliments, E3h and for listening.


  2. Damn. The organ music threw me off for just a few seconds on that first track, reminding me of old days in a skating rink (“After this song everyone reverse direction . . .”), and then like you said, it really kicked into gear, with a real Bowie-esqe vocal touch there that rocks. And the organ music works, and is a nice break from thick power chords. Following your definition like an English Prof. explaining a masterpeice, that was one great ride! I’m working through the others as time allows, but wow. Good one, CLT!


    • Ha! F&V! are your DJs tonight, spinning you round and round, quite like a record, baby, round round round!

      As has been indicated before, organs give you a headstart into the Heavy Rotation as it is one of my weaknesses. And if you can project power without getting all hamfistedly chord-y, I’m sold.

      P.S. There seems to be a Bowie thing going on that I didn’t pick up on, despite my listening to the track for nearly a 1/2 hour straight the first time I heard it. Skills seem to be slipping. Or the commenters are learning way too quickly. It’s all very grasshopper and pebble right about now…


  3. True Story; I read this HR while at my local library and without headphones, so I first read this minus listening to any actual tracks – but never fear, I still had the soundtrack of a room full of toddlers singing nursery rhymes next door. Fitting.

    On return, I loved Unkle. Salem had a bit of a bit too much of an anthem sound for me at the start, and the first track that you so highly recommended was great, full of surprises (and thats even with reading about half of them first!), I thought the vocals sounded a bit like Bowie in parts…


    • No doubt this comes off as some sort of a “ravings of a rather profance madman” when unaccompanied, Ruby. I’m sure a room full of toddlers doesn’t help.

      Granted, SALEM can be a bit much (and they like their ALLCAPS) but what can I say? I love the dark stuff, even if it sometimes grabs the extension ladder and heads “over the top.” It’s my sacreligious cross to bear. It’s also my half-assed soap box so I sometimes will be “sharing the pain” so to speak. I’m sure it will happen again. And possibly again. And so on.

      Still, I think the first track is the pick of the litter and I’m very surprised I didn’t pick up on the Bowie-esqueness. But I’m glad everyone else did. It’s just another well-turned feather in that track’s hat.


  4. I am still going through the music (a bit dark for me). But I did do the writing analysis thingy and mine came back as Chuck Palahniuk. So, I guess we are clearly in the post-modern ranks if this thing isn’t complete bullshit.


    • This was a bit dark this week. I started out semi-cheerful but collapsed completely. Some sort of mood thing with me. Not my mood in particular, as I’m in generally a good mood overall, but my music tastes have gone a shade darker than usual recently.

      I assume I’ll pull out of the tailspin soon. But kudos on Palahniuk. Maybe it’s all the gall bladder references… I would assume my DFW rating comes from my reckless abuse of parentheses. (I’d do footnotes too, but that’s a complete bitch in WordPress.)

      Check out the blog on I Write Like. There’s a lot of articles explaining the equation process. Pretty interesting stuff. Apparently, Margaret Atwood tested her stuff and found out she writes like Steven King.


  5. Most excellent post. I write like Kurt Vonnegut, apparently, and I love that Felix & Volcano. Now I can drink my vodka tonic peacefully.


    • Thanks, Vodka. Felix and Volcano! have a killer in their midst. And it is that track. Enjoy your vodka, Vodka.

      And Kurt Vonnegut is gold. It does make me wonder about my music-oriented writing. That “Dan Brown” is starting to sting more and more with each successive comment.


  6. Damn CLT, this was one hell of an awesome welcome home present. And I haven’t seen you get this excited about anything since Moses’ wife had cutting issues in your famous and hopefully not-defunct best-o-the-bible series.

    This Felix and Volcano was seriously awe inspiring make me want to boogie music for sure. I god damn knew I should have bought you that Leaning Tower of Pisa guitar pick I saw. Next time, I’m going to need a shipping address.

    And Salem was badasstastic as well. What? I can’t keep stealing your words.

    Great work as always brother man!


    • Yes, Scott. It was a highly coincidental welcome home present, immaculately planned and conceived, just like every child everywhere.

      A Leaning Tower of Pisa guitar pick would be awesome, but I’d probably have to forward it to someone who’d actually use it, like Dan. I can’t play a single instrument, but I do know how to pick a tune.

      I like “badasstastic.” You’ll never have to steal my words if you can keep coming up with useful terms like that.

      Thanks for the compliments and visit, Scott. Welcome back to what’s left of civilization.


  7. Apparently, I write like Cory Doctorow.

    After looking him up on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_doctorow
    there are enough similarities there for me to self-associate with, thus stroking my ego and making me feel important-by-proxy, which seems to be the purpose of the website.

    Similarities aside, the dude is way too nerdy and tech-orientated to be a true peer of mine. But if he writes like I do, he should consider himself blessed.


    • There’s does seem to be a bit of subjective pandering going on with I Write Like, even if it’s just an inadvertent byproduct of the coding.

      Thus, it’s easy to fit an algorithim that determines that your writing has style/punctuation similar to X author, which is not the same thing as saying you “write like” X author, as if any random person is roughly on par with these authors based on a few paragraphs.

      Still, it’s rather instantly flattering (though the “Dan Brown” still hurts for absolutely no reason) and is a bit of fun in its own right.

      Let’s hope Doctorow continues writing. Sticktoitiveness is the only way he’ll reach your literary plateau, SM.

      Thanks for the great comment and for the visit.


    • It’s only a matter of time until computers can write books and replace authors altogether. But by that time, Twitter messages will be considered “too long” and only “ancient people” will read anything longer than 15 characters…assuming the written word will even exist 10-15 years from now.

      Until then, Doctorow can keep hoping he’ll catch up to me.


  8. OMFG? What the hell is wrong with me?

    This is some kickass stuff, CLT. Especially Felix & Volcano and Salem! I’m only sorry that I was too busy being David Foster Wallace (me too!)/Cory Doctorow (must be the Canadian in me) to listen to it earlier.

    ps. Speaking of DFW (no, not the airport, silly!**) caliber** talent, you should really check out the Big Jewel. They recently published a Guide to Homicide Investigation that will literally blow your mind**.

    Thank-you for your time.

    **Sorry. I was possessed by my Mother’s sense of Humor there for a minute.


    • Is that thing like the best thing ever, bschooled? I’m of course referring to both the F&V and the IWL. With DFW and CD inhabiting these comment threads, we’ll be on our way to bargain book tables in no time.

      I did check out the Big Jewel. Thanks for the pointer. I knew there was something I was looking forward to in the near future, but it turns out that it’s actually in the present.

      No apology necessary. I’m sure your mother has a fantastic sense of humour. That must be why she still uses dial-up.


  9. Worth reading: A way to make money in the music business. Maybe.

    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/tom-silverman-proposes-radically-transparent-music-business/

    Cormac McCarthy writes like Mario Puzo, Charles Dickens, or Dan Brown depending on which paragraph you pick.


    • Although not particularly relevant to this topic, the link contained a very interesting article. The guy is largely saying stuff that backs up what I’ve been saying for well over a decade:

      1)Fuck file trading. While it may appear like “theft”, only a puny percentage of artists actually make any money from record sales (or even darling iTunes etc). It’s all in the Advance and, after expenses, most artists are working for damn near free. Touring is where they make the cash.

      2)It’s ALL about the fan’s relationship with the band and the music style, especially in this “everybody can be a star” and boutique sub-genre, era. If they like you enough, they’ll pay to see you and even pay for music they can get for free because they expect you will get the money. It’s the record company’s job to match the two groups up, like a blind date, not ram a few bands down everybody’s throat.

      3) Technology is over-rated in both directions. (Shit, vinyl sales went up recently!) Like the devious “radio” technology that cost the industry trillions, listening to music for free works as free advertising. Also, the Internet really is like a highway. The more cars, the more traffic, and the harder it is to get where you want to be. Easy access for your band means access for everybody’s. Net wash.

      4) The whole concept of success needs to be redefined. Artists should forget about topping the charts, selling millions and living like kings. Very little will appeal to mass audiences in the future. Record Companies relying on blockbusters to save the day just doesn’t cut it. The old school movie business model works better. Budget your movies/bands according to what you expect the audience will be. Attempt to make smaller bucks on every album and let that add up instead of betting one or two smash hits.

      5) The guy’s concept of labels and artists being “equal partners” is long overdue.


    • o/o –

      Thanks for the link. Sedate Me has plenty to say on the subject as do I, but I think it deserves a proper post, which I will hopefully have up by midweek.

      And as for IWL: the algorithim stills needs a whole lot of tweaking, but since there’s really no profit motive, I’m not sure if that will ever happen. Still, it’s a nice bit of distraction.


    • SM –

      I think your best point is #5. More to follow…


  10. […] to Overconfident Orientalist for pointing me in the direction of this story. Also, thanks (sort of) to Sedate Me, whose made several points in the follow-up comment that I'm […]



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