Posts Tagged ‘Alien Sex Fiend’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 25: CLT Goes to Outer Space Edition

November 29, 2009

Space Rock.

This is one of my love/hate genres (along with electro) because the tendencies of its performers is to accentuate the aggravating traits. In the case of space rock, this means bypassing the lyrical content and swooshing guitars in favor of some 18-minute rundown of the last D&D session over a flute and dulcimer digression.

When it works, it nears the worlds-away sound and escape-velocity transcendence the creators were aiming for. Hawkwind spends a lot of its time divided between the two, mainly depending on which revolving cast member was helming the songwriting.

Chrome/Helios Creed can be fun, as they eschew the 8 and 9-minute epics for 3-5 minute speed runs through waves of distortion. Of course, they also spend too much time dicking around with malfunctioning reel-to-reels making scary noises and stoner in-jokes.

And so it goes with the remaining genre practitioners. You take the good, you take the bad, etc. Monster Magnet, Pressurehed, Nik Turner’s solo work, Dinowalrus, etc. There are some bands out there that grab a small portion of the “space rock” dynamic and run with it. You’ll find hints of it in Holy Fuck, Muse, A Place to Bury Strangers, Lightning Bolt, the Fuck Buttons and Spiritualized.

But enough about me… Here’s the fucking music.

Previous volumes (with shorter intros here):
Heavy Rotation Archives

That Fucking Tank – Stephen Hawkwind
“Tell me only the good things you remember about… Space Rock.”

This is what Leeds duo That Fucking Tank does. Trimming all the excessive prog and psychedelia fat off the bone and reaching cruising altitude in mere moments. Just a guitar and a drum set surging skyward, bringing to mind everything anyone loved about Hawkwind, Chrome, Monster Magnet or even Kyuss, without the attendant wankery and occasional flute solo.

Hawkwind – Spirit of the Age
Speaking of Hawkwind… The godfathers of the space rock genre. Formed in the late ’60’s by flautist (you read that right) Nik Turner and featuring the lyrical and instrumental input of Lemmy Kilmeister (Motorhead), Hawkwind was the embodiment of all things space rock.

Conjuring up visions of time travel, alien abduction, wormholes and intergalactic travel, Nik Turner and co. engaged the imagination of a million forward-thinking hippies, who wouldn’t look out of place at a Dead show except for their excessive use of tin foil and amphetamines.

In this particular track, Hawkwind addresses the effects of cloning and cryogenic sleep on the average long-distance relationship.

I would’ve liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let’s see you’d be about 60 now, and long dead by the time I return to earth
My time-held dreams were full of you as you were when I left, still underage
Your android replica is playing up again it’s no joke
When she comes she moans another’s name
But that’s the spirit of the age, that’s the spirit of tha age

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brother’s voice
And there’s no choice between us
If you had ever seen us you’d rejoice in your uniqueness
And consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen
Has just been written by another twenty telepathic men
Word for word it says:
“Oh, for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen”.

Alien Sex Fiend – Silver Machine
One of my all-time favorites with a stripped-down but incredibly effective cover of a Hawkwind classic. ASF spent a lot of time moping around with the goths in London’s Batcave scene, but they were always too, I don’t know, “madcap” to wander the darkened streets pondering the futility of existence.

They loved the Cramps and took a bit of their twisted humor, added a few pounds of pancake makeup and some deadly flashpots and called it their own. Call them “goth” if you must, but keep in mind they have praised various parts of women’s anatomy and the occasional fast car in song, which just doesn’t mesh.

Here they grab ahold of a space rock classic and send it soaring, all driving bass, searing guitars and some loverly echoey vocals, courtesy of Nik Fiend and his partner in crime/life, Mrs. Fiend (who adds some electronic wizardry of her own).

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Get Ready to Fly
Previous Heavy Rotation favorites BTWS return with a low-key take on Pressurehed’s Silver Bird.

Pressurehed were a short-lived L.A. industrial space-rock band that put out three killer albums before splintering into a million shards of noise, resurfacing as Anubian Lights Destiny (featuring Nik Turner and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, among others). They were always more Chrome than Hawkwind, with their layers of blistering, howling guitars and tape loop experiments. But this isn’t about them, although they may get their moment in the reflected glory of Heavy Rotation later.

This is about Erol Alkan and his studio wizardry, which turns the superheated guitars of the original into a shimmering psychedelic journey, without all the usual pointless “jamming.”

Spacemen 3 – Big City (Erol Alkan Mix)
Speaking of Erol Alkan… Mr. Alkan puts his hands all over drone-rock antagonists’ Spacemen 3’s ode to Suicide. While the original version dwelled on repetition and post-punk antagonism, the remix gently coaxes something approaching transcendence from the drones and reverb, proving that not every meditation on a single chord needs to be disorienting and strobelit.

All files in one fully-contained zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 25
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll (Requests)

May 16, 2009
And here it is, the first batch of requests for further rock and roll education. I didn’t have time to get to all of your requests but rest assured, I will get to them as soon as is personally convenient to me. Feel free to leave more requests as what I don’t know about rock and roll will soon be long enough to fill a book.
These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

Sweet
Sweet was formed in the late 1960’s basically as an excuse to show off their collected pleather jumpsuits. Over the years, the band has split and reformed under different founders’ names, such as Andy Scott’s Sweet, Steve Priest’s Sweet and the Billy Ray Cyrus Experience.

Their first album appearance was a split with local children’s group the Pipkins. With Sweet’s proto-glam on one side and waifish proto-KidzBop on the other, the album was a hit with both schizophrenics and locals who were looking to stock up on round discs in case of sudden zombie invasion.

Their second album, Detonation Boulevard, featured a young Andrew Eldritch on vocals. Eldritch took the band in a new direction, allowing them to show off their collection of large sunglasses as well. During this tumultuous time, the Sweet underwent a series of name changes: Mercy, Sweet Sister!, Sweet Soul Sister, Southern Death Cult and finally, the Matthew Sweet.

Bolstered by an unprecedented 20-year time skip and MTV airplay, the Matthew Sweet toured extensively, greeted by thousands of fans wearing jumpsuits and large sunglasses. Eldritch left the band due to creative differences, citing his irritation with daytime gigs and ill-fitting jumpsuits. Eldritch went on two form two bands, the Mission Region 1 and the Mission U.K., before being kicked out of both and reaching for his lawyers.

The Matthew Sweet reformed as the Sweet in 1999 and resurfaced in 2000 as a tattoo on Seann William Scott’s back in Danny Leiner’s seminal coming-of-age comedy, Dude, Where’s My Car?

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

The Virgin Prunes
Formed in 1977 by Bono’s estranged boyhood friend, Gavin Friday (b. Fionan Apple, son of Sgt. Joe Friday), the Virgin Prunes acoustic stylings won the hearts and minds of Ireland’s disaffected urban youth (is there any other kind?).

A turning point came during their performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The band hit the stage as the Electric Prunes only to be greeted with boo’s and shouts of, “Judas!”

Gavin has stated that the “Virgin” part of the band’s name was facetious and did not reflect the band members sexual prowess or pure, acoustic guitars. In fact, Gavin stated that the band got laid, “at least as much as Kenny Chesney,” making the “Virgin” especially ironic. Sort of like your promiscuous sister who insisted on wearing white at her wedding. You know the one I’m talking about. And then it rained. But I digress…

Alanis Morissette, after a brief attempt to become the next Tiffany (and finding herself losing ground to Y Kant Tori Read), set her sights higher and attempted to become the next Liz Phair. Her timing couldn’t have been better as Phair’s crippling stage fright was quickly preventing her from becoming the first Liz Phair. Morissette quickly staked out her claim as a 4 Non-Blondes fifth wheel and laid the nasal, faux-boho woman-roar that would lay the groundwork for Avril Lavigne’s opus, Sk8ter Boi.

To sum up, America is a land of contrasts.

The Fiends celebrates their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

The Fiends celebrate their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

Alien Sex Fiend
Formed by a horrific lab accident involving a post-op Alice Cooper and a collection of Hammer horror films, Alien Sex Fiend became fixtures of London’s Batcave scene. They performed several high-energy gigs and killed time making crude sexual comments and lighting things on fire. Much like AC/DC, only with a sense of humor.

Despite frequently mining the same crude veins as the Cramps, Alien Sex Fiend found themselves lumped into the po-faced goth scene. While initially limiting, it afforded them the opportunity to appear on Cleopatra compilations for the next several hundred years.

Founding partners, Nik Fiend and Mrs. Fiend, may or may not be actually married. Much like the Whites of the White Stripes, the “are they, aren’t they” speculation has led to much flamage on various alt.goth message boards, although more astute fans point out that the first name “Mrs.” would tend to indicate that they are.

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible
Co-founding member of the Damned, a fixture of the nascent British punk scene. So nascent was it, in fact, that the Sex Pistols were able to raise the punk flag and steal Pink Floyd’s thunder (and inflatable pig).

The debate about punk origins raged on, until Guiness was asked to step in and sort it all out. After some fact-checking, Guiness declared the Damned “the first punk (sic) band (sic) to release a punk (sic) album.” Guiness would go on to steal scenes in George Lucas’slaughriot Star Wars, as the character “Crazy Old Man in a Bathrobe.” His scenes would be stolen later by the bathrobe’s portrayal of itself during a crucial duel with Darth Vader.

Captain Sensible (born Private Sensible) left the Damned and started a career as a solo artist and producer. He also branched out into vigilante law enforcement, forming the Guardian Angels as a response to the brutal murder of Gotham millionaires, Thomas and Martha Wayne, who were gunned down in front of their son.

He has also become politically active, sort of, forming the Blah! party, a collection of apathetic non-voters (noting that non-voters make up nearly 60% of the voting public). Political analysts have noted that the “No Opinion” choice on recent polls has climbed to nearly 3.8%, threatening to overtake periennial underdog, Alan Keyes.

However, due to Sensible’s disinterest in maintaining the status quo, Britain’s government has threatened to bust him back down to private if he continues with his cheerful disrespect and rampant beret-wearing. If you would like to protest the government’s treatmeant of local hero, Capt. Sensible Sliwa, sign the online petition at Blah!’s website if they ever get it up and running.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart
– 3 lbs Beef Heart
– 1-1/2 cups Safe Milk
– 1 cup Water
– 4 tsp Onion Soup Mix
– 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
– 4 Trout Masks (if unavailable, use alternate such as cod or other whitefish)
– 1/2 cup Breadcrumps

1. Trim any fat off the heart and cut each heart into quarters. Cut these quarters in 6/8 pieces. Never mind, you’re doing it wrong. Watch closely. On this quarter, cut right here. On this quarter, right here. Go ahead… No. Stop. On these first 6 quarters, cut here but when you get to this quarter, cut here, then here… OK… And 1, and 2… Jesus Christ! I’ll just fucking do it myself! 6/8 except on these 16ths. How fucking difficult is that.

2. Throw Beefheart in water. Bring to a boil. Add carrots. What the hell do you mean you don’t have carrots? Look, if you’re going to cook with me, you’re going to need to be prepared. I need you to have ingredients on hand that I haven’t even thought of yet. And they’d better be good ingredients, too. I can’t have you half-assing around the kitchen unprepared. Well, go get some. I’ll wait. I’ve got some paintings to bang out while you get your shit together.

3. Add Onion Soup Mix and Beef Bouillon to the boiling water. Not right now. Right now. And now. That’s too late. You missed on the 4th and the 7th. Start over. No, really. From the top. Look, I haven’t slept in over a year and a half. I’ve got nothing but time… Because it has to be perfect. This isn’t just some warmed-over idea. This is art! Start over.

4. Clear a Spot. 3/4 by 9-1/8. I don’t know. Inches, I guess, if that’s what you’re used to working with. Arrange trout masks into a double-helix. A double-helix! Jesus! You remind me of Mrs. Zappa’s boy, all unnecessary questions and movements. OK. That’s close enough. I’ll fix it later. You’ve done enough damage. Make sure the Beast is Shiny. Make sure… Christ! Do I have to paint a picture? No, that’s not rhetorical. I’m a fucking artist, you hack.

5. Get the milk. Is it safe? Is it safe? What do you mean you have no idea what I’m talking about? Is. It. Safe. I’m going to get my tools out. Oh… now it’s “very dangerous, not safe at all.” You’re weak, your father was weak. I’ll work the Beefheart until you can tell me what I want to know. I don’t use novocaine and there’s usually a great deal of blood.

6. Once the meal is complete, serve on randomly selected brand new dishes. Brand new. Those stickers will have to come off. Can’t have those gumming up the works, eh? Go ahead. Not like that. Not like that at all. With your mouth. Watch my humming and follow along. Lick the Decals off. It sounds weird but it will all make sense when we’re done. Let sit for 11.3 minutes to allow flavors to soak in. 11.3… Look, I’m pretty much sick of your constant whining about my time requirements. They’re not irregular. They’re perfectly cromulent.

7. Serve with Ice Cream. Not for you. Not for you at all, you multi-instrumentalist failure. That’s for Crow. It’s purely decorative and melts rather quickly. Well, shove it out on the table. I don’t like how it’s tuned out but I really can’t be starting over again, can I? Just… Oh, just throw it out! It’s not fit for consumption, you retarded Bat Chain Puller. We will start over and over and over until it’s right. We’ll need some fresh ingredients and some other stuff. I’ll let you know when the time is right. Until then, do everything perfectly and we’ll be fine.

-CLT