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Last updated 09/08/2014

Pere Ubu understood
If you really want to understand what Pere Ubu does, click here. The following is excerpted from Elitism For The People: In Praise of Pere Ubu by Chris Hastings.

Unabashed dedication to a philosophy is a rare and valuable thing. Though Pere Ubu's philosophy has some extreme elements that manifest in ways that are at times, let's say, perplexing and seemingly hostile, I still believe it's worth celebrating, or at least acknowledging, as a truly unique point of view in American rock music. While plenty of musicians have reinvented themselves multiple times over long careers, it seems to me the act is often motivated by a desperation brought on by a lack of any new ideas. Deep down, I think Pere Ubu really only has one idea - 'The Cup,' as I've referred to it. But it's such an enormous, fantastic idea, and the band is so in love with and committed to it, that it's managed to parlay a decades-long career out of bringing it to fruition. Everything it does is in service to it. This unified approach makes listening to and revisiting Pere Ubu's music over time holistically satisfying in a way few other artists I'm aware of can compete with. "I know where we're going," Thomas has said. "It's Somewhere Out There. When we reach it I quit. The end of a thing is always better than the beginning. I continue to look forward to the end of the road. That will be the great Pere Ubu moment. When we can finally look each one to his brother and say, 'Well done; our work is finished - rest.'"
Ubu Projex Headlines

New Pere Ubu album!
Carnival of Souls
• The new Pere Ubu album, Carnival of Souls, was released September 8/9 2014 on cd and vinyl.
• Order from Ubutique or Fire Records.
• In November 2013, a 'shock troops' version of the band toured in France, Italy, Croatia, the UK and Ireland playing the songs as works-in-progress. A recording of the Dublin concert is available on hearpen.com. The tour was called 'Visions of the Moon.' Early demos were released on hearpen.com.
Tour dates in the UK and Iberian Peninsula are booked.


• A 100 page paperback of 'liner notes.'
• Also available, The Book of Hieroglyphs by David Thomas in hardback or paperback, 268 pages.
• Also available, Chinese Whispers - the 'Missing Manual' to the album Lady From Shanghai, paperback, 100 pages.

New items at Ubutique
• A COS cd or vinyl plus book bundle!

astroanimated
It's shipping now!
Although the release date to stores for Carnival of Souls is September 8/9, mail orders ship beginning August 18 from Ubutique and Fire Records. Cogs, The Making of Carnival of Souls, a 100 page paperback of 'liner notes' by David Thomas, is also now available from the same sources. The iTunes download release is available for pre-order now and doing so gets you an immediate copy of the song 'Road to Utah.'

Underscore to Carnival of Souls in Paris
The Pere Ubu Film Group (in this case, David Thomas, Keith Moliné, Gagarin and Darryl Boon) will perform a live underscore to Carnival of Souls as part of the L'Étrange Festival at Forum des Images, Paris, on Friday, September 12. This will be the original underscore that evolved into the music for the album. It will be subtitled in French. Tickets go on sale August 20. See Calendar page.

Lindsay Cooper Memorial Events
Lindsay Cooper died last year. She was a collaborator on many of the David Thomas solo projects of the mid 80s. Memorial evenings at the Barbican, London, and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival are scheduled for November 21 and 22 2014, featuring Henry Cow, Music For Films, News From Babel and Oh Moscow. Below is a tribute Thomas wrote for the program:

Lindsay Cooper was a tough old bird. There are testimonials galore to her talent. The most significant is the body of her work. But, at a certain level of the masonic Brotherhood of the Unknown, talent is a given. 'Yeah, that was a great performance but that's what you're paid to do.' Deeper within the Order is a quality that endures and speaks to the heart. Lindsay was a tough old bird.

In the mid 80s, I had a trio that probably went by various names, mostly David Thomas and the Pedestrians. It was me, Lindsay and Chris Cutler. Voice, bassoon/sax, and drums. It was a surprisingly good listen, but far from conventional.

We were booked to play in Madrid two nights. It turned out to be a disco. The doors would open only after all the bars shut. The first night, we waited in a narrow 'dressing room' that was filthy beyond words. The flooring was sticky way past the point of being adhesive. Roaches and unidentifiable insects ran riot. Any time your eye rested on a spot on the wall, or floor, it moved. The smell was unique. The support was a Spanish cliche-punk band. The air compressed with every ill-timed foot drum beat. The audience had achieved a uniform post-drunkenness before we stepped on stage. We did the show, manfully enduring, manfully excelling, manfully uncompromised. It hurt bad. In the 'dressing room' afterwards someone said, "We get to do this all over again tomorrow."

The promoter swore up and down that the support band for the second night is much more "simpatico." Very simpatico. He kept saying it. We arrive as the support is finishing sound check. There are twelve of them on stage. The music is 80s Euro-pop of the worst kind. They are all made up to look like Adolph Hitler.

So, when I think of Lindsay, I remember Madrid. She was one for the trenches. You could count on her when the going got rough. Her art endured through the pain.

Chris, Lindsay and I will always have Madrid.

Pre-orders of Carnival of Souls
Pre-order the cd or vinyl from Fire Records. Pre-order the download from iTunes,'Road to Utah,' is provided at the time of ordering.

UK and Spanish Tour Dates Confirmed
See the Calendar page. More info will be forthcoming. More dates will be announced.

'Irene' single release
'Irene,' the video for the first single from Pere Ubu's forthcoming album Carnival of Souls, complies with Ubu Projex Rule #2, 'Self Expression is Evil.' Clyde, a puppet from the Daisy Jordan Weebly Collection, hosts the song. "Singers should not be seen and not be heard" David Thomas says. The exclusive b-side 'Moonstruck' is a remix of the album track 'Drag the River' by Gagarin / Moliné.

The single can be purchased as a download.

Carnival of Souls sees Pere Ubu target Prog Rock in the continuation of their 'fixing things' manifesto; "a complex and sensual reaction to living in a world overrun with monkeys and strippers who tickle your ears, cajole you to join in with their cavorting and then become vindictive when you decline." The album is Pere Ubu's 18th album over a forty year career that has seen them break rules, confuse and continue to divide music critics globally.

The album can be pre-ordered from Fire Records.

Excerpt from the book 'Cogs, The Making of Carnival of Souls'
"The worst kind of musician is a singer. The dawning of wisdom for any singer is a healthy dread of singing. There are people who are in love with the sound of their own voice and evidently believe that their singing can add to others' joy and enlightenment. This is a bad attitude and a dangerous one. It feeds ego and self-esteem. It encourages paternalism.

"Don't feed the monkey!

"Far better that a singer should resent having to sing. Singing is a nasty social habit, like spitting in the street. Sometimes you gotta do it but you oughta be discreet."

Meet Darryl Boon
Darryl Boon is the newest member of the group. A clarinetist, he is an enthusiastic advocate of Dixieland. David met him while he was playing in a jazz group in a pub in Hove.

New Album Videos
A number of song videos have been produced for the new album. Released so far are:
Road to Utah
Pere Ubu Fixes Things
Self expression is evil

Q: So the album is about the movie...
A: No. The album is not about the movie. The album is 'about' a complex sensual response to living in a world overrun by monkeys and strippers who tickle your ears, cajole you to join in with their cavorting and then become vindictive when you decline. I got rid of my TV because I don't want them in my house. I got rid of my phone because I don't want them calling me. So if you understand that and add in several more keyframes and make at least two more intuitive jumps, then you can see what role the movie has as ambient background noise - in the same way that sun shining through the trees along the Yellowstone River has as a reference point to Kerouac's 'On The Road.'

Rat puppets and Pere Ubu
Recently come to light, Pere Ubu's appearance on the extremely popular BBC kids show of the 80s hosted by a rat puppet. The fellow who was Roland The Rat was a big Pere Ubu fan and insisted that they be invited to play the show. The band was in Athens on the Saturday, flew into London on the Sunday to tape the show, and then flew back to Athens that day to do a second show. This was the Greasy Chicken Incident that had David checking into the hotel at 3am with a very large, leaking cardboard box filled with fried chickens. He left his shoes on the reception counter when the band went to the roof to consume said chicken and watch the sun rise over the Parthenon.

But, not just one rat puppet host. Here is a David Thomas appearance on a Chicago cable tv kids show.

Keith Moliné Solo Album
Keith Moliné has two electronic albums available on the Entr'acte label. The most recent of these is Crritic! (2013) It is themed around Moliné's work as a music journalist, and comprises two interlocking pieces carrying a dedication to Hans Keller, Desmond Leslie and Lester Bangs. 'I Only Asked' uses an interview recording - questions only - to modulate various sound parameters, and is a reworking of a piece first performed at Café OTO, London in March 2011. 'Hatchet Job' is based on a computer speech recording of all the negative reviews Moliné has penned for 'The Wire' magazine in the last ten years. These amount to around 50,000 words.

The album Ley (2012) is collaboration with trumpeter Andy Diagram from Two Pale Boys. It features acoustic improvisations recorded in Diagram's garden fed through Moliné's arcane modular software patches.

Both albums are available from the entracte.co.uk site following the respective links above. The following links might also be of interest:
Crritic! artwork
Crritic! video
Ley artwork
Ley video

Keith has a blog.

Ubu Sings Ubu, April 9-26
The press release:
Actor/director Tony Torn and Julie Atlas Muz star in Ubu Sings Ubu, an immersive theatrical mash up of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi and the songs of experimental cult band Pere Ubu. Adapted from a version of the original French text, and run through the Google Translate™ engine, Torn and company are fueled by the giddy, angular new wave rock of Pere Ubu, the cult band whose name and style were inspired by the play. Torn, who co-directs with Dan Safer of Witness Relocation, plays Pere Ubu while Muz is Mere Ubu, in a bizarre parody of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in Poland instead of Scotland.

"I first fell in love with the band Pere Ubu in high school, when my brother Jon brought the song 'The Modern Dance' over to our friend Daniel Pinchbeck's house and we threw it on the turntable," says Torn. "The music led me to the insanely scatological play Ubu Roi, and from thence into a career in experimental theater. I first thought of doing a production like this over thirty years ago. And now it's time to put up or shut up."

Torn's adaptation process is as irreverent as Jarry's text. "Jarry's script is a scatological school boy prank," Torn explains. "He wrote the play to make fun of his high school physics teacher. The stupidity of Google Translate™ matches the intentional stupidity of the play - which is super exciting to me." In adapting the sprawling original text for a more intimate production, Torn (in collaboration with co-director Safer and poet Nicole Peyrafitte, who earned the unique title of "Merdreturge" for her work) feels he has discovered something hidden inside the famously scatological epic. "It's a love story - a disturbing and outlandish one, but very real."

Location: Abrons Art Center: 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street) New York, NY
URL: http://www.abronsartscenter.org/performances/ubu-sings-ubu.html

Interviewer: Why was there no bass player for the 'Visions of the Moon' tour in Italy & the UK?
DT: Circumstances forced a range of scenarios. At the same time I became obsessed with the new material we had been developing since July following the 'Carnival of Souls' performance. The LFS project, as I have noted elsewhere, was the culmination of a 20 year project designed to integrate improvisation into the compositional process in a particular way. The new material suggested the beginning of a new long-term project and I was anxious to get on with it rather than repeat LFS in the UK and Italy. This suggested a 'shock troops' orientation for the Pere Ubu line-up since much of the performance would be improvised from night to night as ideas were explored. Having both a drummer and a bass player in the band would constrain the process. Bass players and drummers have a foolish notion that they should play together and it's hard to shake them from their convictions. I went with a drummer - Michele had not been involved with the 'Carnival of Souls' because of scheduling conflicts but Steve had. We are now working on bringing in Michele in a particular way reminiscent of the Chinese Whispers method.
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New at hearpen.com:
18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest
David Thomas and two pale boys, 2014 remix



Buyer's Guide to Pere Ubu
For those wondering what to buy first, next or last.



Press Center
A good place to find information concerning Pere Ubu, David Thomas, Special Projex and other sources on the site.


Pere Ubu Studio Albums
Historical Era:
The Modern Dance (1978)
Dub Housing (1978)
New Picnic Time (1979)
The Art Of Walking (1980)
Song Of The Bailing Man (1982)
Terminal Tower (1975 - 1981)
Datapanik In The Year Zero (Box)


Fontana Years:
The Tenement Year (1988)
Cloudland (1989)
Worlds In Collision (1991)
Story Of My Life (1993)


Modern Era:
Raygun Suitcase (1995)
Pennsylvania (1998)
St Arkansas (2002)
Why I Hate Women (2006)
Why I Remix Women (2006)
"Long Live Père Ubu!" (2009)


Orange Period:
Lady From Shanghai (2013)


Pere Ubu Live Albums
* - Denotes download only.
The Shape Of Things (1976)
Manhattan (1977)
Pirate's Cove* (1977)
390° Of Simulated Stereo* (1977 - 79)
U-Men Live At Intersate Mall* (1978)
Live at the Longhorn (1978)
One Man Drives While The... (1978 - 81)
I Walk The Line (1981)*
The Art Of Talking* (1982)
Waltz Across Texas* (1989)
Waltz By The Sea* (1989)
London Texas (1989)
Paradiso - Part 1* (1991)
Paradiso - Part 2* (1991)
Apocalypse Now (1991)
The Late Show* (1992)
A Ghost Town Goes Where You Want To Go* (2006)
Light It Up!* (2007)
Live at Grant Avenue* (2007)
Oh, Pennsylvania...* (1998 - 02)
The Annotated Modern Dance* (2010)
Glasgow* (2013)
Visions of the Moon* (2013)


Pere Ubu Specials
Lady From Shanghai (Demos)
Lady From Shanghai (Demos) #2
Lady From Shanghai (Demos) #3
Lady From Shanghai (Demos) #4


David Thomas Albums
* - Denotes download only.
Vocal Performances (1981) *
Winter Comes Home (1982) *
Variations on a Theme (1983)
More Places Forever (1985)
EREWHON (1996)
Monster Box Set
Mirror Man (1999)
Bay City (2000)
Surf's Up! (2001)
18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest (2004)
Brunswick Parking Lot* 2003
A Map Only Tells Me...* (2008)
Mirror Man Act 2* (2009)
Let's Visionate!* (2009)
How's Things In Your Town?* (2005)
I Remember Mars* (1996)
David Thomas and The Holy Soul* (2010)
A Free Man (2012)*
Disastohouse 001* (2012)


Rocket From The Tombs
Strychnine* (2012)
Barfly (2011)
I Sell Soul / Romeo & Juliet (2010)
The Day The Earth Met... (1975)
Rocket Redux (2004)
When It's Too Late To Die Young* (2003)
Extermination Night* (1974)


Theatrical Productions
Lost in Art, the Pere Ubu Ballet
Mirror Man
Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi


Festival Productions
Disastodrome 1998
Disastodrome 2003


Other Recordings
Wait For It - Tom Herman
Jimmy Bell's Still In Town - 15-60-75
The Inward City - 15-60-75


Other Pages Of Interest
David Thomas and two pale boys
UBUDOLL
Lyrics
Other web sites
Unlikely Releases
News Archive
European Taxes
Where nowhere is
Accusations of Paranoia
Blue Hole Of Castalia


Fan Input:
iPod Ubu
Geography Lessons
Ubuspotting


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