A real highlight in 25 years of playing. — Edward Ka-Spel, The Legendary Pink Dots
The highlight of my year. — Andreas Martin
Brainwaves was Amazing!! It was great to meet so many Beautiful, Talented people! The Music was Amazing, the Films were amazing...Brainwashed-you should have a birthday party every year...Lots and Lots of Love, — Mary Grace, Niagara Falls, NY
brainwaves was a major victory :)
thanks for everything.— Freida, Montreal
That was an amazing festival and I am pissed that it is not still going on. — Rachel, NYC
thanks for a great time at brainwaves.
love from the bear. — Volcano the Bear
Had a great time.....May there be many more... — Khari, Boston
wow,few words to describe how amazing an experience that was! For the label,the artists,the fans.We love you,Jon Whitney-let's do this again sometime,eh? (you deserve some downtime 1st:) — Kathleen, Chicago
Had a great time at Brainwaves this weekend ... thank you, for everything! Hear anything from Boyd yet?! — Ryan
Brainwaves was very nice! — Christopher, Cambridge MA
Brainwaves was a great time!!! Those of us lucky enough to be there are very VERY lucky!!!!!
I wish I could go all over again this weekend .
Thank You so much for hosting a great festival!!!!!
Cant wait for the next one!!!! — Bob, New York
i had an absolute blast meeting so many like minded people and the atmosphere was so laid back...everyone was very open and friendly and i didn't really see anyone looking down their nose at anyone else... it was terrific meeting you in person as well. thanks for a terrific time. — Justin, Pennsylvania
I went to the Brainwashed 10th Anniversary Fest with Bood in Boston, Mass. I have always loved Brainwashed for the diversity of artists its supports (from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Coil to Death In June to Kid 606 to Matmos to the Dresden Dolls. etc), it's unafraidness to deal with some of the controversial bands they support, and for being the underground within the underground as far as music in general goes. Plus- they have Mr. Lif on their friends list. So I was quite glad to support them. Indie hipsters need to delve a little deeper if they REALLY want to get to the heart of the matter. And one can easily see that Brainwashed (brainwashed.com) is purely a matter of love. On a side note, I heard that the One Ensemble of Daniel Padden (a brainwashed limited edition release) was all sold out. Well a few copies turned up at the fest and I was thrilled about that. One of the best releases of 2006. There is a gypsy element to it, but its not gypsy punk nor is it straight authentic gypsy- more just elements of gypsy tinged stuff mixed with down tempo chill indeed leanings- ala Angels of Light or The Microphones- which is very refreshing. (No it doesnt sound like those two bands but sort of evokes that same sort of feeling. I actually like it much better than those two bands). Despite not being medieval or really Fairport Convention-ish, I believe Espers fans would love it. I also picked up Kate Mosh, which is superb Industrial Noise. I finally got a copy of Ape of Naples, NWW Solioquy for Lilith, and The Windy and Carl B.W. handmade series. I wanted an Aranos disk, a Volcano The Bear Cd, and two of the EYE DVD's, but didnt have enough $$$.
We stayed with my friend with Lisa in Boston who was a most gracious host (awesome bean dip/ chauffering, blankets and bedding, etc).
Here are some of the highlights of the fest:
I. Love 'em or depise 'em, the Dresden's Dolls "Miss You" duet with Edward Ka Spel goes down in the top 12 most amazing things that I have witnessed at a live show. Edward singing Amanda's lines just puts a whole new twist on the lyrics. And I love that Brainwashed had more of a rock out band amidst all the ambient acts. I wished there was more of that throughout the fest to balance it out more. Really my only complaint with the fest- oh and that NON cancelled and that Jon was talking to Annie Anxiety on speaker phone (so the audience could listen). She was in NYC watching a meteor shower which was all fine and dandy, but I wished she would of come up Sunday and played? And where the hell was THEEEEE Majestic One? NYC is a hoop-skip-away from Boston. (Or a four hour chinatown bus ride). Aranos, in his aging body did hand stands, a full beautifully arched bridge, and sung about work vs. creative time and how he has happily choosen freedom over monetary stability. It's refreshing to see such said from a poor aging/ elderly man as opposed to a 17 year old punk breed from the upper middle class. Not that I am criticising said punk from their background (its how it is), but there is something more life affirming and real from someone who has lived the talk for a whole life. Awesome noise based violin playing (Warren Ellis from the Dirty Three could take some notes here). Nice projections in Windy and Carls set. In my opinion, both Windy and Carl and Troum would have been better if they would of cut down the length of their songs by adding another one or two. Goodiepal did a marvelous acappla rendering of music subculture stereotypes and the co-opting of stereotypes from one country to another. His homeland of Iceland was included, as well as Native Americans, French Hip Hop, and I forget who/ what else at this moment. He passed out bells to the audience for them to use during a piece- probably 30 of them. It created a true surround sound in live real time. He moved around planet props of a solar system and used a homemade flying creature prop to destroy planets here and there. Words really cant do it justice. Steve Stapleton did a "DJ" set- (not really- all the music was prerecorded) and there was an excellent mix of music thus I enjoyed it. And finally, Edward Ka Spel and The Silverman- I have so much respect for them- they sounded great and they just keep plugging along year after year. They hung out with the show goers the whole fest as did Steve.
II. Beautiful in that lovingly almost-but-not-quite-too-over-the-top-manner department:
The surprise debut of Peter Christopherson's new project, The Threshold Boys Choir. Incredibly beautiful music with amazing hypnotic basslines, a lot of layered synth, and sampling of a Thai boys chorus. (Which was really vocals layered over one another). Accompanied by his video of Thai boys rites of passage (called Vegetarian Day and I believe shot in Bangkok) which included self-flagellation with a tree brush/ branch dipped in boiling hot water and piercing rituals as part of a parade. I have always advocated that Peter Christopherson as being just as important of a figure in Coil as Jhonn was/ is and that their music would not near be as magestical or moving without him, and for those who have witnessed TBC or who will, any sort of opposition to this statement will easily be put to rest. Johnn bought a good deal of creative vision to Coil, and Peter seemed to of churned and consolidated such a vision to a functionable medium while writing a good amount of musical sorcery to throw into the cauldron himself. Speaking of Coil, also shown was the barely ever viewed/ not normally available for public viewing of the Love's Secret Domain video complete with a much ecstatic Jhonn Balance singing and frolicking amidst Thai brothel boys who were feeling the passion themselves. What a bunch of giddy kids us audience were. If this video were released back in the day (or even today?!), there is no doubt that Coil would of suffered the same fate as Genesis P. did in England. Thighpaulsandra's set was pure eye/ ear candy. "Thigh" looked like a Space Queen Skeksis commanding his gold-hot-pants-arm-band-and-shoes-but-nothing-else bitch boy drummer/ laptop-ist/ guitar player (a fine musician by the way) while (at least during one song) heavily eyeing him quite sexually up and down. The keyboardists and main guitarist/ bassist looked like the red nurses from Dead Ringers. Bloodied, tortured, and abused boys were shown onscreen while they played. It was hot. The performance was quite a production and I loved the mix of pure noise and the more groove-laddened parts and harmony choruses present in some of the songs. It was such one hell of a last three hours of the fest that I practically forgot that NON was a no show.
Bood's the real deal guerrilla artist- He hoped on stage during night two of the fest to play with a (somewhat mediocre) noise jam along with members of Volcano the Bear, IRR. APP. and Colin Potter. Aranos was up there for a while but left before Bood climbed seat-to-stage. I would of done the same- but I am a music snob and just I wasnt feeling it. Plus I probably would have lost myself in playing, gone bezerk, and got kicked out of the festival. Bood was much better natured and subtle in his delivery of a massive chain slowly lowered upon a cymbal and a steady solid beating of a drumstick on another piece of metal.
Speaking of Bood- well he has somewhat of a contemporary/doppleganger/ arch nemesis - The Caretaker who "played" also warps old recordings of jazz, classical, and crooner records and mixes it with noise at times (but not usually alongside the samples). Oneiric Imperium mixes more of the harsh noise element and layers stuff underneath the samples. So it is really not the same, and I am exaggerating the "arch-nemesis" claim. (I think...). The caretaker played his music (or a DC of it at least) and a the projection was a soild blue screen. Yawn. That has been done before. Check out Derek Jarman's "Blue".
III. Irr. App. and Volcano The Bear both incorporated performance art into with their musical performance. But both were executed in different ways. Amongst other things, Irr. App. read from an Irish based book and toasted to ludicrous but amusing manifestos and a they projected a film of a upside down naked gal on the back of a bathrobe which doubled as a costume of creature that sort of looked like the sandmen. The drummer from Volcano the Bear threw a set long temper tantrum- throwing cymbals, getting up in the face of the keyboardist, tripping over things on stage, letting loose, walking on/ over seats, falling on/ over people, blowing a long flute in peoples ears, etc. Such a rejoicing spectacle. But to downplay the set as merely as such would be a disservice to the catchy music displayed which ebbed and flowed between being noise based to more of a song structured offering.
IV. Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound is going to hook me up with an out of print hardback copy of England's Hidden Reverse. I have been looking for a copy of this for a year and a half so this is definitely a pleasant surprise. Good looking out, Steve. Mucho gracias.
V. One thing that was a bit strange was to see so many people getting autographs at the fest. I am not used to underground culture being mixed with more of a mainstream practice of musician idol worship. You just dont generally see that in underground indie and punk scenes. And there is a reason for that. People understand that these artists, as amazing as some of them are, are still just people like you and I. Even the Brainwashed 3 Cd comp (which I bought) opened up to a trifold but the whole thing was blank so one could get autographs. An interesting concept, but I would rather of had the track listings! Actually (in my typical hindsight 20/20 nature), I should have asked the musical acts to draw a picture in lieu of their autographs.
Look into yourself- "every man and women is a star"- A.C. These magnificent artists are no more or less important than yourself. Love/ Empower Thyself! Sign your own autograph to yourself! — Dean, Pennsylvania
thanks again for the wonderful fest & opportunity to perform, really a remarkable experience for us !! The atmosphere was just incredible, the sound-quality chrystal-clear ! — Stefan, Troum
Thanks so much for letting us play at Brainwaves. We had SUCH a great time!!! I really hope you consider making Brainwaves a yearly event. It was perfect. — Aaron Snow, Landing
few minutes to thank you for last weekend. Brainwaves was, without a doubt, the best musical experience ever, and you are to be commended on all levels. I don't know how you managed to organize all that and still keep a smile on your face--bravo. And what you said about the community that is part of all this music is both true and encouraging. The meet-and-greet was great. That silly Greg Cristman boy keeps calling me an autograph whore for all the stuff I brought for Steven--as if Greg has room to talk. But spending time talking to Steve was one of the high points of the weekend for me. And finally seeing and then meeting Z'ev--damn. The whole thing was perfect. Thanks very much, and I hope you get rested up soon. Keep the DIY going, baby. — Mark, NY
Hopefully you've recovered from what was quite a feat of
I can only congratulate you & your team on what was a superb event which I
enjoyed very much,as did every one else I spoke to.The whole thing felt
like a real 'community'
My profuse thanks again for inviting me & your hospitalty.I look foreward to seeing you again in the hopefully not too distant future.
all the very best— Colin Potter
thank you for everything whit the festival I was super happy to be there and everything thank you a billion.. I hope the rest of the fistival did go good. and that it all was fine. James and i was super happy to be there.. — Goodiepal
I'm really impressed with the way things ran and your artistic vision. It proves that something that adventurous can happen in the US and doesn't have to be aligned with The Wire magazine! Tom Recchion played the weekend before in Brighton, England at Colour Out of Space fest and told me it was horrible conditions. I did a recap of the BW event for him and he was kicking himself for not coming out to see it. (he's also collaborated with some of the artists so it would have made sense from that perspective too.) Anyway, once again thanks for a great time. — Danny, Boston
you guys did an AMAZING job. — Charles Wyatt of Charles Atlas, NYC
Sunday was my favorite day as far as the acts went. Charles
Atlas, Jessica Bailiff, Christoph Heemann, and Windy & Carl
were all beautiful. Andreas Martin was very impressive, and
Caretaker's peice was very well thought-out. Loved the
wonky horns interspersed with the ambient drones.
V/Vm's Elton John thing was hilarious, I loved Goodiepal, Troum were gorgeous and at times downright majestic, Stapleton was charming (I hope his set list circulates), and Ka-Spel was the best I've ever seen him. — Ryan
Thanks again for providing a damned fine and memorable festival. It has been great to see brainwashed.com grow over the years (I initially found Brainwashed in a quest to meet some folks who were LPD fans and discovered the Cloud-Zero list in 1996 and actively lurked for a few years). I'm sure you're getting tons of email along the same timbre, so I'll keep this short-n-sweet. I don't think my gratitude could be adequately expressed via text at any rate. Cheers — Trey, Austin, TX
I am sure you are getting a flood of e-mails, but I still wanted to personally thank you for such a wonderful festival. You brought some music in that I had never heard before as well as some of my old favorites. I have never been to a festival where I go to see every single band because they all have something to offer.
Be well! Keep us all updated, and be proud of what you have done for all of us. My gratitude is huge. — Cat Lafuente
Hi everybody I just wanted to write and say again how I wish I could've made it to Boston this weekend for from what all reports sounded to be a wonderful gathering. Props to Jon Whitney who continues to work so diligently to promote such diverse and cutting edge events and recordings. Thank you also to Daniel Mckernan who came over last night to show me his brilliant video of Thighpaulsandra's projections. As I have been spending the last 3 weeks dealing with an urgent matter that prevented me from being at the Brainwaves Festival in person, his kindness gave me a taste of what i missed out on. God Bless him and God Bless you all. — Little Annie, NYC
thanks very much for having us at the fest -- really enjoyed the evening. hope the other nights went well! — Aidan Baker of Nadja, Toronto, Canada
Just saying thanks for asking us to come out and play the Brainwaves Festival. We all had a great time and really enjoyed playing the show. Once again thanks very much and well done on a great festival. all the best — Sion of Thighpaulsandra, Wales
This truly was a fantastic event. I'm still reeling from the amount of stimulation--the music, the visuals, and the people. I'm particularly humbled to have been in the company of so many brilliant and like-minded folks. I hope there's another excuse to hang out before long! — Matthew, Minneapolis
I just wanted to say that it was really great to meet you guys. I honestly thought the entire world would blow up if an event like this were to happen. Why is the world still standing? — Rachel, NY
been at an event that was so easy and laid back. Mr. Whitney and
did an above and beyond job in organizing and making this thing happen. My
utmost deepest respects go out to all those individuals!!!
It was so great to hang out with everybody at the theater- it was as if it
were my living room~ very warm and comfortable...some place I like to be. I
also appreciated how accessible all of the artists were- I had a nice
conversation with Andreas Martin. A chat with Greg & Matt of Irr App (Ext),
walk/talk with Aranos (he's truly a lovely soul!!) and several laid back
conversations with Steve Stapleton.
somehow after listening to numerous hours of fantastic performers live and direct has somehow slightly altered and shifted my psychi at an oblong dissecting 3degree straight curve away from my previously centered reality- luckily the reality (which is actually crap) has stayed at center and I am know permanently different and distant to that. who would have thought an exceptional list of phenomenal musicians gathered in a compact aura of space and time could have been so healthy- acid jam or grape preserves I say bring it on...
next time (hint hint Jon W.) I presently offer my services to assist in any way I can!!
don't miss out.
anyway thanx for reading my drivel.
regards — Gregg, NY
Good call on the comp CD, putting the Charles Atlas/Windy&Carl tracks back to back. Thanks again for everything. — Ken, Long Pond, PA
Wow, what an event!! I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how impressed I was that everything went so well last weekend. I was honored to be in attendance. Here are the specific points that stand out in my mind, one week post (and while still recovering from a stubborn headcold):
Tom and I (as well as hundreds of others) were especially blown away by Andreas Martin's set. How often do you get to see Tom blown away by ANYTHING?! I hope the artists were pleased, and that the crew realizes how much their hard work was appreciated. It cannot be easy to pull off such a major event virtually seamlessly. My guess is that the more effortless is appears, the more effort must be involved. NICE WORK, my friend!!! And here's to many, many more vibrant years of brainwashing!!! — Linda, Boston