Brian McBride


Brian McBride has been a member of Stars of the Lid since he met Adam Wiltzie in Austin Texas in 1990.  McBride had a radio show on the local college station.  As he described it to The Weekly Dig in fall 2002:  "I used to record any sound that caught my ear.  The sounds of in-need-of-repair ice cream dispensers in large cafeteria rooms would eventually be mixed with other found sounds on a four-track recorder for radio broadcast."  This use of sound as a raw material and source of information has been a continuing theme in McBride's musical endeavors.  With Adam Wiltzie in Stars of the Lid, McBride has recorded a number of albums and toured North America and Europe since the mid-90s. Mcbride also contributed to two albums by the hushed pop band The Pilot Ships. As one half of Stars of the Lid, Brian McBride has contributed to the essential drift music of our time.

His debut solo album, When the Detail Lost its Freedom was recorded mainly on an ASR X keyboard sampler.  The instruments recorded were guitar, piano, vocals, harmonica, trumpet and strings.  There were no synthesizers or keyboards used in the creation of the album.  There's a lot of sampling in the sense of capturing a tone, isolating its tuning, and playing it on the keys of a piano.  Guitars become piano-esque.  Room noise becomes room noise played on a keyboard.  And you can actually make out some guitars.   When the Detail Lost its Freedom is a collection of individual pieces and therefore released from the Lid's uninterrupted architecture.  The album was recorded somewhere in between Los Angeles  and Chicago, always at home, in random moments of duress over the last four years.  The final mix was  arranged  from December 2004 to January  2005.  Music guests included two singing ladies, an ex-wife and a fiancee,  two guitarists, notably Mike Linnen who did the soundtracks for All The Real Girls, Manic, George Washington, and Undertow,  The Morgan Park (Chicago) Step-Up Trumpet Section and violinist Eden  Batki,  referred to as The Inland Empire Symphony Quartet  on the credits.

When the Detail Lost its Freedom is a recording that sheds light on the notion of  "picking up the pieces and moving on."   It is a record of Brian McBride "getting it out" in the midst of some overwhelming situations, a recording made during a move from Chicago to Los Angeles.  The strong emotions the recording sessions tried to channel do bring a sense of awkwardness here that made it through to the finished product.   As McBride describes the recording process: "In retrospect, it probably has to do with some of my weaker moments.  Which is all fancy code for: it was therapy during a divorce and a move to a city which thrives on sucking the life of out people¹s souls."  As with Stars of the Lid's recordings there is a synthesis of different instruments ­ or maybe a reinvention through some gross mutation (of different guitars, violins, trumpets, harmonicas)—which then become the pooled tones for extended, and melodic development.   What you get are nacreous songs that pack a real emotional wallop, are reminiscent of Stars of the Lid (and lots more), and that earn a space on your shelf all to themselves.

kranky titles available
When the Detail Lost its Freedom

see also
Stars of the Lid - Avec Laudenum
Stars of the Lid - The Tired Sounds of,...
Stars of the Lid - Per Aspera ad Astra
Stars of the Lid - Gravitational Pull vs. The Desire For An Aquatic Life
Stars of the Lid - The Ballasted Orchestra

external links
Stars of the Lid -