Planetwork : New Release

May 4, 2009

HAIL TO THEE, BRUTE’S FORCE

A new release of Planetwork, shrink wrap, bar code and all! An eight panel, eco-conscious package, with pics you’ve never seen before…even one taken by Linda Eastman…before she married Sir Paul. Worth every penny, especially the music, Brute’s first New Age/World Music genre release, with titles like Fantasy of Nationality and Pledge of Allegiance to the Planet, will provide a new level of radical nationalism.

Download from almost every digital distributor. Try beginning with CD Baby, iTunes or DigStation.

Planetwork

From the Drudge Report:
MURDOCH WARNS: NATIONS WILL BE REDEFINED, FUTURES ALTERED
Tue Feb 24 2009 08:36:39 ET

Media baron Rupert Murdoch issued an urgent internal communication late Monday, warning his staff: “We are in the midst of a phase of history in which nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered.”

Brute Force says: Rupert must have listened to Planetwork.



Rock Writer Eugene Scalutti’s, Atomic Cocktail West Coast premier of Planetwork

March 5, 2009

“In a crisis, everyone has to pitch in. The popular online radio show Atomic Cocktail is no exception. That’s why, on March 4, it will reaffirm its commitment to music that doesn’t tax the senses with monotonous beats, lugubrious lyrics and uninspired performances. Instead, the program, airing Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. California time at www.luxuriamusic.com, will offer a scintillating audio stimulus package featuring music by the Pretty Things, Angels, Ramones, Jackie Wilson, the Ballroom and others. Plus: the premiere of Brute Force’s long-awaited new album, the heavily populated Action House chat-room, listener song dedications and more. Join host Vic Tripp for a live one, or tune in Saturday, March 7, for the show’s rebroadcast.”



Brute…a Jimmy Fallon fan!

March 4, 2009

2008-02-14_valentines_day_players

Brute after a private Valentine’s Day 2008 mini-set for (Left to right)
Steve Heiden, Jimmy Fallon, Ann Vellis and Howard Fishman
at The Players, NYC.


Cheap Fast and Out of Control

March 3, 2009

Daughter of Force has created a silk screen rendition of her father’s Pledge of Allegiance to The Planet.

Now at Scope Art Fair, Lincoln Center, Damroche Park, NYC. in the program, “Cheap Fast and Out of Control“, 3/4 thru 3/8/09, 11am -8pm.



Happy Valentines Day and All Days Day

February 14, 2009

cupid_on_a_battleship



Bering Strait Photos Uncovered

January 1, 2009

Brute Force with Captain Ben Schlossberg frolicking in Nome, Alaska, July 1968, prior to their swim in the Bering Strait.

Bering Strait 1

Bering Strait 2

Bering Strait 3

Bering Strait 4

Bering Strait 5

Bering Strait 6

Bering Strait 7



Brute meets Dana

October 10, 2008

Brute meets Dana Countryman at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC.

brutedana



Summer Update

June 18, 2008

BRUTE FORCE INVENTS NEW FLIP-FLOP LANGUAGE!!!

Floday, FLUNE 18,2008, flis flan flistoric flay flecause floday FLI, FLUTE FLORCE, flintroduce Flip-Flop flanguage flo fle florld. Flat fla fletter flime flo flintroduce Flip-Flopf Flanguage flan flin fle flummer, flen flany flof flus flear flip-flops?

Flanyway, flen FLI, FLUTE FLORCE, flas flin fle flUK flo fleet Florge Flarrison fland Flon Flennon, flabout Fling flof Fluh, flI flad flo flidea flat flin 40 flears flI flould fle flin fle fliddle flof fluch fla flantroversy! … Flimagine!!…fla flord flat flis flaid flillions flof flimes flaily florldwide, flis flill flensored., flom FM flan AM flay. Flease fleep flequesting flit flo flour flavorite fleejays.

FLASH!!! Fla flew fledition flof,
FLI FLUTE FLORCE, FLONFLECTIONS FLOF FLOVE,
flis flow flavailable.
Flemail brutesforce@aol.com.
FLADDITIONAL FLINER FLOTES!!!
Fland flits flonly $18. + $2 flost.

FOK Flute’s Florce…flell fle flow flou flike Flip-Flop flanguage…Flove flit?
Flan flave fla flappy flip-flop flummer!!!

Your Servant,
Brute Force



New York Press Review

July 4, 2007

from New York Press Review:

Brute Force is Back
A rock legend (that never quite made it) returns

When one thinks of rock ’n’ roll legends, Stephen Friedland isn’t a name that comes to mind. But under the pseudonym of Brute Force, he’s been an underground musical icon since the late 1960s. A singer and songwriter, his biggest claim to fame was having his 1969 song, “King of Fuh,” released by the Beatles’ record company, Apple—only later to be censored. Frustrated with the industry and the lack of success, Friedland dropped out of the music scene for almost two decades.

But the 66-year-old Friedland is now on the comeback trail. With a band of younger players, he’s performing his music once again to live audiences. The group, also named Brute Force, consists of Friedland, his daughter (and backing vocalist) Lilah Friedland, drummer Christy Edwards, guitarist Peter Pierce and bassist Steve DeSeve.

“It’s fun to play with a band,” says Friedland, “and to play my music, and for people to know about my musical track record and what I’ve done.”

Brute Force’s story is as eccentric as some of his songs. It began in Jersey City where Friedland learned to play piano at age six. Influenced by the Danish pianist Victor Borge, Friedland wrote melodic and humorous songs that carry a deeper, satirical meaning, hence the term “heavy funny.” “I guess I saw absurdity in life,” he explains. “I was very interested in the juxtaposition of things, why things happened.”

In 1964, while in NYC as a young adult, he met the producers Hugo and Luigi, who co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” They introduced Friedland to The Tokens, known for their hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Not only was Friedland hired as a songwriter for The Tokens’ music publishing company, he also became the group’s keyboardist.

In 1967, Friedland recorded as Brute Force with the album, I, Brute Force, Confections of Love, which was produced by John Simon, later renowned for his work with The Band. In late 1968, Brute Force recorded his song, “King of Fuh,” which is about a furry king in a magical land. The music and lyrics begin innocuously until they get to these lines: “I said the Fuh King—he went to wherever he wanted to go/Mighty mighty Fuh King/All hail the Fuh King.”

After the song was recorded, a musical friend of Friedland, Tommy Dawes of The Cyrkle, forwarded it to his manager, Nat Weiss, who knew Beatles manager Brian Epstein. According to Friedland, George Harrison was very receptive to the song and said so in a phone call. But according to Friedland, Capitol/EMI, which was Apple’s distributor, refused to release “King of Fuh.” Eventually, Apple privately issued the single for U.K. release. “They decided it was just too much for their small minds,” Friedland says of Capitol/EMI. “They had no compassion for a young 28-year-old artist. I was on the brink of international recognition. They decided that it would not happen.”

Friedland and his wife, Cynthia, then moved to California in the early 1970s to further his music career. He founded his own record company whose first project was releasing “King of Fuh” domestically. As he drove to radio stations in California to convince programmers to play the single, Friedland was met with rejections.

Brute Force’s career went downhill throughout the ’70s and so did his personal life—his marriage broke up soon after returning to the East Coast. Trying to make a living, Friedland worked as a paralegal at his father’s law firm in Edison, NJ. He also sought counseling. “I became very confused,” he said. “I needed help from people who could hear me speak, describe my thinking and give me some suggestions.”

After straightening himself out and wanting to get back into showbiz, Friedland performed under his real name on the comedy club circuit during the ’80s and ’90s. He had also done background work in movies such as Ghostbusters. By that time, he had already moved to NYC where he currently resides.

Around 2001, Friedland received an email from Gareth Jones, the leader of the U.K.-based rock band Misty’s Big Adventure. Jones came across the old Brute Force song “Tapeworm of Love” online and got hooked. “I was surprised to learn that he’d never had a band to play his songs,” Jones said. “And we had started covering “Tapeworm of Love” in the Misty’s live set. I guess we figured how hard would it be to just have Brute singing it instead of me!” Upon Jones’ invitation, Brute Force emerged out of retirement and joined Misty’s on stage in England. “It just put another spark of vitality that I really needed to get my music going again for sure,” he says. “Those people over there were like a godsend. A whole group of people all of a sudden playing my music, and me singing it.”

Now with his own band, Friedland is once again playing Brute Force’s songs at rock clubs. On the Web, Friedland promotes Brute Force by selling CDs and other items. “What I am looking forward to in music and song” he says, “is to communicate ideas, to transmit ideas of a valuable nature, so people will come away refreshed and more aware of their world.”



SXSW Review!

March 18, 2007

Review of Brute Force and Daughter of Force performance at SXSW by the San Antonio Express News.

Hector Saldaña: I, Brute Force is the real weirdness at SXSW 2007

031807bruteforce

So the Stooges brought “The Weirdness” to Stubb’s on Saturday. That wasn’t where the real weirdness was at on this last full night at South By Southwest Music & Media Conference 2007.

Or should I say the loveable-ness, too.

The Creekside EMC at Hilton Garden Inn was that place, with the truly entertaining, if eccentric and delightfully bizarre father-daughter act, Brute Force & Daughter of Force.

Why was I there? Equal parts Beatles conspiracy theory and just dumb luck.

I ran into Daughter of Force — a very lovely and talented woman I would come to learn, whose name is Lilah (she refused to divulge any further information of that variety) — while in line for the Rickie Lee Jones concert at the Parrish II on Friday.

In fact, she was stylishly dressed more like Jones than Jones, in what I would describe as that old Annie Hall look. She invited me to see her dad at their official SXSW 2007 showcase.

Her soft-sell pitch was strong: she was cute and her dad might be legendary.

You see, um, her 66-year-old dad claims to have made the most collectible and rarest Apple Record single, “King of Fuh.”

If the legend is true, it goes like this: Back in the late ’60s, Brute Force managed to get a demo recording of his naughty track about the land of Fuh (whose lyrics plead “all hail the Fuh King, the mighty Fuh King”) to the Beatles’ George Harrison.

Harrison is said to have dug it enough to have slapped some London Philharmonic strings on the master tape and re-mixed it.

When EMI and Capitol refused to release it, Apple pressed a small run of 45 rpm vinyl records because Harrison and John Lennon liked the subversive joke, which today on the collector’s market goes for $900 to $1,200. The B-side was the girl group the Chiffon’s song, “Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me).”

In his erratic career, Brute Force also toured with the Tokens, recorded the album, “I, Brute Force — Confections of Love” on Columbia Records and worked as prop comic under his given name, Stephen Friedland.

Fast forward from 1968 to SXSW 2007, and there is the dapper Brute Force in a suit and tie walking up to the lone upright piano onstage, followed by Daughter of Force, who has transformed into a vision of loveliness in a sweet dress.

Only the barely visible tattoos on her elbows of the words “thunder” (on her left) and “lightning” (on the other), and the feeling that Brute Force might have walked out of “The Shining” for real, offers any hint that this might be strange — and fun.

No one was disappointed.

The duo, which plays onstage like the Smothers Brothers of old with Daughter of Force playing the straight man to her quirky father working his out-of-control James Mason eyebrows to full comedic effect, opened with the simple, welcoming song, “Hello.”

Anyone within earshot couldn’t help but smile during “Let’s Put Them All Together,” a song whose twisted hook is a catchy, irreverent litany of the major religious prophets.

The patter between father and daughter was cute: pop comes across as a wild man and Lilah, an installation artist in New York, looks sort of protective and befuddled. Make that fuddled, because she’s a character, too.

She throws in ironic lines like, “On a lighter note,” before presenting the song, “We’re On a Collision Course with Doom.” The song offers a stuttering “My Generation” moment when the word “collision” is transformed into “cocoa, cocoa, cocoa-collision.”

Maybe their act is a cosmic joke, an act of sugary defiance and confrontation the way that Frank Zappa and Andy Kaufman once worked. But Brute Force & Daughter of Force was hardly testing the limits of their audience.

Rather, they arrested and engaged them — a rarity at SXSW 2007.

“Love Saves” veered toward traditional blues and was perhaps the closest thing to pop in their repertoire. “Space Mission” fractured that assessment with its silly falsetto vocal, as did “To Sit On a Sandwich,” which reminds that there’s nothing better than sitting on a sandwich or skipping through the coleslaw.

But it should be noted that the lovable duo, who have been performing together for 10 years, do harmonize and sing unison beautifully. He is a talented pianist.

Between numbers, Brute Force would stand up and bow oddly and drawl like John Wayne whenever he said, “Thank you.”

And just when I thought this night would pass into history without a unicorn reference, I learned it was probably inevitable when the pair sang “Golden Unicorn.” “The unicorn lives, even though he loses his horn,” Brute Force said, explaining the lyrics. “It’s like deers and antlers.”

Before closing with the requisite “King of Fuh,” the two did deliver an absolutely amazing gem, a song that Brute Force wrote back in the ’60s called “Stones.” With its “roll them stones” double entendre lyrics, this one was a genuine, timeless R&B tune. It should have been a hit.

After the gig, his first ever at SXSW, Brute Force talked about his odd career.

“I always played on the black keys,” said Brute Force, recalling how he first learned on the family piano as a child and make up melodies. He took lessons, but the basement was where he learned to create.

The New York native said that he quit college in his 20s, but that luckily “my family was able to tolerate me.”

He can’t remember if he was stoned when he wrote “King of Fuh.” He might have been high, he admitted, because he recalled it was inspired by a story or poem about a furry king. He heard it wrong, he said.

He kicks himself for not hanging on to more copies of his rare Apple Records record. He only has one copy. “It’s the rarest 45 ever,” he likes to say.

“I was a censored artist,” he added. “I dug down deeply into language taboo.”

About the possibility of fame and fortune in the 1960s because of the Beatles connection: “It was all ripped away from me at the age of 28, can you imagine?”

But Brute Force is happy and resigned to his cult status. He’s survived with a bigger-than-life personality and a sense of humor, albeit strange, weird and sweet. This ’60s casualty is articulate and sly — and has a growing legion of fans thanks to the Internet and MySpace.com.

Brute Force & Daughter of Force definitely passed the Sandy’s ice cream cone test (they’re every bit as pleasurable) and it’ll be worth seeking them out next time in New York. They’ve got a good thing going at the Player’s Club on East 20th Street.

Does he have big plans? There’s an off-Broadway musical, a one-man show and comedy act.

Oh yeah, and he’s trying to change the pledge of allegiance. His goes like this: “I pledge allegiance to my planet and to the universe all around and within me, one spirit indivisible with eternity for all.”