Friday, August 19, 2016

Pere Ubu - 1981 - 390° Of Simulated Stereo

Pere Ubu 
390° Of Simulated Stereo

01. Non-Alignment Pact 3:45
02. Street Waves 4:08
03. Real World 4:04
04. My Dark Ages 5:32
05. The Modern Dance 3:33
06. Humor Me 2:44
07. Heart Of Darkness 4:07
08. Laughing 5:14
09. Can't Believe It 2:16
10. Over My Head 4:46
11. Sentimental Journey 4:53
12. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo 5:42

Tom Herman – guitar, bass
Peter Laughner – guitar, bass
Tim Wright – bass
Scott Krauss – drums
Tony Maimone – bass
Allen Ravenstine – EML synthesizers
David Thomas – vocals

Ubu's first live recording is not your average live recording. That is, it's not a contract filler or a simple rehash of material, or an ersatz live document with lots of post-production sweetening; it is a warts'n'all snapshot of their career. This collection focuses on the years 1976-1979 and includes recordings from the very early days with Peter Laughner and Tim Wright. And because this is an aural history, completeness and representation are more important than state-of-the-art recording technology. That's a nice way of saying that some of the tracks (especially those recorded in 1976) are of a very lo-fi quality -- I'm talking portable cassette recorder quality. But that doesn't mean it impossible to enjoy the music; quite the contrary, the grubby sound enhances what were probably grimy, claustrophobic gigs. The song selection is top-notch (mostly from the Datapanik EP and The Modern Dance LP), and live, Ubu's edginess and gleeful avant-gardisms are in full effect. A great live album? Probably not, but its great moments ("Street Waves," "The Modern Dance" and "Heart of Darkness") are worth a considerable amount of your time.

Pere Ubu - 1980 - The Art Of Walking

Pere Ubu
The Art Of Walking

01. Go 3:34
02. Rhapsody In Pink 3:35
03. 2Arabia 3:57
04. Tribute To Miles 4:20
05. Misery Goats 2:37
06. Loop 3:14
07. Rounder 3:25
08. Birdies 2:27
09. Lost In Art 5:11
10. Horses 2:34
11. Crush This Horn 3:00

David Thomas – lead vocals (1-5, 7-9, 11), Vox Continental Baroque organ, drums (9)
Mayo Thompson – guitar, backing and lead (6, 10) vocals, piano
Allen Ravenstine – EML synthesizers
Tony Maimone – bass, piano, organ
Scott Krauss – drums (all but 9), horn, piano, drum machine

The Art of Walking was the first Pere Ubu recording that wasn't completely sensational. Red Krayola guitarist/mastermind Mayo Thompson replaced Tom Herman, and while he freely indulges in pushing the envelope when it comes to soloing, he doesn't have Herman's rock sensibility, so there's less pulsating, Chuck Berry-style riffing emerging from the mix. Also, the songs are a tad more obtuse -- not that previous Ubu songs weren't, but this collection, with its focus on the pastoral, falls apart when it becomes overly precious. Such is the fate of utopian concept records. Still, this transitional (if you want to call it that) record offers many rewards, even if as a listener you have to work a little harder to find them.

U-Men - 1979 - X-mas concert at Intersate Mall-Live at Club Wow

X-mas concert at Intersate Mall-Live at Club Wow

01. Hard To Start
02. No Problem
03. Mad Doctor
04. 491
05. Help Me
06. First World War
07. Random Wages
08. My Back Pages
09. Doris Day Sings
10 .Little Skunks.

Bass [Uncredited] – Tony Maimone
Drums [Uncredited] – Scott Krauss
Guitar [Uncredited] – Tom Herman
Synthesizer [EML, Uncredited], Tape [Uncredited] – Allen Ravenstine
Vocals [Uncredited], Oboe [Musette, Uncredited], Percussion [Uncredited] – David Thomas (2)

A semi-approved bootleg limited to 500 copies. Original covers were promo jackets of Patti Smith's Horses album pasted over with printed pieces of paper front and back. Probably recorded in 1978 and mostly at Pirate's Cove in Cleveland. "I Will Wait" was recorded at the Homestead Theater. No other details are remembered. Released on Tri-City Records in 1979. The label on Side 1 reads "X-Mas Concert At Interstate Mall." The label on Side 2 reads "Live At Club Wow." (For the record, there was no such place as Interstate Mall, or Club Wow, for that matter.)

This same bootleg was re-booted, unofficially, as Don't Expect Art (Impossible Recordworks IMP1-07) in 1980. "Don't Expect Art" was an Ubu Communex injunction of the day so the source of the re-boot was probably also a fan.

Pere Ubu - 1979 - New Picnic Time

Pere Ubu 
New Picnic Time 

01. Have Shoes Will Walk (The Fabulous Sequel) 3:16
02. 49 Guitars And One Girl 2:51
03. A Small Dark Cloud 5:49
04. Small Was Fast 3:39
05. All The Dogs Are Barking 3:03
06. One Less Worry 3:49
07. Make Hay 4:03
08. Goodbye 5:18
09. The Voice Of The Sand 1:28
10. Jehovah's Kingdom Comes 3:17

David Thomas – Vocals, organ
Tom Herman – Guitar, bass guitar, organ
Tony Maimone – Bass guitar, guitar, piano
Allen Ravenstine – EML synthesizers, saxophone
Scott Krauss – Drums

It was not surprising that after Dub Housing, Pere Ubu couldn't get a record released in the U.S. New Picnic Time originally surfaced on Chrysalis as a British import, but when Rough Trade made it available domestically, U.S. fans could take solace in that the band had finally hooked up with a label more sympathetic to their decidedly unique approach to music. New Picnic Time was also the last Ubu record with guitarist Tom Herman, and for many Ubu fans this signals the end of Pere Ubu phase one (or phase two, depending on one's feelings for the Datapanik-era band). New Picnic Time also finds David Thomas' lyrical explorations reflecting his religious involvement with the Jehovah's Witnesses, pieties that are stated quite emphatically on the record's closing track, "Jehovah's Kingdom Comes."