Brandi Lyon

Photo by James BunoanWhen artistic 22-year-old keyboard player Brandi Lyon (of the defunct band Nightmare Syndicate) isn't directing videos for independent record companies, she's hanging out at her kitschy restaurant, which not only has a bar but also caters to vegans, meat eaters and everyone in between. Well, not really, but these are the things she'd like to do one day. In the meantime, she's content to work in hardware and accounting at a lumber yard and study film at OCC.

Brandi Lyon: I've been listening to a lot of late '70s/early '80s electronic bands. I really like this Fad Gadget seven-inch. Fad Gadget was one of the bands that kick-started the late '70s and early '80s electronic underground—this was like before and during the Kraftwerk era. OC Weekly: Are they dark and austere?

Yeah, pretty much. He—it's one guy—is more focused on the performance than the electronic aspect. It's really raw-sounding.

Who else are you into?

I've been really getting into Clinic. They're really good, like a cross between Beck, Radiohead and the Pixies—really strange, eerie vocals. Experimental. I really love the Pixies; they're one of my favorite bands. Surfer Rosa is my favorite album. I really got into the new Dead and Gone The BeauticianLP; "Leave the Dead to Bury the Dead" was a great song.

Do you mostly just listen to vinyl?

I own more CDs than vinyl, but I appreciate vinyl more—the antiquity. It just sounds so much better on vinyl because it gives it that raw edge. Oh—also there's a really great band called Cabaret Voltaire. They're more on the mellow, moody side of electronic music. I'm also into the new Distraction seven-inch. They're from Huntington Beach—they're pretty raw, like '77 punk-style stuff. Yelpy vocals.

What movies are you into?

I like Metropolis—it's a German noir-type silent film. Another movie I like is Cinema Paradiso—it's an Italian flick set in the '40s. And I'm a big huge sucker for John Hughes. My ultimate favorite movies are East of Eden with James Dean and Eye of the Beholder with Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor. I think it went straight to video.


As far as books are concerned, I really like Jack Kerouac. Also Tom Robbins. Still Life With Woodpeckerand Another Roadside Attraction were both great books. You have to read them to fully get the sick humor.

It sounds like you like things that have a twisted, dark sense of humor.

Yes, when I first started doing the film stuff, the first thing I told myself was never to have a normal happy ending. I'm not being a dark person—I just got so sick and tired of watching movies and reading books that have happy endings when half the time that's not what would happen.

So what else are you into?

I'm into making stuff right now. I'm into texture, everything from tearing apart a 1970s calculator and putting it on a canvas and painting around it to taking pieces of flashing, which is roofing material, and vinyl tubing and painting it. I'm into things that jump out at you that you can grab onto and touch.


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