Back in 2003, I had one of those horrible, soul-crushing jobs where you sit at a desk all day and chip away at the same boring, tedious, a-monkey-could-do-this-shit tasks knowing that your reward, upon completion of said tasks, will be another giant, teetering stack of the exact same boring, tedious, a-monkey-could-do-this-shit tasks. It was assembly line work, basically, except that instead of a bad back and exposure to carcinogens, I got a fat ass and carpal tunnel syndrome. At least my cubicle had a window. With a view of a Chevron station, but still.
In between monkey tasks–and since I’m not a monkey, there grew to be a great deal of time between monkey tasks–I whiled away the hours in all sorts of stupid ways. This was before Facebook and YouTube, remember, so even with access to the Interweb, my cubicle-bound office-mates and I had to make due with some pretty primitive entertainment options. We created lots of fake Friendster accounts. This one girl Sarah got me totally hooked on a ridiculous videogame called Snood. We anticipated the arrival of Friday happy hour with lots of rockin’ out to “Peanut Butter Jelly Time.” It was a simpler, more innocent era.
Somewhere, in the midst of all this, someone turned me onto this amazing, totally stupid little Flash animation featuring a squirrel and a song in which a guy with a chipmunk voice basically just screamed “Weeeee!” a lot. In my somewhat dehumanized state, I thought this was pretty much the greatest thing I had ever seen. That squirrel and that “Weeeee!” song helped me through some dark days.
Eventually, I got another, less soul-crushing job and I put those dark days behind me. Or so I thought.
A few days ago, a reader named Steve R. wrote in and suggested we feature a band called Threebrain. And damn if it isn’t the same crazy bastards who did that “Weeeee!” song. Turns out they did a whole crap-ton of cheesy little animation videos in the pre-YouTube early ’00s and most of them are still viewable on this site. Ain’t the web a wonderful place? Nostalgia is but a mouse-click away.
So thanks, Steve, for bringing back a fond memory I had inadvertently buried in my mad dash to mind-erase most of my miserable 2003 existence. Turns out it wasn’t so bad after all. I even miss Friendster, kind of. At least they didn’t try to data-mine our entire browser history like those fuckers at Facebook.
I wish I could tell you more about Threebrain, but honestly, the amount of info out there is surprisingly limited, considering that back in 2003, that “Weeeeee!” video was more ubiquitous than the dancing hamsters. Allegedly it was the work of a duo from Morristown, New Jersey. They put out two albums, Weeeeee! – Albert Christmas Squirrel and Fetus Trackstar, in 2001 and 2003, respectively. They’re both still available on iTunes, actually. The music is sort of like if the Violent Femmes tried to make a children’s album–but a children’s album with song titles like “Hot Dogs Are Shit” and “Buttbadger 123.” And if the only thing they had to record their work on was a crappy laptop mic. And they sped up their vocals to make themselves sound like chipmunks. Yeah, it’s kinda like that.
More recently, Threebrain appears to be the work of just one guy: this guy, in fact. That video was uploaded just three weeks ago and yes, it really is just seven minutes of that guy noodling around on his banjo and singing in weird voices. The rest of his YouTube channel has other videos that are more in the “Weeeee!” tradition of lo-fi animation accompanied by silly songs, as well as a bunch of videos of something called Toilet of Wisdom, which appears to be some kind of three-man comedy show. He promises on YouTube, and also on Threebrain’s (former?) online home, GonadsandStrife.com (“where funny lives!”), to make “a new cartoon every damn day,” but as far as I could tell, he’s only made about three in last year or so. But hey, that’s cool–we promise ourselves to update this site two or three times a week, and you can see how that’s working out. Sometimes great art takes time–and so do 15-second slide whistle cartoons.
So hopefully Threebrain will get his mojo back soon and spawn another Internet viral sensation. Or maybe the days of primitive Flash animation videos are past and we’ve all moved on to cat videos with comedic voiceover dialogue. Either way, here’s a blast from the past, starring Albert Christmas Squirrel. Trust me, you’re totally gonna watch it and be all like, “Weeeee!”
- Threebrain official site (currently just a static page promising “new site coming soon”)
- Gonads and Strife! (onetime online home of Threebrain; appears to have been inactive since April 2010)
- Toilet of Wisdom (a collection of quotes from bathroom walls; may or may not be related to Threebrain-affiliated comedy troupe of the same name)
- Threebrain on MySpace
- Threebrain’s YouTube channel
- Threebrain on Facebook
- Threebrain at Albino Blacksheep (classic Flash videos)
- Threebrain on Newgrounds (more recent videos)