This is an experimental couple of weeks - thanks to the success of last December's XMAS mix (12/05), I've taken a friend's advice and decided to produce a special mix like that one, to be uploaded every two months or so, in concert with some coinciding holiday or theme. Since its February, I've decided to do a Valentine's Day Theme, so stay tuned for a special mix with a theme of love, and love lost... probably around Thursday, Feb 9...
BUT FIRST... THIS WEEK's Some Assembly Required PODCAST...
I'll be uploading Episode 99 in just a couple of hours. It's another interview episode - this time with The Bran Flakes. Episode 99 will be the podcast this week, and then sometime later in the week I'll upload the aforementioned special mix. Episode 98 probably won't be uploaded until Feb. 15th, as a result (I'd like to give each podcast a few days to stand alone). So, next week's podcast will be a couple of days late. I'm sure you're all going to lose a lot of sleep over this...
I first encountered The Bran Flakes... I don't really remember, for sure. Around the same time I first realized that there was a subculture of sound collage artists, I guess. They were one of the first groups which made themselves known to me. In fact, when I was interviewing "Otis Fodder" and "Mildred Pitt," Otis reminded me that the debut Escape Mechanism EP was inducted into a catalog of traded tapes he was running way back when - which would have been around 1997, I guess. So, I've been a fan of The Bran Flakes for almost ten years, then! The catalog was called "M.O.M." which stood for MOFO Outreach Ministry. It included a ton of material - not just sound collage - including John Oswald's Plunderphonics and Negativland's U2, which at the time were very difficult to find. You'd send him some tapes and a couple of bucks for postage and he'd send you the dubs. I took advantage of his generosity on more than one occasion.
But back to The Bran Flakes... At the time, it was just Otis F. Odder (now Otis Fodder), and I'd gotten two of his releases from an online label called Ovenguard Music. The Bran Flakes were an early staple of this label, which released at least two Bran Flakes albums. The band subsequently released an album on Lomo Records, and a followup on their own label - Happi Tyme Records.
Interviewing them was a treat. If I had to break the artists who receive regular airplay on the show into two camps, it would be those who take it very seriously (uppercase V and S), and those who are just having the times of their lives doing it - and refusing to take it all too seriously. I, personally, strive to exist somewhere right smack in the middle, of course - taking it seriously, but having fun doing it - but your perception of that will all depend on when you happen to catch me willing to discuss the matter. The Bran Flakes, however, are firmly in the latter camp. In spite of my (usual) somber approach to the interview, these two hardly stopped laughing throughout the entire conversation.
There have been a handful of SAR interviews which made me laugh (most recently, last month's special on Jason Forrest - aka Donna Summer), but The Bran Flakes currently hold the record for most-fun-had-during-the-course-of-an-interview-hilarity. These two obviously enjoy their work. More power to them!!
I currently have four records by The Bran Flakes, which I believe is a fair representation of their output as a band (although they've each been very busy with solo projects as well). Hey, Won't Somebody Come and Play, was re-released in 2003 on Happi Tyme Records (it was originally put out in 1999 on Ovenguard Music). Bounces was released in 2002, on Happi Tyme Records. I Don't Have a Friend was put out in 2001, on Lomo Records, and I Remember When I Break Down was released in 1998 on Ovenguard Music. Tune into episode 99 of the Some Assembly Required podcast to hear selections from each of these records by The Bran Flakes...
Surprisingly, considering how much fun they had with our phone interview, The Bran Flakes responses to the Q&A were quite subdued. I've had artists completely ignore the request to keep answers brief, I've had some skip over questions completely, and I've had a few like this one - where the answers are super brief and to the point. Probably my fault, for being so clinical in my approach - I take full responsibility! Believe me, if you want to learn more about this group - download episode 99 of the Some Assembly Required podcast - its MUCH more entertaining...
So - without further ado - here's the SAR Q&A with The Bran Flakes!
*Name: The Bran Flakes
*Members: Mildred Pitt, Otis Fodder
*Founding Member: Otis Fodder
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: All of the above.
*Another genre descriptor: Pop Music
*Why you use this descriptor: The Dictionary in 1991.
*Location: Seattle, WA and San Francisco, CA
*Original Location: San Francisco Bay Area
*History: The current sound since 1998 with Otis Fodder and Mildred Pitt. Before 1998, it was Otis solo and the sound was more of a cassette cut and paste feel.
*Motivations: We can't stop and it's fun.
*Philosophy: It's fun.
*How would you like to be remembered: Somewhat like the taste of a strawberry after your first bite.
*Web address: http://www.thebranflakes.com
Short and sweet! For more info on The Bran Flakes - tune into this week's podcast - Episode 99 of Some Assembly Required - available in the very next post... Stay tuned!
The Bran Flakes are just one of the artists featured in the special Valentine's Day Themed mix, by the way, which we'll be uploading later this week - in honor of next week's "holiday." Stay tuned for that. I expect we'll be making it available on Thursday (2/9).
As always - please feel to drop me a line - let me know what you think of the show, and our new podcast. All of the contact info is up at our website: www.some-assembly-required.net
Just click on the button that says "contact."
Thanks, as always, for listening...