PYLON! C or D?

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I've been listening to Hits a lot. At first I was mainly just digging the post-punk dance sound, but now the lyrics are coming to the forefront when I listen - this stuff just sounds better and better every time I hear it. Should I bother with the full-lengths or do I have the majority of the winners? Anybody have any Pylon stories? I'm curious about these folks.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

xgau called them "art-DOR." I want more art-DOR!

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Saw them open for the Wonder Stuff once. And they played a whole set. Much to the chagrin of both the `Stuff and the crowd. There was almost a riot as a result. Fuck Pylon.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, Gang of 4 fans need to get this, haven't heard the albums either tho.

sucka (sucka), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Imagine a testicularly-challenged Gang of Four with Flo from "Alice" on vocals.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Although I will say that "Crazy" is a decent song......REM's version of it ain't bad (available on Dead Letter Office)

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 18 January 2004 20:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hey, the only reason I'd ever go to see a Wonder Stuff gig is if Pylon was opening.

mike a, Sunday, 18 January 2004 21:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, i was about to say!

geeta (geeta), Sunday, 18 January 2004 22:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The REMade version of "Crazy" is the only Pylon stuff I've ever heard.
I recall somewhere on ILM somebody once suggested that REM's versh ain't shit compared to the 'riginal. Are they that different? How?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 18 January 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The beat is tighter and Pylon's singer's voice is way more animated and feral.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 18 January 2004 22:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Their single from way back "Cool" is great. I saw 'em open for Gang of 4 in the early '80s (and for U2 also). Real nice people. I don't have any good stories though. Even if you don't like the singer's voice, the instrumentation made it worth it--jagged postpunk guitar.

I haven't listened to it in a long while but I'm sure Pylon's original version of "Crazy" had more of an edge to it than REM's.

I was just glancing at an interview with Roger from Mission of Burma and he said his peers that he liked back circa '82 were Gang of 4 and Pylon.

Steve Kiviat (Steve K), Sunday, 18 January 2004 22:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah "cool" is great!

burma played a few shows with pylon back in the day (and gang of four)

geeta (geeta), Sunday, 18 January 2004 22:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ok so who would be next on this list: Gang Of Four, Mission Of Burma, Pylon, ____, _____, _____?

I wanna know if some great post-punk group just flew under my radar.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 18 January 2004 23:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Don't say the Wonder Stuff.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 18 January 2004 23:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Wonder Stuff and Pylon had no business being on a bill together. It was the venue's fault, neither of the bands'. I was actually a bit harsh on Pylon, to be honest. While I'm a passive fan at best, they definetely had their own sound.

After Gang of Four, Mission of Burma and Pylon (whom I'd leave out, truthfully), I'd suggest THE POP GROUP, Public Image Ltd. and --- WAIT FOR IT -- early Killiing Joke (up through Revelations).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I still haven't heard the Pop Group yet. I really should.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Both albums are good but i like the 2nd one called "Chomp" best.Not available on cd though.Most of the first album is on hits anyway.Like most post punk sounds best in controlled doses.For a good comp of post punk stuff check out Rough Trade post punk Vol. 1.

evan chronister (evan chronister), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

after G04, Burma and Pylon I always think of Magazine and PIL.

LiquidTide (LiquidTide), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ok so who would be next on this list: Gang Of Four, Mission Of Burma, Pylon, ____, _____, _____?

Magazine and PIL are too dull/somber/grey I'm not on that Joy Division shit. Some PIL songs I've heard are great though.

Maybe these are too obvious, but: I'd go The Embarrasment, ESG, and The Feelies - all from the US. All three of these I prefer to Pylon. I really like The Embarrasment because the world (ie me) needs nerdy midwestern post-punk.

christhamrin (christhamrin), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

me too, actually! My downstairs neighbor has that Embarassment comp. I should pick it up (he may well have some ESG and Pop Group too, I've already got all the Feelies albums).

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 19 January 2004 00:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Pylon definitely played some weird gigs, especially after reforming in the late '80s. Bands they opened for included Bullet Lavolta and Lucinda Williams.

Ah, for an Embarrassment/Pylon/Feelies/ESG reunion bill. At least I've seen the Feelies.

mike a, Monday, 19 January 2004 03:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

They opened for R.E.M. a few times during their Green World Tour. I don't imagine that could've gone over so well.

may pang (maypang), Monday, 19 January 2004 03:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, classic! Hits has aged quite well, especially considering some of those songs are 25 years old. The first song I heard was "Stop It" on the Athens, GA: Inside/Out soundtrack, and honestly, it kind of scared me away from them. Then I heard R.E.M.'s cover of "Crazy," and then I heard "Beep" and I was sold. Pylon was the first band I ever saw at a "real" concert (i.e. non-local act), opening for R.E.M. Chain, the reunion album, had a few good moments, but I don't find myself pulling it out very often.

In "Beep," when Vanessa sings "FOUR MINUTES!", I think my sister thought she was singing "VARMINTS!".

Ernest P. (ernestp), Monday, 19 January 2004 04:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


christhamrin (christhamrin), Monday, 19 January 2004 04:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The "Chomp" record is cute...has one jagged edge where the dinosaur in the cover photo presumably took a chomp out of it. I'm trying to decide if Martha and the Muffins belong on "the list."

dlp9001, Monday, 19 January 2004 04:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I saw them open for R.E.M. on the Green tour, they were great. All really nice people, too.

hstencil, Monday, 19 January 2004 05:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I even got the Pylon t-shirt from the R.E.M. Green tour. "Lefty loosy, righty tighty"

Aaron A., Monday, 19 January 2004 05:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah my brother did too.

hstencil, Monday, 19 January 2004 05:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ok so who would be next on this list: Gang Of Four, Mission Of Burma, Pylon, ____, _____, _____?

would have to put the auteurs on that list.

pylon = classic [funny this thread should come up as i just grabbed "hits" off of ebay.]

william (william), Monday, 19 January 2004 06:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

somehow I don't think of Go4 and the Auteurs as being "contemporaries."

hstencil, Monday, 19 January 2004 06:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Au Pairs, maybe.

may pang (maypang), Monday, 19 January 2004 06:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I actually prefer Gyrate. I think it has more guitars and is a bit spikier. They're a bit surf rock on that one too. I think REM's White Tornado was kind of a Pylon rip. Pylon's great though.

danh, Monday, 19 January 2004 17:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Cool" is, like, one of the best singles ever. It is also the only Pylon record I own--I like 'em fine, but that's all I need.

Lee G (Lee G), Monday, 19 January 2004 17:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

See also their entry to the Athens, GA Inside/Out OMPS; "Stop It"

Great stuff... ...and not nearly as "fancy" as Let's Active.

christoff (christoff), Monday, 19 January 2004 18:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I saw Pylon at a record store back in early '92 and wasn't thrilled by them. However, I haven't really made any effort to check out their recorded music. They were nice, but their drummer kind of sucked and the singing was consistently off. That said, free record store gigs aren't known for sound quality; maybe they were just having a bad day.

webcrack (music=crack), Monday, 19 January 2004 19:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'singing was consistently off' = that's one of the best things about them!

geeta (geeta), Monday, 19 January 2004 21:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

somehow I don't think of Go4 and the Auteurs as being "contemporaries."

gawddammit,may is right ...i meant the au pairs.

william (william), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 01:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

shit, I haven't heard the au pairs either yet! This thread's been damn rewarding in my search for post-punk dance fever.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 02:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
They opened for R.E.M. a few times during their Green World Tour. I don't imagine that could've gone over so well.

My parents saw that tour...R.E.M. were so uninspiring and Pylon so thrilling that everyone here was talking about Pylon for the next month.

Ian Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Sunday, 22 August 2004 13:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Good timing, Ian - didja know that Pylon have reunited recently?

Don't rock and roll. Don't rock and roll. Don't rock and roll, nooooooo.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Sunday, 22 August 2004 14:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Anthony, do you have WANNA BUY A BRIDGE? Great place to check out post-punk (recently "re"-discovered Homosexuals can sound like unfoldings of Swell Maps' BRIDGE? track "Seymour"; 'mos good too, and despite the name, not for the analcore: they like it messy!) Most(not all) WANNA tracks individually reissued, but who wants to buy al those imprts and burn 'em together? (I do, but so far refrain). Uneven but w) essentials: Essential Logic's FANFARE IN THE GARDEN, various artists NEW YORK NOISE AND DISCO NOT DISCO and D N D 2. Not very uneven: DNA ON DNA. Also family of: Metal Urbain's AMARCHY IN PARIS!, Metal Boys featuring China's TOKIO AIRPORT, and Dr. Mix and the Remix's WALL OF NOISE (haven't wrapped my ears all the way around, but, as liner notes, point out, some tracks TOKIO AIRPORT-like/-worthy). These are on Acute, whose Dan Seltzer says Liquid Liquid have declined to re-re-issue their (at-least-$50.00-on-eBay) selself-titled, but are gonna do something with DFA (speaking of which, LCD Soundsystem's "Yeah" single is good).

Don Allred, Sunday, 22 August 2004 17:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'll shut up in a minute honest: early R.E.M.'s itchy sweaty poison ivy X Bill Berry (live boot), FILE UNDER KUDZU; Rip Rig & Panic (with pre-rap rap-punkitudinous Neneh Cherry); Ian Drury and the Blockheads (pre-para-post-punk music hall/pub wags cruise the disco; English Beat's I JUST CAN'T STOP IT; Nile Rodgers' rhythm-as-lead disco, post VU's Bo Diddleyesque "What Goes On" esp. on LIVE IN TEXAS); Nile is on Material's ONE DOWN,as is Fred Frith: worth checking, but I prefer more get-down Material, with Fred & Sonny Sharrock; Sharrock's solo albums and with Last Exit; and, on the recently re-re-reissued (sonically much improved) ONE MAN DRIVES (P.Ubu), rec. in Nile's heday, Mayo Thompson does some Bo D.x VU x NIles-like rhythmic drive-by: This 'un's live too, and he's from Texas) Prime Ubu also pre-post-punk (ditto Rocket From Tombs, incl on best tracks of recent ROCKET REHASH I mean REDUX); most anything with Bob Quine, although Matthew Sweet makes me cry tears of boredom, distracting from Bob--nowillshutup

Don, Sunday, 22 August 2004 19:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've got Wanna Buy A Bridge, it's all right. I'm a big Swell Maps fan.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 22 August 2004 19:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stiff Little Fingers, Delta 5, Slits, Essential Logic, TV Personalities, Swell Maps, Pop Group, Spizz Energi, Kleenex, Cabaret Voltaire, Raincoats, Young Marble Giants, Scritti Politti and Robert Wyatt = "it's all right" ???

Best comp ever.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 22 August 2004 19:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've seen Pylon more times than I can remember and they were always amazing! Early on Michael Stipe was depressed when they toured together because he thought REM would never be as good as them. I saw their first reunion in 1991, but missed this month's because I found out about it afterward and live an hour from Athens. (They let people know at the last minute.) I heard it was as good as ever. I'm on their new email list, and I'll do everything I can to catch their next show!
One time they were playing in this little club, and as they started "Danger!" the copes chased one of our friends into the club, onto the stage, around the musicians and out the other side. The band never lost a beat, and it fit the song so perfectly!
"Gyrate" is perfect, except it is lacking the fantastic song "Cool."

Amy Meacham, Sunday, 22 August 2004 21:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
I just bought Pylon's Chomp on vinyl. WOW!!!! Fave song so far: "No Clocks"! Finally having "Crazy" for my very own is real nice, too. Boy do they beat the crap out of Romeo Void.

Bimble, Sunday, 29 April 2007 18:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What happened? They said Pylon's Gyrate was going to be re-released on DFA records in Fall of 2007. Oh...we're not there yet. Whew.

Bimble, Sunday, 29 April 2007 19:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

uh yeah and all i ever heard from the liquid liquid project was BELLHEAD which was incredible.

artdamages, Sunday, 29 April 2007 19:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

they need to get their shit together. dudes too busy w/ultimate fighting or whatever.

artdamages, Sunday, 29 April 2007 19:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Some Pylon on youtube. They were great back in the early '80s.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 29 April 2007 21:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Just got chills watching. So so so great. Randall Bewley is one of my favorite guitarists of all time, his dub effects on this are unlike other versions I've seen/heard.

First comment on the vid is from their bassist.

Sex Kitten mind control slave (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Indeedio, thanks for this. The current dB's album, Falling Off The Sky, is pretty good too, and just got this press sheet:


dB’s founder, esteemed songwriter and Southern alt-pop godfather
hits a creative high with intimate, expansive new set

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Lovesick Blues is Stamey’s first full-length release since A Question of Temperature, his 2005 collaboration with Yo La Tengo. The new album follows on the heels of Falling Off the Sky, the long-awaited, much-acclaimed reunion album of the dB’s, as well as Stamey’s involvement as musical director and orchestrator for a series of all-star concert performances of Big Star’s classic Third album in New York, London, Austin and Carrboro, NC.

While his prior work has established Stamey as an incisive songwriter, compelling performer and innovative sonic architect, Lovesick Blues finds the artist staking out some new songwriting territory, with inspired results. Such vividly forthright new tunes as “Skin,” “London,” “Wintertime” and “I Wrote This Song for You” deliver bittersweet, personal lyrics and inventive acoustic arrangements that employ strings, woodwinds and vocal harmonies to evoke the songs’ emotional landscapes.

Those intimate numbers are balanced by more upbeat tunes like the vibrantly jangly "Astronomy" and the playful road-trip memoir "You n Me n XTC." Another highlight is the poignant late-night torch song "Occasional Shivers," which Stamey first recorded as the B side of a limited-edition Christmas single in 1986. The album's musical and thematic centerpiece is the seven-minute "Lovesick Blues," dedicated to the late North Carolina guitar great Sam Moss, and encompassing solitary late-night heartbreak, sweeping orchestral drama and redemptive uplift.

The resulting album is a landmark for Stamey, balancing his new songs’ unfiltered emotional honesty with the effortless melodic craft that’s always been a hallmark of his work.

“I wanted to make a record that could make you feel less alone, like someone else has been there before you,” Stamey explains. “I was thinking about records like The Ballad of Todd Rundgren and Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter and Robert Wyatt’s “At Last I Am Free” and Richard Thompson’s Small Town Romance. Those are all records that were a source of comfort to me at various points in my life. They were records that seemed to speak one-on-one, records that weren’t trying to sell you anything. It’s that old saw about the blues being sad yet making you feel better. None of the songs on Lovesick Blues are traditional three-chord blues, but some of them speak that same emotional language.”

Like the recent dB’s album, Lovesick Blues was birthed at Modern Recording, the small yet technologically advanced Chapel Hill studio that Stamey has operated for the past two decades, where he’s produced recordings by the likes of Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo, Flat Duo Jets, Le Tigre and Tift Merritt. The Lovesick Blues sessions found him handing the production reins to fellow North Carolina musician/producer Jeff Crawford, who’s also a solo artist and a member of the band the Old Ceremony. The album also draws upon the talents of the Fellow Travellers, a core group of musically literate young players from the Chapel Hill area who participated in the Big Star concerts, as well as members of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.

“I wrote most of the songs during one two-week period,” Stamey explains, adding, “I’d wake up early and go into a room where the light was good and write a song every day. Then I played them for Jeff, and we picked the ones that seemed best for the way we wanted to record. On most of the songs, we first did live takes, with me playing guitar and singing at the same time. Then we’d orchestrate them, adding the string and wind and vocal colors that we thought were needed to underline the meaning of the songs. In the process, I added a couple of older songs, ‘London’ and ‘Occasional Shivers,’ which seemed to make sense for this album.”

Some unexpected but helpful input arrived in the form of XTC’s Andy Partridge, who entered the picture after Stamey invited him to make a vocal cameo on “You n Me n XTC.” Partridge declined the offer, but ended up getting involved in the project anyway, offering some key production, arranging and mixing suggestions via transatlantic email.

“He didn’t like the repetitive chords of ‘You n Me n XTC,’” Stamey admits. “It was only after I played him the other songs that he started getting really into it. He became a long-distance safety net for us; Jeff and I would send him mp3s of songs in progress and he’d write back with very detailed, specific suggestions. It was like having an exceptionally intuitive Ouija board, and it really enlivened the process.”

Growing up in Winston-Salem, Stamey made his earliest ventures into recording with a series of homemade avant-garde experiments with future Let’s Active leader Mitch Easter during grade school, then studied formal composition at UNC-Chapel Hill before starting the obscure but ultimately influential Sneakers. Stamey launched his own pioneering indie label, Car Records, in 1976, and the following year moved to New York, where he played bass with Alex Chilton before forming the dB’s.

The dB’s recorded a pair of albums, 1981’s Stands for Decibels and 1982’s Repercussion, that remain indie-pop landmarks. Stamey then departed for a solo career, turning out a series of smart, musically adventurous gems including It’s A Wonderful Life, Instant Excitement, It’s Alright, Fireworks, Travels in the South and the holiday-themed Christmas Time. His catalog also includes a pair of duo albums with Peter Holsapple, Mavericks and Here and Now, as well as the experimental instrumental departure The Robust Beauty of Improper Linear Models in Decision Making, a collaboration with guitarist Kirk Ross, and A Question of Temperature, on which he was backed by longtime friends (and early production clients) Yo La Tengo.

Having recently wrapped up a round of rocking live shows with the reunited dB’s, and energized by the understated intensity of his new solo effort, Stamey is planning on bringing Lovesick Blues to the live stage with an acoustic chamber-pop format, touring on his own and calling on local string players and harmony singers to play the notated arrangements.

By embodying the qualities that have always been at the heart of his work, while introducing some vital new elements to the mix, Lovesick Blues demonstrates that, after a lifetime of music-making, Chris Stamey’s flame still burns as brightly as ever.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been around a lot of great, creative musicians in my life,” he states, adding, “I still learn things all the time from them, and I know that I still have a long way to go. But I think this is the closest I’ve gotten on record to expressing what is unique about what I do, the part that’s been there all along.”

# # #

dow, Thursday, 25 October 2012 19:42 (five years ago) Permalink

x-post. Seeing that Pylon live at Danceateria video reminded me of when I saw Pylon in NYC a year or so later at a New Music Seminar associated event. Most of the folks there were too cool to even nod their heads.

curmudgeon, Friday, 26 October 2012 13:53 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't realize Chomp didn't come out until 1983; seems more like '81 in my memory. Saw them on that tour, and danced like a dervish.

Sex Kitten mind control slave (Dan Peterson), Friday, 26 October 2012 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Someone came up to me and my friends at that NYC gig when they saw us dancing, and said, "You must not be from here." I also saw them in DC opening for GO4 and later in 83, opening for U2.

curmudgeon, Friday, 26 October 2012 15:34 (five years ago) Permalink

what was that like in 83, opening for U2? Watching the Athens, GA Inside/Out documentary, that tour seemed to be a turning point where Pylon collectively got freaked out by what they were doing, the bigger audiences, didn't seem like it was "fun" anymore, etc.

but the boo boyz are getting to (Z S), Friday, 26 October 2012 15:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Yep, before several thousand people at University of Maryland Richie Colesseum, where I had once seen the Clash. Most of the crowd was not interested in Pylon, and the acoustics in that cement gym were not that good either. I interviewed Pylon afterwards and it was going to go in my fanzine but for some reason, it never did. Somewhere I still have the transcript sitting in a box I think.

curmudgeon, Friday, 26 October 2012 16:10 (five years ago) Permalink


i have pylon fever in 2012, you have to help me

but the boo boyz are getting to (Z S), Friday, 26 October 2012 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

My absolute favorite:

grandavis, Friday, 26 October 2012 16:19 (five years ago) Permalink

Manages to be both a little scary and a hell of a lot of fun.

grandavis, Friday, 26 October 2012 16:20 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have that 10 inch as a 12 inch. It has the longer, dubbier version of "Danger."

Sex Kitten mind control slave (Dan Peterson), Friday, 26 October 2012 16:57 (five years ago) Permalink

Somewhere online, Randall B.'s U2 experience: "It was like opening for Jesus Christ." Not meant as a compliment. Also said that when they told their manager or label rep they were dropping out of the tour, he indicated they better think about their priorities. So they did, and dropped out of showbiz.

dow, Sunday, 28 October 2012 01:32 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Haven't watched this yet but it sounds good (1 hour).

Pylon at 40 Watt Club 2005

nickn, Thursday, 17 January 2013 03:54 (five years ago) Permalink

I was at that show! If it's as good as I remember you're in for a treat. Looking forward to watching the synchronized guitar poses.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 17 January 2013 16:19 (five years ago) Permalink

nickn, thank you! I need to watch this when I'm not at work. Previewed the first bit,and while Vanessa's less feral twenty-some years down the line, this sounds great.

Pylon's farewell performance (the first time around) was filmed at the time, and I've never seen any of that surface.

Sailor-neighbor of Chaucer's wife (Tubby) (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 17 January 2013 16:59 (five years ago) Permalink

"Feast On My Heart," starting at 42:20, has the great guitar poses. Thanks for linking this.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:03 (five years ago) Permalink

Okay, I'm 11 minutes in and retract what I said about "less feral." It just took her a bit to get warmed up!

Sailor-neighbor of Chaucer's wife (Tubby) (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Young Doctor Casino, trying manfully to hit on Vanessa's daughter: "Your mom's band was totally awesome last night!"

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:15 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Pylon in NYc circa late 70s early 80s footage, among many other bands, showing April 18th and April 24th

Described by the New York Times as, “The Lewis and Clark of rock video”, video artists Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong spent their nights from 1975-80 documenting the burgeoning punk scene in nightclubs around New York City. Ivers and Armstrong were acutely aware of the significance of that era and their material captures the sprit of the time. The edited results were shown on their weekly cable TV show NIGHTCLUBBING

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 15:38 (four years ago) Permalink

I need to bring a showing to DC

curmudgeon, Thursday, 10 April 2014 21:07 (four years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

New Interview with Vanessa.

nickn, Thursday, 5 March 2015 06:32 (three years ago) Permalink

Interesting even if some of the questions are not the best ("the new wave sound")

curmudgeon, Friday, 6 March 2015 15:52 (three years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Commercial was mentioned on this other Pylon thread


curmudgeon, Friday, 26 February 2016 04:02 (two years ago) Permalink

I hadn't actually seen it yet, the music works very well.

Also, 2 record live album is great news, and the line "someone with major post punk band mastering experience" made me smile for some reason.

Retro novelty punk (Dan Peterson), Friday, 26 February 2016 15:10 (two years ago) Permalink

"first final show" also made me smile, haha. i didn't know about the live album, i think they buried the lead there

Karl Malone, Friday, 26 February 2016 15:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Briscoe is quoted by xpost Flagpole re live double album, on *vinyl*, so OK, I give up: what kind of turntable should I get, for plugging into wall and listening on headphones (I'm told USB turntables are garbage, true? Speakers wouldn't be cool in this household)(yes there are turntable threads, but I want to know what Pylon heads think)

dow, Friday, 26 February 2016 16:55 (two years ago) Permalink

(a live single for April in Amazon MP3 store, so alb may not be vinyl-only)

dow, Friday, 26 February 2016 16:57 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...


If you're not familiar with PYLON, they were contemporaries of The B-52's and R.E.M. in the Athens, GA scene in the early 80s -- this new double live album documents their incredible last show in 1983. DFA also reissued their two studio albums back in 2007 & 2009. They also released a split single with Deerhunter in 2011 where they covered each other's songs. This live album captured them at their peak as a band, absolutely essential for any post-punk fan.

PYLON - Live
Street Date, July 25th, 2016, Chunklet

"(PYLON) stands as shockingly modern and unparalleled these many years later.”
-Michael Stipe, R.E.M.

“PYLON is still my favorite Athens band, in fact, one of my favorite bands!”
-Fred Schneider, The B-52s

“Randy Bewley and Michael Lachowski’s simple lines display untoward rhythm and melody, respectively. Curtis Crowe bangs away so obdurately it’s hard to understand why he didn’t become rich. Vanessa Briscoe Hay barks and brays whatever incantatory phrases seem called for. Timeless. Cool.”
-Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock Critics

1983 was a banner year for PYLON. The Athens quartet released their second album, Chomp, on Atlanta-based DB Records, toured the country extensively, and played several opening slots for then-up-and-comers U2. And then, without a hint of explanation, they quit.

Their final show at the Mad Hatter in Athens, Georgia, was, as was always the case, a frenzy of minimal disco thud, post-punk guitar scree, and deliriously inspired howl. Oh, and dancing – always dancing – both in the crowd and on stage. The gig was recorded (both audio and video) for a failed PBS pilot called Athens Shows, and the tapes were put away and forgotten. That is, until now.

Around three years ago, after PYLON’s DFA reissues hit the street, Chunklet CEO (and card-carrying member of the PYLON Fan Club) Henry Owings emailed the band bemoaning the lack of bonus material on the CDs(meaning "previously unreleased," I take it, since Gyrate Plus and Chomp More do add singles, prev album-ized only on Hits) which sparked a larger conversation. “My favorite PYLON is live PYLON,” said bassist Michael Lachowski, with which Henry wholeheartedly agreed. Following a cordial sit-down at Michael’s apartment over the New Year’s holiday of 2015, an exhaustive search began for live recordings by PYLON. More specifically, live recordings from Athens in the early ’80s. Oh, and that sounded as good, if not better, than their proper full-length albums.

Numerous dead ends followed, but finally, and somewhat fittingly, the multitrack recordings of PYLON’S final performance at the Mad Hatter in 1983 were unearthed. Once the tapes were transferred and subsequently mixed, the explosive and compelling sounds raised one very significant question: Why in the world did PYLON quit?

For a band whose legacy, in their original incarnation at least, was two full-length albums and a handful of singles, PYLON were first and foremost a live band who weren’t as interested in working in a studio. PYLON’s raison d’être was performing for a crowd, and now there’s conclusive validation.

PYLON LIVE is a double vinyl album recorded on the band’s home turf at the culmination of their powers, and the results could not be more stellar. An all killer, no filler set with nothing left on the cutting room floor, PYLON LIVE includes powerful versions of the PYLON canon from their first and second LPs and even the hard-to-find song “Party Zone” (previously available only on a DB Rec comp) and their never-before-released rendition of the “Batman Theme.”

When compared to the band’s prior body of work, PYLON LIVE bookends all of it; some might even say it’s a better representation of this Athens quartet, who thrived on bouncing around on stage infinitely more than sitting in a studio.

There’s little arguing that the Athens powerhouse trifecta of R.E.M., the B-52’s, and PYLON is peerless. And while all three bands have achieved great critical acclaim, only the first two had the commercial acclaim they deserved. PYLON LIVE intends to correct that.

Limited to 200 on magenta vinyl.
Limited to 200 on clear vinyl.
Unlimited on black vinyl.[

(also as downloads, maybe CDs)

Track List:

Working is No Problem
Driving School
No Clocks

Italian Movie Theme

Stop It
Feast On My Heart

M Train
Weather Radio
Party Zone


07/29 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
07/30 Athens, GA – 40 Watt

dow, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 20:07 (two years ago) Permalink

Listening now. Haven't heard a lot of their shows, but clear sound, music's cool & rough, not too dry, best for dancing, incl. vs. and with "Gravity": "Yew can't. Yew can't." Yes I can! Bumping into counts.

dow, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 20:14 (two years ago) Permalink

dizzy among "Reptiles," drawn into wet tunnel of pedals & bass

dow, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 20:17 (two years ago) Permalink

The gig was recorded (both audio and video) for a failed PBS pilot called Athens Shows


Dan is a ‪#‎VegetablePuppet‬, he is NOT REAL. ‪#‎flatearth (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 20:17 (two years ago) Permalink

They have three studio albums, dagnabit!

Harvey Manfrenjensenden (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 22:00 (two years ago) Permalink

Funny, all these years, I've been remembering a genius track on the Athens, GA: Inside/Out soundtrack, Golden as being Pylon and remembering/forgetting to search it out. Searched and now find it was Dreams So Real. Only available on the soundtrack and a bootleg cd comp Discogs lists.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 15 June 2016 21:23 (two years ago) Permalink

I need to hear this

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 June 2016 14:37 (two years ago) Permalink

the live Pylon album and the Dreams So Real track

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 June 2016 14:38 (two years ago) Permalink

ooooh, i always forget i have a copy of inside/out, it gets buried down in the soundtracks/comps. will pull that out for today's listening, thanks.

Harvey Manfrenjensenden (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Report back to us on that, please.
They have three studio albums, dagnabit! Yep, and Chain is worthy, but the press release is all about hyping Phase One: this is "the last show" until reuniting and it sure felt goood.

dizzy among "Reptiles," drawn into wet tunnel of pedals & bass On headphones, now think they're all fingers, fingers, fingers

dow, Thursday, 16 June 2016 17:58 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Good interview--- maybe source for the press sheet's backstory of Pylon Live, but other good bits too, like debunking the source of their name, also another name they considered. w visual deal, both still worth another band/solo artist's consid:

dow, Friday, 1 July 2016 19:02 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Vanessa & Michael make a mixtape of early 80s Athens bands, comment on 'em too---some deep out-of-catalog listening here:

dow, Friday, 22 July 2016 22:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Yep, remember the names of many of those groups (the Squalls, etc.) but not the songs

curmudgeon, Monday, 25 July 2016 14:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Interview with Vanessa and Michael

Brad C., Monday, 25 July 2016 18:29 (one year ago) Permalink

Nice. I remember them opening for U2 at the U of MD in 83, and eventually I will find the never published interview I did with them then that was going to go in my fanzine's next issue, but we ended the zine before that could happen.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 July 2016 16:54 (one year ago) Permalink

The dancing crowd shots in that Side Effects footage make me so nostalgic. That's how I spent my early 20s too.

this is a salad for the BALSAMIC REVIVAL (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:28 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Saw Pylon Reenactment Society the other night. The band is not quite Pylon, but they re-do the tracks pretty well, and Vanessa still powerfully switches between her screetch and a more melodic tone

curmudgeon, Saturday, 24 September 2016 12:53 (one year ago) Permalink

In addition to the Reenactment Society tour, the Pylon Live in 83 album is out, music from "Cool" is in a Lexus commercial, and they're namedropped by young hip Baltimore post-punk artist Sneaks (recently signed to Merge)

curmudgeon, Saturday, 24 September 2016 12:56 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

PRS is touring again this summer.

nickn, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 22:16 (one week ago) Permalink

Chomp More disappeared from Apple Music! Gah.

Davek (davek_00), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 23:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Spotify too. Main thing left seems to be live album

And Nobody POLLS Like Me (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:16 (one week ago) Permalink

Chomp More was on DFA

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 04:18 (one week ago) Permalink

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