"Free music for the People :: free People for the Music"

[est'd 2004 A.D. :: New Jersey]

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the Full Grown Man :: Br'er-talk

Br'er interview on 89.5

an audio interview/spotlight with Ben Schurr from Br'er (also ex-CAW!, ex-A Three Ring Circus for Autistic Children, ex-Captain Werewolf, mastering on Canaries' "Poke the Machine"). Br'er becomes more and more relevant as they keep recording and collaborating with different musicians, most recently Eskimeaux has joined the line-up since moving to Philadelphia from 1331.

here's some press related to "Of She-males and Kissaboos" (released on Beat is Murder) from Gitpress:
One look at their obnoxiously bright MySpace page is all you need to know that Philly’s Br’er are pretty much the weirdest thing you’ll ever hear. The instrumentation goes from eclectic to abrasive at the drop of a hat and the song structures like to seek out their own meandering paths that make a mockery of traditional verse/chorus structures, and sometimes even the most curious listener will be tempted to duck and cover, but there’s something fascinating about it all that definitely warrants repeat listenings.

For starters, there’s the hauntingly laid back voice of singer Benjamin Schurr that keeps enticing you to listen closer. For a band so peculiar, Schurr has a nice melodic gift.

Br’er got its start as a way for Schurr to perform some of the material his previous outfit, CAW!, had refused to play. Oh well, their loss. Now, five years later, Br’er is exploring all the uncharted territories it wants with reckless abandon

The band is rounded out by Christian Mirande (Paia Modular Synth, Guitar, Harmonium, Toy Piano), Darian Scatton (Harp), Luis Angel Cancel (Drumz, Vocals), Roger Martinez (guitar, Vocals) and Ross Lipton (Rhodes/Organ).

2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

Of Shemales and Kissaboos is available on Beat is Murder Records.

here's a review from Catsynth.com:
Readers might remember the band br'er and lead Benjamin Schurr from the infamous CatSynth Tattoo. Well, br'er is out with their first album, Of Shemales and Kissaboos.

br'er not surprisingly includes a lot of synthesizer work, combined with songwriting, "art rock", and an interesting collection of instruments. Schurr and Christian Mirande together provide an assortment of synthesizers, noise sources, toy instruments, and such on top of a more traditional "band" of voice, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums.

The music ranges from very soft ballads to something akin to techno-industrial. Perhaps most iconic for me is the track "I'm sorry mom", which I believe used to be featured on br'er's myspace. It opens with simple 3/4 strumming and voice, and quickly grows to include dissonant piano strings and more. A lot of pieces follow a similar idea, moving between art-rock song and experimental electronic work. The next track "Rory snake handler" also features a lot of splicing between disparate elements (e.g., song and dissonant piano), I'm guessing it is not indended to be played live. Most of the tracks, however, do sound quite doable live, which should make for some interesting shows as they tour.

The tracks following "I'm sorry mom", continue to build up more and more electronic and noise elements, while returning for stretches to the "song" format. Ultimately, it is a collection of real songs, as sung by Schurr. But I find myself focusing on the piano and the electronics most. There is a lot of what I would consider "traditional avant-guard piano", as well as sound-synthesis exploration, of the sorts I might use in my own performances or recordings. This is especially true in the later tracks from "Lapin" onward. It almost feels like they arranged in increasing order of electronic noise and beat/pattern content, which is as good an organizing principle as any. But to their credit, they provide a more chaotic or absurdist, and somewhat quiet, turn at the end.

Of Shemales And Kissaboos is available now from Beat is Murder Records. You can hear audio samples from from the album at Beat Is Murder's myspace as well as br'er.
check out the Br'er myspace
and the official site of the Full Grown Man

and their tamur.records releases:
#23 - Br'er + Charles Cohen, Live at Inciting HQ, 4/9/2007
#21 - Br'er, "Kabuki Atrocity" EP

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