• Bittersweet’s 1st Review Revisited…

    Posted in Blog by Brooke Trout

    Back in July of 2007 Brooke Trout got her first review of her debut album Bittersweet produced by Rhythm Core Alpha creator Timon Marmex (SoftEgg Studios, 2006). This comprehensive review by music critic Billy Sheppard of Rogue Radio, Idaho was comprehensive and thorough!


    “Without the bitterness that counterbalances my timid optimism, there’s no way that I would have ever found myself in the bittersweet state of mind.” (From “My Own Rocky Road” recipe for Rocky Road Bars)

    “What is generally termed reality is, to be precise, a frothy nothing.” (Hugo Ball)

    “To live into the future means to leap into the unknown, and this requires a degree of courage for which there is no immediate precedent and which few people realize.” (Rollo May)

    “Music is a healing force. That’s what good art is. That’s what art is. I shouldn’t say ‘good’ because that’s an entirely personal call. It’s magic, … What is music? Where does it come from? We have the ability to take these instruments and voices and make these notes with them and do these things with them. What the heck is that? It’s magic. It does what nothing else can do.” (Shawn Colvin)

    We are all being asked constantly to believe what we know is a lie. My toothpaste makes me sexy. We are spreading democracy in the region. M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand. It’s all fishy. We may as well accept that we are all fish. Brooke Trout is well ahead of the curve on this score. Others may refuse to accept their scales, preferring to bend their fins painfully into the signature trait of humankind: the opposable thumb. Acceptance is the key.

    In order to be marketed to a culture built on lies, Brooke has transformed her creative self into a bar of chocolate. Expecting a traditional information disc from the artist, I opened an envelope to find a square object wrapped in tin foil, labeled Hershey style with Brooke’s image in base relief and the words “BITTERSWEET” marked across the image. I removed the tin foil, to find a jewel box CD case and a traditional compact disc. Nevertheless, the spell has been cast! It is a chocolate bar from a fish.

    I have met this artist in human form. Across a table at Denny’s. She appeared to be a disturbingly smart biped, with expansive ideas, schooled in Carl Jung, and the extraordinary ability to see things for what they mean, and to treat symbols as tangible things. I knew at once that she was a subversive, despite her unassuming human form.

    At first listen to what looks to be music CD, she appears in the form of Souxsie of the Banshees, with some sort of electronic shimmer bubbling like an echo through the waves of consciousness or a bioluminescence well out of my depth. The music seems to swim. But after I became acclimated to Brooke’s deep waters, I found myself feeling at home again. A kind of déja vu. We all, they say, came from the sea. I had the feeling that my life was beginning to make sense in this new element. Life on my TV had turned into a disturbing pack of lies. Imagine that. I am eating the Bittersweet, and I’m beginning to see things that I had forgotten to notice. I live in Brooke’s pond now.


    ROLLER COASTER LOVER begins with a calliope introduction accentuated with the sound of a dime store xylophone. The fuzz tone guitar and drum kit pound and cymbal ride begins. “Roller coaster lover, we got off track, baby. You swung me up and down and round and round and never thought I’d hear the sounds you make…” This music is a fun house ride, through the dark, in a mountain with flashing lights. Space Mountain through a seascape of sensual images. “I like ’em long and strong with a ride that goes all night and leaves you screaming to get off!” We have cut in line for this ride. But once it begins, it isn’t safe to leave the vehicle. Terrifying and satisfying.

    RAINDROPS is a refreshing lighter sprinkle of a thing, with Whoo Whoo! coming from the wings. “What you did made me ashamed. You said you loved me with those raindrops in your eyes.” The raindrops seem to drop like Pachinko balls bouncing in an echoplex. “I must believe that there are things that you can’t hide, and I will storm on through inside.” Brooke’s human heart speaks through the mixture of distance and hurt. “I will cruise on through in time. I will cruise on through. And I will cruise on through in time. In time.” This is an extraordinary underwater soundscape through the eternity of deception and loss, but time is still moving, still unmoved. I would applaud this observation, if my fins were long enough. But it will help me one day to swim away.

    THANKS “for telling me that I’m not the one to bear this weight.” In sea world, things come and go. “I want to thank you. I never thought you would fly. I never thought you would say goodbye.” My life on land has been full of mysterious disappearances. The fluid nature of relationships, I suppose. “Don’t want to let go, but I know, it’s the only way. Don’t want to say goodbye to you. It means so much to finally know it’s true.” This may be an answer to the soul song “Never can say goodbye.” There is something more at stake from the beginning. A dirge of a tempo, with a chorus of Brookes. “Don’t want to let go, but I know, it’s the only way.” Roethke said it first, “What falls away is always, and is near.” This is dreamlike separation anxiety.

    STEEL takes an electronic up-tempo tone. Fast words with a sound like bowed metal. “You pray that one day they would know your shame.” Something darker this way comes. “Looking for guilt that you will forget. How can we live without regret? And how could the hurt an innocent child? And how could know that now she can smile, yes, into my arms.” The song takes an inarticulate turn, with a banshee yodel of faux ecstatic utterances, salted with “I’m so sick” and maybe something about being “in the water,” but my subconscious refuses to translate. Something lost, and “you’ve always refrained from screaming.” How could they hurt an innocent child. From something must have happened back at the hatchery.

    WINTER takes a turn for the keyboard brass faded to green by the algae. A dance number, I think, before the sea took it’s toll. There is a swimmy feel about this song, with deliberate slide whistle sort of tromboning of the recording tape. “You saw her with a drive by… knew she would die. Feel free to drive on in your car. Soul cowards.” The feeling of nausea permeates this encounter. “No one could ever wake her up!” These things must happen where even the bathosphere dare not go. “You won’t hear the sound, when she hits the ground. ” This song is adrift in the brutality of the sea.

    MANNA brings in a tempo dropped in a haphazard manner from the skies. “You might have broken in, but you haven’t broken me! And you don’t get to steal every damn thing you see. Cause I’m watching out, and I’m watching you, and I’m going to be one to break this phone!” Breaker breaker, this is “Every night I pray for all of this pain and hate to go away. Cause I can’t be afraid to love again. Cause I don’t want to be the one who just goes through the motions, baby.” A thief in the house of love. “I’m tired of being brave, and I’m tired of being shamed, but we’re all just slaves to love.” Love on the rocks. It’s broken love washed up in the break water. “It’s time to say we’re through!” Break the phone… Hello, this is AT&T, Verizon, PacBell, Sprint, Nokia calling. Please kill the messenger machine! Bad love.

    PRESIDING punk ballad fuzz bass frolic. “Watching, waiting, she wilts just like a flower. Frying, hating, she builds the power note beside her.” An unprecedented emotion. “No time, oh yeah, it’s nonsense, but you got the airwaves.” The sleep of reason has produced a sea monster. The laughter at the end of this rant may not be as warm as a sidelong pickerel smile. “The way she feels she is not real.… We’re all just liars liars liars liars!” Row, row, row your boat, life is but a dream.

    PRINCE HARMING “My Prince Harming has been lying in my arms everyday. Yes, my champion, my man stallion runs around in every way!” Well, it’s a another breakup song. “Lying must continue. The fairytale is through and I don’t really care, cause I’d rather be free than trapped up in your lair.” A series of mind games worthy of Diane Wakowski’s poetic two step “Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch.” This level of music pain, in varying tempi, is a serrated cut of raw Souixshe, left in the sun near the mayonnaise for too damn long. This catharsis may require some syrup of epicac. Danger Will Robinson! Danger Jacques Couteau! Deliberate nausea to break a poison induced numbness.

    SURBURBAN COCKTAIL skewers the raw banshee fish cabob to a social distortion. Garage band outtakes overcome the “Wear your best clothes, that’s the way! Get your check and you get paid because you LOOK good.” Yes, but is that enough? Isn’t there more to life? Something spiritual please. “Go to church every Sunday, wear your cross and you get saved because you LOOK good. You’re so good, yes, you do.” It’s the suburban cocktail, suburbane, subhuman? Naw! Look closer. “You LOOK good.” And one might think that would not be enough. Prey! Prey! Prey find some peace! Gulp.

    ROTTEN EGG is the show ender. “Why do you make it so much harder?” The organs are swollen from the poison, and excreting a bilious fluid distortion. A bad egg? We are informed it is “infertile.” One can only hope. Else what rude beast should hatch, and drag itself on its brutalized fins toward Bethlehem to be born? “I consented! I ask you again if you want to live this way? Too bad!” “A womb gone sour, oh the power… I consented!” Punk is the abortion, grunge may be the after birth. “The jokes on me!” This one won’t settle your nerves. “You are the coward!”

    Well, alrighty then. This tour of the deep is brought to you by the loss that keeps on giving. But if you didn’t have the courage, you wouldn’t have spent your E ticket on this ride, now would you? There will be free chocolates for the surviving children. The Neptune Society can arrange to dispose of those of you who choose to live out your powdered lives in Davy Jones Locker! Ha Ha!

    What is an appropriate response to pain? Is it punk? Is it grunge? Is it poison?

    Tristan Tzara was a fish from the same stream as Brooke Trout. A dancing pickle of a man. He knew nothing but he knew this: “Freedom: Dada, Dada, Dada, crying open the constricted pains, swallowing the contrasts and all the contradictions, the grotesqueries and the illogicalities of life.”

    If you want the plants to grow faster, play Mozart. Brooke sleeps with the fishes. She knows that the sleep of reason produces sea monsters. Sooner or later everything floats to the surface. Make room for Dada!

    –Brooke’s latest live concert reviews of Von Grey and Tarra Layne are now live in this month’s edition of Music Connection. Check out the reviews on page 51 and 52 online here: http://musicconnection.com/magazine/current-digital.

    And while you’re at it check out the tastiest cocktails for Spring in Brooke’s latest article for Mahoganygirl.net! http://mahoganygirl.net/spring-cocktails/

    Brooke is an official part of The Soupy Gato Family so wants to spread the word that if you are a band that fits any of the following requirements: Liechtenstein Traditional of any country Folk Pagan Metal Meditate cool-crazy-weird (just have good sound) Make submissions to: For Mp3’s : soupygato [at] gmail [dot] com For CD’s send via snail mail to: Daniel J Harris Kesselloop 25 4813NS Breda The Netherlands

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