The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V01I13 - 11011998

At the Meat Beat website, the Prime Audio Soup contest has been extended, cos we've not had enough SOUP recipes that were PRIME or AUDIO.

Alas, the Jon Whitney Interview from May of 1997 has been completed and uploaded to the Coil website. You can find this under "writings".

Tortoise are winding up their Far East tour in Australia and Japan this week. If you live near there, check out the tour dates on the Thrill Jockey site.

It's no big secret that LPD will usually let you make your own tape of a live performance. So, when you see a person selling a live cassette on the net for cash, stop and think, and don't spend your money. The band does NOT authorize the sale of these tapes, not because they are missing any money, but because they don't want people cashing in on something they granted free permission to. Keep your money.

All across the USA this Tuesday is Election Day. The most important elections are usually the least publicized, educate yourself on who is running for your local and state government, they're your voice. If you are able to and don't vote, then you shouldn't bitch about politics - plain and simple.


A few really brief comments on new-ish recordings:
Afghan Whigs, "1965" - Don't bother with it. It's nowhere near as innovative as "Congregation" and "Gentlemen". It's their first for Columbia, and it's too watery.

Various Artists, "Chinese Whispers" - A remix "loop" if you will, 10 tracks, 10 artists, remixing the prior track: Stereolab remixed by Sons of Silence remixed by Ultramarine remixed by Mike Paradinas (mu-Ziq) remixed by Freeform remixed by Sland remixed by Bedouin Ascent remixed by Si Begg remixed by Subtropic remixed by T Power remixed by Stereolab,...

The Church, "Hologram of Baal" - Their first for Thirsty Ear. I really have enjoyed the directions the Church have been going in the 90s with "Sometime Anywhere" and "Magician Among the Spirits", but this album seems a bit thin. There is a limited release with a second CD, all instrumental, and about 75 minutes long. I love it much better than the first disc.

Praxis, "Mold" - Bill Laswell has almost come full circle with Praxis, returning to the early electronics of Praxis of old, before Bootsy, before Bernie, before Brain, before Buckethead, and before he funked. It's decent, but don't expect another stellar disc like "Transmutation" or "Sacrifist".

Sandoz in Dub, "Chant to Jah" - Richard H. Kirk's 4,711th disc this year, it's a decent white dub souning thing, but forgettable. Quality more than quantity please, Mr. Kirk...

Silverman, "Silvermandalas" - A great second solo album from LPD keyboardist. Deep, multi-layered, sound is balanced better than the first effort, "Dream Cell".

Squarepusher, "Music is Rotted One Note" - If you could get past this guy's pompous English attitude in movies like 'Modulations' or 'Sonic Images' and get this disc, it's recommended. Tom Jenkinson is a talented bassist, drummer, producer, writer, sound artist. An enjoyable album to listen to, and a fresh direction for electronic music.

Throbbing Gristle, "Dimensia in Excelsis" - Sounds like an audience member boot rather than a decent sound board master. Tracking is completely wrong, but it's a good document to have.

Tomorrowland, "Sequence of the Negative Space Changes" - Kranky's one of those labels you can trust in anything they release. Unfortunately, this one hasn't left a big impression on me. I'm usually psyched to hear of anything coming out so perhaps I was a bit built-up on expecting something phenomenal, but this one sounds a little noodly. After a few listens, it really has grown on me, however. The jury's still out...

VVV, "Endless" - Vega (Suicide) + Vakio and Vaisanen (Panasonic) = exactly what you would think - Suicide for the 90s with music by Panasonic. Enjoyable, minimalistic, campy, and slick. This ain't wonderful, but it surely is a fun disc.

- Jon Whitney

As always, check out the latest update of NEW RELEASES brought to you by Greg and Feedback Monitor.


if you've seen a movie you liked or hated and just want to talk about...

Subject: right on brother!

Hey Jon:
I was looking at "The Brain" the other day and I noticed your comments on Belle & Sebastian. You are not alone. I have yet to hear a single song by the group but I hate them. Their mysterious rise to prominence (mysterious in that nobody who likes them can really tell me why they're remarkably better than peers like Richard Davies, etc.) can be traced to a number of factors that really HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ACTUAL MUSIC.
1) Their first album was a school project. Do I need to elaborate how this would appeal to college students, college radio music directors, etc.? It's their fantasy come true.
2) The first album went out of print quickly. B&S (makes it a little clearer when you spell it this way doesn't it?) get collector scum going and everybody gets to feel sorry for them because they were "fucked over by a major." And indie rock insiders get their period of "secret knowledge".
3) B&S don't do interviews. I believe it was Morrissey who said "I want the one I can't have." Goes along well with the long time inavailability of the albums.
4) Well placed musical/lyrical references: hip indie fanzines like Chick Factor, power dinners with Seymour Stein and other hip bands like Arab Strap. Fits well with the current love of pointless irony while shamelessly name dropping at the same time.
The groupthink element and they way people just fall in line is really what grates me the most about B&S, I have yet (prior to your review) see one contrary view published on the band. Nobody seems to apply any standards or expect bands to have more than an interesting story or workable schtick anymore. SO my hat's off to you for bursting the bubble.


i just got the new MBM c.d., and it kicks ass!
please make me part of your newsletter,
so that i can keep up with the group.
i have been a fan for more than 6 years,
and have seen MBM 3 times.
i can't wait to see them for this new tour.
please keep me informed!
thank you, Brain!

tom p. :-Q

We have a newsletter??


If you have seen those really queer motivational posters they hang up in corporate offices, you'll enjoy these posters, the Demotivational series at


Pale Faced Devils - More in Bour Bassbox
Meat Beat Manifesto - Actual Sounds and Voices
Virginia, err, Fatboy Slim - You've Come a Long Way, Baby
cEvin Key - Music for Cats
Coil - Time Machines
Silver Apples - eponymous/Contact
- Scott Hobizal, guest contributor

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