The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I36 - 09121999


No more parties for anyone. Well, most specifically the festival that was supposed to take place in England has been cancelled due to lack of initial ticket sales. Bands slated to appear included Stereolab, Arab Strap, Bardo Pond, Blonde Redhead, High Llamas, Laika, Plaid, Tortoise and Yo La Tengo. Think about the size of England and the amount of festivals that go on... Bands could be wanting to be paid more while fans might be getting sick of the outrageous fees (especially if they're only interested in one or two bands), trying to plan transportation, accommodations and time off from work/school or other issues.

There's never a shortage of music to review, but there's always a shortage of people willing to share what they feel about the stuff they're listening to. Take a look a the reviews and perhaps you can write a few sentences about something you're just hearing and think other people might want to know to get it, stay far away from it or pay no attention... To submit, . And oh yeah, thanks!

Sorry this week's issue has been a little late, it's been a rough week at brainwashed HQ with Labradford and godspeed you black emperor! travelling through. It was an enjoyable week however, and I'd do it all over again. - Jon


Currently on the road around North America includes kranky folks Low as well as Labradford with godspeed you black emperor! Also travelling through North America this fall include Isotope 217, some select dates from Trans Am, Thurston Moore, and Chicago Undergorund. In addition, some 80s bands like The Church, Echo & The Bunnymen, Sisters of Mercy and even Men At Work are making their way around the world. Plus tour details are now being worked out for Legendary Pink Dots in Europe October, November for Stereolab, Nobukazu Takemura with Jim O'Rourke, and a possible v/vm USA tour with Kid 606 - but nothing's official yet on any of those,...


Jack Dangers (of Meat Beat Manifesto) along with Ben Stokes (of DHS and H-Gun video productions) have come up with these vinyl only albums of breaks and beats and some really fun samples. The total is 4 now with the addition of the recently released "Christmas Breaks" and "Mambo" and they just don't get any less enjoyable with each release. Each are home made releases, pressed in quantites of 500 per run and extremely difficult to find. While Tino's Breaks volumes 1 and 2 follow Tino through drum instruction and narration alongside some fat beats, Christmas Breaks explores holiday sounding beats on side one, with 22 minutes of samples for DJs on side two. The record comes on green vinyl, a snazzy cover with Tino in a Santa suit and makes for a perfect Christmas gift! Mambo sees Tino returning to his Mambo roots with some deep and zesty Mambo grooves. Well worth the find and with any luck they'll all be available more widely soon. For more info as it comes available, check out Jon Whitney

Oh the emotion, oh the depth. This is actually a very enjoyable album despite the lyrics being a slight bit cliche. Marc takes on the persona of a sort of burlesque cabaret singer on this album telling wonderful stories of the night life, despair, strippers and seedy clubs. The music is modern, electronic and simply breathtaking and his voice is still as charming and soothing as ever. The US version available now on Instinct includes a whole three bonus tracks over the UK import. Coil fans who are keen on the various appearances of Almon on albums should not go without getting this album for their collection. Plus it's such a nice fresh break from all them damned instrumental rock bands. - Jon Whitney

The Talking Heads might be best known for their live show/movie "Stop Making Sense" that came out in 1984. The movie was accompanied by a CD of nine remixed tracks from the movie, omitting an entire 7 songs. Well, the band hooked up again and rereleased the movie to theaters and video, re-mastering the album with all 16 original tunes, and boy it's stupendous. The first track psycho killer starts out very simply, David Byrne alone on stage with an acoustic and a little stereo playing a beat. Then with every new song, a new member comes on. The album showcases how tightly sounding and energetic the band was. For example, Cross-eyed and Painless (Which was originally on Remain In Light) is the most stand out song on the disc, starting with a slow intro then quickly changing tempo to an odd solo with bird calls. For me, this album is a reminder of how wildly original and inventive the band was, really the only mainstream band during 1984 to have that quality. I have a preminition that this will get a lot of time in my cd player. - Ben Adams

I listened to "Titanik" once and was about to give it a horrible review, but the second time through, this is simply stunning. While it's only one 20+ minute long track, costing about $11, it did throw me off at first -- the packaging is light, there's no artwork, and it could easily get broken in shipping. It starts out as being one of those long tone drones, but a few minutes in, pulses gyrate, echoes come into play and the sonics twist, jabs and punches fly out of the speakers as if you're getting shot at while stuck in a video game, ending up with a tone piercing enough to slice your brain in two. Quite an interesting listening and a somewhat limited pressing. "Ydin" is a full length album from Mika however, and also the very first release for Wavetrap (will Pan sonic do anything for money?) and is quite a welcome surprise from Mika's first album which was simply a few textured lenghty tones. If you're a Pan Sonic fan, this is basically a similar formula, the puls is there but the punchy beats are absent. For the course of 11 tracks and +70 minutes, Vainio presents a healthy collection of electronics and tones of varying lengths and widths help to keep any listener attentive. - Jon Whitney

Oh boy, another great album of modern electronica! Fans of this ever-expanding genre are a patient bunch, but my patience is wearing thin. Cheap technology and endless amounts of time make for hundreds of bedroom composers, all with scores of interesting material under their belts. This is great for the electronic music community, because it lends it a credibility once only found on dance floors. But those same indie kids who make and worship this music are suffering, because the tremendous glut of good records out there is mind-blowing, and you need to have a large attention span and very deep pockets to take in all the gems. Brought to us by Leed's 555 label, the duo going under the name Remote Viewer (ex-Hood, also records under The Famous Boyfriend moniker) spin out 10 tracks without titles that are in the BoardOfAutechreTwin territory. Unlike said triumvirate, though, there is an unusual warmth pervading these tracks that is different than most UK electronica. You can almost see the lads huddled around a 486 computer, trying to squeeze are staticky guitar sample into some freeware program to sequence it. You can feel the sweat and toil that went into composing these tracks (which pretty much alternate between somber ambient loops and noisy bursts of beats), and it pays off. A very personal outing for modern electronic music... a gem out of this month's one hundred. - Jason Olariu

AWESOME! It's great to hear Kristen rocking again after her last couple solo albums. Strange Angels and Hips and Makers found Kristen on the acoustic guitar, and while they had strong songs with the voice and conviction Kristen's known for, it's no match for when she rocks full out with bass and drums adding to the flavor. The production on Sky Motel almost takes a step backwards and goes a little more raw than the most recent Throwing Muses albums as well, back ro the low-fi heart felt days where having a hit single wasn't as important. Her songs are, as ever warm and scathing all at the same time, enjoyable yet somewhat uneasy. In the end, like most of her albums, the album will probably stand well, getting better with every listen. - Jon Whitney

Don't ever believe the NME in their singles of the week. This album brings out nearly every hip hop drum loop cliche in the book, from Kraftwerk to Can, no sample gets away unrecognized. I'm truly disappointed. While the beats are okay and keep a moderate pace, there's nothing new or remotely interesting. - Jon Whitney

Boy it's time to catch up with Ganger. I picked up this mysterious untitled EP at the show last week since I was impressed with the concert along with an album from 1996, "Fore". The 1998 EP sees them making more use of what they're capable of doing live - a two-bass two-drummer motion force. The amount of TLC in each song is really apparent and endearing. At first, they bash your head in from out of nowhere the first tunes come in like gangbusters, but following up, the swirling guitar and bass interplay draws you in for a look inside their realm. Added crickets give the intention of a late night session while a splash of dialogue here and there reminds you Ganger (rhymes with hanger by the way, not danger) are really not machines with instruments. While "Fore" is three years old, the sounds stand well alongside what many young 20-something instrumental rock bands are pulling off currently. The time and key changes as well as mathematical melodies scream hints of Slint influence while the groove and drive hint towards Neu! and Can albums of the early 70s. Added bits of rhythm and a subtle metal-esque guitar strumming layer nicely over the pulse and drive coming from the double-bass guitar stab and pulsing drum patterns. I'm now getting anxious to hear the new stuff... - Jon Whitney

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.


Appliance - Pacifica 12"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Death In Vegas - Contino Sessions CD/LP (Deconstruction, UK)
Everything But The Girl - Five Fathoms 2x12"/two CDEPs (Vrigin, UK)
* Gary Numan - Metal Rhythm CD, Outland CD and Skin Mechanic CD [remastered reissues with bonus tracks] (EMI, UK)
Plone - For Beginner Piano CD/LP (Warp, UK)
Luke Slater - All Exhale 7"/12"/CDEP (NovaMute, UK)
Slick Sixty - Nibs And Nabs CD (Mute, UK)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Acme Plus CD/2xLP [b-sides, remixes and unreleased tracks; includes one track not on US edition] (Mute, UK)
David Sylvian - t.b.a. CD [instrumental album including previously released material from the Ember Glance box set] (Virgin, UK)
Air - Premiers Symptomes CD/LP [reissue of early singles collection with two additional tracks plus a CD-ROM video] (Astralwerks, US)
* Dot Allison [ex-One Dove vocalist] - Afterglow CD (Deconstruction/Arista, US)
Death In Vegas - Contino Sessions CD (Time Bomb, US)
Dub Narcotic Sound System meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Sideways Soul CD/LP (K Records, US)
Everything But The Girl - Five Fathoms 12"/CDEP (Atlantic/Warner, US)
Freestylers - Here We Go CDEP (Mammoth, US)
Kevorkian Death Cycle - A+0(M) CD (Metropolis, US)
Bill Laswell - Imaginary Cuba CD (RCA, US)
* Monolake - Gobi The Desert CDEP (Monolake/EFA/Caroline, US)
platEAU [Download side-project] - Space Cake CD (Subconscious/Metropolis, US)
Solex - Pick Up CD (Matador, US)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Xtra Acme USA CD [b-sides, remixes, and unreleased tracks] (Matador, US)
Various - Alternative Press Presents: Industrial Strength Machine Music - The Framework of Industrial Rock 1978-1995 CD (Rhino, US)
* Yaz [aka Yazoo] - The Best Of Yaz CD (Warner, US)

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.


The concert on Friday took place at The Olympia, a nice old theatre that can hold around a thousand people, and did on this one night. If you read this web site regularly, none of these bands should need much of an introduction. First up was Labradford, and although the sound was real nice. There may have been a little too much of reverbration - caused perhaps by the place, the bands or me being 10 meters from the speakers - I can't tell, but it doesn't change anything on the quality of the concert. Disappointingly enough, Godspeed's violinist didn't fill in for the missing violins on the record. A nice set, however I personally prefer listening their albums. Next up was Low, and while I really can't make much of a critical judgement due to my lack of knowledge, it was also good. It was perhaps a little depressing after a couple of songs, but I sort of knew what to expect. Godspeed headlined the show as the closers. I don't know if it's always like that, but here in Montreal, their home town it made sense. Godspeed were received quite well as soon has they took the stage. They played bits from every song on f# a# inifinty as well as the tracks from Slow Riot. Everything however was modified a bit, of course, a little slower, a little longer, but every note of it was there. Half of the songs on the set were either new songs or old unreleased songs. Having seen them for the third time, I must say it's not the best set I've seen them played. Maybe it's just me getting a little bored of the recepie of noisy climax followed by the predictable soft anti-climax. Again I think there was too much reverberation to hear every instrument distinctly. A concert a the Hotel 2 Tango (their local) gave them a much smaller room, yet it sounded clearer, maybe due to the fact that the sound came from their own amps. The only turn off was the bar next door, playing some loud and annoying dance music. All in all, it was a very nice concert, Godspeed played for about 2 hours, Low and Labradford played 1 hour each. No need to make any preparational recommandations except maybe to sleep well the day before. - Olivier Paschke


Originaly written by Irvine Welsh, Scottish writer of Trainspoting fame, The Acid House is a marvelous blend of three of his short stories (The Granton Star Cause - A Soft Touch - The Acid House). Incredibly adapted and filmed by director Paul McGuigan, a photographer and documentary filmaker. These stories take place in the lives of Scotish low lifes, struggling from their doomed existences ruled by a lazy drunken and merciless god. From dark tragedy to psychedelic comedy, the plot will blow you away. But be wary, the Scottish dialects sometime need subtitles to appear and mysteriously disaper after a while. - Olivier Paschke

I assume this was a direct-to-video release, but I'm not sure. A highly entertaining sci-fi thriller that has elements of Sarte, Pi and Hellraiser. A group of people are trapped in a giant "cube" consisting of who-knows-how-many rooms. Some rooms are booby trapped, only one has an exit. It has it's corny moments, but rises above and is easily the best direct-to-video movie I've ever seen. - Thomas Guttadauro

For the third week in a row, I am urging you to see this movie. I can't say enough good things about it. Really. Brad Bird, who has worked on the Simpsons and King of the Hill, has created an animated Masterpiece. It's better than Election, it's better than Rushmore, and it's as good as Afterlife. Just sharing my opinion. For a deeper and more profound opinion, check out - Thomas Guttadauro

It's nice to see some unknown faces here, new-comers Richard Gere and some red-haired chick. Unlike those lousy hollywood movies, movies we heard so much about this summer that we were aware of almost every bit of it, this movie's image is fresh and imaginative! It goes further in helping us taste deeper and more profound pretentious bullshit, um, I mean art. Oh, and gay cowboys eat pudding. If you want me to review other movies, please feel free to front me the money of the theatre tickets, until then, I think I'll spend my money on what I feel like seeing. - Thomas Guttadauro


These are fine times for the Oulipo in America--last year Atlas published its hilarious and ultra complete Oulipo Compendium, Dalkey Archive rereleased Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, and George Perec's 53 Days should soon be available here too. But for a good, cheap introduction to these game playing writers, the summer issue of The Review of Contemporary Fiction has included the complete text of Philip Terry's very gray novel, The Book of Bachelors. It contains nine interrelated, fast-paced stories of isolated men, each story seeming to symbolize the lack of contact by denying the narrative use of one or another letter from the alphabet. In choosing Duchamp's Large Glass as the inspiration for the work, Terry takes both images and characters from it, which adds another layer of constraint to that of the missing letters. While this may sound like a laborious attempt at fun, most of the stories here come off with an unsettling humor, such as that of the busboy trying to re-addict his ex-girlfriend to cigarettes and the garbage man known only as DREG, "one of the city's unseen ministers of extinction." - Paul McRandle

It is something like reading felt, reading this book on grayness. Aris Fioretos, a Swedish poet and academic, is attracted to gray things like pencil lead and has tried to write what he describes as, "Neither scholarly account nor personal fabrication, then; just an attempt to seize that defiant 'something.'" A poet's book, it attempts to evoke whatever it can from gray. Fioretos deliberately meanders from the start, tossing out images and bits and pieces from well-known writers in his canon of grayness, folks like Emily Dickinson, Nabokov and Beckett. And it's this introduction, with all its rambling about his pencil, that is the most smug, self-satisfied bit, a start which would be better read drunk because The Gray Book does have a number of beautiful moments and sections worth reading, once you get inside of it. But getting there, you have to wade through long, fruitlessly rhyming sentences like: "Our first version, rather, will vie with water and be its selfmade same, that is it will investigate that wailing discharge that amounts to tears ample and plain . . . The second will avoid fire crackling and its curly flame, and instead seek its fume, smoke, and vapor, trailing in vain, while the third will collect dirt and dust, rather than earth and its drain, and thus be reckoned, well, be reckoned as grain . . . And the last . . . Concerning the last of our elements thus sustained we shall in air seek what is nebulous in name but credulous just the same -- appearing as clouds, that is, neither as fog nor as rain." Given that he's laying out the structure of his book in these sentences, it's hard to trust that the rest will be any better. It is, but not always. So he does take on tears, fumes, dust, and clouds as the emblems of grayness and, when he's beyond the (not so) clever-clever stylistics, he is able to find the heart of his subject in a child standing by a kitchen window, in a fat man swimming in a hotel pool, in a myth of the zero, in passages by Beckett and Deschamps, and in a few definitions like, "when [. . .] our hand impatiently spins the radio channels, only to release static echoes rebounding with enthusiastic inanimation in a vast metallic interior . . . A void of endless voicing . . ." But you wish he had written more of these pieces, for while he pulls off the finish gracefully with a meditation on ending, he does so only after wandering into a discussion of semiotics which dampens the echoes he'd built up so carefully until then. Fioretos may be worth reading for all the points he gets right in this 'composed lingering of the disillusioned,' but given its many failed attempts at playfulness, I'd recommend first another gray book, W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn. - Paul McRandle


You can find a Lie of the Day, Lie of the Week, Celebritiy Lies and a searchable database at Dave's Web of Lies at

Subject: Current93

I've been trying to read your page on the above mentioned band but as you seem to Love using black as background colour it is impossible to read. I think you need to get a better web page designed in to sort it out by the way I'll do it for you if need be im not free but cheap.
Anyway let me know what you think.
Also look for yourself and see if you can read it.

Your letter asks me what I think, so here you go. I think:

  1. Your note is offensive.
  2. I have no clue who the hell you are.
  3. That's a rather audacious statement for a complete stranger.
  4. Even if you were a professional designer, there's no money in - do you see any advertisements? Nobody here gets paid.
  5. I would not even want someone who can't figure that out on my volunteer staff. We're just not that stupid here.
I can read the page just fine and in the years it's been up, you're the first person to complain - you just need to set your monitor preferences so you can see basic colors. The colors are all basic and web friendly, if you can't see the text then you're missing text on probably more that this web site.
Subject: help

Please could you tell me when these tunes will be available, and if i can pre order them if not released yet.
COH - Vox Tinnitus 2x7" [ltd edition of 1024 copies on clear vinyl, with guest appearances by Coil and Annie Anxiety] (Noton/Raster, Germany)
Coil - Journey to Avebury 10" [ltd to 333 copies] (Twin Tub & Beaver, UK)
Coil/Cyclobe - Wormsongs 10"/CDEP (World Serpent, UK)


Information will be on the website when it's all available.

Subject: labradford

Hello. I was checking out your lab site and recognized your name. Very nice site by the way. I am getting psyched to see lab with GYBE here in Seattle and a couple questions. Is it safe to assume the strings I hear on Lab's cds are real and not synthesized? How would do these songs live (do they bring someone doing the string work), or they just not do them? Just can't wait to see for myself. Thanks....

On the latest disc, the sounds are organic but in concert, they only use organ, bass and guitar from what I remember - check out the review earlier in this issue for more description of the show...

Subject: contact info please

Looking for contact info for Diamanda Galas.
Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.

What we provide on the websites are as much contact information as the band wants. If they wanted their email address public, they will make it as such. We have to honor their privacy and vague notes like this (no idea who you are and why you need it) will get you nothing.

Subject: (no subject)

ive always wanted to hear nurse with wound and never had a chance... thanks for all the sound clips (your site is also very well constructed)

Thanks and please explore some surrealism while you're cruising the NWW page.

Subject: my widdle hurt feelings

What's with all the jerks attacking my reviews? Tell them to start sending me money and I'll go review the movies they want and take it seriously.


We owe it to them, we are the beacon of light in the sea of shit. You need to provide more information about taco bumping movies or pudding eating cowboys and I'm ashamed of your note.


*four tet-dialogue
*capitol k-sounds of the empire
*labradford-E luxo so
*matthew thomas-architecture
*peter gabriel-passion
*fishcake-the sound of thule
*scanner-lauwarm intrumentals
*toshoklabs presents:dated
*david kristian-beneath the valley of the modulars
- William H, who somehow believes he was solicited for this nonsense.

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