Posts Tagged ‘Heroin’

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Illegal Drugs

December 23, 2009

In an effort to educate, divert stoner pageviews and retain our title of “Enabler of the Year,” we at Fancy Plans present our well-rounded guide to illegal drugs. Please note that the editors of this site encourage drug use, especially among teenagers, whose disposable income levels are fast approaching the baby boomers.

In the issue of balance, we would also like to point out that there are several reasons not to take drugs, but we can’t really think of any at the moment.

Another smuggling attempt gone horribly wrong.

Cocaine
aka: Blow, Coke, Snow, Yayo, Nose Candy, Baby Laxative, White Man’s Burden

First discovered in the 1980s by stockbrokers, cocaine has been the go-to drug for jet-setting youngsters and jet-setting oldsters, who wish to reclaim their youth with a combination of poorly cut product and occasional heart failure.

In its heyday, cocaine had a drawing power unrivalled by other substances, thus ensuring the men’s room was at least as crowded as the ladies’. Coke is also handy for generating “big” ideas, perfecting conspiracy theories and removing unwanted septum.

Pros: Energy; hooker “bait”
Cons: Nose bleeds; insta-death

How marijuana reproduces...

Marijuana
aka: Weed, Pot, Chronic, Mary Jane, Crepes Suzette, Medicine

[Note: Also known as the “gateway drug,” as possession of this substance, which has been tried by an estimated 102% of the American public, will earn you a quick trip to the “gates” of your nearest federal penitentiary to serve a sentence on par with lesser crimes like armed robbery and involuntary manslaughter.]

Easier to obtain than pseudoephedrine and only slightly less illegal, marijuana is much like Kevin Bacon: only a few people away. Grown in the wilds of Mexico and Canada and domesticated in a million basements and walk-in closets around the U.S., marijuana is one of America’s most popular drugs.

Perhaps the most social of social drugs, marijuana can create an instant party. Like cats around a can opener, all it takes is the sound of fire igniting cannabis to fill your house with acquaintances, well-wishers and “friends of friends” who are only too happy to smoke your weed, drink your beer and empty your pantry before vanishing the moment the bowl is cashed.

Recently an effort has been made to legalize marijuana due to its medical qualities, which acolytes believe can cure several ailments, from the legitimate (cancer, glaucoma) to the dubious (rickets, chlamydia, male pattern baldness, boredom).

Be aware that heavy users will often clockwatch until late afternoon, when an impromptu (and hazy) celebration will break out as the clock hits 4:20 (also known as “giggle o’clock”).

Pros: Relaxing; sociable; inspiring
Cons: Scooby Doo; whoever the hell that is passed out on the couch

"Well, it made a lot more sense when I was tripping..."

LSD
aka Acid, Trip, Tabs, 13th Floor Elevator, Fun

LSD is a psychedelic whose sole purpose is to “fuck shit up” perceptively speaking and provide lazy music critics with a go-to analogy. (“Band X sounds like band Y. On acid.”)

Based on what I’m informed is personal experience, LSD derails spatial awareness and thought processes to a point where it can take up to 1.5 man hours to collect cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays and take them to a hopefully non-flammable area. For this analogy to hold true, said band “on acid” would most likely resemble this:

or this:

Pros: Makes everything more fun; pitch the occasional no-hitter
Cons: Lots of stuff shouldn’t be that fun; flashbacks (regular and ‘Nam)

"Let us get you the help you need to abuse crystal meth properly. Today."

Crystal Methamphetamine
aka Crystal Meth, Meth, Dental Damn!, NOS for Rednecks

One of a small set of truly American drugs (crack, Oprah), crystal meth is harvested year-round from its natural habitat: trailer park bathtubs.

A fast-acting and smokable amphetamine, meth provides users with a potent combination of energy and insomnia which allows them to “power through” such diverse activities as cramming for a shop class final, sorting the change jar chronologically or making more crystal meth.

Pros: High amounts of energy; made from common deadly household products
Cons: Hockey Players’ Mouth; Camaro ownership

"Would you please keep your fucking heroin picked up? I think I broke my ankle."

Heroin
aka Smack, Horse, Dope, Junk, Kentucky Fried Chicken (regional dialect – Manchester), Cliff Richards

Originally developed as a dietary supplement, heroin has been used for over 40 years to develop lanky, Kate Moss-ian supermodels. As supermodels began dating rock stars, heroin’s influence spread. It reached its peak in Seattle during the late 90s when it was crossed with coffee beans to develop lanky, suicidal rock stars.

Though not generally known as a social drug due to its side effects of vomiting, unconsciousness and death, junkies (as they like to be called) are usually large-hearted (and weak-veined) individuals who are always willing to share their needles.

Pros: Hits like a motherfucker; methadone “gateway” drug
Cons: Randomly fatal; second only to Joe on Blue’s Clues as the leading cause of soul decay

For added uncomfortable fun, replace Grandma's Tums with these.

Ecstasy
aka E, X, Disco Biscuit, Dolled-Up Speed, The Unscrupulous Club Owner’s Best Friend

 Originally developed as an empathy drug for therapy, ecstasy soon headed for the underground after therapists discovered it turned their patients into ovulating cats, constantly rubbing themselves against textured furniture, each other and anything emitting a low-frequency pulse. There were also numerous complaints that it made the patients “really thirsty,” which the therapists responded to by selling water at 8$/bottle.

Having escaped its legitimate usage, ecstasy threw caution to the wind, left its inhibitions at the door and worked its way through several other metaphors on its way to clubland. Once there, it was ingested by clubgoers seeking to enhance their night, which often included such activities as applauding someone playing other people’s records and getting anonymously pregnant.

Pros: Cheap and readily available; makes you really horny
Cons: Inconsistent product; increased horniness tends to make the user “cheap and readily available”

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 18

October 11, 2009

Hey! We’re finally legal. Thank god for that. All these so-called formative posts have finally paid off, turning us into the glorious creature of well-endowed musicality that we are today.

Check out our new Selective Service card, all shiny and potentially deadly. Oh, and we can vote! Exciting good times all around. We’ll celebrate with a boozeless party that’s sure to draw only family members and acquaintances looking to get into our pants.

No more dealing with uncomfortable leers or repeated requests for “ASL?” Prepare to be rocked in the most adult, but responsible, fashion. 

Previous underage volumes available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

negativland

Negativland – U2
Smart asses of the highest order, the members of negativland took on the most important band in the world with this single, featuring kazoos, U2 samples and an extended profane rant from America’s sweetheart, Kasey Casem.

Needless to say, much lawsuiting followed and nobody came out a winner. Except for you, as the song is now yours to enjoy. In fact, much of their catalog has been turned over for Creative Commons usage as the negativland members are obviously no fan of copyright. Enjoy in good health and a clear conscience.

 

Mylo

Mylo – Destroy Rock N Roll (Tom Neville Mix)
Bedroom producer Mylo cranks out the clubber’s fight song, offering to take out several bands in the name of electronics, via the unhinged ranting of Church Universal and Triumphant elder. Severely truncated in video form, although it does get the point across in a very stylish fashion. Enjoy the much longer version, available at the download link below.

 

danlesacvsscroob

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill
As long as we’re knocking iconic bands and killing rocknroll, let’s go ahead and get all confrontational with major corporations, NME, pop idols, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, the Cure and the list goes on and on and on. A very clever rant, peppered with nearly club-friendly beats and pointed fingers singling out pretentiousness, hypocrisy and bandwagon-jumpers of all persuasions.

 

bayer_heroin_bottle

PQM – You Are Sleeping (Luke Chable Vocal Pass Mix)
A banging floor-filler with some wicked flanging and gated reverb that would kill the club even without the clincher: a fucked-up and brutally truthful monologue dealing with the junkie mentality. I’ll go ahead and include the rant below as I know “repetitive club beats” are a tough sell. The person providing the spoken dialogue remains unknown, but it sounds a hell of a lot like William S. Burroughs.

You pick up this working girl
hooked on smack
hustles and scores
that’s all I do she says
she says, ten bucks for head, fifteen for half-and-half
three hits a day a thirty-five per

you say
that’s at least seven tricks a day
but she says, sometimes I get lucky
once a guy gave me a bill and a half just to eat me
only time I ever came

you think you can save her

you hock your color tv
it keeps her off the street a whole day
your typewriter for one jolt
then your shotgun, your watch
a week later you say, listen I’m a little short
but she says, no scratch no snatch

you say, look it is better to give
she says, beat off creep

One night they bust you on the street in your skivvies
trying to sell your shoes
you tell them who you are but they nail you

she happens by
she says, christ you look fucked
she says, hang tough

you don’t say anything
you just think
what a bum rap for a nice sensitive guy like me

 

mia

M.I.A. – Paper Planes (Remix Feat. Bun B & Rich Boy)
As is the case with nearly every white boy, I have a somewhat secret love for both hip and hop. Perhaps it was my formative years as a DJ. Maybe it was that horrible experience at summer camp that the surviving members vowed never to speak of again, a promise we all kept until the surviving members began dying off one by one…

Well, whatever it was, enjoy this with no reservations or white boy copouts (it’s actually a form of dancing). Hip hop is rarely described as “beautiful,” but M.I.A.’s standout single could be. But just in case it all seems a little to “twee” (another word that never describes hip hop, unless we’re talking De La Soul…), Bun B and Rich Boy show up to gangsta up the joint.

All mp3’s zipped up in an aptly-named zip file for easy downloading and transport:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 18

-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 it’s 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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My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies

August 8, 2009
Mr. Richards would like to point out that he is British

Mr. Richards would like to point out that he is British

Someone once said “Rock stars ain’t what they used to be.” His name is Alan and he said it much more eloquently and verbosely.

What’s even more pathetic is that these geritol fueled geezers still rock harder than today’s delicate and sensitive prefab pop stars. The cry of the musician is no longer “1, 2, 3, 4” but “Dear Diary.” They’re so busy eating tofu, saving rain forests and hanging with politicians that they’ve forgotten the number one rock star rule. You are a god, so act like one! And make sure the god you model yourself after is cruel and vain. You know, like Zeus, or the Buddha…

It’s true. The demystifying of rock and roll continues, especially in the mainstream. There are no dangerous rock stars out there. Everything is too clean and media-friendly. Your average rock star these days is no more threatening than a Hot Topic employee. When the best story we have is Amy Winehouse stumbling around the stage or Scott Stapp drunkenly harassing other celebrities, it’s time for a true revolution.

As anyone should know by now, being a rock star was never supposed to be about lifetime employment. You were supposed to live fast and hard because your career was on the burnout tipping point perpetually.

Tastes would change. You could chart with a couple of singles. Your band members would OD, quit, get married, get divorces, get back with the band, get hospitalized, go to rehab, throw shit out of hotel windows, etc.

Now it’s the RIAA and ASCAP trying to secure perpetual residuals and copyright extensions. It’s instant legacy acts and music safe enough for your parents to appreciate. It’s reality show appearances and career retrospectives. It’s vegan menus and bottled water on the tour riders.

I remember when a band coming to town meant locking up your daughters and medicine cabinets. When shows ended with fistfights in the mosh pit or riots in the parking lot.

Fall Out Boy: Suitable for ages 3 and up

Fall Out Boy: Suitable for ages 3 and up

What do we have now? Holy fuck, Fallout Boy is coming to town! Better lock up… the front door, I guess. Make sure the stove is off as well. We’ll probably be gone a good three hours. Family trip to the arena! I may cut loose and have a Heineken or two while waiting for the kids to exit.

In the worlds of Frank Booth: “Fuck that shit.”

My heroes used drugs. They fucked with the establishment. They turned the world on its ear, at least temporarily. They set fires and snorted blow of groupies’ asses. They did it up right.

Smack has been the drug of choice for fine musicians everywhere, dating back to the early days of jazz. It wouldn’t seem to be a very creative drug, what with all the passing out and vomiting, but you can’t argue with the results.

The Velvet Underground
Influenced every band that has ever came after them. If not directly, then they influenced the band that influenced this band. Hell, they even wrote a track named Heroin, which may have been a restrained 7 minutes on the album, but became an epic in concert.

Skinny Puppy
Canada’s industrial pride and joy. They used enough smack that each member spent some time in rehab. Dwayne R. Goettel’s OD was a key part of their 1993 breakup. Evidently such an inseparable aspect of their music that fans openly speculated as to the amount of “suck” a sober Nivek Ogre would bring to their next album. Skinny Puppy was an ugly band, and their drug of choice brought that out, resulting in some of the most nihilistic and apocalyptic industrial music of the last 20 years.

Pigface
It goes without saying that any supergroup containing members of Ministry, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, the Jesus Lizard and Front 242 would be heavily influenced by their substance abuse. Their collective music was dubbed “heroin rock,” a brutal spin on the psychedelia of “acid rock.” Experimental, nasty and confrontational, Pigface gloried in their crowdsourced noise machine, releasing the beautifully artless live album, Welcome to Mexico, Asshole recorded in Tijuana.

Happy Mondays
For the most part a cheerful “baggy” dance-rock group, whose club-friendly beats and twisted lyrics epitomized the ’90s Madchester scene, Shaun Ryder and his cohorts trafficked in nearly every drug imaginable. Particularly partial to heroin (“Kentucky Fried Chicken” in the band’s internal parlance), the band made no effort to hide its nasty habit(s), with Shaun Ryder lazily threatening to “lie down beside you/fill you full of junk” in Hallelujah.

The band soon took a sizable chunk of their label’s money to record an album in Jamaica, where they discovered crack. The advance was blown through quickly and Shaun Ryder returned to the label offices, holding his own demo tapes hostage. Another injection of cash freed the master tapes and the band was back in business. Before wrapping up the sessions, Ryder stepped out for some “KFC” and never returned.

Nothing subtle about this...

Nothing subtle about this...

Spiritualized
Jason Pierce’s combination of drone, space rock and gospel is one of the cultural touchstones of British music. After the acrimonious split of Spacemen 3 (slogan: Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To), Pierce took his ideas and addictions and set about crafting some on the finest paeans to drug use ever recorded (and distributed as mini-disc pop-out “pills” in the case of Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space).

The heroin references are everywhere. From Cop Shoot Cop (there’s a hole in my arm where the money goes) to I Think I’m In Love (warm as the junk running down my spine), the references are everywhere. Pierce likes to play ambiguous in interviews, leaving the lyrics open to “translation.” But he named his daughter “Poppy” for chrissakes.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are others, some of which are less notable, in my opinion.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Under the Bridge finally made Kiedis’ shirtless torso and “heavy feelings” relevant. Flea got shot in the foot during a bit part in Point Break. They had their moment and are shifting into legacy mode. I think they lack the last bit of push they’ll need to be remembered any more fondly than their contemporaries (RuPaul, Right Said Fred) 30 years down the road.

Smashing Pumpkins
Touring keyboardist Jonathon Melvoin and drug buddy Jimmy Chamberlin both OD in a hotel room. Chamberlin lives but leaves the band. Somehow I get the mental image of Billy Corgan attending to Melvoin funeral just to make sure everybody knew how much he disapproved of the drug use.

That’s the drugs. The bad behavior is gone as well. What we get now is faux “rock star” moments at the MTV VMAs and red carpet posturing. With the exception of the thug life intertwined in hip hop, everyone is out there pretending to live like a badass but most likely spends nights at home writing in their diary, updating their LiveJournal and smoking cloves with the windows open.

It used to be the shit to be a rock star. Ego on, brain off. Strut, fuck, get paid. Look ridiculously good while 10% sober and 90% hungover.

Early days of the Black Crowes:
Chris Robinson is in a convenience store. A fan recognized him and says something like, “OMG! Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes!” Her friend says, “Who?” Chris Robinson says, “Maybe if you’d stop stuffing twinkies into your face you might learn a little something.” Apocryphal? Maybe. Reported as fact in a Spin interview. If it’s not true, it should be.

Jane’s Addiction:
Perry Farrell says he got head from some guy just to “see what it felt like.” Perry figures since it’s a guy it should be good. After all, men should know. But the guy went at it “like eating corn of the cob.” Rock star living? A solid yes. Let’s hear Chris Carrabba tell a story like that.

Pulp:
Jarvis Cocker interrupts Michael Jackson’s Christ-like posing and child wrangling during a performance at the Brit Awards. Cocker waves his bottom in Jackson’s general direction. Assault charges are filed and dropped. Melody Maker suggests instant knighthood. Always standing up for what you believe in, no matter how inappropriate? Hell. Yes.

Rolling Stones:
The ultimate legacy act, now entertaining millions of parents and grandparents every year, used to have the swagger. They used to frighten people. Ed Sullivan makes them change their lyrics. For the love of god, their haircuts used to be more upsetting. How about this choice lyric (from Stray Cat Blues): “I can see that you’re fifteen years old/But I don’t want your ID.” Statutory rape, ladies and gentleman. That’s how the Stones Roll.

Voted most misleading title of 1984

Voted most misleading title of 1984

The Cure:
A legacy act in their own right. Robert Smith earns the derisive nicknames of “Mad Bob” and “Fat Bob” during the Pornography recording. Loaded to the gills with every drug imaginable, the Cure (mainly Smith as usual) release a nightmarish album awash in suicidal lyrics and tape manipulations. Smith also briefly splits the band and cites label pressure, although I doubt they indicated that he should do more drugs and be more weird. “It doesn’t matter if we all die,” indeed.

Case two: Shiver and Shake, from 1987’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. Robert Smith invites the object of his hatred (band member Lol Tolhurst) into the studio for a private rendition of this song. Smith makes him stand front and center while he belts out the pointed lyrics:

You’re a waste of time
You’re a babbling face
You’re three sick holes that run like sores
You’re a fucking waste…

Rock star 1, former rock star 0.

So what happened? Who can we pin the blame on? Can “society” take one more for the team? Is it the homogenization of radio that began at the tail end of grunge? Is it just something cyclical?

It used to be when a band like Metallica went on tour, they left behind a wake of destroyed venues, massive bar tabs and paternity suits. Now they travel with a full orchestra and a sweater-clad therapist. I would assume they stay up late into the night, talking things out and carefully itemizing their tax deductions.

I can only assume that music has “matured,” pop fluffery notwithstanding. We’ve got adolescence on life support. Rock and roll operating under a living will. Take it back. Support those who know it’s just for today. Rock and roll is dead. Let’s make the wake a blast.

-CLT

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Our Sincerest Apologies: Retractions and Corrections

July 29, 2009
The Fancy Plans Mailroom - where the "magic" happens, as Juanita will find out, shortly before filing a sexual harassment suit.

The Fancy Plans Mailroom - where the "magic" happens, as Juanita will find out, shortly before filing a sexual harassment suit.

Over the past seven months, we at Fancy Plans have made over 300 posts, most of them riddled with errors, false statements and speculation. Whether this can be chalked up to laziness, stupidity or ignorance remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: our mailroom is starting to fill up.

In an attempt to clear the slate heading into the back half of the year, Fancy Plans would like to issue the following corrections and retractions:

Our slogan is: “You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.” Not: “You’ve got questions? We’ve got questions. Wanna fuck?” (Radio Shack)

Arizona and Indiana are not the freak states, despite their refusal to join the rest of the nation’s proud, but outdated, tradition of Daylight Savings Time. A joint statement issued by representatives of both states reads: “Not only will we not show up at work at the wrong time twice a year, but when the revolution comes, you know who will be ahead of the curve. That’s right, baby. The “freaks!” I think. Unless the revolution starts in the spring. And in the fall… I guess we’d be arriving at the same time… Viva la revolucion!” (The Freak States)

ASCAP and its worldwide associates are not solely comprised of “thug-like shakedown artists, whose dispassionate soullessness allows them to finally empathize with lawyers (even patent lawyers).” ASCAP points out: “We also have lawyers.” Touché. (ASCAP)

Snapple points out that, while they are “made of the best stuff on earth,” most Snapple drinks do not include elements of “titanium, platinum, uncut diamonds, black tar heroin, really fucking good acid, vegemite, Krispy Kreme donuts, weapons-grade plutonium, additional brain cells, pixie dust, or the sperm of several Nobel Prize winners.” (Snapple)

Dirk Cussler, unlike Jimmy Carter, can “fart and chew bubblegum at the same time.” Video evidence was provided, but required the installation of RealPlayer. So you’ll just have to take our word for it. (Dirk Cussler Trust Fund, LLC.)

Our art department would like to apologize for being

Our art department would like to apologize for being "too literal" when bogarting retraction photos.

The estate of Jim Morrison would like to point out that his nickname was not “Van” as previously stated several times. It was “Jimmy,” like all good American boys. His mother would also like to point out that she “does not believe that Jimmy ever showed his penis in public,” and that she “was only propositioned once or twice by Jim, at the most,” blaming it on his absinthe usage. (Estate of James “Jimmy Van M” Morrison)

Nietzsche did not coin the phrase: “Say it with flowers.” (FTD)

At no time, in the New Testament or Old, does the Bible refer to God “laying his pimp hand down.” (Strong’s Concordance)

Clive Cussler’s middle name is not “Fucking.” It is “Eugene.” (C. F. Cussler’s Adventure Novel Mill)

ASCAP does not consider the statement, “Sure, other people can hear my music, but I can guarantee they’re not enjoying it,” to be a legitimate denial of wrongdoing. (ASCAP, again)

Printing someone’s unlisted address and phone number is not a victimless crime, according to lawyer Joseph Merritt, who lives at 3431 Placid Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The best time to reach him is after 6 pm (EST) at his home number (805) 421-1991. (Stevenson Law Firm of Ft. Lauderdale)

General note: the pants have rarely matched the plan. Sorry for the confusion. (CLT)

Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) has apparently won several fights with kiddie pools (and other inanimate objects) despite earlier reports. Also mentioned in this retraction request: Gwenyth Paltrow v. mirror, Keanu Reeves v. folding chair and Scott Stapp (Creed) v. “Pull” door. (We Can Smart Anti-Defamation League)

President Barack Obama has not “gone one toke over the line.” (Office of the President)

Smoking, drinking and drugs are not cool, despite all evidence to the contrary. So go to bed, kids and give mom/moms/dad/dads back his/her/their computer and paraphernalia. (D.A.R.E.)

Neither is all that excessive swearing. (Mom)

WordPress.com would like to point out that we do not actually have a “mailroom” and should drop this conceit as soon as possible. (WordPress.com)

The art department also thought this would be "clever." They have since been told that they are not paid to think, or at all from this point on.

The art department also thought this would be "clever." They have since been told that they are not paid to think, or at all from this point on.

Eric Clapton’s nickname is not “Pimp Hand.” Please refrain from using this or any other derogatory terms when referring to His Holiness, God II. Also, you already used the pimp joke earlier. (Clapton Publicity, LLC. aka “Voice of God”)

My blog may not contain the exact address of my Bacharach Men’s Fashion store, but I have left several clues like “Vernon Hills” and “Cubs game.” In fact, I’d like to think my site combines the visceral thrill of reading ad copy with the blustering excitement of a round of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (Phil Alper:4U2C)

Your continued refusal to purchase medicine at outposts and general stores will greatly increase the chance of a party member dying of dysentery. (Oregon Trail Historical Society and Event Generator)

Help! I’m stuck in your spam filter! (Ramblin’ Rooster)

-CLT

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Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 5 (Nothing Exceeds Like Excess)

June 11, 2009

As long as the horse remains dead, we at Fancy Plans… will continue to beat it. If, at any point, the horse is revived, we will swiftly re-kill it and commence beating it immediately. So without further ado, the latest installment of the apparently neverending Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll.

Previous versions can be found here:
The Original
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4

Early version of Alice in Chains, featuring Sinead O'Connor

Early version of Alice in Chains, featuring Woody Harrelson

Alice in Chains
Also-rans during the Pacific Northwest’s “me-too” onslaught, Alice in Chains funneled Layne Staley’s love for all things Led Zeppelin and/or heroin-related into a monotonous blend of po’-faced confessions and overweight riffage.

Staley’s introspective lyrics dealt with his own personal demons: horse, smack and heroin. The band’s song titles tended to reflect that. Some choice selections are:

  • Me and Julio Shooting Up Down by the Schoolyard
  • Man in a Heart-Shaped Box
  • Rainy Day Junkies #12 and #35
  • Tourniquet of Smackhound’s Desire
  • Brother, Can You Spare a Bindle?
  • Smack’s a Good Man, Brother
  • Train in Vein
  • God Help Me, I Loves Me Some Horse
  • My Apologies for Throwing Up in Your Closet
Bryan Ferry poses with members of Grand Funk Railroad and a balding elf

Bryan Ferry poses with members of Grand Funk Railroad and a balding elf

Roxy Music
The brainchild of Bryan Ferry, the man who would be lounge king, Roxy Music was always classing up the joint with their avant-garde music, artful crooning, wicked smart lyrics and nekkid women album covers.

Their breakthrough came in 1982 with Avalon, Ferry’s tribute to the world’s foremost purveyor of strategic board games. In fact, the band’s love of Axis & Allies frequently found them engaged in marathon sessions, which would often force them to hit the stage late and still dressed in Nazi garb. Onstage banter often contained cryptic quotes, such as “Eno, you fool. You played right into my hands,” and “Berlin will never fall!” The refusal of Ferry to recognize British air superiority was the main factor in Eno’s decision to leave the band.

Bryan Ferry soldiered on with Roxy Music and a fairly prolific solo career, continually thrusting his success into the faces of his former classmates, who teased him mercilessly about his last name. Each album cover was successively nuder, as if to point out the massive amount of trim Ferry was getting, despite his last name, “pansy ass” singing and “gay” wardrobe.

One of the many Aphex Twin side projects: The Illegitimate Offspring of Richard D. James

One of the many Aphex Twin side projects: The Illegitimate Offspring of Richard D. James

Aphex Twin
One can hardly begin to discuss the extremely prolific output of expert knob-twiddler Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) without recounting some of his alter egos and side projects: AFX, Caustic Window, Richard “Humpty” Vission, Sine Wave, Men Without Hats, Mike and Rich, White Cell Count, Didgeridoo, Gak, Polygon Window, The Most Exalted Potentate of Love, Philip Glass, Calx, Unlistenable Twaddle, Narwhal Extractor, walloFsoUnd, Power Pill, Alice Deejay, Dixie-Narco, Q-Chastic, Richard D. James: Medicine Woman, I Makes Me Own Instruments, Harold & Kumar Go to Cornwall, etc. Which scarcely leaves time to discuss anything else.

Works like Ipecac

Works like Ipecac

Blind Melon
Less a band than major label backwash from the mid-90’s “alt.rock” signing sprees, (“Hell, we signed Toad the Wet Sprocket and Better Than Ezra! Why the fuck not!”) Blind Melon swiftly hoisted their own petard with a jangly single and an omnipresent video featuring what appears to be a Special Olympics costume contest.

Lead “singer” Shannon Hoon milked his “tortured hippie” schtick until his career came to a sudden halt due to the untimely cocaine overdose of the “Bee Girl.” With Blind Melon rudderless (and talentless), the remaining members filed for Chapter 11 cultural bankruptcy, opening a primo “alternative” slot which the major labels swiftly filled with Blowfish.

Bryan Adams attempts to "one-up" Richard Gere

Bryan Adams attempts to "one-up" Richard Gere

Bryan Adams
Born in the summer of ’69 in Anytown, USA during a 4th of July parade, at the corner of Main Street and Cliche, Bryan Adams grew up to be a platinum-selling artist despite no one ever admitting to being a fan of his.

As he tirelessly strives to out-bland late-model Bon Jovi and the Goo Goo Dolls, Adams may face his biggest challenge in Aerosmith’s soundtrack-ready power balladry.

Bryan Adams: the anti-Velvet Underground: despite record sales in the millions has never inspired anyone, anywhere to start a band.

The band success allowed them to finance the Bauhaus School of Relentless Affectation

The band's success allowed them to finance the Bauhaus School of Relentless Affectation

Bauhaus
Of all the art school rejects who have started bands, Bauhaus was by far the artiest. (Unless you count the Artful Dodger, purveyor of British 2-step. We won’t because 2-step is a combination of R&B and drum n’ bass, two awful tastes that taste awful together.)

Known everywhere as “the only goth band ever,” Bauhaus trafficked in dark lyrics and minor chords. Their lead singer, Peter Murphy, possessed the most overwrought and over-enunciated English accent to ever grace vinyl, a title he held until a young Al Jourgensen put Chicago on the map with his New Romantic synthpop group, Ministry.

So arty were they, in fact, that Peter Murphy dissolved the group simply because the band name wasn’t “arty” enough, forming Dali’s Car with Mick Karn in 1984. The other members of the band went their separate ways, taking on various odd jobs such as Lead Singer in Tones on Tail (Daniel Ash), Interchangeable Member of the Jazz Butcher (David J) and Drummer in Tones on Tail (Kevin Haskins).

The other 3, as I will affectionately call them right now, went on to form Love & Rockets, the greatest psychedelic pop band to ever boldy snatch their name from a published work without having to append a “UK” to their U.S. releases. (See also: Chameleons UK, Charlatans UK, Chemical Brothers UK (Dust Brothers US), Carter USM UK, British Sea Power UK.)

The key elements of the Cocteau Twins - Fraser's ethereal, dreamlike vocals; unfortunate hairdos

The key elements of the Cocteau Twins - Fraser's ethereal, dreamlike vocals; unfortunate hairdos

Cocteau Twins
Another 4AD band, following This Mortal Coil’s blueprint for medium success. The Twins hew closely to the atmospheric dreampop of their labelmates, but have created a distinctly unique sound of their own, perhaps mainly due to Elizabeth Fraser’s vocals.

Critics have found it hard to describe their sound accurately. “Ethereal” gets tossed around. A lot. “Dreamlike” gets trotted out. But to truly pinpoint this band’s sound, one would have to create entirely new metaphors and comparisons, like:

  • “What gauzy purple sounds like…”
  • “Like Nick Lowe, only female and balding…”
  • “Like Kate Bush fronting Chapterhouse, with the guitars set to ‘pillow.'”
  • “Like This Mortal Coil, only less coiled and more mortal. With a chick sort of singing…”

Note to fans keeping score at home: the Cocteau Twins are not actually twins, like the Thompsons, Aphexes and Toxics.

-CLT