I returned the two CDs I took out from the library (7-day limit), Song
of the Bailing Man and The Art of Walking, today and got to more Pere
Ubu CDs, New Picnic Time and Apocalypse. These were the only two other
Pere Ubu CDs there; when I first checked, there were six Pere Ubu CDs
at the library, but someone must have checked out the other two.
I noticed that they aren't on the list that you mentioned/reviewed,
Carl, and honestly, I was hoping that the library would have Dub
Housing and Modern Dance. But let's see how these work out.
On Sunday, July 30, 2006, at 10:47 AM, Carl Z. wrote:
> If the synthesizer is your main hook, Kevin, check the credits of any
> to make sure Allen Ravenstine is in the band. My favorite display of
> talents is actually not a Pere Ubu disc, but his eerie and, yes,
> work on David Thomas's solo disc Monster Walks the Winter Lake.
> Ubu's sound has varied enough that there are several possible places
> for a
> good introduction. Story of My Life from 1993 might be as close to
> mainstream rock (of that time) as anything they attempted; the
> accordion-driven "Wasted" was used in a Monster.com ad a couple of
> ago. The late-80s-early 90s discs (especially Cloudland and Worlds in
> Collision) are also very poppy; Worlds in Collision might be the single
> catchiest recording the band has made. (Ravenstine left the band at
> beginning of its recording sessions in 1990, and was temporarily
> replaced by
> onetime Captain Beefheart synth player Eric Drew Feldman. None of the
> post-1991 records feature Ravenstine, if that matters to you.) The
> synthesizer work on these discs is more conventional that it was on the
> albums you checked out, but the band still sounds like no one else.
> If your library has a copy of Terminal Tower, that collection of early
> tracks shows off the dark, rumbling power of the band as well as
> It's the disc I would start with, given the choice, followed by Modern
> and Dub Housing. All of the records up to the initial split in 1982
> collected in the Datapanik in the Year Zero box, along with a disc of
> rarities including some of Ravenstine's early synth experiments. It's
> wonderful box.
> Over the past decade, Pere Ubu has gotten heavier and less glossy than
> post-1987 reunion records, with Pennsylvania and St. Arkansas being
> guitar-heavy with the temporary return of founding guitarist Tom
> All of these records are excellent, though maybe not the best place to
> start. I haven't heard the new one yet -- I think it come out next
> If the stuff on Terminal Tower appeals and you don't mind lo-fi
> check out The Day the Earth Met Rocket From the Tombs. No synths, but
> incredibly powerful and strange guitar rock that shows the links
> Ubu, the Velvet Underground and Television. (And if you really don't
> lo-fi, Ubu's live One Man Drives While the Other Man Screams is
> but certainly not the most accessible place to start investigating.)
> This run-down didn't sound very critical, did it? You picked out my
> least favorite Ubu discs from right before their early-80s hiatus.
> good, but not ones I feel compelled to revisit. See if Terminal Tower
> the box set are at the library, but (happily, as Thomas has carved out
> long and varied career with the band and solo) no one disc will be
> Carl Z.