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Helen Brown was born in Vancouver, Canada, but raised in an Athens, Georgia-based religious cult. As an adult, she dropped out of Evergreen College and traveled the country for a while as a nomadic, before forming her first band, the O.E.T.

For years, she lived alone on a mountaintop in southern Alaska, where she befriended a Cherokee Shaman (later revealed as a fake) who encouraged her to pursue a frustrating academic career. Rampant drug use, frequent fainting, and occasional self-inflicted knife wounds on stage resulted in more interest being drawn to her stage antics rather than her music. However, in the late 90s, a few tracks appeared, which feature a unique mix of country, sophop, and salt. Crude and amateurish at best, these recordings are appreciated for their sincerity and intensity of feeling.