Brainiac’s Return to Green Bay (and it’s about goddamn time, too)

Nicole and I arrived at the Concert Cafe a bit late, so we missed the opening band, Gazillion. From what I hear, I missed out on quite the rockin’ set. Oh well, maybe next time. However, we showed up in plenty of time to see Milwaukee’s own Compound Red deliver a solid set of loud, fat (not “phat”) sounding rock music. The Compound Red boys never fail to blow my fool ass away, so if they ever manage to tour and make it into your town, be a good chap or chapette and go see them, k? It was at this time I spied Meester TimmyTaylor standing at the side of the stage, giving Compound Red every bit of his attention. As the set wound down, I worked my way over to him and said, in my own reserved, calm, completely-in-control manner, “HI TIM!” As usual, he recognized my face, but forgot my name. He SHOULD recognize my face by now, since I’ve been foolhardy enough to chace these guys all the way down to Lollapalooza in Chicago when they played the second stage. I was instructed by Dustin from Chicago to mention the web page to them, since he did too, so I brought it up. Tim’s response was “Oh, that’s your web page? Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s great!” Awwwww yeah, Tim digs the page. OK, I’m giddy now. We chat for a little while longer about the other bands playing…”Have you ever seen US Maple?” Tim asks. “No,” I’m forced to respond. “They’re really great, you’ll love them.” “Cool.” Then John walked up to us and Tim went off with him.

Nicole and I then headed outside for awhile to hang out with my roommate Kory. Meester head promoter guy Rich threatens to frisk Nicole when she comes back in, and Assistant Door Guy Paul #2 (of Boris the Sprinkler fame) does frisk Kory right in his smooth. “Nothing in THERE!” Paul bellows. Nicole decides that Rich wants her because she’s getting some “long, hard looks” from him. Well, I can’t blame him, since she had this really killer black shirt on…anyway, this has nothing to do with the narrative, so we’ll move on.

I go over to the merchandise table to say hi to Juan in my usual reserved, calm, completely-in-control manner. “HI JUAN!” Juan, as well, recognizes my face but doesn’t remember my name. I ask him about the Brainiac page as well as that whole “fuck email” thing on the Hissing Prigs insert. The deal is this: seems Juan bought himself a modem to go online, but it got struck by lightning and refused to work, hense the “fuck email” remark. Juan says that they’re all into the web and the net and such, but it’s hard to get an account set up when you’re on the road all the time. I suppose he’s right; the only way the Poster Children can make page updates on the road is to go through AoHell, and God knows we wouldn’t want Brainiac dealing with THOSE numbnuts, now would we? I tell him I’m gonna bootleg the show, and he sounds thrilled. “I just hope we sound good enough,” he says. “You shoulda brought a video camera and made a quicktime video!” Yeah, well, maybe next time, ok?

US Maple then take the stage, and everyone is stunned. Imagine Brainiac without a bass or Moog, just two guitars, drums, and a guy up front howling not one intelligible word. “These guys HAVE to play the Noisefest!” my friend Jordn exclaims. I’m inclined to agree, because they fucking RULE! Oh, what’s the Noisefest, you ask? It’s an annual music fest in Green Bay filled with nothing but noise bands. Now quit asking me shit, I’m telling a story. Sheesh… Anyway, seeing US Maple for the first time reminded me of the first time I saw Brainiac a little over two years ago. That said, you should know that you HAVE to check them out.

Of course, Brainiac destroyed the place when they went on. They opened up with a song I didn’t recognize, then went into “Hands of the Genius”. The place proceeded to go nuts. The set actually had one more song from Bonsai Superstar than it had songs from Hissing Prigs. They played two more new songs including one called “Mr. Fingers”, went through “Sexual Frustration”, “Go Freaks Go”, “Vincent Come On Down”, and several other smash hits, and the crowd loved every minute of it. The bubonicing hardly ever let up. What’s a “bubonic”, you ask? Quit bugging me! Read the interview I did with the band and find out yourself, OK? Now SHUT UP!

This is the night’s set list. Duh.

Later in the set a pair of Klingons came over from one of the bars, walked up on stage behind Juan, waved, and left again. I told my friend Gomps, who was taking pictures, to get a photo of them, but he failed. Lameass.

Anyway, this is getting way too long, so I’ll start to wrap up. After the set we screamed for an encore, which they were only too happy to provide. It consisted of one song, “Indian Poker (Part 3)”. Since that song is about one minute long, we screamed for a secong encore. After about 5 minutes, we finally got them back out on the stage, where they proceeded to play a fourth new song. They then closed the show with “A song we play every time we come up here. This song’s called DRAAG!” Yes! They haven’t completely forgotten the Smack Bunny Baby songs. It was a perfect end to one of the best Brainiac sets I’ve ever seen. As soon as Nicole was able to get the guys to sign a dollar bill, we headed out. Thus ends this hideously boring show review.