Cottonwoodhill (1971) by Brainticket
Unless the CAT scan shows lasting damage, I am forever indebted to my friend Aaron Aldorisio. You see, when we were working together in Amoeba Music’s used rock section some years back, Aaron put this album in my hand and said, “Take the Brainticket, dude.” I thought about it. The cover depicted a woman drowning in a bottomless whirlpool of lysergic nightmares, mind forever blown, and that was kind of scary. But then I remembered the lyrics to Cream’s “World of Pain”; and besides, Aaron talked about his love of GG Allin a lot, so obviously I figured, here is a guy I can trust with my nervous system. Besides, what was I going to do, not take the Brainticket?
The liner notes for the Brainticket record made the ultimate claim to heaviness, a champion brag that remained unchallenged until it was (falsely) alleged, years later, that Ozzy and Priest were programming teens for self-murder. Cottonwoodhill remains a special case. Where godheadSilo’s debut, say, only threatened to ruin your stereo equipment, this here record album by Brainticket threatened to wreck your brain itself. Not your “self-esteem,” not your hand-eye coordination, not your response time or SAT scores or some obscure though vital mental process, but the actual glob of tissue between your ears. Says right there on the jacket! And unlike Hawkwind’s Space Ritual, the kidding-on-the-square ad campaign for which boasted that the Hawklords inflicted “permanent brain damage” on concert audiences, the Brainticket record was banned, it’s said, in several countries and issued with this dire warning:
Only listen once a day to this disc. Your brain might be destroyed!
Hallelujah Records takes no responsability [sic].
Brainticket in the studio (via brainticketband.com)
Led by Belgian jazzer Joel Vandroogenbroeck, Brainticket was an especially obscure Krautrock group that released three albums during the early ‘70s. This was their first. (Some people insist the band was originally called Cottonwoodhill and the first album titled Brainticket. So what?) They’ve reunited several times since first getting back together in the early ‘80s, and Brainticket released a new studio album last year.
Since posting all of Cottonwoodhill might present a grave danger to public health, I’m only embedding the part where you are peaking, your personality has disintegrated into one billion self-annihilating Nerf balls, and grandma is having you placed under involuntary psychiatric hold. I’m not responsible for the consequences if you listen to this on headphones. Hey, dabblers and Sunday drivers: If you doubt that this music can have serious, lasting effects on your cognitive functions, check out the official Brainticket website. Notice anything? Every single link is dead. Think about that before you push play, and remember: You can’t “un-take” the Brainticket.