The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V03I29 - 08132000


In a move to bring a truly unique and creative package to the fans, Jack Dangers has recorded an all new set of Meat Beat Manifesto tracks formatted as a limited edition EP titled, Eccentric Objects on Tino Corp. The four song, vinyl EP will also come with a bonus 9" flexidisc, "Sounds of the 20th Century" on Flexidisc: Tino Corp's 'Science & Education Products' division imprint. Complete Eccentric Objects 'release' information and further EP details to be announced at MBM WEB soon!

David Tibet has announced a concert taking place on November 4th of this year at the Union Chapel in London. Ticket details will be available shortly on the Current 93 website.

Flower Booking Agency is celebrating their 10th year in business by a series of 5 nights in Chicago. On the bill includes Tortoise, Trans Am, the Fucking Champs, Don Caballero, Califone, Promise Ring, The Sea and Cake, Isotope 217, Macha, Dylan Group, Chicago Underground and Brokeback. The shows will run Wed, Sep. 27th - Sun, Oct. 1st and will all be happening at The Metro.

Thanks to the excellent efforts of Philip Weinmeister, a new web site has been erected where the Phat Luke Nightmare site used to stand. Check out the new pretty design of the "Wagon Christ Assembly" at, but don't worry, there's still information there about projects under the name of Plug and Luke Vibert.


This past week, twenty-eight U.S. states filed suit against the five major labels and three of the biggest retailers, demanding "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages. The lawsuit alleges that the labels and stores were in direct violation of antitrust laws, illegally fixing prices to the amount of 'several dollars profit' for each disc, keeping the prices artificially high and penalizing retailers who did not participate in the scam. This policy from the record labels was known as MAP - minimum advertised pricing policy - where labels subsidized advertising for retailers that agreed not to sell CDs below a minimum price determined by the labels. In May, the five majors agreed to ban this policy for seven years yet didn't admit any wrongdoing nor did they pay any damages. "Because of these conspiracies, tens of millions of consumers paid inflated prices to buy CD's..." says New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. For those interested in continuing with brainwashed on the temporary boycott, all five major labels are the following:

  1. Time Warner (Warner Bros., Sire, Maverick, Atlantic, Elektra)
  2. Universal (Mercury, DefJam, Interscope)
  3. Sony Music (Columbia, Epic, Work)
  4. BMG (Jive, Arista, RCA)
  5. EMI (Capitol, Virgin)
The retailers who have been fingered as part of the scam include Tower Records, Musicland (and Sam Goody) and Trans World.


Mark Spybey's most interesting work is often the result of collaborative efforts. Most of this album is produced and engineered by either Frank "Frankie Pett" Verschuuren (Legendary Pink Dots / Teargarden) or Daryl Neudorf (Abintra) with Frankie being the executive producer, thus some of the meaning behind the goofy title (the rest is somewhat explained by the humorous work of fiction in the insert). Contributing musically are several live players including Neudorf and Niels Van Hoorn, also of the Pink Dots. Half of the 10 tracks (the first is merely a 7 second spoken introduction by Niels' young son Bert) are solo Spybey and the other half collaborations. Spybey's solo tracks are mostly typical soundscape pieces comprised of synth textures and drones, sampled sounds and bits of bass. The exception is "The Brother Casio" which features a tediously repetitive, overdriven beat that's most likely a pre-set on a cheap Casio synth. This track aside, Spybey's solo work is pleasantly relaxing but there's nothing much more to say than that. It's the other half of the album where things get really interesting as Spybey's atmospheres and programming mesh with the organic sounds of the additional players through jamming and sampling. "Zeehond" playfully splashes keyboard sounds and bass throbs around a cut up drum rhythm by Bradley Dunn-Klerxs. "Dogger", with Neudorf, is also ambient-ish with bell tones and processed metallic sounds clipping along. "Bored of Canada" is a live track, though you'd never know it, recorded in Germany this past February. Here DVOA includes Neudorf on drums and Darren Philips on keys for a mellow jam similar in sound to Boards of Canada, which the title is obviously poking fun at. Once "Wet Fire Cotton" blasts off, it's dangerously close to the soundtrack realms of Barry Adamson with its car chase paced rhythm, Neudorf's guitar and bass lines and Van Hoorn's intermittent sax riffs. "Ice Cream for Girl" is the most ambient journey with soft spoken words, a howling wind, synth twinkles and some fluttering flute by Van Hoorn. Notice I've yet to mention the word 'vocals'? That's because there essentially aren't any, anywhere, which is disappointing. The album as a whole is too heavy on the soundscape side. I really yearn for more collaborations and vocalized songs such as those on the previous album "Piss Frond". "Frankie Pett" is good but it fails to take full advantage of its creative potential and simply isn't as inventive and interesting as Piss Frond. - Mark Weddle


Seek and ye shall find: Panacea's alter-ego, m2 is not the easiest thing to find (since it could be filed under S, P or M) but it is a treat when you can indeed come home with it. The first CD recorded as this alias ended up being released as a Panacea record by Caipirinha in the USA. The second CD recorded as such was the first released, out by Ant-Zen in a highly limited quantity. This one's out from Mille-Plateaux in Germany and like the other two, explores Panacea's fascination with a minimal amount of sources, playing with sound structures and pulses - completely turnaround from the in-your-face abrasive mentality of the conventional Panacea releases. It's remarkably un-minimalistic as the pulses and rhythms stem from a more beat centric perspective, it's enjoyable as deeper listenings uncover stuff generally not floating around the top. - Jon Whitney


CTI, "EAR 1"
This disc is billed as the first in a series of Chris and Cosey pieces from the vaults 'reworked' into modern sounding pieces. If I was more fond (and familiar) with older Chris and Cosey material, I would be able to provide a more insightful review perhaps of which songs had what done to them. Only as a reference point, however, as I'm enjoying this CD along with the other material to come from both Chris and Cosey over the last few years far more that I have ever enjoyed their music in the 80s and into the early 1990s. Not entirely unlike the oother dub projects Chris Carter has been exploring, this CD has deep rhythms and grooves, dark energy and a full and rich sound. Musically, it's not as challenging perhaps as earlier works, but the feel is certainly there. My ears are aching now for more vibrations of further releases in this series. - Jon Whitney


Thread is James Izzo and "Abnormal Love" is his new album, one year in the making, tentatively due out this August. Izzo has obviously put much effort into making this album dynamic and diverse with a strong sense of continuity. Each song flows into the next, several with the aid of brief segue tracks, to make one cohesive whole out of all the pieces. We shift naturally through passages of sample collage, electro/ebm, orchestra, dub, piano arrangement and ambient soundscape. Three songs have vocals. Izzo's don't quite seem to fit by themselves, as on part 2 of "The Horror of the Undeserved Gift", but they are functional alongside those of former SWANS member Jarboe. "The Malformed Heart" gets things pumping with a steady electro heartbeat rhythm. "In Sweet Sorrow (Duet Version)" differs from last year's single version in that it's shorter and adds Izzo's low pitched masculine voice as counterpoint to Jarboe's light feminine vocals. "Blue Darkness (Orchestral)" blurs unintelligible voices amongst foreboding orchestral synth melodies. "God's Morse Code" is a groove-y 9 and 1/2 minute live jam of underwater alien dub featuring the help of two extra players. "Contours" is a bizarre and somewhat difficult mix of percussion and duet vocals, Jarboe especially taking on a devilish persona. "Saudade" (Portuguese for 'homesickness') is a beautifully sparse solo piano piece. "Skyscrapers and Sand" and "New Horizons" bring the album to an optimistic close with over 8 minutes of mellow ambiance. "Abnormal Love" is not just a haphazard collection of random tracks, but instead a carefully thought out and arranged album. It is Thread's most accomplished and impressive work to date ... - Mark Weddle


[Editor's note: this CD isn't available yet through major stores, Izzo is shopping for a label because he doesn't have the time and effort to press and distribute and promote everything on his own again.]

Over a year ago, Kitty-Yo released this CD in Germany. This week, Matador introduces the Couch long-player unchanged to the USA. While this CD added to my enjoyment of both the Kitty Yo roster and modern German music, there are many bands pulling off similar modern instrumental rock music pulling both melodic guitars and dub into their sound. I do honestly appreciate this disc, but by now, a year later I think I've heard all these sounds before (with the Notwist, Tied + Tickled Trio and Kammerflimmer Kollektiv). HEY MATADOR: HAVE YOU HEARD FRIDGE YET????! The Kraut is getting sour. - Jon Whitney


Also out this week, Fat-Cat's reissue of Sigur Ros' "Agaetis Byrjun," now available at a reasonable price. One of my favorite CDs of the year, check out the review and samples at the April 23rd issue.

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.


A Guy Called Gerald - Essence CD/3xLP (Studio K7, Germany)
Attica Blues - What Do You Want 12"/CDEP (Higher Ground/Sony, UK)
Blackalicious - Deception 12"/CDEP (Mo Wax, UK)
Patric Catani - Hitler 2000 CD (DHR, UK)
Sigur Rós - Agćtis Byrjun CD/LP (Fat Cat, UK)

* Couch - Fantasy CD (Kitty Yo/Matador, US)
Sunna - One Minute Science CD (Melankolic/Astralwerks, US)

d.b.s./R4 - split 7" [ltd to 250 copies on clear vinyl] (Fusion Audio, US)

Various - Music Vol. 1 LP [with Novel 23, Bauri, Phase 6 and more] (Benbecula, Scotland)

Immense/El Hombre Trajeado - split 7" (Jonothan Whiskey, UK)

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.


Trans Am headlined Saturday for the Team Clermont (their radio promo company) weekend festivities at the 40watt in Athens. Fortunately, there was no crappy opening band to sit through. Unfortunately, there was a private party for the same event going on from 8:30 til 11:30, during which Trans Am supposedly pulled off a good number of ROCK cover songs by Zeppelin, etc. that I missed. This crowd was still present in their 80's prom regalia when the doors opened to the public, dancing to a forcefully cheesy mix of music that made me think I had wandered onto the set of "Valley Girl."

The band hit the stage at midnight, starting off with a double synth/drums configuration and some songs off the new album, as well as from "Futureword." Changing their instruments a few times throughout the hour-long set, they didn't play much old material. But I was glad to hear songs off the new album, which I think might be their best yet. They were tight and polished, and some of the weird signature changes they pulled off were impressive. I was surprised to see that most of what they played used vocals, and not all fed through a vocoder. Most of the time people don't expect bands to deliver what's on the record live, but Trans Am did a great job without any sloppiness. Since I hadn't seen them before I thought they might be a little clinical in performance manner a la Kraftwerk, but it was pretty intense and fully in the ROCK column. They came back out for one encore-a cover of (don't know the song title) with a guest guitarist that was pretty pleasing. Then that was it-The sound was great, the crowd was appreciative, and the 40 watt is not a bad place to see a show-there's also a cool little record store in the corner of it that you should check out if you're there.

One further note- earlier that day I ran into a friend from the band Olivia Tremor Control- he told me that they had recently broken up, but that he and some of the other guys in the band were set to record some stuff soon under a different name. It should be pretty cool, considering that the 2 guys I know in the band are heavy into experimental stuff. - Jesse Nieminen


"I held a Pasolini film fest and nobody showed up!" Waters takes out the Hollywood trash in Cecil, letting his bitterness towards the Californian movie machine shine bright. Our main character, Cecil is a filmmaker and a rebel who has organized efforts to kidnap Holly Witherspoon, played by the ever-obnoxious Melanie Griffith. I must admit I do like her in the cheap dumb bitch roles than in anything where she's trying to be taken seriously. It's nice to know there's certain things you can always count on. In a John Waters film it's Baltimore, white trash and soft core sexuality. On the whole, it doesn't get very far and is only mildly entertaining next to even Pecker. - Jon Whitney


For nostalgic old fucks like me who continue to think Joy Division and Throbbing Gristle are relevant, the work of David Wojnarowicz seems no less compelling for his having died eight years ago. Wojnarowicz began to make his name in the eighties art world but for all his energy (he seemed to have worked in almost every art form), he never reached the star status of a Haring or Basquiat. And perhaps that's given his art an afterlife and continued vitality which overexposure drained from the work of many artists from that decade. This isn't to say he hasn't received widespread attention--it's possible to find his painting, music, performances, and writings gathered on a CDROM (Optic Nerve), and in 1995 DC even released a comic book from a scenario he'd written. Yet it's rare for anyone to invite strangers in to examine their lives, much less the details of a life as roving, strange, and tragic as David Wojnarowicz.

These diaries span the twenty years from Wojnarowicz's late adolescence to his grinding descent into death at the teeth of AIDS-related illnesses. He is from the start an engaging guy living through extreme circumstances. The first set of entries rise from an Outward Bound experience which set him alone on a New England island with nothing but what he could scavenge to eat. He is far more miserable there than he ever was hustling in Times Square, and returns with a renewed gratitude for all the pleasures of grimy city life. He is very keen on those pleasures, detailing with great care the warehouse cruising scene, the dislocated anomie of late night wandering, and his first experience shooting heroin. But he also loved travelling, and felt that he carried the great western openness inside him after hitching across the US. Kerouac and Burroughs played a large part in developing his poetic vision; in the diaries we can see Wojnarowicz move from somewhat labored imitation to the development of a beat style all his own.

He had a deep need to express what you could call the ineffable, what can't be expressed, sometimes using the graphic qualities of his art as a hieroglyphic text, and other times working his diary entries into a poetic fever. The visual and the written often seem part of the same flow, an attempt to burrow into fleeting desires and impressions to find in them some almost mystical quality, the secret which made them so striking. "Walked among the tomb-silent buildings, marble structures pushing up from the ground with glass squares nodding sections of airless winter sky, rusty cans and newspaper drifted across dirt lots and the surfaces of walkways, a feeling of nausea at the soundlessness of things, at hands surging from the ends of my coat sleeves." It's not the echoes of Burroughs, but the hands surging from his coat sleeves which catch you.

The end is harrowing, and David Wojnarowicz chronicles his hatred of his sickness as well as his loathing of the healthy with grim honesty. The very length of time he has to spend knowing he's infected and can do little about it (his body couldn't tolerate AZT), is a torment which makes suicide or death by accident seem appealing. He describes the excruciating process of having his bone marrow sampled ("I think I got kicked by a tiny mule in my sleep"), and resigns himself to a month of blood testing every other day as he undergoes trials for experimental drugs. It's not an uplifting portrait; there is no triumph in the face of his own mortality, his illnesses are too prolonged and exhausting for him to deceive himself with false consolation. Instead, he grows steadily more inward and isolated, hoping he can find some relief in death. At this point, you can only wish he did. - Paul McRandle


Well, Baltimore can't be all that bad. Why they recently listed at the top of their websites to go look at in their music section of the Weekly City Paper. The issue ran on July 12th and has been archived online at Cheers to brainwashed pal Jeremy for the find cos while they gave us the kudos, they didn't let us know about it!


You know one or the other's gonna win, so why lose out? Be a typical billionaire and fund the campaign dollars for each of them. They already have won. Well, it's certainly a perfect comment on how disappointing the state of politics has become in the USA.

Subject: Nurse With Wound query

Enjoyed your pages very much. I've got a quick query for you. I'd be very grateful if you could shed any light on this.

I'm writing a piece for the Sunday Times about how the internet is affecting the music business, and Nurse With Wound were mentioned to me as an example of a group that's succeeding in a new, "cyber" kind of way, bypassing record companies and selling their stuff straight over the web.

Is this true? Do you know how many records/CDs they've sold? How do people hear aout them? How did you hear about them? Any idea what their profit margins are?

If you hav a chance, I'd really appreciate anything you can tell me.

Really weird that you mention that. Nurse With Wound are most certainly not an internet sensation! The man who ***IS*** Nurse with Wound (Steven Stapleton) doesn't even have internet access on his farm in Ireland!

I'm really curious to know where you got this tidbit.

Nurse With Wound have a record company, an international distributor World Serpent - - they're located in the UK and have been in business nearly 10 years. Nurse With Wound have been recording and selling albums for over 20 years now. If you go to an auction website and do a search, you'll find loads of stuff from years past selling for high prices - this is due to the small number of retailers who sell experimental music. The band didn't press many copies of vinyl LPs in the early 80s.

Nowadays, many retail stores all over the world carry World Serpent distributed stuff.

But, a better response could have consisted like this:

Yes, Steven Stapleton is the man in charge of the NWW WEB HQ in Ireland. From a secret location he interacts directly with the underground users of the web, exchanging in monetary units known only by a handful of people, passing along digitally super-encrypted music in seconds to those who pay the price. Cyber-activity indeed.


Coil - bee stings / amethyst deceivers / time machines
Current 93 - soft black stars / i have a special plan for this world
NON - receive the flame
Nurse with Wound - an awkward pause
Sigur Rós - agćtis byrjun
- Luke Schleicher

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