a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I45 - 11071999
THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN...
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WE'RE LATE AGAIN
Boy are we late this week, it's been hectic, all apologies and we hope you enjoy this week's offering.
CAN, "LIVE 1971-1977"
Can are considered one of the leading "krautrock" groups of the '70s. Their music was a blend of classically trained, avant-garde noise, "sampling", psychedelic rock and electronic music that was extremely influential on generations of rock, post-punk, techno and ambient artists to come. "Music (Live)" was originally 1 of 3 items (the other two being a book and video) that comprised the limited edition, 30th anniversary "Box" box set. The 2 cd set documents over 2 hours of Can's explosive live sound via non-professional recordings from 8 different European shows between 1972 and 1977. Of the 9 tracks, which are primarily instrumental, 4 ("Jynx", "Fizz", "Colchester Finale" and "Kata Kong") are what Can describe as 'instant compositions', spontaneous jams created right then and there on stage. The improvisations are the real treat here as Can blasts off in every imaginable direction from quiet, subdued psychedelia and ambiance to chaotic rhythms and massive layers of sound ... all as sophisticated as if these were fully written and rehearsed songs. Jaki Liebezeit's mathematically precise drumming sets the framework for the guitar, bass, keyboards and tape effects to freely explore over. The classic songs are just as freely jammed out and otherwise altered as well. "Dizzy Dizzy" and "Spoon" in particular are extended greatly beyond their studio versions. "Cascade Waltz" stands out as it's a gentle and beautifully atmospheric waltz. The recording quality is surprisingly good for what is essentially bootleg tapes. Unfortunately, the '72 tracks ("Colchester Finale" and "Spoon") are a bit sketchy in terms of sound quality, but the quality of what Can is playing more than makes up for it. But as a whole, "Music (Live)" is a superb document of one of music's great innovators. It's as good a place to begin a Can collection as any of the studio albums, especially for those fond of freeform music. Look for the two videos (also originally part of the "Box" box set) to be released in early 2000 ... - Mark Weddle
JOHN CORBETT AND HEAVY FRIENDS, "I'M SICK ABOUT MY HAT"
Can the incessant documenting of every member of the Chicago jazz/experimental circuit be such a good thing? With probably the tenth release of said clique this month, author/musician John Corbett throws his and his friends "Hat" into the ring. The usual suspects are present (Grubbs, Bishop, Gustafsson, Drake, Lonberg-Holm) to help Corbett (guitar and post-production) turn in an imitation of the other nine (okay, two) good releases by Chicago artists in October. There is a lot of over-processing, sort of an improv jazz take on Oval, which gets annoying fast. A few wonderfully acoustic homages to "Crookt, Cracked, Or Fly" are nice, but even the sublime beauty of "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning" is ruined by fake vinyl crackle and pops. One also has to wonder why, if Corbett had to use a James Brown sample and warp it out of recognition, he needed to reference it? It only makes him look like he's trying to gain some credit for a genuinely uninspired mess of an album. - Jason Olariu
THE BINARY SYSTEM, "FROM THE EPICENTER"
Upon reading the instrumentation used to record this album (both toy and prepared pianos, metal, wind machine), you'd expect a virtual John Cage-match, or at least another boring piano/drum duo album. But Roger Miller, ex-Mission Of Burma guitarist, and drummer Larry Dersch pound out a brilliant full of twists and turns and toe-tappers. Yes, "From The Epicenter", basically, rocks! Miller sounds like a heavy-handed Keith Jarrett, all percussive force and no gentle twinkle, and Dersch's drumming is equally, if not more, muscular. "Amazons" will have you rethinking the avant garde's fun deficiency: tribal beats swirl around you, while Miller plays an almost guitar-like funk melody on the prepared right side of his piano, and plays the low-end bass portion with the natural sound of the left side. The gradual gain in momentum of "Warp Drive", which whips you around in the duo's vortex, ends abruptly with Dersch's unusual duct tape "solo", probably one of the most bizarre (albeit short) solo's since Yusef Lateef soloed on an inflated balloon. Exciting stuff like this from "the underground" only surfaces every so often.- Jason Olariu
PSYCHIC TV, "ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES - VOLUME TOO!"
This is the 2nd volume of a 3 part series to chronicle the "Infinite Beat" era of PTV, roughly 1988 to 1994. This installment, the third and fourth 'tablets of acid', gather up tracks from "Jack the Tab", "Tekno Acid Beat", "Ultrahouse" and "Ultradrug", all originally released on WaxTrax! Records and long out of print. The music is a natural progression of the sound, noise and sample collages that PTV had been doing for years, only now much of it had become more dance oriented taking on elements of psychedelic trance, funk and piano rave. Genesis and friends communicated the joys of drugs (plenty of Timothy Leary samples to be found here), sex and the 'infinite beat' at the heart of everything through the music and the technicolor, video enhanced cross-country bus tours done to perform it live. Unfortunately there are no live songs to be found here, which is especially ironic considering that the majority of the insert's liner notes are about the tours. Disc 1 features a combination of short pieces, collage type tracks and dance tracks. Disc 2 ("Ultrahouse") concentrates more on dance but also includes the previously unreleased, bizarre Splinter Test track "Metameaner Kat". Much of this music sounds a bit dated now but it is 10+ years old which, after all, is an eternity in electronic music. But, it'll still get your groove on. Genesis would have you believe that this was indeed the 'origin of the species', i.e. the beginning of dance music ... but most (myself included) know better. Regardless of the historical accuracy, this music was indeed a big part of my own personal musical growth and I'm pleased to be able to reclaim it on cd. Once again, the box set looks fantastic and comes with a cool 30 page full color insert with at least an hours worth of liner notes by tour member Tom Hallewell and Genesis. I'm looking forward to the 3rd and final chapter, probably due out next year ... - Mark Weddle
We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a RECOMMENDED STORES section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on the site.
Amar - Red Sky two CDEPs (Blanco y Negro, UK)
Bauhaus - Gotham 2xCD/2xLP/video [live] (KK, Belgium)
Bowery Electric - Freedom Fighter 12"/CDEP (Beggars Banquet, UK)
Death in Vegas - Neptune City 12"/CDEP (Deconstruction, UK)
Leftfield - Dusted 12"/two CEPs (Higher Ground/Sony, UK)
Lektrogirl - I (heart) My Computer CD/LP (Rephlex, UK)
Major Force West - Major Force West 93-97 2xCD/2xLP (Mo'Wax, UK)
Primal Scream - Swaztika Eyes 7"/12"/CDEP [with Chemical Brothers mix] (Creation, UK)
Squarepusher - Selection Sixteen 3x12"/CD (Warp, UK)
Underworld - Bruce Lee 12"/CDEP (JBO/V2, UK)
Yazoo - Situation two 12"s/CDEP [new remixes of this classic single] (Mute, UK)
Air - Eating, Sleeping, Waiting and Playing VHS/DVD [documentary from 1998 tour plus videos for several tracks; DVD includes bonus material] (Astralwerks, US)
Bauhaus - Gotham 2xCD/video [live] (Metropolis, US)
Covenant - Tour De Force CDEP (Metropolis, US)
Dieselboy - The Descent 12" [mixes by Dillinja and Geoff Barrow] (Palm Pictures/Rykodisc, US/Canada)
Esquivel - See It in Sound CD [unreleased 1960 album] (7N Music, US)
* Goldie/Various - Incredible Sound of Drum & Bass CD (Columbia, US)
Japanese Telecom - Japanese Telecom CD/LP (Intuit-Solar, US)
Khan - Passport CD (Matador, US)
Funckarma - Part 3 2x12" (Djak Up Bitch, Holland)
* Funkstorung - CD reissues of the early albums (Acid Planet, Holland)
Nukubus - Survival of the Funkiest 12" (Bunker, Holland)
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.
For those familiar with the wonderful heart-felt sound of the sincere group from Minnesota, Ida, this current tour is a special treat. On stage with them is one of the original band members playing an upright bass, while missing this time around is their drummer. Also on stage is a baby grand piano, dragged around on tour with them I'd imagine - making well clear the band is putting in quite an effort to bring the show around. For those not familiar, Ida have been recording and performing under different names and relations to other slow-core indie rock bands since the late 80s, and as Ida since the early 90s. Their first few albums are available still on the now dead Simple Machines label. Ida's upcoming album has been completed for over a year and in the hands of Capitol Records, who have indefinitely delayed its release. The band is currently trying to "rescue" the record. The sound on this tour is somewhat stripped down and acoustic, moreso than the calm and serene sound already all over their albums. - Jon Whitney
I was about 8 years old when Abba split so needless to say I could never have had the chance to see them live. Well, thankfully there's a band like the UK-based Bjorn Again to do Abba's dirty work of touring and performing classic hits from one of the greatest bands of all time. Suspend the post-rock electronica snobbery attitude for a couple hours and enjoy dancing and singing along with classics like "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take a Chance On Me," "Mama Mia," and of course, "Dancing Queen." Everything's here, the costumes, the cute ladies, the goofy Swedish acting guys, and man are they talented. After 10 years Bjorn Again are still keeping it fresh, with a revolving lineup of professional musicians and impersonators, humorous and entertaining. Check out www.bjornagain.com for remaining dates and future tours. - Jon Whitney
KRISTEN HERSH/BRENDAN PERRY
On record, Kristen Hersh was able this year to give the illusion of a full band while in the studio for her latest album, but in concert the illusion is gone as she is still just one person. It's not unfortunate however when you think of all the wonderful songs she can pull from her catalogue of about 15 years of writing, recording and performing with Throwing Muses and solo. Although it's going to be a one-woman acoustic guitar set, not for one minute will you feel the whiny drab of a Lilith-Faire type earthy world conscious feminist. Kristen's songs are unconventional, sharp and intelligent while a subtle charm makes them also inviting and scathing yet beautiful. If you catch her live, you'll be able to pick up that mysterious mail-order only CD of twisted and somewhat demented Appalachian lullabies. Well worth the price of admission. Brendan Perry on the other hand has beefed up the sound since the demise of Dead Can Dance. The man has such power and control in his voice yet in front of the band, it seemed like an American Music Club revival. If it were Mark Eitzel on the vocals I'd be happy, but it was Brendan Perry, a new rock style and I was simply not ready, willing nor able to deal with it. Powerful lungs like his are seemingly wasted on a tired sounding lounge act. - Jon Whitney
Surreal, enchanting and obnoxious, this was the last show on the all-too brief Mouldy Old Tour. Held in the basement of somebody's apartment, the night consisted of various other electronic noise acts and in-between DJ sets. The crowd were an array of various friends, local fans and die hards who drove from Upstate NY, Rhode Island and New Jersey just to see the show. What a treat we all got for our ears and eyes, James dressed in his pig suit, flipped on the laptop and fucked with such favorites like "Mouldy Old Dough", "Solid" and "I've Had the Time of My Life" beyond a point of recognition. At nearly an hour, the set was by far the longest of the tour, and had perhaps one of the most diverse audiences - with fans dressed up like pigs and dancing girls singing along to all the old hits. James, the man behind v/vm himself, is indeed a true to life fan of soundtrack hits and kitchy classics, almost completely disregarding of the electronic noise scenes of past and present. Now there's purity for you. - Jon Whitney
This movie was almost dragged down by two things: Bad dubbing (I have to admit, however, I have to see a movie with a good dub) and the Americanization of the script by over-rated comic book writer Niel Gayman.
Luckily, Hayao Miyazaki's films are too magical and wonderful to be dragged down by anything Miramax and Disney can throw at them. In this particular film, the highest grossing film in Japan made in Japan, the time is set at the end of the Age of Gods and Medieval Man and the Dawn of Man's Modern Era.
The story centers around Ashitaka, the descendant of a royal family of people who had been defeated by the Yamato government and now living in hiding. He was put under a death curse by the Boar God, who had become a demon out of anger and hatred. In a quest to face the curse, he is dragged into a war between the gods of the forest and man.
The animation is stunning, the pacing perfect and the story epic. I've seen a few reviews complaining about the length of the film (it clocks in at just over 2 hours 15 minutes), but those reviewers must be idiots. I am convinced that every minute of my life I am not watching a film by Studio Ghibli, it's a minute of my life I am wasting. I only wish Miramax had the insight to also release a sub-titled version of the film as well. - Thomas Guttadauro
Boom! Opening sequence: microparticles, closeups, particular attention to detail, a stunning score and then,... Ed Norton. The main character played by Norton enchants the audience, bringing them through an amusing tour through his mundane life. Particular and neurotically precise accounts of his sleep deprivation struggle, narcolepsy in the workplace, and the activities he experiments with to combat the problems. There's so many aspects of each activity he partakes in, so much attention to detail, so many particulars that this movie is really inviting. But, remember this is Hollywood, a film with Brad Pitt no less, so it doesn't last. To me it seems that the writer created this really amazing plot and a tough conflict, but he took an easy way out to resolve the conflict. About 3/4 of the way through the movie, at the height of the insanity, he tosses in that fateful "plot twist" which invalidates the entire move. I'm left feeling cheated and that someone making this movie thinks the moviegoing public is stupid. The rest of the movie from that point on is boring, unexciting, anticlimactic and the budget most likely ran out as there were no more captivating camera shots or special effects. There are enjoyable moments throught the film, quite a few amusing and comical bits, but the ends don't justify the means. Wait till this one's on TV, don't even spend money on renting the video. - Jon Whitney
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Suspend reality again for a surrealistic comedy drama type thing - as the title suggests, this movie is all about being a famous person. John Cusak's character, a puppetteer lives in a rather demented reality, an office on the 7 1/2th floor with low ceilings married to Cameron Diaz, an animal lover with a jungle of her own in the house. Cusak discovers a portal at work which people can live through John Malkovich's eyes for a brief moment in time, partners up with someone else at work and they go into business selling rides! While for the most part, this Spike Jonze directed film seems to be Hollywood stroking itself off, it does make a good example of obsession, possession, manipulation, lust and fame. There's enough humorous jabs and fun poking to make it even more entertaining. I'm also quite surprised at the abilities of Cusak and Diaz, both of which I recognized on the screen but didn't come to the realization who they were until about 1/2 way through the film! (Cameron's got her natural hair color, long and frizzy while Cusak's not shaved, showered or haircut in a while.) It's twisted, humorous, original and relatively unpredictable with various cameos tossed in for good measure. - Jon Whitney
IN THE SLIPSTREAM: AN FC2 READER
History's bunk, but it's where I'm starting: In 1973 the Fiction Collective arose out Jonathan Baumbach's need for a publisher. He and Peter Spielberg joined with others in an effort to collectivize a small publishing house, naturally billing themselves as publishers of the best and most innovative fiction around. The house ran on enthusiasm through the Seventies, its authors paying half the printing costs and its books selected by seven other FC writers, making it something of a socialist vanity press. Best of all, the Collective promised to keep all of its authors permanently in print. Jonathan Baumbach claims that they allowed the writer "to become [. . .] his own father," by abandoning the traditional relationship between writer, editor and publisher. However, the Collective gradually lost drive until its reorganization in 1989, when Ronald Sukenick and Curtis White demanded the authority to manage things, taking on the mantle of editorship of what was to be known as FC2. In The Slipstream covers the entire 25 year span from the first print run in 1974 to the present. What a disappointment, then, that it should read like a 400 page pledge drive. The book oozes a priggish sense of obligation for the reader, the sentiment that you have defeated Art by your refusal to contribute to FC these last 25 years, but now, at this moment of crisis, you can make good by purchasing everything on offer. Rather than bear the hegemonic editorial responsibility of writing an introduction to each of the 30 pieces, White and Sukenick asked the authors to recall anecdotes about the collective, with grating results.
They either provide testimonials of the "How FC2 changed my life" variety, or try to ruin our responses to their work by anticipating them. The authors aren't cut out to act as special pleaders for their own causes; they have no idea why they were chosen and often sink into bravado. Jeffrey DeShell finally admits that a collective of writers is a contradiction in terms. The fiction itself is composed mostly of novel extracts too brief to get any sense of what the writer is up to. This isn't the writers' fault but the editors'; more self-contained pieces would have greatly enhanced the scraps and cuttings swept together here. And, unfortunately, many of the selections are trivially provocative and dully written. Even the erotica feels smug. Yet, in the absence of advertising or widespread distribution, In The Slipstream is the only way readers will hear of FC2's more intriguing authors.
Rather than waste any money buying this rank potpourri, I'd suggest checking out the most striking books extracted in its pages: Marianne Hauser's The Talking Room, Peter Spielberg's Crash-Landing, Gerald Vizenor's Griever, and The Mexico Trilogy by D. N. Stuefloten. Ronald Sukenick's Mosaic Man and Curtis White's Memories of My Father Watching TV also look worth cracking open (and I'll be reviewing more of these titles later). Trapped between New Directions and Autonomedia, FC2's claim to the best list in town only suffers further with In The Slipstream. - Paul McRandle
I KISS YOU
Oh the Turkish man, Mahir, with his page here to woo you. Can't tell if he's trying to woo the women or men but this link has sure passed around the net quite a few times in the last week. In case you missed out, you can tune it in at members.xoom.com/_XOOM/primall/mahir/index081199.html and see for yourself. What I want to know is why this page? Why all of a sudden did it spike in popularity?? For those who have seen it before, where did you learn about it? Give us clues!!!
A QUESTION OF TIME
Subject: Running time
I have a bizarre request. Could you please tell me the running time for
the Mouse On Mars CD "NIUN NIGGUNG". Unfortunately, my CD player refuses
to play anything more than 73-74 minutes long and I don't want to buy
the CD only to suffer massive disappointment when the damn thing won't
play. I realise this is a strange request but if you could help me out I
would greatly appreciate it.
Subject: the brain via e-mail
I wonder if there's a possibility to recieve THE BRAIN via e-mail? or it's
only available on www?
Only on WWW.
The great thing about you is your very deep appreciation for "good"
music. And not only do you you love music, but you try to spread that and
share that love with the rest of the world. And that's why you're so
wonderful. God loves you.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
Subject: Crap 4/4 tunes
Re your brain comment 'reversing the brainwashing of the popular culture that feeds the
masses the 4/4 bullshit produced by the ton', I'm a little petutrbed by the closed-minded
nature of a statement like this. It seems to totally igonre the capability of dance music
to unite young people collectively and give them a shared experience currently missing from
the individualistic nature of western society.
In a week of two evenings freedom (Friday
and Saturday night) many young people desire a full release from daily mundanity and
ecstacy and euphoric dance music provide a temporary brainwashing from this routine. As
regards music and education, we all agree that a broad base of listening will provide a
breadth that informs creativity, euphoria is a property of all great music, that
special....something. Another contribution dance music makes to educated music is
production. A 'new' music (something which Brainwashed flirts with) is informed by as much
music as is possible to be informed by. As we reach the third millenium, technology teaches
us much about the sound of records and gives us the capability to make music unthinkable
even five years ago. I'd even go as far as to argue that there are only two humanly
progressive musics at the moment. US R+b/Rap, a music dripping with influences but with
gripping production techniques (crispness, width of sound, melody, amazing drums, tuffness)
and mainstream dance music (bass, euphoria, some stunning drums) both sharing truly new and
cutting edge of rythm. Never claiming the position of a true innovator, I know where I look
for inspiration in todays music.
Looking at the brainwashed roster, I do worry that few of
the bands acknowledge these musics, that any cutting edge is blunted by this ignorance. As
a musician looking to produce music of at least challenge and interest if not true
originality the only bands I'll be ignoring are so called 'post-rock' bands. Purity is a
virtue. I'm proud to have my webpage hosted and maintained by Jon Witney on
I'm completely confused how accusing the music industry of feeding the masses generic music is a closed minded statement, ignoring possibility while saying that there's only two types of music humanely progrssive isn't a MORE closed-minded statement. Re-evaluating last week's review of the Mice Parade CD, I feel I did however do in incredible disservice to the community reading - I neglected to mention the brilliant piano work, bombastic live drumming, prestine production, improvisational nature, pretty work on the vibraphones and all around charm. The one man show is more talented than most of the people in the current top 40 combined. If you gave it a listen, you might see for yourself - but then again, I'm only writing about music while if I could get my ass in gear there would be more sound samples every week in the reviews.
Subject: problems with downloading
I really like your site. i was trying to dl some luke vibert songs but
when i right click, save as is not an active option. i'm using ie5. do you
have any idea what i can do?
Subject: Edward single
I was interested in buying the new Edward Kaspel single which I saw
mentioned on the web page. What do you need from me? How much should I
send, and where can I send a check? I'll pay in advanced if necessary.
You send money, we get money, we send single. All the information's on the brainwashed recordings web page.
Subject: Stats link
I see the stats link on the fron t page is gone. Ah well, I never did really
look at that in the first place.
There's been no statistical information posted since December of 98 - kinda unnecessary for the link anymore.
Subject: Fwd: Re: Choice songs
Your sites are awesome. I would like a pro-choice CD for women. So far I got Biafra, Jello & Nixon, Mojo, Digable Planets and MBM. I don't know the title, but one of the main lines of the song goes something like "If you don't want an abortion don't get one!"
Consolidated, "Butyric Acid" from the 1994 release, 'Business of Punishment.'
Subject: Fridge - eph
Do you know if there are any plans to release Fridge's 'eph' album state-side? The import CD is around $30 and the lp is $20 -- at those prices, I could probably wait a few months if a release was impending.
There are no plans - Fridge are currently working on their next album and with any luck someone will take the job of bringing them to the USA. The recent success of the v/vm tour leads me to believe however that a band doesn't need a US label to tour the USA.
TRANSMISSIONS FROM SCUMSBURG
Tarwater: Remix EP
Everything But The Girl: Tempermental
Dive: Two Faced Man
Thee Majesty: Time's Up
- Gary (djgyn) from BU radio, serving music to the students in the cafeteria for years.
© 1999 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.
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Arlington MA 02476
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