A science fiction book by Eric S. Nylund.

Crypto analysis, pyschology, genetics, quantum physics, geo physics, astro physics, pure mathamatics, politics, economics, cybernetics... and probably a whole lot more that just went over the top of my head.

Its a good book. If you see it lying around somewhere, you should probably read it.

Also a stand-alone comic book (but so much more) written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave Mckean. This team is remarkable; singlehandedly they have changed the comic book industry forever and many people who once would never have considered reading comics under the traditional stereotype now consider "graphic novels" a valid art form.
Check out Signal to Noise, or other collaboratives by these two, such as The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy Of Mr. Punch, Violent Cases, and the Sandman series, you'll see what I mean.
She always said it again...
Just when she'd said it, that's when she'd say it
(How's that again?)
-- Moxy Fruvous, Fell in Love

Her conversation is an endless loop, punctuated by smileys and random letters... He never ceases to inform me about his sex life, using the same damn phrases and the same tone of voice... They're just the noise in my signal, nothing to be gained. Can't stop it, can't run away. Just drifting in pointless anectdotes and tired old jokes.

This isn't pointed at anyone on E2, no no, these are real life examples that remind me that life is too damn short to waste it on another =) or *wink wink, know what I mean?* or to live in less-than-tolerable situations or piss your last in some worthless job, doing what you hate. I'm sick of hearing about her new boyfriend, who is just as bad as the last, and how she's confused about how she's cheating on him and that he doesn't understand. It makes me too damn old when he asks how I managed to get over her when I never did in the first place. I'm sick of the same innuendo, the same sarcasm, the same pasta for lunch.

But I'm sure a lot of you are also, and have moved on, or it doesn't bother you as much, or may remind you of things long past, or of a better time, or something completely different. Or maybe you look towards the better signals, where she tells you what's been bugging her, or that obscure college kid tells you you're his hero, or the puppy yips at you to thank you for the puppy chow. So do I.

Modulate the waveform and try again.

Inspired by the painstaking musicianship (and great sonic results) of Slayer's Reign In Blood, Brer Brian - fresh from his retirement from touring - set out to make a psychedellic "masterpiece". Very influential. The LP's song cycle (the CD-R had no divisions between the songs) featured numerous overdubs and FX, and plenty of good songs. This was probably the soundtrack to 2000 (to a few select individuals) and its "Autumn of Trepidation". Other innovations: the newsprint packaging and its hand-printed liner notes.

"Signal was probably the one Brer album I can say was someone else's idea," Major Matt Mason told an interviewer. "It was Lach's idea to say, 'Hey, how about disguising yourself and getting an alter ego, because I'm Lach and I've had it. Every time I approach a song, Matt, you gotta produce it like Matt would. Every time I approach a ballad, it's gotta be like Lach would. Why don't we just make up some incredible alter egos and think, 'Now how are we gonna make this shit? How would he approach this track?' And it just totally liberated us. It was a very freeing thing to do."

However, aside from the quasi-witch doctor and bloody brain surgeon costumes, the opening theme song and its reprise near the end, and Leticia's take as the "Dominican who was Allergic to Beans", these alter egos really didn't make a whole lot of difference. On the other hand, just looking at the newsprint packaging gave you a very good view of how the performer had grown from who he was.

So much happened in 2000, but this was one of the major events to an elite group of people. It was truly a visionary breakthrough in anti-folk music. Certaily, we expected no less. Hammel on Trial's Choochtown had been great, but we were looking for revolution. And this album deranged music in a way that none other ever did. As most modern films come from The Godfather, most modern anti-folk music comes from Signal to Noise.

This album was also notable because:

It was one of the first concept albums (although I don't know where it fits in with "Dirty Pop" which was released the same year) to fully deconstruct the entire concept of the concept album.

It was the first album in which none of the lyrics printed in the liner notes belonged to the songs on the album.

Most of what happens in anti-folk music today owes at least a little to Brer Brian.

The cover Signal to Noise was first concieved by Brer and was intended to be a tribute to the current events of the day. Brer sketched out an ink drawing of Lach and the Major in ballerina outfits, but later the decision was made to hand-draw the witch doctor and bloody brain surgon outfits on each individual copy.

He took the design to Brendan Larouche, friend and art gallery owner, who suggested hiring pop artist Sidney Gauche to execute the idea.

Gauche made many changes to the original design, but Brer thought that the changes were for the better. The flower-bed clock changed into a punpkin-seed lunchbox, the Lord of Darkness was dropped, and Gauche was paid a hundred thousand English pounds.

The Recording:

"Brer insisted that everything on Signal had to be different," says Harvey Crumpnick, an engineer at Olive Juice Studios. And everything was. This album changed the world for a few selective people. It didn't define a whole generation. "So," he says, "everything was either distorted, heavily compressed, or treated with equally excessive whatthehell-ization."

They turned bass mics into headphones, put brass sections down in the bells of the churches, sent Hammond organs through to the cheesecake factory, and even used oscillating fucks to fan stuff up. You know how you talk in a canyon and you sound like Moses? Well, the Brer did that too.

Brer Brian's Signal to Noise was a ground-breaking piece of music. The very end of the album epitomizes the low-tech (of any age) studio trickery applied throughout the CD. After the last ringing guitar chord of "Come Let Us Sing", there are a few seconds of a recording of a dog being fixed, especially to annoy your dog. (Or any human being with a sense of common decency.) Then there's a bunch of feedback, as well as taped chatter that's been looped upside down and cut and put back again backwards and deflected through the fourth demension of the universe, beyond the very reaches of space and time. People took a lot of drugs.

The recording of Signal to Noise took ten days. "Probably the most INSANE ten days in the history of anti-folk" says Matt. Brer experimented with an ass-load of instruments, from Malaysian skinflutes ("we're Not the Champions") to a bass trombone ("Get That Thing Out of My Ear!") to a sneaker and shoestring ("Love is for Pussies"). Also notable is a male organ (slowed down in its contractions a thousand and forty-one times), and a zebra.

The Songs:

Letter from the Great I Am
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Brer Brian

El Babazoro
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 12, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Brer Brian

Cigarettes, They Cost Too Much
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 12, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: The Debris

Love is for Pussies
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 15, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: The Debris

Your Mother Has a Questionable Reputation
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 17, 2000
Writer and Vocal: Matt

Lift Up Your Kilt and Show Them Your Balls
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Raven Solano

We're Not the Champions
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Paul Rose

Getting Worse
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 18, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: David

I Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime (And We'll Keep on Fighting 'till the End)
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Telf

I'm Allergic to Beans and I'm Dominican (So What, I Don't Give A Fuck)
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Leticia Veloria

I Got Some Candy
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 16, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Brer

Come Let Us Sing
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Brer

Hey its a Reprise of the Original Song
Olive Juice Music Studio Two, December 10, 2000.
Writer and Vocal: Matt

Three other songs were recorded during these sessions: "You're My Bestest Friend", "Dog Gone", and "You're Still My Bestest Friend". "Dog Gone" and "You're My Bestest Friend" were released as a CD-R, and "You're Still My Bestest Friend" appeared on Reverend Jen and Nick Zedd's "I Was a Quality of Life" soundtrack.

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