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Last updated 06/22/2014
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:
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
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.
Lady From Shanghai
The 17th Pere Ubu studio album, Lady From Shanghai, was released on cd and vinyl January 7 2013 by Fire Records, thirty-five years after the band's debut, The Modern Dance. The reviews are highly complimentary, often raves.
The vinyl release is pressed at 45RPM and spread across two records for the highest fidelity.
A 100-page paperback of 'liner notes,' Chinese Whispers, written by David Thomas, is published and can be purchased from Ubutique as of January 7. It will not be available on Amazon, or in book stores. There are plans for an iBook version.
Pitchfork rave about '414 Seconds' and post a stream of the tune.
Demos of the works-in-progress are posted on hearpen.com in various states of completion. David Thomas Remix
David remixed a 7" single by by Roshi and Gagarin, a partnership known as Pars Radio, to be released December 10 on Geo Records. Gagarin is a de facto member of Pere Ubu these days and longtime soundman. Listen here.
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David Thomas and the Pedestrians, 1985 album
Buyer's Guide to Pere Ubu
For those wondering what to buy first, next or last.
A good place to find information concerning Pere Ubu, David Thomas, Special Projex and other sources on the site.
Pere Ubu Studio Albums
David Thomas Albums
Rocket From The Tombs