I’m a huge fan of the Goodwill Dollar LP bin. You’ve seen those poor, deserted records – children’s learning LP’s, religious sermons and presidential speeches, hypnotism records to help you stop doing whatever it is you should stop doing. These records are more expensive at used record stores and usually have a post-it on them that says “hey djs” or “great for sampling.” They are fun for a listen or two or maybe intros or transitions on your cool new mix tape. But who really knows what to do with them once you buy them? The Bran Flakes, that’s who.
The Bran Flakes (aka Mildred Pitt and Otis Fodder) have a vintage quality which might bring to mind a Leave It To Beaver era classroom, but fully equipped with a disco ball, confetti cannons and possibly some drunky, costumed adults. The above photo is what a Bran Flakes show ends up looking like. We found ourselves obeying commands, making animal sounds, swapping costume elements (see Lindsey Baker’s huge blue Bran Flake head at the top right), and flat out rolling on the floor. You’ll have to wait just a little while longer to see them live again (I was told in will be in July). I recently spoke with them and all I can say is – world’s largest salad shooter – don’t ask, ‘cos I don’t know.
Like many artists with a similar approach (Negativland, Girl Talk, The Evolution Control Committee), The Bran Flakes have been scorned and praised for thier use of sampling. Cease and desist are common words a lot of electronic and hip hop artists are used to. But sometimes, these artists are praised for their use of material which represents not only the original piece faithfully, but merges it with something modern and beautiful (See Donuts by J Dilla). In the case of The Bran Flakes, the Raymond Scott Archives has given them free reign to plunder his catalog for a 2009 centennial remix album. Subscribe to the BRAN BLOG for more news on this exciting project as it develops.
We’ve included a download of “Van Pop” from their new, pay what you like CD, I Have Hands from Illegal Art. The “vocals” are by one of the most iconic lead vocalists in the history of rock. We’d love to hear your guess as to who it is! Leave a comment!
Listen to Van Pop by The Bran Flakes