Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Rotation’


Heavy Rotation 70

April 17, 2011

Back in action after a very brief hiatus, it’s the presumably world famous Heavy Rotation! Starring Indian Jewelry, K-X-P, Mean Wind, 23 Skidoo, and the Death Set. Extra-special appearance by Ninjasonik.  Contains pretty much a little bit of everything, most of it distorted.


How to not write a book and still sell the hell out of it.

A brand new, searchable archive of recently declassified FBI files. Tons of stuff, including organized crime, pop culture figures (including John Denver[?]), religious cults and the unexplained phenomena.

Neil Gaiman on why defending free speech means defending the indefensible:

“Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means you’re going to have to stand up for stuff you don’t believe is worth defending, even stuff you find actively distasteful, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you don’t, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one person’s obscenity is another person’s art.

Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

Previous versions available:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Indian Jewelry – Cutthroat.mp3

A growly, grungy slab of Helios Creed-esque rock. Distorted and ill-tempered, Indian Jewelry run through the swampier side of space rock and emerge jaded and unamused. It’s the kind of music that leaves you feeling like you might need a shower. But not yet. There’s still some night left…

K-X-P – Pockets.mp3

Space pop, perhaps. (It gets even poppier when Annie sings it. Which she does, believe it or not. But not in this version.) Plays out like “Where Is My Mind?” relocated to waist-high. K-X-P uses his spacier tendencies to bury everything under a glacier-thick layer of fuzzy distortion while he bemoans the loss of… well, something indefinable. You can sing along to it, too which will makes this a weirdly empathetic track about losing your shit.

Mean Wind – Darius Rucker Is Dead.mp3

This some weird hybrid jangle-pop-nu-folk cynical piss take on an alternate future where news of Darius Rucker’s death brings life to a standstill. (Temporarily.) At some point, everyone gets naked and sings the second verse of “Let Her Cry.” The passing of a pseudo-icon will never be the same again. But alas, it is only a dream and we all have to come to terms with the fact that D.R. is now plying his trade as a country singer, leading me to believe this is what he looks like now:

Mean Wind insists this track is a cover of a Chord Progressions song which appeared to him/her/them(?) in a dream.

23 Skidoo – New Testament.mp3

Unbeknownst to anybody (including the band members), 23 Skidoo was constructing the blueprint for witch house/drag with “New Testament,” taken from their 1982 debut, Seven Songs. Minor chords mingle with electronics on their last legs. Every minute of it conveys a sense of doom. (Well, except for the last minute or so when nothing really happens at all.) 23 Skidoo has always been considered “groundbreaking,” but this posthumous attribution shows just how far ahead of the curve they were: 29 years ago they sounded like today.

The Death Set – Negative Thinking About Tight Pants (Ninjasonik Remix).mp3

If you’ve been here before, you know of my love for The Death Set. This track has already been featured in the Heavy Rotation twice, in two different forms: one original and one remix. Here’s another remix, only this one does a bit more with the production. The Death Set brings in Ninjasonik to rap a little something over the beat pertaining to trendiness. It’s nearly twice as fun as the original and gives you plenty of verbal ammo should you choose to diss someone else’s crew.



Heavy Rotation 69

April 3, 2011

[Concursantes de este domingo incluye Nightland, fin de semana, The Big Pink, gemidos primas, Papelera del Partido y demonio vivienda bruja, Nattymari. Contiene partes iguales de esta y / o lo otro. ¡Viva el error de traducción garantizadas!]

Previous Rotations here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives


Why should you read Julian Sanchez? Read this quote and see if can resist reading more:

Wise assessment of copyright policy should have nothing to do with how you feel about the person or entity who holds the right at any particular time, because copyright policy is not about identifying wonderful and meritorious people and ensuring—certainly not as an end in itself, anyway—that their income is proportioned to their intrinsic moral desert—or lack thereof. We are all the massive beneficiaries of millennia of accumulated human scientific knowledge and cultural output, and not one of us did anything to deserve a jot of it. We’re all just extremely lucky not to have been born cavemen. The greatest creative genius alive would be hard pressed to create a smiley faced smeared in dung on a tree trunk without that huge and completely undeserved inheritance.

The Essayist curates a mighty fine collection of the web’s best long-form writing. Added bonus: they are totally gay for David Foster Wallace.

Thinking about getting some kickass Oriental tats all over your bad self? Check here first or risk being marked for life as “hollow.”

Nightlands – 300 Clouds.mp3

In crafting the finest “prayers for rain” song since, well, the Cure’s Prayers for Rain, Nightlands enlist the aid of antiquated instrumentation and a chart-topping monks’ sense of choral arrangement to color up the background. The result is hope-against-hope fatalism, the kind that can usually only be communicated via a particularly brilliant song.

Weekend – Coma Summer.mp3

This is another one of those tracks that I find blissfully (and occasionally, blisteringly) tuneful but somehow still manages to punch elizabeth3 right in the Yiddish.

Suffice to say, Weekend’s track is amazingly catchy with just the right amount of guitar blast, making it punchier than your average summer beach buzz. The melody makes you want to bounce. The bursts of sonic fuckery make you want to pump your fist.

The Big Pink – Love in Vain.mp3

God help me, I love The Big Pink. As the heir apparent to the throne hastily abandoned by a million shoegaze artists and their introverted fans, TBP is stadium-ready gauze rock, built on solid hooks and pretty-as-fuck lyrics. The faux strings are a nice touch, as is the “if you love someone, set them free and kill yourself” resignation.

Party Trash w/Raw Moans – Drunkdial.mp3

Nothing involving any combination of the words you see above should sound this gorgeously heartbreaking. The subject matter alone would seem to lend itself to emotionless scorn, but the way Raw Moans and Party Trash view it, there’s nothing more sincerely emotional than late night regret.

Nattymari – K1LL K1LL.mp3

Taking his name from perhaps the twee-est videogame ever released, Nattymari pins down the hazy, codeine-addled end of the witch house spectrum with a mixture of pitch-slurred mantras and vapor-locked rhythms. Hidden amongst the faulty reel-to-reel vocals and drum machine abuse is the best kiss-off, pissed off, fuck off line ever delivered. It connects like a back-handed compliment:

“She look like the best money that I ever spent.”



Heavy Rotation 68

March 27, 2011

[Featuring Metric, Philip Selway, Scorpion Violante, Phantom Family Halo and School of Seven Bells. Additional remix and production by Mikezilla and the always popular A Place to Bury Strangers. All musical opinions courtesy of yours truly and do not represent the views of the ownership, management and well, pretty much damn near everyone else. Need a track removed? Email me at]


This week, it’s links to more links, which will give you a jump on future HR links. So, there’s that.

Looking for something to read? And not just any something, but something with teeth? And depth? The Browser’s got you covered.

Jason Kottke curates a fine set of links over at Bonus fact: he designed Gawker Media’s original logo!

Crowd-sourced link farming at its best. Metafilter is both an entertaining aggregator and, depending on the link, an argument waiting to happen. The comment threads are usually worth a read.

More music here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Metric – Blindness (Mikezilla Remix).mp3

Philip Selway – Beyond Reason (Mikezilla Remix).mp3

I can’t decide whether Mikezilla’s mixes are flat-out awesome because he knows how to dust them perfectly with dancefloor magic or because he chooses impeccably beautiful source material.

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Metric’s chilling fight song and Phil Selway’s (of Radiohead) recursive tone poem get treated to Mikezilla’s pristine production and head toward the deeper end of the dancefloor all without overstaying their welcome.

Scorpion Violente – Viol et Revanche.mp3

Crank this up loud enough and suddenly you’re covered in sweat and maybe even a bit of blood being pinned to the wall of CBGB’s by Martin Rev’s pummeling drum machine and Alan Vega’s contemptuous glare.

Scorpion Violente are Suicide reborn, riding reverb over a minimal drone and body blow rhythms. There’s something about this sort of unapologetic sonic attack that brings out primal urges from those attuned to its murky beauty and frequently turns the frontmen into a combination protagonist/antagonist.

Phantom Family Halo – Blackouts and Runaways.mp3

A low-key dirge, building steadily like a storm on the horizon, gradually spreading until the sun is blotted out by the swelling blackness.

Phantom Family Halo is very reminiscent of nobody in particular. Maybe a little of the Radio Dept. in the vocals. Keep an ear out for how soon the jagged guitar shreds enter the track. It’s a long way from their first appearance to their complete domination by the closing of the track but it’s a perfectly done buildup that bleeds out like years of quiet desperation climaxing in abrupt tragedy.

School of Seven Bells – Windstorm (A Place to Bury Strangers Remix).mp3

This is stellar. A Place to Bury Strangers lay down a distorted bass riff that sounds like a classic muscle car idling while Alejandra Deheza of School of Seven Bells drapes her airy vocals across the underpinning roar like an airbrushed nude draped across the hood. Only, you know, impeccably tasteful.

The whole thing just kind of takes off, surging from throaty growl to high-rpm whine in mere moments, leaving the entire track clouded in tire smoke and gasoline fumes.



Heavy Rotation 67

March 20, 2011

[Featuring April March, Azzido Da Bass, Curve, Lunatic Calm, LCD Soundsystem, and Project: Komakino. Additional production by WNC. and Soulwax. Contains last hurrahs, nostalgic waves and twee Franco-pop, among other things. If you’d like a track de-listed, please email me at]


CLT — Also appearing at:

The Bygone Bureau, a Major Online Publication.

Techdirt – also fairly popular (718K subscribers via Feedburner).

Not appearing at:

Newspapermap – The world’s largest online newspaper map. (Over 10,000 clickable links handily pinned to a zoomable world map.)

This guy is so funny he makes me want to shoot myself in the brain. Check this out. And this. I wouldn’t be too surprised if you wander off there and never come back. Sad. But not surprised.

Previous Rotations here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

April March – Chick Habit.mp3

Doing business under a tastefully refined pun, April March manages to out-wink and out-nudge the master of entendre, Serge Gainsborough, with this bouncy bitchslap of a tune. It’s a mouthy little thing, chiding the philandering protagonist about his nasty chick habit and warning him of his assured downfall. It’s full of sassy couplets, the kind you’ll find yourself singing months down the road.

“Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
Or you’ll be alone in a quick
Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
Or you’ll never get another fix

I’m telling you it’s not a trick
Pay attention, don’t be thick
Or you’re liable to get licked

You’re gonna see the reason why
When they’re spitting in your eye
They’ll be spitting in your eye

Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
A girl’s not a tonic or a pill
Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
You’re just jonesing for a spill

Oh, how your bubble’s gonna burst
When you meet another nurse
She’ll be driving in a hearse

You’re gonna need a heap of glue
When they all catch up with you
And they cut you up in two

Now your ears are ringing
The birds have stopped their singing
Everything is turning grey

No candy in your till
No cutie left to thrill
You’re alone on a tuesday

Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
Or you’ll be alone in a quick
Hang up the chick habit
Hang it up, daddy
Or you’ll never get another fix

I’m telling you it’s not a trick
Pay attention, don’t be thick
Or you’re liable to get licked

You’re gonna see the reason why
When they’re spitting in your eye
They’ll be spitting in your eye”

Additional fun facts:

1. Taken from the doubly-entendred album Paris in April.
2. April March is a former animator for the Ren & Stimpy Show.

LCD Soundsystem – You Wanted a Hit (Soulwax Remix).mp3

James Murphy sounds exhausted. It’s no surprise he’s retiring LCD Soundsystem. His sentiments are the everyman exhaustion of being tied to the treadmill and hassled constantly to crank out more product. Better selling product. If it killed Cobain, then it’s probably taking years off the end of Murphy’s life as well.

It’s resignation and too-tired-to-fight-about-it complaints filed over the top of nearly-a-hit beats, aided greatly by Soulwax’s always immaculate production. Sorry, Mr. Label Exec. You can’t have what I can’t make.

“You say you wanted a hit
Well, we don’t really do hits”

Azzido da Bass – Music for Bagpipes (WNC Remix).mp3

Because, honestly, why the fuck not? Music shouldn’t have rules or guidelines. You’ve got a fistful of dancefloor electronics and Azzido Da Bass says, “Hey, a bagpipe is exactly what this needs.” Throw it in there.

Worst case scenario, you end up like Korn: remembered mainly for being 1.) kind of shite and 2.) the lead singer plays a bagpipe (and wears Weezer specs). Best case scenario? It’s the added je nai sais quois that pushes it over the top, like the intro to Jump Around. Everybody knows exactly what it is the moment they hear it.

Project: Komakino – Civility.mp3

If you’re going to be the second coming of Joy Division (and you’d better be with a name like Project Komakino) then you’ve got to do two things right:

1. Beat Interpol at their own game.
2. Do better than Peter Hook’s zombified farce that is currently touring as Joy Division (sans all original band members) with his son filling Hook’s bass-playing shoes and with Hook himself filling in for Ian Curtis, in what is the most calculatedly ugly case of nepotism since Eddie Van Halen replaced “The Secret Weapon” with his son, Wolfgang.

Project: Komakino handle both, putting together a very faithful analogue. Now you’ll have something to tell the grandkids if you’re like me and would have been all of five when JD flamed out. “I was the next best thing to there, man” you’ll say, wheezing desperately and annoyingly. The grandkids won’t even bother with a “Whom?” before leaving you to your wornout MP3s and outdated muso blogs.

Curve – Chinese Burn (Lunatic Calm Mix).mp3

This takes me back. Lunatic Calm’s riffing drum rolls and big beat bass and Curve’s Toni Halliday alternating between throaty growls and breathless swoons triggers all kinds of nostalgia. All at once it’s 1998 again and “techno” (such as it were — big beat was actually the hot thing) was just hitting America’s metaphorical shores and threatening to change everything.

Of course, it turned out to just be some sort of tidal flux and the British techno invasion swiftly returned from whence it came, leaving American slightly damp and ready to be taken advantage of by various shady characters like Limp Bizkit. And Nickelback.

But we can still dream, can’t we?



Heavy Rotation 66: Copyright Gangbang Edition

March 13, 2011

This week I’m going to ramble on at length, which is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately. Don’t head for the exits yet, though. I’ll be breaking up my pontificating with plenty of damn fine musicks to help ease the load.

I’ve got mashups on my mind. Bootleg mixes. Bastard pop. It’s all the same thing. Artist A meets Artist B (and sometimes, Artists C-Z) through the matchmaking skills of a mashup artist. In my mind, there’s nothing quite as enjoyable as the sound of two tracks playing off each other in unexpected ways. Where else but in the overactive imagination of a mashup artist could you find Jay-Z rapping over White Album loops? Or the Beastie Boys unleashing their mighty whitey power over the primordial breakbeats of the Prodigy? Or Ludacris calling out haters and hangers-on while riding a reggaeton beat and a chorus of “Role!”?

ABX & The Hood Internet – Bonde Do Rollout (Ludacris vs. Bonde Do Role).mp3

But mashups, despite their ability to create something fresh from something overplayed (exception: anything using Flo Rida’s Low. Never again. Please.), catch all kinds of shit from a variety of people.

First and foremost in their hatred of mashups (and mashup artists) are the record labels. They feel this is “infringement” at best and outright theft at worst. They issue takedown notices and cease-and-desist letters. They have no genuine concern for the artist’s music. After all, they know that mashup artists aren’t cutting into their sales, and even if they are, the bootleggers know that they can’t possibly sell this. It’s not really theirs. The end result is, but the pieces are not.

So, as long as the mashup artists play by the rules, the labels tolerate their existence. DJ Dangermouse caught legal hell when he released The Grey Album, a full-length mashup of Jay-Z’s Black Album and the Beatles’ White Album. Pretty much rule #1 in the music business is Do Not Fuck with the Beatles. Apple Records has all this screwed down tight. Hell, they sued Apple Computer for daring to use the same piece of fruit in their logo. They own the library of the biggest cash cow in the business and retain a very expensive team of lawyers.

DJ Dangermouse – 99 Problems (feat. samples of Helter Skelter by the Beatles).mp3

Their rights holders shut him down. But this is the motherfuckin’ internet so Dangermouse’s album was mirrored everywhere. Everyone agreed to disagree and history was made.

So that’s one angle. The labels are still trying to figure out how to sue them properly, without getting tangled up in the sticky threads of “Fair Use.” It’s also the ugly tendency of major labels to confuse “art” with “product” and see how much cash they can extract from someone who’s doing a ton of free promotion for their artists.

And then you have this attitude, which crops up during discussions of “derivative art”:

I’m more than familiar with mash-ups. It’s a cute novelty. I’ve yet to hear one whose sum is better than its parts.

And considering all the musical hooks in these things were written by other people, shouldn’t those other people be credited as co-writers?

Condescension. Dismissiveness. And of course, a little concern tossed in the general direction of the poor artists, who are apparently getting screwed by the remixers.

Or there’s this take:

For me, it’s the biggest damnation of “current culture” because they have stopped being truly creative and settled for second best recycling. They no longer are impressed by a great painting, but they are impressed with the guy sweeping up the studio once the artist left.

Much like anyone who declares the internet to be full of crap, this casual dismissal of mashups/artists tends to demonstrate the mindset of the dismisser, rather than slander the mashup artists.

Generally, the person making this statement has already drawn a mental line clearly delineating between what is Good Music and what isn’t. It’s usually drawn at a certain point in time (like 1977) but is sometimes deployed along genre boundaries (rap, techno and country get harshed a lot). It is stasis trapped in the eye of the beholder.

An insistence that one form of music is superior to another form is ridiculous.

Girl Talk – Jump on Stage.mp3

Or they just get it completely wrong with a stretched metaphor that fits about as well as a baby doll tee on a “World’s Biggest Loser” contestant:

It doesn’t take away the fact that they’re building on other people’s work. It’s like me building a second story over your house, while you still live there.

But it isn’t. It isn’t like that at all. Only someone with a pre-defined idea of what Music Should Be would confuse Girl Talk’s track with simplistic A+B arithmetic. No. It’s like this (quoting me):

It’s someone borrowing your window and someone else’s door and the front walk from your mutual neighbor and a mailbox from the guy across the street who’s always stealing your newspaper and stealing that newspaper back along with some decent shrubbery and using the same paint color as the corner house and the shingles of the house behind you and the garage doors from two blocks away and the naked cherub fountain from the courthouse and the stern street number font of the cop shop and the spiral staircase from that one movie you saw and the exit signs from the local theater and the car seats from the soccer mom’s minivan and that stoner’s stereo and mom’s couch and grandma’s collector’s plates and Uncle Jim’s junked Olds and the 12th hole green from the nearest golf course and all the ideas of a meth-addled feng shui consultant and some ideas from your local architect as improved on by your 4-year-old’s idea of what a real house looks like viewed through a combination 3-D glasses/kaleidescope.

That’s what it’s like:

(Girl Talk – “Jump on Stage” sample list)

  • 0:00 – 1:08 Portishead – “Sour Times” (portion sampled samples “Danube Incident” by Lalo Schifrin)
  • 0:01 – 0:08 Miley Cyrus – “Party in the U.S.A.”
  • 0:08 – 0:09 Naughty by Nature – “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”
  • 0:09 – 1:23 Big Boi featuring Cutty – “Shutterbugg”
  • 0:10 – 1:08 Amerie – “Why R U”
  • 1:09 – 2:41 Talking Heads – “Take Me to the River”
  • 1:14 – 1:23 Ice Cube – “We Be Clubbin'”
  • 1:14 – 1:27 V.I.C. – “Wobble”
  • 1:15 – 1:25 50 Cent – “Get Up”
  • 1:16 – 1:28 Diddy featuring Christina Aguilera – “Tell Me”
  • 1:18 – 1:33 The Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein”
  • 1:31 – 1:33 50 Cent – “Disco Inferno”
  • 1:33 – 2:41 Skee-Lo – “I Wish”
  • 1:34 – 2:17 The Notorious B.I.G. – “Hypnotize”
  • 1:43 – 2:46 T’Pau – “Heart and Soul”
  • 2:46 – 2:46 Janet Jackson – “Love Will Never Do (Without You)”
  • 2:42 – 3:08 Jadakiss featuring Swizz Beatz and OJ Da Juiceman – “Who’s Real”
  • 2:50 – 2:51 New Edition – “If It Isn’t Love”
  • 2:52 – 4:26 Radiohead – “Creep”
  • 3:04 – 4:10 Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”
  • 3:09 – 3:11 Public Enemy – “Public Enemy No. 1”
  • 3:51 – 4:08 Cypress Hill – “How I Could Just Kill a Man”
  • 4:20 – 4:30 Busta Rhymes – “Dangerous”
  • 4:25 – 5:03 Prince – “Delirious”
  • 4:30 – 5:13 Master P featuring 5th Ward Weebie and Krazy – “Rock It”
  • 5:08 – 5:08 Prince & the New Power Generation – “Gett Off”
  • 5:09 – 6:22 Iggy Pop – “Lust for Life”
  • 5:09 – 6:17 Beastie Boys – “Hey Ladies”
  • 5:15 – 5:17 White Town – “Your Woman”
  • 5:18 – 6:22 Lady GaGa – “LoveGame”

And then this collective asks you to move out because you’re harshing everyone’s mellow with your lack of ideas.

A good mashup is more than the sum of its parts. Those “affected” by it would do well to remember that every new generation of anything builds on the previous one. Art isn’t created in a vacuum. And I guarantee that if you locked McCartney, Starr and Jay-Z into a room they wouldn’t come up with anything nearly as visceral or engaging as The Grey Album. I can see Jay-Z doing something close on his own but the other two are so hampered by their own images that they wouldn’t be able to make the mental leap needed to produce something this bold.

This guy is a musician like cheerleadering is a sport.

Fuck you. You’re like a guy in his mid-20s who still cruises the main drag wearing his letter jacket. Music moved on and you stayed in the same place.

Take, for instance, the last few moments of Girl Talk’s Jump on Stage where Greg Gillis combines the Beastie Boys and Iggy Pop to devastating effect. Separately, the tunes (Hey Ladies, Lust for Life) are familiar crowd-pleasers. I like the two tracks involved but have heard them enough in my lifetime to not go out of my way to hear them again. Together, though, they’re a masterful match, with Iggy Pop’s rhythm section toughening up the nasal rap styling of three Jewish kids from the Bronx.

DJ Moule – Waiting for Temper (Velvet Underground vs. Gorillaz vs. The Prodigy).mp3

It’s like hearing an old favorite for the first time again. It’s that kind of impossibility that makes the perfect mashup one of those rare things that can give you a childlike feeling of amazement. I’m in my mid-30s. Anything that makes me feel like a kid again is welcome. Anything that kicks years of cynicism to the curb for a few minutes is deeply appreciated.

If you can’t see past the obvious addition of the components and enjoy the whole as its own being, then I truly feel for you. You must have no joy in your life. Everything that could be appreciated as something of its own has been broken down and compartmentalized into nothing more than a parts list for product.

If it is your belief that no talent lies in the remixer then why would you check out the culinary talents of various chefs? In the end, they’re just making small variations on meat and vegetables. They might be able to coax out flavors and textures you haven’t had before, but most of the work is still being done by the animal or vegetable itself.

Why watch any sequels or remakes? Why read any books that come in a series or feature the same characters? Why visit an art gallery? Everything in there is based on pre-existing styles and schools. Why would you single out mashups as the nadir of culture?

It can only be one of two things: an absolute belief that the best period of music is already behind us or that mashups are glorified theft and nothing more than punishable infringement. Both views are equally close-minded. Only one is potentially dangerous.

If you want to believe the best days of music are behind us, you’re only robbing yourself of new experiences. The second belief is a particularly vindictive form of projection in which your overreaching entitlement has given you the ability to see villains in every doorway and leaking dollars pouring out of every mp3. Unfortunately, the second belief is entertained all too frequently. If unchecked, it could truly bring about the end of creativity. And as the life ebbs from the art form you claim to love so much you can’t bear to see it hurt by freeloaders and infringers, you’ll be too blinded by your myopia to realize the blood is on your hands.

One for the road:

The Kleptones – Come Again.mp3


  • The Beatles – Come Together
  • Dezo – Y’all Know What It Iz
  • Lil Wayne – Best Rapper Alive
  • Beastie Boys – No Sleep till Brooklyn
  • Breakwater – Release The Beast
  • Rare Earth – I Just Want to Celebrate
  • Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure
  • Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain
  • John Lennon – Power to the People
  • Boston – More Than a Feeling
  • Freeez – I.O.U.
  • Criminal Element Orchestra – Put The Needle to the Record
  • Art of Noise – Close (to the Edit)
  • S’Express – Theme from S’Express

Download links:

Girl Talk

The Kleptones

Best of Bootie Compilations

The Hood Internet

DJ Moule

DJ Brat

Go Home Productions

Culture Bully



Heavy Rotation 65: Man in Black Edition

March 6, 2011

[Featuring Johnny Cash and a host of co-conspirators, including Kissed Her Little Sister, Alabama 3, DJ Topcat (who brings along Eazy-E), and Apparat. Does not contain Social Distortion. If you’d like a track removed, please contact me at]

Previous versions available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives


Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the author of the Hardy Boys series, Franklin W. Dixon. First off: his name wasn’t Franklin W. Dixon. Secondly: he hated writing them. Thirdly: here’s some additional speculation about where the series could have gone, written by some half-assed “humor” blogger.

I bitch a lot about McSweeney’s but when they get it right, they fucking get it right. Bastards.

Looking for a new band name? Here’s 10,000 suggestions.

Johnny Cash – Johnny Yuma Theme.mp3

The Wild West as the Man in Black always imagines it: as violent as it is tragically romantic. The unjust are punished. The just endure tragedy. And behind every mysterious anti-hero is a woman who is doomed to be left behind, whether the man’s destination is Albuquerque or an early grave.

“If you done wrong
Better keep your back against the wall
Keep a loaded forty-four, man
Better watch that right hand”

Johnny Cash – Restless Kid (Demo).mp3

Pure JC. Gotta blow town. It’s as dead as the man in front of me. Don’t hassle me with questions. Or love. Always on the run. Too tired to live. Too restless to die.

“None of your business where I’ve been
Don’t ask me where I’m from
Run your ranch and punch your cows
And stay behind my gun”

Johnny Cash – Rusty Cage.mp3

From much later in his career. Listen in awe as JC self-assuredly hands Soundgarden’s ass to them. Easily one of the greatest covers ever recorded.

Kissed Her Little Sister – Cocaine.mp3

It’s hard to tell exactly what the fuck is going on here. Or why. But here’s the breakdown:

A Midnight Juggernauts-esque cover of Johnny Cash’s classic murder ballad, which is propelled by a heft Pink Floyd sample and some snippets of a very familiar cartoon theme song.

It’s hard to take it all seriously but random gadgetry aside, Kissed Her Little Sister kicks out a pleasantly menacing listen.

Alabama 3 – Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.mp3

Alt-techno-country-blues artists Alabama 3 know the best way to pay tribute to a legend. First off, spend a little time setting the stage by taking shots at today’s so-called “country” music, which has about as much in common with the genre Cash pioneered as MC Hammer does with gangster rap.

Once that’s out of the way, let his words do the talking. And by talking, I mean string together a list of song titles into a somewhat plausible narrative, delivering an homage via an extended in-joke. Give it a bit of down home twang and a dash of ricocheting electronics and voila, an instant classic that exudes nothing but straight up love for the Man in Black.

DJ Topcat – Folsom Prison Gangstaz (Eazy-E vs. Johnny Cash).mp3

Once again, a classic remains un-fucked-with as DJ Topcat envisions pioneering gangster rapper Eazy-E and pioneering icon Johnny Cash sitting side-by-side trading lines while awaiting their parole hearings. I’d have to imagine that if Cash was alive today, he’d approve. He’s always been a criminal deep down inside, one that never expected redemption but rather expressed gratitude when any light shone his way. Eazy-E may have been nothing but a rhyming thug, but his cocksure, ultra-laidback flow rides shotgun with the shuffle of Cash’s original as if predestined.


Behold. The missing Apparat remix:

Johnny Cash – I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow (Apparat Mix).mp3

The first unwritten rule of remixing is do not fuck with a classic. Apparat knows this, delivering a remix that’s respectful without being a simple, kiss ass-y minimal exercise. If anything, Apparat’s addition of distended beats and waves of reverb makes Cash sound lonelier than he’s ever been in his life. There’s somewhat of a breakdown towards the midsection that further amplifies the heartache lying between the words.



Heavy Rotation 64

February 27, 2011

Featuring The Straight Jacks, Dick Dale by way of Sector, Guilty Ghosts, Soap Opera and Spoon being beaten by BEAKR. Kind of all over the place here and featuring, unbelievably, some drum & bass. Go figure. Wish a song of yours would just go away? Email me at

More spinning done here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives


A long, long, ultra-long look behind the scenes from a former top member of the Church of Scientology.

Sweet! Hacker supergroup Anonymous is taking on the Westboro Baptist Church. Bring on the well-deserved LULZ!

Upon further review, Anonymous will NOT be taking on the Westboro Baptist Church. Because it is they who are the trolling fuckers and they’ve got lawyers like other people have IQ points.

Kate Beaton, the genius cartoonist behind Hark, a Vagrant, has never seen an episode of Dr. Who. This hasn’t stopped her from whipping up a representative episode of the show. As far as I can tell, her sketches are more accurate than the show itself.

The Static Jacks – Parties and Friends (and Bullshit).mp3

Sounds like a less aggro Social Distortion, but one that traces the same outlines (drinking, women, pain) that Social Distortion did best. It’s easy to imagine Mike Ness’ heavily-tattooed growl throttling this one, decrying the injustices perpetrated on him by his woman, her nasty drinking habit and her even nastier drunken habits.

If indie rock had a “classic rock” subgenre, the Static Jacks would be the trendsetter.

Dick Dale – Misirilou (Sector Drum & Bass Mix).mp3

As has been stated before, I don’t care much for Drum & Bass. But as was also pointed out, the DnB I do like (Aphrodite, etc.) isn’t considered real DnB by the purists. So what we have here is something that works so well it seems obvious with about 30 seconds of hindsight: a “not real DnB” remix of Misirlou, a speedy Dick Dale track made bouncier by the addition of filling-loosening bass and a jump-up breakbeat.

Thus, Eastern-informed surf guitar becomes theoretically danceable, even if you can only get as far as your computer chair.

Guilty Ghosts – Bergen Street.mp3

Like Mogwai, only more electronic-y, Guilty Ghosts pair a skipping CD drumbeat with a blanketing fog of melodic distortion. The perfect soundtrack for a rainy day. Or (depending on current local conditions) the perfect soundtrack for a hungover, shades-drawn kind of day.

(Photo: Jason Pfeifer)

Soap Opera – Colliqual.mp3

Some sort of rough-hewn dubby breakbeat, sporting Massive Attack meets Mad Professor beats with barking electronic interjections and unintelligible vocals that weave in and out of the murk. No single element is particularly threatening but the whole thing has an ass-kicking air about it. And who is Soap Opera? You won’t find any answers here.

Spoon – I Turn My Camera On (BEAKR Mix).mp3

Spoon for your dancefloor, without any lazy beat additions or bland 4/4 club pandering. Just a kick-ass BEAKR re-edit, stressing the thump while retaining Britt Daniels’ distinctive vocals and lyrics.