a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V06I10 - 03162003
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whole lotta hud goin' on
Out Hud are tagging on a couple more dates to their already insane European stomp. They will perform at this year's Triptych festival, scheduled for April 26th and 27th in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. For more details, see www.triptych03.com
NOT A BOY, NOT YET A WOMAN
This Tuesday, March 18, at the Shim Sham Club in New Orleans will be a fundraising party, GASH BASH II, held by New Orleans' local trannie star, Cherry, as a final benefit for her m-to-f gender re-assignment surgery. Brainwashed artist, Daniel McKernan, will be showing a special exhibition of the recent transsexual photodocumentary done on Cherry. These photographs, as well as some of his other works, will be part of a solo exhibition of Daniel's at the Dana Center Gallery in New Orleans from March 16th-23rd.
|MUSIC IN REVIEW|
The Aislers Set, "How I Learned to Write Backwards"
It is truly hard to find anything terribly wrong with The Aislers Set. With each release, the band offers a gracious gift basket of shiny post-pop which unfailingly brings up the familiar names of Spector, Wilson, et al. Aislers Set prefer to drench their vocals in a healthy amount of reverb which often gives the songs a ghostly feel amidst the poppiness. Their albums also enjoy jumping out with the first track, so don't get caught off guard when this third album leaps out headstrong with the first song, "Catherine Says," a heavenly track which features bells and handclaps accompanying Amy Linton's cherubic voice. As the song climaxes, the chorus rises like church patrons from their pews, getting faster and louder and more celestial; as the chorus hastens, the song's denomination takes on a strange mixture of Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptist, as bells alternate with handclaps and then ultimately join forces. "Mission Bells" features its own blend of Californian minor-key organ and guitar which, through some strange associations in my brain, recalled scenes from the film "Three Amigos," particularly with the antagonist, El Guapo. Incidentally, this song was released as a single on a pleasant 3-song 12" which preceded this album's release. Perhaps my favorite section of this album starts at the infectious chorus of the abruptly-ending "Action Attraction Reaction" (it has this lovely ascending angelic sound) and goes through the beginning of the next song, "Through the Swells" (I swear every time I hear the first guitar part that I am about listen to "Bigmouth Strikes Again"). There are great songs on this album, but it still seems to pale for some reason alongside other Aislers Set albums. It features the standard Aislers assemblage of rockers, ballads, horn-filled jumpers, and crooners, but sometimes the hooks are missing. The song also seem shorter (and though I have not double-checked my arithmetic, I can say with certainty that most of them are shorter), so perhaps the songs end prematurely, without ever properly filling out or blossoming or earning their hooks. Regardless, this is still a fine album and it would do well to grace the phonograph or CD player of any Friday night cocktail party which shows the potential for just a little dancing once the festivities get underway and the hors d'oeuvres are all eaten. - Joshua David Mann
shipping news, "three-four"
Shipping News began a series in 2001, with CD EP releases in special packages. Each contained songs that were written and recorded by one member start to finish in a short span of time. The packages were hand-crafted, with a sewn seam and a bird-shaped platic cutout. All were super limited. All of the songs have been gathered and included with some new songs for this fully-fledged full-realized fully-distributed full-length release. Given the setup, it's hardly unsurprising that the material is far more varied than any of their albums. In all honesty, listening to everything thrown together in a completely new order sounds almost completely lacking in structure. Thankfully that's only the first few times. After getting past the initial shock of contrast that the material has to all previous Shipping News music, the songs begin to reveal themselves as individuals, prominently standing out from the others. Each approach is completely different than the next, with the heart of each song in a different spot, jumbled up like a puzzle which keeps resetting itself, buried in a sexy distorted bass of "Paper Lanterns," hidden in shimmering endless delays on "We Start to Drift," screaming through the blaring rock on "You Can't Hide the Mark Inside," or exposed by the naked sounding, abstract and charmingly dissonant, Jandek-ish acoustic and electric guitars on "Variegated." It's never explicitly clear which person did which song, something not entirely unlike the Beatles' eponymous white album (which too was more or less a collection of a bunch of solo songs, never officially noting who did what where). Fans will no doubt be divided, and probably pissed off that they'll have to shell out the cash for three bonus songs, but for some of us who couldn't get our greasy mitts on some of the EPs, it's great to have all the songs together. - Jon Whitney
Spoon, "Kill the Moonlight"
Austin, TX, is a city with a grand music tradition, but lately it's shaping up to be the new Glasgow, with more brilliant indie bands appearing out of there than most cities ever see. One of the mainstays who are enjoying a bit of a creative revival are Spoon. Formed by Britt Daniel and Jim Eno, they garnered a great deal of local attention before releasing their debut on Matador. Then they moved to Elektra, releasing only one album before they were dropped. Hitting the indie circuit again, Spoon found a home at Merge, where they've released the acclaimed Girls Can Tell and their latest work Kill the Moonlight. Where Girls showed off a meaner, leaner Spoon than in the past, Moonlight shows them losing a few more pounds just to have a bit more of a good time. The songs feature very minimal arrangementsoften just guitar/drums, piano/drums/bass, or guitar/beatboxall with the voice of Daniel pushing them right along. The mood is more light-hearted while the music may be a bit more adventurous. "The Way We Get By" is a perfect summer fun song, where "Stay Don't Go" features a bizarre vocal sample and a falsetto Daniel telling a tale of truth. Then there's the fight song in "Johnathon Fisk," the lust song in "All the Pretty Girls Go To the City," and the self-confidence song in "Don't Let it Get You Down." The CD runs the gamut of emotions and situations over its brief forty minutes, yet it is a joyous ride while it lasts. The band feels more confident or assured, and though it may be a bit of a let-down not to hear the power or feral energy of before, the band deserved a bit of fun, and that's all there is to this fine release. - Rob Devlin
Bip Hop Generation v.6
At this point, the click-and-cut micro-genre of electronic music's vast frontier of styles and cults and webrings has probably offered about all it can on its own. Like so many pioneering sounds before it, music like that contained on the 6th and final installment of Bip-Hop's Bip-Hop Generation series is destined to be the springboard for ideas for mainstream pop, r&b, and hip hop producers for the next several years. Like the other production trends usurped by the masses before it, the click-and-cut aesthetic and those who practice it will be forced to find a new way to express whatever it is they are trying to get at. With Volume 6, the French label that has carved a niche for itself with excellent releases from Twine, Scanner, and others, has provided a small glimpse of what might be next once someone hands Timbaland and the Neptunes a Stefan Betke 12". The prevalant sound palette here are the hisses, clicks, and blips whose description would have become redundant if they weren't precisely onomatopoeic. Collected are tracks from minimalist master Ilpo Vaisanen who shakes off the steady Pan Sonic beats for a more skittery, albeit calculated approach to rhythms. Then, Vainsanen's Angel collaboration with Schneider TM demonstrates one potential escape route for fans of the detached pulses and bursts of static that will soon be popping up everywhere: back into the void of industrial soundscapes! The Angel song "nr_aa" should provide ample comfort for those wishing that old-school industrial noise would make a post-millennial, digital comeback. Battery Operated offer another new direction which is mired in the retarded sense of humor that plagues the work of so many digital pastiche artists. Lovers of Gescom's hidden tracks of silly noise on the 0161 compilation will be pleased. Other contributions from Alejandra & Aeron, Scanner, and Bittonic offer another solid look at the filtered synths and indistinguishable samples that give this kind of music a framework. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be saying much with these songs, and as such, it becomes difficult to determine where one artists work ends and another's begins. Scanner's "Thulium Hymn" works from a pleasant melodic thememelody being something that most of the others on this release leave alonebut even the beautiful repeating pad simply loops for five minutes with fractured voices and buzzing laid over it. This glitched-out, fuzzy approach to what is essentially stripped down techno music will eventually find its way into Sample CDs for folks who use programs like Fruity Loops and Acid to instantly compile endless variations on a theme. Bip-Hop Generation v.6 is not the definitive statement that you might look for it to be, but it perfectly wraps up a series curated by Bip-Hop by asking the all-important question: "Okay, so what's next?" - Matthew Jeanes
Steffen Basho-Junghans, "Rivers and Bridges"
In addition to being an acoustic guitar virtuoso, Steffen Basho-Junghans also delights in painting, particularly landscapes. This aspect of his creative life sheds light on his latest album, a solo acoustic trip though wide-open country scenes inspired by his rural upbringing. Basho-Junghans (he adopted the surname of guitarist Robbie Basho in his thirties as an homage to his idol) approaches the project much like a painting, and the guitar serves as his brush, crafting swirls and flourishes of sounds that fall back in on themselves and reemerge repeatedly. Each of the six tracks serves as a movement, a simple element in a broader scene. The twenty-minute six-string opener, "The River Suite," begins with a light ascension of plucked notes, lifting the music up and across the rapid cascade of tones that begin to rush beneath it. The music follows the stream, building, releasing, pausing, lingering, and all developing over a repeated body of plucking. The repetition can be somewhat tiring, especially on the longer tracks, like "The Takoma Bridge Incident." Though the ideas are compelling in parts, they are exhausted by the end of the piece. The shorter excursions on the second half of the album seem to discover and convey their concepts much more effectively. "Rainbow Dancing" finds a clear melody, and stands as one of the more pleasant songs. On this track, Basho-Junghans switches to a twelve-string guitar, giving the track a lush, full-bodied sound that feeds the pastoral theme of the album. It sounds like how lying in a patch of sun soaked grass feels. Another advantage that "Rainbow Dancing" has is that it doesn't linger on so long that you grow tired of its ideas. The lonely melody of "Autumn II" is perfectly evocative of the wailing voice of a bluegrass folk spiritual. The weariness expressed by the piece gives off splashes of rust red and fading green, leading into the dusky "Epilogue." Though the span of the album may be marked with lulls, the higher points of Rivers and Bridges shine through. Basho-Junghans has produced a musical landscape painting, complete with the valleys and crests, shadows and illuminations; the subtle nuances that make a work worth seeing. - Michael Patrick Brady
The Anomonoan, "Asleep Many Years in the Wood"
Temporary Residence Limited
The first song on the new Anomonoan album is called "Sixteen Ways," but I need only two words to sum it up: Grateful Dead. The promo material hinted that this album was inspired by the birth of Ned Oldham's son and daughter, which is a fine and noble reason to record an album, but I would question the wisdom of including a field recording of a baby's crying (Sam Oldham, who must be one of the newborn Oldham clan) overdubbed and softly accenting the lyrics on "Sixteen Ways," which at this point declaim the crying of a baby as reassurance that the baby is alive. That said, this is probably my best song on "Asleep Many Years in the Wood." The rock songs on this album have an undeniable country/classic rock slant and I have a hard time listening to music that reminds me of The Eagles or something worse. Looking through the inserts, I noticed on the back a photo of a bottle of whiskey perched on a window sill, with the label altered to read the band name and album title. This is a Photoshop sleight-of-hand which I most recently saw featured on the cover of Motley Crue's autobiography "The Dirt," except there it was appropriately a bottle of Jack Daniels (here, it looks more like what once was a bottle of Old Smuggler). Despite the shared aesthetic, I could not find any songs on the Anonomoan album which recalled either early or later Motley Crue, although I might be able to make a case for "Time for Change," (circa Dr. Feelgood) sounding like "Y'Know" if I tried hard enough. The most heartwarming parts of Anomonoan songs occur in the slower songs when Ned's voice swoops up a few octaves and teeters on the edge of high notes he can barely hold onto. Oldham manages to cling, however tenuous the grip, and the warble and the persistence are a beautiful thing in his voice. It is different from brother Will's, but Ned's clearly evidences the Oldham vocal genome. Appropriately, one of these swoops occurs in "Bluebird of Happiness" when the lyrics croon, "and there's a contrary breeze a-blowin'." Whether the headwind is the cause or the interpretation of Oldham's vocal wisps, he is wise to let them take the songs where they do, for they have the power to punctuate and decorate what might otherwise become bland country rock songs. - Joshua David Mann
nobukazu takemura, "10th"
While my first exposure to Takemura's music was through the Child's View material licensed in the US by Bubblecore, it wasn't until I heard his album Scope on Thrill Jockey that his music made a thunderous impact. Influences from both Japanese traditionals and modern electronics collided with a delicate and refined attention to composition, structure and sound. Seeing Takemura live with vocalist Aki Tsuyuko on that tour drove the entire experience home for me. With the following Sign 12" and Hoshi No Koe album, Takemura expanded on the sound, and let the music develop brilliantly, with songs that comfortably ran a full course without ever getting dull or mundane. However, his latest full-length album is a disappointment. Rather than a solid collection of 10 or so tracks, the album is saturated with 16 incomplete sounding compositions, stretched to 78 minutes, nearly all exploiting the pesky Apple Macintosh voice imitation program which (despite being a few years out of style) is irritating. The musical direction this time around leans towards more European trends, staying close to a rigid 4/4 beat and languid sounds, not entirely unlike the music coming from Morr or Bip Hop compilations. Sadly, most of the time the music sounds like it's intentionally taking a backseat to computerized vocals, which are painful by the third track, "Wandering," and downright unbearable by the seventh track, the 9+ minute "Lost Treasure (4th version)." Even when Takemura drops the voice and breaks free from the confines of 4/4 rhtyhm, the results are mediocre. Songs like "Mumble," which sound like an array of random tones would be nice if something actually happened in its 5+ minute other than an addition of percussion, wheras "Polymorphism," while pleasant, could easily be new wave elevator music. Takemura's a talented composer and producer, but I'll be eagerly awaiting a 12" single remix or something to help me get past this album. - Jon Whitney
We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.
WEEK OF MARCH 16 - MARCH 22
This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
Cabaret Voltaire - Nag Nag Nag 12" [new remixes by Richard H. Kirk] (The Grey Area Of Mute, UK)
Child's View/Lullatone - Postcards v.3 split 7" (Audio Dregs, US)
Clue To Kalo - Come Here When You Sleepwalk CD/2xLP (Leaf, UK)
Cuica - Cuidado/Double Blues 12" [with Peter Kruder remix] (Ubiquity, US)
Defender/Meterman - Hemispheres 12" (Midum, New Zealand - Someoddpilot, US)
DJ Scud - Ambush! CD/2xLP (Rephlex, UK)
Freeform - Condensed: Finest Filets 1995-2002 CD/LP (Nonplace, Germany)
Robin Guthrie - Imperial CD (Bella Union, UK)
Har Mar Superstar - You Can Feel Me CD (B-Unique, UK)
Hexstatic - Telemetron/Funky Mule 10" (Ninja Tune, UK)
I'm Not A Gun [John Tejada & Takeshi Nishimoto] - Everything At Once CD/LP (City Centre Offices, Germany/UK)
Innerstance.Beatbox - All Little Boys Do Silly Little Dances CD (Wobblyhead, US)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Pig Lib CD/LP (Domino, UK)
Damien Jurado - Where Shall You Take Me? CD/LP (Secretly Canadian, US)
Kid Koala - Nufonia Must Fall book+CD (ECW Press/Ninja Tune, Canada)
Magas - Friends Forever CD/2xLP (Ersatz Audio, US)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Pig Lib CD/LP (Matador, US)
* Ogurusu Norihide - Modern CD (Carpark, US)
Omen Jots - Annulus Out 12" (Ampoule Records, UK)
Party of One - Shotgun Funeral 7" (Fat Cat, UK)
The Passage - BBC Sessions CD (LTM, UK)
* The Passage - Degenerates CD [remastered reissue with bonus tracks] (LTM, UK)
* The Passage - Pindrop CD [remastered reissue with bonus tracks] (LTM, UK)
P'taah - Staring At The Sun CD/LP (Ubiquity, US)
Saint Etienne - Soft Like Me 12"/two CDEPs (Mantra, UK)
(Smog) - Supper CD (Drag City, US)
Ten & Tracer - Redix Winter 7" [ltd to 506 copies] (Civik, Canada)
Terminal 4 - When I'm Falling CD (Atavistic, US)
Thighpaulsandra - Double Vulgar CD/LP (Retractor/World Serpent, UK)
Vandermark 5 - Airports For Light CD (Atavistic, US)
Various - Critical Mass Vol. 4 CD [with PIG, Funker Vogt, Assemblage 23, Covenant, Project Pitchfork and more] (Metropolis, US)
M. Ward - Transfiguration Of Vincent CD (Merge, US)
Xerophonics - Xerophonics CD (Seeland, US)
For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the site,
since release dates can and will often change.
Tuesday March 11, 2003, Leeds, UK
Wednesday March 12, 2003, Glasgow, UK
Whilse Liars and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might be getting heaps more hype for their smart 21st century punktones, Enon are perhaps the sparkiest and most advanced New York band mashing the creaky boards right now. With John Schmersal from the awesome Brainiac as guitar-plunkin' synth-stabbin' pivot, there was always going to be great tunes at the heart of their technological attack. The current trio has solidified into one of the coolest punk party bands on the planet. Drummer Matt Schulz is actually the cousin of Tyler Trent from Brainiac and looks like the bastard stickchild of Tyler and Shellac's Todd Trainer as he beats eleven shades of robotic crappola out of the skins. Toko Yasuda used to play in Blonde Redhead, but now has found her sweet voice as John's beau and foil, singing almost as many songs as him and switching quickly from bass to synth and back again. In Leeds they didn't quite ignite the night but Glasgow the next day was a bouncier exciting ride, even if the "Rubber Car" had left its wheels spinning in the Cockpit. Two new songs bode well for the next album due this Fall, but the set was comprised mostly of songs from their Touch and Go album High Society, bolstered by a couple of cuts from Believo! and that weird ass elusive Sub Pop single. Highlights are the hard rockin' "Old Dominions" with it's drastically precise slowed down coda, and "Biofeedback" where John raps silly and stalks off into the crowd to deliver surreal ring modulated messages to revellers. The big surprise was a real burnin' cover of the Gun Club's "Sex Beat" in Glasgow, with Toko on the mike rushing about like a lady with the fire of love in her pants! But my favourite memory will be of the pleasant surprise of hearing them storm off with a noise rock finale to my favourite song from their first album, "Conjugate the Verbs." Matt was all over the kit in joyful abandon as John did his best to blow his stacks. Don't miss the chance to wave your fingers in the air as the Enon tour continues across Europe. Be sure to take some extra cash for the clutch of quality singles and compilations they bring, which can prove tricky to track down in record shops. - Graeme Rowland
|SUNDAY FILM CLUB|
Rivers and Tides
This was not a film I was terribly interested in seeing. From all description it sounded terribly dry and boring to risk my $9 on. I hedged back and forth on whether or not to join the group and see the movie, but a good bout of bad weather twisted my arm and I decided to give it a chance, and I'm very glad I did so.
Rivers and Tides is a documentary which follows Scottish "land-artist" Andy Goldsworthy to the creation of several installations and pieces of his unique art. Goldsworthy's current interest seems to be displaying how time can be used in an artistic setting, and he explores this concept with the many pieces documented in this film. He constructs beautiful sinusoidal sculptures with painstakingly placed bits of icicle and then watches it slowly fall apart as the sun rises and begins to melt the joints. Another piece was an almost spiderweb/spirograph form built out of blades of grass and reeds. I found that what sounded very dry on paper turned out to be breathtakingly beautiful when witnessed on screen.
One of the things that struck me most, however, was that several times in the film, Goldsworthy would be well into the construction of one of his pieces when the entire thing would collapse around him. The aforementioned reed/grass assembly being one of them. While these collapses were probably very frustrating to the artist, I found them some of the most beautiful imagery in the film (not to belittle the beauty of his successes).
I really can't recommend this movie enough, and unlike most documentaries, I feel that this one really deserves the big-screen treatment. - Sean Graham
Results from last poll:
|LINK OF THE WEEK|
Britney Spears Guide to Semiconductor Basics
With the impending doom of the music business, it's nice to know that pop icons like Ms. Spears has a bright future in education. Way to go, girl! http://britneyspears.ac/basics.htm
Hi. We just saw Hot Hot Heat on Saturday night and they were playing Chick
Chick Chick. Every last one of us thought is was great and unidentifiable. We
finally had to get one of the guys in the band to tell us who it was. Is there
any place to get some more background on them? I saw both MP3 on Insound.
We run a music magazine here in St. Louis and we are always looking for new
stuff for our readers.
Who would we contact for a review copy of the new !!! CD?
There isn't a new !!! CD, only one released over two years ago, and it's doubtful anybody's doing promos on that now. Their next release should be out through Touch & Go in Chicago. Until then, buy their back catalogue, it's good for you.
Subject: Interscope clown
you didnt even accept the free crap? i would have. at the very least you get to
rip them off for like, coasters or something.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
Subject: A is for Amazing
"A is for Accident" and Amanda are Absolutely Amazing. Thanks for the
review of this Awe-inspiring disc! Her lyrics are Awesome, the drums go
Abnormally well with her Aggressive piano playing ...
This disc is Addictive and I don't even know who Christopher Lydon is.
If you want to be referred to as a building attachment by a pompous ass, you can always visit christopherlydon.org.
Your site : http://www.brainwashed.com/tg/
is splendid ! Very nice indeed, rarely seen these days on the net.
ib of sweden
i'm from chile
this country is sudamericane
here we listen to you and love you
my don't speak inglish so much
Subject: stars as eyes
I found a Stars as Eyes review of yours and quoted it in the comments section
of a blog. I know it's not really worth emailing you about, but its not often
you find someone who likes The Kid and disses Stars as Gays.
The only think ever said was their writing was bland for their first album!
Geez, we haven't even gotten around to doing the second one yet.
Subject: stars of the what?
i got a shirt from the sotl show and it has some pictures of a girl, and it
says "audrey horne photo look allike contest."
what is that all about??
Ask the Log Lady.
Subject: !!! (some idiot obviously chose the wrong heading from the get-go)
http://artists.mp3s.com/artists... (note: they didn't open with a "hi" or "how are you" or "let me introduce myself")
can you review my music????? (gee, that's direct, completely void of manners, completely ignoring what's published at the communicate page about policies...)
In a word, NO. You don't even deserve a personal response.
|WHAT'S IN YOUR PLAYER?|
Neue Slowenische Kunst?
1. Calla - Televise
2. Bonnie prince Billy - Master & Everyone
3. Angels Of Light - Everything Is Good Here
4. Woven Hand - Blush Music
5. Dirty Three - She Has No Strings Apollo
6. Calexico - Feast Of Wire
7. Thalia Zedek - You're a big girl, now
8. Lou Reed - The Raven
9. Black Dice - Canyons And Beaches
10. Frankie Sparo - Welcome Crummy Mystics
Janez Golic, Slovenia