Strange Podcast Behaviour

A friend has just contacted me about your Podcasts that are kept on
Neither of us can get any of the old Brainwashed Podcasts only the current one.
We have both tried to grab the ones listed here :
with no luck. The RSS feed only lists two Podcasts, Kranky and the most recent
Do you know if there a problem with their site? Do we both need ipodder
software to get them? iTunes only gets the most recent one

We only host one Podcast at a time usually for a number of reasons: server space and traffic being probably the biggest.  If you miss one, then subscribe and you won't miss another.

7161 Hits

About Music Permissions

Hi there,  I'm an avid listener of the Brainwashed podcast.  I am currently
recording my own podcast here in LA. As a longtime brainwashed reader
and fan of the brainwashed artist roster, I would like to ask about the
feasibility of using select music in my own podcast. What might I have to
do to get this accomplished ?

There has been big news recently about the RIAA coming down on Adam Curry for
using music that isn't 'podsafe' and this has forced many podcasters like
myself to research different options. I come to you guys first because I want
to expose listeners to artists that I personally love. We aren't a radio show
so I won't be playing songs in their entirety; rather I would like to showcase
song segments or as something in the background. I would give on air credit at
all times, and follow that up with links on our webpage showing listners where
they might purchase material from the aritst.

Anyway, tell me what the rules are on this game. I'm new to all of this so
excuse my ignorance on the issue. As I said, I come first and foremost as a fan
that wishes to share his favorite music and hopefully generate sales for the
artist. Thank you for your time.

The Brainwashed Podcast only features music from the artists and labels whose websites are hosted on  I can't speak for other music we don't have permission to play nor other Podcasts in this world. You should either contact bands and labels directly who you want to use or just Podcast at your own risk.
7184 Hits

Mick Gaffney

I would very much like to get in touch with Mick Gaffney.  Please ask him to
email me if possible. Thanks!

Sorry, don't have the info.
7848 Hits

cut-up of Rimbaud texts

I'm offended by those who consider art to be just (or even mostly) content.
What I always knew about Rimbaud and which I grow to appreciate more and more
as I research him for my "opera" [working title: 'Les deserts de
l'amour'], is that his genius as a poet is primarily in his FORM. This cut-up
crap destroys the very essence of his poetry. Anyone can think up a sequence of
provocative images on their own, without having to pillage them from complete,
form/content-integrated works of art written by others.

Sure, whatever.
7014 Hits

Brainwashed linked track

i heard a track on webjay which was linked to brainwashed - it was so amazing,
but i cannot locate the track's maker. It was a remix of INXS "never tear us
apart" with the lyrics spoken over so effectively and ghost like. I must find a
link to it - any ideas??

No idea at this point.
7407 Hits


i just wanted to say that i'm interested by a lot of artists on your site(monte
cazzaza,diamanda galas..)
but your site is very confused.
1st when we write the name of the artists in search we go on news not on their
main page and sometime we go nowhere.2nd it's not clear to understand WHAT you
do? a platform? a rewiev site...
and there is too much informations all mixed.
except that i like your site.

We host music websites and reviews and a whole lot of other things.

7178 Hits


hi.... robert king stierle here.

i humbly submit my latest original palindrome to your most esteemed collection.

"In words, alas, drown I."

can be shortened to "In words, drown I."
or lengthened to "In word salad, alas, drown I."
but i prefer the first one.

thanx for publishing my other original palindromes.
Dogma in my hymn: I am God!
No, Sir. Panic is a basic in a prison.

i would be cool if you could include a link to my homepage somewhere on your

6956 Hits

Sharing is Caring and Caring is Sharing

Our kindergarten teachers always told us how we should be sharing, but the RIAA would have you believe otherwise.  Looking at any recent major label release, the packaging is pretty much destroyed now with big blocks of text, an FBI symbol and a warning.  Unfortunately, monster megalith Sony BMG isn't out to warn the consumer or provide any information that they're illegally loading "malware" (malicious software) onto unsuspecting machines. 
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16217 Hits

Jonathan Dean's "Domino"

Mr. Dean, you are a very talented writer.  Your piece about "Domino" was
thoroughly engrossing.  I, too, am a good writer, but I could never, ever,
write such a piece, or any piece for that matter, with such content, diction
and flair.  You are to be commended for such a talent.  This comes from a
gun-toting conservative who would likely disagree with most (if not all) of
your political views, but would nonetheless read such views were they written
with such amazing prose.  

Thank you.  I feel enlightened.

Thanks for reading.
7393 Hits

jarman soundtrack

in summer 2003 i was visiting the tate modern in london and had the chance to
see a film by derek jarman called "studio bankside" that was being displayed
there. the film had a soundtrack by coil that the tate had commissioned.  would
you hapen to know whether that music is available? is it on any of your discs?
any information you might have would be greatly appreciated! thanks so much for
your help.

Sorry, no idea, but now that this feedback is online and if anybody has an answer, we'll post it here.
7768 Hits

Conspiracy as Usual

A recent piece from The Nation offers some compelling questions that the so-called "Katrina Commission" should aim to answer. Unfortunately, the unsurprisingly Republican-helmed congressional investigation will almost certainly leave many of the concerns expressed unanswered as politics-as-usual trumps justice.
Continue reading
14048 Hits

CocoRacist: You're So Worldly, How's Mom's Audi?

After being alerted by a Brainwashed reader to this fascinating article from the Washington Post about ultra-trendy "Kill Whitey" parties in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (where else?), I was not only perturbed by what I learned about the racist underside of indie trendoids, but I also discovered a little tidbit that might potentially be very embarassing to indie freak-folk darlings CocoRosie.
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159463 Hits

Fun Fact #86 about Post-9/11 America

FUN FACT #86: Did you know? ... If your name is on the "No Fly" list, you're fucked!
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23108 Hits

Major labels try to fuck more people over!

We all know by now how the major labels fuck all their artists over and fuck all their customers over but now they're trying to fuck over their promotional outlets!
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29207 Hits


Dear Sir or Madame

We are looking for a new interested music stuff for our distro.

Where i can buying yours records?? Directly from your or from
your eastern european distributions section?
just let me know!

The entire brainwashed catalogue is available at - contact us personally with specific items you're interested in and quantites and we can work something out.  Due to the limited stock and nature of our releases, overseas distributors and stores must pay up front.  There are no exceptions.  Thanks for your interest.

7281 Hits

Discovering The Golden Palace

Did you know that there was a Golden Girls spin-off in the early nineties called The Golden Palace? Broadcast on CBS, it starred three of the original elderly gals (Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty), with vital supporting roles filled by Cheech Marin and Don Cheadle, the latter best known for his Academy Award nominated role in Hotel Rwanda.
Continue reading
13687 Hits

Jon and Jonathan's Rules of Compilations

Nekesa Mumbi Moody has just published an article on how "Best Of" albums are not so great these days.  But have they -ever- been?  She identifies who's doing it all wrong but bands and labels are often confronted with the task of "how to do it right." Here's a helpful guideline to anybody faced with making a compilation.
Continue reading
14945 Hits

Payola: Another Way Major Labels Fuck Everything Up

This past week, Sony BMG agreed to pay $10 million in fines over their illegal Payola practice.  Payola is as old as the recording industry itself and is basically another way big business labels fuck everything up for the rest of us.
Continue reading
14418 Hits

From the Perverse to the Pathetic

Terror attacks in Western nations are about to become as common as those in Israel. "Could it happen here?" was nearly all you heard on television in the days following the July 7 bombings in London. Not only could it happen here, but it will.
Continue reading
12808 Hits

2004 Readers Poll - The Results

So we tried a new way of doing things for the 7th year in a row! Actually, we think this is probably closest to accurate so far. Every entry got scored according to how readers voted. The score went up higher the more positive the reaction was and went down the more negative. Winners in the Band of the Year, Label of the Year, and Best New Artist categories were awarded due to cumulative scores and not voted for directly. Additionally, the Lifetime Achievement recognition was chosen exclusively by the Brain Staff.

Unfortunately, as is with all readers polls, everything eventually turns into a popularity contest. Rather than scrap it all in frustration, we keep the polls going from year to year. It presents a snapshot to look back and reflect upon to see what people were listening to and paying attention to at this time. It is by no means a measure of talent or greatness, nor is it even an accurate account of taste or opinion, as people will have a tendency to vote favorably/against an artist they like/dislike regardless if they've heard the record or not. Comments are included from the staff in each category. Thanks to everybody who honestly participated.

album of the year

  1. Fennesz, "Venice"
  2. Devendra Banhart, "Rejoicing in the Hands"
  3. Sonic Youth, "Sonic Nurse"
  4. Coil, "Black Antlers"
  5. Animal Collective, "Sung Tongs"
  6. Devendra Banhart, "Nino Rojo"
  7. Einst?zende Neubauten, "Perpetuum Mobile"
  8. Tom Waits, "Real Gone"
  9. Pan Sonic, "Kesto"
  10. Bj?k, "Medulla"
  11. Pan•American, "Quiet City"
  12. The Dead Texan, "The Dead Texan"
  13. Coil, "ANS"
  14. Joanna Newsom, "The Milk-Eyed Mender"
  15. Nurse With Wound, "Angry Eelectric Finger (Spitch'cock One)"
  16. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus"
  17. Brian Wilson, "Smile"
  18. MíQ, "Summer Make Good"
  19. Wolf Eyes, "Burned Mind"
  20. The Legendary Pink Dots, "The Whispering Wall"
  21. Black Dice, "Creature Comforts"
  22. Nurse With Wound, "Shipwreck Radio Volume One: Seven Sonic Structures from Utvaer"
  23. The Arcade Fire, "Funeral"
  24. Stereolab, "Margerine Eclipse"
  25. Ghost, "Hypnotic Underworld"
  26. Comets On Fire, "Blue Cathedral"
  27. Michael Gira, "I Am Singing to You from My Room"
  28. Xiu Xiu, "Fabulous Muscles"
  29. The Legendary Pink Dots, "Poppy Variations"
  30. Sunn O))), "White2"
  31. Sufjan Stevens, "Seven Swans"
  32. Squarepusher, "Ultravisitor"
  33. Deerhoof, "Milk Man"
  34. Le Fly Pan Am, "N'ecoutez Pas"
  35. Clouddead, "Ten"
  36. Skinny Puppy, "The Greater Wrong of the Right"
  37. Iron & Wine, "Our Endless Numbered Days"
  38. Tim Hecker, "Mirages"
  39. Liars, "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned"
  40. !!!, "Louden Up Now"
  41. Madvillain, "Madvillainy"
  42. Acid Mothers Temple, "Mantra of Love"
  43. Mouse On Mars, "Radical Connector"
  44. The Soft Pink Truth, "Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?"
  45. Tortoise, "It's All Around You"
  46. Loscil, "First Narrows"
  47. Boredoms, "Seadrum/House of Sun"
  48. Faust Vs. Dälek, "Derbe Respect, Alder"
  49. Mono, "Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined"
  50. TV on the Radio, "Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes"

Pan Sonic's Kesto is an ambitious piece of work that deconstructs everything about Pan Sonic into four distinct discs so that you don't have to! - Matthew Jeanes

Absolutely amazing rock albums like Ghost's Hypnotic Underworld and Comets on Fire's Blue Cathedral languish at number 25 and 26 while I can't shake the feeling that it's become a bit of knee-jerk reaction to list albums by veterans like Sonic Youth, Neubauten, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bjork in these year-end lists, whether or not people really think their recent albums were really up to par. - Jonathan Dean

ANS cost like $80. People didn't buy it. Hell, I'd venture to say that people who bought it didn't even listen to it! - Gary Suarez

Everybody thinks Sufjan Stevens' next album is going to be another state, but I wouldn't be surprised if Six Geese were to follow Seven Swans. - Jon Whitney

It's strange that the Boredoms masterpiece Seadrum/House of Sun is at #47, while Sonic Youth is at #3. I see Boredoms as a forward-thinking, constantly evolving, futuristic unit. I am baffled year after year as Sonic Youth consistently places in the top five (or better) of certain adventurous magazines year end lists. Without denying them credit for their past achievements, and while recognizing that their current work does have merit, it hardly seems to me that, with all of the exciting music being created, Sonic Youth post-1990 is making the best albums of the year, every year. - Jim Siegel

I knew it; names have a strange way of carrying so-so music to undeserved streams of acclaim. The Fennesz record is a prime example of this. !!!, Devendra Banhart, and Pan American all released amazing records this year, but I suppose the names aren't quite large enough at this time to appeal to people still aching for something "different" and "experimental." - Lucas Schleicher

Madvilliany is one of the best hip hop releases in recent history. MF Doom and Madlib had never collaborated before, and I don't even know if they had met prior to writing and recording the album. That's f'n amazing. MF Doom's bizarre lyrical couplets and slick obscure references almost steal the show had it not been for the (here it is) finest instrumentals ever done courtesy of Madlib. Hip hop finally becomes high art? Yes, I would contend I felt (as my art teacher used to say) "the evocation of the sublime." Record of the year. Danger Mouse deserves at least a nod or maybe a high five for the Grey Album. I can't stand Jay-Z, so to not only find his played raps tolerable but enjoyable speaks volumes for the music Danger Mouse was able to come up with. And he did it with the unlikeliest of source materials - a frickin BEATLES album??! He basically set himself up for utter failure and came through like the Red Sox. Hands down the coolest contraband of the year too (next to Canadian Viagra, of course). - Chris Roberts

single/ep of the year

  1. Animal Collective, "Who Could Win a Rabbit?"
  2. Devendra Banhart, "Little Yellow Spider"
  3. Four Tet, "My Angel Rocks Back and Forth"
  4. Wolf Eyes, "Stabbed In the Face"
  5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "There She Goes My Beautiful World / Breathless"
  6. Antony and the Johnsons, "The Lake"
  7. Black Dice, "Miles of Smiles"
  8. Joanna Newsom, "Sprout and the Bean"
  9. Clouddead, "Dead Dogs Two"
  10. Thee Silver Mountain Reveries, "Pretty Little Lightning Paw"
  11. Keith Fullerton Whitman, "Antithesis"
  12. Bj?k, "Who Is It?"
  13. Throbbing Gristle, "TG Now"
  14. Squarepusher, "Square Window"
  15. MíQ, "Nightly Cares"
  16. Squarepusher, "Venus No. 17"
  17. Sigur Ros, "Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do"
  18. Thighpaulsandra, "Rape Scene"
  19. !!!, "Pardon My Freedom"
  20. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Nature Boy"
  21. Interpol, "Slow Hands"
  22. Mouse On Mars, "Wipe That Sound"
  23. Liars, "There's Always Room on the Broom"
  24. LCD Soundsystem, "Yeah"
  25. Nurse With Wound, "Having Fun With the Prince of Darkness"

What a relief it was to see TG Now make it into the Top 25 in this category! Throbbing Gristle's reunion was truly impressive, as was their restraint with disseminating this new material. Though some people might have groaned over the exclusivity of this EP, these intimate recordings demanded an audience that would not simply listen passively. These dissonant four songs, much like their early work, were not meant for mass consumption by trend whores (*cough* Coil fans *cough*) and one-upping music geeks. Anyone who has spent some time with this release has been exposed to a rare experience, with four legends returning to the studio and coming together after spending years apart making very different music. TG Now is a return to form as well as a dramatic update, essentially raising the proverbial bar to a point where many musicians would do best to avoid this release rather than attempt to top it. - Gary Suarez

It's hard to believe everybody who voted for this winner actually own a 7" only release. It's also hard to believe it beat out the mindblowing TG Now, 27's jaw-dropping Let the Light In, and a Four Tet single that comes with his entire collection of music videos on an accompanying DVD! Additionally, none of Battles's three fantastic EPs cracked the top 25 but mind you, they will surely be on everybodys lists this time next year once you-know-who has released their album and made them even more buzzworthy. Then you'll be recalling me saying this just like I said about Sigur Ros, Dresden Dolls, and !!!, but did you listen then? No. - Jon Whitney

Can Dirty Water get an honorable mention? - Chris Roberts

best various artist compilation

  1. "Kompilation" (Kranky)"
  2. "Kompakt 100" (Kompakt)"
  3. "Golden Apples of the Sun" (Bastet)"
  4. "Broken-Hearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica From Southeast Asia" (Sublime Frequencies)"
  5. "Cambodian Cassette Archives Khmer Folk and Pop Music, Vol. 1" (Sublime Frequencies)"
  6. "Radio India: The Eternal Dream of Sound" (Sublime Frequencies)"
  7. "Split Series 9-16" (Fat Cat)"
  8. "Compilation 2" (DFA)"
  9. "Thank You" (Temporary Residence)"
  10. "Left of the Dial: Dispatches From the '80s Underground" (Rhino)"
  11. "Matador At Fifteen" (Matador)"
  12. "Haunted Weather" (Staubgold)"
  13. "Old Enough To Know Better: 15 Years of Merge" (Merge)"
  14. "Song of the Silent Land" (Constellation)"
  15. "Shockout Vol. 1" (Shockout)"
  16. "Moog Movie Soundtrack" (Hollywood)"
  17. "Death's Last Life's Breath" (Beta-Lactam Ring)"
  18. "Shotgun Wedding Vol 3: Kid606 Vs. Cex" (Violent Turd)"
  19. "Children of Mu" (Planet µ)"
  20. "Manhunt Soundtrack" (Rephlex)"
  21. "Speicher Cd 2" (Kompakt Extra)"
  22. "Amunition" (Planet µ)"
  23. "Neurot Recordings I" (Neurot)"
  24. "Rock Action Presents Vol. 1" (Rock Action)"
  25. "Zen Rmx" (Ninja Tune)"

Kranky set a standard this year that all other record labels are going to have to try and measure up to. The compilation itself was gorgeous, cheap, and full of some of the best music to grace any recorded format. I won't argue against Mute or any other label on the lists, but this year belonged to Kranky in my mind. - Luke Schleicher

Maybe not the most impressive musically, but as for unexpected and historically important you couldn't go wrong with Stones Throw's The Third Unheard. Who knew that an urban musical genre that dominates popular music today had roots in suburban 1979 Connecticut? I didn't. - Chris Roberts

It's nice to see a kompilation of current music beating out some (stellar) compilations of archive material and newly re-discovered oddities. It brings hope for the new year that a label such as Kranky is still releasing challenging contemporary music. The Charalambides reissue program, the addition of Greg Davis to the roster, consistently rewarding releases by Keith Fullerton Whitman and the wonderfully difficult music of Brent Gutzeit all show that Kranky has moved bravely forward into the new millenium. It gives me a renewed sense of faith in listeners to see that these developments have been recognized and rewarded. - Jim Siegel

Kwite a koincidence that the number one and two spots on the kompilation kountdown were both taken by kute misspellings of kommon words. Daft kunts. - Jonathan Dean

reissue/vault/collection album of the year

  1. Can, "Tago Mago"
  2. Can, "Ege Bamyasi"
  3. Nurse With Wound, "Soliloquoy for Lilith"
  4. Brian Eno, "Ambient 1: Music for Airports"
  5. Brian Eno, "Here Come the Warm Jets"
  6. Current 93, "Thunder Perfect Mind"
  7. Einst?zende Neubauten, "Tabula Rasa"
  8. Can, "Monster Movie"
  9. Brian Eno, "Ambient 4: On Land"
  10. Brian Eno, "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)"
  11. Brian Eno, "Discreet Music"
  12. William Basinski, "Disintegration Loops 1-4"
  13. Nurse With Wound, "She and Me Fall Together In Free Death"
  14. Pavement, "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain - La's Desert Origins"
  15. The Legendary Pink Dots, "9 Lives to Wonder"
  16. Low, "A Lifetime of Temporary Relief"
  17. Antony and the Johnsons, "Antony and the Johnsons"
  18. Can, "Soundtracks"
  19. Einst?zende Neubauten, "Kalte Sterne: Early Recordings"
  20. Slowdive, "Catch the Breeze"
  21. Current 93, "Sixsixsix: Sicksicksick"
  22. The Clash, "London Calling 25th Anniversary"
  23. Glenn Branca, "The Ascension"
  24. Six Organs of Admittance, "The Manifestation"
  25. Brian Eno, "Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror"

Tago Mago is a fantastic record. Perhaps in my top 20 favorite records of all time, but once again, I wonder if this many people have actually heard the reissue and can honestly compare the SA CD to the original version. Big time efforts like the Virgin Prunes reissue campaign didn't even crack the top 25 and Low put out an astounding 3xCD/1xDVD (double sided even) set and that doesn't crack the top 15. The Deathprod box and the Squirrel Bait box are criminally underrepresented. Maybe it's time to re-expand this category for boxed/multiple sets. - Jon Whitney

When are we going to get a remastered Tonight's the Night? Instead Neil Young gives us a half-baked, unnecessary Greatest Hits release? Please. The world is in dire need of a Tonight's the Night Sessions boxed set. A mere repackaged CD wouldn't do the album justice. Next summer, maybe? Maybe I'm getting swept up in all the media hype, but Nirvana's With the Lights Out has all the trappings of an essential compilation, if a wee bit sprawling. Especially for those who couldn't find/afford all the Outcesticide releases... even if it did help fund the constant trainwreck that is CL. - Chris Roberts

I'm happy to see that Slowdive still has a place in people's hearts. Unlike so much other "shoegazer" music from the early 1990s, Slowdive's three albums still sound wonderful to me today. Their final LP, Pygmalion, is a massively underappreciated avant-whatever classic. It presents the work of a group obviously unconcerned with remaining true to genre rules. It's too bad they didn't explore this direction further. Hopefully the interest that this compilation stirs up will encourage someone to reissue the long out-of-print Pygmalion. - Jim Siegel

It would have been nice to posthumously honor Arthur Russell—a guy who spent most of his short life toiling away in obscurity, quietly influencing a generation of artists. I find it disheartening he wasn't able to crack the top 25, in a year that three superlative reissues of his uniquely ingenious music were released. - Jonathan Dean

label of the year

  1. Mute
  2. Kranky
  3. Young God
  4. Fat Cat
  5. Sub Pop
  6. Touch
  7. Warp
  8. Drag City
  9. Touch and Go
  10. DFA
  11. Important
  12. Threshold House
  13. Matador
  14. Alien8
  15. Nonesuch
  16. Thrill Jockey
  17. Constellation
  18. Domino
  19. One Little Indian
  20. Anti
  21. Beta-Lactam Ring
  22. Durtro/Jnana
  23. Ipecac
  24. Sonig
  25. Merge

It was a very ambitious year for Mute with tons of amazing reissues and some good new albums too. Now where's that Nitzer Ebb collection you've been promising? - Jon Whitney

For the most part, Mute had an impressive year, especially on the reissue front with double disc sets from Richard Kirk / Sandoz and Suicide. With the label's continued commitment to quality acts like Diamanda Galas, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Pan Sonic, we can forgive its misguided attempts with the far-less talented Client, Miss Kittin, and M83. - Gary Suarez

Call me a one trick pony, but you can't deny Stones Throw's contributions this year. Best hip hop release in recent memory (Madvillian), Gary Wilson's first new record since the 1970s, a vitally important compilation (the Connecticut hip hop V/A) on top of their other releases AND the funk/soul rereleases on Now Again, the label's rereleasing machine aka subsidiary. Not to mention the DVD that they put out in the Fall. It made me say "holla." - Chris Roberts

Excuse me, Touch and Warp in the top 10 of the year? Touch records has become the ultimate namecheck label for boring beard strokers, and I seriously doubt anyone actually listens to 99% of their output before shelving it next to the other releases on their CD rack. And I shouldn't have to say anything about the embarassing Warp roster. This was truly their worst year in a run of bad years for the label. - Jonathan Dean

artist of the year

  1. Devendra Banhart
  2. Coil
  3. Nurse With Wound
  4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  5. Animal Collective
  6. MíQ
  7. Squarepusher
  8. Wolf Eyes
  9. !!!
  10. Bj?k
  11. Acid Mothers Temple
  12. Liars
  13. The Hafler Trio
  14. The Legendary Pink Dots
  15. Joanna Newsom
  16. Fennesz
  17. Black Dice
  18. Sonic Youth
  19. Clouddead
  20. Einst?zende Neubauten
  21. Mouse On Mars
  22. Tom Waits
  23. Keith Fullerton Whitman
  24. Pan Sonic
  25. Madvillain

Two full-length releases, a couple singles, endless touring, and an army of completely freakish insane fans who could rival the creepiness of Bjork or Godspeed nutters. It's a well-earned recognition for Devendra, a talented individual and a great guy. - Jon Whitney

best new artist
Joanna Newsom

One of Newsom's main strengths may be that she polarizes opinion. She is either loved or hated. She produces a strong reaction in listeners, for better or for worse. From seeing her perform live I gathered that she is a genuine artist, translating the world as she sees it into sound. While many "outsider" artists seem to operate by a set of unwritten conduct laws for weirdos, Newsom seems to be simply blessed with a unique voice and talent to boot. - Jim Siegel

2004 wasn't a huge year for new bands/artists. Looking at the list of newbies, many of them have histories in other groups. Battles had three stellar EPs; Autistic Daughters and Trapist were birthed from the incestuous blood that spawned Dean Roberts and Radian; The Dead Texan's debut was pleasing for fans of Badalamenti and Stars of the Lid; and Arcade Fire are just a glorified recycling of Pulp's music with the tone deaf (but oh so hip) vocal style a'la Interpol. Rachel Goswell of Slowdive/Mojave 3 finally released her long anticipated debut and Fridge's Adem stepped up to the microphone, churned out an impressive debut album, few singles, assembled a tight group, and toured like a madman. - Jon Whitney

lifetime achievement
John Peel

The year of 2004 was full of a number of significant losses. From the passing of friends like John Balance, the passing of a distributor and financier of a number of our favorite groups, and ending with the most catastrophic loss in modern history. This year's Lifetime Achievement recognition was debated with the Brain Staff and in the end, it wasn't given to a musician at all, but to somebody who has truly had a full lifetime of achievement.

I used to go to record shops when I was young and naive and wonder why so many artists had CDs called "The Peel Sessions." Years later I grew to know the influence the man who was responsible for these recordings had on not just those artists, but music in general. He was a legend, and another reminder that there have been losses. - Rob Devlin

The first time I stumbled upon the name John Peel was during my adolescence in a random gift shop. There were two cassettes with greyish silver packaging, each featuring a different New Order session, 1981 and 1982 respectively. The eight memorable songs on these tapes opened me up to that formative period in the life of a band struggling with the suicide of their former singer and friend. Much like Pink Floyd's work post-Syd Barrett, this reverent music evoked the essence of their former collaborator while inching towards a unique new direction. Though not every Peel Session was as remarkable as these, it's hard to argue against John Peel's significance in modern music. - Gary Suarez

Since I live on the other side of the Atlantic, I can't say that I was a regular Peel listener. Aside from a couple of tapes sent to me by pen-pals back in the 80s and listening to the online feed a few times in recent years, I never heard much of his program. But ever since I bought my first Peel Sessions record (Gary Numan & Tubeway Army, I think it was), I've recognized his influence on the music that I loved. I can only hope that I have even a fraction of the passion he had for music when I reach 65. - Greg Clow

I can't even name one American radio DJ. Does Rick Dees count? These days, DJs are recruited from the stand up comedy circuit and from pools of failed actors, jugglers, magicians, and faceless entertainers. Music is programmed by corporations being bought by the labels or by enthusiastic but under-prepared college students who are the target of just as much payola. But from the time I was 14, I knew the name John Peel and knew that those silver and black cassettes meant new music, weird music, damaged music, and dangerous music. Nearly everything I got into in my formative years can be traced back to a Peel Session. Peel set an uncompromising standard for major market radio programming that will surely—sadly, never be duplicated. - Matthew Jeanes

Theres a serious problem with radio in the entire "free" world, and it's effecting the music industry globally. There are plenty of people all over the world including much of our readers, all of our staff, and most of the people at other publications who keep in touch with new music who would make fantastic DJs. However, DJs don't get to choose music any more - the job of choosing music is up to "programmers" who listen to what industry people say much more than they listen to music itself. John Peel could easily have been the last true DJ for a major radio station. Bringing in guests to perform special sets, always shopping the record stores, never easily satisfied with the drivel that most labels release in excess. Take this as a note to all the replacable so-and-sos in the big major markets who bow to the major machine: you will never be a fraction of a percent as important as John Peel was. - Jon Whitney


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