The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I25 - 06201999

SITE

THE THRILL IS BACK
Once again, we bring you www.thrilljockey.com, which should finally be working for good this time without interfering with their email system. Over the next few weeks, look for their website getting more comprehensive with artists, biographies and sound samples.

MUSIC
IN BRIEF

GUS GUS, "THIS IS NORMAL"
This is disappointing. Review the facts: Polydistortion - new album from a hip new Icelandic 9 piece arty band with dabbles into electronic manipulation carefully woven into delicate pop tunes with a driving beat and a taste for tweeking... Follow up album: a bland pop dance record with next to nothing redeeming. Every track on this disc follows the same vocal verse chorus verse style as the previous track. The beats are factory programmed and there's no audio manipulation anywhere. To complete the sad picture, the female vocalist was only allowed one song to sing on, it's a stellar track but she has since been removed from the band. These days, it seems like nothing lasts and nobody can put out a follow up to a brilliant record. My Bloody Valentine are smart for staying away. - Jon Whitney

FUGAZI, "INSTRUMENT"
Instrumental tracks and demos comprise this album, their soundtrack to the film about their humble beginnings on up to the present. Whether or not you're a Fugazi fan, this album has something for everybody, as they touch base with influences: rock, punk, jazz, dub, experimental, and even an odd piano ballad! The demos here are more than just rough sketches of tunes, unlike PJ Harvey's "Four Track Demos" album. Instead, they are like versions (in the dub sense) of the fleshed-out songs. "Arpeggiator Demo" swims in echo and delay, and it's rhythm section pounds along at a hypnotic pace, mimicking the most motorik of Stereolab tunes. "Closed Captioned Demo" is essentially a little practice space jam, but it's soon overrun by multiple drum tracks and cut and paste effects worthy of any Tortoise record. The low point here is the "Rend It Demo", which is nothing like the track from their "In On The Killtaker" album, and it goes on WAY too long! It lacks the power the album version has, and the heavily echoed vocal and dehumidifier percussion (yes, you heard me) makes it alternately spooky and annoying. "I'm So Tired", the piano ballad which is far afield from anything you would expect on a Fugazi album, could actually be their remake of Depeche Mode's "Somebody", without the hokiness. It's startlingly beautiful, and tragically too short. That can be said for a lot of the tracks here, but then again, it is a soundtrack, not a magnum opus. It succeeds in standing alone from the images it was meant to support, working as some of the best incidental music I've heard in a while. - Jason Olariu

NOBOKUZU TAKEMURA, "SCOPE"
You might recognize the name from remixes of The Dylan Group, Roni Size, Tortoise and Steve Reich, or you might be familiar with Child's View - Takemura's own project name for a while. It's cut-up, it's electronic, it sounds like a skipping and fast-forwarding CD in places, but there's an element of grace and beauty in Takemura's touch, something that separates him from other Japanese knob-twiddlers like Ryoji Ikeda or software engineers like Oval. His use of repetition is stragely quite unique - while all the others out there seem to be making pieces that just go off in random directions, Takemura returns to themes and uses them over and over in various tracks. Scope is his first disc for Thrill Jockey in the USA and pulls together bits recorded from 96 through 98. - Jon Whitney

ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, "60 SECOND WIPE OUT"
Every generation gets the Sigue Sigue Sputnik they deserve. For those not in the know, ATR is the loud, fast and cheap vocal version of Alec Empire's empire. This one here continues their trend of lame vocals, cheap sampled distorted guitar riffs and weak rap. It's loud and obnoxious which is perfect for the impressionable pubescent youth in the world. Nearly every song is full of the vocalists shouting "Atari Teenage Riot" just so nobody forgets their name. A clever marketing ploy, but it's going to hinder generating multiple hit singles from the record. I suppose Empire needs an outlet like this to make loads of cash so he can fund his own brilliant solo projects. ATR albums are never classics, but they can be ear candy. This is, after all Digital Hardcore - everything is agression. - Jon Whitney

NEW
RELEASES

MONDAY
Afrika Bambaataa & WestBam - Agharta: The City Of Shamballa two 12"s/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Bjork - All Is Full Of Love BOX SET [includes video and the two regular CDEPs originally released two weeks before, plus an exclusive CDEP featuring tracks otherwise available only on 12"] (One Little Indian, UK)
Bjork - Debut LP, Post LP and Homogenic LP [limited edition reissues on heavyweight vinyl with special plastic sleeves, lyric sheets and stickers] (One Little Indian, UK)
Myungho Choi - Vehicle 12" (Transit, US)
Coil - Music To Play In The Dark CD/LP [mail order only release; CD ltd to 2000 copies, LP ltd to 500 copies on while vinyl] (Chalice, UK)
The Creatures - Disconnected 12" (Hydrogen Dukebox, UK)
Der Blutharsch - Gold Gab Ich Fur Eisen CD+VIDEO [ltd to 1000 copies] (World Serpent, UK)
Dawn & Dusk Entwined - A Leftover From Gaia CD (World Serpent, UK)
The Gentle People - 99% Simply Faboo CD (Flavour of Sound, Japan)
Jega/Kid Spatula - Unity Gain 12" [ltd to 2000 copies on clear vinyl] (Planet , UK)
Kreisel [Mike Ink] - Kreisel 99/25 7" [ltd edition] (Kreisel, Germany)
Nurse With Wound - An Awkward Pause 2xLP [ltd to 500 copies on grey vinyl; includes different tracks from CD version released last month] (World Serpent, UK)
Ordo Equitum Solis - Signs CD [mini-album collecting rare tracks] (World Serpent, UK)
Plaid - Rest Proof Clockwork CD/LP (Warp, UK)
TUESDAY
* Cabaret Voltaire - BBC Recordings 1984-86 CD (Pilot, US)
Chemical Brothers - Surrender CD/LP (Virgin, UK/Canada - Astralwerks, US)
Carl Cox - Phuture 2000 CD (Mooshine, US)
Holger Czukay - Good Morning Story CD (Tone Casualties, US)
Deejay Punk Roc/Various - Mixer Presents... CD (DMC/Moonshine, US)
* Godflesh - Us & Them CD (Earache, US)
Randy Greif & Nigel Ayers - Build a Poison Fire CD (Soleilmoon, US)
Randy Greif & Robin Storey - Nail of Pious Bride CD (Soleilmoon, US)
* Joy Division - Preston: The Warehouse 28/2/80 CD [live] (Factory/PARAS Group, US)
Lydia Lunch - Widowspeak 2xCD ["best-of" anthology] (Pilot, US)
* Pere Ubu - Dub Housing CD & New Picnic Time CD (Thirsty Ear, US)
Plaid - Rest Proof Clockwork CD (nothing, US)
Soulstice - Tenderly 12" (Om, US)
Robin Storey & Nigel Ayers - Perfidious Albion CD (Soleilmoon, US)
David Thomas & The Pale Orchestra - Mirror Man CD (Thirsty Ear, US)
* Two Lone Swordsmen - Stay Down CD [includes Bag of Blue Sparks EP as bonus tracks] (Matador, US)
Various - Deutscher Funk 2 CD [with Jazznova, Lithops, Tarwater and more] (Caipirinha, US)
Varitone Ballad - Trashed Server Response CD-R (stm.div muSIK/Deadculture, US)
FRIDAY
Various - Metro Breaks '99 CD [Toronto jungle/drum'n'bass including Kinder Atom, Transformantra, Freedom, Jeff Haynes and more] (nice+smooth, Canada)
For a more comprehensive release schedule stretching far into the future, please check out the NEW RELEASES brought to you by Greg and Feedback Monitor.

CONCERT
REPORT

ANGELS OF LIGHT
I was fortunate enough to experience 3 shows by The Angels of Light this past week: Austin at Stubb's BBQ on Sunday, 6/13, Dallas at the Gypsy Tea Room on Tuesday, 6/15 and Oklahoma City at VZD's on Wednesday, 6/16. Each venue is small and intimate and all had a respectable turnout, probably around 50-100 people. The crowds were very receptive and respectful of the music and the band. I was especially surprised by the OKC crowd, the warmest of the three. In terms of energy, sound quality, band precision, general vibe, etc, I'd rank these 3 shows in this order: Austin, OKC, Dallas. Austin was perfect ... I pray that they taped that show! OKC was close to perfect, a few minor sound problems here and there but Gira and the band were in really great spirits, Gira joking around quite a bit even. Dallas had a bad vibe all around, the show was good but they went on later than usual (about 12:30am), there were some sound issues, the band was not as precise as the other 2 shows and Gira was noticeably irritated with a few of the band members at particular points in the set. But even on a 'bad' night it was still magnificent. I gave it a lot of thought on the way home (I traveled around 1700 miles for these 3 shows) and finally decided that of the hundreds of shows I've seen over the past 10 or so years, the Austin show was the best show I've ever seen, by anyone ... period. That coveted slot used to belong to the '95 Tulsa, OK SWANS show so that should tell you something ...- Mark Weddle

MOVIES
REVIEWED

BULLWORTH
Hot damn, I love it when a girl wears baggy pants that show off her underwear. And it was prominent in every scene Hal Berry was in. Hoo Ha! Warren Beatty, shut up. That's all I have to say about this movie. Vote often, vote Republican! - Thomas Guttadauro

FEEDBACK

DRIFTING OFF
Subject: drift

hi, and thanks for the great e-zine, i read you every week since one year, and your one of my favorite source of information.
i wanted to ask you something : do you have infos on the first labradford's festival of drifting?
where and when it was? who was on the bill? who were the sponsors?
thanks a lot

The first Festival of Drifting was in September/October (if memory serves correct) and was in London only, no clue who were the sponsors and the band list is fading from memory. The Wire magazine did a feature on it and I'm sure can be found in a past issue.


Subject: tv review: this is modern art

Hey-

The show sounds really interesting, but the review didn't mention what network the show is on. Any idea?

That was a TV show in the UK, it might appear over here on one of the cable arts channels, but there's no word as far as we know here yet...


Subject: Brain

Just looking at some recent past issues of Brain. the links to Past Issues are in error, in that 21-24 all load up 20. The issues load OK if you type the correct number.

Whoops, fixed now, thanks. Let us know when we fuck up again, please!! (serious)

LINKS
OF THE
WEEK

MOVIE FANTASY
Have you ever wanted just to watch movie trailers all day long? Ever thought of a great movie trailer and thought against making an entire movie? Well, check out www.trailervision.com for loads of fake movie trailers. It's cute, it's fun, it's a pain in the ass downloading new plugin updates all the time, however.

JAVA MADE EASY
It's not a humorous link, but quite a nice web page. www.easyjavascript.com is set up really crystal clear and has examples and code all right there. The page is run by a kid at Cal Poly Tech, and there's no advertisements, but I'm sure there will be those banner ads eventually as everything on the web is for sale these days...

DISCOUNT
CELEBRITY
OF THE
WEEK

WILLIAM KATT
Believe it or not, it was just dumb luck that vaulted this man into obscurity. The star of TV's "The Greatest American Hero" took a fall when ABC cancelled the TV series right after Presiden Reagan was shot. Why? Well, if you remember, the Greatest American Hero's name was Hinkley. A slieu of supporting roles in B-movies and appearances on Perry Mason couldn't bring William Katt back from the discount bins, unfortunately.

WHAT'S IN
YOUR CD
PLAYER?

STAINED PLAYER
Echo & The Bunnymen - What Are You Going to do With Your Life?
Signaldrift - .060
Boom Boom Satellites - Out Loud
Flanger - Templates
Suede - Head Music
Coil - Astral Disaster
Labradford - E luxo so
Autechre - EP7
Various - Dated
Myungho Choi - Vehicle 12"
- Greg Clow

  © 1999 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.

Brainwashed Rhinoplasty
PO Box 7
Arlington MA 02476
USA

Click here for other issues