Posts Tagged ‘P.I.L.’


Heavy Rotation

May 31, 2009

Heavy Rotation is back, and it’s about goddamn time. Am I right?

The selections this time are some old favorites. Not necessarily “old” old, but some of my own personal classics, if you will. But, confusingly, some of these tracks are actually “old.” Like late 1970’s – early 1980’s “old.”

Ah, well. Age is in the eye of the beholder, much like these presumed classics would be to your beholding ear. Now, while you diagram that sentence, here’s today/this week’s/this month’s selections:


Magazine – Permafrost.mp3

From Howard Devoto’s post-Buzzcocks band, Magazine. This is the last track on their synth-driven, semi-critically reviled album Secondhand Daylight. Slower-paced but edged with a misanthropic menace. The punchline is in the chorus, as Devoto tells you the real reason for all the previous meandering:

As the day stops dead
at the place where we’re lost
I will drug you and fuck you
on the permafrost

Like every early spring rave in the upper Midwest!


Happy Mondays – Hallelujah.mp3

Shaun Ryder takes what ostensibly is a club pop hit and makes it unsafe for listeners of any age. Most of the lyrical content deals either directly or obliquely with Shaun’s favorite pastime: heroin. He reaches his moral nadir at this point, with this lazily ugly threat/invitation:

Hallelujah, hallelujah
I’m Shaun Willie Ryder
I’ll lie down beside ya
Fill ya full of junk


Clinic – Distortions.mp3

Clinic is a band that really sounds like no one else. Lots of syncopated drumming, heavy organ usage, a lead singer who relies on meaningless syllables and archaic slang. This song sounds like nothing in their catalogue. There is an organ, but the pace is much more funereal and wouldn’t sound too much out of place in someone’s Leonard Cohen collection, at least musically. Lyrically, however, we’re going a little darker:

It saved me once too often
You’d never know how often
I’ve pictured you in coffins
My baby in a coffin
But I love it when you blink your eyes

Oh I, I want to know my body
I want this out, not in me
I want no other leakage
I want to know no secrets yet


the Mekons – Dancing in the Head.mp3

As one of the most prolific and longest-running punk bands, the Mekons have covered all sorts of ground in the last 30 years. This particular song deals with voodoo rituals and zombies, all narrated over a propulsive guitar and drum shuffle. The Mekons take the high road and avoid tripping over any reggae cliches.

Possession is called dancing in the head.


P.I.L. – Flowers of Romance.mp3

John Lydon’s post-Sex Pistols project, which was at least twice and interesting and a million times as skillful. Ostensibly a kiss-off song to departed bassist Jah Wobble, it can, of course, be interpreted as a bitter sendoff to anyone’s ex. Featuring Lydon on vocals and violin and godawesomely powerful drumming of a pre-Ministry Martin Atkins.

This one’s for Alan.

Now it’s summer
I could be happy or in distress
Depending on the company
On the veranda
Talk of the future or reminisce
Behind the dialogue
We’re in a mess
Whatever I intended
I sent you flowers
You wanted chocolates instead

The flowers of romance
The flowers of romance

I’ve got binoculars
On top of Box Hill
I could be Nero
Fly the eagle
Start all over again
I can’t depend on these so-called friends
It’s a pity you need to defend
I’ll take the furniture
Start all over again

[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 Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
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