the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V06I21 - 06012003
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OFFSITE NEWS ALERT

FCC MEDIA CONSOLIDATION RULING ON MONDAY
It has been estimated that most newspapers in the USA are now owned by just 14 companies, seven companies own most of broadcasting and cable television; and four (YES, FOUR!) companies control 90 percent of radio. It seems that it's not enough that this small a number of people control what people watch, hear, and read in every market in the USA. Imagine that number shrinking due to consolidations, buyouts, and mergers. Picture a world like George Orwell's 1984 with only one company. A move which will ease up what little restrictions on the media can only move us one step forward to that. Moveon.org has the following to report:

    This Monday (June 2nd), FCC Chair Michael Powell will hold his vote on media consolidation. There's nothing special about that date—it's totally arbitrary. The vote will conclude a process which has shown deliberate disregard for the views and opinions of the American people. Powell has refused to even release the actual language of the rule change—it won't be known until after the vote. And he's only held a single meeting to hear the views of the public. Even when a bipartisan group of Senators requested that he give Congress some time to discuss the impact of this change, Powell brushed them off.

    Chairman Powell still has the power to delay the rule change and allow time to have a democratic debate about its consequences. Please call him today and ask him to allow a real public debate on an issue of such massive importance.

    You can reach Powell's office at:
    (202) 418-1000

    Once you've made your call, please let us know at:
    http://moveon.org/fcccall.html

    Our momentum is clearly building: our advertising campaign with Common Cause and Free Press has received a great deal of media attention. Powell was personally quizzed about our Murdoch TV ad on CNBC on Wednesday. A front page article in the Washington Post highlighted our petition and advertisements as important pieces of the groundswell of concern on this issue. Articles in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and even the Guardian in the UK discussed the ads. (Links to some of the articles are below.) Hundreds of thousands of comments have been delivered to the FCC, and we've been told that Powell's aides are "stunned" by the amount of anti-consolidation mail they've received. Together, we have put the FCC Chair on the defensive.

    Even if Powell doesn't reschedule the rule change vote, getting thousands of calls into his office will send a strong message that the public is watching him. Powell doesn't appreciate this kind of pressure: in a recent interview, he said that "I think we're one of the most heavily lobbied federal institutions in the government, probably second only to the United States Congress. I don't, by the way, think that's a particularly good thing." We need to remind him that public involvement in decision making is what democracy is all about.

    Call FCC Chair Michael Powell now at:
    (202) 418-100

    It's not too late to do this process right.

SOME FCC "FUN" FACTS
For your information:

  • The FCC is an executive agency of the United States government.
  • FCC commissioners are authorized to classify TV and radio stations, assign broadcasting frequencies, and prescribe the nature of their service.
  • The FCC has jurisdiction over standard, high-frequency, relay, international, television, and facsimile broadcasting stations and also has authority over experimental, amateur, coastal, aviation, strip, and emergency radio services; telegraph and interstate telephone companies; cellular telephone and paging systems; satellite facilities; and cable companies.
  • Its members are not elected, nor representatives really, but appointed by the President of the United States of America.

Scary, eh?

SITE


v/vm tour ireland
V/Vm are doing a small tour of Ireland starting Thursday (June 5th). The tour will take Stockport's finest through Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Belfast. Venues, support acts, and all other pertinent information can be found at the web site. Videos are being planned and should be available soon.

out hud get their pictures developed
Pictures from Out Hud's first European tour are now available at their site. Aren't they cute?

panacea pictures go online
54 new pictures are also at the Panacea site this week. With any luck, there'll be some new Squaremeter sounds and images soon too.

New MP3 at LPD Online Centraal
The LPD MP3 download for June is "Harvest Babies." This track was recorded at Stone Coast Brewery in Portland, Maine on 8/24/97. You can find the download at http://www.legendarypinkdots.org. Enjoy it!

THE BIRDS MUST BE ELIMINATED
A brand new 10" vinyl release is due out from Hafler Trio. The limited edition release will be available on 110 gram virgin vinyl with a printed inner sleeve. For more information, see dekorder.com and brainwashed.com/h3o/birds/.

THE EYE

dresden dolls: brechtian rock 'n roll
20 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video After years of solo performances, pianist/singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer found her match, and with drummer Brian Viglione, their group has been gaining attention and momentum by leaps and bounds. The Eye caught them in a performance in March, 2003 in Boston, opening up for Michael Gira's Angels of Light. Since then, the piano and drum duo have gone on to win Boston's Rock 'N Roll Rumble and play large venues with people like Beck and the B-52s. More videos can be found on their website but this is simply an intimate conversation mixed with clips from the show that night.

Interview by Hannah Nolan-Spohn, camera and editing by Jon Whitney

20 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video

TECH SPECS
Necessary:

  • A current web browser
  • A modern computer
  • The latest quicktime plugin for streaming media

Recommended:

  • A fast connection
  • A willingness to learn

Unnecessary:

  • 'tude

If you see a blank window without anything streaming, don't complain to us. You don't have the latest version of Quicktime for streaming media. Go download it. It's free.

MUSIC IN REVIEW

!!!, "Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard"
Touch and Go (US) / Warp (UK)
I've been calling this band Bang Bang Bang, but some of my friends insist on calling them Chik Chik Chik. According the pronunciation guide on the cover of this new two-track single, we're both right. However, I really prefer the way Bang Bang Bang sounds, and it kind of rolls off the tongue in an exciting way. "Exciting" is they key word for !!!, whose vivid, energetic reinvisionment of early-80's dance-influenced post-punk thrives on tense, ass-shaking grooves. Since their 2000 debut, !!! have led the way for a whole crop of new bands exploiting this sound, as well as a rediscovery of the original artists and classic albums from the period that have been collecting dust for twenty years. Their 'sister' band Out Hud, featuring some of the same members, upped the stakes even higher with the amazing album Street Dad, which concentrated on leftfield instrumental disco with a host of brilliant production flourishes. Hearing this new two-track CD single by !!!, it is now unclear where !!! ends and Out Hud begins. Where !!!'s debut had a lean, guitar-driven sound not dissimiliar from Gang of Four, "Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard" contains all of the dense, layered production that made Out Hud sound so unique. In fact, !!! now sound exactly like Out Hud with vocals. Whether this is indicative of a Parliament/Funkadelic kind of cross-pollenating band relationship is uncertain, but I have no complaints about the music, which is fantastic as ever. The title track is a nine-minute "true story" that urges the stiff, Republican leadership of New York City to lose their inhibitions and "get on up & move it" to the music. The vocals are buried and mostly inaudible, but it doesn't really matter because the beat is all you really care about. The bassline is an echo of ESG's "Erase You," and the production utilizes the whole repertoire of Out Hud's dub-influenced studio trickery to achieve the maximum groove. Track two is an excellent remix of the song "Intensify" from the debut album. "Intensifieder Sunracappellectroshit Mix 03" rifles through the book of dub and early house production tricks to build an intensity that is far from gimmicky. The track is reduced to vocals, drums and bass, which are alternately echoed, delayed, layered and mutated. Stabs of synth and odd, CD-skip "hiccups" add to the eclectic drama of the track. This is an awesome single. Can a new full-length be far behind? - Jonathan Dean

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The Lonesome Organist, "Forms and Follies"
Thrill Jockey
Steel-drum-led instrumentals give way to doo-wop laments about the woes and ways of love and foot-tapping jazz freak-outs glide into flowery accordian pieces that somehow get me thinking about coffee, fine wines, and men in really cool, really dark sunglasses. I think it is safe to say that Jeremy Jacobson's mind must be a mishmash of medieval troubadours, pop stars, and drunken French lovers. All but one of the songs are under three minutes—and most are under two—yet the music all gels together somehow. Perhaps this phenomenon has something to do with the fact that Jacobson plays every instrument on every song (except for two) and sometimes plays them simultaneously. Forms and Follies jumps from Motown to classically-arranged canons effortlessly and quickly without being too scatter-brained. The album, despite the numerous influences it draws from, feels incredibly focused. When the sleepy, soft-as-a-pillow serenity of "Walking to Weston's" suddenly flew into over-drive and "Who's to Say Your Soul's Not Carbon" rocketed through my ears, I only smiled and marveled at how well it all seemed to fit together and make perfect sense. The last four tracks are a pure joy to listen to and make for great night music (the sound of crickets is the perfect accompaniment to these whimsical piano pieces). "No Place for My Kitten" is particularly incredible, however: heavily processed vocals scratch and struggle to break free of their prison while an almost remorseful accordian-led melody plays calmly and unsuspectingly over the top. My only gripe is that this album is just over thirty-two minutes long and when something sounds this good, I always want more. - Lucas Schleicher

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Hat Melter, "Unknown Album"
Crouton
"Unknown" is a good way to describe this album. With the only provided information being the names of the four players, I'm able to listen without making any assumptions. The music sounds like very dynamic electroacoustic improv, with quiet strings and digital mumbling giving way to noisy, highly textural crescendos. Things shift quickly and don't fall back on familiar formulas. The strings and especially percussion are the most recognizable instruments, but there's a strong electronic leaning. The tonal range of the group is so great that I was surprised to learn that the lineup is two cellists and two percussionists, as they're all capable of extracting a wide range of sounds from their instruments, whether aided by electronics or not. This is one of the most consistently interesting improv albums I've heard lately; for its entire length it really seems unknown, unpredictable, and utterly fascinating. The first of two sides has some cut-up, processed cello and some scraped acoustic strings in the background that develops with an amazing sense of cohesion as it shifts gears into playing that sounds almost like chamber music, gentle but tense string interludes, and percussion-driven free playing. There's a wealth of detail in this recording, both in the melodic features and buried beneath the surface in the sounds themselves. The sense of space is also well-captured; the second side begins with some stunning, slow cello textures and cymbal-heavy percussion that seems like it's coming from another room, heightening its mysterious beauty. That ends abruptly and they move onto other, busier-sounding concepts. This is a very impressive recording, and, as it's only available as a limited 12", a good reason to own a turntable. - Steve Smith

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Eluvium, "Lambent Material"
Temporary Residence Ltd.
Eluvium is Matthew Cooper's vehicle for submerging controlled drones from his guitar and piano in water and letting them out in a cerulean submarine world. The entire timbre of the album is an exploration of what music sounds like underwater. Yet few waves or currents jostle the music's placidity; each song is eerily consistent, not changing very much over the course of its minutes (trickier than imaginable, considering one particular song exceeds 15 minutes). Eluvium songs only seem to change over the course of epochs, not eighth notes, but the resistance to change is disciplined, rather than lazy or shortsighted. Each song has the potential to explode or diverge, but instead remains on the easy river and explores a steady tack of controlled dissonance mixed with elegance. The album begins with "The Unfinished," whose synthetic warbles are punctuated by a errant guitar line every now and then. The warble returns in "Under the Water It Glowed," but now the guitar line is more prominent melodically. By this time, it seems that Eluvium's songs are slowed down by some sort of physical effect, like diffraction through water particles. Through the aquatic slowness, the guts of the song—or perhaps even its soul—are almost seen. "There Wasn't Anything" is a straightforward piano dirge with some overlaid field recordings of voices and conversations, followed by "Zerthis was a Shivering Human Image," a sonorous epic which oscillates between two chords while the surrounding distortion ebbs and flows. Seemingly three thousand scratchy crescendos occur, filtered through a sediment of static. It's one of those songs which causes you to exhale powerfully when it eventually ends, when the tension is finally laid slack. The candor of such Eluvium songs, ones which force a confrontation with the song's guts, is startling. Comparisons to Brian Eno are hard to shrug off for Eluvium, but they are not indictments. This music is of the Eno School (think Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks) and Matthew Cooper would seem to be an Eno acolyte, but the songs are studied without being facsimiles. Lambent Material is a fascinating listen, and when the last song, "I Am So Much More Me That You Are Perfectly You," finally delivers the actual sounds of water and rain beneath the piano's melody, you are reminded that you could have been drowning this whole time and not even noticed it. - Joshua David Mann

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The Album Leaf/On Air Library, "A Lifetime or More"
Arena Rock
The comforting compositions of Jimmy LaValle and the spacious but dense sounds of On Air Library make for the perfect alone-time listen or perhaps the soundtrack to time spent with a loved one. Everything on this album is a whisper, a gentle breeze passing over my body. The Album Leaf tracks are simple and cascading. Each song begins simply enough and then each element begins to flow into another flawlessly; a river of twinkling percussion and lullabies woven out of dream-stuff. "Lamplight" is certainly a highlight. Its soft-as-a-pillow melody sounds like raindrops falling slowly onto a pond. On Air Library's music is just as beautiful and is a very exciting band for me. "Ex's and Oh's" begins with distant voices and a guitar that reminds me of a tropical beach somwhere at night. The mood is set wonderfully and "Pass the Mic" and "Faux Fromm" do not disappoint. Soft, bouncing guitars and scattered percussion combine in new and surprisingly fresh ways that make for a luscious and inviting listen. Vocals churn and distortion blossoms on "Faux Fromm," a stunning and shining song that makes me feel as if I'm floating through the clouds and into the heavens. When I close my eyes and listen to this, I can't help but think of vacant wharehouses and dimly lit fields in the middle of nowhere. All the songs fit together perfectly on this EP and the musicians here really compliment eachother. I am interested in The Album Leaf more after hearing this and On Air Library is definitely a band to watch for; they have a full length album due out this fall that I cannot wait to hear. - Lucas Schleicher

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Waldteufel, "Heimliches Deutschland"
Ultra!
Listening to the anachronistic, neo-pagan German folk music of Waldteufel, one would never suspect that it is the work of two Americans from Portland, Oregon. Normally, I would immediately dismiss this sort of pseudo-European posturing as laughable, but Waldteufel manage to neatly sidestep all of the usual pitfalls that turn this kind of cultural co-opting into a joke. Surprisingly, Heimliches Deutschland (Hidden Germany), is an embarassment of riches: a sincere and beautifully executed set of German "volkische" songs extolling Northern myths, traditions and mysteries. Waldteufel is the duo of Annabel Lee and Markus Wolff, formerly a percussionist for post-industrial agitators Crash Worship. Wolff sings and beats hand drums, while Lee rounds out the sound with violin, viola and accordion. There are some subtle synthesizer flourishes and limited studio effects that help to transport the listener to the Wald Schwarzer (Black Forest) circa 1895. One can almost hear the crackling of the bonfire and the smell of wild boar roasting on the spit as Waldteufel play their revelatory pagan hymns. Other Deutsch-obsessed industrial folksters like Death in June and Der Blutharsch would be far too cynical to produce music this serious, subtle and lovely. Anyone who knows anything about late 19th century German history knows that it was a time of cultural rennaisance and the birth of the "volkische" movement: a movement towards the abandonment of Christianity and an embrace of the ideals and purity of the Aryan tradition. This mythical heritage encompassed occult religious practices, language, politics, and even music. It was this movement that paved the way for the Thule and other underground right-wing groups that eventually brought Hitler and Nazis to power. Although Waldteufel hover dangerously close to this area, their music is untainted by politics or historical revisionism. Markus Wolff writes most of the tracks himself, but a few of the songs are new arrangements of German folk songs from this golden age period. In "Neun Welten All" (The Nine Worlds), Wolff beats out a hand rhythm while his rich baritone is overdubbed with whispers, deep vocal drones, viola and flute. It's all a little messy and underproduced, a conscious aesthetic choice which lends credibility to this material. "Lichtkreuzweihe" (Consecration of the Luminous Cross) is such a deeply heroic ode to Wotan's cross, I feel as if I'm there in a candle-lit Masonic lodge, where Runic magicians make communal music for nobody but themselves. The longest track, "Wotans Wilde Jagd" (Wotan's Wild Hunt), is also the most infectious. It begins with a sythesized horn fanfare that is immediately reminiscent of Wendy Carlos' Mozart renditions for her soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange. Multi-tracked vocals begin, with a hearty, catchy refrain worthy of a biergarten sing-along. The haunting final track "Nachhall," (Reprise) is the strangest of all, an effects-heavy revisit of "The Nine Worlds" that chops up and dubs out the vocals and adds layers of reverb and echo. This is a fittingly spectral end to what must be the most unique and unexpected "retro" albums to come along in quite some time. - Jonathan Dean

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Oren Ambarchi / Gunter MÜller / Voice Crack, "Oystered"
Audiosphere
On the lowest level, this disc is a dense stream of fascinating sounds that highlight the interaction between these innovative improvisers. The cacophony of buzzing and whirring is not unlike Müller and Voice Crack's other project, Poire_Z, and Ambarchi's processed guitar combines very well with their "cracked everyday electronics" aesthetic—almost anti-technology in its espousing of the commonplace. There's a lot to listen for on this disc and it all seems like it belongs, from sine waves to sci-fi tones remeniscent of the sounds in the new Matrix film (but not of the college freshman philosophizing, thankfully). Attempts to put this music on in the background seem futile as it's just too attention-demanding. A few minutes in, it's hard to ignore the storm of sound threatening to tear the room apart. Even when it's a foreboding wall of mechanical noise, this music feels human in its production and arrangement, remeniscent more of the potential for directly conveying emotion with non-traditional instrumentation than of sterile machine music. The disc opens with high tones and some of Müller's "selected percussion" playing a slow, metronomic beat, and the percussive rhythms throughout this CD are probably more overt (relatively speaking) than some of his other work. The piece is pretty nonlinear, which is nice as it's not a blatant "build toward something and come back" formula. It ends with some hypnotic, quiet drones which continue into the second track, where they're joined by some clicking rhythms, buzzing, and slowly modulated oscillations as the music gets a little frenetic. "Grounding Oysters" is static for most of its duration, exploring the subtle interaction between a range of sounds; and "Oystered" ends the disc with more high tones and rhythms. This CD definitely fits well in the canon of these players. While I really enjoy it, I'm not sure if there's much to distinguish it from their other work. But the subtle elements that each member of this collaboration provides make it a fine listen for fans of this type of sound. - Steve Smith

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PAPA M, "TWO"
Drag City
For the second installation in his Audio Tour Diary series, Dave Pajo presents three more stripped-down tunes, warmly recorded in Chicago, Bloomington and Los Angeles over the past months. The Papa M arranged "Black is the Color," showcases his tasteful acoustic guitar picking style with distant swoops of synthesizer for a reworking that makes the tune his own. The airy tone of his laid back vocals are jolted on the way out with a stern, spoken delivery of the song's title. From his association with Stereolab, the piano and strings-complimented "Mary Was the Kind," pays tribute to a dear, departed friend Mary Hansen. The strumming guitar progressions and catchy lyrics and melody on the traditional sounding "World's Greatest Sin" are evident of just how inside the southern folk songwriting style Pajo can get, both musical and lyrically. A hint of accordion-type tones make it all the more convincing. Nested in the last few minutes of the track is an beautifully uplifting multi-tracked guitar and strings incidental composition which is just perfect as is. It should be interesting to see if Pajo works any of the tunes from his on-the-road sessions into his next full length disc, or if this will be the only recorded performances as they have a certain charm of being slightly undressed. - Gord Fynes

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Yasunao Tone, "Yasunao Tone"
Asphodel
This is one of the finer noise albums I've heard and one that challenges other noise performers to up the ante. While the method in which this record was created is interesting, the actual sounds and rhythms that compose the album are its most attractive elements by far. Yasunao Tone was created by taking various Chinese poems and converting the characters into wave forms via a character recognition program. At first, some of the sounds are extremely disorienting. On "Wounded Man'yo 2/2000," rhythmic howls of mechanical distortion rule but are suddenly replaced by shimmering, static snaps. Drills march foward aggressively and haphazardly until an army of ping-pong balls with heavy metal brains ricochet about and make room for the stuttering prophets and spaceships that follow; each moment of sound is interesting and a story in and of itself. "Wounded Man'yo #36-7," offers a experience similar to the first track, but with a slightly different emphasis. Sounds are given more time to breathe and play out their existence and certain passages have a decidedly more subdued feel to them. Although the first two tracks are not radically different from one another, both offer different experiences and do not feel dull or repetitive next to eachother. The massive and diverse thirty-plus minute closer, "Wounded Soutai Man'yo," is a combination of thick, wall-of-sound sludge attacks, the rhythmic skipping of its predecessors, and brief bouts of silence. Though it is perhaps a bit long, it would be difficult for me to say that anything on this album had me impatiently waiting for its end. By the time the sound draws its own curtain, I feel as if I've experienced something unique. All noise records should be as captivating as this. - Lucas Schleicher

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lali puna, "left handed"
Morr
With the release of their second full-length album, 2001's Scary World Theory, Lali Puna have not only secured their place as not just another Notwist "side project," but have become one of my favorite groups. It's tough to arrange a schedule when your time is divided amongst a number of other bands, as Marcus Acher (1/2 of the core duo) knows very well. In the time between releases, the group has taken the opportunity to leak out an unsurfaced song and its apparent dub counterpart. "Left Handed" might not have fit in with the languid sounds of Scary World Theory with its punchy rhythms and distorted tonally aggressive guitars, but it is strong enough to stand as a fantastic single track. For the "dub" version, the group took a route that I whole-heartedly support: making something that sounds almost completely different. It's entirely instrumental, a completely different speed, with dub-inspired rhythms, effects, and only a minute few elements carried over from the original. The three-tracker is rounded out with a song -not- originally by the Human League, but ended up on a Human League covers record back in 2000. "Together In Electric Dreams" was the theme to the forgettable '80s film Electric Dreams (originally by Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder) and Lali Puna's reinterpretation strays a healthy amount from the original, omitting a wealth of vocals and utilizing the band's almost signature sound of gliding synths, electronic beats, and clean guitar work. While it's always nice to get two new songs from a fave band, I'm actually rather disappointed in the fact that this would have been a great opportunity to include some old 7" tracks, namely the two remixes from the Nin-Com-Pop single and the two songs from the The Safe Side single which has eluded me for years. - Jon Whitney

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the evolution control committee, "plagiarythm nation"
Seeland
Remember that link of the week with the Oscar Meyer Weiner song answering machine lady talking? Well, Mark Gunderson, aka The Evolution Control Committee opens his current full-length masterpiece with that very same woman speaking along to the "Star Spangled Banner" as the "Star Spangled Bologna." Only a few years before people like Kid 606 and Dsico were marrying Missy Elliott with Joy Division, the ECC combined two flavors in perhaps one of the most groundbreaking (yet overlooked) 7" singles of the 1990s, The Whipped Cream Mixes, where Public Enemy raps were matched with the music of Herb Alpbert & the Tijuana Brass. But the ECC aren's just mash-ups and cut-ups, as the Committee (much like Seeland label bosses, Negartivland) provides a healthy amount of gimmicky cheese, twisting and mutating words and songs into sounding like what they want to hear. While this disc compiles some of the finer moments of the ECC in the last few years since, it does also provide some brand new material for underground superstar potential. "I Want A Cookie" jumps out first as a very aggressive self-help sounding woman gives empowerment advice over horn-blaring hip 1960s-retro spy chase music. The classic "Rocked By Rape" is also included with Dan Rather's cut up samples over the ECC's own AC/DC rip off riffs. The rhythmic usage is clever while the output is absolutely hilarious, with examples like "Dramatic Alien Torture" / "Cancer Death Threat Fleeing for Their Lives" / "Voodoo Bizarre Love Triangle," it's hard to keep up and impossible to tune out when playing. Four years after this song first surfaced, it has not lost its charm, however it would have been nice to have a new revisit with all of Dan's quotes from the 2000 US Election Night overnight fiasco! (Search for some of those quotes online some time.) There are some other memorable moments like "Sex Re-Education," the cut-up 1950s-era sex education speech from a dad to his son, but at 29 tracks, there really is a ton of forgettable filler. Jon Whitney

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Robert Ashley, "Wolfman"
Alga Marghen
Feedback as primary means of making live music seems to date from 1964. That was the year that Max Neuhaus debuted his Fontana Mix - Feed (see Brain v06i19) and when Robert Ashley brought fourth his tape, voice and feedback creation The Wolfman. Room feedback occurs when the sound from the loudspeakers in a performance space reflect off walls and ceiling back to the microphone, as opposed to following more direct paths. In essence, the room itself is set up to work as a cavity oscillator. The fun part is that when this happens the sound has the appearance of coming from different points all over the room depending on exactly which reflections or which modes of oscillation dominate. Ashley's design for The Wolfman uses a vocalist in front of the microphone singing gently into the microphone and using his mouth to modulate the room feedback. There is also a tape track, a full spectrum deluge of tape manipulated found sounds, fed into the mix to provoke more variation in the feedback. Just how this works in a performance we will have to imagine since the perceptual effects of being inside the cavity oscillator are completely lost in a mere stereo recording. But what we get on the CD is nonetheless a full scale onslaught of highly dynamic noise that fully holds the attention for its entire 18 minutes. It has a gritty raw energy that any 90s noise artist would be very proud of but the human voice component takes it beyond the realm of mere electronics. The CD has three other early Ashley tape compositions from 1957 to 1964 and of these The Bottleman from 1960 has captivated me. It was originally the soundtrack to a film by George Manupelli featuring a man collecting bottles in various desolate and dilapidated scenes of urban decay. The music is quiet, very slow and has the same kind of insane dark ambience found in the soundtrack to Eraserhead. It is a tape manipulation piece based on contact microphone feedback, found sounds and voice and, as with The Wolfman, it is the vocal component that adds the deepest tensions. Despite never having seen the film, the image of a deranged person wandering around landscapes of discarded life collecting bottles is easily imaged with the music being the soundtrack in the near insane bottleman's mind. Fully deserving its 43 plus minutes on the CD it is really very effective. - tom worster

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Electric Six, "Fire"
XL
Do you want to know how they keep starting fires? The Electric Six first gained attention with their single, "Danger! High Voltage," which laid down the blueprint for their dance garage style and penchant for absurd lyrics ("Fire in the disco / Fire in the Taco Bell!"), delivered with conviction by singer Dick Valentine and (alleged guest) Jack White. Their sound was a strange brew of disco beats, surf squalls, and Andrew W.K. party riffing. While that single was immensely enjoyable, its novel, what-the-hell-is-this attraction hinted that the Electric Six might find it hard to keep it up over the course of an entire LP. On Fire, the Detroit residents look to hold you in their grasp with songs that describe their favorite pastimes, which include fire, the night, dancing, nuclear war, women, bars, and synthesizers. Often, their bacchanalian single mindedness leads to redundancy, as on the track "Gay Bar," which commands that together we should "start a nuclear war / at the gay bar," being immediately followed by the song "Nuclear War (On the Dance Floor)." Regardless, the former track is pretty convincing, coming off as the hard rock party anthem of the not to distant future (it has already spawned one of those dancing cat online flash videos). Electric Six manages to top "Danger!" in unusual, unbalanced brilliance with "I'm the Bomb." Maybe I'm just a sucker for a song about, what else, dancing and women, which uses the word "gerrymandering." "Three, two, one, I'm the bomb," declares the chorus, "and I'm ready to go off on your shit." They're sublimely cocky, with a flair for the dramatic and a powerful desire to be looked at. I mean, they yell "Solo!" before they start a guitar solo at least twice. That's how much they want you to pay attention to them. Still, even with those occasional sparks, 'Fire' contains songs like "Electric Demons In Love," "Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother)," and "She's White" which all smear together in a blur of generic lack of inspiration. Their original themes never vary much, and the frequent overlap tends to make for a tedious listen, in total. Fire doesn't do much to dispel the label of novelty that "Danger!" found attached to it, and that's what makes the moments of quirk so fun. - Michael Patrick Brady

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STERLING
File 13
With a warning on the disc advising of potential damage to certain audio systems (headphone use not advisable), the self-titled second release from Chicago avant-rock quartet Sterling lets loose a hybrid of compositions that could be the bastard child of jazz, classical and metal, conceived during a Dario Argento flick. Driven by syncopated, jazzy drumming that gets heavy-handed when called for, weaving, distorted bass and twin guitars that have that fat hollow-body tone, the disc's eight untitled, angular compositions evoke a soundtrack sensibility for something somber left to the imagination. The liberal use of tastefully played piano, at times drawing from the lower register, adds that extra dimension that not only enhances the building tension, but also heightens the anxiety that goes along with it. Although some of the tracks can be lengthy, the interesting and explorative compositions move seamlessly throughout sections with at times a pregnant pause which gives way for an explosive return to the earlier motif that kicked the whole thing off (insert pronged rawk hand sign here). The rough moments of overdrive occurring in the production department characterize the aforementioned warning, while at the same time becoming an almost integral part of the existing track. If the band's hometown is said to be the birthplace of post-rock, Sterling have taken their imaginative musical vision into an area of post-mortem rock. Beware. - Gord Fynes

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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.

NEW RELEASES


WEEK OF JUNE 1 - JUNE 7
!!! - Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story) 12"/CDEP (Warp, UK / Touch & Go, US)
ADULT. - The Controlled Edition 7" (Ersatz Audio, US)
Aspera - Oh Fantastica CD/LP (Jagjaguwar, US)
* Federico Aubele - Postales 10" (ESL, Canada)
Audio Bullys - Ego War CD (Astralwerks, US)
Louie Austen - Easy Love CDEP (Kitty Yo, Germany)
Si Begg - Moveup 12"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Bride of No No - Bride of No No CD/LP (Atavistic, US)
Ch District vs Duuster - Chemical Elements 1.0 CD (M-Tronic, France)
Chaos Through Programming - You Bitreduced My Heart! CDR (Push The Button, Sweden)
* Cocteau Twins - Garlands CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Treasure CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Victorialand CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas CD [remastered reissue] (4AD, US)
* Cocteau Twins - Stars And Topsoil: A Collection (1982-1990) CD [debut US release] (4AD, US)
Alex Cortex - Inwards 2xLP (Ann Aimee, The Netherlands)
Alex Cortex - Inward CNTL CD (Ann Aimee, The Netherlands)
The Curse of the Golden Vampire - Mass Destruction CD (Ipecac, US)
Dead Meadow - Shivering King and Others CD/LP (Matador, US)
Enon - In This City CD (Touch & Go, US)
400 Lonely Things - 400 Lonely Things LP (Bronson Unlimited, US)
G-NOX - Ventre CD (M-Tronic, France)
Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters CD/LP (Mute, UK)
* Gold Chains - Young Miss America CD/2xLP (PIAS, US/Canada)
Ilios - Old Testament CD (Antifrost, Greece)
Karsh Kale - Liberation CD (Six Degrees, US)
KMFDM - Sturm & Drang DVD (Metropolis, US)
Lali Puna - Lefthanded 12"/CDEP (Morr Music, Germany)
Love & Rockets - Sorted! The Best of Love & Rockets CD/DVD (Beggars Banquet, Canada)
Majesticons - Suburb Party 12" (Big Dada/Ninja Tune, Canada/US/UK)
Daniel Menche - Invoker CD (Antifrost, Greece)
Moly - Your Life Is In Danger CD/LP (Tenor Vossa, UK)
-Ziq - Bilious Paths CD/2xLP (Planet , UK)
Nina Nastasia - Run To Ruin CD/LP (Touch & Go, US)
Playdoh - Fragments CD (Peter I'm Flying, France)
* Push Button Objects - A Day In A Life 12"/CDEP [reissue] (Skam, UK)
The Rip-Off Artist - In Through The Out Door CD (Tigerbeat6, US)
Steve Roach - Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces 2xCD (Projekt, US)
Tall Blonde - Playing the Bass is Easy 12" (Output, UK)
Texturizer - Texturizer CD (Antifrost, Greece)
Various - Den Of Thieves CD (ESL, US/Canada)
Various - Traveler '03 CD [initial copies include bonus CD] (Six Degrees, US)
Verbose - Observe CD/LP (Neo Ouija, UK)

This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the site,
since release dates can and will often change.
SUNDAY FILM CLUB

Owning Mahowny
Based on a true story, this film has been described as the "Lost Weekend" of gambling movies, and that is probably an accurate description. Philip Seymour Hoffman takes another turn as a depressing weirdo playing this bank manager who scams his employer out of millions of dollars which he pisses away at casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Dan Mahowny (Hoffman) is the true addict, ignoring everything special in his life for the game. I like Hoffman, but I can't escape the feeling that he is being given too much credit as an actor. It seems like every critic is raving about him, yet I can't shake the notion that he always plays similar roles. Seeing him as another awkward loser with a problem didn't do anything to help my opinion of him. Fortunately for him, he does an amazing job at playing the loser. Minnie Driver was almost unrecognizable to me as Mahowny's girlfriend Belinda. For me, the stand-out performance, however, was John Hurt, who was just wonderful as an Atlantic City casino boss.
This film did an amazing job of conveying the disconnect inside the head of gambling addicts, ignoring the odds and insisting that they will win big. While the film had some minor melodramatic moments, it also was a fantastic (if not depressing) look into a world that most people never see. It is difficult to see this film and leave the theater happy, but it is still a film worth seeing. - Sean Graham

POLL

Results from last poll:

LINKS OF THE WEEK

Andy's feedback
So, I think somebody got really bored over the course of a few days and started leaving feedback for random people. While the feedback is hilarious to simply read, also take note of the time and date of feedback and the people who the feedback was sent to. Too bad rule changes have probably left this guy without feedback to give unless he buys something, but it's nice to know this archive is still on line for our amusement. http://cgi2.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedbackMemberLeft&memberId=andy46477

E-mail your body
This one's dedicated to all the super nerds out there.
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/cgi-bin/rfc/rfc1437.html

FEEDBACK

almost there

Subject: the eye

i really like the antony and the johnsons mini documentary... is it available for downloading?

Right click and download it.

Subject:

This "technologically disadvantaged" hominid cannot get QuickTime to work for the streaming video of Emil Ballieu (sp?) et al. I am a Windows ME user. Exactly which patch, or program, do I need to see these videos?

Thank you for your time

If all else fails, use Netscape.

Subject: re: Brain v06i20

I am the designer of zerocrop.com/tg/

I was asked by Tom Mugridge design a site to hold his extensive TG interview which had been previously published in Muzik magazine under the title "Entertainment Through Pain. Ugly As Your Pastime".

Firstly, thank you very much for the mention. Secondly, apologies if having Entertainment Through Pain in the title has upset you in any way. It was not Tom's or my intention to cause offence. I was unaware that Brainwashed's site already had used this title (I checked before publishing and did not see you using it on your site). Please refer to our site as "zerocrop.com/tg" or "Throbbing Gristle @ zerocrop.com" if you like.

I hope you enjoyed the site. I've been a long-standing fan of Coil and spent many an hour on your site for them.

Keep up the excellent work and, once again, apologies for any offence.

Warmest regards

Sorry, we weren't offended. The snide remark was made in jest. Thanks for your support and your own site.

HELP OUT THE BRAIN

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Click here to find out how you can help keep The Brain going. Every penny helps.

THE EYE BONUS!

6 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video Ulrich Schnauss: Clear Day
For those of us soaked in endless rain showers, here's a quick reminder of clearer days. "Clear Day" was filmed on a bicycle by Jon Whitney in May of 2003. The song can be found on Ulrich's second full-length album, A Strangely Isolated Place, due for release next week on City Centre Offices in Germany.



6 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video

WHAT'S IN YOUR PLAYER?

where was i?
Idiot Flesh - Fancy
Antony & The Johnsons - S/T
Quoit - Lounge
Stapleton/Tibet - The Sadness O' Things
Killing Joke - Fire Dances
Koerner, Ray, & Glover - Blues, Rags, & Hollers
Aceyalone - All Balls Don't Bounce
Japan - Gentlemen Take Polariods
Carla Kihlstedt - 2 Foot Yard
Goats - Tricks Of The Shade


Morgan "Liege O' The Grups" Willcox who says, "Been readin' your site for well o'er half a decade.. and for the first time during such, okay, I'm quite sure this is a lie... I'm drunk... this time on 2.5oz Tequilla, .7oz Lime, .7oz TripleSec, 5oz SweetNSour... repeated now eight times.
ROCKS ONLY"

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed in the Front Seat, You're a Cop!
P.O. Box 7 / Arlington MA 02476 / USA
electronic mail



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