Brainiac - - - - - C 'o D ?

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So waddayathink ? Brainiac ? Classic or not ?

olly, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hissing Prigs in Static Couture is one of the best albums of the 90s. Enon's good though I wish Brainiac/Tim Taylor was still here.

%00, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

oh, classic. motherfucken classic. Bonzai Superstar is my favourite, rock'n'roll shattered into bits and pieces and welded back together using broken etch-a-sketches and sjitty synths (and welded BADLY, so its all on the verge of disintegration)... hissing prigs is great, shoulda been crossover. electro shock for president is the teasing view of a future never to be...

everything else is good but inessential. they were one of the most exhilaratingly scary live bands i've ever seen, like i just wasn't sure what was a joke, a pose, or the truth.

rip timmy taylor

stevie, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't have anything to add except: fuckin' classic indeed. Easily some of the best records of the 90's esp the Electro Shock EP and Hissing Prigs, though Smack Bunny Baby is also near-perfect.

It's interesting that the first three posters to the Brainiac thread are all ex-Postal Blowfish (I think)--Ohio love representing?

adam, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Didn't really get 'em until after John Schmerzal joined up (fer Bonsai Superstar), but ultra-classic from thereon out. Enon's fab as well.


J, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

One time fellow ILx denizen Brian and I were in San Francisco for a radio station conference and he went to catch them and the Delta 72. I was feeling pretty tired so I skipped out -- a few months later Taylor was dead. One of my greatest musical regrets and might have beens. Would have been interesting to see how they would have dealt with them neo-synth/spaz bands these days.


Ned Raggett, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

could've interviewed Timmy for my zine around the time of their last london show / supporting beck at the brixton academy. turned it down, was too intimidated, thought, 'i'll do 'em next time'.

three weeks later, timmy was dead.

i remember thinking the fax i received was a sick joke at first, inna hewhocannotbenamed out of dwarves stylee. something about the wording, the details about Timmy's car. kept hoping the hoax would eventually be revealed. but it never was.

postal blowfish since 1998 and proud of it

stevie, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Not on PB since half a year or so. And proud of it. heh.

Some of the Brainiackers collaborated with Mauro out of Evil Superstars. It seemed a perfect match. The result was a tad disappointing to say the least.

%00, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I saw'em twice. Tim was cute and had great stage presence. "Bonsai Superstar" is indeed the one. The actually had a unique band sound, which is hard to achieve.

Sean, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Saw them supporting GVSB in 1996 - enjoyed them much more than i usually enjoy supports and was sad to hear of tim's death.

Leigh, Monday, 11 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

two years pass...
man - i just found hissing prigs... at a store yesterday for $6, and i had a $15.50 credit there for selling back some atrocious early 90's pop country my sister-in-law gave me. im real fuckin psyched about these guys, since they figure to be the best antecedent to oneida. so im going to go out on a limb and say classic, before i even have a fully informed opinion.

(brilliant idea, pete. you dumbass.)

peter smith (plsmith), Thursday, 29 July 2004 13:31 (eighteen years ago) link

So classic it's ludicrous. Saw them twice in two days over two shows with Shudder to Think in 1996 at Spaceland and the Roxy. I went for Shudder to Think and had never heard of them, and I left a Brainiac fanatic. Search "Vincent Come on Down" and "Flypaper" and "Hot Metal Dobermans" and everything else.

Softly Weeping at the Oki Dog (Ben Boyer), Thursday, 29 July 2004 13:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Absolutely classic. It may just be my youth but I'd consider Hissing Prigs a personal Top 10 Album of the 90s. I wish I'd gotten to see them but alas, even at their last show I would have been 11. I really need to get on the Electro Shock for President EP.

Reed Rosenberg (reed), Thursday, 29 July 2004 14:19 (eighteen years ago) link


Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 29 July 2004 14:40 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...

etc, Wednesday, 4 January 2006 06:11 (seventeen years ago) link

classic classic

howell huser (chaki), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 09:52 (seventeen years ago) link

I still miss that band like crazy. :-(

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 11:25 (seventeen years ago) link


maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:56 (seventeen years ago) link

Aww. I gotta be the bad one. Hissing Prigs, Bonzai Superstar (their best): Classic.

Smack Bunny Baby: DUD. Even within the two classics, there are weak moments, things that smack more of '90s alternarock than timeless. It's like trying to go back to a GvB album...

js (honestengine), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Wow, I had no idea Smack Bunny Baby even existed until you just mentioned it and I looked on AMG. I thought Bonsai Superstar was their 1st album. Oh well. I love that album, and Hissing Prigs, and Electroshock is decent.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:40 (seventeen years ago) link

One of those great live bands where I own a T-shit but no CDs...

Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:43 (seventeen years ago) link

One of the few bands I can think of that will still send me on a lunatic turn the stereo up too loud bounding around the house and scaring my roommates frenzy EVERY DAMN TIME.

Very classic, and probably the only reason I am still a bit reticent about Enon (with the exception of Believo!)

John Justen (johnjusten), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:45 (seventeen years ago) link

I own a T-shit

I know there are some dedicated fans out there and all but still...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Saw them play a show at Barristers in Memphis where Jeff Buckley opened with an acoustic set. Quite a night.

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 17:07 (seventeen years ago) link

i so wish we could have heard whatever it was that 'electro shock' was pointing towards next

i am not a nugget (stevie), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 17:10 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah brainiac is about the awesomest

ZR (teenagequiet), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 18:31 (seventeen years ago) link

i love the tv show

jaxon (jaxon), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 18:39 (seventeen years ago) link

My very first SF show ever was seeing Brainiac at Bottom Of The Hill with the Delta 72 opening... that's the show above that Ned refers to... and yeah months later.. :(

I'd seen Brainiac before in L.A. with Trans Am and Neutral Milk Hotel opening. (NMH literally ran into the venue, set up in 10 minutes, and played a peppy pogo-ey set in 20 minutes as a three piece, then ran off the stage, and left...)

Dom iNut (donut), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 20:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Enon's pretty crap aside from Believo, which is genius. I'm still not sure why that is...

js (honestengine), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 20:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Brainiac is/was classic.
I remember hearing "Fucking with the Altimeter," my first exposure to the band, and being completely blown away. (Especially the whispered/croaked "I'm going into oxygen debt.")
After that, I was a convert. Never had a chance to see them live, though.

Binjominia (Brilhante), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 20:44 (seventeen years ago) link


Enon is not Brainiac, for sure, but Enon is not crap! High Society is excellent, better in its own way than Believo!

But Brainiac is still supergenius.

J (Jay), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 21:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Briania = Classic

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 21:07 (seventeen years ago) link

If anyone has a recording of the BOTH show from early '97, I'd love to hear it.. the versions of the Electro Shock For President songs they did were about 10 times better than the studio counterparts.

Also, Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals album cover was a semi-homage to the Hissing Prigs... album cover.. although both were kinda homages to "l33t typ3".

Dom iNut (donut), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 21:11 (seventeen years ago) link

super classic. I remember seeing the video for "vincent come on down" on 120 Minutes.. so I sent away for the record and got a Hissing Prigs in Static Couture poster with it. Thanks, Touch & Go mailorder!

2 4 6 8 / tell me who I'm supposed to hate!

dar1a g (daria g), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 21:16 (seventeen years ago) link

to paraphrase John Peel, each day i ram my toe into the corner of my bedstead REALLY REALLY HARD to punish myself for not interviewing Brainiac when i had the chance.

enon are great, but they suffer live, because John's too busy trying to play the songs to be the dynamic frontman they need.

i am not a nugget (stevie), Monday, 9 January 2006 16:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Enon's bullshit. Ever since they were like "Boy, we enjoy Blonde Redhead's boring bits more than Skeleton Key or Brainiac" they've suffered. Believo is genius pop that's held up. High Society was a dabbling in pedestrial electro that'll be forgotten in five years except for wankers on ILM trying to keep up the ghost.

js (honestengine), Monday, 9 January 2006 20:43 (seventeen years ago) link

eight months pass...
I got Smack Bunny Baby off Slsk thanks to this thread, and it's great, I can't see why anyone who likes Brainiac's other stuff wouldn't like it. It's going straight on my shopping list.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Friday, 22 September 2006 14:07 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

God I miss this band. I've been listening to their catalog non-stop on the Pod. Everything they released was great. Smack Bunny Baby is way overcriticized, although I liked Bonsai and Hissing Prigs a lot more as full albums. And soooo glad I saw them twice.

Mackro Mackro, Monday, 2 June 2008 02:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Give me back my turquoise Albert Schweitzer doll.

Mackro Mackro, Monday, 2 June 2008 02:49 (fourteen years ago) link

four years pass...

i still miss this band

Trad., Arrrgh (stevie), Friday, 5 October 2012 11:32 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

I liked Brainiac in theory but couldn't quite get into Hissing Prig for ages, but then someone just recommended me Bonsai Superstar and wow! This album hits all the right spots for me. It sort of like a weirder version of Polvo mixed with a lysergic-inspired carnival barker/evil clown. Fun!

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 3 March 2015 22:49 (seven years ago) link

five years pass...

Years ago @GriffinHamill turned me on to an incredible band called #Brainiac-Now the documentary about their influence (& tragically short career) is out on ITunes/Amazon/Vimeo & DVD- a really touching & funny film on a brilliant band! Check it out here:

— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) March 7, 2020

mookieproof, Saturday, 7 March 2020 22:53 (two years ago) link

good news + best possible vehicle for delivering it

cwkiii, Sunday, 8 March 2020 02:06 (two years ago) link

need to go see this, going to be playing at a film festival here

Got to see Brainiac once early on after "Smack Bunny Baby" came out with Bloomington's Pencil (guitar player now master mastering engineer Carl Saff's band). They were label mates on the Grass Records label at that time. Taylor was quite an entertainer on stage. I seem to recall that Brainiac played another all ages show in B-ton about a year later and I heard that one was a total burner but I did not go (probably had to work).

Love to check out the documentary. I got to figure there will be documentaries about all sorts of 90s indie rock bands continue to happen over the next decade.

earlnash, Sunday, 8 March 2020 23:21 (two years ago) link

Saw em just the once at London's Garage on the Electro Shock tour. One of the greatest bands I've ever seen - Timmy was extraordinary, he was impossible to take your eyes off of. I was offered the chance to interview him for my zine, but I had too much day-job stuff going down and figured I'd catch them next time. One of my big regrets.

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Monday, 9 March 2020 09:56 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero documentary is now up on Prime.

punning display, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:40 (two years ago) link


Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 16:30 (two years ago) link

eight months pass...

Watched this last night

One of the best music docs I've seen in a while

What a fucking band

Melissa Auf Der Maur like..... really loves Brainiac, dang

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:05 (one year ago) link

she's awesome. i interviewed her when her album came out and she is Good People.

Ray Cooney as "Crotch" (stevie), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:20 (one year ago) link

yeah she seems really cool

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 18:01 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I had no idea they'd reunited! supporting Mogwai in the UK and playing a couple of headline shows next Feb

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Saturday, 5 November 2022 15:28 (three months ago) link

Feel like an important member might miss the gigs sadly

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 5 November 2022 15:39 (three months ago) link

yeah I have no idea how they are going to handle that, new singer or someone else in the band doing the vocals? dunno.

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Saturday, 5 November 2022 15:59 (three months ago) link

I love Brainiac but Taylor seems about as irreplaceable as a band member could be

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 5 November 2022 16:14 (three months ago) link

Timmy is irreplaceable, but those songs are great, and it would be good to hear them played live again, and it would be good to hear them played by those musicians whose careers were cut short in the most tragic circumstances. Still no idea who will handle vocals, though John Schmersal sang great in his subsequent band Enon.

bible fumes (stevie), Saturday, 5 November 2022 22:37 (three months ago) link

I've bought tickets already and am crazy excited for the show. Seeing Brainiac headline the Garage in London on their last tour was one of the most unnerving and unforgettable shows I've ever seen.

bible fumes (stevie), Saturday, 5 November 2022 22:38 (three months ago) link

What timing, this ran the other day

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 6 November 2022 15:31 (three months ago) link

Missing the best, most weird, most infernal, most brilliant Brainiac LP, Bonsai Superstar, which I believe the band would love to reissue but still belongs to the long-shuttered Grass Records.

bible fumes (stevie), Sunday, 6 November 2022 17:19 (three months ago) link

Yeah there's a lot of Grass stuff still tied up in the ether, really sucks.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 6 November 2022 17:22 (three months ago) link

Still kicking myself for giving away my vinyl copy 20 or so years ago, as I'd """upgraded""" to a CD copy...

bible fumes (stevie), Sunday, 6 November 2022 17:37 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

I got to interview the surviving members for this piece, 26 years after I stupidly turned down the chance to interview Brainiac for my fanzine because I figured I could catch them next time they were in London.

his cartoon heart expands, then he relaxes by smoking crack (stevie), Monday, 23 January 2023 21:31 (two weeks ago) link

BETTER BE GOOD (I have no doubt it is good).

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 00:12 (one week ago) link

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