Posts Tagged ‘Magnetic Fields’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 30

January 3, 2010

Nothing going on here but the music. No tenuous threads tying these tracks together. Just good, solid tunes with what gamers refer to as “high replayability.” Like Peggle for your ears, I suppose.

Previous versions here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Sparks – Frankly Scarlett, I Don’t Give a Damn
The worst moustache in the business meets some of the brightest and smartest pop in the world. The Sparks take on a Southern legend with the purest of worst intentions, taking the jilted and none-too-pleased side of things. Catchy as hell and with some of the best couplets/triplets(?) ever written:

That soft southern accent
Delivered without the slightest trace of a British accent
Even that’s starting to wear on me

and this, which I’m dying to use out of context somewhere:

We cut each other so much slack
That we were both falling over backwards

!!! – Take Ecstasy With Me (Magnetic Fields cover)
The most plaintive of love songs, wherein love is replaced with lust and lust is altered chemically. New York’s funksters !!! take Stephen Merritt’s ode to the downside of unpopular lifestyle choices (“we got beat up just for holding hands”) and turn it into an ode to the simple pleasures of getting fucked up with someone else. Loads of additions to the original lyrics drive the point home:

I’ve got a new kaleidoscope and I’ve got a stack of records
It’s all in your head so don’t doubt it
We could have fun just listening to your pulse

Balkan Beat Box – Bulgarian Chicks (INSPKTR Bootleg Mix)
Normally when I hear the phrase “world music,” I start looking for the exit and elbowing my way past Paul Simon fans and various members of Vampire Weekend. The Balkan Beat Box, founded by ex-Gogol Bordello member Ori Kaplan, takes all the chin-stroking and masturbatory SWPL-ness out of it and shows everyone (including me) how all these disparate ingredients can rock the dance floor. Funky, fun and highly recommended to close-minded bloggers everywhere.

Soulwax – Any Minute Now (Vote Whitey Mix)
Time to combine two of my favorite things: the dance-rock express that is Soulwax with the main man of all things fucking great, Whitey. Prepare to have your lids flipped by Whitey’s undeniable backbeat and general electronic wizardry.

Whitey – Individuals
Speaking of fucking great, here’s yet another fucking great track from Whitey. Just another day at work for the master, combining an a distorted electro loop that defines the word “crunchy” with some great drumwork and a great set of cynical lyrics directed at all those people who insist on showing their uniqueness by doing what everyone else is doing:

I see places
Fashionable places
Where all the smart people go to stand in line
Stand in line
Makes their lives
All perfectly designed
For killing time

I see people
Fashionable people
Go where the right people go to watch themselves
For themselves
All for one
And none for all
Stand against the wall
Cause you’re so over it all

So this is nothing personal
I ain’t got nothing against you all
But if you can’t select something that’s really your own then why bother selecting at all
And if there’s anyone actually listening now who finds this uncomfortable
Just wait for the end of the music

All files in a smartly-ZIPped jumpsuit and armed with a harpoon gun:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 30
(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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Heavy Rotation Vol. 28

December 20, 2009

Well, it’s that time of year. Only x number of days left until Xmas. (x=not enough)

As an alternative to my usual rambling introduction, I’d like to instead highlight my blog partner, RF Interference. While he may not be able to squeeze in a post edgewise, he did outdo pretty much everything I’ve done this year with this:

Thanks to RF, I am now the proud owner of an autographed copy of FIRE ICE: A Kurt Austin Adventure by none other than CLIVE FUCKING CUSSLER. How awesome is that.

Let me just give you a small excerpt of Mssr. Cussler’s prowess:

“Sandecker flashed a barracuda smile, but an icy coldness crept into his authoritative blue eyes as he prepared to rip Tingley to shreds.”

The man has never met an adjective he didn’t like.

Thanks for that, RF. Truly an awesome gift.

On to the music.

Previous versions here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Kraftwerk – Ohm Sweet Ohm
Last time Kraftwerk made an appearance in the Heavy Rotation, they were using banks of vintage electronics to crank out Black Sabbath-esque heavy metal. This time around they’re wringing raw emotion from their collections of wires and chips.

Much like Trans-Europe Express, Ohm Sweet Ohm works as a travelling analogue. The pace starts slow, as if moving tentatively but picks up the pace as it nears its destination. It calls to mind someone making a long journey back to someone they love, having been away far too long. The first moments are almost hopeless, as though the distance is too far and will never be reached, but as the trip continues and the destination nears, the pace and elation increase, anticipating the reunion.

Magnetic Fields – Yeah Oh Yeah
Well, I don’t mean to go so dark so fast, but don’t let Stephen Merritt’s perma-funk scare you away. As the mind behind the Magnetic Fields, Merritt has cranked out hundreds of darkly funny/tragic love songs. Well, love is often the key, but it’s usually unrequited or completely gone.

This ode to the creeping hate of a long-dead relationship comes soaked in reverb and features a duet/duel from the two protagonists. You know, just for a little added heartbreak. Has a bit of a Galaxie 500 feel to it, all airy vocals and lightly strummed (and lightly distorted).

I’ve enjoyed making you
miserable for years
found peace of mind in
playing on your fears
How I loved to catch your gold
and silver tears, but now my dear
What a dark and dreary life
Are you reaching for a knife?
Could you really kill your wife?
Yeah Oh, yeah
Of, I die, I die, I die!
So it’s over, you and I
Was my whole life just a lie?
Yeah Oh, yeah

Imperial Teen – Copafeelia
God help me, I loves me some Imperial Teen. All power-pop-punk with Ginsu-sharp lyrics and hummable melodies. From their debut album Seasick, Copafeelia is yet another acidic kiss-off to some fool who spends too much time “cutting out their paper friends.”

This will get stuck in your head and hold on for the drop to bass and drum about 3/4’s thru, which will makes you wonder why more bands don’t do that sort of thing all the time. (It worked wonders for the Charlatans UK’s biggest hit The Only One I Know…)

carbonated palm couture
drunken hands will kill your pimp
and make you whore du jour
you’re worth more dead than alive
I don’t want to die here
I don’t want to die

Marilyn Manson – This Is The New Shit (Goldfrapp Mix)
At first, this sounds like any other Manson track, all drums and distorted vocals. But listen closely. Alison Goldfrapp (the britchesless beauty from a couple of weeks ago) joins in, layering her breathy, sex-on-wheels voice over his, occasionally taking the lead. Her contribution adds a much-needed contrast to Mr. Manson’s overwrought shouting.

But what makes this essential? Wait for it. At about 3:20 in, be prepared to hold on to your fucking preconceived notions. Goldfrapp takes over and drags Manson’s dope rock back into a smoky 1930’s nightclub and begins channeling Marlene Dietrich. If you ain’t heard someone seductively croon “Are you motherfuckers ready?” then you just ain’t lived yet.

Meterhead – Let It Go
Speaking of time warps, here’s Meterhead with a dancefloor killer that drags Def Leppard’s pop-metal into the new millenium, taking everything good about them (chanty, slogan-esque vocals, compressed guitar) and chopping the hell out of it.

This much fun should be illegal (and due to stupid copyright laws, it probably is). If there was any justice in the world, this track would be required to soundtrack any movie club scenes for the next 3-5 years. I can totally see Blade chopping up vampires to this.

All mp3s in one easy-to-access NUMA file:
Heavy Rotation 28
(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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The People v. the State of California

February 22, 2009

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As far as rock cliches go, hatin’ on California is right up there with “the fame and money makes me suicidal” and “this whole touring thing has really got me down.” A million bands have penned a million contemptuous tunes about the skin deep constituents and the million layers of fakery (exceptions: the Beach Boys, Tupac, Frank Black).

This one is no different, except that it is undeniably awesome.

On his latest Magnetic Fields’ album, Stephen Merritt whips up a Phil Spector-ish wall-of-fuzz and tops if off (and I’d have to check with RF on this) with some echoing kick-drum reverb just prior to the title. The final note of perfection is the female singer (Shirley Simms). If a man sung this, it would be hypocritical at least and sexist at best, considering most men will drop the hating pretense if the right sexual offer presents itself. But when a woman sings it, you know she means it.

See them on their big, bright screen,
tan and blonde and seventeen.
Eating nonfood keeps them mean,
but they’re young forever.

If they must grow up, they marry dukes and earls.
I hate California girls.

They ain’t broke, so they put on airs,
the faux folk sans derrieres.
They breathe coke and they have affairs
with each passing rock star.
They come on like squares, then get off like squirrels.
I hate California girls.

Looking down their perfect noses at me and my kind,
do they think we won’t–well, nevermind.
Laughing through their perfect teeth at everyone I know,
do they think we won’t get up and go?

So…
I have planned my grand attacks.
I will stand behind their backs
with my brand-new battle ax.
Then they will taste my wrath.
They will hear me say, as the pavement whirls,
“I hate California girls…”

Magnetic Fields – California Girls.mp3

All mp3s are only temporarily available. If you like what you hear, please support the artists. If you wish to have a track removed, please contact me at 2timegrime@gmail.com.

-CLT