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Brain Stew

Song of the Week

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#1 pasalaska

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:04 AM

Song of the Week this week is my all-time least-favourite Green Day song, Brain Stew, the 10th track, and 3rd single off Green Day’s 4th studio album, Insomniac (1995).

Brain Stew’s lyrics are fairly well known to be about the exhaustion and “delirium” Billie Joe felt after becoming a father for the first time, thanks to the sleepless nights brought on by looking after a new-born baby. The album title ‘Insomniac’, while not inspired by Brain Stew’s lyrics, fits well with the song’s lyrical content. Musically, Brain Stew is pretty unique amongst Green Day’s catalogue. It’s slow, chugging, grinding pace punctuated by complete silence (the pauses were edited and cleaned up so that they are literally silent) adds a feeling of restlessness and agitation that furthers the song’s meaning. Brain Stew transitions, without pause, into Jaded, and when the two songs were released as singles, it was together as Brain Stew/Jaded.

The song’s music video, directed by Kevin Kerslak, has the band sitting on a beaten-up old couch that’s being dragged around a rubbish dump by a bulldozer, filmed in sepia tone, with cut scenes of hula dancers and an old lady mouthing some of the lyrics. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:


And here’s what the live performance of the Brain Stew (and Jaded) was like during the 21st Century Breakdown tour, complete with pretty pyro, Mike being shouty, water guns and toilet paper (filmed in Irvine, California in August of 2010):

Spoiler


Lyrics:

I'm having trouble trying to sleep
I'm counting sheep but running out
As time ticks by
And still I try
No rest for crosstops in my mind
On my own... here we go

My eyes feel like they're going to bleed
Dried up and bulging out my skull
My mouth is dry
My face is numb
Fucked up and spun out in my room

On my own... here we go
My mind is set on overdrive
The clock is laughing in my face
A crooked spine
My senses dulled
Passed the point of delirium
On my own... here we go

*********************************************************************************************************

You can nominate songs for discussion as Song of the Week in the SotW Nominations and Archive thread, which contains links to each previous Song of the Week in its first post.
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#2 Ritz

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:34 AM

This song is just awesome, the flow of energy that is created when played live is what I like. The way Billie goes mad and Mike shouts and stuff :lol: Its just full of energy ! Yes the lyrics fit perfectly to the album title xD

#3 Zack.

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:41 AM

This is not only my favorite Green Day song, but my favorite song of ever. It was the first one I ever learned on guitar three years ago, and I can play it on any instrument I know how to play. This song captures the feel of insomnia perfectly, not just in the lyrics, but in the music as well. Starts out slow, uneventful, almost boring, then picks up, then drops back down, picks up, drops down, and then finally picks up for the rest of it. Anyone who's stayed up for more than twenty-four hours (or longer, depending on the person) knows the feeling when your brain just finally says "fuck it, we're awake and apparently staying that way, I'm gonna stop telling you to go to sleep". Then the lyrics are just more than perfect, from him saying he ran out of sheep to count, to the clock laughing in his face. I've spent countless nights watching the clock and seeing it go from "I should go to bed now" to "it is now tomorrow". If there's one Green Day song I relate to more than any other, it's this one.
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#4 BJA TC MD

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:43 AM

How has this song not been song of the week yet?! I love this song, it perfectly describes my inability to sleep. Despite only using one chord progression this song is just damn awesome. It's one of my favorites to hear live, especially with Mikes screaming. And when Billie changes the melody on "dried up and bulging out of my skull" to go all high and stuff. Yeah, it's just awesome

#5 -Bruce

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:47 AM

My second favorite Green Day song! After Basket Case of course.

#6 pasalaska

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:53 AM

I just cannot ever get into this song. I really can't stand it to the point that I skip it when listening to Insomniac. It's just so repetitive, grating, and downright boring after a while. It actually annoys me :lol: I guess it works when you think about what the song's about, but still, I just don't understand the appeal at all.
Live, it's not so bad, especially at the end with the fire and Mike's screaming, but usually I use the song as the breather and a rest period during a show.

Fun factoid - I read in an interview with Larry Livermore that he hates the song. heh.
http://www.thelookou...nie-riggar.html

#7 tsiakalos13

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 02:38 AM

I don't like it.
It's bland, dumb, but a blast to see it live.

#8 San Miguel

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:19 AM

I absolutely love this song, like i do most of the Insomniac album. great song to bang your head too, or to relate to when you can't sleep, are hungover, pissed off etc..

i think the song needs Jaded at the end of it, certainly in the studio version anyway, but i love it!

#9 Rob716

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:23 AM

The best music-going experience of my life was Brain Stew at Manchester in 2010

#10 ThibautDookie

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:28 AM

I really like this song, Billie sounds angry during the whole Insomniac album.
I like this performance of Brain Stew.



#11 BradGreenDay

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:29 AM

On My Own Here We Go...

#12 Brigister

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:09 AM

Ah, that lousy and lazy sound to this. :wub:

#13 Makeout One

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:33 AM

always loved this song :wub:

#14 Panji x_X

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:46 AM

Love this song, :D

#15 Irrlicht

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:18 AM

why did i have this song in my mind during my hangover last night? :D :D i absolutely love this song

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#16 Cat C

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:23 AM

Love the imagery in the 2nd verse. It's so dirty and graphic.

#17 Pieces of Truth

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

Song of the Week this week is my all-time least-favourite Green Day song


:shok: This song is one of my favourites! :cry: But well...just my opinion.

#18 ChelseaDagger

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

Love the song, hate the music video, love the song live :)

#19 Mandy_PunkRock

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:29 AM

I love Brain Stew, one of my favourites from Imsomniac. The lyrics of the song define how are you feeling when you have insomniac, and I feel identified with that because I've had so many sleepless nights. About the composition, is a song very easy to learn to play with guitar, because it has only five chords I think, but in my opinion they have shown that they can create a great song with only five chords. Other reason what I love the song is because increasingly is filled with more sounds, it starts with a simple guitar in the 1st verse, the second verse the drums appear, later they introduce that plugged guitar between verses and the end of the song is full of distortion. That represents a constant evolution to me, in my point of view I think that's maybe a way to represent that you are feeling more angry for not being able to sleep, and that's why the sound of the song becomes darker and dirty.

p.s: I love that live video! Never seen it before! :lol:

#20 yourguitarbuddy

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:41 AM

17 years and i still see no difference ^^


Edited by yourguitarbuddy, 12 August 2012 - 09:41 AM.


#21 InsideOut

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

I love this song. It's always great seeing them perform this live!

#22 Karol Oliveira

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:18 AM

This is one of my favorite Green Day songs. I love it!!


This song captures the feel of insomnia perfectly, not just in the lyrics, but in the music as well. Starts out slow, uneventful, almost boring, then picks up, then drops back down, picks up, drops down, and then finally picks up for the rest of it. Anyone who's stayed up for more than twenty-four hours (or longer, depending on the person) knows the feeling when your brain just finally says "fuck it, we're awake and apparently staying that way, I'm gonna stop telling you to go to sleep". Then the lyrics are just more than perfect, from him saying he ran out of sheep to count, to the clock laughing in his face. I've spent countless nights watching the clock and seeing it go from "I should go to bed now" to "it is now tomorrow". If there's one Green Day song I relate to more than any other, it's this one.


I totally agree with you.
And I love the way BJ sings the lyrics, like he's really angry that he can't sleep (in my opinion). I can relate to that. When I can't sleep, I'm really pissed and this song represents perfectly how I feel in these moments.

#23 spark in the night

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

I like Jaded more than Brain Stew.

It's a good song...not my favorite like at all. But it's one of those songs that is so Green Day, you can't really hate it.

The music video creeps me out :lol: That old lady and everything is all yellow

#24 Android Jesus

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:30 AM

I really like it, I feel identified with the lyrics 'cause I can barely sleep :lol: so it fits me perfectly.

Btw I love that live performance, didn't know there are those things to throw toilet paper :lol:

#25 X-Saint

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:19 PM

I love this song and my sister doesn't like Green Day but she loves this song. :lol:

#26 ProstheticHeads

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:20 PM

Does anyone know who that old lady really is? like is she a relative of one of the band members I'm so curious :lol:

#27 nah

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

Classic Green Day.

#28 Amydc

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:32 PM

This song is one of my favorites at the moment. It's like being on the verge of a nervous breakdown and losing it with jaded.

#29 Zack.

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:17 PM

BTW, this is the best performance of this song ever. The key change combined with the interspersed solos is fucking amazing.

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#30 TheGreenDayKidd

 
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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:48 PM

I like this song, well it's not one of my favourite, but still. I think that this is awesome concert song, so that's the reason that I like it. But anyway: good decision to be the song of the week! :)



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