Understanding Pere Ubu
Latest Pere Ubu
New Pere Ubu album: Trouble On Big Beat Street
The new album from Pere Ubu is released May 26 2023 on Cherry Red Records. Details can be found here
. The band will debut the album in concert June 2 in London at RichMix in London. Stymied again by draconian American visa restrictions, two US dates with a mix of current and former Pere Ubu members will be played June 19 at Poisson Rouge in New York City and June 22 at The Lodge Room in Los Angeles. See the Calendar Page
for more details.
Stay Sick Turn Blue with Crocus Behemoth
David Thomas hosts a two-hour radio broadcast on Louder Than War radio once a month on a Friday night, 10pm to midnight London time. Guests have included Van Dyke Parks, Wayne Kramer, David Fricke and Mayo Thompson. Click here for more details
and here for a broadcast schedule
David Thomas and Kiersty Boon (Communex) host a livestream 'tv' broadcast over the internet on a regular basis. Click here for more details
Latest Rocket From The Tombs
Fire Records, released Nov 13 2015. Initial vinyl pressing on silver vinyl.
Keith Moliné reviews Pere Ubu reviewers
While they can obviously never hope to write as well as they did when they penned their first Pere Ubu reviews, the critics tackling the new album have done a far better job than you might expect from writers that have reviewed as many Pere Ubu albums as they have. At the risk of sounding patronising, or moronic, the sprightliness of their prose is impressive considering their advanced years; one might have been forgiven for assuming their fingers to be too ridden with arthritis to be capable of pressing the keys of their laptops. Of course, these being Pere Ubu critics, their work is essentially incomprehensible. But stick with it and you soon realise that these are possibly the most well-written Pere Ubu reviews since the last time a new Pere Ubu album was declared their best since a Pere Ubu album released some time before that, a particularly impressive feat when one takes into account the fact that the writers' transparently obvious lack of familiarity with anything other than the first Pere Ubu album has clearly necessitated a high level of creativity and imagination in fashioning their critiques. What's doubly amazing is that they have achieved this despite working for editors who, rather like The Fall's Mark E. Smith, have a revolving door policy towards their Pere Ubu reviewers; indeed, in many cases they are the only original Pere Ubu reviewers left, beavering away in the face of their readers' total indifference, producing Ubu review after Ubu review, all of which are, to paraphrase legendary DJ Simon Bates, "always different, always the same." (Except without the "different" bit.) His original post.
Ubu Projex Special Projex
Pere Ubu and The Pere Ubu Film Group perform a live underscore to the 1963 Roger Corman classic.
The Pere Ubu Film Group and David Thomas and two pale boys perform a live underscore to the 1962 cult B-movie Carnival Of Souls (Dir. Herk Harvey, 1962, B&W).
Pere Ubu performs a live underscore to the Ray Bradbury-scripted 3-D version of the film
This is the "concert" version of "Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi." In many ways it is even more of a radical interpretation and performance than the "theatrical." Some scenes are deleted, the script is re-written to interpret the character of "Mère Ubu" differently, and it is the most up-to-date version of the script. It also incorporates the animations by The Brothers Quay. It is, as Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin) notes, beyond theater. All characters and choreography are undertaken by members of the band. Click here
Pere Ubu presents its musical adaptation of the theater of Ubu Roi, Alfred Jarry's groundbreaking 1896 play and the theatrical precursor to the Absurdist, Dada and Surrealist art movements. The adaptation, written by David Thomas, features 10 new songs as well as various musical "interludes." Independent film-makers The Brothers Quay have devised a unique visual staging in the form of animated video projections. Sarah-Jane Morris (ex-Communards, Happy End, etc) features as Mere Ubu, partnering David Thomas as Pere Ubu. Gagarin adds an atmospheric soundtrack by means of electronica. Band members perform various minor roles. The premiere was Thursday, April 24th, and Friday, April 25th at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as part of the Ether Festival. It was repeated July 11 2009 at the Animator Festival, Poznan, Poland.
Press photos, click here
Reflections in a Mirror Man
David Thomas and the pale orchestra perform "Reflections in a Mirror Man," a concentrated dose of David Thomas' music theater piece, Mirror Man
, presented in concert format and augmented by specifically contrived movie and image projections. The pale orchestra is Andy Diagram
(electrified trumpet), Keith Moliné
(midi-guitar) and Dids
(drums & electronics). Celtic Soul singer and former Doll By Doll frontman Jackie Leven
and David Thomas assume the various characters contained in this anthology of tales about places that don't exist and the people who live in them. The piece premiered at the prestigious Moers Jazz Festival in 2004.
Live Free or Diet
Tales of Meat, Marvels & Texas
A program of songs, stories and visual imagery written and performed by David Thomas and master Danish percussionist P.O. Jørgens. It's an "avant-Texas atmosphere bowl of beans folk roots via Harry Partch and one more blasted dawn lookin for a 3 meat platter with a broken song in your heart" kinda thing.
Written and compiled by Pere Ubu founder David Thomas, MIRROR MAN is a hybrid of neo-Beat opera and tent meeting testimony. It is an oratorio. Or maybe it is theatre vague. Or a rogue opera. Or a song-cycle of "haunted" geographical presences. Or a roll call of voices retrieved from all those ghost towns that lie just over the horizon. Mirror Man is about places that don't exist and a collection of stories about the people who live there - abandoned by the future, forbidden access to the past, and set adrift in a mirage-like Now. It is represented by three albums
: Act 1, Jack & The General, Bay City, and Act 2, Bay City.
Disastodrome is a 3 day festival of voice and vision designed to test the reputations of 18 avant-garage heroes. These boundary breakers, forever outside the world of music-by-numbers, are led by one of rock's great prodigies and Pere Ubu founder, David Thomas. Produced by UCLA Performing Arts, Disastodrome's most recent incarnation came to Los Angeles Feb 21-23, 2003.
David Thomas Death Protocols
For the record, at no point did we describe The Long Goodbye
as the last Pere Ubu album. In the early stages we feared that this might be the case but we were always scrupulous in referring to it as the end of 'a' road, the end of 'a' way of doing things that involved wrapping up what had gone before - never 'the' end. This distinction is lost on some writers and promoters.
Likewise, there is no farewell tour. At some point the end of touring will come but we will not declare it. Note the Death Protocols we published some years ago: When David dies there is to be no public acknowledgement. A backlog of photos will be posted periodically along with news items and 'personal' commentaries from David that are, when possible, linked to some contemporaneous happening. 'Interviews' will be conducted by email. At a convenient point no sooner than two years from the event, Ubu Projex will note, "Oh, yeah, he died two years ago."
With anything Ubu there is never a finality. All is a work-in-progress forevermore.