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Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

At The North Pole, Easter Day, 1982 by Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

At The North Pole, Easter Day, 1982
What The...

***In comparison to the only other available recording of a complete live performance by the BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE (the side-long “Industrial Barbecue,” on the BUFMS boxset), At The North Pole, Easter Day, 1982 is starker and more minimal overall. Performing as a quintet at an open mic night in a student cafeteria, the group had played live only once prior and had yet to amass the collection of ubiquitous tape players and answering machines that accompanied most subsequent performances and recordings. The absence of overt forward progress in some parts gives the performance an incidental resemblance to those tense moments in grim power electronics just before the singer goes berserk, but then ridiculous verbal repetitions and Top 40 references come out of nowhere like nerdy Fluxus rehearsals in the middle of a New Orleans funeral. Other segments highlight the difference between aboriginal metal percussion and pots ’n’ pans getting banged together by people with a remarkably spastic sense of rhythm. Visually, Bren’t Lewiis were like a cross between the jackets of early Nurse With Wound albums and a bunch of hicks impersonating Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Television sets flickered throughout. DOUG ROBERTS brought his bicycle onstage. Dressed in a labcoat and white wool-felt USAF boots, howling into his signature plastic lawn flamingo, LUCIAN TIELENS stretched the limits of publicly acceptable intimate congress with inanimate objects. TIM SMYTH wore a bunch of Christmas lights attached to a Civil Defense helmet. PETER D. had a garbage bag filled with helium...

LP $18.60


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Three Christs Of Ypsilanti by Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

Three Christs Of Ypsilanti

As part of the 25th anniversary of the Butte County Free Music Society, Three Christs of Ypsilanti follows Induced Musical Spasticity 4xLP (BUFMS, 2009) and roughly coincides with The Bren't Lewiis Ensemble's At the North Pole, Easter Day, 1982 (upcoming on What The...?) and, if the master tapes rescue succeeds, the soundtrack to Esther's Brother Is Missing by Maria Estevez. Recording and performing primarily in the mid- to late 1980s, with sporadic efforts in the early 1990s, this barely organized enclave based in rural Northern California ingests and disgorges outsider free music a la Smegma and other bent LAFMS trippers, the UK's A Band, 5 Starcle Men, and the sort of visionaries currently promoted by labels such as Chocolate Monk, Destijl, and Ultra Eczema. Members of the Bren't Lewiis Ensemble later migrated to Vomit Launch, Glands of External Secretion, The Idiot, Needles, Serious Prblmz, and Bananafish magazine. Each side of Three Christs of Ypsilanti is dominated by tracks whose lengths meander into double digits. On Side A, "Take It Out and Kill It" is a murky glance at mortification via caninicide, with its ancillary fleas, cockroaches, and especially worms. This is the only large group recording on the album, and as such whirls around in conflicting directions in a manner that one backwater critic long ago described as "schizophrenic muzak." A completely different version of this track was previously released on the Maggie Is a Dot cassette in 1984. On Side B, "Dark Surprise," a 1986 recording from the crossroads of DIY...

LP $13.00


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