Archive for August, 2010

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Note to Self:

August 31, 2010
Drawing "Internal Dialogue" = Instant Pictionary FAIL

Drawing "Internal Dialogue" = Instant Pictionary FAIL

[I honestly don’t know why I can’t bang out lists like this anymore. I’m hoping that means I’m “honing my craft.” Somehow I doubt it. Thanks for your patience and re-reading. Orignally published 08/12/2009.]

The bear cub was happier playing by itself.

Nothing goes to “11.” Not even my lovemaking.

RIAA lawyers do not have a sense of humor.

Neither does the Border Patrol.

A killing spree becomes a lot less forgivable once the phrase “multi-state” is attached to it.

Professional bodybuilders are incredibly sensitive about the size of their penises.

Personal phone calls probably do not need to be recorded for “quality assurance.”

The phrase “Only you can start forest fires” would seem to be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Describing your bedroom as being “where the magic happens” is not accurate on several levels. Plus, it makes family gatherings awkward.

A magician could probably say that about their bedroom. It would work on, like, all levels.

It would be awesome to be a magician!

The boss has begun to use the south entrance, which is a blind spot, especially when digging through his desk.

Those warning labels on industrial adhesives aren’t fucking around.

Man, these casts really make your legs itch. On a related note, the Wu-Tang Clan really ain’t nothing to fuck with.

Stop assuming everyone is just “impersonating” a police officer.

“Load bearing” and “extraneous” are not synonymous.

Using the phrase “You can have x when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers” in prison is less of a threat and more of an invitation.

There is a time and place for everything, except possibly your impression of Christopher Reeve as a lifeguard.

Hookers will never agree with the phrase “It all pays the same.”

Try to be more specific about “casual dress” in the future.

Bar managers and owners would prefer to be the ones to decide when drinks are “on the house.”

Take the blue pill.

Whoever said “That which does not kill you makes you stronger,” obviously wasn’t considering suicide attempts. Or muscular dystrophy.

Apparently, a “multi-state killing spree” is not a “victimless crime.” Also, remember to set aside more income for legal defense as these public defenders are bullshit.

Also complete bullshit: Dear Abby’s legal advice.

Your scuffle with two African-American youths at the nightclub was probably not the “tipping point” in American race relations. So you can probably stop writing angry letters to the editors of Jet Magazine.

Lefty knew what he was talking about. Don’t stick your hand in there.

“It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better” has been describing way too many life events lately.

You don’t have to publish every half-ass idea you have.

-CLT

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 3

August 28, 2010
[The final installment. Originally published Nov. 11, 2009.]

Welcome back to our third, and quite possibly, last installment in the Emmy-award winning instructional series, the Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth. If you would like to catch up with the rest of the class, please click the following links:
Part I
Part II

This edition will deal with the decisions following the delivery (or as we call it, “afterbirth”). Please bear in mind that most of these decisions will have multiple choices, meaning there is no wrong way to proceed.*

*Except for the “do not do’s” listed below. Do not do those.

Young Starshine Freelove Wilson began to regret ever being born.

Post-Delivery Plans
Now that all the screaming and bloodletting is over, it’s time to celebrate your ability to create life through the magical act of “getting some.”

As your partner heads back to her area for some much-needed drugs and reconstructive surgery, feel free to take a victory lap around your Contact list, letting all your friends and relatives in on the vital statistics:

  • Sex (“It’s a boy!“)
  • Weight (“Less than infinity.”)
  • Length (“Well, keep in mind that he’s less than 4 hours old and the room was a little cold, but I’d say a little under an inch.”)
  • Birth Time (“Shortly after my explanation about the “thing” I had with her sister. Well, half-sister, if you want to get technical.”)
  • Visiting Hours (“I’m sure she’d be happy to see you any time! You say you’re in the lobby? Come on up! She should be back from her crotch-stitching any minute now.”)

Or you can skip the procedure, in which case your child will be ambushed by the physician sometime in his mid-30's.

Circumcision
This used to be an easy decision (“Of course!”) but recently there has been somewhat of a backlash against it.

Simple rule of thumb: make your kid’s package look like yours. In addition to it being somewhat of a bizarre bonding thing, it will also help you avoid awkward conversations with your unsnipped son in the future.

Son: “Dad, why does your [insert stupid ‘penis’ replacement word here] look different than mine?
You: “Good question. You see, my parents were raised in a different era and they made a decision based on an outmoded set of morals…”
Son: “Oh. Are you talking about why they decided not to abort you?”
You: “I think you’re spending too much time with your mom.”

You say this book only contains the "best" baby names? I'll take two!

Choosing a Name
As the proud owner of a brand new child (with that awesome “new child smell”), you will be tempted to saddle your offspring with an imaginative name currently in use by no one else. The potent combination of anxiety and sleeplessness will play tricks on your fragile mind, raising the possibility of cursing your child with a lifetime of humiliation (“Chad Kroeger, Jr.”) or an early death (“River Phoenix,” “Jet Travolta”).

Stick with the classics like Justin or Michael. For the girls, try Jennifer or Jessica. These are great, nearly-Biblical names that have never been associated with skanky, marginal or vapid celebrities.

Some more examples:

  • Gallant – Yes; Goofus – No
  • Jermaine – Yes; Tito – No
  • Jessica – Yes; Ashlee – No
  • Billy Ray – No; Miley – No
  • George Michael – Yes; Andrew Ridgely – No
  • Rozz – Yes; Valor – No
  • Uma – Yes; Oprah – No
  • Sunny – No; Cher – No; Chastity – No
  • Philip – Yes; Yancy – No
  • Fresca – Yes; Tab – No
  • Jif – Yes; Nutella – No

Heavy-handed metaphors exceeding 24 tons exit here.

The Future
Once you have your new arrival home with you, it’s time to start mapping out his life, starting with learning to read in multiple languages by age 3 and culminating in his Master’s degree from Harvard 20 years down the road, at which point you’ll be able to live off his earnings as a groundbreaking inventor/#1 draft pick.

You both will pick out hereditary traits you wish to encourage:

You:
Keep – Famous wit; full head of hair
Toss – Lack of self-motivation; blogger’s insecurity

Her:
Keep – Your full head of hair
Toss – Everything else, starting with that “famous wit”

You can also speculate on some “fallback” options for your pressured child, in case you have set the bar too high.* Some other acceptable choices are fireman, cowboy, homosexual, philosophy professor, protestor-for-hire, SAG member, hitman, psychic friend.

* As if.

Then sit back and watch reality set in as you come to the realization that the TV is doing a better job raising your child than you ever did while trying to keep the saving account/bail fund full of emergency cash.

-CLT

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 2

August 24, 2010
[Continuing on in the series. Originally published Nov. 26th, 2009.]

If you’re just joining us, be sure and check out the Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 1, in which we covered Pre-Delivery Preparations, Driving Arrangements and Checking In.

The modern delivery room: inviting as all hell.

The Delivery Room
This is where the miracle of childbirth happens.*

* If any attending medical personnel refer to the “miracle” of childbirth, have them replaced immediately with competent personnel. Otherwise, these starry-eyed attendants will be voting down the epidural and suggesting your wife deliver the baby in the nearest swimming pool. The only people who should be referring to this as a “miracle” are you and your wife.**
** Your wife will not be referring to this as a “miracle” as the word “miracle” tends to indicate something effortless and painless. In fact, it will most likely be referred to as a “curse” or “cruel joke” that is inflicted on all women by uncaring, useless men. Namely, by you on her.

Your doctor will now ask your partner to do any number of impossible things, like “breath easily,” “get comfortable” and “stop swearing.” You, as the man, have exactly two directions to follow: shut up and get out of the way.

Your partner may be saying something like, “The baby’s coming now!” Base your reactions on the actions of the medical team. Depending on the woman, “right now” can mean anywhere from ten minutes to thirty-six hours. Until they spring into action, find somewhere uncomfortable and take a seat.

While you browse 30-year-old copies of Highlights and AARP pamphlets, nurses will shuttle in and out checking vital signs like blood pressure and dilation. (Based on your previous answer, you will be greatly surprised at where the nurses believe your partner’s pupils are located.)

While the breech position earns more points for complexity, it almost always loses points for presentation.

The Delivery
As the contractions kick in and your partner’s physical exertion increases, the heady cocktail of pain, emotion and hormones will often result in you being held accountable for everything that has every gone wrong in the history of ever, due to your constant jackassery and inconsiderate actions. Try not to take this personally, you thoughtless prick.

As the swearing and unpleasantness continue, do your best to support your partner by saying as little as possible. Long-forgotten arguments and other points of contention will rise to the surface, starting from “You bastard!” and continuing on to touchy subjects such as these:

  • Why you insist on continuing your questionable bloodline
  • Why your parents insisted on continuing theirs
  • The size of your genitalia in relation to past, better-endowed lovers
  • The size of your shoes in comparison to the starting five of the L.A. Lakers
  • Your million-and-one annoying habits
  • Your childlike insecurity about having your genital size discussed in a room full of complete strangers, most of them women
  • Your “thing” for golf
  • Your “fucking” of her sister
  • Your selfishness in allowing her to suffer the agony of childbirth alone

Try not to respond to any of these statements. Rebuttals such as “Well, you were the one who vetoed my contraceptive plan of anal sex and blowjobs,” or “In all fairness, she’s only your half-sister,” will only make the situation worse.

However, if your nurse is an attractive and "handsy" lesbian, by all means document the shit out of the delivery.

Documenting the “Miracle”
Despite the unpleasantness of everything involved, certain new father types will insist on aiming the camera at ground zero during the delivery and immediately uploading the video to the nearest public website.

If you feel you are one of these men, please consult a physician about an emergency vasectomy. You are too obtuse to be allowed to raise further, well-documented children. If you are uninsured, feel free to punch yourself in the crotch until the urge to start filming vanishes.

Some new fathers will feel this way out of ignorance. Let Fancy Plans break it down for you.

Remember the chestburster scene from Alien? Well, that’s what going to happen here. But instead of John Hurt’s chest it will occur in a body part that your are most likely particularly fond of. And instead of it being a slim, efficient killing machine, it will be an incredibly large and grumpy miniature human being that will drive you both to an early grave over the next 18-30 years.

If you still feel this is a beautiful moment that must e shared with others, then you are probably related to David Cronenberg or H.R. Giger.

If this is a C-Section, the rule still applies. Just replace “vaginaburst” with “disembowel.”

Coming up in the final installment: Post-Delivery Plans, Circumcision, Naming Your Child and Planning for the Future.

-CLT

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This Unofficial Post Brought to You by Rraaiillss

August 20, 2010

I’m taking this brief, very informal timeout from my self-imposed exile to point you in the direction of Rraaiillss who’s returned with another killer track in advance of his upcoming album, 1098, which will be released September 9th.

His latest, When You Feel Like…, is just another slice of off-center pop goodness with a heart of gold. Granted, it’s a rather dark gold in an “I like accompanying misery” sort of way, what with the desire to change his ways getting handcuffed to the hopeless assurance that “when you feel like poison/I’ll kiss your skin.”

Might as well give in and be dragged down with him while he kicks that last nail in, riding the twin propulsion system of a chugging guitar riff and some very insistent drums.

And maybe it’s just me, but I found myself kicked right in the heart of my music collection, triggering the aching realization that I haven’t sat down and given Automatic a good listening to in a very long while. I really should check in and see if suicide’s still standing, sucking in her cheeks.

Thanks for your attention. I hope you all are doing well. I will now return to the woodwork from whence I came.

Download Here

More Rraaiillss

Incubator

[Yes, I stole a Robert “This is our last album ever” Smith lyric, but it was from Disintegration. Not only is this the Cure’s best album but it was also released over 20 years ago so I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired.]
[Another postscript: Adam Anderson (aka Rraaillss, aka Incubator) has another trick up his sleeve and if I get the go-ahead, I’ll probably be breaking what we in the blog business call “radio silence” at that point as well, if I haven’t already returned to the, um, “airwaves” by that point.]

-CLT

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 1

August 18, 2010
[Here’s a classic set of posts. I refer to them as “classics” because I wrote them AND because they are over 6 months old. Prepare to be splattered with the uterine fluids of learning!  Originally appeared Nov. 24, 2009.]

Congratulations! You’re having a baby!

After what seems like an eternity, you’ll finally get to see the end results of your drunken, fumbling sexual encounter nine months ago.

But hold on. Before you start dangling your new offspring off the nearest balcony, there are several intermediate steps that must be taken. We’ll run down the pre-delivery preparations, the “miracle” of childbirth and some post-delivery issues and concerns.

So grab a notebook and pay close attention. The information here could save your life.*

*Note: Does not contain life-saving information.

Most pregnant women should drink plenty of fluids. However, this one should put that glass the fuck down.

Pre-Delivery

The Labor Bag
Labor can (and most often, will) occur at the most inopportune/inconvenient time. Any number of events may be put on hold including:

  • Getting some sleep
  • Awaiting sentencing
  • Consummating an affair
  • Having a beer with the guys

Due to its last-minute nature, you will need to have a “labor bag” or suitcase of essential items packed and ready to go at all times. Follow these checklists to ensure you arrive at the hospital prepared to deal with any eventuality.

Hers (see Appendix B)

Her kit will contain 185-315 items depending on various factors. The bags/suitcases needed will take up the entire trunk of most mid-sized sedans and weigh between 250-300 lbs.

Please note that this “kit” will always be missing a minimum of one or two suddenly important items. Fancy Plans cannot be held responsible for any shit you might take for not bringing the listed items.

You may be asking what items like “#8 Needle and Gray Thread” or “Steel Magnolias shooting script” are doing on this list. We have no idea, either. The only sure way to find out why it’s important to have is to not bring it. And god help you if that happens.

You’ve been warned.

His

  • Toothbrush
  • Newspaper
  • Cigarettes (optional)

(Note: Any “His” item will be available for purchase on the hospital premises with the exception of the cigarettes, which will be available at a distance inversely proportionate to how badly you need one.)

Hey. Pregnancy is no reason to not arrive in style.

The Trip
As the due date draws closer, begin looking for signs that your partner is in labor. She will often drop several hints (and occasionally, body fluids). Listen closely for telltale phrases such as these:

  • “My water broke.”
  • “The contractions are x minutes apart.” (x = any number less than infinity)
  • “I hate you.”
  • “We need to go.”
  • “Now.”
  • “I can’t believe you slept with my sister!”
  • “My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.”

From here, you have more choices to make.

Should you drive yourself? If you feel confident in your ability to make it from Point A to Point B in a minimum amount of time, while providing very occasional comfort to your partner between dodging suddenly oncoming traffic and tenacious highway patrolmen, go ahead and pick this option.

If you would rather that someone else handled the driving, freeing you up to calm your partner, consider asking a close friend or family member to take the wheel. Be aware that your partner’s highly emotional state will likely result in a sudden, high-volume airing of your “dirty laundry.” Depending on who is involved, this may result in some awkwardness, some of which will persist for years.

Perhaps your best bet is to call a cab. First, the presence of a complete stranger will reduce the awkwardness felt as all your worst traits and choices are put on display. The language barrier may also work in your favor.

Secondly, you can greatly reduce your hospital bill by having the cabbie deliver the baby. All cab drivers are required to pass the Backseat Delivery Certification Exam (BDCE) in accordance with every movie ever made. The only downside (besides ruining your partner’s dream of a clinical, sterile environment staffed by professionals) is you may have to name your child after the driver, which may result in unwieldly monikers such as “Abdullah Stevensen.”

Most healthcare professionals will tell you that it can be very beneficial for a mother in labor to take a walk. This will encourage contractions and can be somewhat calming.)

Consider sending your partner down the eight flights of stairs to hail a cab. She’ll get the “contraction” jumpstart she needs, leaving you time to wrap up the last-minute odds-and-ends like finishing the back nine on Tiger Woods’ Golf or calling her sister to inform her that you won’t be meeting her at the hotel.

Well, apparently they need a bigger arrow because you're still going the wrong way, Einstein.

Checking In
Once you have arrived at the hospital, a million more decisions will need to be made. As the man (and the person not in severe pain and/or covered in their own bodily fluids), these decisions, which will affect both of you, will need to be made both carefully and quickly.

You may also need to answer some questions during check-in. Let’s hope you have been paying attention. Among the many questions you’ll be answering incorrectly are:

  • Due Date (“Ummm… today?”)
  • Dilation (“I think it’s just the harsh hospital lighting.”)
  • Contraction Interval (“Less than infinity.”)
  • Partner’s Last Name (“I’m not sure. The same as her sister’s I think.”)
  • Closest Relative (“Well, her sister’s at the Ramada…”)
  • Known Allergens (“Buckwheat… and… nickel.”)
  • Previous Pregnancies (“This is my first that I’m aware of…”)

Once you have finished fucking these up and sent your partner off to a night full of unnecessary procedures and allergic reactions (all under an assumed name), it’s time to proceed to the delivery room.

Coming up next: The Delivery Room, The Delivery & Documenting the “Miracle.”

-CLT

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Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll (More Requests & Old Favorites)

August 16, 2010
[Another from the Way Back Machine. Originally appeared 05/23/09.]

Another edition of the Fancy Plans… Guide to World Domination thru Misinformation (finally!). Feast your eyes on these delicious chunks of san-serif text and badly-captioned photos.

The Fancy Plans... Guide to Fighting Tin Lizzy

The Fancy Plans... Guide to Fighting Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy
Formed in 1967 in Dublin, Ireland and still regarded to this day as “the only band to have come out of Ireland,” Thin Lizzy featured two former members of Them, whose lead singer was a young Jim “Van” Morrison. Morrison’s penchant for impromptu poetry slams and malfunctioning trousers frequently found the band at the receiving end of police brutality.

The epitome of 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy released their biggest hit, The Boys Are Back in Townduring the pinnacle of rock’s power (allmusic.com pinpoints this as ca. 1974-1978). Thin Lizzy’s “definitive” sound and “unique” lyrics allowed them to sound more like everyone else than anyone else.  Among the songs that could quite possibly be theirs:

  • You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
  • Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room
  • Hair of the Dog
  • American Band
  • Slow Ride
  • Roll On Down the Highway
  • Lost Inside Your Love
  • Rock & Roll Hootchie-Koo
  • Life’s Been Good to Me
  • Teenage Kicks
According to Brownsville Station's concert rider, they were to be accompanied by a minstrel at all times.

According to Brownsville Station's concert rider, they were to be accompanied by a minstrel at all times.

Brownsville Station
Formed in Michigan in 1970, Brownsville Station scored a minor hit with their cover of Thin Lizzy’s Smokin’ in the Boys Room. True success came later with 1977’s Martian Boogie, an influential space-rock track that post-dated the scene by nearly 10 years. Championed tirelessly by British tastemaker, Dr. John Demento, Brownsville Station recorded four classic Demento Sessions.

Christian Death's first lineup featuring Anthony Soprano Jr.

Christian Death's first lineup featuring Anthony Soprano Jr.

Christian Death
Formed in L.A. in 1979, Christian Death combined two staples of the goth rock scene (hatin’ on Christians; acrimonious splits) into a swaggering proto-deathrock nightmare. A nightmare for band members.

Original lead singer Rozz Williams left the group and former guitarist Valor promoted himself to lead-singer-for-life. Rozz tried to retain sole ownership of the Christian Death name but, as they were hardly a real band and not anywhere close to being on a real label, he was unable to do so. Various band members came and left and by 1983, there were no fewer than 16 Christian Death configurations touring, often opening for each other all around the Midwest.

Rozz Williams detached himself fully from the convoluted mess and devoted his time to his various sideprojects, including: Premature Ejaculation, Erectile Dysfunction, Inability to Achieve Orgasm, Female Pattern Dryness and Pee-shy.

Just really not that current at all.

Just really not that current at all.

Current 93
Death folksters whose name, much like Prince’s 1999, means less with each passing year.

house_of_pain811

Everlast models the primary form of Irish communication.

House of Pain
There’s nothing about this group of white rappers that hasn’t been better said by me already.

Chuck E. Cheese engineers prepare to scare the bejeezus out of your kids.

Chuck E. Cheese engineers prepare to scare the bejeezus out of your kids.

Kraftwerk
A joint effort of Disney Imagineers and the Ford Motor Co., as a tribute to all things German and nationalistic. Kraftwerk are fully-functioning animatronic showroom dummies and their icy synths and metronomic beats have captured the fascination of children worldwide, including Georgio Moroder and Afrika Bambaata. Now on permanent display at EuroDisney, they entertain dozens of people yearly with their hits Trans-Europe Blitzkrieg, Tour de France and Whalers on the Moon.

Previously on the Fancy Pants… Guide to Rock & Roll
Vol. 1
Vol. 2 (Requests)

-CLT

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Taking the Easy Way Out: 10 Songs for Your Suicide Soundtrack

August 10, 2010
[This is the first of what may become many archive pulls, in an effort to keep the blog alive while its authors attend to life elsewhere. First published on 02/06/09.]

So you’ve got it all lined up. Time to show the world what it would be like without you. But you need a finishing touch, something to add a shiny rustproofing layer of depth to your most self-centered act yet.

The perfectly chosen song can tell the (cruel) world about your inner pain in ways that a handwritten note riddled with grammatical errors cannot. It will serve as your voice beyond the grave, communicating your essence with a few simple chords and well-chosen words.

With these choices available, you can elevate your simple “cry for help/attention” into an event of histrionic proportions, allowing you to be remembered as something other than “the guy who misspelled ‘cruel.'”

Remember, suicide is a victimless crime, like prostitution, drug use, cheating on your taxes or punching a mime.

The time has come. Push play. Do something nice for yourself.

1. Jesus & Mary Chain – Drop

jamc

This tiny gem of a downer is found nearly at the end of Automatic, in which their drummer was replaced with a more sober and less expensive drum machine. Original drummer Bobby Gillespie was kicked out after repeated requests to play “some of the songs I wrote.” They refused, shoved their guitars thru their amps and told him to “go start his own bloody band.” Thus, Primal Scream was formed and remains somewhat relevant today, unlike the brothers Reid. This quieter number shows off their mediocre acoustic guitar skills to marginal effect.

Key Lyric:

I should have guessed
When I took that pill
Do I love her still
Well did Jesus kill

Method: Gunshot to head at “kill,” thus laying the blame elsewhere. Further distance can be added if death is ruled accidental, i.e. “subject was reported to be cleaning the gun. With his tongue.”

2. Spiritualized – Medication

spir2Rising from the ashes of Spacemen 3 like a smack-soaked phoenix, Spiritualized expanded the blueprint for hazy space rock with the addition of horns, backup choirs and another chord or two. As usual, the lyrics of Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman; Jason Bourne) tend to be elliptical and function best as a comedown from a hedonistic night of regret and misplaced nostalgia. Can also be used as a heroin analogue if no actual heroin is available. (Bonus fact: early pressings of Spiritualized albums are considered controlled substances by the DEA.)

Key Lyric:

I’m waiting for a time
When I can be without
These things that make me feel
This way all of the time

Method: Heroin OD at peak. The song kind of comes and goes (much like you’ll be doing), but at 7 minutes and change, you should have time to determine which peak works for you. (Hint: wait for the brass section).

3. Mogwai – Cody

Key figures of the post-rock movement, Mogwai are known for their lengthy instrumentals and unintelligible Glaswegian accents. They have achieved a small amount of success in the States playing before mid-sized audiences composed solely of rock critics, rock bloggers and others who feel lyrics are “giving away the store” when it comes to interpreting music. This particular track features their trademark dynamic shifts and tons of post.

Key Lyric:

It’s an instrumental so you may be forced to do some empathetic humming.

Method: Fistfuls of painkillers and whatever else may be in the parent’s medicine cabinet (caution: “whatever” may contain dangerous levels of estrogen.) Fade slowly away from life, allowing your soul to don Levi’s jeans and run free thru a buffalo-overrun cityscape.

4. Joy Division – In a Lonely Place

joy_divisionThis cheerful group formed during the heyday of punk in Manchester, England. They began as a local blues cover band before sacking Pete Best and replacing him with Steven Morris, who brought a  metronome-like precision to the group. As the band moved on following lead singer Ian Curtis’ suicide, Steven Morris was replaced by a drum machine, who brought a metronome-like precision to the group. This selection, often a popular request at the beer tent, shows a darker side of these fun-loving Mancunians.

Key Lyric:

Hangman looks round as he waits
Cord stretches tight then it breaks
Someday we will die in your dreams
How I wish we were here with you now

Method: Form a suicide pact with three others; be the only one that follows thru, as the rest go on to live increasingly irrelevant lives.

5. m83 – Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun

m83A long, slow-building atmospheric track from French electronic shoegazers, m83. They have gained notoriety on the music festival circuit for their amazing live shows and their ability to spot trainer brand names from upwards of 300 feet. They often sound like a combination of My Bloody Valentine, House of Love and m83. Mostly, though, they sound like m83.

Key Lyric:

Instrumental. Try blinking rhythmically.

Method: Razors, candles, bathtub. Toss powered Korg into tub at 9 minute mark. (The song runs around 11 minutes, so pace yourself. Drink plenty of water.)

6. Dashboard Confessional – Any Song

The story of Chris Carraba and his project, Dashboard Confessional, is a long and uninteresting one. Suffice to stay, Chris sensed a void in the sensitive stud area, wrote some introspective tunes, grabbed his acoustic guitar and sideburns and the rest is history. Or would be, if he would just stop touring and putting out albums. We can only hope. Unfortunately, as long as there is a few thousand people willing to believe each song, produced for mass consumption, speaks to them (and only them), the brand (er, band) will go on. (See also the Cure; the Depeche Mode.)

Key Lyric:

I’m sure they’re all pretty introspective. Take your pick. I’m sure as a fan of the emo scene, you should have no trouble twisting someone else’s personal experience to fit your own. If nothing else, we can thank the emo scene for giving the world a new breed of slightly slimmer goths.

Method: Well, I’m sure you’ve all been practicing already. Just try to hit a major artery this time.

7. Suicide – Frankie Teardrop

suicide1977No group says Suicide like Suicide. Martin Rev and Alan Vega formed their confrontational and controversial band after stumbling across a large stash of amphetamines. They wanted the “least commercial name ever” for their band, but had to settle on their third choice after discovering Rectal Exam Bot and Wilson Philips had already been trademarked. This number was a staple of their confrontational live shows and often lead to death of at least one audience member. Their bleak nihilism and mastery of one key on the keyboards has been highly influential and echoes of their groundbreaking work can be seen in bands as diverse as We Are Wolves, Cabaret Voltaire and Raffi.

Key Lyric:

Frankie teardrop
Frankie put the gun to his head
Frankie’s dead

Method: Fail to adjust to civilian life/fail to adjust to Russian Roulette. (First, not any gun works. You should get a revolver) Note: if leaving the CD out at the “scene,” be aware that some may think you were just trying to leave a caption.

8. Staind – It’s Been Awhile

nurockFeaturing a lead singer who combined the good looks of Billy Zane with the trim figure of Black Francis, Staind brought out a more sensitive side of the nu (aka mook) rock era. This weeper brought them to the top of the charts briefly, before the one-two punch of an overlooked misspelling and Fred Durst’s general unpleasantness brought them crashing to earth. Think of them as a meatier Dave Matthews with fewer sandals and more Red Bull. Where are they now? According to their website, they are in the middle of recording something or other. I really can’t be bothered to do any fact-checking on this.

Key Lyric:

And it’s been awhile, since I can say that I wasn’t addicted
And it’s been awhile, since I can say I love myself as well
And it’s been awhile, since I’ve gone and fucked things up just like I always do
And it’s been awhile, but all that shit seems to disappear when I’m with you

Method: Trying to show your “sensitive side” backfires as you get trolled to death by the infamous /b/. Perhaps those 320×240 Mavica shots didn’t capture the “real you.” Whatever. (Note: Cameras that use floppies for storage cannot support the resolution need to capture inner beauty.)

9. Clubfeet – Teenage Suicide

clubfeetClubfeet bring the best of both worlds with this toe-tapping dirge, bursting with self-awareness, irony and that emotion I understand is called ennui. If you’re on the verge of ending your world with some banging and whimpering and you find yourself dancing along, please reconsider. If you can’t take this seriously, you’ll find yourself perhaps maimed or disfigured, rather than good and dead.

Key Lyric:

Teenage suicide (don’t do it)

Method: Autoerotic asphyxiation, using some amyl nitrate and the Sears catalog lingerie section for stimulants.
(Will the world appreciate your finely honed ironic sledgehammer? Probably not. More likely, your eulogy will will go something like this: “<Insert name here> will always be remembered for his relentless negativity, his uncanny knack for ‘harshing your mellow,’ and, of course, his inability to follow simple instructions.”)

10. Radiohead – Fitter Happier

fitterhappierRadiohead burst onto the scene with “Creep,” a singalong of self-loathing backed by a thunderous chorus of guitar distortion. Much later, TLC paid their dues with a cover. Much, much, much later, Prince did the same at Coachella. In the meantime, the Radioheads experimented with different forms of music and free downloads, much to the dismay of their label. They also scored movies, released solo work and convinced Tom York to drop the extraneous letters from his name. As their thirst for reinvention has not been quenched, look for upcoming work to reflect their broadening horizons, including four nights at the Sands in Las Vegas, Jonny Greenwood’s collaboration with Visanthe Shiancoe and Paul Thomas Anderson for a re-scored and re-shot “Boogie Nights” and the remaining band members waiting patiently at home for the phone to ring.

Key Lyric:

Calm
Fitter, healthier and more productive
A pig
In a cage
On antibiotics

Method: School shooting/turn gun on self. Ignore requests for “Doom music”/mercy.

This list is by no means definitive, but it should give you some inspiration for your grand finale. The shockwaves of your last act should reverberate through the halls of your respective schools/workplaces as your fellow students/coworkers enjoy an unexpected day off. They may even struggle to remember some defining anecdote to sum up your entire existence. Bad poetry will probably be involved.

-CLT

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Fuckin’ Morris Day Took It All

August 3, 2010

The picture is a lie. 

If it were possible, the button’s lettering would be worn off by now. In fact, I’d like something more powerful. Like 2-4 extra hours a day to use whenever I needed them. 

So when you hear me rail against the space program, it’s mainly because they have failed to discover some sort of portable wormhole that can stretch time and space, all from the comfort of your own home. Aluminum foil is just not enough. 

Pointless intro aside, I’m pushing “Pause” on Fancy Plans for the time being. (Well, pushing “Pause” on my contributions anyway. RF is free to do whatever he likes to the place in my absence.) The blog has become “work,” which it should never be. Because of the limited time I have available for it, I constantly feel like I’m trying to shovel myself out of a hole. Granted, I dug this hole, but it’s still a hole and it doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. 

This is because it’s never been just about “me” and “my blog.” There are several other incredibly well-written blogs out there that I frequent, and more importantly, comment at. My postings here have become infrequent and my commenting even more so. This sucks because I respect you all (you know who you are; and if you don’t, there will be a list towards the end of this post) and I really hate doing anything half-assed. 

I can already hear some of you protesting, “We don’t care whether or not you comment…etc.” Those of you who are, god bless you. You’re a much bigger person than I am. But I know that I would cry like a little girl if my incoming comments vanished, only to be replaced with assurances that everyone was “still reading the blog.” It’s like having your joke greeted with the statement, “That’s funny,” instead of with laughter. 

Since I wouldn’t be happy with this arrangement, I wouldn’t expect it from anyone else. I’m not going to forge forward, posting away frequently while tending to my newly paved one-way street. 

The fact is, this mostly self-imposed pressure is getting to me. My real life is starting to suffer from the nagging feeling that I should be doing more blog-wise and, consequently, every activity (almost all of them more important than this) is colored by that mindset, leading me into a bit of a depressive funk, which really isn’t fair to my immediate family. Or to any of you.

I like to be in a good mood when I write (it’s true; even the rants) and this pressure (self-imposed) kills off the vibe before I can get going. Not only am I falling off in the blogosphere, but I haven’t submitted anything to anywhere else in weeks. That’s disappointing to me as I’d like to become a bit more “published,” with the aim of someday, somehow turning “pro.” 

So it all adds up to me letting a whole lot of people down, all at the same time. I’m not interested in continuing that trend, especially as it makes me a bit of a chore to be around. 

[A quick break – dealing with time…]

I’ll still be writing. It just won’t be published (here) for the time being. (If it’s published elsewhere, great! I’ll break the silence with a self-congratulatory post or something. But if the past is any indication, I’ll be back blogging before I get another “yes.”) I will probably pull from the archives occasionally, just to give this blog a zombie-like semblance of life. RF may chip in more, but from what I gather, he’s in over his own deck-shoed head at this point. 

This is by no means a permanent goodbye. It’s temporary, but it comes with an indefinite time limit. It could be a couple of weeks. Or months. Or longer. I can’t make any promises. You may find me intermittently strolling through the comment threads at your various blogs. And, despite what I said earlier, I will be making every effort to keep reading them. 

Thank you all for your patience and invaluable encouragement. I will return as soon as is robotically possible. 

(Sadly, this also means that Clifton will be taking a break as well. And he seemed so full of rambling promise…) 

Now, there’s nothing more to see here. Go here instead: 

The Problem with Young People Today Is…
Funny as hell. Hates young people, which is something we all can agree with. And if he didn’t actually coin the term “assclown,” he’s certainly on his way to making it his own through some sort of common-law marriage-thru-heavy usage appropriation. 

Also a good friend and the original supporter of this blog. A multi-faceted blogger who has inhabited the body of a swarthy Indian convenience store owner in the past and has at least a couple more personas up his sleeve. 

Sick Days 
Although his blog should probably have a historic marker erected in front of it at this point, Alan Truitt’s blog, in its prime, was home to the most anarchic and hilarious comment threads in all of blogdom. Without Truitt’s sublime hosting, the threads would never have topped the 200 comment mark. 

Another good friend and longtime supporter. Not only that, but the man gets paid to write

Stop Annoying Me 
The most cynical “occasional black man” writing today. Well, not “today,” actually, as his blog seems to have gone dark. During its on-again, off-again heyday, it tended to follow short but highly-prolific bursts with long periods of deafening silence. Still, when he got going, not much remained sacred, other than his ungodly love of Sarah Palin. Drive-by readers often misinterpreted his rantings as misanthropic, but true readers knew Tanner was a compassionate (if inappropriately horny) human being underneath it all. 

Fundamental Jelly 
Some sort of a small desert animal-ologist whose blog has slowly morphed into a showcase for his incredible photography. When not capturing the picturesque backsides of buildings, FJ has a penchant for taking candid stalker-esque photos of unsuspecting passersby. He hasn’t posted any upskirt shots yet, but we can hope…

(It worked! Check out the last photo on his latest, which may also be one of his last…) 

Just Making Convo 
Hosted by the funny-as-all-hell Bschooled, JMC offers up Iron Chef-meets-Daycare Menu food criticism, off-center jokes that Readers’ Digest is too uptight to print, photos that tend to make you wish you had been blinded by the previous one and scupltures that tend to make you wish you had more office supplies just laying around

She’s also branched out recently, offering up various items that are overpriced at “free.” (Her how-to’s, however, are seriously undervalued. And mindbreakingly funny.) 

Fun fact: Bschooled strolled into the Commenter’s Hall of Fame early on, when she stated her original wedding song was I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Zodiblog 
An American supposedly trapped in Spain, but recent posts seem to indicate that this continental life agrees with him, despite the Spainards’ refusal to stock Eggos. A keen eye for minutia and a penchant for awkwardness make his blog a blast to read, even if the phrase “L.A. Lakers-inspired purple and gold dildo” seems to crop up with alarming frequency. 

Hidden Leaves 
Perhaps the most overtly “man-centric” blog I read, but don’t let that scare you away. At turns deeply insightful and devastatingly funny, Ulysses offers up glimpses of his worldview and dispenses some of the soundest long-term relationship advice I’ve ever read, all with a very refreshing lack of cynicism or pandering. A weekly selection of eye and ear candy doesn’t hurt. 

RubyTwoShoes 
A gregarious Australian who tends to find herself in the sort of situations the rest of us are glad to be only reading about. Whether it’s dealing with a “revolutionary” roommate who’s declared that “all heterosexual sex is rape,” or warring with various factions over control of a treasured private alcove in the public library known only as “The Room,” RubyTwoShoes is constantly in the thick of it (usually accompanied by “the Boy”), usually emerging, if not “triumphant,” than at least with a cripplingly funny anecdote or two. 

Added bonus: obscure Aussie slang demystified! 

Vodka and Ground Beef 
The latest addition to the blogroll, VAGB tackles unusual news and mundane situation with verbal aplomb, using memorable and highly inappropriate phrases, such as: 

“He had that sexy beach look – intentionally wrinkled plaid clothing and hair that looked like it had been casually finger-banged by the sun…” 

or: 

“I cried every day for one day.” 

Highly recommended. 

And last, but not least, I’m doing this for my family. I’ve got two boys (here and here) that need some undivided attention, especially as they’re going through some very formative (and destructive) phases. Everyone says kids grow up so fast, but you don’t really notice it until they have something valuable/dangerous that you thought was safely out of reach. 

I’m also doing this for my wife, who is one of the strongest, most compassionate and dedicated people I know. She has a metric fuckload of stuff going on right now, and I really want to help her out any way that I can. Plus, she’s superhot, which is a great bonus feature on an already-complete package. 

So, until we meet again (possibly aided by a Bender photo and quote), I’m going to leave you with this amazing track by the Miniature Tigers. It’s called Golden Skull which tells you absolutely nothing about the subject matter. And for some reason, it makes me want to smoke cigarettes and watch Captain Kangaroo… 

“Think I’ll stay home and chill out here tonight 
I’m turning off my cell phone 
I’m a shrine in the sky as the sun with sunglasses 
And I need to take a break…” 

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation 56

August 1, 2010

Well, it appears the Rotation will be a bit Heavier this week, what with RF’s massive contribution a few days ago, which brought some bizarre elements (metal, jazz) into the mix as well as some overt swipes at my musical tastes.

In other words, highly recommended.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend The Clean and The Pillows. Anything Could Happen is especially amazing.

So, then. You know the drill. Three links. Five tracks. (About two of them good…) Comments open. Volume way up.

[Also from the drill: Links open in a new window. Right-click on track names to download and save.]

GQ talks Bill Murray into a rare interview, in which Bill talks. Quite a bit.

We all remember I Write Like. Here’s some pretty thorough testing. (William Faulkner is like Margaret Mitchell. Steven King is like either Dan Brown or William Gibson, depending on number of paragraphs used…)

Finally, Lego architecture. In the National Building Museum.

Previous Rotations found here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Growing – Innit.mp3
Straight outta Crooklyn, the 3-piece Growing lay down a piece of Fuck Buttons-esque pulsating psychedelia, staggered and gated throughout, building towards a climax that sounds not unlike a hornet’s nest filled with carillons. Requires a bit of patience and a whole lot of volume to pick up the nuances, but completely worth it.

Archive – Bullets.mp3
Massive UK post-rock collective (aren’t they all? Collectives, that is…) Archive drives powerful minor chords across a glistening, wet electronic pavement, trying in vain to outrun a pursuing storm. They can’t, of course, and it all collapses into a coda of crushed sequencers and rolling blackouts.

Elite Force vs. The Gossip – Control the Engine.mp3
One-man breakbeat army Elite Force bites a Mr. Oizo intro before unleashing this dancefloor stormer, in which phat-ass basslines rub up against Beth Ditto’s femrock vocals, like a handsy Rosie O’Donnell hipchecking Joan Jett into the nearest wall.

It all turns out to be much better than the sum of its parts, with both protagonists morphing into the audio equivalent of lipstick lesbians, who promptly head off and tag-team the conveniently placed stripper pole… musically-speaking.

(This is why I’m not allowed to write for any major music publication.)

Holy Fuck – SHT MTN.mp3
We’ve featured them before, but Holy Fuck are just so damn good. This one’s been getting repeated plays lately, weeks after the release of their amazing second album, Latin.

Raucous. Rocking. Two minutes and forty seconds of muscular drumming, bursts of impedence and rhythmic chanting. And for a few short seconds early on, you’ll be transported to a Quiet Riot.

The Doors – Been Down So Long (Streetlab DJs Bootleg Mix).mp3
My three-year old boy likes it when I sing along to this. Possibly a Doors fan in the making, but only time will tell. If the apple falls near the tree, he’ll not be overly impressed with Morrison’s wild-haired poetry and wang-waggling.

This remix rocks hard, though, boosting up the stomping tempo and building a head of contemptuous, bluesy steam. It’s propulsive and infectious. And when the three-year old in your life says, “Sing it!” you had better start singing…

Well, I’ve been down so goddamn long
That it feels like up to me…

[Need a track removed? Taking me to task for my casual swearing and way more casual parenting? Donde esta el bano? Contact me at: 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

-CLT