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brother:STONE meets Dr:WHO
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2001-12-04
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The first mpeg on brother:STONE's CD entitled, appropriately enough, brother:STONE, shoots you down a swirling blue tunnel and you end up hurtling over the surface of a nameless ocean. On the horizon hovers what looks like a flying saucer. But when you get closer, it's actually brother:STONE's logo, with the three band members perched precariously on its edges.

The second mpeg has them smoking around on sub-space skate-boards and introduces: j:stone - "smooth on the outside, hopeless behind closed doors"; m:stone - "soul searcher, just too many head injuries"; and d:b - "puts it all together, would love to know what goes on in that head".

The third is a scene-setter presenting them as Adversaries to the Evil dr:Pop whom, it would seem, temporarily rules all. In this mpeg, a mysterious entity with a deep, fruity computer-altered voice presents them with the Ultimate Internet Travel Machine - the blue 'Retardis'. Retard. Get it? Anyhow, it looks a bit like an old British police box and anyone who's ever seen the UK 'Dr Who' kid's series will recognise it instantly. Dr Who's Tardis (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is his home ......

...... but maybe you have see the CD to get the full flavour.

My daughter Emma, 5, got it. She was watching as I played the mpegs. Not as good as Toy Story 1 or 2, or Dinosaurs, she said. But still pretty cool. When it comes to cool, Emma knows her videos and if she says something's cool, it's cool.

Anyhow, you've now figured out that the movies also establish brother:STONE as a collective with an extremely warped sense of humour, always a major PLUS as far as I'm concerned.

Be that as it may, obviously, the brothers Stone had molto fun building the mpegs. And the same applies to their web page at http://www.brotherstone.tv with its very flash Flash intro which devolves into another scene-setter with the addition, this time, of an animated frog-like robot which turns into a playable juke box on which you get a good sampling of what you hear on the actual CD.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get the CD to run on auto on my computer. After giving me a loading message, it hung on the logo, leaving me in stygian blackness.

But I fired up the mpegs manually and played the songs on my CD player no problem. And what can I tell you? I'm not a reviewer. But I AM a musician, which means I know what I like. And I liked what I heard. It's good stuff and it grows on you and although the brothers three had an obvious blast making the animations, etc, their music is, good enough to stand on its own merits. They don't really need all the glitter, in my humble opinion.

But there ya go ... In the meanwhile, where are they from?

Zee Brozaires Ston ...
... are from Melbourne Australia.

"I bet you weren't expecting that," Mark said to me by email.

He's right. I wasn't. But having seen their mpegs, I have no trouble believing it. After all, this is the country which gave us Crocodile Dundee and Road Warrior, not to speak of Ned Kelly, Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage, Errol Flynn, and so on. Need I say more? heh

Anyhow, Mark and Jay are brothers and 'd:b' is a brother-in-law, which obviously makes the band a family concern and, the guys explained to me, "Basically mark and d:b started a songwriting team and we were getting Jay to cut the songs. One thing lead to another and started to get off on what we were creating and wa la brother:STONE was born.

"We had this vision of bringing it all together. Multi-media , internet, music, story, animation and performance together in one forum ... brotherStone. We also wanted to be different and new, something with a little bit more, maybe progressive is the word. So after a bout of inspiration from Mark, the story was born along with all the characters such as dr:POP and Reffa the reggae king etc.

"Then started the long journey to put together the album - characters, animation and the Internet site.

"That was a long and tough haul. It really seemed to take for ever. Also, we self funded the project. We believed in it so much that we worked so brother:STONE could grow. It was very hard. But after finally finishing the product it feels like we haven't even begun the journey.

"The perspiration basically starts now. It's the time where we have to sell ourselves and the concept that we have made. But you have to be in it to win it. It's the people that never say die that finally get there."

Mark and d:b come from computer and internet design backgrounds respectively but the trio say they considerable assistance with the characters and animation. "A lot of good people helped us," said Mark, "and they can be found on the CD. They made it all possible."

I wondered if this exposure to the virtual world meant the brothers:STONE would now venture into the realm of pure electronic music.

"It's funny," said Mark. "We've just started gigging and we've been doing our songs acoustically. Wow! Three-way harmony with guitar. So the situation is quite ironic, we find ourselves actually moving away from the electronic sound.

"However, I think that the brother:STONE albums will always have some dance or electronic components. I like the way the electronic sound sits. I like energy. So we will keep writing them and see where they go...haaaa"

With good music and a Retardis on tap, how can they go wrong?


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