I'll Wear Any Color As Long As It's Black

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Posted in / / / by Jeralyn on October 14, 2009


Every now and then, the internet makes miracles happen. I am definitely one to bitch about the way music/the scene is adversely affected by the internet but that doesn’t mean that we all don’t reap some enormous benefits from it, too. I first heard Teenage Brain Surgeon on a bootleg comp called “Rare and Minimal Wave Sounds” found via Soulseek. When I first started getting into minimal synth, I would google bands and then try to track down as much of their discography as I could on Soulseek and later, music blogs. The proliferation of music blogs really made things a lot easier because people would often describe the music, upload pictures and give various other release information which is helpful to any record collector in determining if they want to take a leap to listen to a record (even when you are just downloading, there is so much to sift through, you need some method to figure out what you think you’d like). Anyway — “Years Went By” was the track on that comp and I thought it was beautiful and haunting and wonderful. I put it on about a million mixes and DJed it all the time. More Soulseek trolling led me to another track from the same 7″ — “Fatal Day” (my favorite and a constant in my DJ sets). And since Discogs had a picture of this rare 7″, I knew there was one track (“Cold”) that I was missing. A while later, Frankie and I were trading some music and I sent him TBS and told him how I had never been able to track down “Cold.” Well, another while later and he found it! I’ve no idea how and I don’t even care — that’s not even the best part. The best part is that when Frankie posted the 7″ on his blog, someone from Teenage Brain Surgeon read it! Direct quote from the comments section:

so weird to read this. after having recorded the songs (in 1988), we didn’t have a chance to listen to them before pressing. and when we finally did, we didn’t want to release the single at all, because we were so disappointed by the result. from the initial 1000 copies approx. 300 were given to friends and fans etc. “Fatal Day” is the only record we ever made (but we released a few tapes then).

but nice to hear that “it never fails in a DJ set” in 2009.

So it has truly come full circle. And I would recommend that any fan of “rare and minimal wave sounds” go and download this immediately because each song is amazing and perfectly encapsulates everything that I love about minimal synth. I think that a lot of people who aren’t record collectors (because there, the trend has definitely been leading towards synth for a while) don’t understand that synth is SO PUNK! At a time when everyone was grabbing a guitar and banging out whatever they wanted (the 80s), all these bands who wanted to do something experimental and futuristic began building their own analogue synthesizers and creating the craziest sounds to go with songs about sadness and love that were still infused with a pop sensibility. While any band today can still be “punk” by grabbing guitars and drums, very few take the time to use analogue synthesizers and as a result, this sound has been practically lost! (Besides, of course, within the Wierd family and a few other small enclaves of modern coldwavers.) If you would like to delve further into this topic, you should definitely pick up the Wierd Compilation Volume II : Analogue Electronic Music 2008 and read Pieter and Sean’s essay about the analogue synthesizer as a folk instrument of resistance.

Anyway, back to Teenage Brain Surgeon — GET IT HERE.

5 Responses

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  1. eve said, on October 17, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    LOVE this. LOVE the blog. thanks for sharing.

    xx eve

  2. Jeralyn said, on October 19, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    Awesome! Glad you like it xx

  3. […] found its way into my hands! The story is a little convoluted and begins, or at least is told, in this post I made a few months ago. As stated in that post, when my friend Frank posted this on his blog, he was […]

  4. Megan said, on January 27, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    This is fantastic- your whole last paragraph is so ON IT! I feel that synth is often looked over as somehow “less-than”, as something without emotion or soul, that’s not as raw or real as guitar punk. They don’t hear the grittiness and dirtiness in it that I love.

    I just downloaded these tracks and I’m listening to and loving them right this moment. I love synth, so thank you for introducing me to something new and fresh (to me)!

  5. Jeralyn said, on January 27, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Awesome! So glad you get it and that I could share this music I love with someone who understands! xx

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