Brendan Reed was born on March 21, 1978 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was an active member of the art and music community in Williamsburg from 1993-1999. Williamsburg is best known for Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and The College of William and Mary. While attending high school Reed organized, composed for, and performed with a number of local groups: Robes of Alchemy (1989–1991), Evil Colossal (1991–1996), Uneducate Evil (1996–1999), The Buttons (1997–1999), The Spartans (1997–1998), Bizarro (1998), and Nocarsgo (1998–2003).
Between 1989 and 1999 Reed founded three bands featuring the same four core members: Reed on vocals and guitar, guitarist Duane Lauginiger (The Family, The Octobers, Moste Potente Potions, Dark Horse and the Carousels, Boney Loner and the Sacred Teachers), bassist Fredrick Burton III (The Cat The Mouse, Hieronymus Bosch, Bitter) and drummer Jaques Hagee (The Family, The Silver Hondas). All three bands: Robes of Alchemy, Evil Colossal, and Uneducate Evil released limited edition cassette albums locally and appeared on compilations assembled by members of the local music community.
Robes of Alchemy began as a four track recording project and released three full-length cassettes: Clad (1989), Crustaceans (1991), Dripper Mons (1992) and the EP Lod (1990), as well as a two hour video cassette entitled Open Now Single File. The band did not perform publicly under this name, primarily exploring song writing and recording techniques.
Evil Colossal's Self Serving EP appeared on the Unique Catatonia compilation (1994), a collection of EPs from three Virginia based bands (produced by Greg Will at Mantra Mañana). In addition to the Evil Colossal EP, the compilation included EPs by Placebo and The Cult of Ophelia. Self Serving EP featured the songs Puritan Family, Shaped Like Maine, Richmond Inconvenience Choir, and Lincoln Continental. In 1996 Evil Colossal's Theory of Ownership and Admiral Columbus appeared on a compilation of home recordings by bands based in Williamsburg entitled Evolution (produced by Jeff Will). In 1994 guitarist John Altonen joined the band briefly, he was replaced by Brishen Rogers who left the band in 1995. While the band did not release a definitive full length recording, cassette tapes circulated and they often performed and organized shows in Williamsburg and the surrounding areas. Much of the material that Evil Colossal performed was reinterpreted then recorded and released by Uneducate Evil.
Uneducate Evil released three EPs (featuring six songs each). Each of these EP's were officially untitled but were informally listed and referenced according to the date they were recorded: 6/11/97, 7/3/97, and 9/16/97. All three EPs were compiled onto CD by Villa Villa Nola in 2000 in a release called Secret Trail. Uneducate Evil often performed at local benefits and shows organized by the small community of young musicians sharing recording gear, live sound equipment, and the all-ages performance space at The Shed. The band coordinated and staged numerous all-ages events in Williamsburg and surrounding small towns. Artist and guitarist Quinn Taylor joined the band in 1998 and drummer Greg Will replaced Jacques Hagee when he left the band in 1997. Uneducate Evil rarely performed outside of Virginia but was invited to perform at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, Ohio) in May and July 1996.
The Buttons (1997–2000) consisted of guitarist and vocalist Leeanna Miller, bassist Gregg Davenport, and Reed on drums. The group performed throughout Virginia (1997–1999) and completed a tour of Belgium and The Netherlands in 1999. The Buttons self-released two albums on CD: Always Home Never Home (1997) and Pups Plus (1999). In 2000, Gregg Davenport moved to Montreal with Reed. In 2002 he joined Reed on the Arcade Fire EP, playing French Horn. Reed and Davenport collaborated on singles and experiments released on Reed's website (1999–2004).
The Spartans(1997–1999) consisted of Reed on drums and vocals, Lauginiger on bass guitar and vocals, and Quinn Taylor on guitar and vocals. The group often performed as The Spartans (Volcano River). The band made numerous live recordings and self-released one record (Volcano River in 1998). They rarely performed outside of Virginia but were invited to play at the Rhode Island School of Design with Smart Went Crazy and Faraquet on May 1, 1998. Reed makes reference to Volcano River on a later recording with Think About Life entitled Bastian and the Boar. The Spartan's recording of Never Ending Story was featured on Arcade Fire's early demos.
Nocarsgo (1999–2006) consisted of members of Uneducate Evil, Bizarro, The Spartans and performed in 1999 only once at Trinkle Hall at William and Mary College on New Years Eve, 1998. Reed continued to perform solo shows under this name until 2006. Reed released one record as Nocarsgo, called Maryland Overgrow (2006).
In 1998 Reed moved to Providence, Rhode Island. He formed NinetyNineTimesZeroEqualsZero with friend Robert Parker of Petalboat. The group performed only once publicly but Reed and Parker recorded material later released on Reed's WWWW label. Reed released Petalboat's first record entitled I Light Up My Life on his label, Villa Villa Nola, in 2008. In November, 1999 Reed briefly moved to Savannah, Georgia with Uneducate Evil guitarist Duane Lauginiger but soon left the south for Great Barrington, Massachusetts to live with his father and attend at Bard College at Simon's Rock. While living in Great Barrington Reed recorded the Fiery Foe Postulate II recordings from January to April 2000. This collection of songs was released at nocarsgo.org and consisted of 37 songs written, recorded, and mixed in a twenty minute limit. Reed also produced a short video entitled WMOK during this time.
Reed relocated Montreal in 2000 and joined Arcade Fire after meeting Win Butler. The two shared an apartment until Reed left the band soon after the release of their first EP after a fellow band member was fired from the group. His drumming, guitar, and vocals appear on their debut EP, in addition to lead vocals on two of the tracks on their earlier demo. Songs played and written by this incarnation of the band were later recorded for Funeral. The song No Cars Go, which was featured on the aforementioned EP and was later re-recorded for Neon Bible, is named after Reed's earlier band and web-based project of the same name.
In 2002 Reed founded Les Angles Morts with Myles Broscoe, Owain Lawson, and Kyle Fostner, an instrumental group that composed and performed scores for short videos created by the band members. The band released one album, entitled What's Real? (2005) on Blue Skies Turn Black Records, and numerous untitled 3" mini CDs. The band toured the eastern United States, Quebec, and Ontario. Two of Les Angles Morts' US tours featured The Creeping Nobodies from Toronto, Ontario as supporting act. Les Angles Morts also toured with Japanther, Explosions in the Sky, Need New Body, and Black Eyes. The band disbanded in 2005. Reed briefly recorded and performed with Kyle Fostner under the name Secrets of Mana in 2007.
In 2002 Reed founded Let Lowns with guitarist Victoria Morrison. The band also included Canadian writer Jeff Miller on bass and backing vocals (2002) and bassist Mackenzie Ogilvy. Let Lowns self released one album (later released by Villa Villa Nola) called Humbilical Horde (2004). Personal stories about Reed are featured in Jeff Miller's book, Ghost Pine and the Wolf issue of the Ghost Pine Zine. Reed's drawings are featured on the cover of Wolf.
In 2003 Reed played drums with The Unicorns opening for The Microphones in Montreal. Reed's speaking voice is featured on the recording of I Was Born a Unicorn from the album Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?.
In 2007 Reed played bass guitar, guitar, and drums in Think About Life. He wrote the lyrics and sang lead vocals on Bastian and The Boar and along with Think About Life drummer and artist Matt Shane, re-designed the cover art for a Japanese release of their debut album, Think About Life, and the Black Champagne EP, released by Escalator Records (Tokyo). Reed wrote material for and performed on the EP Black Champagne and in sessions for the record Family. Reed toured with the band in the United States (with Art Brut and Robocop Kraus), Canada, and Japan before leaving the group in March 2008.
In 2007 Reed founded Clues. Their debut album was released on May 19, 2009 by Constellation Records. Reed created the cover art in collaboration with Leyla Majeri. He created and curated the videos and artwork released to promote the group. Clues toured the United States, Canada, and Europe (2008–2010). They disbanded in 2010.
Reed is the founder of Villa Villa Nola, a not-for-profit arts organization that began as an online music store featuring commissioned recordings. In 2010 he founded LTS - Online Independent Ticketing, along with Suoni Per Il Popolo Experimental Music Festival, run by Mauro Pezzente "providing small venues, festivals, and promoters DIY tools to sell tickets online." In 2011 Reed started HelloEveryone.org, a company focused on art direction, art installation, and production design. In 2011 Reed founded Black Light Times, a satirical website featuring interviews with artists and musicians lit by black light. The audio is treated with psychedelic sound effects.
Reed has written, directed, and performed in numerous short films screened at galleries, shows, and small film festivals in Canada, United States, Europe, and Japan: WMOK (2000), Black Lion Horror Cave (2002), Search for Nazi Gold (2003), How Where the Redfern Grows Was Ruined for Ry Russo Young (2005), Forever Cuts (2006), Finish Hymn (2006), Cobra (A Choir with No Voice) (2008), Gorge On! Sugarcube (2010), Hat Contest (2010), Pulpit (2010), and Once Touching Now (2011).
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