Pere Ubu: Classic Or Dud

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Pere Ubu popped up in the multiple CoD thread and I thought they were well worthy of one of their own. So here it is.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"The Modern Dance" is essential. The following albums ("Dub Housing" etc) are good, but I can live without them. The later period isn't bad, but somehow just not very interesting either.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I agree that the late period stuff (Worlds in Collision, Ray Gun Suitcase etc), while pleasant enough, isn't anything to get excited about. But I'd make an exception for last year's release Apocalypse Now, a great live show which I think was recorded a decade or so back. Some funny stage banter from the ineffable David Thomas, a couple of punk surprises, and a beautiful version of 'We Have the Technology' alone make it a worthwhile purchase.

scott bassett, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mike Daddino will have his own thoughts on the matter (and good ones they are), but I'll agree with him that I have a lot more time these days for the early singles than I do for the entire back catalogue of the Stones.

"DON'T need a cure/DON'T need a cure!"

I had the surprise opportunity to run into David Thomas and I think Ravenstine at the station I was at in 1991. I asked him about the Living Colour and Peter Murphy covers of "Final Solution" -- said he hadn't heard the LC one, but that Mr. M 'got rid of the solo' but otherwise did a good job.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Pere Ubu is one of those bands that I've wanted to like for quite a long time, but I can't really get past Thomas' voice. I know that it will click in with me at some point, because I definitely like some of the songs quite a lot, esp. "Final Solution" (yawn, how predictable). For now, it's in an undecided zone.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The first three albums plus the singles and the associated live stuff from that period: Absolutely unbelievably classic. I think _New Picnic Time_ is one of the most underrated and affecting albums I've heard, and I've listened to the other stuff on the first two discs of the box set probably more than anything else overall in the last four years or so...

After those: Spotty. Some excellent stuff, though, in among the only okay stuff, and David Thomas hooking up with the very, very creative Spaceheads (Two Pale Boys) is a brilliant move, I think.

Jacob Anderson, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've got Dub Housing - i like it lots. The guy's voice is one of the most comically incredible i've ever heard in pop but for some reason i got over it. I actually bought the album for £1 without a case thinking it was Dub Reggae... Boy was i wrong, but then it turned out to be excellent anyway :-)

dog latin, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

he sings like a cross between David Byrne and Tiny Tim.

scott, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...

Ubu are at their best recording "avant-garage" (late early period) than "pop/rock songs" (mid late period). That was a bit confusing. Let's just say 'New Picnic Time-Song Of The Baling Man' = "avant-garage". While 'The Modern Dance' or (mid late period) 'Story Of My Life' = "pop/rock songs". Yes, even 'The Modern Dance' plays to this weakness for song form, where Ubu are clearly best without song form = the point.

However, David Thomas (singer/leader) is as good (if not slightly better - let's just say different than Ubu, but in a good equal way) solo than as Pere Ubu. With his box set 'Monster' as proof.

But, certainly if one wants truly "classic" and truly interesting art-rock or art-punk...look no further. Some might go with Wire or The Fall. I'll take Pere Ubu, anytime.

*Also, Pere Ubu are one of the greatest live rock bands ever (yes, ever)...I've seen them twice - in support of 'Story of My Life' opening for They Might Be Giants (sort of like Public Enemy and how they used to open for the Beastie Boys) and again at a smaller club as headliner in support of 'Raygun Suitcase'. Both times, great. Second time, incredible. David Thomas is a natural on stage (oddly enough - in that, one could see him as some sort of "anti-social" if they didn't know better, with some of the lyrics and mumbling voice, etc).

michael g. breece, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

five months pass...
boy this one died a fast death, didn't it? come on, i know -some- of you haf an opinion on ubu...mark s? tom? andrew? andy? dave? ANYONE??

my take: two classic albums, followed by a string of spotty-to- terrible ones, lost (to paraphrase i think mark) up their own arse of determined non-repetition. the singles collected on terminal tower, however, are a handful of the most towering documents in the history of this rock music thing. made all the more powerful by the fact that they were scrawled in black magic marker by wights from collapsing ohio factory backwaters.

jess, Thursday, 27 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Seems to be a consensus that everything after The Modern Dance was spotty. I might agree with that - although I think there were some absolutely great moments on all of the later LPs. The Art of Walking - I believe it's "Misery Goats" I'm thinking of... (Can anyone fill me in on the that reference.. "Misery Goats" is an homage to something that I recognized a few months back... now I forget what it means...) and "I Will Wait" from Dub Housing, if I remember correctly, is one of Ubu's finest moments.

When I heard the Wooden Birds' last album (name escapes me..) I thought, Wow! That sounds a lot like typical Ubu... (Ref. "A Fact About Trains") I wonder if they'll change back into Ubu.... Sure enough, they did. But I must admit, I wasn't blown away when The Tenemement Year came out. I thought it was too "Rock & Roll". Cloudland was even more so... Great albums in their own right & kicking U2 and REM's asses at the time... so no reason to slouch. I'll take "Why Go It Alone" over "Stand" any time.

But it wasn't until Ray Gun Suitcase came out that I thought they had returned to what makes/made Ubu great - which was a heavy bassline behind some erratic guitar and some ranting (which is the same reason I like Saccharine Trust.)

I've seen Ubu many times over the years, starting with the warm-up tour for The Tenement Year. (The new songs were much better live than they were when the record was released.) - and I think Scott Krauss, Tony Maimone, Alan Ravenstein & Jim Jones (as a very suitable stand-in for Peter Laughner) brought amazing energy to the group - BUT, the last time I saw Ubu was about 2 years ago... the only member remaining was David Thomas .. The show was incredible. They played hard, they beat the shit out of their back catalogue. The only turn-off was that David Thomas seems to have developed into a bit of a dictator & a perfectionist - which is his perogative because it's now his band... but there's something to be said for the DIY sound... and that's why we love the Fall.

Dave225, Thursday, 27 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

FYI - That Wooden Birds LP was "Blame the Messenger". Highly recommended.

Dave225, Thursday, 27 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Jess lists me last, and expects me to comment? You have SOME BALLS, boyo.

I owned thee boxset a while back, & sold it, of course, duh. The music was fine, but the cram-happy aesthetic ruined everything past Disc 2. (And I never gave the Ubu-related music much of a spin, and including live Ubu did nothing for me.) That said, I agree w/ Jess on Modern Dance & Terminal Tower. Rock & roll drunk on the couch with Pretentious Art, making out and drooling all over the place. Pass the funnel, woo!

Dub Housing might be a grower, though I can't recall it well because of the CRAP SEQUENCING on the boxset CDs, damn it. I have a tape copy of Cloudland, which sounds just fine (if a bit happy-go-lucky, which I don't expect from DT, despite his kiddie-clown voice). The newer stuff (on Tim Kerr & Thirsty Ear) scares me because of all the conflicting comments.

And what's this I hear about the 5-disc David Thomas boxset being unbelievably awesome? Is this the truth?

David Raposa, Thursday, 27 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

New Picnic Time = terrific; a concept alb about life in heaven

mark s, Thursday, 27 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I listened to The Wooden Birds' "Blame The Messenger" yesterday. (This was the record that reunited Ubu - 1986? ) Absolutely brilliant, more so than I remembered. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking it up. It's better than most Ubu records and almost as good as some of the best Ubu records.

Dave225, Monday, 21 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
I haff rethink. Have recently repurchased Tenement Year, Cloudland, Worlds in Collision and Story of My Life, and am enjoying them all now. Will probably go back to the earliest stiff, too, which I never really gave fair shakes to...Always loved "Final Solution" but have discovered the glories of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" and "The Modern Dance".

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Saturday, 24 August 2002 20:31 (seventeen years ago) link

the earliest stiff is "the art of walking" haha (actually i wuv every note they ever played)

mark s (mark s), Saturday, 24 August 2002 21:55 (seventeen years ago) link

first four albums and the attending singles from their first period = classic.

The Tenemant Years is good but not classic.

Cloudland is half classic (the last Paul Harman engineered half), and half crap (the Stephen Hague produced first half).

Worlds In Collision and Story Of My Life are not so hot all -- especially Eric Drew Feldman on synth -- his cartoony work is terrible to these ears -- completely lacking Ravenstine's touch or Wheeler in the later period. Completely POP in a cut out all the good parts way. (also, I don't think Cutler was a good fit with the band either).

Raygun Suitcase through St. Arkansas are a return to form, the resurrection of a band that almost sank during the Eric Drew Feldman period. Especially great is the return of Tom Herman. Also to be noted is the underrated playing of Jim Jones, a man who has done many excellent things but hasn't got the kudos he deserves.

jack cole (jackcole), Saturday, 24 August 2002 22:07 (seventeen years ago) link

If you're going to harp on my typo, mister s, I want sales figures outta you. ;)

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Saturday, 24 August 2002 23:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Classic, of course. Another one in a long list of bands that I saw in the '70s and insist on mentioning on ILM in the vain hope that people will worship me, while knowing that the info really translates in people's heads into "he's really old".

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 25 August 2002 08:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Only have a modern dance. Love it of course but nevah got round to anything myself. Nice to know sean is enjoying a lot of their other stuff as when I met him he was just buying some of those recs.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 25 August 2002 09:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Just wondering how you pronouce the name.

I've never been too sure whether it's 'peh-ray ooboo' or 'pear ooboo' or possibly even another way, any helpers?

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Sunday, 25 August 2002 12:57 (seventeen years ago) link

pear (it is dad punk haha)

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 25 August 2002 13:04 (seventeen years ago) link

isn't "misery .. " just the unlucky masonic goats, the "misery guts" of the circus bleating like kids from the harem ?

yeah picnic, walking where were i got dropped right in it, so dub was a bit too much popping dub and the guitar records too much guitar records like sonic youth

the late period stuff, well it's more measured austere and yet part of the continuum of not over till after the fat man's stopped singing that is pere ubu

these guys are carrying the torch for wacky alfred jarry and people complain about silly ok != surreal or sensible but maybe absurdist -- yet absurdism points fingers, reminds us we are the bourguiese (is that correct spelling ? just couldn't resist)

my gripe would be how easy to map to real world via absurdism (which in jarry's case mapped so well) is peter thomas ? anything to say ? (great effects dept.)

all credit to them though for being first to the millenium bug though via "Data Panic in the Year ..", so ahead of their time as much now as then someways -- do not C/D until, y'know, uh, loses some weight ??

george gosset (gegoss), Sunday, 25 August 2002 13:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Those early singles are my favorite Pere Ubu music. After the first two LPs, there music is just too much all over the place for me, except for "The Tenement Year" which is a pretty good record and seems to be a return to the sound of those earlier recordings.

"The Tenement Year" may be a bit harder to find, as I do not think it was ever reissued. I've had a vinyl for a long time and got it before I found the first two LPs and the reissue of the early singles.

earlnash, Sunday, 25 August 2002 19:22 (seventeen years ago) link

I found The Tenement Year on CD in one of my regular used shops, for relatively cheap...weird, because I thought they'd have realized how rare it was. At any rate, I now have a copy of that on vinyl that is up for grabs, if anyone wants me.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Sunday, 25 August 2002 22:14 (seventeen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
After giving all of the early Pere Ubu records a couple of listens over the past few weeks, I find that I think they really didn't drop off as much as I used to think. "Songs of the Bailing Man", "The Art of Walking" and "New Picnic Time" are maybe a notch below "Dub Housing", but not much more.

I think listening to quite a bit of electronic music in the past three or four years has changed my perspective of some of the more abstract/ambient/free form sounding songs.

I've never heard anything after "Pennsylvania" or the "St. Arkansas" albums, are they any count?

earlnash, Monday, 28 July 2003 18:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Was just driven around in a red convertable by a punk girl blasting (I think) The Tenement Year. Shit cool.

Pete Scholtes, Monday, 28 July 2003 20:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Classic, obviously - stupid question.

So is all Mr Thomas's solo / other stuff, especially Blame The Messenger, Mirror Man and the live CD with the "Monster" boxset.

"I've never heard anything after "Pennsylvania" or the "St. Arkansas" albums, are they any count?"

I don't believe you've missed any official releases since St Arkansas Earlnash, although there were a couple of live albums in between them: Apocalypse Now (which, as others have said above, is an excellent album) and The Shape Of Things (semi-official, dodgy 1976 live recordings, for completists only).

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 07:18 (sixteen years ago) link

got the 'terminal tower' singles comp since then. wonderful though i'm not sure what that live version of 'Humor me' is doing there. a bit unecessary.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 07:23 (sixteen years ago) link

I believe I'm right in saying that the last few tracks on that CD were mopping up some oddments that would otherwise have been unavailable on CD because they had to missed off the Datapanik In The Year Zero box-set due to restrictions of CD length etc.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 07:53 (sixteen years ago) link

... I think that's incorect - Terminal Tower was released 10 years prior to the Datapanik box. Seems more like it was just a release of a bunch of stuff they could get their hands on at the time. (Being Twin Tone & all.) While it's a great listen, it doesn't seem to have much of a reason to exist - other than there was no Pere Ubu record in print at the time. And Not Happy is cut short.

dave225 (Dave225), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 10:36 (sixteen years ago) link

well if you don't have the boxset its useful collection of the early singles. suerly that's a good enough reason for it to exist.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 10:41 (sixteen years ago) link

.. Yeah - well, I have it and yeah, I recommend buying it.. But I mean, it's a bit of a hodgepodge .. some of it is the Datapanik EP, some of it is singles, some of it is rarities. It's not a collection of all the singles. It's not a rerelease of Datapanik. It's not really a collection of rarities. It's just "stuff". Again, probably the only stuff Twin Tone could get their hands on in 1985. Buy "no reason to exist" I meant from an Artist or record company perspective... As a fan, I was damn excited to have it and quite glad it existed.

dave225 (Dave225), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 10:50 (sixteen years ago) link

If you don't have the boxset the (final) solution is obvious....

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 10:51 (sixteen years ago) link

so what are they missing bcz this is a collection of singles up to 1980. is there another comp i could get hold of that has what's missing?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 10:53 (sixteen years ago) link

I think the only single that isn't there is Street Waves.. And I don't even know if it's different from the one on The Modern Dance. But the version of Not Happy cuts out a big section in the middle. .. So it's not a huge loss - it's just not a totally complete compilation of the singles. ..

Actually, I just checked the Ubu web site & found this:
The left & right channels are reversed and the tape transfer left all songs running at a slower speed. All Rough Trade / Twin Tone cd & vinyl releases are affected. These faults were corrected by the 1994 digital transfer & eq. The 1998 cd reissue features the Mayo Thompson / Geoff Travis mixes of "Not Happy" and "Lonesome Cowboy Dave" as released on the 1981 Rough Trade single. The 1985 Twin Tone / Rough Trade releases use the David Thomas mixes done at Suma.

.. So I guess the CD is better than the LP.

dave225 (Dave225), Tuesday, 29 July 2003 11:05 (sixteen years ago) link

I suppose I could use an editor, what I meant to say was:

I've never heard anything after "Raygun Suitcase" are the "Pennsylvania" or the "St. Arkansas" albums any count?

At least from the reviews, it seems if you like Pere Ubu, the last two albums will be to your liking. They are on my list and I probably will look for them when I go up to Bloomington/Indianapolis at the end of August.

earlnash, Tuesday, 29 July 2003 13:32 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...
I'm surprised to see no consensus here that Dub Housing is by far their peak. It was dark, eerie, powerful, experimental but still totally engaging. Quite a feat for an album with an obsessive focus on paranoia and mental instability. I have to admire their determination with New Picnic Time to avoid repeating themselves, but it seems they tried too hard, and it comes off forced and awkward.

Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Thursday, 8 September 2005 03:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Man, this made me dig out Dub Housing. It's one of those woozy albums that I think you either like or don't. I remember when I first heard it, it wasn't like anything else I'd ever heard...
Of course, I grew up listening to Waiting For Mary on an old Certain Damage sampler, so maybe I was predisposed...

js (honestengine), Thursday, 8 September 2005 04:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Love the Datapanik box, but is buying anything else neccessary?

Sasha (sgh), Thursday, 8 September 2005 04:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Consensus? ILM? Uh.. why aren't there a ton of threads on this band?

Dub Housing is so classic. Total paranoid schizo vibe. I suppose buying more albums of theirs isn't strictly necessary but surely if you like the box set you'd like others?

dar1a g (daria g), Thursday, 8 September 2005 05:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Last time I tried to listen to Dub Housing, I just thought the songs weren't really there. I like early Pere Ubu, especially the singles.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 September 2005 05:32 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm off to see them on Saturday, wonder how they'll be. Don't have great expectations, but hoping they're going to catch me by surprise. No idea who's in the band now. Chris Cutler perhaps?

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 8 September 2005 07:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Cloudland must be reissued/remastered. Now.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 8 September 2005 10:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I preferred them as a rock band than as an art band, so:

Modern Dance > Dub Housing >>>>>>>>> everything else

Raymond Douglas Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 8 September 2005 10:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Love the Datapanik box, but is buying anything else neccessary?

The Wooden Birds - "Blame the Messenger"
Rockets from the Tombs
& the Peter Laughner disc.

-David Thomas solo records are also great, if you like 'Sentimental Journey'
-Home and Garden records are spotty, but I really love some of em.

when something smacks of something (dave225.3), Thursday, 8 September 2005 11:36 (fourteen years ago) link

I have The Day the Earth Met... and Rocket Redux. What's Laughner's solo stuff like?

Sasha (sgh), Thursday, 8 September 2005 11:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Laughner = classic. His style was schizophrenic -- Beefheart here, Thompson there, punk here, folk there - but I think he was mainly just interested in channeling his various interests. Rock It Down, Ain't It Fun, Sylvia Plath, and Baby's on Fire are all classic!

TRG (TRG), Thursday, 8 September 2005 12:00 (fourteen years ago) link

It's low-fi, bedroom recordings, but it's an insight into the early pere... Everyone seems to think it's fucking genious around here ... I don't hold it up that high. Laughner was a great guitarist, and it really shows in some of these recordings, but I still see it as more of a historical relic than some kind of masterpiece.


when something smacks of something (dave225.3), Thursday, 8 September 2005 12:04 (fourteen years ago) link

not sure about the specifics for that box, but laughner material is in all kinds of weird legal limbo — there's been an archival reissue project in the works for almost a decade that's been postponed over and over.

tylerw, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:31 (three years ago) link

just seemed like a pretty glaring omission.

scott seward, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:38 (three years ago) link

they do have a Friction track on there that is on the take the guitar player for a ride collection.

scott seward, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:41 (three years ago) link

it's a great box though. filled with essentialness that is essential. every home should have one. in the basement next to the batteries and flashlights and jugs of water.

scott seward, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:45 (three years ago) link

THere wasa great cd compilation I bought called Take The Guitar Player For A ride, but i think it was OOP when I last bought it.

Is there a book on the Cleveland scene yet beyond the section of From The Velvets TO The Voidoids?

Was 'Those Were Different Times' a book or a magazine article?

Stevolende, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:49 (three years ago) link

the guitar player comp is out of print which is why you should grab it if you see a cd or vinyl version in a store.

scott seward, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:54 (three years ago) link

and it is likewise essential, but it always bums me out when some vital piece of history has to be left off of a project like the datapanik box for extra-musical reasons. he was a founding father.

scott seward, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:55 (three years ago) link

Those Were Different Times = fanzine article i think

at least that's where i read it (tho where my copy of said fanzine currently is in my flat i could not tell you)

mark s, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:57 (three years ago) link

I wish I still had the datapanik box. I went through hard times when I sold so many things.

I mean I have all those albums 'digitally' but that was such a great roundup.

chip n dale recuse rangers (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 16:07 (three years ago) link

Grabbed the 2nd version when it was cheap on Amazon. 1st version had been falling apart on me for ages by then.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 20:17 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

I've always been intrigued by this weirdness ever since the Comsat Angels first few albums got reissued in the early 2000s. In the liner notes for those reissues, Steve Fellows and Mik Glaisher had nothing but totally glowing things to say about Mr. Thomas and his band. Always kept that in the back of my mind, as anything that was as influential as they claimed Pere Ubu to have been on them was surely significant.

Got a few of the early things —the `75-`77 singles comp, The Modern Dance, and New Picnic Time— and have given them each one go `round so far. The very early stuff is so absurdly out of step with everything else around it, it's actually totally refreshing music. Really dazzling stuff.

At this point, I'm less of a fan of the whole schtick of New Picnic Time; wherein, band creates seemingly just on the edge of freeform madness while Dave rants squeals about over top of it all. But, who knows, a little time may do the trick.

Austin, Thursday, 8 June 2017 23:35 (two years ago) link

Dub Housing > New Picnic Time. Try that one.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 9 June 2017 00:18 (two years ago) link

more like >>>>>>>>

Punnet of the Grapes (Tom D.), Friday, 9 June 2017 00:19 (two years ago) link

Well, if it means anything, I liked the ones I got enough to search out and mail order Dub Housing. We'll see when it gets here.

Austin, Friday, 9 June 2017 03:30 (two years ago) link

New PT is still pretty good. It's the next couple of lps I have less time for. Find them too abstract.
I think the Datapanik box is pretty necessary plus Shape Of Things plus The Day The Earth Met Rocket From The Tombs. Plus any live stuff you can find up to about 78, possibly 79.
I do like the reunion stuff from the late 80s too. Not heard much more recent stuff.

Incidentally there's a new memoir by the Electric Eels' Brian McMahon out through Hozac Books. Looks interesting but pricey.

Stevolende, Friday, 9 June 2017 06:10 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

New album coming, one song previewed here.

nickn, Saturday, 1 July 2017 07:42 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

New record out today, streaming in the usual locations, first blush is its good, def a bit different then the last couple (which I love), maybe closer in spirit to the RFFT "Black Record"? I dunno, good stuff whatever it is

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 29 September 2017 15:08 (two years ago) link

Same lineup?

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Friday, 29 September 2017 15:25 (two years ago) link

Same lineup plus an extra guitarist, I think. I was only half paying attention on first listen but had the exact same thought re: RFTT. Second half of the album seemed more interesting to me but I need to dig in some more.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Friday, 29 September 2017 16:05 (two years ago) link

Same line up, plus Siperko who played on the US tour last yr (and with RFFT) and Kristof Hahn from the Swans on the pedal steel. Guitar Orchestra or some such I believe they are referring to it as.

Continued, underrated Pere Ubu addition: Darryl Boon's clarinet, which is such a perfect foil for Thomas's voice

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 29 September 2017 16:32 (two years ago) link

I've listened to "20 Years In A Montana Missle Silo" a couple of times and find it... inconsistent as David's vocals are often a bit rambling or hard to take. In fact, I'd compare Pere Ubu's 21st century output to The Fall - so much depends on the vocals for me. I think David Thomas has aged much better than Mark E Smith in terms of voice. But like The Fall, Pere Ubu's high points are extremely high whereas the rest is nice-if-unnecessary for me. From this album, I think I'd pick:

Monkey Bizness
Toe To Toe
Red Eye Blues
I Can Still See

What's your take, VTC?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 21:47 (two years ago) link

I can get into most of the tracks on here to some extent when I'm listening to the album as a whole, but when I try to pick out highlights afterward, not much sticks with me. I do like where it goes on the last two tracks, especially Cold Sweat. Think my picks would be pretty similar to yours:

Toe to Toe
Red Eye Blues
I Can Still See
Cold Sweat

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 20:31 (two years ago) link

What is his obsession with monkeys and stuff these days? Feels like cliched wackiness

Shat Parp (dog latin), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 08:54 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm getting very intrigued by the bunch of Pre Ubu and Cleveland related material turning up on Smog Veil.
I need toget the Hy Maya set and maybe the Alan Ravenstine set. Think the others look interesting too.

Stevolende, Monday, 22 January 2018 23:40 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

really digging hy maya. haven't listened to the ravenstine yet but the cover is fantastic:

adam, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 13:28 (two years ago) link

little ubu listening spree this week for me
i have underrated worlds in collision (tbh i only listened to it once, upon original release)

Tripod Jimmie - A Warning to All Strangers is available as a paid download from ubuprojex site now, btw! Urgently recommended for real

when worlds collide I'll see you again (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 14 March 2018 15:24 (two years ago) link

'Goodnight Irene' off Worlds in Collision is one of their best songs.

loud horn beeping jazzsplaining arse (dog latin), Wednesday, 14 March 2018 16:30 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

The final album, "The Long Goodbye", is out in July.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 29 April 2019 01:24 (one year ago) link

UBU DUB podcast abt the new record, interesting thoughts from Thomas (as always) and he's right about "Bay City" being criminally underrated.

New stuff sounds really glitchy & weird.


chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 14:29 (one year ago) link

Also Thomas doesn't make it seem like it is the final album, just the "end of a way of doing things", though it was born out of the idea that he was on death's door post the Nov 2017 tour, sounds like he wrote everything himself on synth while he was still sick.

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 19:37 (one year ago) link

has thomas ever threatened to write a memoir or something? seems like he should.

tylerw, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:01 (one year ago) link

write a memoir, that is, not just threaten to write one

tylerw, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:02 (one year ago) link

i feel like he has written something long...?

if nothing else there needs to be an available text of his Ghoulardi lecture from EMP!

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:16 (one year ago) link

He has written a couple of book length "liner notes" "Chinese Whispers" about "Lady From Shanghai" and "Cogs" about "Carnival of Souls", neither are exactly straight forward memoirs, more like bundles of lyrics, album behind the scenes, essays, and sort of diary entries about making music.

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:19 (one year ago) link

wow where are those? just listened to 'lady' yesterday.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:30 (one year ago) link

Was avail on the Ubu site

Looks like Chinese Whispers is sold out in the US

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 20:32 (one year ago) link

No ebooks? :(

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 21:04 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

First listen to "The Long Goodbye" - it's like one of David's challenging solo albums. I don't object to the electronic additions, it's just that his vocals go against the grain to such an extent that it's hard to enjoy. Can't say it does much for me.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 14 July 2019 19:42 (ten months ago) link

Second listen reveals a bit more. My picks:
What I Heard On The Pop Radio - because it's just so ridiculous
Flicking Cigarettes At The Sun - reminds me of early Pere Ubu
Fortunate Son - excellent spoken word piece
The Road Ahead - another spoken word piece, long but rewarding

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 14 July 2019 20:29 (ten months ago) link

It is certainly the least "rock" Ubu record since the Mayo Thompson era...I knew it was going to be weird but it is even stranger than I expected, closer to the recent record he did with P. O. Jⱷrgens "Live Free or Die" and obv an extension of the "Bay City" David Thomas & Foreigners album (which Jⱷrgens also plays on, he plays on this new Ubu record as well)

"Fortunate Son" and "The Road Ahead" are both great, long, winding stories, Ravenstine might not be on the record but his vibe is all over it,ideas pop up from the DT & two pale boys records as well

"Lovely Day" is a beautiful ending.

Ymmv but this record is extremely my shit

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 15 July 2019 14:00 (ten months ago) link

Their album covers are often so bad these days it cheapens the music for me quite significantly

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 15 July 2019 14:12 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Finally got my copy yesterday and the live disc that comes with the cd of smaller quartet doing the entire album essentially in sequence (with Chris Cutler on drums no less) I think is better than the album proper. Like a lot of things in a live setting everything just seems to make more sense. It feels more like a Pere Ubu (or at least two pale boys) record vs the studio session which does feel like a weird Thomas solo record, which I still like, but the live takes just sound better.

Also, in ref to above they just announced another book for this record, 'Baptized Into The Buzz'which per the recent news letter includes 1 chapter of Thomas's autobiography, which he also notes is less exciting than Cheetah Chrome's

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:44 (nine months ago) link

Ooh cutler I want that live disc

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:54 (nine months ago) link

I read the book over the wknd and it was cool, I'm not sure if really changed my overall impression of the record, but it is interesting to read how Thomas see it within the larger scheme of the Ubu oeuvre, nice to have the lyrics in a handy spot.

The album is growing on me, the live record really helps bring it into focus.

And in a very Fall-esque development I went back to 20 Years In a Montana Missile Silo, which I was fine when it came out but haven't spent much time with and of course now I think it sounds great!

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 5 August 2019 19:26 (nine months ago) link

JUst came across the Pere Ubu Scrapbook cos they were advertising free small sized tshirts on Facebook. Like if you take a small sized female along to their goodies table at a gig she will be given a free tshirt. May need you to buy something too but they have a surplus of small tshirts.

So that went out on FB as a post and had a link to the Ubutique so I looked through there.
& saw thsi, not really come across books on Pere Ubu before i don't think. They do turn up in a few places, From The Velvets to the Voidoids etc but haven't heard of something dedicated to them.
Sounds like it must be a compiled reprint o fvarious articles and things on the band from 1975-82 but there isn't much said on the site. "Pere Ubu, The Scrapbook 1975-1982
Paperback, A4 size, 158 pages." plus a photo is all.
Anybody read it?

Stevolende, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 17:33 (nine months ago) link

Arrived today. Seems quite interesting various reprints of press from the time plus all the lyrics fro the lps from the era.

Since there is little on the band around it is great to have this,

Stevolende, Monday, 19 August 2019 17:46 (nine months ago) link

six months pass...

What is his obsession with monkeys and stuff these days? Feels like cliched wackiness

― Shat Parp (dog latin), Wednesday, October 11, 2017 3:54 AM (two years ago)

have you seen monkeys

j., Wednesday, 11 March 2020 02:39 (two months ago) link

Their in house download page Hearpen has been down for a while is slowly coming back on Ubutique, there is a new remaster of the Pirate's Cove 1977 tape, not a full show, some songs cut-off in spots but it sounds pretty great and is only 3 bucks (actually some of the incomplete songs feel like those jarring edits from the The Fall's Palace of Swords Reversed comp)

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:58 (two months ago) link

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:58 (two months ago) link

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