Culture Shock Spotlight: Brownies in Cinema


Brett Hoffman enjoying his favorite dollar-menu 390 calorie snack, a mcdouble.

Brett Hoffman enjoying his favorite dollar-menu, 390 calorie snack: a McDouble

WIUX’s annual, free music festival, Culture Shock, held in Dunn Meadow will be this April 9th. Feel free to come on out, enjoy the sun, and some good tunes. Before hitting the festival, be sure to familiarize yourself with the wonderful artists that will be playing.

Culture Shock's 30th Anniversary Poster

Culture Shock’s 30th Anniversary Poster


In a galaxy far, far away, Brett Hoffman of Brownies in Cinema creates lo-fi pop catered to heartbreak and aliens.

Brett Hoffman, sophomore here at Indiana University, plays the drums, guitar, bass, and occasional keys for his solo project, Brownies in Cinema. He also records and writes all of the music. He’s just your typical cool cat, generally found wearing a McDonalds hat, a Grateful Dead t-shirt, and sandals. You’ve probably seen him around, but next time you see him be sure to say “Hey, you’re that guy.” Brett loves meeting new people, long walks on the beach, and McDoubles.

We had known about Brett’s love for fast-food, especially McDonalds, and decided what better way to let the people get to know him than by taking him to his (and the majority of 2-5 year olds) favorite place on earth: a McDonald’s play-place.


Aside from all the fun from at McDonalds, we sat down to talk to Brett about his music, and he had a lot to say.

Brownies has been Brett’s brainchild since high school; he’s been constantly creating and recording his own music for the past two years, but only in the last 5 months or so has he had a touring-band. Brownies in Cinema went from being only available on select online platforms, to being seen live in your average, cramped Bloomington basement, and now onto Culture Shock.

Behind the Scenes Mike Higgins Dalia Erkman Matt Leetz

Behind the Scenes

Brett has recently issued his first physical release, Brett’s Tape. Brett’s Tape is a pink cassette tape featuring crowd favorites such as “She’s Come Around” and “Feel the Same.” Much of his influence has came from the 60s and 70s: psychedelic pop, beach pop, and basically anything with a catchy guitar lick. He also gains much inspiration from local bands like Daguerreotype and Hoops etc. Admittedly, he produces music that resembles popular acts such as Mac Demarco and Homeshake.

Usually, I guess, I’ll hear a song I really like or a part of a song I really like, and I’ll kinda try to come up with my own way to build off of the idea, I guess. So, you could say that I rip off other songs, if you wanted to. But I dunno there are all types of great pop songs out there, and it’s cool just to build of that. – Brett Hoffman

Brett then continues to talk about Aliens and how they inspire him. Whether or not you believe in our “Brother and Sisters of the Universe,” you must listen to what Brett has to say about “unifying the vibes of the Universe.”

Yaknow, the Universe is vast. Almost the size of a tube that’s twice the size of the Universe. It’s about half that size… – Brett Hoffman

In case you ever wondered which song Brett would want Aliens to hear first, similarly to “Dark was the Night,” have no fear your answer is here:

[Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison] is a damn good pop song. Sha-la-la-la, I mean Aliens would dig that. That kind of a song is something that only humans could come up with and I feel like Aliens would hear that and, yaknow, be like there’s culture on this planet… and it’s Van Morrison – Brett Hoffman

After gawking over about the beauty that is Van Morrison, Brett continued to share his recipe for his famous chili that his father taught him to make. *spoiler alert* the trick is Bush’s Chili Starter. Which is better: Brett’s Music or his Chili Recipe? The world may never know…

Brett finished the interview with speaking of his first Culture Shock. As a high school senior, Brett drove down to see Mac Demarco perform in 2014. Little did he know that he would be playing the same festival, the same stage, two years later.

It brings a tear to my eye, the memories of Culture Shocks gone-by – Brett Hoffman


Listen to the full interview here:

We’re looking forward to a wonderful Culture Shock, see ya there!


Special thank you to all that made this interview possible:

Matt Leetz – Cinematography and Audio Recording

Mike Higgins – Director and Interviewer

Dalia Erkman – Video and Audio Editor, Article Author, and Interviewer

Kamila Czebotar – Emotional Support

Brett Hoffman – Cutie and Musical Artist