Why my girlfriend and I can't seem to make out the words on Pere Ubu records - We turn our music up loud like it doesn't belong to us. Sometimes we sleep with its soft pulse like blood rushing in our ears. On the cool tiles of my terrace-house's balcony, through the open back window, I can see the neighbour's two cats curled spine to spine - their eyes as big and dark as radar dishes. Their heads bow together with the weight of sleep. Like them we dream of sunflowers in a field, and twitch in timelapse to music recorded before we were born. The sound from the cd starts and before I hear the words I hear the singer say, "Moonlight makes eyes out of everthing". A moment later the cats are gone. It's the neighbour yelling, "Turn that music down or else".
Bob Harding writes:
I am a fan of vinyl for a different reason. Vinyl is more interactive. Yes, the sound reproduced by a cd is clean and sharp compared to an lp, but the great majority of recordings that get played through my stereo do not suffer an appreciable loss of meaning when I use my turntable. Some do, yes, but most do not.
Being part of a generation that grew up on vinyl records (I was born in '62), I have seen all of my friends who listen to music change from records to cds. Unfortunatly, along with the better sound, another change occurred. They all played music differently. Instead of playing sides of albums (15-20 minutes) or singles and then getting up and looking through their collection for the perfect next record, they put a cd that lasts an hour and then forget about it, letting it fade into the background. Even worse are those multiple-cd contraptions. On "random".
So, I like vinyl because the person playing the music is forced to be more interactive with the machine making the sounds. Sometimes, our culture's love of efficiency shortens the time spent on our enjoyments.
John Thompson writes:
since i made up the title "information design" on my biz card to describe what i do a few years back--i was recently wondering if others use this term and what they think it means. www search produced thousands of urls. a company in the uk is quoted below cos i thought u might find amusing their opinion on "expectations" and the result of "flouting" them--
We think about what sort of document we are dealing with - what genre the document belongs to. People expect documents of a particular genre - user guides or learned journals, for example - to have particular features. Flouting their expectations can disrupt their reaction to the document.
Rhodri Marsden writes in re the FOY seedee +:
Under Mac OS 8.5, with only the base extensions turned on, the FOY CD+ crashes my Mac. If you turn off the File Exchange control panel (which replaces Mac OS Easy Open and PC Exchange) you can mount the Mac and Audio partitions on the desktop, after having told the mac to "Eject" the PC partition when it comes up as unreadable. So it can be forced to work.
HiLo. I stumbled upon your History of Ubu on the Web and was fascinated to read it. However, I wish to add a clarifying detail to your history. I was one of the microscopic audience at the final performance of Ubu's first tour in San Diego. The theater was the Roxy, an old beat-up movie palace. The article states that there were five people there; actually, there were fifteen. I counted them. As the band was introduced, a wag in the 'crowd' shouted "All your fans in San Diego are here!" David Thomas looked out into the void and murmured "It's going to be all right..." and the band proceeded to thrash our eardrums and brains. One of my outstanding concert memories and one that endeared Pere Ubu to me forever. Zenman loves Ubu.
Dan Whitworth writes:
Reading Zenman's comments on Ubu's Roxy Theater performance in San Diego (I wasn't there but a good friend of mine was-- now to track down the other 13 attendees...), I thought I'd just mention that the Roxy was torn down years ago and replaced by a post office. Another former Ubu venue in San Diego, the Bacchanal, where I saw Ubu twice in the late '80s, was briefly replaced by a country western bar but has since been converted into a discount computer store and will never be resurrected as a music club. Is there a pattern here?
HAHAHAHAHA. I found a copy of the Ubu box set. It was damned hard, too. But, I won your game.
G. Cooper reports:
This week a friend (an acoustics engineer) told me the following (true) story which I thought might appeal to you.
He (Andy) spends much of his time helping reduce noise in factories and was recently called to a factory in Birmingham which had problems with two large metal pressing machines. The people working near the machines found the noise intolerable and were threatening their bosses that they would call in the Health & Safety Executive. The management eventually responded and everyone was convinced their solution had reduced the noise level significantly but not enough.
Andy was less impressed. When he got to the factory he found that their ingenious remedy was to surround the problem machines with microphones and to connect these up to loudspeakers in the trees outside the factory. Everyone was convinced this 'dumping' of the noise in the woods was improving life inside the factory.
A note from a friend in Baltimore...
Obtained copy of "re-released" copy of Pere Ubu Pennsylvania at Tower records yesterday. Told them it was not really "re-released", the guy knew Dave and since no new stuff had been done, it was probably a rework of other stuff. I paid cash and left no other information.
Bill Coderre reports:
Tower Records, Mountain View, CA -- Out of stock.
Tower did not have the disc in stock. I saw other TimKerr discs (specifically 2PB, which I bought, and like), so I found a clerk hiding. Lucky me, he was hiding right next to The Computer, and he grudgingly looked up the disc, then said, "Pop/Rock." I said, "I looked there, there is none. Do you have more?" "We ordered 2 copies, they should arrive next month. (I hate you and wish you to die.)"
i went to a music products store--it is called a harmony house. i asked a clerk for help finding a raygun suitcase ... pere ubu model. the clerk said nobody buys that stuff anymore. the folly of the clerk's youth. the purchase was made. i showed him. same damn store gave me gas and promises to special order diyz box set. they could not deliver. i took the business to media play who were happy to service quickly. consumer woes.
keep up the fine work. the music industry becomes more muddleheaded, yet pere ubu remain clear sighted.
Mark Logan from Encore Records, Kitchener, ON, reports:
I was able to purchase Pennsylvania at a small shop in Kitchener, Ontario called Encore Records. They stock Erewhon and the Monster box as well as the ububox. It is a good store, but Im biased cos it's mine. :-) I play your cd's often as well. Some people ask about them and buy them, most dont. That perplexes me as I find your work very compelling. The music of Pere Ubu gets better with each release. I wish I could articulate properly how it makes me feel to crack open a new release (as I did last week when Pennsylvaina finally arrived) and hear where youve travelled to this time.