We are The Bran Flakes and we are very happy that you came to visit us. We have many fun things for you. We hope our music brings you smiles and dreams of happy things. We like to scour records and tapes for aural delights and we believe that every record has at least ONE redeeming quality, maybe a snare drum or a man yelling "buttermilk," a bird chirping or a crispy bit of record crackle, and we try to mix them into something new in hopes of conjuring up happy memories of your first kiss, the experience of getting a new puppy or the childhood excitement of going to the fair and having cotton candy on a cool autumn day. The Bran Flakes live performances transform into a circus, with audience participation, dancing animals and video collage.
"I Don't Have A Friend" is the second CD outing by Mildred Pitt and Otis Fodder. Featuring Wobbly on 'Strawberry Cheer' & Pepino Charmaine on 'Popcorn Popping On The Apricot Tree'.
Score, Baby, 2002
'We'll have a great deal of fun,' says the warped child's voice at the beginning of The Bran Flakes' I Don't Have a Friend. There's no reason to doubt it, either. Let me just say this: if you're the type of person who gets a subversive kick out of kiddie entertainment gone awry, cut 'n' paste mayhem and the absurd in general, you will get an even bigger rise out of The Bran Flakes. When you hear Johnny Depp speaking as Ed Wood about 'liking to wear women's clothes' juxtaposed with a '50s doo-wop chick singing about her unconditional love for a non-traditional guy is a magical moment. Or how about a cut-up of Evil Knieval talking to kids about how he's afraid of the dark and how a slap on the butt works for him. Taken out of context his macho blather sounds neurotic, perverse and hilarious. You'll probably want everything by The Bran Flakes. With three in the Score, Baby! collection, I'm feeling a rare sense of fulfillment. Will you join me?
Aquarius Records, 2001
Aaah, the fountain overflows with a facetious flood of tweaked tunes from Mr. Mildred Pit and Mr. Otis F. Odder. Together they are the Bran Flakes from Seattle, WA. Giving a tip of the hat to Irwin Chusid (radio host and champion of musical eccentrics everywhere ---Raymond Scott to name but one), they plunder and paste melodic incongruities (what was that?! a tv show theme? and that?! a Nancy Sinatra song? Lawrence Welk? Mickey Mouse?), children's voices, broadcast announcements, frantic beats, and exotica flourishes together like a giant demented pinata. At once, fluffily silly, yet strangely menacing. Features a collaboration with our pal Wobbly. Fabulous fans of Bruce Haack, People Like Us, Quintron, and Negativland, take note.
This fascinating audio collage experience is definitely worth trying. The tediously-collected vocal clips are fantastic, and so are the dinky background samples. When I say dinky, I mean good dinky, though, because this CD relies a lot on the cheesy, old-fashioned thrift-store finds that everyone seems to love nowadays. Particular highlights are songs like 'Dear Mom and Dad', 'The Enchanted Bus', and 'The Magical Fairy Princess'. Although you might find yourself skipping through a few of the less eventful tracks, you probably shouldn't, because the real best parts usually come close to the middle of the songs. One noticeable thing about this album is that, unlike other tape-collagists such as Negativland and People Like Us, many of the songs here rely mainly on the background music, instead of long strands repetitive vocal clips. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, because it means these songs will last better for repeated listening. But, don't worry, there still is some good verbal humour here, mostly tongue in cheek stuff like 'Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree' (an eerie child's voice singing a very weird song about popcorn). In fact, this album is probably worth tracking down just for that one track, it's positively disturbing! But that's not the only funny thing on this, this CD is packed to the brim in humour, with everything from cross-dressing to Evil Kneivel, there isn't anything this album doesn't have! Track it down, or order it off of www.thebranflakes.com, it's definitely worth it!
Gullbuy, August 2001
The Bran Flakes are 2 guys from Seattle that collage material they gather from vinyl thrift store finds and abandoned records like squirrels gather nuts. This CD has been one of my favorite discs since I first was turned onto it. It takes the ideas of bands like Russia's Messerchups, Cologne's Elektrotwist, or LA's DJ Me, DJ You to new heights. There are no guitars, basses, drums or keyboards in The Bran Flakes. I'm not sure, but I'll be that the only tool used by Bran Flakes is a sound editing program like Sound Forge. I remember when I first read about the UK band Bent. They said that they composed records out of snippets of awful LPs they found in car boot sales or the trash. When you listen to Bent, they sound like a very polished band, not at all what there description would lead you to believe. The Bran Flakes sound like a crazy conglomerate of things that shouldn't (and don't!) fit together. You'll hear the 'Baby Elephant Walk' below a confessional some girl is making to her parents from one of those hippy era novelty singles you see in used record shops, with a Free Design styled squaresville chorus accenting her story. That describes 'Dear Mom and Dad' (#6) just barely. At WZBC we have a public service announcement by Evil Knievel warning kids to wear helmets when bicycling. On 'Evil Knievel' (#3) you will hear him making outrageous statements over a drumbeat and crazy samples including his name chanted. It is masterful. The masterstroke of the disc to me is '(Theme To) The Mickey Mouse Club' (#18). The traditional song of the club is looped on the 'K' (making it KKK) and there are machine guns all over, making the theme into a scary military march complete with a drill sergeant. Every single song has some sort of special charm to it. There are 31 tracks, and only one you cannot play on the air (you can guess what the Smith Corona typing lesson teaches you to spell in THIS lesson). 'Friendly Persuasion' (#11) takes some 70s crooner and runs a tremolo effect on him with a cool rock beat below. How did they think of these combinations? There is one song that could be played next to Chicks On Speed and would still stand out with outrageous music charm. 'I Am A Groupie' (#30) is that song - it is almost perfect. While a girl declares 'I Am A Groupie' drum breaks and other samples dance around her words with joy. Many advertising jingles are used in tracks. There is a segment which uses the Halls Cough Drop campaign 'The halls of medicine' ('Turn The Channel It's Another Commercial'). This segment reminds me of Negativland, though I prefer Bran Flakes myself (now wasn't THAT from an ad?) Faves: 2,3,6,11,17,18,30
The Bran Flakes are one of the funniest bizarre bands I have ever encountered. Its obvious that Mr Fodder has spent a lot of time thrifting. This is the most fun sampled music on the planet earth. The samples are everywhere in the music! The Bran Flakes in a song about a cross dresser, show no shame and bravely sample 'He's A Rebel' by one of the 'Big Three Thou Shall Not Sample' entities, Phil Spector. (The other 2 are Disney and Mike Love/Not War - Beach Boys Inc.) The Bran Flakes have their own sound, just as Tipsy does. When you hear a Bran Flakes song you know its them. 'I Don't Have A Friend' is really a great and strange cd. The Bran Flakes understand how to use sampling to create a really weird universe of music. The album is really a fun listen! This cd is perhaps their best but I also highly recommend 'Hey Won't Somebody Come Out And Play', (1999) and 'I Remember When I Break Down', (1998) on the Ovenguard label. Go to the site: www.thebranflakes.com for sound samples and ordering information. Don't miss out on the link to Scrumdillyishus Land!! This is a fantastic music video site! One of my favorites on the www. The songs on scrumdillyishus are mainly on their first 2 cds.