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Heavy Rotation 61

February 6, 2011

Featuring Power Animal, Ivansxtc, Big Troubles, the Liars and Blessure Grave in conjunction with the always delightful Deathface. Rather not have your music out in the open? Email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com for track removal.

LINKS:

Mike Doyle is doing impossible things with Legos.

Two views on blogging: It’s dead. It’s changing.

Fuckin’ McSweeney’s.

Power Animal – Better Water.mp3

Completely unrelated to Powermen 1-5000, Power Animal project a combination of swelling choruses and backsliding loops which coalesce into a compelling noise not entirely unlike what I imagine successful prayer sounds like: the ecstasy of an open line with the heavens mixed with prostrated frustration, resulting in unrevealing responses.

Ivansxtc – Yesterday.mp3

I may overuse “gorgeous” but that’s exactly what this is. Ivansxtc whips up a sonic daydream out of indescribable longing buoyed by repeatedly cresting waves of guitar crush and minor keys. Bears a solid resemblance to Peter Murphy taking My Bloody Valentine for a quick spin through the darker corners of 4AD’s catalog.  Apparently, Ivan cuts his product with tears of quiet desperation.

Big Troubles – Video Rock.mp3

Big Troubles bring back the big fun of the eighties via an underground broadcast of white-hot keyboard swirls and the most clattering of drums. It’s bunker-party rock broadcast on cellphone speakers, overdriven and compact. The audio equivalent of scrambled cable.

Liars – The Overachievers.mp3

The Liars return and bring with them this tasty slab of power-pop-punk, a radio-friendly unit shifter that snarkily bemoans complacency, hiding its self-hatred behind a smiling costume party mask. There’s some Pixies-esque guitar wrangling, some Ramones-ish shouting and plenty of “harmless” sentiments spat out through clenched teeth. Catchy as a motherfucker, too.

The smoothest move? When the chant morphs seamlessly from “L.A., L.A.” to “Help me, help me.”

Blessure Grave – Stranger in the House (Deathface Mix).mp3

Blessure Grave channels true goth, reaching into the past for the tortured soul of Fields of the Nephilim and then, I don’t know, fuck around and start moving furniture with their minds and cranking out page after page of automatic writing. Deathface pitches in as well, channeling the hoover clamor and arpeggiated synths of an early-90s warehouse rave, pushing everything forward on a sweat-drenched 4/4.

Looking for more? Check here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives.

-CLT

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7 comments

  1. Yay! I’m finally in a place where I can listen to your always stellar choices. Oh, how I’ve missed music that isn’t by Enrique Iglesias and/or Richard Marx circa 1986.

    Fantastic. All of them. But if I had to choose (which I do), Liars and Ivansxtc are my faves.


  2. I assume this means you are no longer out of the country/at your mom’s house. If so, welcome back!

    My personal favorite of the batch are the first two, but the Liars is right up there with them so I’ll go ahead and call it a consensus selection. It makes it even easier to call it a consensus when nobody else is hanging around in the comments disagreeing.


  3. The articles on blogging were pretty insightful, but it won’t be officially dead until the hipsters start doing it…. Oh wait. That Fucking McSweeny’s link makes me fucking laugh. Just the fact that somebody took the time to create a website out of sheer frustration and anger is hilarious.

    The second song was my favorite. An amazing blend of sad and sweet.

    Thanks for all the fish!


    • Yep, once the hipsters get ahold of something you can be sure it’ll be held down and smothered under layers of irony until it either dies or slips into an irreversible coma.

      Of course, a whole new wave of blogging is taking over Tumblr, where you can blog all you want without having the ability to form complete sentences. The only typing you’ll have to do is type out the url. (Try “fuckyeahsomethingsomething”.) The blog practically writes itself!

      Rejection is universal. Anyone who has ever submitted something to anywhere will get a quick laugh from the Journal of Universal Rejection. It’s those of us who have received dozens of emails starting with, “Thanks for the look, but…” who will realize how brutally efficient that joke is.

      Thanks for the visit, Scott. Does this mean you’re back in the USofA? If so, welcome back! It looks pretty much the way you left it minus a few civil liberties and you’re now overdrawn by several trillion dollars. Oh, and we need more caffeine if you’re coming back that way.


    • Nope, I still have 10 days in which to siesta and possible fiesta before coming back to the land of overwork and underpay with inadequate health insurance and practically no vacation time. But at least we’ll be underappreciated!

      I’ll be back by the beginning of March and probably won’t have internet for a month until we figure out where to rent long term.


  4. Once again, a couple of links contain enough raw material for a discussion in their own right, but the topic is hidden behind flashier stuff. (This isn’t a complaint. It’s an attempt to help maximize your output vs effort quotient.)

    The “Blogging is Dead” article seemed like it was written by a guy who spends too much time on Twitter and Loserbook. It was a bumper car ride of quick opinions, name dropping and jargon. It took a couple reads to get his thesis, which was barely worth understanding.

    It’s amazing how often “experts” have no fucking clue what they’re talking about. They get blinded by “The Next Big Thing that will change everything!”, as the hype machine loves proclaiming. As soon as the delusion fades, they declare it dead and hype the next Next Big Thing.

    Anybody who thinks “Blogging is dead” never knew what it really was. Some rose to the level of a high school newspaper, but they were never much more than personal journals, weB based LOGs of thoughts. A blog was always a Dr Frankenstein project; a lunatic in his basement tries to breath life into a corpse to get attention and respect from a completely disinterested world.

    The article’s over-concern with money is completely misguided. Where is the money in letting people read your diary if you aren’t even charging them? (There isn’t much money in providing free journals for people to write in either.) Anybody who thinks there’s fame or fortune in blogging is a complete fucktard who probably auditions for American Idol every year thinking “This time they’re going to make me a superstar!”.

    Like the music business, only a small percentage get rewarded. A handful of bloggers have spun it into something, but most had a big head start or leveraged pre-existing fame and connections.

    The inescapable reality is that every single person on-line is a potential competitor in a “business” with zero overhead and zero profitability. It’s all “free” because “free” is exactly what it’s worth! Any blog with more than a dozen regular readers is probably ahead of the pack. Ain’t no fame or fortune in that.

    Fame & fortune might come from getting your work into a medium with a sizable audience willing to pay to read the highest quality writing. If only a medium existed where people had to pay for the written word. Maybe printing off broadsheets and selling them at variety stores, or requiring subscriptions for mailed copies? Maybe you could bind them together with a protective cover to retain value and be resold? Until somebody invents such a medium, bloggers must keep dreaming of finding gold.

    The second article, It’s Changing, was far less clueless.

    “I save the little stuff for Twitter and blog only when I have something big to say,”…readers prefer this: One survey found that the most popular blog posts today are the longest ones, 1,600 words on average.”

    That’s comforting for the windbags among us -eh?

    The comment says a tonne. Blogging is for people with something to say. Twitter is for people with nothing to say. As the Twit Zone expands, the fewer people there are who have something to say worth reading. As that supply diminishes, the bigger the share of that market goes to the remaining suppliers. It might even get to the point where people are actually willing to pay to read something better than 140 character splutterings and snarky comments about the latest celeb fashion crime.

    The “It’s Changing” guy spins a decent theory; mid-length blogs are losing out to the long-form at one end and the Twit Zone at the other.

    But he’s wrong about Twits being responsible for the success of long-form. The long-form is where it’s always been. The on-line long-form just appears more popular due to the mass migration from the print world to cyberspace. I also think the disappearing mid-length blog was often not much more than “This guy is totally smart and I’m smart because I agree with him. Here’s the link.” The Twit Zone does the same thing with a few mere grunts.

    The only real “change” here is what was true all along. If bloggers want to stay relevant, they need to be the main attraction, not the usher.


    • I’m one of those windbags who like to be comforted. I remember reading other blogs discussing what makes a successful blog and most of them would point out that 300-350 words is the sweet spot. I can barely stay under that with a Heavy Rotation, never mind the posts where I actually have something to say.

      I’m grateful for the readers I do have, because I put them through a lot. I start series and never finish them. I routinely exceed 1,000 words per post. And I still suffer from the Live Journal mindset of “if it’s interesting to me, it’s interesting to everybody.”

      I tend to keep my personal life out of the blog if possible because I’ve never really considered this platform to be some sort of diary. It’s really more of a soapbox/DJ booth.

      I’m not drawn to Twitter but if I ever made the leap, it would just become link spam (albeit high quality links, rather than “me too” dross). I can’t tell a joke in under 140 characters. I certainly can’t make a point that way either.

      I think blogging is still very much alive. However, it is mutating and that’s probably for the best. Everybody wants their own platform these days and it’s the easiest way to have one. That human desire to express viewpoints and preferences will never go away. Long form is certainly going to be a part of that. Those bloggers will post less frequently but have more to say. Those who can’t slow down to take a breath will migrate to Twitter (or Tumblr).

      Vive le mouthy motherfuckers!



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