Posts Tagged ‘the Cure’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 37

March 28, 2010

In lieu of a clever introductory paragraph, I instead offer this link for your entertainment. (It’ll open in a new window.)

Escape Motions – Flame

Just a little something to play with while listening to the tunes. Prepare to say goodbye to the next couple of hours.

Hours of fun here as well:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

The Cure – All I Had to Do was Kill Her (Live – Germany, 1982).mp3
A staple of the Cure’s live shows during the early ’80s, All I Had to Do… is an epic piece of near-gothic darkness. As the song expands and picks up the pace, Robert Smith bleeds all over the track, draping his distinctive voice over jagged shards of guitar and a very powerful rhythm section.

Fuck Buttons – Rough Steez.mp3
The glorious unharnessed electro-psychedelia that is the Fuck Buttons returns, with a track from their latest album. If their initial single Surf Solar was the finesse and current single Olympians is the stamina, then Rough Steez is the brawn, all swaggering id, an unstoppable force in search of an immovable object.

Late of the Pier – Space and the Woods.mp3
Produced to sparkly perfection by Erol Alkan (one-half of previous Heavy Rotation favorites Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve), Late of the Pier are all tomorrow’s parties as visualized by synthpop pioneers. With all that hindsight behind them, the future is now. Like what Gary Numan sorely wishes he was doing now.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Shopper’s Paradise.mp3
Nothing new about these bitterly smart pop deviants. Carter USM (as they were frequently abbreviated, especially in front of their mums) released this track 19 years ago on their 30 Something album. Taking on everyone’s favourite symbol of capitalism, the shopping mall, Carter USM sets guitars to rave, drum machines to stun and right eyebrows to permanently arched.

A satirical celebration of all-in-one shopping, where you can pick up “knuckle dusters, glass jaws and wooden hearts” while your better half picks up “sprays and lipsticks/tested on bunnies, girls, strays and misfits.” A thoroughly enjoyable poke in the eye.

Frank Black – The Hostess with the Mostest.mp3
Frank Black (late of the Pixies and, oddly enough, currently of the Pixies) takes a different take with his ode to the excesses of your average shopping mall. As befitting an album titled Teenager of the Year, Black peers through nostalgia-tinted glasses to the days when he “hit the mall on every Friday/When it was biggest in the world,” but still manages a warning shot across the bow a few lines into the song:

I hear surf on kazoo
And I march with the militia of the mime
…”

-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. 19 – Capitalist Lion Tamer’s All-Time Favorites

October 18, 2009

For this very special edition of Heavy Rotation, I’ve decided to run down my top 5 all-time favorite bands. These are the bands that soundtracked my second childhood, which started as soon as I exited my first childhood/family home.

I was a little behind the times, musically speaking. My parents were very religious which meant that rock (denoted as “secular”) was forbidden and so any music I heard was piped in by a Walkman under my pillow. I did get to listen to Christian rock, which is… well, it’s just fucking terrible stuff. Hank Hill said it best (referring to Christian rockers): “You’re not making music better. You’re just making Christianity worse.”

Consequently, I stumbled onto my favorite bands often after they had already broken up. (Never mind the bittersweet feeling of having lived long enough to see many of them reform, but at the time it seemed a little unfair.)

First listened to the Pixies in 1993. Their last album was released in 1991. The Cure? 1992. Their last album? Well, they’ve had many “last” albums, but for all intents and purposes, Disintegration (1989) was their last great one. The JAMC? 1993. Their next album, Stoned and Dethroned, had me swear off any purchases of their future albums. Love & Rockets? 1993. At that point they were four years removed from the success of So Alive and on permanent hiatus. Skinny Puppy? 1993. Last Rights was one year old and the band had broken up following the heroin implosion that was their modus operandi.

So, of course, they’ve all gotten back together for albums or tours by this point, but during my belated teen angsting it just seemed that God (or somebody) hated me by taunting me with a finite supply of music from my favorite bands.

Previous, less special, versions here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

pixies

Pixies – No. 13 Baby
My favorite band ever with my favorite song ever, if my maths is right. First stumbled across them on the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack with their song Wave of Mutilation (U.K. Surf). Rushed right out and bought Bossanova, which I discovered sounded nothing like that song, but also like nothing else I’d heard before (keep in mind, Nirvana hadn’t fully taken off yet).

Taken from 1989’s Doolittle album, this song features two odd features:

1. It runs nearly 4 minutes long when most of their catalog barely clears the 2.5 minute mark
2. It fades out over an extended (for them) wordless groove.

It’s about strange women and tattoos. More importantly, as you’ll find in the chorus, it’s about tattoo placement.

And then there’s this:
I want brown eyes la loma

You can take that shit to the bank.

I had this shirt and I wore it all the fucking time.

I had this shirt and I wore it all the fucking time.

Recommended listening: Well, you really can’t go wrong with any of the Pixies albums, but considering that their last two (Bossanova, Trompe Le Monde) tended to reflect Black Francis’ alien fetish, your best bet is to pick up Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. Both are loaded with darkness and dynamic shifts as well as the occasional profanity.

 

Cure5

The Cure – All Cats Are Grey
Lumped in with the goth scene for no apparent reason, the Cure spent the greater part of a decade releasing some of the finest albums on the planet (1979-1989). This comes from 1981’s Faith, which is a joyride all the way through, following up on the synth additions of Seventeen Seconds and working as a prelude for the suicidal nihilism of 1984’s Pornography.

“Haunting” does the job to describe this track, as does “funereal,” but don’t let that scare you away. Eerie and atmospheric, the way the Cure was always meant to be.

Recommended listening: I can wholeheartedly recommend any album up to (and including) 1989’s Disintegration (my personal favorite). After that, things tend to get a bit spotty as Robert Smith seemed to be more focused on possible mainstream breakthroughs/possible full band breakups.

 

love and rockets

Love & Rockets – Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)
The best thing that ever happened to Bauhaus, Love & Rockets saw three of the founding members form their own psych-pop monster while still retaining their original haircuts.

Best known for their inescapable So Alive single, L&R released several albums that covered ground from goth-pop to Beatles-esque psychedelia to underground electronica. This track comes from their debut album Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven. Originally two separate tracks written by Daniel Ash and David J, respectively, Haunted… is nowhere near the soundclash it should be. Instead it’s an aching song of desire and near-obsession that morphs into a kiss-off/dedication to the unnamed object all packed into the ambiguous but pointed phrase: “And this is for when you feel nothing.”

I have this logo tattooed on my arm, done by perhaps the worst tattooist in the Greater Midwest. So, no, I won't be showing it off.

I have this logo tattooed on my arm, done by perhaps the worst tattooist in the Greater Midwest. So, no, I won't be showing it off.

Recommended listening: Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, Express and Sweet F.A. are the strongest. The rest of their albums all have something to recommend but until you’ve decided that this is the band for you, you might find their genre-hopping to be a bit frustrating and definitely uneven.

 

the-jesus-and-mary-chain-1

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Who Do You Love
Another soundtrack band. Heard them on the Encino Man soundtrack of all places with an awesomely fucked up love song called Why’d You Want Me. Tracked down their debut album first and fell head over heels for the sustained feedback, dark lyrics and towering hair.

This is by no means my favorite track by the Scottish brothers (that would be Upside Down which is 2:34 of someone shoving a cheap guitar through an amplifier) but it was the best I could find on the youtubes.

A truly wicked deconstruction of the song popularized by George Thorogood. Slowed down to half-speed, alternately drawled and howled and punctuated by the siren call of feedback.

Recommended listening: Their first four albums, with Psychocandy and Darklands being the standouts. As they went on, they got more satisfied with their very competent drum machine and tended to dial back the feedback. Beware of Stoned and Dethroned, which ditches their sound completely and much of their lyrical bite. Also worth buying: their first two b-sides collections (Barbed Wire Kisses and The Sound of Speed) which include some of the finest music never to grace a proper album.

 

skinnypuppy_1

Skinny Puppy – Icebreaker
Here’s the point where most of you will say, “Those are all pretty well-known altrock touchstones and etc., but where’s the ringer?”

Skinny Puppy, Canada’s foremost noise terrorists. Fronted by Nivek Ogre, Skinny Puppy laid the groundwork for industrial dancefloors with their sonic nightmares. Of course, this ground was somewhat paved already by the likes of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, but Skinny Puppy took the ball and ran with it.

This track comes from Bites, an album that sounded like nothing else in 1983. Full of twisted electronics coughing up damaged chords and distortion, all swirling around Nivek’s bark and several menacing samples.

Recommended listening: Other than their album The Process, everything else is runs the gamut from good-outstanding (although I am unfamiliar with their reformed output). I’m partial to Bites, Remission, Back & Forth Series 1, Too Dark Park and Last Rights. Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate and Rabies can be put on the back burner until the other albums have been given a good rinse.

Here’s a taste of their understated live work:

All tunes in one nostalgic zip file of way-backness.
Heavy Rotation Vol. 19 (link will open in a 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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Great Moments in Stage Banter

May 19, 2009
Morris Day and the Time perform to their largest crowd yet.

Morris Day and the Time perform to their largest crowd yet.

A key part of any concert experience is the performers’ interaction with their audience.  A cold shoulder can lose a fan forever, but a few personal moments will win a fan for life. Some highlights from around the musical world:

The Rolling Stones, Altamont 1969
Mick Jagger: Like Keef said, any complaints about the Hell’s Angels excessive use of force must be addressed to ClearChannel Communications. Use a second page if necessary.

Limp Bizkit, Woodstock 1999
Fred Durst: Yo, we been hearing things about some possible rape going on out there? If there is, could you bring that action a little closer to the front of the stage. Thanks, bros. Alright, this is “Nookie.”

Metallica, Boston 2000
James Hetfield: Shawn Fanning? Mr. Shawn Fanning? Security would like to meet with you by the first aid tent.

U2, Los Angeles 1998
Bono: I’d like to take a moment to discuss the trade deficit…

The Cure, Hammersmith Palais 1987
Robert Smith: As you know, this will be our final tour…

G.G. Allin, Cleveland 1984
If the person in the third row could please return my feces… I’ll be needing them for my next song.

Nickelback, Little Rock, 2006
Chad Kroeger: And if you’ll look at the back of the ticket, you’ll see a coupon for 2-for-1 sandwiches at Subway. Subway! Eat Fresh!

Mozart, Salzburg 1778
Just a warning to the first three rows: you will get wet. This one’s off my latest sheet music, Violin Sonata No. 21 in D Minor.

Robyn Hitchcock, Minneapolis 1993
Fine. Jesus. Just… fine. “I see the birdies in the trees…”

The Beatles, Shea Stadium 1965
John Lennon: Ah. We have a birthday announcement for a Mr. Mark Chapman. Happy birthday, mate! And he’s requested “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” That won’t do at all, especially since we haven’t written it yet. How about “Twist and Shout?” Now there’s a proper party song…

The Cure, Wembley Arena 1989
Robert Smith: As you know, this will be our final tour…

Backstreet Boys, Orlando 1997
The Ugly One: Thank you, thank you. We love you, Orlando. Before we do our last song, we’d like to take a little of your time to talk to you about the trade deficit…

The Jesus and Mary Chain, London 1985

Metallica, Montreal 1992
Lars Ulrich: As our lead singer has burst into flames, we will only be able to perform a couple of more songs. “One” and perhaps one more… Any requests?

Alice Cooper, Venice Beach 1998
Anyway, shot about a 38 on the back nine, well under my handicap. Here’s “I’m 18.”

Nickelback, Austin 2008
Chad Kroeger: And on the back you’ll find a coupon for 1/2 off at your local Jiffy Lube. Trust me, you’ll want to get the Complete Care Package…

Bob Dylan, Newport 1965
Sure, you’re bitching now. But just wait. They’ll be shoving crap at you like Stone Temple Pilots: Unplugged. Over and over. Where’s your Judas now?

2Live Crew, Miami 1986
Luther Campbell: Hell, yeah! You bitches are crazy! Crazy! Alright, we gonna get nasty and get that bitch Tipper all wet! Sheeeit! But first we gonna talk a bit about that fucked-up trade deficit…

Prince, Coachella 2008
I’m gonna close with one of MY songs, Radiohead’s “Creep.”

The Cure, Los Angeles 1993
Robert Smith: Thank you. This will be our final tour. Thank you. See you in 1998.

Eagles, Oakland 1994
Don Henley: I’d like to welcome you to the Eagles’ “Second Mortgage Tour.” In addition to 90 minutes of our harmless AOR, you’ll notice that your tickets can be exchanged for 2-for-1 sandwiches at Subway. Quite a deal for $450.

Oasis, Royal Albert Concert Hall 2003
Liam Gallagher: Since my brother Noel, that cunt, is laying in a pool of his own blood, we have only a couple of songs left. Songs I wrote. And for an encore, I will beat our fooking bassist to death.

Raffi, Denver 1995
I’ll only say this once more: get those children seated and quiet or I swear to God I’ll call it a night. Once more and it is fucking over! Got it? Then you’ll have to deal with their crying asses all the way home. Alright, this is “Bananaphone.”

Garth Brooks, Houston 1996
As you may know, I’m about to surpass the Beatles as the best-selling artist of all time. So, I’d like to take a moment to speak to you about the sale and purchase of used CDs. If this sort of thing continues, I will be forced to record an album of even shittier music under another name to make up the difference. You’re really only hurting yourselves. Cheapasses.

The Rolling Stones, Altamont 1969
Mick Jagger: All right, all right. Cool it. Let’s cool it, please. C’mon. Please. That’s good. That’s beautiful. Keef, play something. Beautiful. Let’s just stay cool and take it easy and everything will be beautiful. Thank you. Let’s stay cool. Keef has somefink he’d like to say about the trade deficit…

Jackson Browne, Charlotte 1991
What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You’ve already told her twice. Hahahahaha. Wooooo. Well, here’s another favorite, “Tender is the Night.”

The Residents, San Francisco 1972
Thank you everyone. And let me take some time to introduce our fabulous band. Rick Wakeman – keyboards, Wolfgang Van Halen – guitar, Don Brewer – drums, Sean Yseult – bass. I’m, of course, Harry Connick Jr.

Toby Keith, Nashville 2007
(While accosting a drunken heckler): I say, could you bring him to the stage? Thank you. Son, what’s your name? A little louder. Preston. Preston, what do you do for a living? You… don’t. Well, what would you like to do for a living? The NASCAR pit crew, how exciting!

Well, Preston, suppose for a moment you were in the “pit crew.” How would it feel for you if I came down to the crew area and insulted you and made it hard for you to do your work? It wouldn’t be nice, would it. You have work to do and I’m getting in the way.

Preston, there’s no need to swear. I feel the devil alcohol has aided and abetted you in your attempt to stop me while I’m at work. We can get you help. Or you can promise to sit quietly while I finish the show. You are enjoying it, aren’t you? You must be. You have paid to get in.

Thank you. That’s very sweet. There’s no need to cry, young Preston. Return to your seat and I will finish this show in style. I shan’t disappoint. A hand for Preston here. And Preston, please see someone about your drinking before it truly gets out of hand…

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Woodstock
Jimi: Since my last remaining guitar has burst into flames, I’m afraid we will only be able to do a couple more songs…

Grateful Dead Reunion Tour, Seattle 2003
Phil Lesh: Alright, listen up you thieving hippie bastards. The only reason we let you record every show was because Jerry thought it would be “cool.” He’s gone now, so shut off the recorders and hand them over to security. And get rid of that weed, too. That was Jerry’s bag and frankly we’re all sick and tired of never being able to get that “high-school parking lot” smell out of our clothes. I sincerely hope you people don’t vote.

John Denver, Minneapolis 1981
If the good people in the first three rows could possibly give back the feces I hurled in there earlier? Fantastic. I’ll be needing them for my next song, a protest of sorts dealing with a subject near and dear to my heart, the trade deficit.

-CLT

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Robert Smith “Violently Disagrees” with Basic Economics

February 28, 2009

M~ SPAIN-BENICASIM-FIB 2005

Robert Smith took a brief hiatus from his normal day of aging badly, threating to break up the band and shopping for eyeliner to blast Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want experiment for “In Rainbows.” It’s not really too surprising to hear legacy acts complaining about the internet and people in general, but Smith’s comments stand out for contradicting one of the most basic economic truths (emphasis mine):

“You can’t allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don’t consider what you do to have any value at all and that’s nonsense.

“If I put a value on my music and no one’s prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan, it can’t work.”

That is the only way that value is created. By the consumers. (Note: value can be skewed by protectionism, subsidies, price fixing, etc.)

He also seems to have forgotten his previous tiff with iTunes, in which he complained that the prices were too high.

I guess any press is good press when your band peaked 20 years ago.

-CLT