morse code for sailors

. . . in case you were wondering

THIS WEEK: two attempts at censoring The Heaps.

Back when I used to listen to the radio, I was always amused by the variety of ways they would try to clean up rap songs for the general public.  Sometimes they would re-record some of the lyrics (Eazy E: “Police on my drawers, I had to pause and yeah . . . I still don’t trust ’em!”), sometimes they would run certain words backwards (my old favorite technique, though there’s got to a better example than Tom Petty, jeez), sometimes they would leave holes in the vocals (Too Short: “Cause it had to be a crime to be that dumb; I took her home to my house and she let me ___ in her _____”)  , and sometimes they would insert beeps or other sound effects into the offending parts (the apex of which, in my mind, is the radio edit of the Alkoholiks/Old Dirty Bastard collaboration “Hip Hop Drunkies” which rolls out an impressive arsenal of cork pops, bottle chugs, and glass clinks).  Well, some problems you don’t worry about until you have kids of your own (like the guy on the bottom of this thread?).

I decided that after all our work, the Heaps CD “Love Dinosaurs Forever” deserves a chance to subvert the college radio airwaves but what to do about all the cursing–casual and passionate?  I made a list, and about half the songs have “issues.”  I figure that I’ll deal with each song individually, but why not start with the most egregious offender, “The Hockey Team Is Winning Again” a song whose entire chorus would be a smoking crater in the hands of any sensible censor.  You can hear the original version at our myspace or as part of the stream of our last show, but I figured I would start us off here with the most bowdlerized version and let you work backward:


I was just reading a chapter from Abbie Hoffman’s “Revolution for the Hell of It” about building myths in your own favor and it got me thinking: yeah, this song has a lot of swears and substance references but if you start bleeping out stuff that’s not even objectionable, you end up with a much more provocative song.  After the break, what Mike actually had in those madlibs.

WHAT’s GOOD: The understated soulfulness of The Mumlers–kinda like if M. Ward stopped telling fortunes at the carnival and found some friends in a beaten up horn section.  The mindfuckery of Satoshi Kon, director of “Perfect Blue”, “Millennium Actress”, and “Paprika.”  That we cried out for “Crush Me” during The Muffs‘ encore in Long Beach and they played it.

Before I went all Yossarian on the song, I had another idea: “digital stuttering”:


“Hockey Team” is one of the most recent Mike songs but it quickly became our closer by band concensus.  It’s a paean to a certain version of Philly life (though Erin feels a lot of Jersey in it, too–must be the WaWa) and once again, Mike has a knack for picking his titles.  Erin wants to keep it in the set but it certainly loses something without Matt’s piano.

Alright, so which poison do you prefer?


2 Responses to “morse code for sailors”

  1. I vote for the second one.

  2. […] with how it came out.  Also, this was the song that presented us with the greatest challenge for creating a radio-friendly version of the last album . . . (p.s. We eventually settled on a mixture of the robo-stuttering and beeping […]

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